My America

My America is mixed up.

And messed up.

For me, the two are very different things.


(Pic taken by me, of a sign that gripped my attention outside a market in Portland)

In my head, my heart, and my perception for most of my life, it is just mixed. Like a milkshake.

Whenever I see an ad, a TV show or movie, or a group of friends together, and there is a mix of genders, ethnicities, fashion, skin and hair, tastes, abilities… 

That is my America. It is what I have always seen this country to be, the gift it is to the world, though now I am painfully aware this is not the reality many face. 

I know now the horrors of too-recent Jim Crow, the appalling behavior of Trump supporters, the absymal lack of regard for indigenous peoples, and the deep pain faced by members of the SAGA (sexuality and gender awareness) community.

But as messed up as this all is, I believe our America WANTS to just be mixed. Colors and flavors and languages all stirred together and, complex as it is, harmonizing because of that very unity. America has a soul, IS a soul. Something like an ethereal Lady Liberty. And she’s so PROUD of every single one of her children for their very diversity!!

I grew up the youngest of five children.

My three older siblings were adopted, there was never any confusion or hiddenness about that in my family. And we celebrated their dates of adoption as much as their birth dates. My oldest sister is half Iranian. My oldest brother is a Caucasian presenting American mutt with French ancestry. My older sister is from Seoul, South Korea, and appears to have some African DNA.

My blood brother and I are the combined products of Irish and German immigrants and Luxembourgish immigrants. He is dark complected, I fair. He takes after our mother and her family, I our father. We look nothing alike for many years, and even got mistaken as dating. I couldn’t even depend on looks to prove I was related to someone, and that planted a very special seed deep in my heart about our human connection to one another.

I grew up eating bulgogi, hummus, and saffron chicken, hearing German shouted across the house for please and thank you, counting to 10 in 4-5 different languages, and knowing that, no matter our skin differences and parental origins, my sisters ARE my sisters. I grew up trying on saris, kimono, drindl, overalls, and peasant blouses. I grew up wishing I could be Lieutenant Ohoura and devestated when my imagination was shamed for not taking her skin color into account.

I guess I’m a unicorn.  Skin color was only important to me because I thought the varieties it could take were so very beautiful. I still do.

Ive been reminded lately to promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.

So rather than keep saying what’s so very very messed up in my America today, I want to weave with my words the way I see a MIXED America.

My America is the old fellow with silvery coils of hair and handsome cocoa skin, dressed up in his Army finest for the Veteran’s Day parade, marching step by step beside his husband. Because they could finally have that wedding they planned in Normandy.

My America is the punk rock princess with slanted eyes and scars from heart surgery, cooing over her best friend’s baby because she wont have any herself but still thinks they are cute. She already lost her mom to breast and uterine cancer, so she made her peace, thanked her gods, and had everything removed. Her album is getting released, tour dates set, and she couldn’t be happier.

My America is a lad turning lady, peppered with freckles, admiring his instep in the heels of his new dancing shoes. They are six inches tall, and that pole will be HIS tonight. Before he puts on his scrubs and works the night shift to clean up gunshot wounds. His physical completion to match outside with inside is one surgery that will just have to wait.

My America is the beautiful woman with bouncing curves and ginger curls, swinging her tap shoes over her shoulder as she walks into the lab to invent the next robotic arm.

My America is the soft spoken husband and wife from Arkansas who moved to Alaska in search of a logging job. They have a baby boy, and love football and coffee. The wife is blind.

My America is four kids, all girls, and no mother. She left. And Daddy’s ok. He brushes hair, ties shoes, cooks and cleans, and writes a blog for a living. Those girls aren’t missing out on any love or attention.

My America is not English. It’s smiles as you both stammer and gesture and pantomime and point. 

My America is not white. It’s a rainbow. For Everyone.

My America lives in wheelchairs and dreams in rocketships.

My America is new to Syrian children, old to the descendants of Plymouth Rock and Jamestown.

My America displays her hope for her children in the curve and swell of mountains, the dip of valleys, the rush of rivers, the climb of forests, the soar of sky and the space of plains.

My America is showing us the way.

If our America is from snowy gold Alaska to dusky Arizona, from misty Maine to Florida and Cali to Tennessee, if She is so diverse but UNIFIED, dont you think we should be?

This is my belief, my firm belief since infancy, a reality that is challenged every time I hear another attrocity or rudeness less perpetrated but perPETUATED in the name of American greatness.

I am a child of the 90’s. Diversity is in my blood. American Greatness is in the strength of individuals with nothing in common, coming together in such a place on earth as beautifully different as they are, and saying “We choose to have something in common! We choose to unify, and say we are all in this together! We choose to be Americans!”

That is my America. I pray for her, as she is martyred and misrepresented, her welcoming bosom barred and her children hating in the streets and courtrooms.

I offer these verses to soothe my country’s soul, to refresh her, to share with anyone who will listen that we CAN be great, TOGETHER.

THIS IS WHAT A PATRIOT LOOKS LIKE.

Self Love

I just saw something browsing Instagram.”Here’s to all the girls out there trying to love themselves in a world that’s constantly telling them not to.”

I thought I knew what all parts of the world did that to women, to anyone really, but suddenly I realized there was an element I was ignoring.


Years ago, I ran across Gala Darling and her passion for “Radical Self Love”.

A small, shy, starved part of me wistfully wished I could join. The larger arrogant part skimmed right over it as “all you could expect from someone who had no God to follow”.

Because that part, so bloated with self importance, was terrified. Terrified to love myself.
I have a theory. Please pay close attention, because by saying this I’m not saying it’s the ultimate truth or that it’s even necessarily true for everyone.

But because it is true for me, and because each person has at least 7 physical lookalikes in the world, I think it may be true for seven other women.

And if I can only reach those seven others, I will have done my part in this life.
Most modern Christianity has its roots in Catholicism, or was created by a person familiar with those teachings.

As much as denominations vary greatly, I believe there to be a zietgiest that permeates all of the modern organized church. The idolization of martyrdom and the hatred of Self as a path to holiness.

Like any cultural spirit, it does not affect everyone. And among those affected, not everyone takes it the same way.

I speak just now of the most extreme cases, more particularly of my own case. If you are not one of my seven, please don’t find it your burden to comment and sally forth to right my misconceptions. Ive tried, you see.

And I believe Ive finally found a path that opened me up to the Love and Happiness God and the Universe offer us with each breath. I’m so grateful.

This path is one difficult to define or describe.

The blanket sentiment of “spiritual but not religious” is being adopted by my generation of late.

I have no problem calling myself a witch. I’m flirting with the idea of calling myself Pagan. Though it’s hard, because of what this often means to the world and because through a divorce of culture I find it difficult to keep my “maiden name”, I can call myself a progressive Christian. I believe the shamanic worldview, the wisdoms of Buddha, the virtues of Native American spirituality. Most of all, I believe in science.

And the beauty is that none of these things are mutually exclusive, if you dont want them to be.

But the one thing I have not believed in is myself.
For the longest time I believed I didnt need to love myself. How could I? I knew what I was like.

I thought I had to find people who would love me.

In a way I knew God did, but I needed to see and feel it desperately.

Because I wasnt loving myself. And, I’m sure, ignoring the Divine invitation to do so.

I had somehow concocted the belief, “You don’t need to love yourself. That’s vain, selfish, self centered, and a wrongful use of your time. Let God love you, and Jesus, that’s his job.”

And oh my, didnt I have my work cut out to try and follow this sage advice… Which of course only led to more grief, since by starving my

capacity to recieve love from myself I shrank the whole works. There’s not two seperate tubes. Your love receptors work the same no matter who’s doing the loving.
There’s a memory I have, of playing on a red swing set we had growing up. It’s late afternoon, I think. I and some friends or possibly my brother are talking about our bodies being a temple of the Holy Spirit. I remember seeing in my mind’s eye sandstone walls, open sky, a river, a light, and a white dove with a purple gem flashing on its breast.

Perhaps that was a vision of the temple that I am for Spirit.

A temple is a fitting house, a dwelling.

Young me knew I was worthy.

Something changed.
It’s not just the ads saying to shrink this or cover that.

It’s not just movie star waists and tumblr fashion dreams that hold us back and make our hearts sick.

It’s in our churches, our homes, our hearts.

It’s a culture of not loving yourself.

A man called Yeshua said the entire second point of the Torah and prophets was to love our neighbor. In the same way that we love ourselves.

I had entirely skipped the first part to attend to the second.

What makes me think the second has any gas without the first?

Somehow, I can only guess through religious misinterpretation, parts of our culture have been so viciously twisted that we truly do not love ourselves anymore.

And this Self-Love Generation? They are working on reclaiming that for us.

If the official canon of scripture were not closed, I would be interested to see the progression and commentary on the words of Yeshua to the words of Abraham Hicks, Edgar Cayce, Hildebrand von Bingen, Jung, and others.

Whimsically, I say they came to tell the world what he meant just as he came to explain the meaning behind the Torah.

I feel I am ready to fling open the doors of my heart and say to the Universe, “I am ready.”

This full moon I KNOW.

I know what my purpose is. There may be many ways I go about it in the future but I’m ready to begin trying.

I have been a healer and shaman in past lives. I have those gifts again.

But in this life, I know I am meant for bigger fish. Many need healing, and I want to help. But I cannot heal the world one person at a time.

What I can do is teach many, to heal more.

And right now, an army of healers is being held captive under churches and Bibles throughout the world. I was one of them.

It may be as simple as believing with all your heart the antiquated Mr. Carson-of-Downton-Abbey opinion of a man named Paul whose foolish words in a personal letter have not permitted any woman to teach or ask questions. Or someone believing it for you.

Either way, that’s powerful.
Have you been afraid of Sanscrit? My mother was.

Ashamed that you liked dreamcatchers or fairies?

Kept silent when asking about all the murder, incest, and slavery in the Bible?
Have you felt all your life that being a daughter of Eve meant you were cursed and inheirantly wicked? I did.
I’m not a self-love teacher, not yet. I am a journeyer. And I can only share where I have so far been.

 

To the pure all things are pure.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God [in everything].

Come join me in the light. Come see Everything.
Xo,

Sarah