Friday chicken

A look at the good and the hard in my week, a ritual of reflecting.

It is Friday and we are here.

{a breath for Friday, for this space, and for being here when we get here.}

And let’s start with an extra breath of joy and appreciation for today’s Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality.

What worked this week?

Asking wise-me to make lists.

For example, Marlena Wild (Incoming Me) wrote a list of nineteen reasons to explain why being exhausted is perfectly understandable, and this helped me out of the blame-shame cycle re not wanting to get off the couch.

And then of course I did finally want to get off the couch, because guilt and shame always intensify stuck, while acknowledgment, permission and legitimacy always ease it.

I also had slightly-wiser-me make a list of possible next steps for Operation Bolthole, as well as a list of What I Would Do Next If Money/Time/Fear Were Not In Play, which was very enlightening, as it always is.

Next time I might…

Choose the easy way.

This week I did a lot of [things that don’t make sense] in the interest of [reasons that make even less sense].

For example, when I landed in PDX, I decided to take public transportation instead of a cab. Even though I’m dealing with chronic pain and exhaustion. And even though I’d been traveling for six hours. And even though a cab wouldn’t have been that expensive.

I’m not even sure what I was thinking. To prove to myself that I could handle it? To placate the monsters who say I’m extravagant?

It ended up taking two hours to get to my house, instead of the twelve minutes it would have taken by taxi.

My love, my love, my love, there is nothing wrong with choosing ease.

I want to remember this, because Wise Me is right.

And the title of my upcoming Biopic if it were based on this week…

Wearing The Same Thing Every Day, So What.. The Havi Brooks Story.

If you feel drawn to leave comments on aspects of my week, I will take love, hearts, breaths, pebbles, I do not need advice or cheering up, though presence and sweetness are appreciated. Hearts or pebbles are great if you don’t know what to say, often I don’t know what to say either so we’re in the same boat.

Eight breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. I am releasing and releasing, and even as I let go of seemingly endless anger cauldrons that I didn’t even know about, I discover more rage and fury with the current state of the world. A breath for presence, for acknowledgment, for legitimacy, for process.
  2. Tamir Rice would have been thirteen yesterday. Heartbreaking-heartbreaking-heartbreaking. I am done with putting up with apologists, with people still pretending that racism is not a thing. There was someone in my actual house this week trying to tell me that Dylann Roof murdered nine black people because of medication he was taking, not because he was a racist, full of hate and indoctrinated by people with a hate-filled agenda. And you could tell he believed what he was saying. Someone I follow — excuse me: followed — on Instagram ordered a cake for her local (Texas) police department because “After McKinney, it seems like the police aren’t appreciated enough”. A thank you cake? How about donating that cake money towards therapy bills for Dajerria Becton? I have blocked and unfollowed and muted all week, and I cannot take this anymore. So here is a poem called How To Play Dead, and here is We Can’t Have Nothing. A breath for for justice, for grace, for everything that needs to change.
  3. If you had told me ten years ago that the Supreme Court would okay marriage equality, I wouldn’t have believed you though I would have been delighted at the thought. Now it’s here, and I am delighted. And I am also feeling lots of other feelings. Sad and angry and upset, not just about all the people in this country who are vocally not onboard with love, but with the narrow definition. I will celebrate with a full heart the triumphant joy of “It is so ordered” all day every day, but no, I will not celebrate this toxic bullshit about “nothing is more profound” and “family, sacrifice and fidelity”, these are not the values I want to celebrate. I want Love and Presence and Sweetness and Agency and Inclusivity and Clear, Loving Communication. I keep thinking about the name of Jen Agg’s conference on sexual harassment/abuse in restaurants — Kitchen Bitches: Smashing The Patriarchy One Plate At A Time. Right now I really just want to smash ALL THE PLATES AT ONCE. Yes, I will celebrate this ruling, and no, I don’t find the wording of it beautiful at all. The language makes it clear that equality is meant for binary people in conventional, monogamous relationships.I’m glad it’s here. And I’m going to keep smashing things until we get to a culture which cares about the well-being, happiness and welfare of all people, including those who don’t have or don’t want family, who might be in alternative relationships or open relationships or don’t want to be in relationships at all, for people who don’t want to commit to a gender or to a person, for everyone who wants their own profound and beautiful connections that don’t happen to fit the norm. A breath for plate-smashing. Let’s smash some plates.
  4. It’s 99 degrees Fahrenheit today, and it’s supposed to be 104 degrees (that’s 40 degrees celsius) tomorrow. I can’t do this and I’m having flashbacks to the worst summers in Tel Aviv. A breath for Now Is Not Then, for ice packs on rotation, for damp clothes, for blackberry smoothies.
  5. Body is so very exhausted. A breath for all the reasons for this.
  6. Trying to find solutions to complicated challenges that involve many moving parts. A breath for letting go of Either/Or thinking and discovering new options.
  7. I miss my lover and I miss having a comforting shoulder to cry on. A breath for this.
  8. Inhale, exhale. May all misunderstandings and distortions, internal and external, dissolve in love if not in laughter. Goodbye (and thank you), mysteries and hard moments of this week. May I choose to trust-more love-more release-more receive-more.

Eight breaths of good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. After nearly seven weeks of dealing with chronic pain, my body gave me a break for most of the week. I was able to actually focus on other things aside from pain management, which might have something to do all these big feelings I’m now experiencing. A breath for the extraordinary thing that is not being in pain
  2. When things are hard and I start to hate everything, I remember that this is a normal and understandable reaction to life challenges. Permission softens me, it is the door jam that keeps me open to acceptance, and from there sometimes I even find my way back into my thank you heart of love. There is endless magic in trusting that — really and truly — Nothing Is Wrong: not the anger, not the frustration, not the crying on the couch, it is all okay and I am okay. A breath for me and for this.
  3. I am back in Portland in my beautiful house and not in the camper-which-makes-everything-fifteen-degrees-hotter. A breath for right timing.
  4. I had another amazing releasing/healing session with Danielle, which was reason enough to come back to the city. A breath for taking care of myself.
  5. My lover texts me with warmth and sweetness and affection, listens to my worries and helps me see doors. A breath for the way I smile just thinking about this.
  6. So much gratitude to past me for embarking on Shmita. A breath of love for this wild adventure.
  7. Each day I learn more about what I want, and what I do not want. A breath for yes.
  8. Thankfulness. So much is good. The Supreme Court said YES to marriage equality! Love wins. Grace wins. I have wonderful friends. And cheesy aerobics. And a bowl full of peaches. Everything is okay. Nothing is wrong, even when I think it is. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. Thankful for this grand adventure. A full breath of deep appreciation in my thank-you heart.

Wham booms, wisdom, superpowers, salve and FBOTW!

Operations completed. Wham boom!

Whoosh Ha Mastodon Boom is secret agent code meaning: this thing is done! Shortened to wham-boom.

I slept, I worked out, I used ten pound weights like a badass, I wrote, I cried. Let’s call that a successful mission and I now award myself a billion sparklepoints. Wham Boom.

Superpowers I had this week…

I had the superpowers of Remain Indoors, Top Level Hiding, and Wearing Everything Purple.

Powers I want.

I want the superpower of trusting in the powers of doing nothing.

The Salve of Couch.

These invisible salves are distributed here by way of internet magic. Help yourself! Take it in a bath, as tea, a cocktail, whatever works for you. Not only is there enough salve, there are also enough ways to receive it.

This is a salve for comfort, rest, permission, legitimacy, agency, acknowledgment, presence and grace.

It is a salve of not doing, which is also a wonderful way to get information about what you might want to do, when the time is right.

Marlena: Aw babe of course you don’t want to do anything, it’s ninety nine degrees out. Just keep drinking water, and if you’re drawn to do something do that, and if you aren’t no worries. It is perfectly permissible to just be half-passed out on the couch right now, it will pass.

Me: But everything is still horrible.

Marlena: What if it isn’t?

Me: I don’t get it.

Marlena: What if there is no better way to spend a 99 degree Friday afternoon than as you are right now, sprawled on the couch, catching up on social media, being silly, looking at videos of dancing birds, what if this is great. You already said there’s nothing you’d rather be doing. What if we just give a YES to how things are right now, it doesn’t have to be the perfect way forever, just, what if it’s a good setup for you right now?

Me: Huh. Okay.

This salve makes everything better.

Playing live at the meme beach house — the Fake Band of the Week!

My brother and I make up bands, which are all just one guy. The Meme Beach House is the venue.

This week’s band is from Lucky Lola and it’s called The Jim Convention. Their latest album is called Kindred Spear Its. They play reggae versions of Ella Fitzgerald songs, and it’s just one guy.

Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.

I am recommending the Emergency Get Calm, Quiet And Steady techniques, aka the thing that keeps me from falling apart. This got me through the 2am panicking this week!

How was your week?

Come play in the comments. Share something from your week, take a breath, or just say hi! No rules, my format doesn’t have to be yours, we’ve been doing this every week for years now and there still isn’t a right way.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We don’t give advice.

Wishing you a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious day, a restful weekend and a happy week to come.

Shabbat shalom.

p.s. It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — jump in whenever you like. Blowing kisses to the Beloved Lurkers too!

The Fluent Self