If your parents discard you,
You are mine.
If your friends disown you,
you are so mine.
If you disavow yourself,
I will hold a candle for you and hug you in my heart,
keeping you as mine.
Even if you don’t know you’re mine,
You belong to me
to this community of love that has healed me and who will heal so many others
calling us its own.
I know how it feels to be a target
as we do
and I know the sadness of hiding
because I’ve been there too
but remember this –
when you’re ready to come out
to proclaim yourself
I will be there
And so will we.
For I and we are the same now
one arm to lend you support
one shoulder to weep on.
I love you.
We love you.
No gun or plowing of cars will keep our love from any of you.
You are one us now, an I and a we
For you are mine……..
And I am yours.
(a transition poem)
I have to do this
Cause I love me cause I love me
I have to do this cause I love
I need to share this
Cause I love you cause I love you
I need to share this cause I love
This name that was mine
Never was mine never was mine
This name that was mine never was
I’m now releasing
To you both now to you both now
I’m now releasing to you both
Because I love me
You taught me that you taught me that
Because I love me you taught me
I know it hurts you
Scared and no-ing scared and no-ing
I know it hurts you scared and no
But I’m a Sam now
Cause they all love cause they all love
But I’m a Sam now cause you love
You know me better
Than the rest of than the rest of
You know me better than the rest
You can release me
Cause I’ll be yours cause I’ll be yours
You can release me cause I’ll be
Ever and always
Take his name now take his name now
Ever and always take his name
And I’ll be free
Don’t you want that? Don’t you want that?
And I’ll be free perhaps you do.
So say it with me
Cause I love you cause I love you
Say it with me cause you love.
If you don’t though
it might hurt me it might hurt me
If you don’t though it might hurt
But I’m stronger
Cause of you now Cause of you now
But I’m stronger cause of you
So I’ll end this
With my name now With my name now
So I’ll end this as Sam A.
The trajectory of a trauma is fascinating.
I ministered to facebook friends after hearing about the horrible shooting in Orlando Sunday morning. I posted the Beatitudes and a preacher friend used them in her service. Immeasurably grateful that I could help. Then, I had hope.
But as the reality set in, I got SadMad. (If you haven’t seen the animated movie “Home,” go watch it. It’s on Netflix). That guy killed us and at the same time was one of us. I had suspected this, of course, from the beginning but the confirmation blurred my boundaries.
Then, I was confused.
I grew increasingly angry. With the urging of my therapist’s insight that there is a time for everything, I wrote angry poetry and drew the lines. Us/Them. Me/You. Good/Murderer. I was on the side of good, of course. Even though I suspected that writing this screed nudged me toward my antithesis’ ideal.
Add to this a huge trigger that made me realize how fucking hard it is to intellectualize things in the face of pain.
So I lavished pain. Reveled in it. Until it sucked me in.
Thankfully, I was able to secure a ride home from an interfaith remembrance service at my local MCC church and went to it last night. Muslims wiped their eyes and Jews talked about our intersectionality. Afterwards we stood together and joked, ate, talked to erstwhile strangers. I felt purified.
On the way home, my ride shared her wish to convert blown-out houses into places for the homeless to rebuild their lives. “They need something to call their own,” she said. I agreed – I know the restorative nature of reclaiming my community, my stuff. It turned my world around.
I feel like in the last 3 years I’ve found the community whose absence I lamented in Portland. 3 years ago I wasn’t able to stand at the reading of the names of those taken from us at TDOR because I was afraid someone would smell me or judge me. I might trip. So I sat as my small cadre of friends had transformative if depressing moments that night.
Later I formed a PFLAG group that tanked because I was inexperienced with organizing people. Getting someone to commit on their ideas is now, in my view, the key to running a meeting. You can have all the ideas in the world but no one will execute them unless they make a public commitment to doing so. How I knew that.
Fast-forward 2 years: I was asked to lead a meeting and did my best. The person I know noted that I had come out of my shell and asked me to be there, to step up.
I have and I haven’t. I have anxiety and I can’t show up sometimes. But you know what? People understand. It seems everyone can relate to being scared, and they are happy when I can make it.
This is why I love my community. You reach out to it and it reaches back. It lights a candle for you, knowing you might be in the dark. It waits, as the candle eats its way down to its butt (heh), and lights another one. Waiting till you take it and light another for someone else.
I’m from a conservative Christian background. First Baptist was my church, and at it I learned some things I wear on me today, and other things that I have discarded.
That holiday season, I began to see ginger and other spices as relics of the meeting of cultures. The three wise men – who were probably Zoroastrian – following a star in the night with hope, and with love to welcome a new one into the world.
I just wanted to say thank you to the folks who’ve liked my posts lately. It means a lot to me. I’m still recovering so I can’t really look at most of your blogs but once I’m feeling better I’ll get back at ya. 🙂