the sidewalk was less hot in the shade
and there was the shadow of a heart dangling over my feet.
it's almost august and though the past weekend was hot, early afternoon wednesday we were barely in the 80s. a gift we happily take. i pondered whether it was too-cool-for-lake weather, wondered if the sun would keep the water comfortable, decided it didn't matter. summer is about melting into whatever the day brings. letting the sun or shadows or water cover you and float. continuing the movement. closing your eyes. becoming.
it had been a hard few days. my arms ached from punches not thrown and words not typed. from gripping the steering wheel too tightly even though i'd vowed i would stop that. from driving night roads when i should have been sleeping. what else can you do when you can do nothing? when what power you once thought you had falls from your hands when you're not looking and disappears? it gone. i watched from a distance, wanting to stay out there in that spot, but the world moves you forward sun to moon and suddenly the distance is behind you, and there you stand. you cannot give up. leave that to the others.
i hate the words badass, warrior, goddess, wild-woman, all those words we give ourselves for no other reason than to think we are. hate not the words really, but the way we use them. we label ourselves and believe the labels make us so. but late yesterday, i was all of the above. i cannot tell you the story - it is someone else's to tell, but i can tell you this.
from my facebook page:
i hate the words badass, goddess, outlaw, wild woman, yada, yada, yada, but tonight? tonight i AM a BADASS GODDESS WARRIOR OUTLAW, because when others gave up, lost hope, had no faith, I kept going, and friends, pass around the collection plate, because I performed a miracle called not giving up. I am mosquito bit humid happy. if i could give you the details I would, but the miracle belonged to someone else, someone i had to holler out of his house to come and take it - it had his name on it. he can sleep tonight with sweet dreams.
by yesterday evening, by late afternoon, never minding that i couldn't see or even feel my lost power, driving on faith and gasoline, i was into my jeep once again, looking once again for that lost something, retracing old roads and driving new ones. and there it was. waiting for me to find it. i could feel sparks coming off my skin, and a happiness i haven't felt in years. a joy beyond contentment. i was full of cell deep laughter. come night, i couldn't sleep. i'd thought i would, but i was up late, refusing to fight the continued joy inside. i was jumping around punching the air. take that, world, take that! i thought of the word tribe. another word i hated, i was sure. on facebook, i posted a quote by steven pressfield about tribes, via polaroids and thoughts, then took it down.
The amateur dreads becoming who she really is because she fears that this new person will be judged by others as “different.” The tribe will declare us “weird” or “queer” or “crazy.” The tribe will reject us. Here’s the truth: the tribe doesn’t give a shit. There is no tribe. That gang or posse that we imagine is sustaining us by the bonds we share is in fact a conglomeration of individuals who are just as fucked up as we are and just as terrified. Each individual is so caught up in his own bullshit that he doesn’t have two seconds to worry about yours or mine, or to reject or diminish us because of it. When we truly understand that the tribe doesn’t give a damn, we’re free. There is no tribe, and there never was. Our lives are entirely up to us.
i removed that quote because i have cherokee ancestors at my back, but i don't totally disagree. what i know is that tribes come free and it takes a lifetime to build them. i am not in the tribe of writers. i am not in the tribe of women.
i flutter on
the outskirts of women,
more moth than butterfly.
born in silk
night flying, wings wide open
called by small lights and the moon.
this morning is rain and the air still cool.
my toes are cold and i am goosebumpy.
and my tribe?
the tribe of truthtellers.
poets with guns and namaste hands, grasshopper,
seeing the truth at 60' 6", shaking away the catcher's signs;
we discuss it with my glove over my mouth,
the truth being a dangerous thing.
always and only this tribe only.
when people say speak we know they don't mean it .