It’s hard for me to not get all woo-woo about burning wood off my own land in my own fireplace.  And it occurs to me that one of the things about a fire–in that woo-woo way–is that you have all four elements.  The wood that is burning, obviously.  The flame.  The ashes that will go into my compost pile to become dirt and the hiss and spit of water as it steams out of the wetter pieces.

I have done less woo-woo-y blogging lately and yet I feel like it’s because movng out here has made me feel more constantly woo-woo-y.

I’ve been thinking a lot about words and writing.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not going to up and quit blogging.  But I think that I have always used words… often used words like little posts to fence in small understandable meanings to things.  I have tried so hard to master words in order to master my life and my environment.

And, don’t get me wrong, that’s been great and important for me to do.  I could not have gotten here if not for that.

But now I am here and I have a kind of security I haven’t had before, ever.  And I feel like that means I can let go of some things.  I can fumble and not know and drift and babble.  I can say nothing.  I can let my animal-soul run and experience things there aren’t words that will work to explain to you what it is that happened to me out there.  I will know things in ways there aren’t words.

I was telling Theriomorph the other day that I feel like there’s a rhetorical motion some bloggers make that appeals to me, a kind of urge to openness, to understand and mull over and revise and reconsider.  And it doesn’t have to do with political bent or whether someone’s a feminist or not or whatever.

It has to do, for me, with that motion.  And I don’t know for sure how to describe it to you.  I see it in bloggers I know, like Coble and Bridgett, and bloggers I don’t, like Chris Clarke and Nezua.  And they are clearly not the same kinds of writers, don’t write about the same things, don’t write in the same ways.

Most of us blog like we want our writing to take the shape of Algiz–there we are with our pitchforks, ready to run the monster out of town, ready to skewer our enemies, ready to lift and toss and sort and move things around.  It’s not a bad form for one’s writing to take.  But it requires sure-footedness and solid ground.

The other motion, I think, is a kind of spinning.  Think of us, twirling through space, and every year, at the winter solstice, at Newgrange, the rising sun spills along the long passage into the heart of the tomb and for about twenty minutes, the floor of that dark interior chamber is illuminated by the sun.  It’s thought that the ancient spirals carved at the entrace to the tomb represent the sun and the motions that it makes spinning through the sky.

The tomb still floods with dawn every winter solstace, even after 5,000 years.

It meant something then, to our ancestors, though we can’t be sure what.  And yet, people still go to stand there and watch the light because it means something still to us, though I don’t think we can say what.

It is a language our bodies speak, though we don’t know it, and sometimes you just have to put your body there and let it do its thing and let the shape of things speak to it.

And that motion?  The turning out and in at the same time?  That is a motion I want to learn to make and I want you to feel it when you read me, feel that motion behind my words.

Eh, well, what can I tell you?  The fire makes me all thoughtful.


I know only a handful of you care about this PCOS crap (though I’m grateful to the ones of you that do!), but I thought I’d update you anyway.  I went back to the doctor today and she’s upping the dose of the metformin and we’re going to see how that goes.  She’s concerned about the episode I had a couple of weeks ago and if it happens again, she might pull me off the Pill.

I really, really don’t want that to happen, as I’m enjoying the novelty of not suffering through eternal, heavy bleeding.

And they took blood to check my liver and kidney functions and to see if I’m anemic still or if that’s straightened itself out.

I’m waffling about how I feel about the whole emphasis on whether I’m losing weight.  I mean, I feel great.  I feel really great and I’m just enjoying moving around in my body a whole lot.  To me, that’s so nice.

And, you know, if we’re saying “this is what I eat; this is how I move; this is what I weigh and this is how my body works (not processing the insulin and stuff) and if we get the medical stuff straightened out, we should see some weight loss” then that’s one thing–using the maintainance of weight or the loss of weight as an indicator of whether the medicine is working properly–that I think I can live with.

But I’ve got to tell you, I hear that voice, too, you know.  The one that says “Oh, well, you only accepted that you were fat because you thought that’s just how it was, but really, you could lose a bunch of weight and you could finally be beautiful and you could finally be worth being loved.  Oh, B., health-shmealth!  Finally, an acceptable body is coming your way!”

And I know better, you know.  I know that voice and I know what living with it getting to be the boss does to a girl.


Well, you know.

Anyway, so I went and we’re proceding as planned.

Gay People and Straight Women–Our Freedom is Your Freedom

Yesterday we hashed and rehashed the article I keep meaning to get back to and this morning we talked about the Republicans making another effort to let gay people know that they’re really, really unwelcome in Tennessee.

And I just want to put this question and answer from Rodriguez along side of the House Republicans’ website:

You said recently the real issue behind the anti-gay marriage movement is the crisis in the family. What do you mean?

American families are under a great deal of stress. The divorce rate isn’t declining, it’s increasing. And the majority of American women are now living alone. We are raising children in America without fathers. I think of Michael Phelps at the Olympics with his mother in the stands. His father was completely absent. He was negligible; no one refers to him, no one noticed his absence.

The possibility that a whole new generation of American males is being raised by women without men is very challenging for the churches. I think they want to reassert some sort of male authority over the order of things. I think the pro-Proposition 8 movement was really galvanized by an insecurity that churches are feeling now with the rise of women.

Monotheistic religions feel threatened by the rise of feminism and the insistence, in many communities, that women take a bigger role in the church. At the same time that women are claiming more responsibility for their religious life, they are also moving out of traditional roles as wife and mother. This is why abortion is so threatening to many religious people — it represents some rejection of the traditional role of mother.

In such a world, we need to identify the relationship between feminism and homosexuality. These movements began, in some sense, to achieve visibility alongside one another. I know a lot of black churches take offense when gay activists say that the gay movement is somehow analogous to the black civil rights movement. And while there is some relationship between the persecution of gays and the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, I think the true analogy is to the women’s movement. What we represent as gays in America is an alternative to the traditional male-structured society. The possibility that we can form ourselves sexually — even form our sense of what a sex is — sets us apart from the traditional roles we were given by our fathers.

Now look at the things on the Republicans’ lists to promote “strong families and communities”–reinforcing the community power of the church, reinscribing the traditional gender roles of marriage participants, and limiting women’s rights to control what happens to our own bodies.  They’re exactly the things that Rodriguez points to as being the tenents of the male-structured society.  (Woo hoo!  Yes, I’m going to say it–the Patriarcy!!!!)

What I wonder, and I’m wondering from my own specific position, is when it occurs to the Patriarchy that it has sown the seeds of its own destruction.  How many of us have heard our fathers say, “It’s my way or the highway?”  And how many of us have seen the traditional male-structured society say something similar to women of all sexual persuasions and gay men–“it’s my way or the highway.”?  Look even at what the Tennessee Republicans are up to here–“If you’re not going to hook up with someone from the group of people we tell you to hook up with and under the circumstances we tell you to do it, you can’t do it at all.”

And what’s happened?

Did we meekly return to the kitchen or the closet?  Yeah, some of us, but a great many of us hit the highway.  And we didn’t fall apart without the “traditional” men.  Would we have rather they come along with us?  Yes, of course.  Who wants to leave behind the people they love?

But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do and if that means leaving behind the folks who kicked you out in the first place?  Well, there you go.

So, what we see is that women of all stripes and gay people have been working to find something other than traditional roles that they might fit in.  And we see the Republicans continuing to insist that the only acceptable roles are those traditional roles.

The Republicans will lose this particular war, eventually, though.  They’re already losing it.  Because it’s not about gay marriage or women killing babies or whatever.  Rodriguez is right.  It’s exactly about anxiety over changing gender roles.

And yes, the world changes quickly and the dramatic changes can be alarming.  But even Republicans want in on some of those changes.  Dolores Gresham, Beth Harwell, Susan Lynn, Debra Maggart, and Donna Rowland aren’t at home raising children or helping raise grandchildren.  In what universe of “traditional gender roles” does the woman pack up and head to the state capitol to make laws?!

And yet, there go those Republican women, defenders of traditional values, flaunting the fact that some of those values aren’t good enough for them.  Ha, ha, ha.

Can We Pass a Law Requiring the TNGOP to Hire an English Major to Write for Them?

World, I bring you

If someone enters into one of these unions in another state, we do not want any ambiguity in our law to prohibit the recognition of that union in Tennessee.

I’ve taken it out of context just for a second, so that you’re not biased by the surrounding paragraphs and I’m going to ask you, just based on that sentence, are the Tennessee House Republicans for or against civil unions?

Clearly, this sentence means, “If you enter into a civil union in another state, when you come to Tennessee, we do not want any ambiguity in our law to…” aw fuck.  You can’t even paraphrase it.  This sentence clearly says–“We House Republicans want to make sure civil unions are recognized in Tennessee.”  That’s what it says.

That’s not what they mean.

What they mean is something along the lines of “If someone enters into one of these unions in another state, we do not want any ambiguity in our law; the recognition of that union is prohibited in Tennessee.”

I don’t know.  There’s something both galling and hilarious about folks who can’t even make their position clearly understood trying to impose their moral will on the rest of us.

Ha, maybe I shouldn’t have pointed that out.  No, Republicans!  I take it back.  Please, work towards removing any ambiguity in our laws that might accidentally prohibit the recognition of same-sex unions in Tennessee!