20 things (part 2)

This was a rough weekend. Listen…I really don’t care who gets to sit on the Supreme Court for life, Republican or Democrat or Hare Krishna for Jesus. It doesn’t matter to me. What does matter is that the person isn’t clearly partisan; I mean, they all are. Realistically. Liberal presidents nominate liberal justices, and vice versa. But one thing I always noted about justices I knew were clearly not on “my” side was that I’d at least be able to trust they’d at least LISTEN to the opposing side’s arguments. This guy?

This was a rough weekend.

And that’s all I’ll say about that. (For now.)

Last night I stayed up until 3 AM pretending to be a voice over artist/director/movie producer and recorded myself reading one of my favorite feminist writings, “A Woman of War” by Mehreen Kanasa. It was Art. And something I could do to channel some of the emotions I felt all day Saturday.

woman of war

So to someone who views feminism as angry and scary, this probably will make that person go: yeah, these women clearly have daddy issues. And you know what? Maybe we do, jerk face. And you should think about why that may be. And you should think about why WHY there was such a gutteral, deep and keening pain heard all over America from its women…at the thought of a possible sexual predator being confirmed to the Supreme Court. And why we’d have such a problem with one sitting in the White House already.

This was a REALLY rough weekend.

So I’m going to finish my anxiety/depression thingie I started last time because god knows I’ve been mired in nothing but anxiety/depression all weekend.

anxiety depression blog

I was on Number 10 of 20 things that make me smile last time I was here. Here are numbers 11-20:

11- Genuinely, truly good men. I do know them, and they make my heart happy. These are men who don’t use women, in any way shape or form. My brother is one. My friend J, married to my friend R, is one. My sweet D is one. Even when I get upset with him or he gets upset with me. My child’s father. A handful of men I’ve become friendly with online. My father’s cousin’s husband. My nuevo amigo J in Barcelona who, dios willing, I’ll one day pay off my credit card debts and actually have some money to visit him in Espana, which I have always wanted to see.

I know good, truly good, men. These are men who when they recognize they’ve hurt someone, they try to fix it. They sincerely make amends. They don’t keep on behaving like dickholes. Consistency matters. All you have to do to be a good man, gentlemen of the world, is to be consistent. If you recognize you’ve hurt a woman, then make the amends and be a good friend. The end. Men like that make me happy. And I feel blessed to know them.

12- Music. This song. And this song. And this one. When I listen to them, my soul soars with hope and faith in love. And this song, song of my soul. Sara Bareiilles’ She Used to Be Mine feels deeply identifiable to me. The Story by Brandi Carlile too.  City of Stars from the movie La La Land…oh my heart. When I need to feel uplifted and hopeful about life in general, I listen to pretty much any song from The Greatest Showman: this one for loving myself…this one for dreaming big dreams, or this one…pretty much I could just live with the soundtrack from this movie in my ears all the time. I sit with goosebumps all over me through almost every single song.

Music helps me sleep AND dream. It’s playing in my ears right now in fact. Because it also helps me drown out the world and focus.

13- Nature hikes. Which I meant to do this weekend and then allowed technology and the world’s chaos to suck me in. I wish it wasn’t so hot still. Or that I at least liked getting up early on the weekends. I always feel better after I’ve been outside. Vitamin D via sunlight is always a good idea (for me). Even if I have to be out on a cloudy day, it’s better for me that hanging out in a small, stuffy apartment.

14- Art. I like sculptures AND paintings. I like portraits, landscapes, AND messy modernists. I have also determined I need a Frida Wall. I think I may start one in my bedroom next year. I’m going to start collecting muchos corazones for it.

 

frida wall
Frida is my art shero.

15- Crucifixes AND Buddhas. I have these all over my home. I have absolutely no problem mixing religions. For instance, right now I’m absolutely obsessed with Mary Magdalene. But in all of her forms: whore and saint, the goddess forms of Isis and Asherah, the Jewish metaphysical representation of Eve and Lilith, Mary Queen of Heaven and consort of Jesus of Nazareth. Mother, sinner, lover, healer. I think she’s fascinating and I could read about her for forever.

16- Magic. Specifically, the feminine divine. I have been intensely interested in this for years and years and YEARS.  When I was small, I was terrified of men. Terrified. Eventually, I relaxed and everything became man-centered. Even God. When I was little I’d sing to God, hoping he’d like my songs. Maybe because I was too shy or afraid to sing to my dad. But once upon a time, God was a woman. Did you know? Once upon a time, God was a woman. So the concept of spirituality as it once was before men dominated it interests me beyond ways I can properly express here in writing; this is more of a deep-seated sense of longing that’s been inside of me for most of my life, pushed down for many years – decades, even – to accommodate what the various men in my life needed from me. Now? I want to get to know Her, and one day write a good story about Her.

Women are infused with magic, and magic is power and I think that scares many men. Though I don’t understand why, because in goddess-centered religions, men also have been infused with their own kind of magic.

In other words: I have not JUST started my feminism this weekend; even when I was spinning my wheels in anger and resentment at one man or another, it was always because of some sense of injustice I felt from one boy or another. In high school, my senior AP English thesis was titled “Strong Women in Russian Literature.” I contrasted/compared Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago and Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons, both novels written by men. Even at 17, I was intensely interested in the feminine divine…how to find it, how to coax it out of hiding, even in the most male-dominated, patriarchal of cultures.

17- The first cold days of fall. I mean, REALLY cold. Not just: ooh, I may need a jacket cold. I mean: time to break out a big, oversize sweater and my comfy boots cold. I hate that it gets dark so early, but I love the idea of evening bonfires and hot toddies.

I feel the same way about the first warm days of Spring, but with spaghetti straps and flip flops and warm evenings with cold margaritas…and some brief but intense anxiety about how pasty pale I am and how much winter weight I added.

18- Thanksgiving. I’ve decided THIS is my favorite holiday, followed by Christmas. I’m cool with Halloween still, but I like how Thanksgiving is really just about gathering with friends and/or family for a big meal and then crashing in a food coma on a sofa. There’s no pressure of having to have a cool costume and walking around in the dark on a school/work night begging strangers for candy then having to argue endlessly with my child about why we actually do NOT need to eat said candy in less than 3 days’ time. And there’s no pressure of presents at Christmas. Or stress-related nervous breakdowns in January over financial situations. Thanksgiving is the best. Even though it marks the beginning of several centuries of oppression, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and horror for America’s native peoples. And social media is a barrage of bipolar memes about happiness and togetherness vs European oppression and violent cultural appropriation. I’m also studiously ignoring what happens to turkeys every November.

Hm. Wait. I need to do 18 over. This one totally percolated my anxiety.

18 (part 2) – You know what makes me intensely happy? When someone plays with my hair. I could have my hair gently brushed by someone else for literally hours. It lulls me into almost a stupor. Like what happens to sharks when divers flip them over and rub their bellies a certain way. Yes. That’s way better than Thanksgiving. I bet if the Native Americans and Pilgrims had just brushed each other’s hair, Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh wouldn’t even be a thing today. Or they’d be hairdressers. Win either way.

19- Hot showers. I always feel so much better after a long, hot, good shower. I feel fresh. Like I’ve washed off all the bad vibes. Showers are also where I do my best thinking. Or win the most arguments with people I’m super mad at.

20- Hugs and forehead kisses. They just make me happy. Really, intensely happy. I think because I feel safe. And okay. Loved.