I want words that aren’t the “doing” kind. Not the phrases that disorient you with some shiny distant maybe thing when underneath and right here and right now I’m dull and tarnished and wanting you to see. “It will work out”, “I’m really very lucky”, and “l’ll keep you posted”, I said How automatically I placated and hid, how easily you got distracted and how lonely I felt when you took my bait and smiled. I pulled deeper into myself then, obscured by my scarf and those awful reassurances that felt like saboteurs slinking out of my mouth.
The hashtag for much of the activism around the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is, #BelieveSurvivors. I have been reflecting deeply on what that means. In light of the response by many to discredit people -not just women but all genders – who come forward with stories of sexual assault, I wanted to share my perspective on why believing survivors is a radical act of service, support and healing.
To the contrary, having dated women throughout graduate school, I was definitely more familiar than most with being close to another woman’s body. So it couldn’t have been just the mere fact of pussy that made that spring morning in Austin in 2012 so impactful.
Looking back, I think the reason it shook me down to my bones to see her pussy that day was that I had never really seen a pussy for the sake of just seeing a pussy.
For the sheer purpose of being present with another woman’s sexual body.
Initially the proposition seemed appealing. Attend a 10-day silent meditation retreat at the end of a tumultuous summer with five of my closest friends. Living in Dallas, we live less than an hour away from The Southwest Vipassana Meditation Center in Kaufman, Texas, a modest cluster of buildings on 34 acres of agricultural land that draws would-be meditators from across the country. For the last two years I have witnessed community members who have come back from the course and raved of the benefits. It seemed like it was finally my turn.
Ever since grade school I have gravitated to leadership. Yep, I was that kid. The one who always got A’s, was quietly liked by most and ran for and got elected to Student Council President and Class President in the same year. I was 12. I still hadn’t menstruated. I wore big, horn-rimmed glasses and my hair was usually frizzy.
Being a leader began for me by watching my parents, especially my mother. During my years in Catholic grade school, Mom served as the head of our Brownie troop, the founder of our community prayer group, Founder and Editor of a newsletter on parenting and Director of the Adolescent Treatment Program at our family’s non-profit substance abuse treatment center in Richardson. It seemed to me that my mom could handle anything. I always saw her as a Superwoman. Continue reading…
I’d like to share something here about my grief process of late. Sunday, a very close friend of mine died in a car accident. No warning, nothing in her life indicated the end was near. A car hit her and she was gone.
You might think that Orgasmic Meditation – or OM for short – and grief have nothing to do with one another. But that’s not my experience.
When I read the news by text Monday afternoon, I immediately threw my phone down and crumpled to the floor. The news hit me, the way news like this hits. Like a stinging electric shock. Like my vision blurring. Like my skin prickling. As if it was coming unglued from my body.
My favorite line from The Princess Bride, my favorite childhood movie, begins like this.
“Surrender!” commands Prince Humperdink, as he and his henchmen surround a battered Westley and Buttercup as they limp out of the woods of the infamous Fire Swamp. With a poise that makes this scene immanently endearing, the bleeding, ragged Westley quips to the opponents who outnumber him, “You mean you wish to surrender to me? Very well, I accept”.