1, 2, 3, 4 Clearing out the old for the New.
Clearing out the old for what.
Noche no te vayas.
It is what it is.
1, 2, 3, 4 Clearing out the old for the New.
Clearing out the old for what.
Noche no te vayas.
It is what it is.
I missed my trauma therapy appointment for the 3rd week in a row today and it’s showing through the cracks of my face, my hands, my mouth, my eyes, my voice… is cracking.
My primary diagnosis nowadays is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and so I wondered that my experienced childhood trauma has been exceeded by the adult trauma experienced living in the US as an out Gender Queer, polarized and profiled resistant, non risk averse woman of color raised on Queer Nation, ACT UP and fuck you bitch, stand beside me or step the fuck aside in yo face since my 20s.
Systemic White Privileged oppression, abuses, discrimination and hatefulness toward eradicating otherness based on race, culture, gender identity and/or presentation, color of skin and reversed discrimination of fair skinned people in a predominantly Black region (Atlanta, Georgia) pisses me off. It pisses me the fuck off, actually.
I often tell people that No, I do not believe in the premise and inherently false US Community Public Mental Health System, nor will I admit Mental Illness exists. The disease versus pussy recovery oriented system of care is the very basis of my work around behavioral health integration, mental diversity, substance use, isolationist first responder mobile crisis intervention (MH/SA) and finally, how I categorically espouse for US Peer Workforce.
The hate I feel towards me when I walk into a predominantly white or BLACK environment in Atlanta is so thick, I can cut it with a brand new X-Acto Blade and leave marks, cuts of blood so deep it won’t bleed.
I listen to “Penthouse Floor” a lot and will rebel yell Resist, Fight, Fuck You in your face with my co-horts but to be reversed discriminated against because of my Queerness and because I’m not Black puts me into a position of being hated, feared, dismissed. My education, class, verbal upper class White Yankee, nay, Surfer Dude confuses, I admit.
We either work together against the real scourge of hate in 2017 or we don’t.
You can’t bullshit a bullshitter, either.
I dare you to walk your talk. Be transparent. Authentic. Speak your truth.
It’s now or never.
Step up or step aside.
The issue of color is an interesting thing to think of.
I experiment a lot with painting and while it seems as though I criss-cross with texture, oiling it up, glossily, sloppily, with slippery new paint colors, look at the above painting Triptych 1 acrylic on canvas 18 x 36″ (c) 2017 that I painted last night.
My early morning dialogue with Dr. Dan Fisher ended up with “dialogue” 12 x 12″ (left above) and another 3 cocks on a beach digital redux (Barnabe & Padron, (c) 2017) (right above) is filmic work.
Close Up of 3 cocks in gray on a beach shows reds, golds, whites, yellows Barnabe & Padron (c) 2017 digital work.
My first acrylic on wood “bug” (c) 2014 confirmed my like and predilection for working with wood because the surface is like hot molten volcanic lava that turns the paint into clay.
i like the color blue. it reminds me of nothing but her saying her favorite color is arctic blue like “blue triptych” acrylic on canvas 18 x 36″ Barnabe & Padron (c) 2017 digital work:
and of this same Triptych 1, is Yellow Tower (c) 2017
architecture rings true, too with more blues, greens, aquas, white and greys in “buckhead skyline and flag” photo original (c) 2016
and this dreamy atlanta skyline original photo (c) 2016
3 in red triptych (c) 2017 Triptych 1, acrylic with reds, blacks, purples, blues, yellow, green
on my Top 3 list is this study of yellows and golds and blacks and reds (c) 2015
I wonder at the bravery of people in North Carolina who are standing down and not leaving in their voluntary evacuation. 1.5 million people? How the hell? What the hell?
Are we planning on building ocean deep brakers to cut incoming water surges? Imagine the number of lives saved. Property saved.
They’re saying power will be lost for “weeks” and the Mayor of the small town being hit the hardest has an attitude of “get out now and don’t blame me if you…” I’ve friends on both poles who say, “yeah, right, go dude!” and then Quakerlike peeps who cringe at the assumption of bad will.
I had originally set out to write a brilliantly woven story or blog about the storm, set in particular people’s lives and how it manifests into multivarious outcomes and climaxes and sad points, if any at all, but here I sit with a fever from the Flu.
And yet, even so, I wonder now about my mortality. Am I dying? At this age. My age.
I have had a good life but a short one. A mere half century and some change. I have yet to walk Machu Picchu and the Great Wall (my mother’s unmet goal), and I’d like to see either the South or North Pole. Leningrad, Moscow, Poland. Train in during winter. See it like Jack Reed and Louise Bryant did before Lenin in ’17.
I want to revisit Bourdeaux where my parents and Florence (my sister) was born in 1960. Visit Alcocer with the thick white walls and cold interior lit by only the wood burning firepits they cook on there. See Toledo and have picnics in the foothills with the cactus and the pine trees and it smells like cedar. Wake up only with light beside Beloved and walk fifty feet for hot crispy oily sweet churro’s to dip and eat with cafe con leche.
I have yet to scale up the webbed care network and health home that is replicable.
I’m too young to die yet. My woman to love. My woman to love me.
Were my sister Florence actually sitting here with me she would be languid and assured, smiling as she cradles a cup of coffee and I would be touched.
I very tentatively and intentionally watched Anthony Bourdain’s PARTS UNKNOWN SEASON 10 (CNN).
Bourdain is an unwilling participant and reticently, sarcastically and often in his caustic rapid fire spitted out, “… what do you want to see?”
Waffle House fills that deep homing context and Bourdain proves it. He’s satisfied downing a pecan waffle at Waffle House with a 5 star chef. It’s followed by a t-bone and fried eggs, spearing and breaking the soft yellow orange egg yolks dripping from the toast onto the platter with hashed browns. He says one word in Japanese to the guest chef that translates into, “I’ll suck your cock for that (porkchop)” and the chef and Bourdain fall into hysterics.
Fun aside Bourdain says at the top of 10 about believing in hope over despair and I get the need to lie about one’s belief in hope when you actually don’t trust that hope will stay with you (anymore). You can’t bullshit a bullshitter, friend.
To be alone
It is of a color that
Cannot be named:
This mountain where cedars rise
Into the autumn dusk
[12th Century Poet, Jakuren]
My girlfriend asked me a few days after the Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain inundation and my comments here and there, filled with thoughts of death, dying, despair and a total acceptance of living life on life’s terms’ meanings to me. “Are you doing ok tonight?” she asked me when I laid in bed, my voice low and we were whispering together quietly now, again, in ritual and in an easy beat. I said, “… you mean, am I thinking of suicide?” and I knew full well that only I could see my face in bed, under the bed sheet. It was a hot Atlanta June night and I wasn’t smiling and I just laid in bed in the dark listening to the quiet whirring of the fan overhead. Thinking.
“No, I’m not,” I whispered quietly and I went on to describe that because I forensically and behaviorally am talky to the point of being rude while in my own parts of despair, I often resist stubbornly, reaching in the dark and groping, working to be socially appropriate.
“But it is always a question whether I wish to avoid these glooms. . . These 9 weeks give one a plunge into deep waters… One goes down into the well & nothing protects one from the assault of truth.”
Completing is one’s inherent truth to living a life that is fully cognizent of one’s mortality and living it fearlessly of death or of dying in this physical body.
Dying a good death is, “… tangent to reason and consideration and is almost always… (and) seemingly best way to end (the) pain, the futility, the voices, or hopelessness… decisions about suicide are not fleeting thoughts than can be willed away in deference to the best interest of others. Suicide wells up from cumulative anguish or is hastened by impulse,” (Jamison, K.R., 1999).
This opting-out has greater permanence because Bourdain shares death with us so publically. My fascination with death and dying has to do with my own experiences of trauma, of loss, of near deaths, of seeing people die, of holding them near and dear with the death knoll morphine drip (ICU) ending the writhing pain from invasive cancers of the body, mind and spirit.
I see that blank lie in the eyes of many of my professional Peers, Colleagues, Leaders. I’ve shared drinks and listened to birds singing at 4 AM with the sun not too far on its’ way, talking smack and ingesting anything to abate my own numbness. I’ve sat in cars listening to, “… I’m ready to go” uttered a colleague who remains a national suicide prevention expert, an innovator and leader but also painfully, a survivor lover from a long gone love and it comes out barely, quietly as a whisper.
I get it. The national Peer communities direly require all supports to sustain physically, well and to grow whole. I care for longevity in sum.
The uneasiness, the disruption, the slap in your face, the quick right to the side of your cheek will make you bleed and sweat and hurt when life happens. Discern the greater good for how you live, truly. “The meanings of life aren’t inherited. What is inherited is the mandate to make meanings of life by how we live. The endings of life give life’s meanings a chance to show. The beginning of the end of our order, our way, is now in view. This isn’t punishment, any more than dying is a punishment for being born, ” (Jenkinson, S., 2017). For Bourdain, “… having a conscience (now) is a grief-soaked proposition,” and “… Dying is active. Dying is now what happens to you. Dying what is what you do. We should be able to tell the difference between dying and being killed,” (Jenkinson, S., 2018).
You see things which you cannot unsee. Many deaths and many times later, I remain drawn to trying to make my peace with my own death and dying, an unforeseen misnomer as I sit in my mid 50s struggling to regain ground with daily physical beat-downs in my 1st year teaching in a Title I impoverished Central Georgia high school.
We will not romanticize. We must not sentimentalize. We must see with clear and bright eyes. We must be astonished when the truth of loveliness or atrocious a reality as inevitable as our walk is quietly moving on, really.
JANE: Did I hear you say commit death?
PILKINGS: Obviously he means murder.
JANE: You mean a ritual murder?
PILKINGS: Must be. You think you’ve stamped it all out but it’s always lurking under the surface somewhere.
Wole Soyinka, Death and the king’s horseman, 1975
So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love. Sometimes you want to say, “I love you, but…”
Erich Seagal, Love Story, (1970)
Listening to others, and considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
I inhale great draughts of space;
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855)
Entrepreneurs from The Yale Collaborative on Social Entrepreneurship encourage me to craft my Obituary.
Bely the everyday.
How far have you come?
Memorialize where you come from hence.
I will leave you then, a discernable gift.
Death hearkens only the dying in glory and quietness shocks only the person whose breath is taken in deep.
Your morphine and your needles hanging from my forearm kills me not.
Your guns kill me not.
I have known the thrill of Her at least. My arm and my body shake from the electricity coursing through me touching live wire.
She is incomparable and I die for her. Walking the desert step by step, heat dizzying, relentless.
Till the last breath. On bended knee.
Oh yea, mine eyes have seen the glory.
Yes, yes, she said.