redemption song

me, talking

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Of course when it gets bad it always gets better. Last night - at a friend's farm, or rather scraggly garden and A-frame with a vw van out front - we walked out at midnight to check on the goats and the sheep, who were up and socializing under the full moon. It makes sense to be where we were, by a locust-board lean-to with sheep pawing at our hands for treats, no lights but our fire up the hill. I grew up in the mountains under a moon so bright you could read by it, on a gravel road that crunched and lurched underfoot. I walked back in the campo with a single flashlight under the clear tropical moon, with the scrawny horses and cows watching me from the field. I am not a luddite, not really, but it doesn't make sense to be where I am now, under the flourescent and the hum of air conditioning in September.

Still sad, but getting better.


Monday, September 27, 2004

So, the boyfriend? Got there first.

It hurts.

You might not see much of me around here for a couple of days; alternately, I might start writing bad poetry. Either way.


Friday, September 24, 2004


1) In the words of Shevek, I am going to unbuild walls.
2) World, why do you conspire to make me dump my boyfriend?
3) Beautiful weather and a whole afternoon inside reading scary books that try to deconstruct my gender
(p.s. I have tracked down but not eradicated the roots of my transphobia. I am afraid that if I eradicate them I will suddenly want a penis. Admit it, they're nifty, they can get you elected president.)

4) I just had a 1,000 calorie snack consisting of a pint of Ben & Jerry's mixed with a raspberry smoothie. It was good.
5) World, after you're done ruining my love life, decide I'm pretty please.

that was random.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Sky the bluest blue can get, the whiff of incense and a man carrying a framed print of Che Guevara. A scruffy hippie boy BMXing in a parking lot, in the middle of some complicated manuever, yells 'hold on, my cell phone's ringing' and stops to answer it as his friends ride around the parking lot laughing. On my walk, I picked up an apple from someone's driveway, and the taste of it is still in my mouth. On the way up the hill, a man from an outcounty volunteer fire department is eating a burrito in his car, and there's a blanket that reads "the south will rise again" draped across his seat.

This morning, totally lost on the way to a doctor's appointment, I stopped at a yard full of kids to ask for directions. The mother - not much older than me, really - came out of the house, took one look at the sad little bus map I was clutching and the gimpy foot I was holding off the ground and loaded her kids into the car to drive me there. Total stranger. Never saw her before in my life.

I love this town.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

This is what this is all about, and nonetheless it's totally not what this is about. This is not about a protest, or a statement, or the photo posing of the young and angry. There is no 'group'. There is no plan. This is about a flag on a cross in the courtyard. This is about the boy in the picture, and the sobbing daughter of a military family, facing each other across the space in front of the cross. This is about her with the crumpled tattered flag clutched to her chest, and about her giving it back to him. We had planned - early in the morning, after a long cold night on the ground in front of the crossed branches - to stitch the tatters shut, to sew fabric over the words, and to present it to ROTC to dispose of. And then, we decided, we would turn the cross into a flagpole, and fly a whole flag, and talk about symbols and pain and war and what had just happened to our community.

The police did the taking-down for us, but what they don't tell you in that article is that as Haiz and the cadet folded the flag together, we sang the star spangled banner, and some people started to cry. They don't tell you what Haiz said to the cadet, quietly, when the flag was folded. They don't tell you that over the folded flag the two men saluted each other, and then the cadet took the flag and marched away.

I don't know what's changed in me, and it's not a matter of politics. I went too, once, to ask a room full of stony-faced, red-eyed Army girls to give the desecrated symbol back. And they did, and I had no idea how hard it would be. no one knew that this much pain lay just under the surface. I don't think we realized there's a war on. When we sat there, in the five a.m. on the cold ground, guarding what was left, one of us said to another, was a statement worth all this? and the answers were not clear.

Something changed in me, between one night and the next, and I don't know what to call it, and I'm trying to be careful of it, because again, it's not my politics. This is not a political thing that happened to any of us, though now some people will take it into a political arena. The only word I can think of, though, is compassion. I can't think of anything else to say.



This morning, me in my NCOR t-shirt and black carharrts put the proper flag on its rope and ran it to the top of the flagpole. And I will every morning, and take it down every night, until campus maintenance makes us take it down. And I don't know what this means either, but I'm giving it a chance to mean something new.

p.p.s. Please don't take this as an opportunity to stalk me. Thanks.

love again

Monday, September 13, 2004

The terrible thing about a change in being coming in the midst of school is that there's no time to let it be. This morning I woke up in the courtyard of my dormitory under a tattered political flag and the morning star, and today at noon I actually meant the national anthem, and all this comes with a sequence of softnesses, of the memories of crickets and conversation and the angle of faces and a change in being. I will have to find time to address this. Time to sleep, time to study, time to have revelations - there need to be more hours.


Who will give you the details as they percolate.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Good things: contra dancing in our cafeteria, with a little girl who plays the banjo and a few older guys who know how to lead. The art now all over my room, courtesy of my roommate, who has artsy friends. The beautiful weather, and sleeping until eleven. Veggie co-op last night, with our guerilla gardening plans, and clustering around a table with the old friends eating thick slices of still-warm brown bread with butter and raspberry jam.

Bad things: TOO MUCH WORK.

But still. SO MUCH LOVE.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

(today it stopped raining.)
The hurricane has hovered over us for the last three days, rain and storm winds. I like us like this, surprisingly: insular, forced to companionship, off-campus kids sleeping in the kitchen. Piles of muddy boots and clothing grow by the doorways, the dryers in the laundry room are going overtime, people leave their doors open and the gusts blow through their windows. My roommate and I and my hall and I and everything and I are getting good. Please let this last.


Thursday, September 02, 2004

I've put off writing here because I didn't want to be grouchy, and then because I was tired, and then because I didn't want to be grouchy again. I've decided it's just not worth it to put it off any longer, unless I want the blog to die a lonely bloggy death, and no one wants that. So:

a) I did something to my foot a week ago and it hurts. I hobbled around for a full seven days not knowing what was wrong, and then I reinjured it in exactly the same way yesterday. This proves to be an effective form of diagnosis. Turns out I bruised the bones in the side of my foot landing a cartwheel, specifically through pronating when landing a cartwheel. Fascinating.

b) To those of you considering ortho tricyclen low: just know that apparently the least amount of stress will combine with the HORRIBLE EQUILIBRIUM-DESTROYING HORMONE CRASH and make you implode emotionally like a fish egg poked with a sharp needle. I spent Monday in my room crying. I mean, I'm fine, I just spent monday in my room crying.

c) I am not coming down with something. No, I'm not. The air's just really dry in here.

On the other hand:

My roommate is awesome. My hall is awesome. The kitchen is a wreck, and the weather is a mess, but all in all I'm surrounded by all the typical awesome. I just wish I had more to do. (I know that statement will come back to haunt me.) I'm doing crop projections and reading Margaret Atwood and eating too much snack food on account of spare time.