Shifting Moon / Shifting SelfPosted: March 6, 2011
As I sat down at a coffeeshop to write this blog post during one of my routine weekend dates with myself to write and people watch a former co-worker, who I have been meaning to be-friend walked by. I waved him down and he ran in to say hello. After a few minutes of the standard ‘hi how are you’ exchange he started to politely excuse himself so I could continue with my work. Usually I welcome this, because I have my creative work routines that I like to adhere to. We only get so much free time when we are not doing waged work to engage in doing creative work for ourselves, and connecting with ourselves so I usually don’t like to disrupt that process. On the other hand we also only get so much free time to connect with others, who also influence and shape us as individuals, and I have been trying to focus on developing the relationships around me. So instead of allowing my new friend to excuse himself I decided to enjoy the experience of the spontaneous company, and invite him to sit down. We had lovely conversation and then decided to go get dinner together, and then later on in the evening mobbed the hipster infested dance floor with my boy Crunch at the Funk/Soul dance party at Revolution Cafe. I didn’t get the work done that I was planning to do, but I did bring friends closer, had great conversation about growth, and experiences and memories to build upon. All of these things aren’t easy to come by, and they are all connected to my goals for this month and the new moon, which occurred on friday and is the subject of this post.
Recently a very close and important friend of mine, and I were having some growing woman talk over a bottle of ‘mojo’ wine in my kitchen about all the transitions we have been going through, and the pain and beauty of them all. As a practical use of the content of our conversation she suggested we do a moon ceremony, because the next day would be the new moon for the month of March. I had never done anything like that, but I love ceremonies, rituals and the moon, and why not start off a new month by connecting with ourselves and the moon. We agreed to write letters to ourselves articulating five goals to meditate on for the month, and then we would share them over dinner at her house, and then go off to a queer people of color (qpoc) punk show. Perfect plan!
It was a very beautiful, and important night for me that really encapsulated the objectives of my letter and the way I am trying to live my life. I won’t go into all the specifics of the five goals for the month, but they all focus on re-connecting with myself and with others in a healthy way. The individualistic nature of the capitalist system we live in disconnects us from our collectivity and feeling tied to a community. Not that people can’t feel a sense of community, but it is different when we are living in a system that is organized around the collective survival of the people. Everyone’s role is important and we feel connected to each other. Under this system we just work for the profit of others and a paycheck that helps us or our family members/loved ones survive. Often the work we do is not the work we want to do, and we often don’t have control over it. That’s the bosses job. So we are also disconnected from ourselves and our desires. This is the alienating effects of capitalism. And if you are a woman your disconnection from yourself takes on a more grotesque form through the objectification of our bodies and the way we fragment ourselves through constantly scrutinizing our body parts (my butt is too big, my hair is too kinky, my breasts are too small, ect). We are trained have an unhealthy relationship with ourselves through the unhealthy beauty standards forced upon us.
Acknowledging the disconnecting effects of this system and trying to get back in touch with ourselves and others in a holistic healthy way is no easy task, but it has been a path I have been on for the last year. 2011 offers a lot of promise and potential for me, but the year got off to a rocky start. There were moments, where the path was foggy and I wasn’t sure if I was on it or not, but recently I am feeling stronger with more clarity and confidence to move forward. It’s a process of shedding skin…shedding weight…feeling lighter….opening myself up to the universe…opening myself up to experience and real living…real connections…and nice reflections of it all as I move onward. Its a really wonderful and empowering feeling that makes me feel whole and full of happiness.
The moon ceremony night was a perfect way to start the process of growth that I have been on in a more intentional and articulated way. I believe in the material power of ideas and dreams. I always felt that once we articulated our ideas we were that much closer to making them happen. I think this is why I am a marxist and a black feminist; I understand the power of writing, theory and action from both schools of thought. Karl Marx writes,
“The world has long since possessed something in the form of a dream which it need only take possession of consciously, in order to possess it in reality.”
That is a powerful and true statement that fills me with a lot confidence of my own agency to act upon the conditions around me to change them in a way to match my dreams for myself and for the world. The new moon marked a smaller step in that process. The night was full of so much warmth. Sharing food, wine and love with a close friend as we read our thoughts together and shared dreams for our collective future. We folded our moon letters into our pockets, consumed some other treats from the earth, and made our way to the qpoc punk show. I felt excited to be surrounded my people I didn’t know in a space that I am not often in. I am in qpoc spaces all the time, but not in punk ones. Usually I would feel more nervousness when I am in spaces full of people I don’t know or that are out of my element, but not that night. Like I said above, I wanted to open myself up to experience, to living, to feeling vulnerable and honest. When we open ourselves up in this reflective way we are more open to letting others in and getting closer to ourselves, and that is what my night was. It felt so inspiring and cinematic. I smoked a cigarette outside with this beautiful, twenty year old young man from East Oakland. He looked just like Basquiat and had a soft voice like him too with little locks. I shared banana chips inside with this brown womyn, who had this amazing hair that looked like experimental filmmaker Maya Deren, but a Chicana/Black version. I asked her if she had ever heard of her, she hadn’t, so I complimented her on her amazing locks nonetheless. It felt good to be full of so much respect and admiration of others, and to share it with them even though they were strangers. I watched my close friend yell about the patriarchy of the moshing that was happening around us and admired her strength and brilliance. Then I ran into the mosh pit and pushed this big guy really hard away from us. He loved it and gave me two thumbs up.
Then I had the most intense experience of the night with this incredibly beautiful woman, who I had eyed across the room right when I had first entered the space. I gradually made my way over towards her (my friend knew her friend so that was a sort of opening). I struck up conversation by offering her some of the strawberry gum that I knew was in my pocket. I clumsily dropped it in her palm then in the most socially awkward way told her I thought she was very pretty. She laughed. We talked about art and then she went with her friends to get more beer. I didn’t talk to her again, because I was dancing to the music, but then I felt this tap on my shoulder, and she was standing behind me holding my gold necklace with my name on it. It’s an important necklace to me that I often wear and had no idea that it had even fallen off. It was also an incredibly dark and crowded room so if I did notice I don’t know if I would have found it. But this woman…this beautiful woman who I noticed right away, who I awkwardly told was pretty, was standing behind me with my gold necklace glittering in the light like it was magic. I thanked her, but was overwhelmed by the intensity. I felt this heat between us. She then turned away and then ran out of the room. I decided to run after her, but when I got outside she was there with her friend. I wanted to tell her the intense emotions I was having; I wanted to tell her that it seemed like some cosmic message from the universe that I met her that night and that in that crowded room she found an important article of mine and gave it to me; I wanted to tell her that I wanted to go on an adventure with her, and learn about her dreams and life experiences….But I chickened out and settled for a ‘whoa that was really intense that YOU gave me this (holds up my necklace). Thank you!” Then I awkwardly went back inside.
At first I felt slightly disappointed, but my friend eased my worries. She told me that I was intuitive before others, and I accept that. It gives me hope and excitement for the future. After leaving the party and dropping my friend off I drove up to grizzly peak, where I could see all of the bay. And continue my moon ceremony in my solitude to reflect. It was beautiful. All the lights were twinkling and I could see the movement of the cars. Everything felt so alive and in vibration. I felt alive in this really important way that made me feel connected to others and myself, which gives me purpose. It was a powerful night that I am incredibly grateful for. And I am grateful for my friend, who I spent it with and whose idea it was, and who I have a lot of deep love for. I feel excited for the continuing journey of getting closer to myself and others, and truly living my life. I look forward to moons, friendships (new and old), and moving in a direction of taking hold of my dreams in reality.