I heard a scream. It didn’t sound like fear, it sounded like anger. I turned and I saw a woman pounding the floor, shouting in pain. In front of her, people swirled in a wild dance. To her right a couple in love was grinding their bodies on each other. To her left, a mother laughed, clutching her 2 year old to her bare breast. And in the back plates of chocolate sat between flowers and pictures of Brian.
Pain and laughter, dance and rage, grief and ecstasy took turns and blended into spiraling intensity. I was at a memorial service for Brian Baker, an avid dancer, passionate lover, and exuberant chocolatier with whom I just barely started building a friendship. I abhor memorial services and I didn’t know Brian well and yet I felt an irresistible urge to be at his memorial. Many members of the dance and poly community say that although they didn’t know Brian well, they feel the impact of his death strongly. Continue reading
My college graduation in 2005
A GPA of 4.0. Graduating in highest honors. Memorizing songs upon hearing them once. Solving math problems faster than most. Studying half a dozen languages. Using big words. Citing important sources. Name dropping. Winning debates.
Those are the things that impress and I have done them all. I’ve appeared on radio shows and participated in debates and usually walked away impressing people. I could win arguments and outsmart my opponents. I was proud of my intelligence, quick wits, and sharp memory. Until I was humbled. Continue reading
“I hear it all the time, young people dropping out of school, quitting their jobs to “go find themselves”. But I ask you, have you ever heard of anyone coming back saying “I did it, I found myself?” Of course not!”
Tony Campolo was arguing that we need to stick to our communities rather than venture out on a quest for self discovery. It was at the conference with Shane Claiborne, who invited me and my husband to join him with our music and story-telling. Continue reading
You’ve seen the T-shirt.
Polyamory is wrong.
It’s either multiamory or polyphilia. Mixing greek and latin roots is wrong.
Personally, I care no more about grammatical than religious syncretism, both can be enriching. But polyamory is a broad term, used differently and often as a catch-all for any form of consenting non-monogamy.
I have been living this way for over three years now and while I am OK with the labels of “polyamorous”, “in an open relationship”, “non-monogamous”, or simply “open”, I often refer to what I practice “tribalamory”. Continue reading
It was like a vision out of a fantasy novel, an imagining of times long past. That is how I experienced the summer solstice. Strangers gathered for ritual, lighting a bonfire on the beach, dropping their clothes in the cold summer fog, dashing into the ocean at sunset. Sky-clad bodies swaying to drum beats, the solstice flames reflected in their eyes, quivering lips chanting, singing, dancing, drumming.
The mental picture I took that night imprinted itself on my soul. I had come home into the strangest of realms that had been calling me all my life. It felt like an arrival that was only the very beginning. The shortest night celebrating the passing of my dark night of the soul into distant memory. Continue reading
Sometimes I listen to pagan music while working on a church bulletin and I find myself slipping into a state of worship. Images of growing vines, the antlered crown of Pan blend with beautiful words of Jesus and adoration of the God of heaven and earth. They blend together and all symbols, all language fades into meaningless and all that remains is divine union. I listen to a hymn to Pan and sing it to Jesus, a memorized bible verse pops up in a pagan ritual.
“So long I have waited
you have come to set me free
now the gate is open
my heart belongs to you”
The voice of the singer carries me deep into the sweet love of Jesus, a love I have known all my life. I hum along, I feel like kneeling before the cross, and it is only then I remember this is a pagan band and the song is dedicated to – I actually don’t remember which deity it is addressing. But I know where the love it comes from, where this worship takes the singer, where this worship takes me. To the One who is All One, All One or None.
I tried so hard to be an atheist.
I imagined there’s no heaven.
And no religion, too.
I failed. Continue reading