this is Me, sitting shiva

DC began to sit Shiva yesterday.

By Tuesday, 260,000 of us cast our vote in the way of humanity; 11,000 voted for something else. The majority here and, as it turns out, actually across the country (but that’s not how the electoral college works) did not display poor sportsmanship yesterday; we mourned as we tried to stomach the words “President-Elect Trump.”

We offered a hand on the metro, huddled together in cubicles, and stood next to each other in break rooms. We wandered into churches and other safe spaces. We offered each other home-cooked meals, because that’s what you do when the people you love grieve. People cried, and no one asked why, because most times, tears do not need dried but rather the opportunity to be released. We helped answer logistical questions about IUDs, because free access to birth control could change more quickly than our readiness to have children will in the new year. And we listened, to the fears of those we know who legitimately fear that they will be sent from their home.

Because yesterday was not about a Democrat losing, and a Republican winning; Trump could have very well been a Democrat, and he wouldn’t have gotten my vote (or, I can say with certainty, the votes of most of this city). Because a vote for Hillary, in many cases, was not necessarily a vote for her policies but a vote for her humanity; it was a vote that said, “I will not stand with a man who will not stand with me.”

Me was a great many things to a great many people.

For me, Me is a woman.

Continue reading “this is Me, sitting shiva”

the elephant in the room

I don’t blog about politics; I blog about what’s natural.
And, sometimes, that includes love.

Tonight, I am legitimately distraught.

There are conversations I should have had weeks ago with people I love but didn’t. Because sometimes it’s easier not to talk about the things that divide us. The things that stomp on already shaky ground.

But sometimes elephants in the room deserved to be mentioned. Not because they earned it, but because the humans they represent did.

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tarot tuesday: november’s stop|start|continue|focus

Each month I do a spread concerning what I should stop doing in the coming month, get started on, and continue with. I also pull a focus card to direct my path.

October’s spread, which I pulled using the Sun and Moon tarot deck , was all about flow; if you missed that post, you can catch up here.

November’s spread, which I pulled using the Osho Zen tarot deck (my deck for this month), is really about continuing to go with the flow, do what I know how to do, trust my heart, and trust the process.



The Stop Card – Trust (Knight of Cups) + Clarifier Card – Laziness (9 of Cups): The Trust card, as denoted by the picture, really is the jump card. The don’t-think-about-what happens-when-you-get-to-the-bottom card. This card, in the Stop position, caused me a bit of trouble reading it within the context of the entire month; it almost seemed to contradict my Focus card for the month (Going with the Flow), so I drew a clarifier to find out a bit more about what exactly I am not supposed to trust. I pulled Laziness, and things immediately clicked. This month is about walking the walk as opposed to talking the talk. This year has been a year of transformation and discovery for me. I have really jumped into living more naturally. Into “zenning the fuck out” as I put it. Into meditation and my intuition. But lately, I’ve gotten much better at declaring these things, despite a slacking practice. This combination of cards is a gut check card. It’s a stop-just-talking-about-it reminder; it’s the just-do-it card combo.


The Start Card – Thunderbolt (The Tower): The Thunderbolt card is never thunderbolta positive card to see, and for me, to see it in the Start position for November was particularly jarring. My sister did a birthday spread for me when I turned 27, and for the month of December, she drew The Tower—the card of upheaval. Destruction. Ruin. So when I drew it as my Start card, I immediately texted her. [Insert sad emoji here]. I can’t interpret this card any other way than to start girding my loins. Start preparing for what is to come. It seems to be that part of the challenge in my Stop card combination is to make sure I am practicing my yoga and meditation, because I am going to need the strength it provides in the coming month.


The Continue Card – Control (King of Swords): As I transition back into my office (I’ve been on a detail) and into a new performance year (just had my annual review!), I read the Control card not as a figure in my life (as the King of Swords can sometimes represent) but as a message to keep doing what I was doing when I left: harness the positive attributes of this King—organization, intellect, and good management of people and assets.


going-with-the-flowThe Focus Card – Going with the Flow (Ace of Cups): The Going with the Flow card is a card about beginnings, specifically in the emotional realm. I read this card as the start of an emotional journey, and, in combination with the Goddess Oracle card I drew for this new moon cycle (Guinevere, the True Love card), I have a feeling that it could mean things for my love life. Time to trust the process.

If you need a song to get you through this month, this is your tarot-inspired shower jam: Mama Said by The Shirelles


tell me that.

Tell me I’m beautiful.
Gorgeous, if you’re on your game.
Sexy, if you want to sleep with me.

And then check yourself.
Or better yet, tell me to check myself.

Because then I know you get me.
And I know you can rise.
To my high.
Or to my low
To give me a hand
And pull me up.

And that you get that anyone
Can utter the words beautiful.
Or Gorgeous.
Or Sexy.
To any girl.
To make them think, for a moment, they are something worthy to them.

And all that can mean nothing.

It’s nice for a few nights.
It’s nice for a few weeks.

But I want years.

What I want is for you to know my mind.
And love that.

‘Cause it’s going to outlast the 27-year old body before you.
And out of the few things I still believe in,
That is it.


So, tell me, you like it.
My mind.
But worship my body,
For what my mind has pushed it to be.

And do battle with that.
Because I will call upon you for it.

Tell me…

You like the way I think.
You like the way I underline and annotate the novels I read.
You like the way I swallow
…and internalize the nonfiction I ingest.
You like the way I get turned on by a well-made meal
Or a well-crafted cocktail.
You like the way I can’t always tell you what I feel,
But I can articulate it in an email.
You like the way you can tell me to write
And right my world.

Tell me that.

And decant the wine
While we make dinner.

And stay.

she told me to pray.

bettyI talked to my grandmother tonight like I used to talk to her.

It’s not that I can’t talk to her anymore, but over the last couple of years, I just know that with my grandfather, all the nurses to manage, and mounds of paperwork to do, she always has a lot on her mind.

I never want to be a burden. And, truthfully, even on my worst days, it doesn’t hold a candle to hers.

But she’s at the top of a very short list of people who have the ability to speak directly to my soul. And tonight, I needed that. From her.

If I ever can become even a tenth of the good woman that my grandmother is, I will have achieved something great.

And tonight, she listened.

And then she did what she always does: she got down in the ditch beside me.

And we talked of things while we laid there.
We even laughed a little.
And she humored my curse words.

Then she told me of a night that she’d had some years ago, when she just couldn’t do it anymore. She said the only choices she could make were to either leave or let it go.

And then she told me the thing I already knew but needed to hear her say:

Steph, all you can do is let it go.

Let go of what you want it to be, and resolve yourself to love them for what it is.

And then she said the thing I didn’t expect her to say, because I don’t understand how she could even know:

I know you’re going to laugh at me for saying this, but I think you should pray.

I wouldn’t have laughed at her; I didn’t. But I don’t know how she knew–that I don’t pray anymore.

But she did.

And she told me to do the very thing that my soul has been thinking about.

Because she’s an angel.
Or at least she’s mine.
She’s one of my older sisters.
She’s my best friend.
She’s the hand that takes mine and pulls me up.

And she’s the one that makes me pray.
Or at least try.


Lately, I’m starting to feel soft again.

(And, yes, it’s probably a bit from the lack of working out, but that’s not what I mean really.)

I mean I’m beginning to feel the desire to be hurt again. Or, rather, to be willing to.

To just see what comes of it.

And it’s exactly this:

He senses the psychological and moral role of wine, its capacity to open up channels of feeling and communication which are otherwise closed off–not merely to offer a crude escape from difficulties, but to allow access to emotions, which daily life unfairly leaves no room for. Getting very drunk hasn’t seemed so important in a long time….It’s gone to her head too, making her brave–brave enough to be weak. It feels like a dam breaking inside her. She has had enough of resisting him; she wants to give herself to him again, as she once did. She knows she will survive whatever might happen. She is long past being a girl. She is a woman who has buried her own mother in the clammy soil of Tomnahurich Cemetery and put two children on the earthy. She has made a boy and so has knowledge of what men are like before they are in any position to damage women. She knows that make viciousness is mostly just fear. From her newfound position of strength, she feels generous and indulgent to their hurtful weakness.

tornado warning

I haven’t written lately, and not writing is probably the cause of not being able to write.

Or, rather, not being willing to.

I’ve gotten myself stuck recently, and I can’t seem to get myself out. In fact, I feel as though I am actively digging in my heels to stay in this place. Because the rut has become comforting—if I don’t make any moves, I can’t make the wrong one.

And I’m feeling deeply inadequate and tired a lot these days, so not making moves sounds ideal.

So, I’ve quit running. I’ve quit going to yoga.

I’ve quit reading with ferocity.

And I’ve started watching Downton Abbey…again…and again.

Yeah, Brene, I know I’m numbing. And I know that I’m tired because I’ve quit giving my body what it needs, and it’s acting up.

So, maybe I should revise one of my previous statements: It’s not that I can’t seem to get myself out—I am simply choosing not to.

Continue reading “tornado warning”