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Border patrol

“The great task is to claim yourself for yourself, so that you can contain your needs within the boundaries of your self and hold them in the presence of those you love. True mutuality in love requires people who possess themselves and who can give to each other while holding on to their own identities. So, in order for you both to give more effectively and to be more self-contained with your needs, you must learn to set boundaries to your love.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

How to love

 

To my honey

You are the bumblebee I had

wished to never cross paths with

the one I wait for

silently reaching up toward you

hoping you’ll fly in my direction at least once today

pollinate and make me your queen

I hate that you are free

free to come whenever you feel like it

free to tell me my petals are just really pretty

free to fly while I am rooted in the soil that made me whole

I wish just once you’d stay

Make my leaves your home and

tell me my stem was the best you’d ever seen.

If only it were true

that bees died

after they’d only stung once.

Mother’s Day for women who have miscarried

My body has been pregnant twice. I have no children. Chance. Nature. Stress. Science. Divine intervention.

All the reasons.

None of the reasons.

It’s harder on me the older I get. I hate that as a woman your life is put on a timeline. If you really want children but have yet to find the partner to do it with, it is a very unique way to have your heart broken. You live in a life limbo.

There are messy sinews cut off that you have to just accept as messy. Red reminders that you are here. Just you.

As your friends get married, have children, sacrifice in ways you know you could and would want to if the stars would align, it gets more painful.

It’s painful when your friends with children tell you you just wouldn’t understand. It’s a mom thing. Fuck you.

It’s painful when you are simultaneously happy for them and sad that your life hasn’t given you that opportunity yet.

It’s painful if you’ve miscarried or had an abortion. You mourn that you’ve had to experience what you did, had to suffer silently or openly, but regardless had to suffer.

It’s painful that you have to accept that other people feel self righteous in making you feel shitty about your choice or your body’s inability or the curves your life has taken.

There’s always a tinge of relief; you feel excited you have no children. That you are free.  That you could hit the road tomorrow and live in a hurtling box heading toward the dreamscapes just being alive and feel no regret.

It’s painful that people could do one thing every female body is supposed to do and get a lifetime of reward for it.

It’s painful that you feel jealous of them. You don’t want to. And maybe you don’t. It’s just a sadness only miscarried mothers know.

It’s painful when your achievements are considered lesser than. Because we didn’t ask for this. This is just how it happened. This is life. Even if you haven’t given one.

Fear is that itch you shouldn’t scratch

Sometimes my fragility is overwhelming.

That feeling mostly comes when I’m happy.

When I remember that I have so much to live for.

Too much to lose.

I am scared by the things I have done,

years ago, when fragile was foreign,

like a word belonging to another people

another language

another system of veins beating blood through a curve that didn’t bend like mine.

But get enough bruises and

you’ll figure it out.

You’re just as vulnerable as everything that once felt foreign

and their curve is running parallel yours.

RE: 20/20’s interview with Bruce Jenner

RE: 20/20’s interview with Bruce Jenner, in which he finally confirmed he experiences gender dysphoria.

1) I felt uncomfortable with how much Diane Sawyer pressed him (and his son at one point) to explain himself and how he could be OK with something so strange.  To me, it’s not confusing at all that someone would be born a man, have the soul of a woman, and be a heterosexual male. WE ARE SCIENCE, PEOPLE! So many fascinating things happen scientifically and emotionally and the transgender body and soul is a beautiful and rare example of that. 

2) How incredible is his body? Not, like, sexually, I just mean… at his prime this man’s body that he felt so estranged from was the most athletic in the world. The pinnacle of physical masculine achievement. What a dichotomy. I don’t know if he’s a good guy or anything, but his physical uniqueness should be cherished!

2) If this WAS a stunt (which I think is ludicrous to imply considering the danger he’d be putting himself in for a lie), at least “that family,” as 20/20 so obviously had been stipulated to call them, was using their shameless fame-mongering for some societal good. I really think Jenner, Republican may he be, will become a vocal folkloric hero for acceptance of and human rights for the transgender community.

3) Major props to Jenner for being brave enough to live as himself.

4) And also for having children as guuuh-orgeous as Brandon and Brody Jenner. Dang.

5) And also for this photo from the set of The Love Boat. Hulk, tho!

with Hulk tho

Still trying to find Professor Hagrid’s class…

I’m far enough out from college that “Professor Hungerford” sounds like a zany but tormented teacher from the Harry Potter series.

She’s actually a literature prof at Yale. Close enough.

I recently started listening to her series of lectures from the class “American Literature Since 1945″ and have been hooked, turning them up when I’m cleaning or making dinner. Lately it’s either been this or the Slate Audio Book Club Podcast (also worth a listen if you’re interested in hearing why people like certain books… or don’t).

You can stream all 26 of Hungerford’s lectures here. If reading’s not your thing, what are you doing here? JK. There are other opportunities to “take” Yale Courses through the program’s YouTube channel. Check it out. You can be a Yale-ie in your undies! Do they call themselves Yale-ies? I don’t know. I went to a state school.

Related: Speaking of democratizing higher education, the cover story in the latest issue of The Atlantic is worth a read; it’s a followup to the Starbucks initiative to pay for its employees to go to college.

The sneaky sexism in the Madonna smooches Drake reporting

At Coachella a few weekends ago, Madonna gave Drake a supposedly surprise kiss mid-performance. His reaction following the kiss was of great internet hubub. He wiped his lips off and seemed to have a disgusted look on his face.

The general reaction that followed was “Ew, Madonna is gross and old” which is problematic in and of itself. So she’s just gross because she’s old? That’s not really fair. Madonna is a legend. And old people are still sexual, yo. Did Kinsey teach you nothing?

But what’s weird about the reaction to me was that few people seemed to react with disgust at Madonna for what, if it was in fact a surprise to Drake, was an act that toed the line of assault.

Now, some might argue that it was all staged. Which is fair. But I doubt that that is the case if Drake acted so disgustedly. I’m sure it would have been in the contract that he react with great surprise and adoration for being kissed by the Queen.

Drake does kind of have a track record for unexpectedly aloof reactions to sexual advances. Consider his placated stare while Nicki Minaj gave him a lap dance. Anaconda don’t want none.

But what makes the Madonna/Drake thing disturbing is that Drake appeared genuinely surprised. When he went to grab her hair in an affectionate reaction to the kiss she pushed his hand away, which is on par with Madonna’s combatish sexual stage shows. BUT imagine this scenario if the roles were reversed. The internets would have been up in arms about the predatory nature of the kisser.

I wonder if assaults against women would be taken more seriously if we also treated men equally in terms of their sexuality and acknowledged their own vulnerability to getting taken advantage of?

Drake-Madonna-New-Yorker

 

 

 

Even.

Even.

 

 

“It’s good to have dreams, so long as they not fantasies. You let anybody sell you that shit, it’s your own damn fault.”

/Freddy/House of Cards/Season 3/