You make a left turn, by the overpass
and maybe it's because you feel your life is running away without you.
wallow in your shoes
(damp from your trek in the creek, your socks squish between your toes)
were you ever driving the car?
or was the steering wheel always dragging your hands along with it
like it's doing now?
you could eat cotton candy while you drive,
shoving fistfuls of melting sugar in your mouth
while the trees go by
getting greyer and smaller
until you realize it's because you're bigger now than you used to be;
does that mean you're colourful?
your chin is sticky with the remembered candy you didn't eat
and your eyes have strayed from the road
you thought you weren't the one steering
but you crashed into the crumbling side of the overpass
and blamed yourself
if you had turned right
what's the last thing you remember?
the way your knuckles looked, clenched around the wheel?
the way your teeth felt electric?
the way the wall loomed? you noticed every crack
perhaps for the first time
you make a left turn, by the overpass
hauling the battered car back onto the dirt road
socks squelching between your toes, foot on the gas
remembered cotton candy staining your teeth
and on you drive
wondering if the steering wheel would keep on turning if you let go
who are we to say what matters?
instead of forcing our subjective beliefs down each other's throats,
why not let the mothers, the only ones who know
the heavy weight of this choice
make the choice
do you think it's harder for you, a bystander,
than it is for the mother cutting a piece from her body?
if she has decided this is what's necessary
who am I to say no?
who are you?
Why is it controversial to say
"If you feel like a woman, you are one"?
I'm only a woman because I know I am,
Not because you told me
I'm a woman because
I've thought about womanhood
And felt femininity
And embodied the everything of the Universe
And maybe you're a woman (or not) for a different reason
He is smooth as an egg
But I dare not touch his skin or he might get cross
He is the son of a son of a son
And all his fathers spurned us
The sun peeks in through dusty blinds
So I take my cues and watch through eyelashes
Every glint of reflected light on him
And when the haze goes purple with dusk
Perhaps I will stand up and say something
"...she arose with flaming glory..."
But I might be too shy
And never let him know that he need not be his fathers;
I'd forgive him if he wasn't
I was raised Christian... sort of.
My mom is Christian, and we went to church every Sunday, but it wasn't what you think of when you think of "church". I mean, it did have a pastor back in those days (although it doesn't anymore), and we sang songs and went to Sunday school and all that. But a lot of churches seem to come from a place of "this is how it is" and this church seemed to come from a place of "let's explore our Christianity together".
My dad used to be Christian, but is now an atheist and has been for a while. We didn't know that growing up, though; he didn't talk about it.
So we were raised Christian. It's true, and I'm not sure why exactly I feel the need to add "sort of" to that, but I do. Because yes, my mom's Christian, but when non-Christian friends of hers find out, they tend to go "you don't seem like a Christian." And yes, we went to church, but it's the sort of church that welcomes everyone, and I mean everyone. Which is what all churches should be, isn't it? But most aren't like that at all.
Anyway. I'm not Christian. It came about gradually (as most things do, at least in my life); I got to that age where I started considering what I really believed, instead of just assuming everything I was told was the truth.
And I found out I love spirituality. I love learning about spirituality, connecting to the divine, thinking about my own beliefs, talking about spirituality; I love it all. It's become an important part of my identity, one of my favourite and defining traits: I'm a spiritual person.
And it's always a bit sad to me when people are religious, and lose all touch with spirituality. Religion should be a vessel, a framework to explore and connect with spirituality. But hey, what do I know? Everyone's different and maybe it's better for those people to approach it like that.
But my dad's always trying to tell me how alike we are, how he was just like me at my age, and I give him a raised eyebrow and say, "I don't know about that." One of the most important things to me is my spirituality, and he's all "Science! Facts! Evidence!" which tends to rub me the wrong way. But he tells me he was spiritual too at my age.
And that just makes me think, how sad. Your disillusionment with Christianity, the framework you used to define your spirituality, made you lose that spirituality altogether.
And maybe I'm completely wrong, but that's how it seems to me.
Nowadays I would say I'm a witch (don't tell my grandparents; they don't even allow the Harry Potter books inside their house, because they're possessed by the Devil or something?) And the problem with being a witch is that no one knows what I mean when I say that.
Witchcraft, occultism, the esoteric... they're incredibly broad categories and that's what's so great about them. In reading about witchcraft, I've felt a connection to it that I never felt learning about other religions or belief systems. Buddhism is super interesting and I love learning about it, but it doesn't click inside me in the same way. When I learned about witchcraft, though, it just felt like yes. This is me.
I suppose the first bit of witchiness I came across was tarot. I had always had sort of a vague idea that tarot was a thing that seemed cool, and then I read a novel that featured tarot cards, I read online about how tarot reading works, I learned that the final T is not actually pronounced, and I went and bought myself a tarot deck.
And wow. My vague idea was right; tarot is so cool. It's not some vague concept that supposedly helps you in your life but doesn't really actually do anything... it's practical. It's relevant. It's had immediate positive effects in my life.
And a big part of witchcraft for me is about taking back my own power. Turns out spirituality isn't just something I can think about—it's something I can actually do. It can be so much more than just cerebral; it can be embodied.
I've also learned so much about myself through learning about spirituality. I've always loved introspection, self awareness and personal growth are very important to me, and I love things like the enneagram and MBTI and gender and sexuality for how they help me explore myself. Adding in things like tarot, ideas of the divine feminine and masculine, astrology, or magick (spelled with a k to differentiate from fairy tale, make-believe, fantasy magic) adds more lenses with which to view my Self.
When I look up "spirituality" the definition is "the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things." But that's not quite right. Spirituality is also concerned with the way the spirit or soul connects to material and physical things.
Everything is connected, interconnected, because everything is one. We're all manifestations of the Universe, of the Everything. Everything we do is an exchange of energy. Energy and divinity run through all of us, through everything, and we live in the illusion of separateness but nothing is ever separate.
Spirituality for me is connection, expansion. It's Everything.
Something I don't like about christianity is how... all or nothing it is. God is just good and perfect in every way, the Devil is completely evil.
There's just no way I can honestly believe in that, because I've experienced the world and that's not how anything is. I connect much more with ideas of balance, of everything being a little bit of everything.
Nothing is ever good or bad. Everything is everything.
can we be friends?
they talk about attraction
like you're just a pile of metal filings
and when someone's a magnet,
you can't get away
they seem to think the fizzy feeling when we touch
will make my limbs do things I didn't mean
or make me scream and run away
or make me say something, confess
they act like it's inevitable
but haven't they ever smelled delicious baking
with no desire, no thought even, of eating cakes
because that warm scent is enough?
haven't they ever admired the strong, curving limbs of a tree
without planning to climb it?
haven't they ever sunk into a daydream
knowing they'll wake up
but paying no mind because now, right now,
this daydream is delicious?
have they never slipped into the moment like a hot tub,
where the water on your skin becomes
as if friendship were "less than"
and you're "just" friends
but what if friendship is all I want?
we were rock bands with unexciting names
the single glove
no one wanted
we waited on the road while tires
left tracks and wondered
if we would ever move so fast
sometimes the wind caught us and we thought we could fly
maybe if they came to the concert
our songs wouldn't be so bland
but we never learned how to speak
so our words are dust
and our names call nothing to us
do the songs have meaning?
is there someone walking along the curb, about to
pick us up and take us home?
we could be made into something new
but we don't know what
so we're just here
Letter of Apology
I'm sorry I believed him when he said you were selfish,
and it wasn't that I believed his words,
but the deeper threat behind them sank in, didn't it?
You told yourself, so what if I am a bit selfish?
but that wasn't what you felt when he said it and you knew it too
even if you pretended not to
(I knew it too, even if I pretended not to)
And I'm sorry, so sorry, that I believed for so long
that you didn't care
and would hurt others for your own benefit;
never noticing the way you
when it mattered
The idea of causing someone else pain
scared you so much
and I never knew
(even though I was always you)
I suppose my greatest fear
is having fakeness poured into me
fill my veins with plastic and replace my
organs with pieces of artificially-coloured glass and chemicals
and when you're done
I won't be able to grow anymore
because the stems are filled with plastic
and the leaves are made of artificially-coloured glass and chemicals
so when the sunlight hits me
I can only reflect it back
and never soak it in
and when I creep into the shadows
I won't feel their embrace