“Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.”

That’s Gloria Stienem.

Darlings, The government we’re under encourages and stirs up devisions between us all, and we become too blinded by our differences(real and imaginary) to see the transformation of an attempted Democracy into a fascist regime. This is not new or particulaly clever, the lies are just less covert,lazier,dumber.

There is no attempt made at faking honesty now. Satire is more honest than any a state of the Union Address,but that is usually the case.

This is not normal. Repeat with me, love. This is not normal. We are skipping towards fascism, and I’d encourage you to stop the thinking “if the dems can blah, armpit fart noise, things will change.” There’s no ‘Left” left. It is centrist garbage,and when people say otherwise, they’re labeled as divisive. The parties are nearly the same. Are we One country, undivisible, or snarling dogs that feast on the on scraps under tables and die crushed by medical debt, blaming the party we aren’t aligned with? Have we forgotten the power should be in our hands? Did we ever believe we had it? Black men are powerless before a system created to oppress them, women have only had any Real political power since the mid-60s IF THAT,and really, we’re still nearly voiceless. Our lives are in the hands of men who have only their own best interest at heart.

Jack weinberg said “never trust anyone over thirty” and Revolution belongs to the younger. Thirty used to mean a stable income, a care, a home, a family. Thirty is just as hungry as twenty, now. Revolution belongs to those who fight the past with fresh ideas. Generation Z, I’m with you. It’s you that can wrench this country from the hands of decrepit old white men. And we, the mellenians, we’ve read the books, tuned in and dropped out and taken tear gas for the right to choose, the right to occupy public spaces and fight for the rights of all genders. We missed our childhoods and the Crash left us underemployed and forever fighting the man, and now we are an army of men and women with backs like old women from hard work and no health care. We listened to the writings of the reformers before us, because we sought them out. We wrote now revolutionary texts. We have more responsibility to changing this country because we have the anger being a generation of Lost Boys, baristas with highest education,bartender and vigilantes, forever renting and crushed by debt and witnessing the death rattle of the American dream. We support you, the ones just now 16,18, younger. Rewrite the morals, rectify the nation. Run for office. Win. It’ll be rough, but metamorphosis always is.

I am the grandchild of immigrants who were rounded up like dogs by regimes the people supported. My blood boils and remembers things my mind can’t. The blood always knows. It bubbles inside you with generational rage that the ghosts of our mass-graved dead hear from across the ocean, or rumbles in forgotten mounds all across this united country built on the white bones of the original owners.

(Can a stolen country stand on bones so long before it crumbles)

This is the country my grandparents warned would come,and I will fight division and lies with vision and unity, education and planned protest,art and love,and when the need arise, I will fight the way the time calls for. Every act of love is defiance. Every kindness is a blow to fascist control. Sometimes, actual blows are what is needed. Wait for the time for that, however. Control is stronger than fervour. The Revolution can be digital. Organization is stronger than riots.

Satire is powerful, and mind expansion is a tool to mental freedom. Never let them tell you what to think,or how. There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception, belive that.

One nation, indivisible. Call whatever gods you want, that’s your choice. Mostly, hail yourself.

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everything is endless

I think I need to take you to highway 1. Come for the trees, stay for the living moments beween the leaves and the sunlight.  You’ve told me you don’t see the way that I do, but I do believe you can. You can smell me inside your hear,clear as if I were next to you, what else can you do you haven’t touched on yet?
I was unlocked by the wind whispering old words in trees, and I suspect your heart is in every wave in the ocean, and you can walk around this blue green rock and never be alone because of that connection.  I’ll take you to talk to the ocean. 

Then, Talk less, because I’ll take you to where I see “god”. I don’t believe the gods are ours, I don’t think they’re a power to “envoke”, but the endless voices of  now and then and never,emboidied in ways we’ll recognise: Enegy and spirits older that time showing up when they’re needed most.

Everywhere on this known earth has gods on every bit of land. I like to think each culture that came though our own new Colossus carried in charms and pots and lace the gods exiled with them in the name of “progress”.
(A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles)
Personally,  have a suspision a few made it out to this  Currently -united state’s golden side in 1959 en masse whisperin’in ears of burning blind, hysterical minds the thoughts we needed in the ryrthm of the times, Anthems and chants to start revolutions,  I suspect there were as many gods in black leather jackest and black Ray bans, aiding the Party of Self Defense againts the hate-twisted words of an old book made legislation by men with no mind to what god(s) really meant.
Whenever a prophet is murdered in his own country, A journalist marytered for reporting on human rights violations, there they are in the midst.
I suspect gods stood in tienemen square, suspect they burned with arms wrapped around monks who sent the odor of commitment and sacrifice to the sky.
God met me out there in the woods one time and I wonder if he hung around. He wasn’t a solid thing but raining light voice and he opened up all my eyes until I saw for endless days and only seconds.
Don’t figure They’re the kind of thing that stays in one place very long, or  stays one thing very long. The last time I saw Them, they were crossing the street and the middle of Santa Cruz, walking a pitbull. Another time, they were a little girl who know me from the last time she was a little girl. I didn’t know her at all. 
I do not know that there are gods, my darling. I do know my own belifes, my own life. I suspect there exixst more in the Spaces between that we have words for. 
 There is no hyperbole to what I am about to say.
I was possibly 12, angry, walkman,pants with a velvet dragon on them. I believed in nothing, maybe less.
I saw a man pass me  on my left. I look in his face and saw eyes like worlds on worlds, blue hollow worlds,and as he passes, I watched him walk away, and then he was gone.
Gods or no, there’s more that we can put names to.
 Find a new word for god. demystify the mysteries through communication.
listen to yourself.
I know nothing.
So do you.

Older names

In one of the beginnings of a world and time that may or may not be this one, something saw fit to assemble me, and I can only guess (given the nature of the universe) a few others with an odd collection of extra bones, memories not our own, and eyes that see beyond the world of most.

Someone poured the wind inside me instead of breath and give me a heart deeper than the sea, and broken as a shipwreck.

If woman was made from Adam’s ribs then I am no woman and am made from the backbone of some other-gendered thing. While I have no doubt I have a soul, I have a deep and enduring suspicion that half of it is wandering around without me like the shadow of Peter Pan, while pieces of other Souls leave their memories of screen doors and architecture and faces I’ve never seen, inside my head.

At night I dream of crows and strangers ask me the directions to a place they assume I know and I’ve dreamed the dreams enough to be afraid to ask myself why I have the answers and know the way.

There’s no guide book for explaining the sensation of feeling spread out across places and times. I’m beginning to wonder if there are no gods anymore because perhaps they spread their souls out among the people with no explanation. No matter what mythology you choose, the gods never think too carefully about the consequences, do they.

Whatever made me gave me a heart that is spread out across every city in every corner of the world, strung together by a silver cord I wrap around around around as I struggle to collect its pieces in alleyways and cityscapes and in the eyes of those who shine out fluorescent-like when everyone else’s seems to be lit by Edison bulbs.

When I was younger I used to say my head was too full, and a glow would start in my chest and explode through the top of my head and I swore that I would break apart, and often wished I would. I saw things at night that only children’s hearts know the real names for; old things that are the antique reason all humans fear the dark. Eventually I learned to pretend I didn’t see them.

When I was younger I knew I held the winds inside me, and maybe something else that made my mother believe the devil could be pulled out of me by men who likely slept at night never seeing anything but the back of their own eyelids. There is no devil so far as I can see,but In my experience, Pious men hold the devil inside them far more often than not.

At the age I am now (younger than my tongue, but older than my teeth) I believe in everything and nothing. I see and watch everything and pretend that I don’t. (I am not an oddity To be collected)

Maybe I stand with one foot in this world and part of the other somewhere else. I have few answers which is still more than I had and I will never run out of questions. I know this,

We are more than we have been told and less alone than we have been led to believe, and one doesn’t have to stare into the abyss in order for it to turn it’s gaze your way.

I am a broke-down temple with no gods to speak of, but I (like you) am infinite.

I must admit that I’m inclined to isolate

My back pain feels like the night sky made of nerves. Sharp pangs come out of the blue, with no rythm, no pattern. It’s traumatic, and I’m not being dramatic when I say im afraid of my own body after so many years of this .” Shark week” makes it so much worse, and today I’m shaking in my legs because of it. I compulsively tug my hair, because somewhere along the way I developed that fucked up coping mechanism. It’s better than tugging out my eyelashes, like I used to. Pain eats into you, wraps you up in ribbons of anxiety that’ll trap you in your head. I do not enjoy hiding behind my anxiety or using it as an excuse. It’s an unwelcomed aspect of myself that I’ll do almost anything to hide. I’ve got what a former boss referred to as “resting nervous face”. My best friend lives 45 minutes away from me. I drive down to see him about once a week, where he will make me a large glass of a disgusting tea that in about 30 minutes neutralizes any pain I have for about 2 hours. We don’t talk about what it feels like because we both know, and no one has to pretend they’re fine when they’re really not.

At its worst, I’ll sit almost immobilized, thinking jagged thoughts, staring into the middle distance. The anxiety I have with this pain tells me lies about my friendships, triggers my natural tendency to not share anything beyond the epidermis of my being and uncontrolled, it’ll spiral into self-loathing, remembrances of mistakes I’ve made, things I may have messed up, and I’ll take fault for things that aren’t mine to take Fault for.

I used to delete all my socials, stop returning texts. In person, I’d become sharp, turse, abrasive. That still happens, but I have to have it pointed out to me which I both hate and need.

I married a man who is incredibly brilliant, very logical,and very kind. He’ll do almost anything to help me find what I need to help myself not be in this kind of pain, but he doesn’t understand that so many of the negative things he dislikes about me stem from just years of coping without pain management or actual relief. I am filled with regret that he received a twisted version of me and lately, I’m struggling to feel good enough. I’m struggling to feel like I’m good enough to make up for my past mistakes. I am struggling to get through this post because I hate talking about this. I’ve developed some unusual coping mechanisms for dealing with my pain. I can visualize it at my own body. I can compress it, and try to move it to a place deeper inside myself that’s harder to reach.

I haven’t been comfortable in 12 years. It’s impossible to be prescribed medication at my age because everyone is afraid of the addictive properties of medications that actually work effectively. I don’t fucking care if the medication is a Band-Aid. Sometimes you need a fucking Band-Aid.

Do you understand what happens when you don’t treat people with chronic pain? You end up with dead people.

Do you understand how hard it is to be listened to as a woman with pain? It took me 10 years before someone actually did an MRI of my back. I have to permanently atrophied spots on my back from an idiot Doctor who decided to treat me for fibromyalgia instead of fucking listening to me. Everyday that this is beyond my control, I become furious and then I hide it, because no one wants to see an angry woman. Not everyday is like this. I love my life and I love the people in it. But underneath everything that you see is an explosion in a collection of tattooed and fragile bones.

The perks of being.

If you’re about my age, (which is around thirty) there’s a heavy chance The Perks of being a Wallflower smacked you hard right in your baby teen heart. There’s a line on page two or(I think, maybe totally wrong )three that says …

“So this is my life. I want you to know that I am both happy and sad at the same time and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

It’s taken me years, but I think I’ve begun to stop trying to dissect the fact that I’m both profoundly sad and lonely and happy all at once. My heart is home to an ever-expanding universe of love and compassion. I don’t know where all the love I hold originated.

Did I manifest this on my own because I am trying to make my world worth living in, or is it synapses firing without regard to their actual jobs in my brain, changing my thought process? Is it a lie I’m being told by my own brain?

I’ve holed up inside my head so long, digging myself apart and desperate to understand my brain. I pour dozens of scholarly articles and research papers into into it, week after week. I when I was younger, I consumed Timothy Leary, I read Aldous Huxley . I expand my mind and walk down rabbit holes of wonder. I’ve seen shrinks, been through CBT(it’s a wonder) and I’ve gone to see people who claim to be able to see into the universe.I can see myself as an old person, seeking until the end forever.

The ability to love the world profoundly is my superpower, and has likely saved my life . That huge love I have for the world enables me to escape and (sometimes) over-ride that shitty, symbiotic blackness of profound sadness and physical pain of heartbreak I feel daily with no logical reason. I made a personal choice in my very early twenties to not become a part of that blackness that runs though my being; to not let it consume me, but I fight back against it every day. Sometimes, I fight it even to get out of bed or the house or to speak to anyone but my spouse and the one other person I know who gets what this is like, living with that blackness.

Because I know I love the way I do, because I know how deep my sadness runs, I love everyone on the surface, from cat on the street to the lady who owns Veros in Sj. On the other hand, I only allow myself to people I can trust, and despite years of trying to de-program myself, those people are very few.

I don’t know why I’m writing about this right now when I feel like I should be writing about politics, but I don’t want to spend that mental energy when there’s a riot going on inside me. I’ll do that later, when I feel like I’ve composed my opinions solidly, and I don’t sound like some of the rage I’m feeling about the current state of my own country and the world.

I don’t think Americans are very good about talking about love. I think we’re very good at talking about sex and thinking we’re very good at talking about our feelings. But people from the generation underneath us, they’re starting to talk about love in a healthier way, and I personally believe that love and physical touch can be completely separate from sex and I hate the way our culture has mushed them together. Hug someone out there today. Tell someone you don’t fuck you love them. Hug someone.

please.

So this is my life. I want you to know that I am both happy and sad at the same time and…

for now I just know I’m being

Militant dandelion

I’m standing at the top of Bishop’s Peak, eating a mango like an apple. My backpack is painted in dust with a suggestion pasted to it suggesting correctly that (for me) ‘death can wait’. I am crusted in dirt and a sunscreen resemblent of a thick, white paste not unlike like Elmer’s Glue. I’m basically in my underwear, drinking a tepid combination of water and sugar free monster from a canteen covered with stickers bearing slogans about feminist topics and one or two from the Airfield Supply Company, Twitter, and various breweries. I look like freckled, happy Delores Park Trash. The beautiful blonde Cal Poly kids that started the same time as me, just reached the summit and look like death, with their collapsed and sunburned little shoulders.

I feel great. I could keep going, like a small, disheveled mountain sprite .

~~~~~~~Later

I made it down.

On the descent, the rocks were too hot to touch and the dirt radiated heat back up at me, like an asshole. An asshole complicit with the sun.

I need food.

Bishop’s Peak, you’re a beautiful thing.

Cymbalta: a terrible party for your brain. Also, cat litter.

A few months back, a doctor placed me on Cymbalta as part of a course intended to help alleviate some of the nerve and back pain, because I am not living my best life with this ish.

This is the previously mentioned doctor of the rather pretty Russian accent who told me I had fibromyalgia. I very likely do not have fibromyalgia, but do have severe spinal issues.

So of course the Cymbalta worked wonderfully and a great impact on my mental well-being. Right?

Well fuck no, it didn’t work for anything barring me flatulating so so so so much that I had to run all over the place at work in order to not just have a giant stink Cloud around me. (That is the least favourable Cloud to have surrounding you when bartending, BTW.) It also interacts SO BADLY with alcohol. So. Bad.

Ive spent 2 months tapering off of Cymbalta, first going from 60 down to 30, then staying on 30 and coming off. The withdrawal. From this medication is absolutely nightmarish:

here’s a fact-checked article about some of the side effects, many of which I am experiencing.

Just, For the Love of fuck, if your doctor suggests Cymbalta for whatever reason, Especially if she suggests flippantly, then insists that it will definitely work off-label for some unrelated shit, run like fuck You Beautiful bitch because this is garbage.

Speaking of garbage:

My little tabby, Hermes, just walked up my back as I write this from a somewhat tortured version of child’s pose. I now have blue bits kitty litter gently sprinkled on my back. Litter boxes are garbage. There has to be a more effective way of not constantly having your house covered and a thin layer of crystals that may have cat piss on them. Someone desperately needs to invent a better litter box.

I’ve not been very good at writing anything at all lately. My brain isn’t working at top speed, and I honestly have a lot of stuff to do. That last line is a frequently used excuse for not writing. If you want to write, you’re going to write. I just have to get better at making myself, and somehow finding a way to do it whilst Cymbalta withdrawal throws a terrible terrible party in my brain.

Tonight I’m headed over to dinner at a friend’s house with my husband, and in the morning on Saturday, I’m driving to San Luis Obispo to hike and experience an actual Beach.

” Well, doesn’t the San Francisco Bay Area have beaches?”Is something I imagine you asking…

Why yes, yes we do if you enjoy cold, somewhat rock-bedazzled beaches that are mostly for bonfires and walking dogs. San Francisco bay area beaches are pretty similar 2 East Coast beaches: Rocky, full of dogs(bonus) and really great for sitting, staring and pouting. Not so great for being half-naked and playing volleyball, which is the kind of beach that I like to interact with.

So. San Luis Obispo, because I want to be around warm nature, and also because I want to be alone and write a tonne of words that I’ll probably delete.

All right. I have to pack. I love you, and remember:

Dissent is patriotic, organization is key to proper Revolution, and for fucksake, don’t climb the Statue of Liberty, that does literally nothing.

Peace.

There are two instances where I believe it’s totally acceptable to create or experience your own reality: one is your spiritual life, and the other is anytime you’re under the influence of hallucinogenic *medicines.

At all other points in time, Reality is the truth. Truth is based on facts.

We’re living in a world of our own creation, where facts are being twisted it is something utterly ridiculous, and a lot of times, I think we just go along believing them because we like the rhetoric. This is bullshit, friends.

Get the facts. Know them, remember the truth and hold the truth inside your soul.

Y’know.. Don’t believe the hype, to quote Public Enemy.

Right now the American government is attempting to create its own reality. It’s attempting to dictate the news. There’s a laundry list of things happening right now, and I’m not going to go into them, because that’s not my point right now.

We must continue to live in reality.

Fact-check.

Be rational.

Act with our hearts open and our eyes clear.

I personally believe it’s my job to be the candle burning in the window and the light in a dark place. I’m still figuring out what that means in the middle of all this mess.

I love you, whoever you are, Wherever You Are.

Happy solstice. Remember to turn your face to the sun like a flower perhaps literally, but definitely figuratively.

* you’re not going to catch me referring to psychedelics or marijuana as drugs at any point in this blog.

I see a lot of legs shaved only to the point at which clothes usually begin or end from my vantage point here on the floor. Smooth ankles that end right at a French-cropped Jean that end on the lower half of calves, fuzzy backs of thighs. I’m propped up against one of those trash can that’s split into two Parts because we ran out of chairs and mostly out of floor space at gate 12b of Charles De Gaulle Airport. A number of women are sleeping on the floor, propped up on piles of bags. From the amount of people and agitation in here, you’d think we’d been here several days, not several hours. People have formed sub-groups.

There’s folks with kids, suburban #winemom types, schoolteacher types . Hermes bags and Italian men in another grouping with plastic-surgery grandmas. Another group seems to be students around 19, who’ve just finished a life-changing trip for the first time. Another stand out are People Probably In Bands. I ended up there because I have M&Ms and I share. Likely also because of tattoos featuring Greenery. Feral children roam the burgundy-carpeted wasteland.

My ass is asleep and A’s gonna be in Stockholm before I’m even on the plane. I’ve realized I missed a ring of hair surrounding one anklebone. Oh well. I’m in good company.

Gambrinus

img_20180530_1927241

Sitting on a park bench in front of Gambrinus, a little blonde boy tosses a tiny Yorkie in my direction and in doing so pulls my eyes away from a little bird , presumably shitting in the grass. The little boy seems to have done so in an effort to get a bit of attention and a laugh out of me. He gets both.

I’ve been all over the city centre of Pilzen the past few days, and I’ve just consumed my first vegan meal since being here: I’m a , but I lean heavily vegan. A dearth of vegetables is hard on my ethical sensibilities as well as my digestive system. The food servings here are large, even by American Standards, the food all lovely and warm and mostly meat and potatoes, artfully arranged.

We’ll be here until Friday morning’s check out, then headed to Prague. I’d love to sit and write more about the general experience and I will, but right now I’m watching.

I learn more from sitting around in squares and observing and walking around watching people than I do from most other things, and this has been genuinely fantastic observation.

If you’re interested in photos of random travel things, follow me on Insta @blacksquirrelwytch

Ciao