I Am, I Feel, I Love


The most important things to me are life and equality. Equality as in homeostasis, equality as in living in harmony and balance. My spirituality, which looks not much like the usual suspects, says we are all equal, all forms of life, and those of us who have the means to assist the disadvantaged should do so.

I love the circle of life, the differences in lives and being.

I love my family: the ones related to me by blood, the human family I have chosen, the furkids I have rescued.

I like challenging dichotomies.

I love social justice: feminism, anti-racism, fat pride, queer politics, animal welfare, disability rights, transgender justice, environmentalism, anti-poverty work, ad infinitum (ad nauseam?).

I adore being a teacher and changing students’ lives. I love that teaching can change the world, that encouraging any kind of critical thinking is a tiny, revolutionary act that has the potential to restructure cultural ways of knowing.

However…

Social change is incremental. No one person can bring it about. Heroes are wonderful, but, other than all the press they get, how are they any different from everyday heroes that exist in the spaces between history’s dotted lines?

I am passionate about celebrating the common and finding utility and joy in the ugly. After all, these are historically situated, deeply fraught categories that get populated with those whose traits least reflect those in powers’. And besides, given the inequalities infused into these categories, even when it hurts, isn’t there a beautiful kind of freedom in failure and ugliness?

I love my spouse, whose humor and practicality and fierce devotion to truth shape the exact puzzle piece I need to fit me. I also find breath and solace in their chest.

My favorite sounds are a cat’s purr and a plaintive meow. Of course they are!

Religion as a supernatural fairy tale baffles the shit out of me. I completely feel that need to have an overarching life philosophy and set of ethics. I enjoy the community that comes from religious affiliations. But, when the groups expect belief over exploration and obedience above reason, I just can’t fathom packing up knowledge and critical thought in a plain, white box labeled “faith.”

I say I value all life equally, but of course that’s not true. I don’t value a housefly as much as a human life. I love trees and plants, but nothing means as much to me as animals. I don’t want to hierarchize, but mammals, warm and furry and comforting, warm my lap and tickle my fingers.

I have always said I am the color pink. It’s not necessarily my favorite color, although I find it beautiful in all its shades. I am the red of passion toned down, detoothed, by the cool, creamy softness of white. I’m the quintessential Western representation of White, docile femininity. I am sweet and cute and can wrap devastating social commentary in gleaming satin bows.

Right now in my life, I like dance music with a heavy beat and jerky rhythms. I hate ballads. I want to stomp my frustrations on the dance floor while waving my arms like ocean waves. If I can’t dance to it, I don’t want to hear it.

My spouse teases me because my favorite ice cream flavor is cream. Not even vanilla. Why dress up sweetened, frozen animal fat?

I won’t play competitive games. It hurts me to feel failure, whether my own or others’.

I’m so embarrassed to love roses as much as I do. I want dandelions to be my favorite. I love dandelions, and anything yellow in a garden makes me smile, but roses are so intricate, with their spirals that lure us toward their sweet centers.

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