aspiciat

a girl in her city, watching the sunset

Archive for the category “The Stuff of Unbound Gratitude”

The Last Sunday Morning in L.A. (for now)

The week has turned the calendar corner. It’s three days until I’m Portland-bound. I’m sitting on my back porch steps with my 2nd coffee. At first it seemed so very quiet. No wind. Then: a horn sounded from a barge. A dog barked twice. There’s a few crickets yet trying to get some action. The wood fence creaks. Someone a few doors down needs to change the battery in the smoke detector. A garage door opens in the alley and subsequent gravel crunch, whomever it is, coming home late/early.

I’m restless. This is not unusual and it’s certainly reasonable, considering. I’m delivering furniture today and thinning the take-with-me stuff again; revising what’s really needed or wanted. Which treasures are most dear, which closest comforts irreplaceable. There’s probably not many.

When I came back to the city, I had the boots I wore. There was no plan to stay. I did it, though. It was all risk, no promise of investment returns. And I did ok.

You know what? I did way more than OK. And that’s not because I have so many boots now.

I made new friends. Friends I will know for the rest of my life.

And I discovered a friendship I happily, carefully, classify as “best.”

Thomas (the Goodman), you gave me a crash pad that January week in 2012 and it changed my life. But your enduring endearment is sustenance.

The quiet morning is noisy with traffic now, that oddly rhythmic ebb and flow punctuated by my sniffling, my shaky breath. I’m smiling though, encouraged. This move is guaranteed more than any other I’ve done. I am honored by my chief’s confidence in me, grateful for our mutual respect.

Leaving L.A. again is difficult almost solely because I have built such a solid association. I named myself for the ocean, for fuck’s sake.

If I claim possession of anything, anything at all, it is my self. And that is really the only take-with-me that matters.

Despite that manifesto, I’m still packing three pairs of boots.

 

Facebook status update 28 August 2016.

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The Way We L.A., a poem I wrote a while ago

 

We know.

We know the jokes about traffic,
about celebrities,
about how we only eat kale and seeds,
           and that we’re all ditzes or (at the very least) all of us are uptalkers.

And
We know
nobody believes
Sunshine is really all that encouraging,
or that anybody could call 450 square feet home,
or having no yard (read: no yard work) could possibly satisfy.

But
We know
the hour                        at the end of January
when the air is suddenly noted by night-blooming jasmine.

And

We know
that crazycheap (somewhat dimly lit) sushi place in
Koreatown (on 7th) – where the proprietors speak no English
     you point at pictures to order
(it’s way better than Roku. And you don’t have to plan 2 weeks ahead to eat there.)

We are unconcerned with our tans.
We cut each other’s hair.
None of us gives a fuck what you think of our ink and metal
     (I didn’t get all these holes and scars for any body else, thanks.)

We listen to each other
We stay friends for decades
We shop second-hand
We are good neighbors
We play fair
We fuck well
We drink deep
We stay up too late
 We smile at each other.

    We totally walk in L.A.

Downtown
  amid the history lessons told by
t
he Anjac Fashion Buildings
      and old banks-become-lofts
we look up.

And we get it.

We go all the way back, we were here before the freeways.    
                   We are made from cement and seawater.
                                     We are formed of smog and glass

There’s sand in my shoes
   but when I turn them upside down,
it spills out as a castle.

2012

 

 

 

Get up and Fucking Fight.

One day in Autumn of 1995, I heard a song on the car radio.

I sat in the car my first ex-husband’s parents had given us (in his name) upon our wedding; in a parking lot at Orange Coast College, facing Fairview Rd., (I think); late afternoon, I was early for a class in Russian history, listening (as I do) to the classical station.

Back then, there was an afternoon feature by the drive-home host, a song with some intersection of classical and contemporary music.  I think it was on this tiny feature I heard Zap Mama the first time, and it might have been near or next to  the second broadcast of Garrison Keillor poetry moment.

The reason KUSC played the particular track (by a singer-songwriter called David Wilcox) was the plucked Bach Air (in G) at the end of the sung lyric.  

I wrote the last sentence wholly trusting everybody has heard of J.S. Bach.  If you haven’t heard of Bach, I’m very sorry.  (FYI: math isn’t really difficult.)

Anyway, this is the Wilcox lyric.  It is not extensive.
It is immense.

If I had a spell of magic
I would make this enchantment for you
A burgundy heart-shaped medallion
With a window that you could look through
So that when all the mirrors are angry
With your faults and all you must do
You could peek through that heart-shaped medallion
And see you from my point of view

I do not consistently see myself through anything like this burgundy heart-shaped medallion, though I suspect it’s more honest than all this noise in my grumpy, hungry, crowded head.  

Sometimes, when giving advice, I assure whomever’s at the other end: I am telling you this to tell myself.

In all the advice I offer (to myself), I come back to desire, I return to pleasure.  A thing I say to newly coupled up or cohab sorts:  “The most successfully married people I know fuck daily.”

Even this is advice to myself, though I’m devoutly single.

I think about these lines a lot:

 …when all the mirrors are angry
With your faults and all you must do

Me, in a mirror:

weird pouch belly/stretched out thighs/stupid boxy hands/all that is wrong in my forehead/embarrassing posture/ridiculously clenched jaw I never look like myself in photos. I’ve lost the thread of minimalism I don’t know what I want any more Do I care about anything, at all? I keep forgetting things in the budget why aren’t I working overtime right now I haven’t seen my uncle in two weeks I haven’t posted a month of letters.
Nothing is comfortable because     I deserve no comfort.

I’m caught in my curls.  Or must excuse their lack.
I beg pardon when people reject that my hair isn’t grey and I’m 40 years old.
I dither about what to wear to walk to the market.  “Will that skirt and this t-shirt with those boots adequately convey the truth of my being to complete strangers?!”

Fuck all of that.

One doesn’t look into mirrors to see other people.  Nobody else is telling me these things.
I didn’t plant my feet on the ocean floor to maintain pretense.
I didn’t stay alive to beg pardons.
I didn’t name myself to offer excuses.

Listen (she says to herself), here’s the reality:  your wingspan is the prime meridian.  It is not a fucking farce.  It has precisely nothing to do with anybody elseyour own sweetest hausfrau, your own most apt project manager, your own most generous sugardaddy, and, your own best girl.

Curls, bones, skin, blood, salt and all.  

Goddamnit, Sanger.  Get up and fucking fight.

Take me to bed and fuck me into that doubtless gaze.  Fuck me so good that I walk funny.  

(Here’s a link to the song if you want to listen (it’s not really a video)).

Meditation from a Whisky Bar.

I don’t always make plans.  Presently, my laundry is begging for attention.  It’s an hour from last call at the laundromat and I’m not bothering with it.  I have socks and drawers for tomorrow.  It’ll do.

I get paid to make plans, and by all accounts that matter (by which I mean those of my chief), I’m pretty good at it.  In the part of life for which I’m not for sale, (Real Life), I can be counted on to have coffee and cigarettes and enough gas in the tank and probably an avocado (or liverwurst) and wine; I’m naturally inclined to share.  (I’m a twin.)

Some time ago, I stopped fretting my meagre holdings as deficient or deficiency.  Admittedly, it can be a chore to choke out Guilt when I come home from work and do not continue to work.

In Real Life, I don’t plan so much.  I read.  I write.  I read more than I write.  Recently, I’ve been keeping my distance from writing fiction with something like dedicated precision. Some of this is to do with the unceasing demand of getting up and going to work rather than having endless hours to pace in my studio, go outside to smoke, drink coffee and construct.

An aside about the pacing of studio, making/drinking of coffee and smoking,  since some people do not do this:

I’m a thinky, feely, bright person and I’m not pin-point focused.  When I’m having a hard time stringing language into words, I do chores, give up to finger paints. I draw or sculpt to remove phlegm from my brain.  I’ve been known to cook some fucked up amazing brussel sprouts. I’ve made bacon-infused bourbon butter.

There’s always music going.

My own writing of late is journalism or memoir and I’ve been on a mile-wide streak observing, not always with rapt intention.  A few weeks ago, I got up on a stool at a whisky bar in DTLA to have a drink, killing time as I made my way to the Observatory for sunset.

“Makers, double. Neat.  Water back, please.  Can I buy you a shot?”

I had out no tiny notebook, no smartphone, no laptop.
Here’s what happened next:

“Hey, I’m Al.  Let me get your drinks, I want you to hear my story.  You’re a writer.”

I ordered bourbon in a whisky bar.  This doesn’t seem like it would indicate much past “I’m keen on bourbon.”  I listen to Al for a while.

The next five people who come know Al in some degree of Kevin Bacon, and all of them are cajoled to telling me a story and buying me a drink.  I’m on foot and Metro, so I’m mostly fine with this.

Except the part where everyone accepts I’m a writer and I haven’t.

Aye, aye

It’s the middle of the night, really. I meant to go to dinner 40 miles away, but then I got skittish because I discovered one of my headlamps is out and I know my registration is overdue, so I drank wine and read some of a beautiful history book. When that was done, I worked on a close reading of a novel (2nd time reading). Close reading takes a lot longer.

It’s the middle of the night because I’ve been working (as my Chief calls them) “half days! Six a.m. to six p.m.!” I want to argue that I’m not a sailor, I was never in the Navy. But I don’t argue, not about that. Production environment versus test bed credentials or change records, maybe. About anything with some logical or reasoned foundation — for those I might could propose a different POV. I do not dare dispute working the same hours he does; I do my damnedest to tote barges and lift bales, even if they’re all virtual. It’s glorious, it’s exhausting. But now I’m awake and it’s 5 hours before I’ll get up to swab the decks.

Insomnia has been a more prevalent theme than usual this summer. A summer gone by without once bathing in the Ocean. Giant waves, broken skin and bones, stinging rays, and more giant waves have kept me to the sand. I am not sure if I’ve gotten into saltwater since my birthday in April, and it feels like it’s been hot since May. I wonder: if I was so brave as that ocean, might I be sleeping soundly right now.

I slept next to an octopus recently, and so remarkably well that I endured her jibes in the morning – my snoozing so late and the talk in my sleep. “I hope it wasn’t incriminating!” (It was nonsense, it seems.) Perhaps my slumber was due to the comfort of that cephalopod. If only I could offer some tiny bit of comfort to her in return.

This morning I woke up startled at some ridiculous hour in my own soft bed, convinced of some interloping creature, but probably only my stirring wrinkled the sheet. I jolted awake, ready to fucking riot, at DEFCON 5.

I’m going to crawl into a salted & anointed bath, then crawl under a cover and try to rest, try to stay still (stillness is the very biggest demand I (or maybe anyone) makes of myself), consider beautiful things, beautiful people and all the awesome beautiful everything. Tomorrow is nearly here, but tomorrow it’s going to be ok to be great at what I do, to smile at people who think I cannot see them, to stand up tall even if I’m just here to swab the decks.

Flight Gear (or: somewhere betwixt muzzled & dressed out for roller derby)

I denied the declaration that I was a brat with such vehemence that I stomped my foot.

This makes for good comedy.

But it’s not untrue, that adamant denial. The truth isn’t that I’m a brat – it’s that I’m scared fuckless of doing what I’m told.

I’ve been healing from a weird injury that seems to have slammed me at a weird time. (This seems digressive. It’s only a little.)

A few weeks ago, I scheduled a massage for a Saturday; I knew my arm/neck whatever wasn’t altogether sorted out. Eight or ten weeks of 60+hrs of work (a new thing) was maybe holding on too hard and twisted up a bit. The day before that appointment, I got to work and dove into a right fiasco of emails, but then struck half blind by panic: my hands went numb, then burning, then – fuck this, I’ll take a sick day. (It may be the first sick day I’ve ever had?)

“Massage” has such soothing connotations. There was someone I once knew who called it “body work” and someone else who called it “manipulation.” The nods those words make are more mechanical, and also more accurate. It’s not that I’m carrying a bit of overtime tension; I’m in some measure of disrepair. After the first, I booked four appointments, weekly.

Week 1.  (An email exchange with the massage therapist/torturer) 

8L: I have been so close to crying, which I think would help if it wasn’t stuck. Thoughts?

CB: Go talk to yourself in the mirror about what you’re feeling…not what you think you’re feeling, but just the feelings.
Give yourself permission to feel those feelings.

8L: the mirror I have at my place only shows from my collarbones to 18” above my head. heh. I’m no help with all your good words.

CB – that’s a fine mirror…this isn’t a body image exercise…this is facing yourself eye to eye exercise…:D Use a compact mirror if you have to…lol

8L: Dammit, that excuse was supposed to get me out of doing it.

Week 2: (written after I planned to sleep off a headache/hot day)

It didn’t happen — that sleep. I couldn’t lay still.

I got up, frustrated, agitated, too too too near that edge of panic; taking the hot weather so very personally. I drew a bath with lavender and rosemary oil. I twisted and growled, I cleaned my whole place, cooked 3 days of lunches & dinners. I cleaned more. I took out trash, did push-ups and squats;  I cursed and found myself standing in front of the only mirror I have.
No, I can’t I can’t do this I don’t need to i don’t have to I don’t want to I can’t I can’t- I turned away and looked at the wall.
goddammit.
I faced my reflection. I spoke.

I am good at what I do.
I am very tired.
I sometimes feel really lonely.
I am a triangle.
I did this on my own.

I knelt, wrapping my arms around my middle. I grabbed for and sobbed into my skirt, so confused. What am I still clutching? What’s in my fists? Why?

Week 3: The Braces.
I think I’m improving, but my job is not slowing down just yet, and doing no overtime means I’m falling behind. I know it’s a season, but I’m told of my hands: “they’re not going to last much longer.” Get wrist & elbow braces, he says.  Wear them.

Fuck fuck fuck. The fucking things work, they’re bloody Pavlovian.  The first day, I keep yelping, “ow!fuck!” and half trying to convince myself “that hurts because the brace must be wrong.

I say I feel like a muzzled dog dressed out for the roller derby.

It’s a huge revelation: the stays (they are metal) kept hurting as I moved in one way or another because I am digging in and pitbulling, bending in ways that hurt not because the brace is bad. How many other things do I dig in about without assessing the part I play in making things difficult? To what else am I beholden for no good reason?

During the last appointment, there was some moment I slipped away. I remember thinking, “I could just let go instead of being terrified of what happens if I do.” The bit of my side – top of my rib cage, behind/below my armpit? That’s a scary place – why does a girl with wings keep all the things she’s afraid of right beneath them? How much further could I fly without that weight?

This is the long way to come round to say that I’m afraid of doing what I’m told because I did that before (not a new story, I’m not the only or the last one to have it to tell). To comply, I wagered the fortune of my security and happiness. And I lost it.

I’m not afraid of someone else telling me what to do, I’m afraid I’ll forget why I’d do it, who I am.

But I am in love with the taste of the sky when I can let go instead of being terrified of what happens if I do.

Eulogy – For Joe

O mighty, O treacherous bodies
You summon my belief in miracles,
Then destroy such juvenile faith.
O things of beauty, O conceits of being.

– Let me arrest this flirtation with regret,
however mitigated;
this is not my memorial.
(Though I seek not to dishonor, by the pretense of ease, the imposing and haloed example here.)

Profound and improbable that
kinship, as
a priest/teacher, his warrior years behind him,
walking with and in awareness and
with no expectation,
is well met by an anarchist/naif made from saltwater.

Our companioned journey emboldens my steps, my willingness becomes hale.

(What words are left to write of the love an acolyte bears?
Though unimagined combinations of metaphors are yet uninvented
that might sing spirits to rally.)

He, with the noises of train whistles
and ageless patience, he with unhurried speech
spoke me no words of spite, brought no harm,
cast no judgement upon my threshold,
wishing only the best-most-highest.

At the opening of my heart (where I might for some little time indulge anguish)
I keep a map of languages, and stow the geography of all wisdom.

Of those spirits dancing around me,
yours maintains
in the constellation
of
the best advice given,
of great tales shared,
of kindred minds,
of kindness
of beauty.

(Doubtless other aspects turn a world on her axis)
In all the evers, we’re there.

Hopper James
10 February 2013

Out-coming

It is no secret I am queer.  And I don’t mean only in sexual orientation.  I’m generally opposed to classifications/stratification/castes.  This, also, not a secret.  Part of my opposition to putting things in boxes or categories is admittedly defensive.  I don’t fit in them.  They do not work for me. In order to fit in anyone’s proscribed comprehension of one or another label, I have to contort my very being in manners that do not become me.   (OMG, that’s such a profound sentence, check my shit out.)

So.  I have this awesome mother.  I call her The Moth.

(For the record, we weren’t always close.  We got to be friends around the time I was 25 or 26 years old.)

She’s built from different things than me.  Where I am saltwater and glass, she is ether and moonlights.  My spiritual grandmothers are elephants, hers are swarms of butterflies.  We still understand each other.  She gave me the tools of analysis and criticism.  She lives feminism and ferocity, but does not preach.  Her example is kindness to everyone. No one is worse or better before she knows them.  (Caveat: right-wingers are always deserving of dismissal.)  We differ in that she is superstitious and I tend to derive my routines more from logical process engineering.   Even with her superstitions (which aren’t of the usual variety, to be sure), she is thoughtful and can debate.  Superstitions for her do not enter into things like politics.

When we lived in Austin, she moved into an apartment that was for the older-set.   As is The Moth’s fashion, she makes friends everywhere she spends any amount of time.  There was another single woman there, divorced, retirement aged, adult children, etc.

Let’s call this new friend Alice.  Not that there’s anything incriminating in the following.

Alice and The Moth share a similar political philosophy and if memory serves, Alice had work experience in government, like The Moth.  They get along famously.  The Moth tells me how she and Alice went to get french fries at Sonic one afternoon, how they took in an art museum another day.  The spend free time together.  The Moth reports that Alice invited her over to eat dinner and she made steaks and they watched TV together until midnight, as they enjoy the same shows.  “Alice got us ice cream and we made sundaes!”

So one day I say to her, “Hey, The Moth?  Is Alice your girlfriend?”

The Moth is funny. “Well, she’s a female friend.”

“No, no, The Moth, I mean, are you seeing her?  Like love/relationship/dating shit.”

The Moth sounds flustered.

“H,” she begins, drawing a breath, “I’m just…I’m…not gay.  Will you accept this about me?  I’m straight.  It’s ok, it’s who I am.  There’s nothing wrong with it!”

We stutter with giggles at the reversal this is for usual comings-out.

The Moth’s open-mindedness is a thing of beauty.   Her ease with the existence of alternative sexualities, or body-mods, or weird haircuts, or, “ok, sure, if you want to wear that scarf as a turban, go right ahead,” or her grace in allowing me to make and learn from what choices I may;  this has all been tender and instructive.  She maintains a sunny outlook without drenching anyone in pollyannaism.   I can’t say enough good things about her, or relate how grateful I am for her patience and support.

Of things I do not expect.

In my place, I know what and where everything is.  I’m closer to minimalist than anything else in these terms, though I don’t necessarily embrace austerity in this.   I have a pouch of things I might consider sacred.  I’ve reduced this from a rather over-taking-everything kind of altar to a satin bag that the moth gave me for travel.   It has feathers and train tickets and various memento that probably mean nothing or not much to anyone else.  There is a lovenote from Sweetbest to her younger daughter on a bit of paper from a takeout joint in Pismo Beach that was left in a book she gave me.  Things that may be cast offs but beautiful.  A shred of tissue paper that Manda used to wrap a present, on it are the words “She has the gift of sight.”   Atop this pouch sits a tiny figurine of the Venus of Willendorf.  (Also a gift from Manda.) She was a on a keychain fob, but I released her from that so she could rule over my shelf thing.  (Or just sit there being pretty and relicky and royal in her art history.)

I made friends with Randus last year around March.  He may have been my first independent/new L.A. friend.  We had a long talk one afternoon that buoyed me for days.  I wrote about it.  Since then our camaraderie has developed.  I am honored to be his friend, I appreciate him at every turn.   

I asked him to give me a lift to an interview I had on Tuesday to which the public transpo was nearly intractable.  He spent the night before on my couch, because mornings aren’t his thing and we had to hit the road by 8.45a, (which is practically lunchtime to me and in the realm of “RUFKM?” to him).   I was asleep when he arrived, but I knew he was coming so I left the door unlocked, pillow and  blanket on the couch, and a note that said have a beer if you want, man, they’re in the fridge.   I woke for a minute or two around 3a and he was here and I was glad he made it and I mumbled something silly and went back to bed.

We chattered on the hour long drive there and back.  He reminds me that learning myself is not a one-shot thing.  He reminds me that keeping a good outlook is an undertaking in mindfulness, and mindfulness touches my whole life.  The easy way he and I get along reminds me that there are always wishes to manifest and while setbacks may come, they also ebb.   I appreciate his honesty with me, I appreciate his strength.   I am grateful for his company, I am touched he shares things with me.   

So I was eating an apple a moment ago, and I wandered over toward the shelves of the things I keep.  Housed here are nearly all of my possessions.  I think I was on my way outside but something caught my eye and then got my full attention because I did not know what it was.  I was alarmed.

A tiny piece of paper, 2×3 inches and it’s not blank, but I can’t see very well, and I know it’s not mine, and I didn’t put it there and I’m suddenly concerned and curious.  I took up this foreign, interloping scrap.

I made no sense;  comprehension escaped me.  I stood holding my apple, regarding.  Suddenly, I acquired focus.  With alacrity, the whole thing sharpened and I saw it all.  My breath caught.  I turned the leaf and the meaning of it occurred to me in that blink and I instinctively sunk to my knees.  The overwhelm took away my balance.  I couldn’t stand.

From Randus

From Randus

This was me.  These words is how he sees me.   I’m still teary and stunned.  I think of all the ways people in my life reach me, how I am so lucky and profoundly thankful for everybody.  I haven’t considered with any weight that I might be touching others.  That need for recognition/approval isn’t on my mind.  It doesn’t motivate me, you know?  I don’t feel like I have to say to anyone: “and you think I’m lovely, too, right?!”   I used to exist entirely in abject desperation that I was of any small import to anyone at all, “please someone, someone tell me I’m cute/sexy/funny/smart/anything.  Please someone say you see me.”   

But somewhere in the last year it went away.  If I feel now like I am not seen, I go out and meet people, or visit Sheddy’s and say hi to the kids there, or descend upon Tiomio.   I take it upon myself to do something about feeling invisible. The “pleasepleasetellmeIamsomeone” thing faded.  I giggle over beers or coffee with whomever and stumble home, and I don’t think as I walk, “I wonder if they’re saying nice things about me now.”  I got over it.  Sure, everyone likes attention, and sure, I like that the people I meet seem to think I’m cool enough to chatter with for a while.  And I don’t think I give off an aura of IDGAF, because I like pretty much everybody with whom I spend time.  Because I don’t care to surround myself with anything otherwise.  I enjoy you.

It just might be the case that everybody I like feels mutually.  And that isn’t so bad at all.

2013-01-30_18-06-29_632
Thank you, Randy.
Thank you, Everybody.

Yours,
h

A glimmer of my own

My then-husband took it hard the first time I miscarried.   I was 21 years old.   Pregnancy had been entirely unplanned, I was in school, he was a freshly-certified teacher.   I really wanted someone to hand me a chocolate bar, a handful of ibuprofen and make it so I could sleep for a week; to have some semblance of comfort.

At that point in my life, I was a busy Christian.  Sunday church services (two morning, one evening, lunch in the middle), mid-week groups, choirs, bible studies, volunteering.  The times I wasn’t working or in class were booked up solid with Jesus.  Or, something.

Oddly, being a Christian (which I said I was from ages 14-22)  never made a dent in my understanding that abortion should be available to women.  (I was raised by a liberal woman).  I felt profoundly confused, and do to this day, at Christians who are so loud and illogical about their disgust with abortion, taking the mantle of “pro-life,” when they are also totally a-ok, yep, fine, sure, with the death penalty, and spew empty parrot rhetoric like, “a fetus is innocent.”  They don’t call themselves “pro-innocence.”    They say “life.”   And, why is one life better, please?  In those books they read, where does it say that anybody has the right to determine a person’s worth?  It doesn’t, I don’t think.  I think it says, “do not judge lest ye be judged.”

When I said that my husband at the time took my miscarriage hard, I mean he blamed me for it occurring.  I had some part in “killing [his] kid.”

The words had barely settled on the rug between us when I determined with the ferocity of the ocean that  I would never have a child with this man.

A fetus is not a child until it is born.

Despite my attempts at birth control, I became pregnant.  I’ve had two abortions.  One of these I underwent with a group of women who accepted me into their midst for a long weekend, wrapping me in their wisdom and soft arms.  They chanted around me and massaged me, fed me teas and herbs and bark to chew, and encouraged me to meditate upon beautiful words and ideas.  I listened to their stories, their lovely songs.  It was a place warm with love and good food, and a time I spent considering my life.  If I had a child at that point, that child would have no good life.  I was not through school, my marriage was rocky, my sense of self was everywhere but with me.   I knew I did not want to be a mother and I did not want to share parenting with a person who said I had been at fault for miscarrying.
That Sunday morning it happened without trauma, sickness, or agony.  I wasn’t even sure if it really was what I thought it may be. I gained some tiny sense of what it was to be in control of my body, of my life.  In an ancient ritual and embraced by those strong and beautiful women, I did not have to brave clinics, or protests, or anaesthesia, or aftermath.

I mean that: ancient.  Women possessing their own bodies is not a new concept, and the idea that those people who have penises should have any say in what happens to a woman’s own body is a bit logic-bending.    At no point will a male have to choose whether to carry a fetus to term or to terminate a pregnancy.  I can say this with ultimate confidence.  I can barely stand to listen to a male anti-choice point of view, not just because they are generally soaking in stupidity and rife with bullshit about how babies are unspoilt or whatever, but because the logic never makes it across the divide.  If a man does not have to choose, why is he against it?  His precious morals are of no fucking consequence.   None.

Choice is not about forcing abortions.  If you don’t want an abortion, don’t get one.

Choice is not about killing.  It’s about living.

 

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