COM|PASSionate Events

Happy Friday everyone!

How is everyone feeling? We’re a little low energy. It’s been a busy few weeks!

{Image Credit: http://yumisakugawa.bigcartel.com/}
{Image Credit: http://yumisakugawa.bigcartel.com/}

We’re looking for a little calm, a little stillness, less struggle, and more contentment. What do you all do to release into spaciousness?

{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399696154883/}
{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399696154883/}

EVENTS

Get out, take care of yourself and heal in community!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Don’t forget there’s lots of upcoming ways to get involved!

  • You’ve done plenty of volunteering and advocacy this year! How about you do something for your queer kinky unicorn heart and run away to Amorous Revolt? Amorous Revolt is queer kinky camping, “To celebrate our bold love, our brilliant spirits, our playful (and sometimes serious) sex, our creative relationships, our radical interdependence, our perfect bodies, and our unstoppable power and agency.”
  • Hey younger COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES looking for something fun to do this summer?? How about Brave Trails— a leadership summer camp for LGBTQ Youth & Allies?! Folks that are our age or older– we know what you’re thinking– where was this camp when we were in high school?? Well, you can still go help out by being a camp counselor or leading a workshop! Go check them out!
  • All of these internet shenanigans too much? Need to digitally detox? How about checking out Camp Grounded: Summer Camp for Adults! CA camp is over but you can still take a road trip to hit the North Carolina camp in August!
  • Gender Odyssey is coming up at the end of August! Aunty Kate is doing the keynote and the programming looks rad! We’re still not sure if we’re going to make it up Seattle but we’re crossing our fingers! We’ve heard the community and events around the actual conference programming is also the jam! Check it out if you can or put it on your roadtrip wishlist!
  • Some music and art love!

RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation this week… don’t take yourselves or this healing process to seriously. Honor it because it’s fucking courageous work, but know that as long as you get the sentiment, the way you get there doesn’t matter.

Letting the bullshit float away,

The COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community<3

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*Events are put on by the CR Community/CR Community members. Other events are by friends of the CR Community or of interest to the CR Community. Feeling a little nervous about getting out and involved? Email us and if we can we’ll make some introductions so you have a friendly face to say “Hi” to when you get there!

**Most of these events will be local to Southern CA (unless we notice an event that sets us off into road trip dreamland.) If you want to do a COM|PASSionate event round-up for your local area let us know!

***Are you an individual, meet-up or community group that has some COM|PASSionate events of your own? Email us for details on how to submit your event to our calendar!

****Have your own story about healing or thoughts on healing? Are you a queer vegan healer? Want to talk to your community about ways you’re living consciously and connected? Do you want your blog, org, or event to be featured on one of our running series or want to do an interview introducing yourself to the COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community? Are you a unicorn in a pony world disguising your magickal star dust sprinkling mane to live amongst the commoners?

Pitch us a blog series or interview idea!! Contact us at compassionaterevolt@gmail.com!

———-

There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

Core Work for a Conscious Practice

banneryoga

“Subversion best describes a practice in which the power of the patriarchy is turned upon itself,

to REVOLUTION and HEALING.

A REVOLUTION that, because it is subtle and not frontal, can be effective even in the face of formidable obstacles.”

Laura S. Brown

Subversive Dialogues

I sat down this morning with an intention to pour myself into starting this blog series. It’s  been a concept that I’ve been rolling around in my head for awhile. It keeps popping up in different incarnations, taking shape, and then just as quickly as it appears, dissolving into the day’s to do list of chores, errands, dates, obligations, and general life distractions. It kept shifting and changing and I was having a hard time getting a firm grasp on it. Sitting down to write about healing challenged the time and space I was making for my own. I would get excited about a certain practice and then bunny hole into its problematic nature.

It was then that I realized that this was the connecting factor– the complications and intersections! Anything explored consciously and connected will remain in the, sometimes daunting, but always insight building, constancy of transition. It’s the intention behind this tiny queer healing space in this great big internet universe.

With that in mind, I spent the morning reading blogs about the yoga industrial complex, the appropriative nature of western yoga, and the conflicted way this practice has been a powerful source of agency for marginalized folks and communities of color (not withholding, but also not primarily focused on communities of South Asian Americans).

Healing is a complicated (and politicized) animal. The reading I did reflected a struggle that I’ve experienced often, and not just around my personal and professional yoga practice. We may want to take our own complicated healing journeys out of this but we can’t, and I would argue, that we shouldn’t want to.

We live in a culture that parses out our minds, bodies, hearts, and spirits into segregated categories. When something in ourselves or our worlds becomes “broken” or “pathologized” we don’t think first to take a breath, check in with the wound, analyze it for both positive and negative messages, and reach into our internal resources to fix it.

We go find an expert to tell us what’s wrong.

Furthermore, this external (and problematic) healing isn’t neutral or accessible to everyone. It’s one battle to accept that we need healing, another battle to figure out what that healing might look like, and an all out war to integrate it into our lives in a conscious and honoring way. Talking about healing through war metaphors isn’t an accident. It’s a place of internal conflict.

When I walk into a yoga studio I carry with me all of my intersections and all of my stories. I hold places of privilege and oppression. When I’m taking class I do my best to “take what I need,” and when I teach I often encourage my students to do the same. While I could pat myself on the back that I don’t preach asana for beach bodies, I’m also invariably awkward when pre-class conversation includes the latest high protein (read: meat) based diet and the way vinyasa flow can tone your arms. The familiar anxiety of female bonding office lunchroom chat washes over me. I often defer to silence unsure whether it’s more yogic to “observe without judgment” or start handing out copies of “Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere.

The truth of the matter is- the yoga that I’ve learned, re-shaped, and now want to share helps heal my original wound. A wound that (even with the potential for projection) I believe is shared amongst a lot of us. It meets us where we’re at. It honors our bodies and what they are trying to speak to us. It’s science and spirit and heart space. And it’s also the offspring of this bastardized arranged marriage between a need to heal wounds created by western culture itself and the inherent resistance of eastern spiritual healing. Even as the consciousness of a donation based intention and a queer folk filled playlist subverts one oppressive narrative, it makes other roots invisible.

I didn’t (and haven’t) come to a clear answer as to how to solve this. Similarly, the analysis around ways that we heal here in the west are broken into two general camps. One camp discusses the process without relevance to the history and intersections of power, privilege, appropriation, colonization, and abuse while the other often focuses only on these challenges. The latter also often holds “calls to action,” solutions to ways we can be more accountable, while individual healing journeys are often mis-routed to more activism/advocacy. This can pose a troubling conflict for those of us that are already hyper conscious, sensitive to the constant barrage of trauma in the world, and working tirelessly to find healing that works for our courageously soft and divinely broken spirits.

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JMjfpR}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JMjfpR}

I noted to myself that I started this morning highly motivated to dig into the depths of healing practices. By the time I finished my consciousness raising reading list, I wanted to quit everything, wrap myself in my overpriced yoga mat, and sit in a shame corner while the rubber stink slowly filled my lungs and asphyxiated me with the weight of oppressive appropriation.

I know… not super helpful.

This isn’t a defense of privileged fragility (that’s nothing new) but rather a question of how we can institute sustainable (as well as ethical) self-care practices for ourselves. It’s a challenge around how we can hold and honor the best of what nurturing wisdom is already in existence as well as forge our own paths. It’s a request to hold awareness around roots while also grounding ourselves in our current context.

It’s faith in the healing exploration of living consciously and connected.

This blog series will be an offering to this discussion and search. A place to process the complicated, unique, unexpected, and sometimes problematic, intersections where healing happens.

In Passionate Compassion, Subversion, Revolution, and Healing,

Traci

———-

Traci Medeiros-Bagan {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is currently in the depths of intentional core work to build a conscious practice. They are a therapist, yoga teacher, and human in progress. Information about where, when, and how they share this journey with community can be found at compassionaterevolthealing.com

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

Isn’t It Queer: Various Reckonings

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My past few months have been full of reckoning, I treat emotional growth like I’m trying to compete in it in the next Olympics. I have been reckoning with the self, among other things, including pickle jars, dense psychoanalysis texts, and verbalizing my needs and limits, with the intention of forcefully molding my life into something that has a place for me inside of it. In this episode of Isn’t It Queer? I’d like to share the artistic product of the emotional reckonings, which for me are almost always in the form of poetry.

{Image Credit: http://www.freegreatpicture.com/goldfish/jumping-goldfish-1043
{Image Credit: http://www.freegreatpicture.com/goldfish/jumping-goldfish-1043

The reason I adore poetry and prefer it as my artistic medium is because poetry has the power to create spaces to custom define emotions (see Sacred Catharsis) In a culture that struggles to define, identify and share emotions, poems are the jaws of life that pry open language, allowing us to share more accurately how we feel. As such, I feel the only accurate way to truly let others experience what I’m feeling, to really show them my mushy insides, is to hand them the poetry I created in vulnerable moments.

{Image Credit: http://www.undermatic.com/diseno/collages-anatomicos-por-travis-bedel/}
{Image Credit: http://www.undermatic.com/diseno/collages-anatomicos-por-travis-bedel/}

In the past six months I’ve abandoned self-suffocating habits, unhealthy workplaces and relationships where my authentic self was not valued. I began to demand that the people in my life see me for who I am, support me with respect and communication, and inspire my personal growth.I’ve come out of closets, insisted that family meet my needs, handed my heart to a lover and had it handed back broken, and reflected on painful experiences in youth. The poems I share below are the emotional excess, the shed skin of my experience as I come face to face with my fragility and pride.

Reckoning Part 1: Park Bench Humanity

My heartbreak floats, buoyant as a lily in the echo park lake.

Both are man made.

But mine is pure honey, made of basil and sage and absolute redemption.

Because I have learned to love wholeheartedly in a world of people terrified of their humanity.

The bitter pill of your heart’s insurrection got lost somewhere beneath the park bench,

Because I didn’t feel like getting high today.

And I am juggling blades of grass and little grey pebbles, and just a few tears.

Just a few little salty heart clippings,

That I can afford to spare.

Still in my memory you are perfect,

Your selfish and coward are dangling in front of you like strings of fake diamonds,

A failed decoy.

And it hurts to feel this open and forgiving.

My ego misses me dearly.

But being alone without her bleating fury has been the most beautiful genderless bliss.

Reckoning Part II: For Lindsay

I was pre-hatched and featherless

beside you. Your

lanky appendages clung

like gravity to every breathable surface of my

bleeding skin and I wanted

to be your freckle constellation

in a universe etched in sulky charcoal.

Inside your shell

I was somebody’s everything

or maybe

I was just (apologetic for my existence)

somebody.

I was light, traced rainbows,

born of broken glass.

A full spectrum of gorgeous melancholy. A doll.

You were the only eyes present during

my loveless marriage with invisibility.

You were the only hands

that held a face

that rained perpetually for eight years,

that held a body that fell to

brittle bones and shriveled prune skin,

while the world

spun recklessly unaware of my dieing.

You, doting owl, are the sole reason these fingertips

lived to kiss another’s lips,

and you wish to this day that I’d saved those print kisses for yours.

But I didn’t.

You saw a soul, where that soul saw nothing.

My sorry shoulders shrug gratitude and gluey guilt,

that after you fed me air I flew rapidly.

Too fast for your garden,

and I love you,

gravity,

clingy lanky lover

of hatchlings and dolls.

I am forever a bow bending in gratitude, wishing a dismissive arrow with my actions.

The irony of your gift was my realization

that I am not porcelain, nor stars.

You gifted me with flight and I ripped off those wings and ran for it.

Some friend.

Reckoning Part III: It Snows Different in California

The cigarette next to me is beginning to snow,

Little flakes of ash decorate my black jeans

I’m alone.

Sourly indulging in my grief.

I picked my poison carefully.

The sound of white men’s heart break.

An Arian mourning hymnal

It’s like over brewed black tea tastes.

Bitter and delightful to the swollen hearted beasts that congregate here.

The people here want to be seen,

And so do I, but I want it in a painful way, the way people want to be seen when

they’ve frequented invisibility.

No aim to gain by appearing,

just the hesitance of a reckoning with oneself.

The man next to me just bumped himself with a different kind of snow and I wonder how people who do cocaine survive a month of heartbreak.

The bearded man across from me looks like someone who prides himself on his Instagram following,

On his arm is a cheap Khalysee who shops at h&m.

They look happy together as they share judgments and giggles on an oak bar bench.

It’s the first time other people’s love doesn’t infuriate me.

Progress can be measured in the number of your freckles you’ve learned to forgive,

for being burn marks from the sun that gave you life.

 

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

———–

Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and aims to lead by example through bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” -Audre Lorde

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

Tarot Tuesday: Finding Your Deck

PlayshopBannerOkay, full disclosure. I may or may not have had lots of plans to go camping, hiking, attend a vegan faire, and connect in with community (BTW- Check out this rad queer artist meetup!) and instead binge watched 2/3 of the first season of Witches of East End with my partner this weekend.

I could make excuses. It’s true. It did start out as an ironic Netflix choice which quickly disintegrated into melting into bed with eyes glazed over staring blankly at my laptop and squealing at each twist and turn in expected plot line. Sure it’s problematic in a myriad of ways. However, the truth of the matter is we’re queer folx of a certain age that grew up on Buffy (easy 25-35 year old queermos… no one’s putting Witches of East End in the same category as Buffy) and Charmed. So to be perfectly honest, we were already hooked by the time Freddie Prinze Jr appeared as a geeky butterfly expert. {Sidenote: Butterfly hunting doesn’t seem super vegan but does apparently require washboard abs.}

http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643

We just couldn’t say good bye either (read: turn off sequential episode play on Netflix).

Stay with me it’s all connected.

I think the draw for queer folx to shows with fantasy plot lines and secret identities is that what makes us different may, in fact, also make us awesome. Life can sometimes feel lonely and isolating. This is especially true when we only have negative reflections of ourselves out in the world and identifying ourselves to others might put us in danger. We might have to fight to search out our histories because they are hidden, downplayed, or corrupted by the majority voice. Still, if we remain dedicated and find them, we can also access courageous and powerful narratives to re-discover our roots. Once we understand our roots, everything else starts to make a little more sense and we can focus on closing the hell mouth…. and… I digress.

Okay, maybe you think I’m stretching the healing capacity of fantasy television dramas, but there are countless studies that show the importance of positive and accurate reflections in solidifying a strong sense of self. It stands to reason that in times when we are seeking healing, guidance, and are potentially at our most vulnerable that we find healing practices that also reflect our uniquely magical stories and histories.

So if you’re thinking of starting to play with tarot, or perhaps you’ve started and it didn’t seem like the images or explanations resonated with you, take some time to find a deck that reflects you and makes sense! Last week we talked about the “woo closet” and all of the ways it is challenging to trust our intuitive healing wisdom. It’s a big task and the least we can do is support our journey by reminding ourselves that what makes us unique makes us awesome, that we’re not the only ones walking this journey, and that our current expression is a product of powerful and courageous histories.

So take some time to look for and sit with a deck (here are some great finds by Little Red Tarot on Autostraddle). If it doesn’t resonate, don’t assume it’s you or that tarot itself isn’t a good fit for you. It may not be, but you may also just need to find a deck that makes more sense to you.

http://nypost.com/2013/10/05/julia-ormond-casts-a-spell-on-witches/
http://nypost.com/2013/10/05/julia-ormond-casts-a-spell-on-witches/

Oh, also, they pull tarot on Witches of East End. Did I mention that? That’s probably a better argument for why this is connected to Tarot Tuesday. 🙂

Happy Deck Hunting,

Traci

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Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

 

Special Announcement: Trans Pride Orange County Thurs 7/30!

Hey all! Special Announcement for folks hanging out with us under the Orange Curtain!

Trans Pride Orange County is happening this Thursday!

{Image Credit: http://www.lgbtcenteroc.org/event/trans-pride/?instance_id=45701}

Lots of resources and a free glam closet! Donate clothes, get involved, get information! We found out a little late and are not sure if we can physically make it but we’ll be there in spirit!

Can’t make it out? Need more resources? Check out our resources/services pages! Let us know what’s helpful and what we can add!

Happy Pride,

COM|PASSionate REVOLT

 

 

 

COM|PASSionate Events

Happy Friday everyone!

How are your, beautifully broken and thriving spirits doing as we close another week? We’ve been challenging ourselves to confront the balance between knowing when to stay still and when it’s time to lean into movement. We’ve been meditating on what is needed to wash away what is keeping us from clarity.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/279575089342983255/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/279575089342983255/

It’s not always clear or easy but we see it shimmering there beneath the surface. So we’re committing to take time and make space to see the whole picture.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/473159504574296986/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/473159504574296986/

What activities of movement or stillness help your waters settle?

EVENTS

Get out, take care of yourself and heal in community!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Don’t forget there’s lots of upcoming ways to get involved!

  • You’ve done plenty of volunteering and advocacy this year! How about you do something for your queer kinky unicorn heart and run away to Amorous Revolt? Amorous Revolt is queer kinky camping, “To celebrate our bold love, our brilliant spirits, our playful (and sometimes serious) sex, our creative relationships, our radical interdependence, our perfect bodies, and our unstoppable power and agency.”
  • Hey younger COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES looking for something fun to do this summer?? How about Brave Trails— a leadership summer camp for LGBTQ Youth & Allies?! Folks that are our age or older– we know what you’re thinking– where was this camp when we were in high school?? Well, you can still go help out by being a camp counselor or leading a workshop! Go check them out!
  • All of these internet shenanigans too much? Need to digitally detox? How about checking out Camp Grounded: Summer Camp for Adults! CA camp is over but you can still take a road trip to hit the North Carolina camp in August!
  • Gender Odyssey is coming up at the end of August! Aunty Kate is doing the keynote and the programming looks rad! We’re still not sure if we’re going to make it up Seattle but we’re crossing our fingers! We’ve heard the community and events around the actual conference programming is also the jam! Check it out if you can or put it on your roadtrip wishlist!
  • Some music and art love!

RECOMMENDATIONS

Figure out what gets you clear and grounded. We’ve been spending some extra play time in Ojai recently. A little camping therapy and showering in a waterfall on a summer morning does seem to cure all wounds.

11737861_10103319966247854_7822286934999645937_n

In pursuit of clarity,

The COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community<3

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*Events are put on by the CR Community/CR Community members. Other events are by friends of the CR Community or of interest to the CR Community. Feeling a little nervous about getting out and involved? Email us and if we can we’ll make some introductions so you have a friendly face to say “Hi” to when you get there!

**Most of these events will be local to Southern CA (unless we notice an event that sets us off into road trip dreamland.) If you want to do a COM|PASSionate event round-up for your local area let us know!

***Are you an individual, meet-up or community group that has some COM|PASSionate events of your own? Email us for details on how to submit your event to our calendar!

****Have your own story about healing or thoughts on healing? Are you a queer vegan healer? Want to talk to your community about ways you’re living consciously and connected? Do you want your blog, org, or event to be featured on one of our running series or want to do an interview introducing yourself to the COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community? Are you a unicorn in a pony world disguising your magickal star dust sprinkling mane to live amongst the commoners?

Pitch us a blog series or interview idea!! Contact us at compassionaterevolt@gmail.com!

———-

There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

Musical Temperance: Like a River Runs

BannerLike a River Runs

When I fall asleep I can see your face
What I lost in you I will not replace
And I could run away, I could let them down
And I know you’re gone but still I will remember your light

I will remember
And if you see me in the darkness
I hope you know I’m not alone
I carry you with every breath I take
 
I won’t let up, I won’t let up
Until the wind is gone

-Bleachers

Growing up, death was a rarely discussed topic in my family. I was five when both of my Grandpas passed away, a few months of each other, and the only lasting memories I have of that point in my life is the unfamiliar image of seeing my parents cry. Back then I was too young to understand death’s unparalleled force or the vast hole it leaves in each person’s life. For the longest time, I thought of it as some unknown entity scary enough to make adults cry like children.

Grandma Kaneshiro
Grandma Kaneshiro

In the last year, parts of my childhood have been falling away. I’ve said goodbye to both of my Grandmas (who were my only remaining grandparents), two of my best friends from high school each lost a parent, Tinkerbell and Kaile (family pets who represented two significant stages of growing up) passed away, and most recently I sold the Honda.

www.iammorley.com
http://www.iammorley.com

I know as an adult, death and loss will become more commonplace, but these are strange reminders of how removed I am from my youth. I sometimes don’t recognize myself when I look in the mirror. I feel like I’m changing without my own consent, as if parts of me are unintentionally disappearing as I unravel.

A few weeks ago, I heard the Bleachers’ Like a River Runs EP on Spotify. The last track was titled “Dreams Aren’t Random,” which turned out to be an interview with singer Jack Antonoff and his therapist about the inspiration behind the album. He explained that the title track “Like a River Runs” refers to a recurring dream about his sister, who passed away when he was 18. He recounted how they’re not doing anything specific in it, but there’s a vague feeling everything is okay. “There’s this period of time […] where it’s probably, in reality, only five seconds, but it feels like a thousand years. Right as I’m leaving the dream and right as I’m fully becoming conscious that I’m in reality and in that five seconds […], I’m in reality, but she’s not dead. And it’s the most powerful experience ever.”

There are significant moments in our lives that define us. Whenever I do something, whether it’s playing the guitar or even drinking a glass of water, I do so as someone who has lost their Grandmas. This feature, Antonoff also explains, is as permanently defining as something like ethnicity. “And in those split five seconds in my dream, I’m not that,” he adds. “So it’s like I’m literally a completely different person.” His therapist explains that in these dreams, he’s transporting himself back into this moment where she’s still alive and he’s traveling back to who he was before her death defined him. As a kid, I also moved through the world with a lightness in my step. My sadness was often situational and short lasting, like the single colored disappointment of being called inside for dinner while I was mid-bike ride in the neighborhood.

www.iammorley.com
http://www.iammorley.com

In the weeks after Grandma Kaneshiro passed away, I used to see her in my dreams. A few months ago, she started visiting me again. I remember one dream where I was running through a big field in order to meet someone nearby. There was an adjacent building where people began filing out and walking through the field to get back to their cars. They traveled in pairs and groups, swept up in their conversations as if everyone had just come out from seeing the same movie. I zig zagged through the crowd and spotted my Grandma ahead walking with another woman. She must have said something funny because my Grandma was mid-laugh by the time I reached her. In this moment, my Grandma was still alive. I was bouncing around, excited for my plans, and leapt forward to surprise her when she spotted me. The interaction was quick, as if we had plans later. She told me, “Hi, Kristel!” in that same way she always does and I responded with “Hi, Grandma! I’ll see you later!” as I ran through.

I know my grief has changed me and that the people who meet me now will never know the person I was before my Grandmas passed away. Recently, I had a conversation with my mom about the strangeness of our lives now. She told me, “It’s like life appears the same on the outside, but the base fell out.”

The question I find myself asking these days is one I have no answer for yet: how do we re-define ourselves when we’ve experienced loss?

www.iammorley.com
http://www.iammorley.com

Some think grieving is a process that has a distinct beginning and end, as if our lives are suddenly resumed when we decide it’s time to move on. The experience, however, adheres to no neat timeline. Nothing quite prepares you for it and no one can really tell you how to move through it, and yet it’s a universal experience.

The other day I showed a friend of mine a picture of Grandma Yoneda from the 1940s and she said I had her smile. I suddenly remembered how people used to tell me we looked alike when I was growing up. There’s an old picture of us on my fridge and I never realized until now how the curve of my chubby cheeked half-smile reflects hers. Now when I look in the mirror, I see her too. When my Grandmas make appearances in my dreams now, I try to hold onto that distinct feeling of being with them.

Grief is a cavernous and transformative process, but it also illuminates, in time, the unexpected ways we remain tethered to those we’ve loved and lost. Our dreamspace allows us to process the parts we have difficulty accessing in our waking lives. It opens us up to the possibility of being connected in places we can and cannot see, with the hope we’ll one day recognize these unique and beautifully permanent imprints within ourselves.

Grandma Yoneda
Grandma Yoneda

This week’s playlist is about our journeys and those we carry with us through our lives. Grandma Kaneshiro and Yoneda, please visit again soon.
spotify:user:compassionaterevolt:playlist:4JRsk3KUigqsfLBNXStJL1
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Kristel is a sometimes angsty writer from Hawaii who now lives in Los Angeles, CA. She claims she’s a Marketing Director at web design agency, but she spends most of her day in front of the computer while wearing pajamas.

Musical Temperance is her small attempt at creating the perfect soundtrack to help her survive an extended quarter-life crisis. Additional musings and playlists can be found at kristelyoneda.com.