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Dangerous Compassions

strength

When I need strength to resist oppression, I ask the Earth.  This art I made at a feminist zine workshop is about how I turn to plant knowledge and witchery for strength against patriarchy.  My belief in midwifery is part of that.

strength

The quote by Audre Lorde helps me feel strong.  Her ideas help me feel more secure that I’m ok feeling a lot.  “For within living structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, or feelings were not meant to survive.”  –Audre Lorde.

We’re brave and have done a wonderful thing, to continue to feel, despite the systems that tried to destroy our emotions.

Also the Emma Goldman quote is classic about love and freedom.  Yes, I need free love, like my love with Ming, chosen freely every day.  There’s interdependence and responsibility involved, because of our disabilities and personalities, and our shared peace work and radical mental health work.  But mostly we love each other because it’s fun.

paying for it

All these things go together for me–sharing, feeling, witch knowledge, Earth-based spirituality, love, interdependence.  I want to normalize emotions and caring for one another.  Nurturing is important, not a worthless thing moms and grandmas do, or relegated to preschools and domesticity, dismissed as irrelevant.

A model of care about paying for it is not normal.  Babies don’t pay for the breastmilk they survive on, and kids don’t pay for comfort after they’re scared by a bad dream or a barking dog.  Love happens everywhere.  Paying for all care and thinking you can be safe with a cushion of money is cold and a man’s way of doing life.  They believe they can work hard at a job to afford care, rather than working hard to do love and have people who actually want to be there for them.

Money comes and goes.  Love can last a long time, if you’re doing it with kindness and skill.  Love is true strength.  I believe in domestic nonviolence because I live it with Ming, every day.  We’ve been friends for ten years now.  Our relationship is no flash in the pan.

love

It’s the way of women, kids, and other non-men to actually be there for one another because we want to and enjoy it.  Not to say all non-men live to nurture–there’s variety!  And not to say men can’t ever nurture and communicate.  Just to say that I’ve never yet been close to a cis man who showed up for love in a consistent, skilled way.

I’ve been close to several men over the years, and they were not good at love.  They could pop in to get needs met, then pop out.  They could make a show of love for a few months until I was hooked.  Some could love poorly for a while, if they were having their ego or body stroked enough.

But it was only parts of love.   They were mostly selfish and unskilled.  For example, they didn’t communicate well and refused to try learning that strength.  Or they shamed me for having feelings while wanting me to carry theirs.  A few really believed women exist to serve them, and they enjoyed being served for many years, at our expense.

I’d enjoy being well-loved by a man one day.  That would be amazing.  Meanwhile, I enjoy the love of non-binary Ming and many friends, the love of myself, and the love of Mother Earth, Mother God, and my ancestors.

altar

The Animal Chin prayer cards turned out beautiful!  Have you seen him on your altar?

animal chin

The print on the backsides is a lil blurry, but it’s legible.  I guess I was using a nonscalable font.  I feel like such a charming geek, using the term scalable font.  Do kids even use that term anymore?

I remember when I was little and had access to programs that could do so many cool things.  I’d be sat down in front of a computer in some random school computer lab, told to use a program to teach myself how to spell or type, or play Oregon Trail, and have at it!

Of course I looked to see what other programs where on the computer…  And then I worked on the school newspaper in high school, senior year, when I had an elective free in addition to band.  We used PageMaker.

Nowadays I’ll often be graphic designing in some silly-ass way, using whatever free method I invent out of necessity, and think fondly about when I could manipulate type and images so easily.  Ah, those were the days.

professional altar maker

strength

What a pretty altar, huh.  Altars are a way I feel strength.  What if I could be a professional altar maker?  That would be my dream job.  I used to say barefoot zine librarian was my dream job.  Or train graffiti historian, or herbal abortionist.  I change my mind, here and now.

I could tell you the meaning of all the altar things.  The wingnut I saw on the sidewalk for weeks, and I finally picked it up on my morning walk, the other day.  The baby aloe my good friend gave me when her aloe had pups.  The emergency dinosaurs must remain a mystery.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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