03/27/2012

i just spent 3 days in a sort of radical queer creative space, learning to make a new kind of art and collaborating with people i fucking adore, learning from people i adore, loving everything, even myself. i came out enthused and invigorated, proud and confident and buoyant in a way i have not often felt like, in the last months (years?). i am crushed out, not just on wanna-be-makeout-pals, but also just friendships and connections built or strengthened there that i hope to follow forward.

please stay with me, my power. the taut of my belly, the thudding of my boots, the hammers in my fingers, the broadness of my shoulders under leather armor, the howl of my singing voice (so rich i can make it ring in my sinuses, and do).

i’ve been walking a lot instead of riding my bike, and it’s been good for me, tho i still have to weather the inner terror of how to greet strangers on the street sometimes, other times it feels effortless. also, if i’m singing we can usually just nod and smile at one another, or mutually ignore. i suspect i have walked 20-30 miles in the last week, much of it singing or talking to myself or just sorting out my brain.

been devouring fiction and poetry and zines like they are the stuff of life. it is the stuff of life, after all. Jeanette Winterson says (emphasis mine):

So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read in school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language — and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers — a language powerful enough to say how it is.

It isn’t a hiding place. It is a finding place.

music, also. not even those grand affairs like symponies and operas (such old world extravagance, so unfamiliar to me!), but the simple impromptu thrums of blues and punk, their intersections. i am base, i am of the body.

and: i am learning to play the bass, it feels like re-learning how to be in my body, becoming safe there. it is good, so so good. intensely cathartic, grounding. head and heart and body as one, finally focused.

i feel old to be just now getting into the local queer punk scene (i’m 26), but my life is far from over and i am hungry for it, so i come to the table. last autumn i traded some bike parts for a leather jacket to replace the one i’d given away a few years back to my then-lover. it feels like armor, a grounding weight about my shoulders that makes it tolerable to stand in a crowd with strangers touching me, and the music touching me, too, lacing itself into my hips and strengthening them. for a time i had stopped going to any shows (except Babekin and F’s, because they feel so special to me) because i just could not. bear. the crowd. but somehow armor works, in addition to giving myself permission to leave when i feel like it and not feel like i have to stay the distance to the end of the night.

when i feel up to it and can wrangle a friend to brave the masses with, i’ve also been going social dancing for a few hours at a time. another thing i had given up, social dancing. my inflamed joints begin to bother me after an hour or two, and the terror of having to ask people to dance is emotionally exhausting, but it all feels worth it, because the dancing itself is so good. despite feeling like a flaming faggot in the middle of a bunch of normals. it’s worth it, worth it, worth it. and besides: i like transgression.

it is spring, and every day starts anew. sometimes there are bad days. sometimes there are days when i am ready to haul myself someplace and give up, never get out of bed. other days are glorious, filled with hope and creativity and love. and other days still are some mixture, the more likely thing, that i should take what comes and make with it what i will.

-RD

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