Monday, January 26, 2009

Femme Fears: Something Somewhere has Cracked

So any of y'all reading this are along for the ride when it comes to my process of finding a voice and boundaries and structure for this blog.
This is a shot at something new... I seem to have been shying away from the "post from the gut" in exchange for a more expository, developed, patient post, (though nothing has gone through multiple drafts). This will be a tale from the gut- what's happening right now, without retrospect or time to articulate and catalogue it.

Yesterday a friend noted on her perception of me this past New Years Eve. It was a hard night to cap off a year worth weeping and dancing for having survived... The handful of people still at my place come midnight humored me in my favorite New Years Eve activity, "Rosebush," which requires going around in a circle and sharing your Rose- something positive/joyful/exciting/liberating, your Thorn- something hurtful/hard, and your Bud- something you are hoping for in the day(s) to come, (in this case based on the whole year, but can by done for just a day or week or specific event). Not everyone there knew each other. People were shy and fractured into their tiny social comforts, but once I started the game everyone said some amazing, honest shit. I had been walking around like an open wound for the week or two prior to that night. It was the first time I really talked about my year- my self. I cried. I used words. I drank. I felt safe. I couldn't have been any other way- I had no capacity for or agency in my own opening and closing.
So when said friend noted how that felt like the first time she had ever seen me that open, it was all I could say to simply explain that connection does not come easily to me. Because I so resist connection to myself at the same time as wanting it and reaching for it and eating it up more than anything.

Today, after having that conversation, something , somewhere cracked. The connections- small and simple- were coming at me in loads... A B train conductor held the train to try to talk to me. I got hit on by a girl who talked me up about MTA history and my hair on the freezing cold Shuttle platform. The man who played a drum for me from Franklin to Prospect Park all the while hustling me to get up and dance to his beat. All within a span of 15 minutes or so.

People talk to me all the time. I'm known for it. We had actual tallies in high school to quantify the number of strangers who got up in my space for any number of reasons on a given night. But tonight was different...

My guess at some of the why:
Somehow I seem to always forget that activism and organizing around shit in my heart and belly is an act of vulnerability an honesty if I let it be. So when I threw my hat in for some organizing with NY based Femmes I went in pretty stoned against and afraid of other Femmes- of what it would feel like to relinquish the binds of intimidation and competition. Critical as always of my Femme identity.
Tonight was round two of Femme organizing. I felt better, more comfortable. Softer. More present and grounded and articulate. More trusting in my right to share that space. And I imagine it's because of this that I left feeling tremendously full and revealed.
I was full but not heavy. Revealed but not terrified of being seen. This may sound affirming and liberating. It was. And it also hurt.
Allowing myself to go and locate myself and have questions and listen hard meant tremendous risk. Because being with all those other Femmes and so really, all the intersecting shit that has found us as Femmes, means seeing parts of yourself in other people that you maybe wouldn't have revealed to yourself tonight. I might not have let myself think about me as a survivor, but allowing myself to be present when someone else brings it up means it becomes part of my night.

So it seems seeing each other will take tremendous courage.

There is something about this that does not allow for words. But this is what I know. Intuition can kick your ass. Because you can be so damn right in the way you feel someone. You can look at someone and have something hard beat behind your bellybutton. And you can almost hear the same beat in the stomach facing yours. It's not romantic. It's prophetic maybe. And wordless. A deep breath to sustain eye contact. Knowing that you know a lot more than makes sense... Something has cracked for now, making for a hairline space for the storing of big connection.

Tonight I felt something thick. Not fluid or easy to move through. And I think I liked it.

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