Sunday, May 31, 2009

A couple of days of trying to stay off my burning aching feet have left me feeling like an invalid. In-valid. Even though the truth is I can still get around okay if I'm willing to pay the price for walking: pain. And if I stretch as religiously as the young woman I saw working out at my gym today, who had her leg up on the bar for a full six minutes on each side, nothing perfunctory about her.

I read up about this condition on-line--one doctor said that rolling one's feet over cold cans of soda could be good for sufferers of plantar fasciitis, so I got some. We'll see.

As far as Websudoku goes, I still reach for it on my computer, and then i remember it isn't there. I check and a million times a day but they don't keep me hooked in quite the same way. I just finished reading Susan Shapiro's funny insightful addiction memoir, Lighting Up: How I Quit Smoking, Drinking and every other good thing in life except sex. It was really good, and hopeful and insightful.

But my feet still hurt. And same-sex marriage is still not legal in California. Which was to be expected, given the way our state organizes these things--it should never have been the subject of a referendum in the first place. But still maddening and disappointing.

And even though I am sure it is only a question of time--that we will have full marriage equality in 2010, or at the very outside, 2012, I still feel sad and angry about it. And a little guilty about how easy it is for C and I, and how impossible for gay friends who have been in their unions longer than us, and have endured more trials together than we have.

All this makes me feel more strongly than ever that it's not the legal part that matters, it's the couple's own hearts, and the community and spiritual support that we get. So maybe the answer is to abolish "marriage" as a state entity altogether. Let the state/legal part be just to recognize civil unions--for everyone, gay or straight--and let the "marriage" label be a non-legal, spiritual (in the loosest possible definition of that word) ceremony--for everyone.

Because it's time to further separate Church and State--personally, I'd like to see those two suckers as far apart as possible. Let the State deal with the legal paperwork relating to property and hospital visitation and immigration sponsorship and hospital visitation rights and let churches and synagogues and Buddhist temples and pagan priestesses on windy mountaintops deal with the love and family parts. (I think this idea was originally Carla Zilbersmith's but I have adopted it as my own.)

Friday night we went to Carla's for a party she gave to thank her friends. The film crew was there, finishing up their work on the documentary they are making about her. One of her student-friends was wearing a red Carla-wig, and when we rounded the corner, C asked in surprise, "Is that Carla?" She was walking down the street, with her back to us, and from the back it did look exactly as if Carla were once again walking, as if there had been a miracle cure. The redhead turned to face us, and it was Sofia. Carla was out back, in her wheelchair, being kissed and fed and loved up by hordes of people.

Gina did a hilarious job as MC, channeling a Cuban sex-and-love relationship expert and taking questions from the crowd. Carla thanked us and cried, then everybody cried, then it got dark. Natta and Meyra did a spectacular fire dance in Carla's backyard, dancing with baskets of live coals suspended from long poles. At each move they made, the coals shook streams of sparks, like little meteors exploding harmlessly into the night.

It was gorgeous and poignant, the brevity of the sparks, the brevity of our lives, the beauty of the night, Carla tipped back a little in her wheelchair, alternately watching the sparks and Gina's big-eyed baby who pulled away from nursing at her mother's breast to stare at the spectacle, showers of bright orange sparks, like a cloud of fireflies in the dark sky...

Last night, we went to see our friend Colleen Tane Nakamoto perform at the Asian Arts festival. She did a piece of her one-woman show "Soft Tissue" which is about how historical violence, such as the rapes of Okinawan women during wartime occupation, are carried on in the muscle memory of their descendents, from generation to generation. Coke's piece was just one among many beautiful story-tellings--Brenda Wong Aoki performed a story, and several others. It was great to see veteran storytellers sharing the stage with newcomers, all the different flavors of Asian storytelling, from poetry to music and dance.

Today has been lazy--coffee and the Sunday Times, a visit from a friend, the gym, shopping and cooking. I needed this after an intense day Friday studying Domestic Volence. For the first time we had a man who works with batterers come in and speak. He spoke of the deep need for love these men had even when they are acting most unlovable. Earlier in the day a woman psychologist had spoken about PTSD and Complex PTSD, which is a new name for Borderline Personality Disorder, and Anti-Social Personality Disorder which I was also interested in. And I found out there is a kind of psychology called Forensic Psychology, which deals with criminal psych. You can also study something called Victimology. I'm not sure if I want to study all this for myself or for a career, just that I find human behavior fascinating.

I'm eating up this learning about psychology--I was always so suspicious of it before, probably because I never found a therapist whom i thought really changed things for me. I had a lot of critiques of the whole science of it.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the coal imagery--the baby, Carla, the dance. Thank you.

Nancy said...

Several weeks ago I made note of your recommendation for the book "Broken" by Lisa Jones. Thank you! I am reading it now and what a treasure.

Recently, in my yoga practice, I have been engaging the concept of divinity. Engage is even too active a word. My contemplation of divinity is very passive, non-intellectual, non-emotional. Just kind of there.

Since the start of my association with divinity several examples have come my way. The Sun published an interview with a Catholic priest who is active in the non-violent peace movement. I attended a funeral, held in an old Catholic church, in which the theme was love. Love – divinity – church – peace – non-violence (ahimsa). It is there, all around me.

And now the book Broken brings me closer to divinity, its concept and its expression.

I met you several years ago at a Sun writing weekend in the Poconos. I always look forward to reading your work in The Sun. Then, I discovered your blog through Carla's blog. Is this not a type of divinity – the fact that ideas and associations and human presence interacts and weaves through life?