What's in the gallery?

We dissolve stuck and rewrite patterns. We apply radical playfulness to life (when we feel like it!), embarking on internal adventures (credo of Safety First). We have a fake band called Solved By Cake. We build invisible sanctuaries, invent words and worlds, breathe awe and wonder.

We are not impressed by monsters. Except when we are. We explore the connections between internal territories and surrounding environment to learn what marvelously supportive delicious space feels like, and how to take exquisite care of ourselves. We transform things.* We glow wild.**

* For example: Desire, fear, worry, pain-and-trauma, boundaries, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity.

** Fair warning: Self-fluency has been known to lead to extremely subversive behavior, including treasuring yourself unconditionally, unapologetically taking up space, experiencing outrageously improbable levels of self-acceptance, and general rejoicing in aliveness.

 

Some things I want to say with love and with fire

So many / how many

There are so many things I want to say here, too many,
so many that I can’t possibly say them or name them,
but: is this true?

What if we made an opening in time
a space in which to whisper and shout,
to name whatever wishes wish be named, for thirty three minutes,
with no guidelines and no expectations, other than
BE HERE (to the best of my ability)
BREATHE (to the best of my ability)
SPEAK TRUTH (to the best of my ability)
and, always, SAFETY FIRST, how can I make myself
as comfortable as possible
within the discomfort of
these other brave and quiet things,
what do I long to talk about and share words
(with you)

Some of the many things I want to write about!

  • setting even more things on fire
  • what I received from four years as someone who [seeks shelter from the world inside of non-verbal space]
  • the most essential concepts from this body of work, the legacy of our past twelve years here
  • my intense desire to dismantle the entire culture of expertise, let us be completely done with making anyone a guru of anything, burn it all to the ground, let us all learn how to approach each other as equals, cultivating the ability to access, hear, and value our own internal wisdom, learning what we wish to from others without ever needing to elevate them onto pedestals or knock them down, let’s undo the cultural idea that someone else has our answers, that someone else needs to be the guide
  • I want to write about FLALALEELALOOLA which was secret code shorthand at my retreat center, and everyone knew what it meant which was, “I have so much love for you, and this question you are asking me is not actually mine to answer so this is me returning it to you with love and warmth”
  • I want to write about Panthers and Serendipity and Slow Emerging, things that are luscious and unexpected and return me to presence and wildness
  • naming words/concepts/metaphors which need to disappear forever from our collective state of mind, and letting new names and new forms come in
  • wild self-treasuring and what it means to trust in timing — because when it is not the time for something, it is okay that it is still not the time for that thing
  • returning to the water / returning everything to the water

Connection

Connection is about grounded presence and powerful boundaries,
just like writing and breathing and truth

Connection is vulnerable and beautiful and always new,
just like writing and breathing and truth

I knew this from dance, but I received it from
a long circuitous voyage into my own quietest places

Connection with other people asks of us to connect first
to ourselves, our bodies, our grounded presence, our clear intention,
this is how we show up as equals,
ready to play

Here is the short version of what I believe

No experts are required, and in fact expertise itself is bullshit
because the work (and play!) of self-fluency
is about how we listen to ourselves and discern, over time,
through paying attention and experimenting,
learning to trust what we already know,
becoming experts in our own internal worlds, in the art and science of
taking exquisite care of ourselves
in the ways that are most right for us in that moment
(because People Vary)

And slowly over time we also get better at feeling
what we need and want, as well as
who-and-how we are in the world,
meeting all of that with as much love and
compassionate understanding
as we can muster
in a given moment

Back to the fire

Let the fire consume the entire culture of expertise,
of advice and five steps and eight tips and
“once I was just like you” and all
the ongoing rigged game propaganda
that continuously encourages us turn to external sources
so that they may reveal the answers

When in fact someone else can only ever model or describe
their own path to their answers,
or an approach which currently works for them

And their answers do not have to be our answers,
at most someone else’s beautiful learning holds
clues and inspiration for us
and this is lovely and more than enough

As equals

Let us dismantle the entire culture of
[there are these people out there who have the answers],
and invent a new world together in which
it is so very clear that we are all equals
in this ongoing process of life, each of us figuring out
our own [right way for right now],
sharing ideas, concepts, experiments, techniques, discoveries, methodology,
but without grasping for something we think is outside of us,
and without giving anyone else our power
through imagining that they might be the ones
who have our answers

That mentality doesn’t exist of course in the culture of my business or
my life, but right now I want to burn it down in the outside world as well,
the time has come

Looking out to look back in

Right now I am thinking about
what I want to write and create
and also what do I want to make that is
of most use — and joy! — to you guys,
something to support people in
playing with ideas and concepts without me,
delving into their own process and their own practice of self-fluency

And maybe I’ll just turn this into a survey and ask you
which of the following possible things that either exist or will exist soon
feel most yes for you
with the understanding that of course I will
still end up going with whatever feels right for me
(because this question may be directed towards you
but of course really it is for me)
(Flalaleelaloola, again, always!)

the point though is that you are absolutely welcome and invited to
let me know in the comments if you feel enthused about any of these!

The list

  1. The Collected Posts. Sixteen of my very favorite pieces of writing published here over the past years. They’ve been carefully edited and in some cases expanded upon, and are now an exceptionally beautiful ebook, with blank pages in between for taking notes or skipping stones or if you want to do your own writing and processing, because of course writing belongs to all of us.
  2. The Book Of [Not-Advice] for Writing, aka so yes okay, this one still needs a title but as we already know, I DO NOT BELIEVE IN ADVICE-GIVING SO THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT ADVICE, and also I HAVE NO INTEREST IN PERCEIVED EXPERTISE SO THIS IS NOT THAT EITHER, but more like, The Way I Think About The Process Of Writing Which Is Not The Way Anyone Else Needs To Think About Writing But Could Be Useful Or Inspiring Or Intriguing For People To Read About Without Thinking That The Way I Do Needs To Be The Way Because It Doesn’t. Or hey here is the approach I use with myself when I am writing things that want to be written, or here are wise things I know that that I would offer with love to past-me, or these are the reminders that wise-me gives hesitant-me when I am all in knots about writing. This one has not yet been written but I have a giant notebook full notes and so much to say about this, and the conscious self-fluent approach which is my legacy.
  3. The Book of Salves, aka A Soothing of Salves. Those of you who have been around for a while remember that we used to invent a salve here each week, and these were extremely magical and reading them made everything better. I have curated a collection of my very favorites and rewritten them.
  4. The Book of Superpowers is the same thing but for superpowers, this one need some editing but are close to being ready to come into the world.
I may also at some point go back to offering sessions with a Havi, aka Secret Agent Rendezvous aka Not Coaching but sovereign collaboration among equals, for people who already know I don’t have their answers and don’t need me to have their answers and are ready to show up as equals to play together and be magic. I can also create a self-guided DIY training manual that people can use to develop/hone the skill sets needed to either do the above, or *skip* the above, and then I am not needed at all, which is a marvelous thing, and in fact Not Being Needed is not only what I want, it has been the whole point of this work from the very beginning in 2005.

Other wishes on my mind

Some wishes and intentions as I feel into the transition from this month of Serendipity into whatever comes next…

TFB (Total Fucking Badass), EMBODIED
SURPRISINGLY EASE-FILLED SOLUTIONS: I OPEN MY EYES AND THERE THEY ARE!
I AM MY WILD SELF / TRUE TO MY WILD HEART
YES I AM FIERY SO WATCH OUT WORLD
I TAKE CARE OF MYSELF FIRST (AND HONOR MY YES)
NOTHING LIKE A GOOD MYSTERY!
STRIDING TOWARDS FREEDOM & SUSTAINABILITY
LIBERATION & DELIBERATION
FIERCE & FEARLESS
POWERFUL, STRIKING, CROWN ON, REGAL AF
YES I AM A PANTHER
PART THE SEAS FOR MY MAGNIFICENCE
MY FORCE FIELD IS A WONDER aka
{{{{{PRESENCE}}}}}}

Superpowers

And I call on the superpower of My Superpower Is Healing,
which is an excellent double-triple meaning.

Healing things is my superpower,
but/and/also: my superpower, whatever it may be,
is in the process of healing and becoming whole and revealing itself to me,
and also my superpower IS A HEALING for me, just by existing.

Current Secret Ops (of Wilding and Rewilding)

To be renamed at some future point….

  • Panther Integration
  • Goodbye To Ninety Percent Of The Things
  • Acquire Motorcycle License?
  • Dissolve The Ink
  • Pay The Thing
  • Climb A Pole
  • What Does The Basement Need
  • Run Away To South Dakota But Not Really
  • But Really Mexico
  • Replace A Ninja
  • Retreaaaaaaaaat!
  • Not Your Typical Bond Girl After All
  • Smash The Patriarchy And Set Things On Fire

Invocation

May we all have the superpowers we need,
in the moment we need them,
or something even better,
and may we all find it easier to
notice what helps us take better care of ourselves and what doesn’t
as we go through this complicated thing of being alive
in these especially challenging times,
and I wish my wishes with love,
knowing-and-trusting that
the process of wishing wishes is a way we can
come together and glow love towards each other
and delight in everyone’s beautiful wishes!

Invitation: come play with me…

You are invited to share this post and to share many !!!!!! about what is here,

Or share appreciation or anything sparked for you while reading…

You can also share how things have been going, check in, or deposit wishes, gwishes, superpowers, qualities, ingredients, possibly in code. And yes, you are welcome to share excitement about any of these possible products which might be coming out soon, and if any in particular speak to you, let me know!

Safe space for creative exploration asks us to let go of care-taking and advice-giving.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We lovingly refrain from giving advice.

And of course it’s always okay to comment under a made-up name, whether for play and delight, or in the interest of Safety First.

Wishes and checking-in are never late because whenever you wish is the right time for wishing.

We remember that people vary and my process doesn’t have to be yours, and this is a good thing.

Here’s how we meet each other: with great kindness and appreciation and awe, whispering (and sometimes shouting) oh, wow what beautiful wishes!

Add Serendipity.

Door of Serendipity

April.

I left Utah for California the morning of April 1st,
driving from St George to Los Angeles,
thank you, month of Serendipity.

Though of course when past-me named this month,
she did not know it would coincide perfectly with
a two week unplanned road trip,
but hey, she still knew just what I need to be able to do this;
a sense of adventure combined with the reminder that the unexpected and unanticipated
can also feel playful and even auspicious,
the unknown is just the as-yet-undiscovered….

(and this new thing need not be as uncomfortable as I fear)
(no, it is just new)
(to me)
(I can not know what is next)
(and still be okay)
(I am okay)

These are the questions.

  • What do I know about Serendipity?
  • What is the purpose of Operation TFB? [TFB = Total Fucking Badass]
  • What is, has been, or can be Beautifully Simple and Beautifully Supported?
  • What about some Good Surprises?
  • And: what needs to burn?

What do I know about Serendipity?

To be able to experience the unexpected/unanticipated
as a form of adventure and play,
this is FREEDOM,
and I like this perspective when I remember it….

ah yes, I am being redirected,
and approaching all this with lightness is also an option,
and sure, okay, none of this is even close to
what I thought I’d be doing at forty, or at all,
but oh look at all this newness
look at what is open and possible

Operation TFB.

I have been a wanderer for three hundred and fifty days now,
the time has come to make my way slowly back up the coast,
(where I will still be wandering, but in a new location),
because I will be learning what it means to be a Total Fucking Badass,
how to live and embody this in entirely new forms.

What were you doing in Utah, my friend wants to know,
and I don’t really have much of an answer but it includes:
+ motorcycle trips
+ shooting guns in the desert
+ punching things
+ pole dancing
+ writing
+ getting in fights with racists
+ setting things on fire

My friend points out that maybe I don’t need a secret op to consider myself a TFB,
because I might already be one….

With lightness.

This honestly had not even occurred to me,
but now I am thinking that
Operation Total Fucking Badass might be for
feeling what I already know, feeling who I already am,
embodying all this with even more fierceness
but also with greater lightness,
and without needing to qualify, defend, explain,
without need anyone else to understand.

I want to admire my own fire,
admire my own light,
cherish myself in each moment, each shape, each spark,
find myself magnificent,
even when tired and cranky and unsure,
I am an instrument of love and my superpower is
healing myself through remembering,
with lightness.

Beautifully.

Beautifully Simple has been my guiding principle for this trip,
is it beautifully simple? If not, let’s skip it.

Beautifully Supported was the superpower last April (month of Roots)
and Beautiful Surprises is the superpower of this April (month of Serendipity)

What is simple, surprising, supported and supportive?
What can be not only this way but beautifully this way?

Plans vs Not-Plans.

When I first embarked, I was way too caught up in logistics,
until Incoming Me said
hey listen up YOU DO NOT NEED A PLAN, plans are bullshit,
just follow the Next Indicated Step and see what feels yes after that.

This helped me exit logistics-mind, though yeah, it also
immediately became apparent that
while I may not need a plan per se,
I do need Really Clear Boundaries and good guiding principles,
it is up to me to be more aware of what I require to be functional,
and take steps to make sure those needs are met before everything falls apart.

And I need to prioritize [Rest & Replenish] above all else
because otherwise I will be too much of a mess
to feel what is yes or next, to understand
when I am being redirected to something new.

Realizations from the month of Serendipity.

Once I stopped fighting all the many things that were no,
and began to place my own state of quiet above all else,
road trip life became one ridiculously serendipitous experience after another.

Choosing a good breakfast over writing about Serendipity led me to a sweet cafe
where I sat outside and met another Portlander-in-exile,
we solved all the problems over a truly spectacular meal,
she told me about living in a sailboat, and a tiny room
above a bar in South Dakota,
we talked about tango and quilting and bunny therapy
(a thing that should exist if it doesn’t already)
and suddenly I felt re-inspired about my adventurous life on the road,
no longer sad and wistful and uprooted.

The sun came out and warmed us, I removed a layer and then another,
hanging my sweatshirt over the chair, she saw its labyrinth print and
clapped her hands and we shared
our GREAT EXCITEMENT AND JOY ABOUT LABYRINTHS
— there are people who feel wild intense passion about labyrinths
and then there is everyone else, and I wish to meet more people in the first category please
and this moment of joy with a stranger sent me off on a Labyrinth Pilgrimage up the coast,
visiting three labyrinths in one day…

Labyrinths.

The labyrinths told me about Freedom and Liberation,
Liberation and Deliberation,
Refining and Redefining.

The labryinths themselves are about liberation,
because they make you let go of story,
and they cannot be hurried,
our culture may value the shortest distance between two points
(walk that straight straight line)
but labyrinths are about serendipity, meandering and process,
you have to move away to move towards.

The labyrinth told me that I miss out on Magnificence
through hurrying and trying to do too much,
what about Do Less and Choose Ease,
what about fewer projects and less everything, and then you will see
how magnificent you are and what is possible in the world and your world.

You are a jewel, this is what the labyrinth said,
and you need a better setting,
you are a jewel and you glow,
your spine is made of jewels,
your pelvis a crown of jewels,
so give yourself light and quiet and water and love,
give yourself a new setting for optimal glow.

Magnificence.

The labyrinths brought me to Operation Magnificence which immediately turned into
Operation Enhanced Magnificence Awareness,
because of course I am already magnificent beyond measure,
I just forget, and walking a labyrinth is a good way to remember:

Everything holds magnificence if I pause to notice, the stones and the trees and
even the noise of the city that is no for me,
how magnificent it all is.

I pushed a door whose sign said pull, I was so tired,
how magnificent that I went with the feel of the door over the sign,
I exchanged waves and secret smiles with a toddler, sharing {Magnificence!}
in the form of Aliveness and Delight.

I felt achingly sad about the faraway cowboy and being forgotten, but Wild Me,
Wild Me of Boundaries and Fiery and Better Settings,
she said, oh honey YOU are magnificent,
cultivate your own magnificence and act like you are GLOW POWER CENTRAL
because you are
and let go of all forms of unappreciated,
go be a jewel
go-be-now.

Water.

The labyrinths told me that I need to be in the water, and
yoga told me that I am a BODY OF WATER.

I am a body of water! Know what my body type is? Body of water!

If I am a body of water, and many things are waves
— sound, breath, emotion —
then of course my internal waters rage when I am
trying to write in the company of eardrum-blasting leaf blowers and hedge trimmers.

If I am a body of water, I can take better care of myself with
boundaries, baths, salt, the practice of RGW (Replenishing Glass of Water!),
and of course being more conscious about what I put in my waters.

I want to tend to my waves, my beautiful cursive calligraphy waves and spirals,
waves of heart love, waves of shape and movement in my body and in dance,
the winding and unwinding of the labyrinth, the roundness of sound,
suspended in hammocks, soaking in hot pools,
breathing love
back in the water.

Back to the water.

Back to the water where I return to my own waves, my own frequency.

The salt-heavy water of the float tank told me how I need to cherish myself,
and in order to do this,
to be-and-become the secret agent of Self-Cherishing,
I need to spend way more time in my body instead of merely with my body…

Lusciousness asks me for time, ritual, intention, presence, effort…

The practice of Oh How Beautiful, Yes This Is Beautiful,
the superpower of seeing beauty and magnificence in the day to day of
this hard world, seeing it in my surroundings
even when I am not in gloriously beautiful Utah wilderness,
perceiving it in me with all my stories, pain, trauma,
this must be cultivated, over time,
thousands of times each day, remembering,
and then remembering again.

What would my yes be right now in this moment if I were already
a queen of self-treasuring?

Boundaries.

Bodies of water have boundaries, and
boundaries are the answer to all of my TFB (Total Fucking Badass) mysteries,
as well as all the mysteries surrounding Living In Serendipity.

Being a panther and a jewel and a ray of light,
these are all about beautifully glowing boundaries,
so clear and so alive,
these are my edges,
this is my space..

Being aware of my space and claiming it for me,
this is a new way of taking charge of boundaries,
this is the kind of epiphany that sounds so obvious when you say it,
but it is reverberating inside me in entirely new ways,
I can INHABIT this body and navigate space,
and this is a badass way to be,
in fact, just my passion about this is a badass way to be,
no matter what happens with any of my experiments.

Wild me has swagger, she’s powerful and also unconcerned,
she walks the world like PART THE SEAS FOR MY MAGNIFICENCE,
and she is also kind and warm and loving and all the things
I have been afraid of losing if I become fierce and fearless about
being the unapologetic guardian of my space and headspace.

Serendipitous Everything.

I tried to write this piece last night but my desire to do the
writing part of writing was zero,
and, as you know, I believe that trusting the not-writing is maybe even the
most important part of writing,
so I took myself to dinner instead
and unexpectedly made a new friend,
and she and I are going to shoot guns and have adventures,
and float in water, like a peaceful Thelma and Louise?

All timing right timing.

Boundaries, again.

Last week I was out with my friend K who is a BEAUTIFUL JEWEL,
and my model for the superpower of Perceiving Your Own Magnificence,
we were on a mission to do something peaceful and grounding,
and there we met a woman who wanted to dump her whole life story on us,
with all the weight of the stories inside of her stories, the energy in her energy,
and afterwards I felt exhausted and didn’t know why.

I talked it over with slightly future me who is already a Total Fucking Badass
and I want to share this transmission from her with you, in case it is useful:

Oh honey, I know it is not fun seeing all the ways that your boundaries are not working, and at the same time it really is useful intel. Now we don’t have to repeat this type of interaction.

Next time you will say WORK EMERGENCY GOTTA GO, next time you will remember that your sense of peacefulness is more important than being polite and letting someone eat your energy with their stories.

You will cut ties sooner. You will state your needs, eventually with grace and ease, but in the meantime you need to protect your energy. Put way less value on being perceived as “nice”, “friendly”, “accommodating”. You already do this with men on the street, and today we learned that you don’t yet know how to do this with [women who are being nice to you].

Guess what? Your headspace matters just as much as your physical space. Practice buffer phrases. Carry headphones. Do WHATEVER IT TAKES to exit an interaction that depletes you. You need to get your clarity and quiet back, to reclaim them IN THAT MOMENT.

Call it a family emergency — it is after all an actual emergency in your family of selves. The only thing that matters here is Safety First Boundaries First.

Love.

Me: I don’t want to work on any of my projects.
Wild Me: It’s scary, writing what you want to write, huh
Me: WHAT IF NO ONE LOVES ME EVER AGAIN
She: OR WHAT IF THEY LOVE YOU BETTER

Anything else I want to remember?

Replenishing is the first priority of a TFB,
because Well-Rested and Replenished is how you
a) access internal wisdom, and
b) remember to turn inward and access internal wisdom
instead of looking outward to external bullshit and the culture of (false) expertise,
thinking someone else or something else holds your answers.

My entire mission in life is self-treasuring, self-cherishing,
loving myself even more fiercely and wildly and intently and unconditionally,
being the channel of love, and LOVE JUST IS,
and a well-rested well-present me is how I connect to Source.

Back to love, again, again.

My body is an instrument of joy, and my work is to love
the ever-changing shape of my container
(my body, my body of water, my boundaries)
and the ever-changing shape of my life,
in all of its moments and changes and hurting,
and even when it is not delivering joy, I love it for being.

Serendipity is intimately connected to last month’s quality of Pleasure,
because Pleasure leads to PRESENCE and presence is how you notice
all the marvelous serendipities and the magnificence of it all.

And I can be patient with myself when this is hard because
we are exploring DEEP WILD SELF LOVE at entirely new levels,
while also living life on the road and sometimes, well,
sometimes I think my life is a mess but what does that even mean,
and if I stop judging it for being “messy”,
then oh wow, here we are.

Adding Serendipity to my compass.

A breath for each direction.

NORTH: Fierce Serendipity / Serendipitous Fierceness
NORTHEAST: Fearless and Serendipitous / The Serendipity that comes from Fearlessness
EAST: Powerful (awareness of) Serendipity / Serendipitous and Powerful
SOUTHEAST: Striking Serendipity / Serendipitous Striking
SOUTH: Grounded Serendipity / Serendipity is Grounding
SOUTHWEST: Wild Serendipity / Serendipitously Wild
WEST: Glowing Serendipity / Serendipity Glows
NORTHWEST: Delighting in Life’s Serendipities / Serendipitous Delighting In Life

What if I add Serendipity to everything,
what vast love and magnificence will I uncover,
what waves of wonder and mystery?

And there it is, my next step.

Invitation: come play with me…

You are invited to share this post and to share many !!!!!! about what is here,

Or share appreciation or anything sparked for you while reading…

You can also share how things have been going, check in, or deposit wishes, gwishes, superpowers, qualities, ingredients, possibly in code.

Safe space for creative exploration asks us to let go of care-taking and advice-giving.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We lovingly refrain from giving advice.

And of course it’s always okay to comment under a made-up name, whether for play and delight, or in the interest of Safety First.

Wishes and checking-in are never late because whenever you wish is the right time for wishing.

We remember that people vary and my process doesn’t have to be yours, and this is a good thing.

Here’s how we meet each other: with great kindness and appreciation and awe, whispering (and sometimes shouting) oh, wow what beautiful wishes!

on fire

Back in eighth grade, a kid in my class set the school on fire
because that was how you expressed helpless rage in the 80s,
with fire.

It seems old fashioned now, another time,
before school shootings even existed in our collective consciousness,
before they became part of How Things Are.

No one was hurt,
the building, made as it was of cinder blocks and steel, was unharmed,
school was closed for a couple days
and I haven’t thought about it since
until now.

Invitations

GET OVER HERE, WE HAVE A SCOOP!
That’s what Marlene said when I picked up the phone,
she was the teacher in charge of the school newspaper and
also, I realize now, in charge of keeping me safe,
my personal guardian angel, self-appointed.

She always knew, seemingly by magic, when gym class would involve dodge ball
or some other game invented by bullies for bullying
and she would rescue me.

The gym teacher would scowl and tell me to go,
and I would exhale in relief,
realizing Marlene had conjured another “important” mystery that
urgently needed investigating,
and I see in retrospect many things that I could not see before,
and which did not even have names.

for example, the gym teacher believed turning a blind eye to cruelty would make weaker kids stronger (he was wrong, and also a bully), and I thought my best friend E and I had been named editors of the newspaper because of editing skill, but Marlene was an angel, and the newspaper was a way to offer us sanctuary, and I am thankful, and oh the invisible magic beans of privilege, those that worked so hard in our favor and those we could have used more of…

Without the why

Anyway, Marlene called me
and this is how E and I ended up wandering the smoky halls
of an empty school, accompanied by fire fighters, men, in yellow,
surveying the damage.

We wrote a front-page full-page article with the headline “FIRE!”,
wherein we compiled the uninteresting and inconsequential details of
where the fire originated and how much damage was done,
with quotes from the fire fighters.

We covered the who/where/what/how,
though not the why,
and there is another mystery
why we did not go near the why,
maybe because it seemed too obvious?

Reasons

My mother said that boy must have had “problems”,
I think all the grownups were very bewildered
by the question of WHO WOULD DO SUCH A THING
but we didn’t need to ask why,
who didn’t want to set that place on fire,
and he had more reason than any of us.

I know why I never set the school on fire
other than in the realm of fantasy
over and over again
blowing it up on repeat

For example

absolutely no idea how to go about doing it
consequences
really just not brave enough
numb and defeated, etc.

But still

But still, setting that school on fire seemed to me
a very logical response
to being in that school.

Invisible things

The kid who set the school on fire didn’t have a Marlene
to rescue him over and over again with well-timed notes,
deus ex machina.

And I never got made fun of for having clothes that came from Kmart,
or the wrong shoes for gym,
the prejudice and classism that made him a target
did not touch me.

I remember feeling terrified all the time,
and I remember wanting to disappear
so the scary things would stop happening
but his approach actually makes more sense than my wish:
make the place where the scary things happen disappear.

The wrong question

Adults experienced other things
parental emotions which made no sense to me at the time —
fear, anger, worry, and, most of all, confusion
why would this happen
how could this happen
why would someone do this.

But we felt thrill and admiration
he did it he did it he did it he did it
he set it all on fire.

There was no way to explain to them
that this was the wrong question, and
adults being adults couldn’t understand.

if they could, they *never* would have let you go there
they wouldn’t have dreamed of asking how was your day,
and they also would have been able to interpret the requisite shrug-response:
well unfortunately no one burned it down today
so gotta go back tomorrow, and ugh, fuck everything…

Fire

We built an enormous fire in the Utah desert this weekend
and sat around it telling stories
or, really, listening to stories,
drinking whiskey under the stars,
four of us,
from different places and times.

This is what we are meant to do,
said the cowboy, who was very drunk
and suddenly enthusiastic about everything
instead of not caring about anything.

He is right, there is something wonderfully human
about fire and stories,
flames and embers, under the stars.

Fiery

I have been thinking a lot about Operation Turning Fiery
aka the various missions related to being forty,
and how my life wishes have basically distilled themselves:

Breathe, be outside as much as possible,
be a Total Fucking Badass (TFB)*
and take exquisite care of myself
with love.

* when I can, to the extent that I can, in whatever ways I can, given limitations etc

I find myself wanting to burn things,
to go back and rescue past versions of me,
to be my own angel Marlene of miracles,
to set more things on fire.

A path of fire

The man at the supermarket steps too close to me,
and I move away, instinctively, automatically,
brandishing a red pepper and not sure how to use it,
but in my mind I stand my ground and say BACK OFF, CREEP
RESPECT THE PERIMETER
THIS IS MY SPACE
and then I set the whole produce aisle on fire with my mind
just so he knows who it is that he is not to fuck with
(me).

A man in a white Ford pickup with no license plate on the front
is watching me as I walk past warily
with a tote bag of groceries in each hand,
everything about him and how he
looks at me creeps me out
and I set his truck on fire too.

In my mind I breathe fire,
I call it into being,
leaving fiery paths in my wake,
sending meteors through space and time
and memory.

Middle-aged white men, all day, every day,
they look at me and I set their world on fire.

Compass

Here is my compass of Turning Fiery
aka being a total badass who is forty
and could definitely set things on fire with her mind
but doesn’t even need to.

North I AM FIERCE
Northeast I AM FEARLESS
East I AM POWERFUL
Southeast I AM STRIKING
South I AM OF THE EARTH
Southwest I GLOW
West I AM WILD
Northwest I DELIGHT IN LIFE

And all possible combinations and forms, may these now be my superpowers forever

Fierce and fearless, powerful and striking,
grounded and glowing, wild delight in life

Delighting in life, wildly glowing,
from the earth I strike, powerful and fearless.

I am fierce in my power, fearless in my striking,
wild and of the earth, glowing aliveness and delight

Fiercely of the earth, fearlessly glowing,
Powerful and wild, striking and delighted

How do I want to use fire?

Powerfully, and in my fiery fierce fearlessness,
and also for joy and pleasure, under the stars,
letting it reflect everything that needs reflecting,
letting it warm me, free me, illuminate desire.

As a door: look, I walked through [experience x] and
I AM STILL HERE.

With presence and intention,
let this burn away all that is done,
sage smoke
in front of me above me
behind me below me and in all directions
writing words in the air with incense
and powerful knowing
that whatever wants saying
needs room to be said.

How do I want to use fire?

Fire in my editing
(battlecry: burn it all down!)
goodbye, six hundred more words,
and fire in my writing
whatever wants to be told or named,
I’m listening,
hello, resurfacing stories,
I will sit by your fire
and learn

Fire in my dance
and on the pole
and through the ground
and in my burning desire to learn more
(and more) (and more) (and more)
and fire in a shared moment of play.

Fire in firing myself
from jobs that are not my job
(possibly most jobs)
and a path of fire to create openings
where none were before.

Is there anything else in this wish-vision?

Let’s burn it all down and find out,
burning to reveal essence,
undoing structures and assumptions,
willing to find out what wants to come next.

Invitation: come play with me…

You are invited to share this post and to share many !!!!!! about what is here,

Or share appreciation or anything sparked for you while reading…

You can also check in, or deposit wishes, gwishes, superpowers, qualities, ingredients, possibly in code.

Safe space for creative exploration asks us to let go of care-taking and advice-giving.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We lovingly refrain from giving advice.

And of course it’s always okay to comment under a made-up name, whether for play and delight, or in the interest of Safety First.

Nothing we say is ever late because whenever we write words is the right time for those words.

We remember that people vary and my process doesn’t have to be yours, and this is a good thing.

Here’s how we meet each other: with great kindness and appreciation and awe, whispering (and sometimes shouting) oh, wow what beautiful wishes!