|So what do I mean by “bleached”?|
I mean that those months of overwork and overcommitment left me feeling empty. Like my well was dry, cracked, hopeless. Like the more colorful parts, the expressive parts, the inspired parts had lost all their juice.
I doubted anything I might have had to say. I’m sure you understand this feeling; it’s the gnawing feeling in your gut that the work you’re doing and difference you’re trying to make just don’t really matter.
I mean that I felt as though I could no longer share the “edgier” parts of myself. Who would want to know about them?
I forgot how many of my comrades are queer of sexuality, gender or both. I forgot how many of us are neurodivergent. I forgot how many of us play with kink. I forgot how many of us are fat. I forgot how many of us play Twister with different religious traditions. I forgot how many of us are polyromantic, polysexual, asexual, and other kinds of underrepresented, misunderstood, criticized, or just plain erased from this culture’s understanding of relationship.
In short, I got away from why so many of us are here together. I forgot why we need one another. I forgot why you need me and I need you and we need the community we create as a place of love and trust. I forgot that God calls each of us in our own story, our own specificity, our own history. Goddess has called me to be someone else. I’ve forgotten that–I forgot by accident, but I forgot it, nonetheless.
I’m sorry that I didn’t realize that taking time to rest when I have time built in to rest is part of my service, part of my ministry, part of what inspires and supports all of us.
I didn’t realize that pushing myself so hard, trying to fix things that weren’t mine to fix (see quotation above), and steadfastly refusing to replenish would have such consequences.
But it did.
So I… without kids, able to rest if I commit to it, having only one paying ministry, if inclined to overcommitment, am intending a couple of things.
- I intend to rest every day. There is time in my day to do it, and sometimes I squander that time by being on my blasted phone. I need to turn it off and sleep, or at least just rest myself. By resting myself, I hope to gain the spaciousness I need to be more open, inspired, and free.
- I intend to discuss more of the edgy, the more colorful parts of myself. The way I used to. The way people who read my blog (which is slowly coming back!) used to really love.
Yes, I’ll talk about my history, but also the ways my current life is configured. I look like a nice, settled, sane, lesbian lady moving out to a shishi neighborhood (how do you spell that?).
But I am not lesbian, I’m pansexual. I am sane, but it’s thanks to enough drugs that I’m ashamed to discuss it (not to mention years of therapy). I’m a very sensitive soul, as it were (cue Jewel music), and bullying and sexual assault have left their permanent marks. Monogamy hasn’t always come easily to me (This is not to say that everyone should be monogamous. I am functionally monogamous at the moment, however, and have been for years.). I am both a minister and a witch. I’m the fattest person I know.
All these identities invite growth, change, commitment, and love. And they’re also identities with stigma, oppression, and pain attached. Many of you share them.
And I’m white. I’m solidly middle-class, both socially and economically. And I’m well-educated–even though I didn’t get my undergraduate degree until I was 35, I come from a family of reading, talking, analyzing academics. I was a professional musician who had a full scholarship the first time I went to college.
These identities leave their marks too. And awareness of them invites growth, change, commitment, and love. Many of you hear those invitations too.
I’m trying to answer those invitations.
Will you answer them with me?
One of my friends said of me years ago, “She lives her life like it’s written in El Marko.” (Those giant, black markers; you know ‘em?) I want to speak my ministry in a new version of El Marko, or at least multi-colored Sharpie. And in those many colors, I hope to draw a life from which you can gain more sustenance, joy, and love. And, even more important, one that gives me nourishment, delight, and desire.
I love you.