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.

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Why I Am Shaving My Head

More people than ever are experiencing alopecia. Hair loss from drugs, chemo, cancer, chronic illness, hormonal imbalance.

I am priveleged that my mane is  thick and healthy, an adaptable color and medium wave. I am very blessed, and I know that. I want to know some of how the other half lives.


It’s also a reclaiming for me.

Historically, and still in some parts of the world, to shave the head of a woman is one step removed from rape. It is a sign of humiliation and shame, a taking by force of something she values, stripping dignity. A man can do it in a fit of moral passion and still sleep at night. 

It was meant to brand the “wayward woman”, the rebel. The social outcast. The less-than. The UnWoman.

Come on, baby, light my fire…

I have talked to women who are in relationships where the other person will literally not allow them to cut their hair, or has such strong opinions about its beauty value and what the loss of it would be that the woman is too afraid to lose their appeal or worth in that person’s eyes.

I have been that woman.

I have hidden behind my hair, distracted myself with updating it when I couldnt or wouldnt change other things in my life that needed attention.

I have tried more products, styles, changes, and accessories than I care to count. A lot of them worked for me! I am priveleged with great hair, I can carry off a variety of styles and looks. Almost everything looks good on me.

I don’t know if it’s because of the amount of blessing or not, but for me my hair has been both a canvas of experimentation and a visible barometer of my internal journey. So if I feel my hair is not reflecting my state-of-soul, I get dissatisfied.

Until recently when I figured this out, I just thought I was a flighty and shallow, insecure bitch!! And so have a lot of hair stylists and probably my husband, LOL! 

Also…I’m kinda just done. Not even pixie-cut done, SHAVE done.

I have really thick hair. REALLY THICK. I get flaky scalp, oily sebum stuff that gets under my nails, and after the first day post shower it just ends up pulled back, out of the way. And then I get headaches and tender scalp because it’s so heavy.

My hair is in my way.

I am a mother of a toddler. Or should I say, tugger.

I want some freedom.

Also, I’d like to switch it up and spend more time with makeup when I go out because I KNOW what my hair is doing! 

This hair has been with me through some of the most stressful times of my life, to date. It and my cells are carrying the memory of that.

I can’t slough off all my old cells, though they will all be replaced within a year. Except for my hair… that I can chose to part with, now.

So many cultures have traditions of hair cutting. For grief, repentance, marriage, shame, new beginnings.

I ran across a quote on Pinterest, “A woman who changes her hair is about to change her life.”

And I am.

I want to finally get back to my art post-baby.

I want, for the first time in my LIFE, to join a gym.

I am finally in a new state for the first time, away from parents and friends and anyone who knows me or expects anything of it.

Yes, my husband (a cis hetero man) is complaining. I really do have awesome hair, and I know that. But, he also understands. He has shaved his head multiple times, and is encouraging me out the other side of his mouth to go for it and experience it. 

I have amazing eyes, flawless ears, good skin, a dramatic mouth, and (hopefully) enough chutzpah to carry this off. 🙂

Plus, he might do it with me!!

So, in a sacred (and slightly scared) act of female empowerment and hair activism, I will be learning to love myself for what is there without anything to hide behind or blame.

It will free me to shower more and care for my skin alone, decorate my face, explore core confidence, change my style and habits, embrace new routines and develop my body’s potential for beauty.

As it grows, I hope to have an entirely natural hair care routine, along with brushing and oiling and many fun cuts along the way!

I am excited to learn and love my hair from the roots upward. 🙂

Have you ever engaged in a drastic hairstyle change? How did it make you feel? What, if anything, did it change for you?

XO,

Sarah

Womb Words: My Matrix

To this day I have a complicated relationship with my lady bits.

In this life, they have taught me many lessons about love, care, surrender, safety, health, and discernment.

I’ve come to know and love their cycles and functions, admiring the beauty of my own and those of other feminines.


My vulva and pubic mound are squishy from weight loss. I wish they were a bit tighter so my slit wasnt so hidden. I’m a tease like that.

I happen to like that I’m cleft high and tight, no ribbons. Though puffy. 

My upper and lower mouths match.

I do wish my clit was bigger. Think it’s on holiday with the progesterone from breastfeeding.

I still energetically feel the stitched scar in my perineum from tearing birthing my daughter.

Also the impersonal detachment I still feel for my genitals as a whole from that experience.

I still have excellent bladder control, though.

I’ve been soooo close to finding my g-spot, but at the same time it doesn’t interest me much.

See, after a certain Buzzfeed review I talked to the hubbs about wanting a Womanizer. He is passionately in favor of my pleasure, so I got it.

MY GOD. 

O.O

I almost didnt leave the house for 3 days. Slight exaggeration, but not much. Ever had a vibe NOT overstimulate you?!

I’m fairly certain my vaginal canal is naturally a bit wide. My husband isn’t that small, but I still preferred the shampoo bottles of my teens and that “stuffed” feeling.
Then, oh joy, we get to my cervix, uterus, and ovaries.

These guys have made my life pretty interesting. They need a lot of love, healing, and affirmation.

I was told at 17 that I had some sexual and reproductive health issues that would need addressing. My mom, who probably didnt want to hear those words connected with me until I was 25, said it could wait. Upon moving out at 18 I couldn’t afford to go to the naturopath on my own or for years. And those issues caught up with me.

A period so severe I fainted, blacked out, and almost bled out when I was 19.

A miscarriage our first year married.

False pregnancy symptoms a year later, which turned out to be Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

Constant irregular periods, heavy cramping and bleeding, and thanks to PCOS, popping cysts. (A sharp cramp in your ovaries, so either side of your uterus, which is where they usually are.)

Another episode of mistaken pregnancy…

And, close to giving up and going to a doctor for IVF, pregnancy.

Snakebit to the toe at 8 months, two days after a move, my adrenals finished gasping out that they were done, thanks for nothing, so I was in bed with that and the foot until she was born.

Our homebirth ended up in the hospital, and because my daughter was in distress and so were we, I ended up on my back pushing her over the hill inside and tore from tail almost to teakettle.

With anovulation history and breastfeeding as my birth control, I ignored my spirit guides attempts to warn me that my body was healed and functional and to get a diaphragm.

That was the beginning of the end for me ignoring my body and my guides.
I knew I was ovulating that night we got frisky. I felt to put it off one night.

But parents of a toddler seldom listen to reason about sex, when they can get it at all.

For a month I was moody, increasingly tired, ill, no sex drive.

I had just ordered my diaphragm finally when I took a test on a whim.

My heart fell into my boots and beyond.

My intuition, body, and Spirit had all tried to spare me.

I had made a terrible mistake, and left my temple gates unguarded.

And the dear person who was answering Spirit’s call to finally incarnate had taken up my body’s invitation to begin weaving a home for itself.

I was going to have to disappoint that person.

Or was I?

All I knew for a long time inside my head was chaos.
You see, I was raised anti abortion. So was my husband.
Several months previous to this, I had run across an increasing number of blessed tumblr arguments and points that I had never been allowed to consider.

It took me from anti-abortion to pro-choice with reservations in about 3 days. I’m increasingly feeling that the right wing church as we know it has only survived because they terrified their followers into questioning and forbade them from using and understanding science.

One day, I brought it up to my husband.

First in the context of “in general”. As we talked that through and ultimately became pro-choice together, something moved me to ask about his feelings if it ever was our choice to make.

That was hard, at first.

But you know what was cool? That

his heart was already in line with the science and choice aspects, and the resistance was a house of cards he had grown up believing was necessary. 

That conversation and agreement was a month before.
I’ll be honest, I had a weeks’ worth of thoughts in the space of 5 minutes after I saw those two lines.

I’ll try to recount them.
I knew it.

How did I know? 

Wow I’m in tune.

But I ignored it.

My body is fixed! Yay!

My body betrayed me. AGAIN. Never the right fucking time, huh?

And we are about to move.

July 2017? Nova wouldn’t even be 2! I can’t do that to her.

Her? I can’t do that to MYSELF!

Oh my god. I would be on bedrest, I already almost am because of my adrenals! My body is not ready for birth again. I think it might actually kill me. 

Spirit told me to get a diaphragm. I didnt, am I being punished?

This is going to kill me.

Or at least my heart.

I’m going to become my mom.

I can’t do this!!!

Or could I? Two under two, get it all over with?

No, I had that dream. Nova was at least four years older than him, just like Tavin showed up as the 6 years older he would have been. And he will be an Otter. This is the wrong season to be pregnant.

This isn’t the child I still hold a picture of in my heart.

Ok, so who is it?

I feel no connection.

I don’t even feel pregnant beyond the symptoms.

I FELT, heard, knew, had dreams about Nova for years. I had time to get to know her before she even came, and I know I was meant to enjoy her and only her for several years.

So what does this mean? What do I do?
And, like a blanket being pulled up over me shivering in my sleep, my heart knew.

I was going to get to walk through something I had once judged.

I was being given the opportunity to see the positive side of abortion.

That was what I needed to do.
I won’t take you through the rest of my whirling mind, even I get lost in there sometimes.

There were doubts, mostly of the “Spirit, do you KNOW what I was taught all my life?! Do you know how hard this is for me?! Do you know what my church would do to me if they found out?!”

And part of me really wanted to chicken out.

To say, “Ignore those sinful and desperate parts, repent for your selfishness and do god’s will for women! This is your bed, lie in it and pay the price of your foolishness. You will be a mother, tied down and exhausted. That’s all there is, and you brought this on yourself. Look at the bright side! All your church will bless you and be excited, your mom too even though you’re moving. Maybe this will finally break that stubborn and highminded view of yourself. You know what to do. This clump of tissues has more rights than you do. Why? Becaus it is INNOCENT. It came when it was supposed to, and just wants to be loved. You dont let God love you. You dont let God guide you. You dont do what youre told when you’re told, and you have wasted so many opportunities and fucked up so much already! You ignored God’s advice to get birth control! Now, you pay. Forget your dreams, you are going to have this child and raise it, even if you die in the attempt or a little bit each day!”
Now… I know what you’re thinking. If this was a bar, my husband would have popped that summbitch in the nose about a quarter way through.

But we talk to ourselves like that, dont we?

And I realized… that wasn’t God talking. That wasn’t my beloved Spirit talking. 

That was my jailer. The Headmistress, I call her. In my TalkSpace therapy I finally met her in a writing exercise, and met her antidote- my inner goddess.
So I calmed down and took a deep breath or two, and asked God to tell me what to do.

What came was peace. Sober, sweet, convincing. 

I needed to have an abortion. I would be guided and blessed in everything, because while Spirit had tried to spare me there was also MUCH good to be added unto me by this experience.

And later, my husband did sock that summbitch in the mouth. He was at unexplainable peace as well about the abortion, and he silenced Headmistress with me.

I was bewildered, but thankful.

I dove into research. These studies covered so many topics and connected me to so many resources.

Woman Heal Thyself

Taking Charge of Your Fertility

Sister Zeus

naturalmiscarriage.org is still my favorite, I think.

Their global service of information for women in unsafe countries is a thing of great beauty.
I have to say, I tried everything I could.

The vitamin C emenagouge. The forbidden points of accupuncture. Massage of the womb, sex, spicy food, orgasm, heavy exercise.

Not a twinge.

My body was definately healthy.

And I prayed, a lot.

I had already been communicating with the spirit trying to incarnate before I even read on Natural Miscarriage that that was recommended.

I greeted it with Love, felt its hovering presence. I explained our family dynamics, our move, my daughter needing me, and my mistake to not guard my womb. 

I told it, gently but firmly, that while my body seemed available I was not yet available to be a mother again, and it needed to go. I told it I was going to have medical help to reset my period cycle, and its work to incarnate would cease. AND. I celebrated it’s attempt to join this crazy world. I thanked it for all the joy and Love it wanted to bring. And I told it about at least two women I knew who were desperate for babies would leap at the chance to bear it into existance. And released it to all women at this moment who would welcome a miracle child. 

I also made it clear that if it was a person I was destined to bear or know, I would happily welcome it back into my life at the proper time!!

I apologized to my own guides for not listening to them about the diaphragm, and thanked Spirit for the peace and comfort to walk where I must.

I genuinely felt the spirit understood me completely.

It neither blamed nor judged me, and even apologized a bit for its eagerness without checking that I was fully ready. Shyly, I was left with the impression it just thought I’d make a good mom.
This, to me, is honestly the most important step. It made the biggest difference in the process all the way through, for both me and my husband who did a modified version of the above. I cannot recommend this enough.

It is tragic that my mistake cost someone their chance of incarnating and the pain of abandoning their body. I never want to repeat that and hope there comes a day when safe birth control and family planning is so well taught and available that abortions stop alltogether. 

But I am grateful it was there, uncriminalized and safe, by a doctor with pain meds, rather bringing a child into the world that I was not ready to provide for, nurture, and love completely.
There’s more to the in-between, and maybe I’ll tell it one day.

But let’s return to Now.
My husband finally asked me the other day what it felt like. He had been curious this whole time, not in a sad or morbid way, but because he cares about everything I experience and is also wildly curious about the world. And he waited because he knew we would talk about it some day. We had a bit too much going on last month.
I had already told him about the beautiul people in the clinic who faced unimaginable energetic backlash from anti-abortion protestors to come to work each day yet be so sweet and kind.

I’d told him about the lady doctor who flew in from Portland each week to our southern town. 

I’d gone over the ultrasound and decison to have a printout, not running from the life there but honoring it and its part in mine.

So I told him about the pill that made me cramp, no harder than labor but a bit harder than the usual period.

I told him about the valium taking effect, and my first experience with a speculum (COLD). I told him about the serene feeling I was wrapped in that had nothing whatever to do with the drug, but rather the amazing deja vu I experienced the entire time. I had dreamed the whole operation long ago, without knowing what it was. All I knew from the dream was the light sparkled. I was laughing. I was ok and going to be even better.

And I told him about the curette, like a doctor scraping the top layer off a fresh scar. 

In short, I told him everything. Because that’s what we do.
And then he asked the most amazing question, the kind of question that makes me fired up to talk and explain. It reminds me why he is special, what I’m grateful for in him.

He asked what it felt like energetically and emotionally.

As previously mentioned, I felt that the Spirit and consciousness hovering for that being had departed in peace already. But there was a sensation of an energetic mass slipping away as the tissue was removed.

Much the same situation as when a highly intune person with female parts has a period. That energy draining.

I had already experienced the feeling of the cord cutting with that person long before the proceedure.
And, though I didn’t tell him then because I already have, I’ll tell you.

I felt LOVE. Unconditional, deep, wide, Divine, masculine and feminine balanced LOVE. That was the most connected to God-Consciousness I had been in a very long time. I learned some things, journaling as the pill dilated my cervix.

I am still learning them.

But I know because of it that Everything wants me to love myself.

I have a purpose, I deserve to heal and enjoy life, I am important and I am safe.

The Headmistress is weakening and The Goddess is rising.
Even now I’m not sure of the sum totality of my experience.

Was it right, was it wrong?

And I realize these are pointless questions.

It simply WAS.

Did I grow? Did I learn? Will I help another grow?

Those are all yeses.

So what I can say is this was a Yes experience.
I pray with all my heart, to Everything, that this blessed you to know.
Xo,

Sarah