The glacier wall is not my foe She guards the garden of my heart Pushes back the world in flame Holding life and death apart She arose as roses rise Responding to the awful rain But lately I with frozen eyes Wear a grief I can’t explain I wondered why I was not Real I thought my garden poison fruit Then I remember snot and tears And sliding down the side of you So there you stayed and so did I Wall of ice and crystal shield But now its time to drop the guard For there’s a whole life left to feel
A blue Georgia, like a great mother ocean Containing possibilities that the sun-baked stone could scarcely imagine. The southern seas are shifting, Rifts open up to wild flowers. Black women claim their power and while it might not be our finest hour It might be.
Blue Georgia on my mind, like honey sticks in the summertime, I know water doesn’t often flow up north but listen, your hat is on fire, Tennessee like the titanic lodged in blood red ice, Wouldn’t it be nice If the sycophants enshrined wrote their names at the unemployment office, Good for them to experience something new, Good perhaps for me, for you
Blue Georgia in the sun What a ways you’ve come Laid to sleep last night and I believed My feet would still be red, Behold the shifting hue of the morning so thank the God’s for you and all your transforming.
My name is Juniper.
I’ve been using this as a poetry blog mostly. I’d like it to hold more of me. A space where vulnerability is allowed to exist.
I am a 32 year old trans woman. I’m also a minister. Well, mostly. I’m still in seminary, but I have been a ministerial intern for over a year. I’ve done weddings. I’ve held the hands of the dying. I’ve heard the people curse a God I didn’t believe in either. God is not the engineer of our pain. Neither are we. Nor is the devil or some primal evil.
It’s just this. It just is. I’m sorry it hurts so much.
I came out when I was 22ish. Maybe 23. Late 2011 into 2012 is a fog for me. The only community of trans people were older than me, from a different time. I wish I’d gotten to know them. I hated myself though. I was afraid of what I was allowing myself to become.
Sometimes saying yes means being ok with being scared. I was afraid for years. Fear was all I knew. It still haunts me.
Mostly I was afraid of the shame other people would feel, and did they ever feel it. Or perhaps I felt like they felt it. An imagining. I was in a shame loop. I still am some days.
That’s what dysphoria feels like for me mostly. It’s distinct from, but deeply related to shame. I’ve been very fortunate to have access to hormones and some surgery and this has overall helped tremendously, but somethings can’t be so easily changed.
Not easily, but if I’ve learned anything it’s this. Everything changes.
My question for myself (and for you, if you’re still reading) is, “How are you steering the wave of change that is your birthright?” You. Me. We, and all things, are the children of this cosmos, trapped in the womb of a teenage mother who can’t kick smoking. It’s not that she doesn’t love her baby. Addiction is a disease.
The fetus makes a tiny fist, and through the goo, shakes it at a God they cannot see.
What haunts you may yet haunt forever, Linger crooked in the hall. In between the bad and better In between the rise and fall. Shadow tall, you know it’s name Rings a bell and Tip of tongue. We left it in the weeping wires We burnt it out inside our lungs, Yet there it lay beside us sleeping, and in the tasteless food we ate, We rose up broken from the table in arms of Love we can’t repay. Behind you thought the briar planted, yet tracks of roots one can’t mistake. Smells of sweat and tears and ashes It looks a path we must retrace. So staring down a phantom splitting, This after-birth of emptiness, We pull a feather from our heart and bless the darkness with a kiss.
When it comes to whether or not to wear a mask, I see many folks taking them up and I see some spurning them, citing that they are totally useless and/or a mechanism of state control. I won’t say masks are fully preventative, they aren’t, but even a 30% rate of mitigation (or 10% or 5%) is better than no mitigation. They are part of a broader response we can all take, a response that we’ve all had beat into us so much this year that it feels like old hat, but the thing I see a lot of folks missing out on is the bigger “why?”. While a mask will not fully protect you, it is rather more effective at limiting your ability to communicate the virus to others. It follows then that, if we are seeking an act of service to not only demonstrate our care for others but actively practice it, we have an option right over (not under, dear God…) our noses.
So what does Jesus have to do with this?
To me, this is a What Would Jesus Do moment if there ever was one. Would Jesus shake his fist at the sky and say “I’ll never wear a mask! I won’t live in fear!”? Or would he say “Love has no greater sign than this, that a person lay down their life for others.” and pass out masks to his disciples? The man healed the sick. The least we can do is mitigate our likelihood of becoming a vector.
By all means, don’t violate your own conscience and do something you find reprehensible, but I hope you’ll at least consider what I’m saying. Love means nothing unless it’s made actual. The Love Beyond Understanding makes itself known in the bounty and beauty of the world, and in times of crisis it is made known through the hands (please wash your hands too!) of people just like you and me.
Be good to one another⚘ Love your neighbor 💜 Wear a mask 😷