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I’ve Been Thinking: Healing and the Feminine Semidivine

18 Nov

Been thinking a lot about Christmas today.

(I will warn you that this post is suuuuper wobbly, and the title is the most coherent part of it).

I always loved Christmas. It was my favorite holiday, aside from my birthday, for most of my life. The last sixish years it’s been wrapped up in a lot of really terrible feelings of sorrow, regret, exhaustion, severe anxiety. It has brought meltdowns, breakdowns, vaguely suicidal tendencies, and crippling depression, but I still cling to the idea that I love it. I hate the cold and the dark, so I’m super into a celebration of light. I hated school when I was in it, so hey! Vacation. I love giving and getting presents.

Mostly, I love Christmas music. Like, a lot. A lot. 

I was a choir nerd, a band geek, a theatre jerk, and a preacher’s kid, so for me Christmas music usually started in September, and I was lucky enough to be exposed to some really astonishing seasonal music. Shit you don’t hear on the radio. Deep cuts, if you will. I still love Christmas music–I make a lot of money every year as a professional Christmas caroler. I just released a Christmas CD, which I recorded in June. When I’m very, very stressed out, I find that 16th century sacred choral music will help me calm down a bit. Today I started building a couple of Christmas playlists, and as is probably to be expected, I ran into Mary Did You Know, aka “Mansplaining Christmas: The Musical.”

TO BE CLEAR: Mary was aware, this song is theological garbage and downplays her bravery and intelligence in the interest of glorifying “innocence,” but I’m not here to bitch about it.

Despite it being crap, it’s been stuck in my head all day (with the exception of the four hours I spent listening to different versions of Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence). Fortunately it’s not the only Christmas song about a woman. Most Christmas music about a woman–granted, it’s about a woman giving birth, which I was never interested in, but Christmas is ultimately Mary’s story. Joseph is totes a good dude, and there’s a lot more room to talk about him, and Jesus obviously has a featured role, but the heavy lifting goes to Mary (and Elizabeth, to a lesser extent). And as it gets dark outside and my uterus continues its cycle of bloody revolution, I find myself thinking about what kind of person would be able to handle being Mariam without losing her ever-loving mind.

Joan of Arc was my favorite saint growing up. I wrote several reports on her. I had several of her medallions. I didn’t grow up Catholic, so why did I have a favorite saint at all? More to the point, why was my favorite saint one who didn’t live to see her 20s because she was burned at the stake? I don’t know. I’m into dramatic epics and always wanted to believe my life has a big, grand purpose, and I admire bravery. As I lay here almost paralyzed by fear and indecision, I cannot imagine what sort of person would be capable of being Jehanne.

I’ve been thinking a lot about those two ladies today. The focus on their virginity never sat well with me (I get that a spontaneous virgin birth is miracle, but the centuries of veneration has very little to do with miracles and everything to do with purity culture, and TO BE CLEAR that’s bullshit), but otherwise they always struck me as pretty great. “I know what I’m here to do, I’m going to do that thing with aplomb, and none of you will stop me. This is who I am. I’m good enough for The Big Guy, it can be good enough for the rest of you bastards.”

I admire people who know what they’re meant to be doing. I used to know, or think I did. The last time I had to make a decision (what to get in my burrito), I panicked for almost a full minute.

Anyway, today I’ve been thinking a lot about them.

I kind of fell apart when my grandmother was dying, and I haven’t been back to church in years. The last time I was in church I wept so hard I almost hurt myself. I grew up in church: singing, ringing, reading, teaching, eating, wasting time in my mom’s office, stealing communion wafers, skipping youth group to write fanfiction in the bathroom with my bestie. We were there twice a week, every week. I read the book twice (including all the begats), I did my research. I put a lot of time and thought into what I believe. I still believe, but believing hurts. I’m not worried–I was for a while, but then someone reminded me that God is big enough to comprehend even the most incomprehensible anger/grief/fear/pain, even the pain I can’t comprehend myself, and will still be there. It hurts less. But it still hurts.

I’ve been thinking a lot about incomprehensible grief, and courage, and being loved. I’ve been thinking about the aspects of feminine divinity that are missing from too much of mainstream Christianity, prompting generations of worshippers, desperate to see ourselves reflected in our God, to shift a little divinity to a thousand female saints.

While I wait to think about God some more, I’m thinking about these two women. Girls. Lady-persons. I’m just thinking about femaleness as strength, of femininity as expressed in two totally different but equally valid ways. I fought for years against the idea of God as solely male, because 1) I want to see myself truly reflected in the God I believe created me in Its image, and 2) it’s theologically questionable, and 3) sometimes I need a father, and sometimes I need a mother. And a crazy bachelor aunt.

Sometimes I need a couple of ladies who take no shit and give no fucks and walk confidently into the future. So as I get ready for Christmas, whatever Christmas means to me this year, I’m thinking about them.

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I Make Playlists: Halloween

31 Oct

For your listening pleasure: four hours (!) of curated Halloween music. Includes the scary, the silly, and the sad, from pop to folk to novelty songs to hip hop to metal to showtunes to spooky theme songs. Ghosts, candy, witchcraft, monsters of all stripes, and that song from Beetlejuice.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/stonebiscuit/playlist/6r4I6WRlLNuYVUh2SfPAWJ

Not included: way too many songs by singer-songwriters using the word “Halloween” as an excuse to talk about their breakups, none of which appeared to have happened on Halloween or have anything to do with the holiday at all.

Not Being Ok

31 Oct

I’ve been in a depression spiral since my last project was finished. I should have expected it–the post-show drop is real, and then my period happened, and that was kind of it. For a while I thought it was just a little bit of a spiral, but, I mean, no, it’s kind of not. I’m trying to work on a post about the joyful success of my return to the stage and the Kickstarter, about how AMAZING it is to be selling CDs, and about how much I love my life, but instead I’ve been spending a lot of time not sleeping, not eating, sabotaging my own health and budget and deadlines, and forgetting to wash my hair or change my clothes or do the dishes.

My goals for today:

  • have a fun Halloween with some of my most beloved friends
  • finish just two items for work
  • go to bed when mr. biscuit does, rather than at 4 in the morning
  • try to be OK with a couple of things:
    • needing some help or some sunshine or some water
    • where I am
    • not being OK

Because I’m not OK right now. I’m not anywhere near OK. That’s hard to admit, but I can feel it in my chest (like it’s full of concrete), my throat (breathing feels like too much work sometimes), my head (foggy), my wrists (they ache), my jaw (clenched).

I painted my nails and blow-dried my freshly-washed hair, and that helps. I ate some vegetables, and that helps. So I’ll achieve the first three of these goals, and that will help with the fourth.

I’m just trying to be OK with not being OK for a bit. It will swing around eventually. It will swing around sooner if I stop beating myself up.

Hogwarts Beauty School

29 Jun

Useful spells someone at Hogwarts probably knew but Harry Potter was too busy playing Quidditch/snogging Ginny/staying alive to learn:

  • Avada This Ingrown Hair
  • Wingardium Put Your Contacts In Correctly The First Timeiosa
  • some kind of spell to clean bras, match socks, and prevent expensive tights from ripping, and it would be great if these were all the same because I cannot remember all this shit
  • Accio Falsies (puts fake eyelashes on for you)
  • Fix My Motherfucking Lip Liner, I Look Like A Prostitute Who Caters Exclusively To Clowns (you just say this while waving your wand angrily at the mirror in the car)

Bring Back The Baby Goats: A Character Study

11 May

Things Ragnar Lothbrok Loves Most Of All, Beginning with the Most Loved Thing

  • Athelstan
  • being a drama queen
  • sailing for adventure on the bounding main/his sons (tie)
  • Floki
  • The Ladies
  • baby goats
  • being a drama queen (Did I say that twice it’s because Ragnar Lothbrok is a GIANT DRAMA QUEEN)
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Welp

26 Feb

20170226_180208

Joy

15 Feb

Today I did some things that scare me. Important things. Potentially life-changing things. I feel really really good about these things. I’ve been feeling consistently good for a while now. I’ve gone to yoga class three weeks in a row. My skin is great. I haven’t really finished tidying the new place, but I have managed not to add any new mess to it. I spent a year and a half not making decisions, hibernating if you will, and now I know where I’m going. I have a goal, and it will probably be hard because of some of the (necessary) things I’ve done in the past, but I’m good at fighting for a goal. Knowing what to do after achieving a goal is another story, but let’s not dwell on that just yet. I’m going to ride this upswing and enjoy the hell out of it.

My watchword for 2017 is “joy.” That solidified at yoga the other night, and it feels right. It feel good. It feels powerful. Last year it was “gentle” which morphed into “calm,” which morphed into “chill” which became “fuck all y’all motherfuckers” and then back to “chill.” We’ll see where “joy” goes. I’m enjoying it now.

You know what really brings me joy? Hampster Dance. Has since I stumbled onto it back in Ye Olden Days of dialup. I used to keep it open and playing until my allotted time on the interwebs was spent. This was not the first time my family had cause to regret the thing that made me happy, nor the last. I also find unbridled joy in Sloop John B by the Beach Boys, the theme from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but mostly…mostly the Hampster Dance.

So let’s see where it goes.

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