Friday, June 17, 2011
JOY, SHEER JOY!
To thine own self be true = HAPPINESS
I am now and have always been a lesbian feminist activist since I came out in 1978. I am just now getting to do some of the things I have fervently desired since Day One. I am going to be representing Lesbian Connection at Knox PrideFest 2011. I cannot think of an organization I would rather represent. This publication has changed the lives of many lesbians by providing a concrete matrix for a national (and international) lesbian community.
I have worked at many LGBT-related gatherings. I have volunteered for many facets of the LGBT struggle for equality. I promise this little job will bring me more sheer joy than anything I have ever done. I owe these wimmin (sic) *something* for all the encouragement, validation, and vital information that they have made available free worldwide to lesbians since they first began publishing in 1975.
I received my ticket to the 2011 Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. I shook as I carefully cut the envelope open so that I can scan it for a possible scrapbook. I am just in absolute awe at the accommodations available to disabled persons at this event. I am really going to get to go see my Sisters and The Land. I am dumbstruck with joy.
I have been making clothing and bags to use at MichFest. I also have turned out a ceremonial belt, Croning dress for the ceremony on August 7th - some good Leo energy going on then. When I think about getting to go I lose all grounding whatsoever and just float around propelled with anticipation, wonderful anticipatory fantasy, and (you guessed it) JOY!
My heart is feelin' good today.
Monday, May 09, 2011
Starting to prepare for MichFest
I got up this morning, filled out the forms that I need to send to the Michigan Womyn's Music Festive (hereafter referred to as MichFest. I cannot remember ever being more joyous as when I called Walhalla and spoke with a womon named Terril. She was very patient with me. I told her that I had waited 33 years to come to MichFest, that when I checked their Web site to see if they could accommodate a visually impaired, hearing impaired, mobility impaired lesbian. I broke down when I saw all the wonderful supports that were in place to enable those of us who need them to attend. I felt a wave of memory wash over me. I was instantly back in 1979 in Montana helping distribute "The Amazon Spirit," a statewide monthly newsletter published by local lesbian feminists. I was down in Stone Mountain, Georgia, watching Melissa Etheridge perform onstage at RhythmFest in 1989, feeling tearful gratitude for Holly Near who works so hard to make the venues where she performs accessible. It's like a cocoon. The lesbian womonenergy is addictive. It is a place apart where my sisters care about each other and actively advocate for each other.
On Sunday, I bought the tallest air mattress that would fit my budget, a battery-powered inflation pump, and a bunch of D batteries. I also got an 8 X 10 tarp.
I was a bit anxious about how much energy it would take to do my two proposed workshops. To my delight, when I opened my MichFest folder I found detailed outlines for both of them. I did them a month or two ago, but formot all about doing them. The first one will be about sharing my experiences as a native Appalachian lesbian. How I try to keep the best parts of my culture while struggling mightily against the oppression of patriarchy that is the very matrix of Appalachian culture. I quilt. I crochet. I can. I make apple butter. I can. I can pass some good Appalachian culture down to my grandchildren without buying into the old boy Christian shoulder-patting submissive female role that engulfs many Appalachian straight women and lesbians as well.
The second one will be about the emotional roller coaster that occurs in many of our lives when our mothers die. I am an old hand at this one. My mother died in 1971. I was 19. The ogre to whom she was married called her into his private office, threw a red jacket over her head, and shot her six times. The pain is indescribable, but I have learned to live without her. I'm hoping that a group of wimmin will provide an opportunity to give and get support around this issue.
I'm ready tor some good womon energy, bonfires, rock and roll. sweet acoustic guitars, intensive intensives, sharing and meeting my sisters from all over the world. I cannot wait to get to The Land. I will put down my walking stick, kneel down on my one good knee and will lay a big one on the Holy Terra. This has been a long time coming.
Photo credit - Sam Bays
False Solomon's Seal in my front garden
Monday, February 14, 2011
Local mainstream news sources watch a different Madison
Focus on the Dems flight, not protests
After watching the live events in Madison, Wisconsin, on MSNBC with Ed Shultz I turned on my local news. When the Wisconsin story aired I was absolutely dumbfounded. The entire story focused on the Democratic legislators who have fled the state to prevent a quorum necessary for a vote on the bill that could end collective bargaining rights for state government employees.
I kept waiting for the fact that this workers' uprising is like none other in the history of the United States. These workers have stayed the course and will be joined in ever greater numbers by locals with a day off and others coming in one by one and by busloads.
Not one remark told of the tens of thousands who have stood fast in the cold Wisconsin weather to assert their right to health care, fair working conditions, a living wage and the collective bargaining process.
Looking at the 4-5,000 people assembled inside the capitol building was nothing short of jaw-dropping awe. The energy is infectious. Tomorrow they expect 40,000. No mention of
any of this was made in the four local news sources I checked after being clued in by the newscast.
I intend to watch any live broadcast I can manage because I am now aware that I have some major perception differences when compared to our local mainstream news sources.
Friday, February 04, 2011
Moving forward with MichFest plans
I've been in dreamland these days, thinking about MichFest and the pilgrimage I have wanted my entire life. These thoughts are interwoven with the crocheted cotton stitches of my evening wrap, the bead work on my "Pisces" shirt. I am allowing myself to breathe and know that I am dis/covering wisdom as I plod toward my Croning with great thought and reverence.
Knowing that I am embracing a journey that will entail many challenges only makes me want it more. I have fantasies of offering up one of my Max/ine Feldman purses for auction to help pay my expenses. More fantasies break through my consciousness, leading me to take gifts to randomly or not-so-randomly distribute to those who seem to need them along the way. I'm obsessing with having as many things as possible homemade - adding an amalgam of healer and weaver literally imbued to the very threads. I have been an healer, a weaver and grower-of-herbs for many years. Some say many lifetimes.
I have finished the Pisces shirt and am on to making my Africa skirt/caftan/not sure yet. The wrap is still ongoing, but it won' take long. It will soon be time to make my Croning dress.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
MY HOPES AND DREAMS HAVE INTERSECTED WITH THE HORIZON
I am MichFest bound, baby!
Why (you ask) is this woman blathering on about a festival that doesn't happen until August?
Because I have waited 33 years to go. I have dreamed of attending the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival
since I first heard about it in 1978. The stories I have heard from the womyn who have attended make my head swim with images of so many womyn singing, laughing, playing, emoting, eating, and just living together in a separate space that has be guarded steadfastly6 by their courageous staff for the last 35 years.
I seriously thought I would never be able to go. I have low vision and cannot drive. While the MichFest com board offers a section for those who need a ride, I am not comfortable riding with strangers. So, I gave up on my dream for all time.
I was speaking with Linda, a friend, when the subject of MichFest arose. Yeah, I admit it. I brought it up. I told her of my unadulterated jealousy regarding her annual treks to MichFest. She offered to let me go with her. I almost blacked out.
You see, she not only offered a ride. She also offered to "take care" of me, a phrase that did not offend me in the least. I have low vision. (For those not familiar with those terms, they simply mean I'm almost blind. I also have a severe hearing loss in both ears. Add to that my horrendous joint problems, and it becomes crystal clear just how generous her offer was.)
I've been on that Web site ever since our conversation - always an open tab on MichFest. I'm thrilled, exhilarated, ecstatic, full of joy and an unabashed gynophile!!