Thursday, February 14, 2013

I'm baaaaaack...

After a long period of illness, things are starting to pick up.

This means the motto on the last of my christmas presents is starting to be operationally true:

Also, note the 'new' blog formatting... it includes a whole heap of tabs that link directly to all of the things I'm working on... 2013 promises to be busy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

smile, and world smiles with you?

...weep, and you weep alone.

Or else, perhaps some older man will come along and tell you "Smile, sweetheart, it can't be that bad."

People who know me will tell you that I have a smile that breaks my face in half.
It's big, spontaneous, and often infectious.

But people who know me will also be able to tell you just how rough the last few years have been.
It really has been that bad.

Sure, I've found reason to smile often during that time.

But I can assure you that one of the things that definitely does not have that effect on me are the people who I've come to think of as the 'Smile Police'.
Often older men, speaking at (not 'to') younger women, they take their sense of emotional entitlement, and demand that you play nice for them.

This twins with the 'taken aback' face that that older, white, heterosexual, close-talking man gave me when I didn't respond positively (with a smile) to his comments on my tattoos.

Hey there, person-I-don't-know!
I think that my body is my own.
And if you don't know me, it is perfectly reasonable for me to find your comments on it unwelcome.
Hell, if I know you, I might still find them unwelcome!
I happen to think I have every right to feel this way.

I also think this woman put it even better than I can.

Let's have some conversations about this.

Friday, June 18, 2010


apparently sometimes i dance on paper, too

Monday, May 31, 2010

home on the range

despite having been told i have traveled more widely in the U.S. of A. than most Americans a stateside friend claims to know, this is what i think the mid-west is like.
also probably the South.
and the Bible Belt. And other accessories.

(excuse me, I'm off to find me some cow print fabric... one boogie suit comin' right up. yippee!)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

tears get in your eyes

Today I was faced with a dilemma. And I'm still not sure I chose wisely.
Either way it was a crying shame. A case of the tears, tears prickling behind lids, and no real place to put them. Nowhere as a space between out and in, and neither would really do.
My whole life I've been really private about crying. Just like my nakedness is, it's mine. Not because I've been afraid of the censorship of others.
In fact, I remember how, in the way of so many small children, when I was upset I would imagine scenarios which would exacerbate my sadness - like being a bird in a tree at my own funeral and watching other people mourning my death - and work me up into body-wracking sobs, enjoying the voluptuous pleasure of my moments of grief even as they shook my small body. And another sneaky part of that pleasure would be the thought of being caught in the act, busted on my tears and how that ineffable someone would respond.
A part of my head would become that someone, looking at my tears, responding compassionately, placatingly, and be moved by my frustration (the most common cause for tears for me for years), or sadness. So I would sneak glances at myself in the mirror, and watch for those tears and how my face moved and how my body shook, and that would make the moment simultaneously more 'real', and less.
It's only recently that I've caught myself in the mirror doing a similar act.
But this act has shifted somewhat by a lot of the work and reading I've been doing about leaky bodies, and the feminist politics of viewing and looking, which probably owes itself in the most part to the indomitable Laura Mulvey. This, coupled with a political and lived investment in living a life as embodied and affectively open and engaged as possible, mean that such a glance has become rather more complicated.
In fact, it occurred to me last night, as tears spilled unchecked from me as I washed my hands in the bathroom sink that I was watching so that I could add something to the experiential moment of crying. That particular visuality adds to how I can understand my embodied, leaky, uncomfortable, and altogether 'natural' moment. Not only do the hands to the face which feel the spilling wetness affirm and add to this cry. The seeing of my crying form, the examining of saline spill, this shows my experience to me (visually-oriented as I am), and makes it whole.
Perhaps I'm a little lost for explanations for this in front of others. Maybe now I've found the words, tears will be more see-able as far as I'm concerned.
Or maybe I'll stay in places where the reflective surfaces are mine alone.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

versus the anxiety monster

There's nothing glamorous about living with anxiety.
Just as there's nothing glamorous or rock'n'roll about admitting that exercise keeps me sane, or that staying in with a good book and a nice cup of tea beats almost every other option of 'fun things to do' for me, every time.
Daily, it makes me restless, unfocused. It keeps my head off the things I care about, unable to ask the appropriately supportive questions of the people I love, and buzzes through me.
I know it's a situation that many women live with in verging on epidemic proportions, and my heart both breaks and bleeds as it rises up and wants to fight - directly against this destructive energy inside of me, but also politically.
This feeling is a political thing, in the sense of a lived everyday politics, and I work to not silence it... For me, openly admitting to not coping with anxiety is both an act of self-healing, the first stage of getting better, and the beginnings of transformative practice.
Like writing the 'I' into writings like this - standing my ground and owning my feelings. Good and bad.
And I will not be squashed into the third person in a report on the systemic effects of mental illness' coincidence with womanhood. I will insist on my bodily leakages - tears, shakes, social phobias, sliding out into the world and being acknowledged.
Just as much as I won't pretend to be okay so that your day can be easier. Not anymore. Or squash down bad feeling, so that we can pretend that your offensive life decisions don't affect me or the world, and everyone can be 'fine'.
I spent 5 years when I was a teenager being 'fine'. It also coincided with a bereavement, and puberty. And for years I truly believed that that pain and deep-gut-sadness was a natural extension of the growing up process.
If people had talked openly about how these things operate, about how they function politically, about how everyday they are, I might have had a different experience of growing up. Part of me mourns for the young girl who didn't get that chance. And a huge part of me wants to be a part of making the world a place where no other girls will have to suffer in silence, without hope.
Which is why I get so intensely angry when communities of women don't reach out to each other, and check in, or acknowledge the very real physical effects of negative feeling, of depression and anxiety.
Unfortunately it also increases my anxiety levels.
The cycle continues.
Thank goddess for the ability to vent into the ether.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

fear on the rise

I’m standing at the edge of the banked track. The outside walls loom at me – rails heavily padded, and yet clearly steel… I wonder vaguely about the damage they do… splintered hip bones and crushed wrists momentarily collage through my mind… but the main thought in my head is the incline on the other side of that wall. The incline that’s about to take all of my sure-footedness out from under me, and increase the trepidation in each skated footfall…

At home, on my flat track, despite the three different sites, each with differing surfaces, at which we train each week, I have surety in my step. I know the boundaries of that flat track, and my skating is fast, nimble, sometimes even gutsy, the smile across my face betrays my pleasure in speed, in each evasion of contact, each knock I refuse to allow to take me off my path.

But this moment is different. And even as my heart leaps inside me, and my hands and knees tremble (I clench muscles to steady them) I hear someone yelling that it’s my turn, and I leap onto the track, and the boards arch and flex beneath me, and I know that I’m going to make it. That that surety isn’t why I play. That each fall is another one done. And the bruises that await me are earned. And the fear rises up inside me and takes flight.