Saturday, September 29, 2012


Today is my birthday. I'm 23 years old.

It's also a Sunday, which means I have to go home for dinner. Well, I don't have to, but awkward tension develops (or, the already incredibly awkward atmosphere heightens) when I don't go home, and so I feel in many ways compelled. Plus, it's my birthday, and I want to see my family, just like they want to do something for me: make me a cake, sing me songs, write me cards--traditional birthday things.

I love my family, and my family loves me. But we're at a very strange place right now. Emails have been sent, tearful conversations have been had (many, many times), and nothing has been resolved. Sometimes (like tonight) when I'm feeling low, things they've said to me pop into my head, and I feel betrayed and hurt and lonely all over again.

I kind of want my blog post to be about my betrayal, and hurt, and the loneliness of feeling cut off from your family. Of feeling parentless, even though my parents live a mile away. Of feeling ostracized and judged, of going from the straight-A, perfect, glowing Mormon daughter to the depressed, bisexual, disappointing daughter who constantly embarrasses the family and whose cutting and suicidality and depression stem from shame and guilt at not "choosing the right," not hurt and anguish and loneliness and despair.

But it's my birthday. And it's a day before my favorite month of the whole year. And my wonderful extended family has taken me under their wing and let me be their pseudo-daughter, which I love, and they even gave me a nice birthday present. I love them. And, as terrified as I am to go home for dinner tomorrow night, I'd rather be happy than vitriolic right now.

Also, seeing as how it's my birthday, I'd love to spend the day hiking, but, alas, my foot is broken. But since the mountains are there and beautiful, and now is the perfect time for all us Utah-ites to go survey the changing leaves yourselves, here are some quotes from one of my favorite nature writers, Craig Childs, about one of my favorite animals, the porcupine. In this section of his book The Animal Dialogues, he's noticed that porcupines spend a lot of time in trees, and so has climbed an aspen to get a closer look at one. He says,

"I reach the porcupine's level, fifteen feet away. I call over to it, asking it about fear of heights...The porcupine does not move, so I keep talking. I have to yell because the wind has each leaf in full flutter and it sounds like a waterfall up here.

The wind comes in long pushes and the entire grove leans eastward. Then it lets off and the trees recoil. I have to hold tightly as the tree and I describe long, smooth arcs over the ground. For all this motion and these bursts of air, it is fluid up here. The tree never makes any sudden starts. It pivots above the earth and we swerve back and forth, the porcupine and I. Now the animal is lying there, perfectly cupped in a crotch of branches. Its right foreleg hangs lazily and drifts in tandem with the tree. I relax my grip and let my fingers loose, thinking like a porcupine. No meditation, no trances. Just keep still and quiet. For an hour I stay there.

The trees are flexing like cello strings. The porcupine moves now and then, scratches its left eye. It almost stretches, but not quite. The porcupine leans its chin around the other side of its branch. Birds come through, a pair of mountain bluebirds, one flicker, one Lewis's woodpecker, and one red-winged blackbird. Sunset comes. The wind is cold now and I've been watching an essentially immobile porcupine for too long. I almost shout something, but I don't. The porcupine continues to hang on. Not for dear life. It just hangs on, trusting that the tree won't drop it" (235).

There are lovely things in this world. Some of those things are porcupines.

Some are aspens.

And also, some are ships.

I wish I could accurately express my obsession with and intense love of ships on this blog. Maybe another day.

Anyway, things are hard and terrible sometimes. Some relationships fall apart and there's nothing you can do, right now, to fix them. But it's good to remember that there are naturalists in the world who climb trees and dangle there for hours just to watch porcupines. It's good to know that porcupines spend their lives hanging from trees, just swaying back and forth. It's good to know that you have a birthday, and I have a birthday, and that you're unique in this world, and that, as Tiffany says, you deserve to live your own truth.

Thus concludes this sappy post. And now, for the poem of the week.

Here I love you. 
In the dark pines the wind disentangles itself.
The moon glows like phosphorous on the vagrant waters.
Days, all one kind, go chasing each other.

The snow unfurls in dancing figures.
A silver gull slips down from the west.
Sometimes a sail. High, high stars. 
Oh the black cross of a ship.

Sometimes I get up early and even my soul is wet.
Far away the sea sounds and resounds.
This is a port.

Here I love you.
Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain.
I love you still among these cold things.
Sometimes my kisses go on those heavy vessels
that cross the sea towards no arrival.
I see myself forgotten like those old anchors.

The piers sadden when the afternoon moors there.
My life grows tired, hungry to no purpose.
I love what I do not have. You are so far.
My loathing wrestles with the slow twilights.
But night comes and starts to sing to me.

The moon turns its clockwork dream.
The biggest stars look at me with your eyes.
And as I love you, the pines in the wind
want to sing your name with their leaves of wire. 

-Pablo Neruda

Friday, September 28, 2012

Little Things

Well everybody and their mothers know that I’m messed up. Except for my own mother. She lives in her happy denial bubble that I’m just this little ball of sunshine who loves BYU and is so excited to receive an education and isn't actually gay and loves to hear about all my brothers accomplishments 

But mostly everyone gets the jist.
But I like it. Okay maybe I’m not a fan of suicidal ideation and a general apathy for life but the best is the “little things.”

You know how everyone says to pay attention to the little things… well I do that. I love it when all the little things happen and I’m just like wow did you see that. That was a little thing. Damn.

So story of little thing.
I love Imagine Dragons. Another thing that is obvious about me. They just make me happy. And every time I heard them in a random setting I would freak out and be like whose iPod is this or OH MY GOD I.D. is on the Olympics!!! Granted it was only a commercial during the Olympics but still. And then it was the theme song for Perks Of Being A Wallflower trailer [on a side not did you know that that movie isn’t being showed in Utah. WTF? I’m tempted to drive to Colorado just to see it! It looks AMAZING. Plus they got ID to do their music… I mean duh] Anyways I was more excited about that trailer than the movie I actually went and saw [Step Up 4… wasn’t bad but I’m wondering when they’ll run out of choreography]. Point. I love Imagine Dragons.
I love Glee. I know, so stereotypically gay. R was actually in my room the other day and pointed out all the Glee merchandise I had. What… I love it. So I was looking around to see when season four started and to my delight it had aired the night before. INTERNET! I instantly booted my show stealing sight and watched the first show… Guess what happened? Glee did a cover of Imagine Dragons. The courtyard started the cup game which created this beat and before I knew it I was jumping out my chair screaming and then Blaine started singing to Kurt and oh my life. It was fantastic.
I love the little things. Like when your favorite show does a cover of your favorite band.

Or his face

Or these adorable elephants

Or this profound advice

Or PIKACHU! Or the fact that the auto-correct for Pikachu is Spinach! 


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Logical Decisions and Life Lessons

Broke up with Jay recently. He reads this blog, so it might be difficult for me to put my feelings on the subject into "Breaking The Silence." Then I realized this blog is all about putting what you feel. So, you get the (semi-rare) look at my emotions.

What I learned from the relationship is don't rush things. I wanted a realtionship, so when I went on three dates with three different guys, my brian somehow told me that I had to choose one of the three. I didn't like one, leaving it to two men. After a week and a half, I chose Jay because we clicked better. And to me, that was a done deal; I made my decision and that was that, so now we're boyfriends. I never stopped to examine what our relationship was like. If I had waited a normal amount of time (longer than two weeks, minimum) I would have discovered that Jay and I make great friends, but not great boyfriends. I realized this in the end, and thus we are now both single.

Anoother discover was found in Josh's friends. I found a world where people aren't Mormon but still struggling with becoming good people. And in our entire realtionship, this was probably when I was most infatuated, but even then, I was infatuiated witht the idea of what my life would be like post-BYU. And I think I am still loving the idea.

Jay also showed me that some random bracelet that he had goes GREAT with my tan skin.

Just so there is no confusion, I do like Jay. But as a friend. Who I hope to be able to play Dominion with.

And if any friends call me up asking me if I'm okay, the answer is yes. No, I'm not an emotionless robot who disregards feelings like I use to. I fully embrace my emotions now. And the emotion I've embrassed in this case happen to be logic. Jay is a friend. Not a boyfriend. And now I've made it official. Simple.

And now I'm focusing on new areas of my life.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ed u mah ca shun for the Nay shun

Education for the Nation

I have this great friend, my best friend ever.  The length of our friendship happens to almost be the entire lifetime of other bloggers here.  That makes me super duper old. ;)
My best friend happens to be on a soul work journey across the U.S. in a motorhome.  Sounds odd, and frankly I thought so too at first, but she is happy, and finding some of herself she had lost in the act of living. 

So this friend, on her journey was at a bar recently and a story evolved.  I’d like to share it here cause it’s poignant to who I am.  To who we all are.

Friend is sitting at bar with gentleman she met earlier in the day.  They are enjoying drinks having conversation when the topic turns to politics, GASP, (anything but THAT).
No really, it did, even with out me there to steer it that way ;) Friend is talking politics, I’d like to say she’s well spoken and educated on the topic, but I’m biased.  Gentleman has steered the conversation to gay marriage.  (Side Note: my friend is straight, has never swerved from that path of straightness and is recently divorced from her husband of 12 years). 

 Gentleman sure is a long word to type so I’m switching it to Guy, please don’t take this as a lack of respect, it’s not, just laziness.  So Guy states that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to get married.  He believes it will ruin marriage and the institution of marriage if the homos (my term perhaps not his) are allowed to wed.  Friend indulges his train of thought and allows him to continue.  Guy continues on down this windy and very rocky path for a bit.  Then he states that Homo’s having children is wrong and unhealthy for the children.  He believes that children suffer in these types of relationships.  Friend continues to listen.  Damn, I know, she’s so incredibly patient.

After listening for a bit longer my Friend happens to pull up pictures on her phone of none other than YOURS TRULY, me.  Oh, and my happy bundles of joy, otherwise known as my children.  She proceeds to show off my little family, minus Tiff.  After a few photos she asks Guy what he thinks of the photos.  She helpfully steers his answers with questions like “do these children look happy” “does this family look like a family” To these questions Guy answers “yeah” “ they look like a typical American family” “the kids look happy and taken care of” “this is just the type of family he thinks our nation should have” “happy wife and kids” “lucky guy” all these wonderful phrases about my cute little family continued.  Friend then stops Guy and states well those photos are of my lesbian friend.  Those are her very happy children.  She is divorced, from a woman, and currently getting remarried, again to a woman.  Her children are well taken care of and to be honest, this is where I get teary-eyed, “she is one of the best mother’s I know”. 

Guy stops talking and just sits.  Friend states that perhaps he should look at things from a different perspective and open his mind just a crack to the possibility that gays and lesbians can be good parents.  That gays and lesbians can raise children that are happy functioning members of society.  (Whether this is true for my own brood the jury may still be out ;) but they are only 8 and 6.)

Yes my friend is probably biased for my side of the story.  She is my friend.  ;)
Yet, there are many other people who think the same.  I meet people all the time who see me with my children and comment.  They assume when I say “ex” that I’m talking about a man.  They assume because I have children that I had them with a man.  They comment on how well-behaved and thoughtful my kids are.  Teachers tell me that my kids are the first to help, they always help other kids and that they genuinely seem to show compassion for their peers.  (what all this means I have no idea, I only know my kids)

So it is odd to me that people assume that my children are happy because there is this mysterious “ex” father who takes them 50% of the time.  This mysterious “ex” father who also lives 4 blocks away from me so that we can share our children as seamlessly as possible.  This mysterious “ex” MUST be a man cause if not the whole world would tilt on it’s very axis and every single thing we know would simply fall off the side of our flat planet into the abyss.  Oh, WAIT, someone already proved the world wasn’t flat a while ago!! Geez, the things we forget from our school days.

I have kids.  I’m a lesbian.  I had kids with a woman.  My kids have two moms and a step mom, say that fast, I dare you.  I have all girls no less.  I hope you feel bad for me when THAT time of the month comes.  5 women in a house with PMS.  I hope you had the courtesy to shed a least one small tear for me. Thank god for Costco! And Midol ;)

So this LESBIAN mother of three wants you all to know that:

Yup, I have me some kids.  Yup they might just be happy too.  Yup, it will all work out.  Even if you don’t want me to get married.  Even if you don’t think I should have had children.  I’m ok with that.  I’m ok with you thinking that about me.  I should warn you though, leave my children out of it.  They had no say in their family, unless you are LDS, Mormon, Then hell, you believe my kids CHOSE me.  WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER.  My kids CHOSE me! What a thought.  So, if you happen to believe this then I guess I’m just trying to give them what they paid for.

Next week stayed tuned for what those elementary school directories are really for and run ins of this lesbian mother of three and her local PTA. 

Have a nice week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Moment I Realize Being Gay is Killing Me

Health Care Reform is costing my company an additional $4 billion a year.  That's a lot of money and although we are an enormous enterprise, the costs (at least in part) are being passed onto us as employees.

In order to qualify for the best possible insurance plan, we are required to have a physical every year.  As I went into my appointment this week, I was a little bit worried.  I have felt a significant decline in my health over the last several months and I didn't know what to expect.

Well, there was some good news - my cholesterol is perfect (a huge improvement over last year!) and I am no longer pre-diabetic (again an improvement over last year).  That being said, though, my blood pressure has skyrocketed and I am officially dealing with hypertension.

As I have researched Stage 1 Hypertension, I have come to understand that although diet and exercise can affect blood pressure, the number one cause of hypertension is anxiety.  The more stress you have in your life, the higher your blood pressure.

Well, that sucks.  I am a naturally anxious person but if you compound my personality with the stresses of coming out, the associated family drama, moving across the country to get away, trying to establish a new group of friends, learning a new job, etc., it is easy to see why my heart health has been steadily declining. Coming out, is slowly killing me! 

I can't stop being gay, we all know I have already tried that, so what does that mean for me and my health moving forward?  I don't have a definitive answer - maybe you do!

However, as I take this new challenge by the horns, I am committing to do everything I can to improve my health.  I am going to continue to change my diet and increase level of physical activity.  As for my stress levels?  I don't know how to tackle this challenge.  I am going to be doing some intense soul searching to determine what I am going to accept, change, and let go. 

It sounds simple but for me it's not.  I struggle with change and acceptance and letting go are both difficult, too.  Here's hoping I can do what needs to be done before it's too late.  I am the master of myself, as soon as I remember that, I think I'll be doing much better.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dear Suicidal Self

Hello. You seem to be having a fairly quiet day today, which is good news for me. Tuesday, however, was a different story. We went to the therapy and you cried for a while bout how much you wish you could just go away. You didn't want to be here anymore, but you finally admitted that you were too scared of an afterlife to try to kill yourselves. What would be the point, after all, if you just kept on living after death?

Then you got talking about an afterlife in which we could be happy. Your picture was of our aunt and uncle's old beach trailer in San Clemente, on a pebbly, rocky, misty beach. We could live there in harmony with a dog and with rooms and rooms and rooms of books. If the afterlife could be a long stretch of misty beach with fresh fish on the pier, a good black dog in a cozy house, and all the time in the world to read all the books we will never had time to read, we'd be content.

Aaron Freeman wrote a beautiful sketch for NPR a few years ago that begins, "You want a physicist to speak at your funeral." He says,

"And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly. Amen."

We both find that comforting.

Still, the other part of me, the one who wants to live and experience and grow, wants to remind you on those terrible days that there are things in life that you and I both love. Here are some pictures to illustrate:

First of all, my wonderful dog,

And my Very Photogenic Boyfriend. I also love my wonderful friends, and would add photogenic pictures of them as well, but I'd be afraid of embarrassing them.

I love the seasons and the mountains and the trees.

There are those times when I'm so ridiculously happy to be alive, like at the 7th Harry Potter book release with these ridiculous glow-in-the-dark Harry Potter-esque glasses.

And, of course, somewhere in California, San Clemente and its pebbly rocky beach and its long misty pier and its fresh fish and its warm cafes really does exist. Which is a comfort in itself.

Anyway, try to remember these things on those bleak days when you want your life to be over. It's hard. It's bad. And it's not going to just go away. You're going to cry, and you're going to hate yourself, and you're going to hate your life. But hold on, and remember that good things exist, and that people love you, and that you love them too.

Playing with my boyfriend's best friend's adorable baby girl for an hour today didn't hurt either.

And, of course, remember how beautiful poetry is, and what a comfort that can be in hard times.

Much love to everyone, and good luck to you all this coming week!


I want to carry you
and for you to carry me
the way voices are said to carry over water.

Just this morning on the shore,
I could hear two people talking quietly
in a rowboat on the far side of the lake.

They were talking about fishing,
then one changed the subject,
and, I swear, they began talking about you.

-Billy Collins

Oh, and ps, happy bisexuality day! Celebrate!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

S is for Sarah And Shame and D is for Dupree And Denial

So I actually wrote this post a long time ago and it’s been sitting in my draft folder. But today is the most important person’s 80th birthday. And I won’t send her a card. I won’t call her. I won’t give her a hug. Because even though she is the person I love the most, she’s a thousand miles away and doesn’t even remember my name, even if it is hers. So this is for you grandma. I love you, I’m sorry, and happy birthday.

So we all know I go by Dupree. My full given name at birth is Sarah Lynn Marie Dupree. It was gonna be Damon and I’m pretty happy that it wasn’t. But lately (and by lately I mean since my first semester at BYU) I haven’t been going by Sarah. So much so that when someone calls me Sarah it freaks me out. My friends call me Dupree and my family calls me Bear. It works.
At first dropping the Sarah was just a practical thing. Do you know how many Sarah’s are out there? Sooo many. And Dupree is not that common of a first name so it totally works.
But as time progressed I realized it wasn’t healthy for me to be called Dupree. I started to distinguish between Sarah and Dupree. It was like I was two different people. Sarah was crazy and reckless and Dupree was smart and level-headed. Lately I’ve been getting better at combining the two but sometimes I’ll slip. Like when I’m talking to myself and say that’s something only Sarah would do, not Dupree. Freaking insane.
I was trying to figure out why I cringed when I heard the name Sarah. And it occurred I did that a lot. When I thought about Mario’s. When I drank Coke. When I listened to Dixie Chicks. It occurred to me that I missed my name-sake, so much so that I couldn’t even go by her name anymore.
Let me tell you about my name-sake. Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Potter. Mrs. Potter is my Great-Grandmother. My mother’s mother’s mother. She was born Sarah Golden and married Sam Potter. She was a Southern Bell that was raised in the depression. I didn’t know much about her until I turned 9 and moved to Vernonia. I would see her every day. She lived right down the block from where I was staying with my grandparents. She was amazing. She was always home with a coke and fixin’s for a sandwich. She was the grandma that all the kids on the block called grandma. Simply an incredible human being. Right before I turned 13 I went to live with my mother who was staying about two blocks away (I lived in a small town). Things didn’t work out. One morning she woke me up at five and told me I had to pack up my things and move to my grandmothers. She was on the run from the cops. Warrants and such. I cried for days. I tried to pack, I really did but I ended up just bawling watching Dirty Dancing and 13 Going On 30 over and over again. Finally I made it to my grandmas. I stayed on her couch and slept with my mother’s pillow. I still use that pillow every night. 
Anyway… That is how I ended up at my grandmothers. Slowly I settled in more. I was moved to “Sadie’s” bedroom. Till the beginning of my senior year I would spend the majority of time at my grandmothers.
She is possibly the only person I ever truly loved. And because of that I never told her. I would dread the night because I was afraid she would die and I hadn’t told her that I loved her. I was so nervous to give her a hug goodnight. But I still loved her so much. We would go get milkshakes and walk around the lake. But never on the dark side of the lake because that scared her. We would go to Mario’s and split a turkey sandwich. We would share a coke, her always grabbing two glasses from the cupboard and splitting them.
It wasn’t always happiness and rainbows. She was an elderly lady who was grouchy, losing her mind to Alzheimer’s. I was an angsty teenager trying to hold on to my last shred of patience. Looking back I wish I could spend more time with her. I wish I would have helped her more. I wish I would have told her I loved her everyday and gave her a hug goodnight.
And small things too. I wish I would have helped her carry in the wood for the stove more. I wish I would have listened to her when she told me to shut my window. I wish I would not watched my shows all the time. Or insisted we go out to Winco for groceries. Or all the random petty shit I did. I know I couldn’t have been expected to be perfect but looking back I just wish I would have tried harder.
The point. S is for Sarah and Shame and D is for Dupree and Denial.
Being called Dupree helps me run from my past and live in my little bubble of denial.
Being called Sarah drags me back to a past that I miss dearly.  

Dixie Chicks- Top Of The World


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

To The British Way!

Marriage is the core of the culture of Mormons. You hear from twelve years old that you are preparing yourself for marriage. Men mainly get the "sexual purity" talk and how we should remain pure until marriage. And the mission prepares us for marriage. I think that's all we get until post-mission. Women get the whole "What is the point of life?" talk. (P.S. just in case you're not Mormon, the answer is marriage)

The degrees to which this is emphasized on is different depending on your leaders. When my full-time working mother taught young women's, she came at this question with a bit more liberalism. But when some other, nameless people attacked this question... let's just say liberalism was a polar opposite.

Anyways, what needs to happen for the couple to get married? A wedding! As a Mormon boy who grew up in Mormon culture and knew lots of Mormons and had three Mormon siblings get married, I should be an expert at weddings, right?

Wrong. I was never allowed into the temple. I've legit never seen or attended a wedding. Never. I've been to ton of receptions, but never a marriage. Until yesterday, I though wedding rehearsals were something only in the movies (give me a break, I grew up with Mormon culture). If you are too young, you are not holy enough to see a wedding, even when it is your own brother. Even worse, if you are not in the church, you can't see someone you love get married. It is not allowed. You are excluded. And exclusion always makes things more sacred, so this sort of exclusion is good, right?

Never been to a wedding. I'm not holy enough to witness one. It sucks.

This is why I vote we do it the British way. Weddings must be public so anyone can attend. Afterwords (usually several weeks) people go to the temple to get sealed. And their weddings are just as celebrated, just as holy, just as sacred. And they don't demand exclusion. So... to the British way!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Okay, so it’s been blogged, tweeted, and facebooked to death.  I understand your immediate, and quite exasperated sigh at reading this title.  Trust me, it is with a very heavy heart that I come to this blog tonight with you all.  I can’t seem to shake the gravity holding me under the waves of constant bantering of opposing forces.

Trust me, I love a good debate.  I love hearing two sides have a go at presenting the facts of their platforms and somehow making me see the world through their eyes.  Lately though it seems the world is a very cloudy place.  Can you see through the fog?  I’m not sure I can. 

I know whom I’m voting for.  I know WHY I’m voting for who I am.  The question is, DO YOU?  I’m truly failing at finding out why, please tell me, who and why.  I need it to be brief.  Just a short little blurp of what makes you passionate about for whom your bell rings.  I don’t want to argue.  I certainly don’t want to color your world with my GREAT BIG PERMANENT MARKER.  I mean my little itty bitty voice. ;)

I spent a long time working in a women’s clinic.  Pass some more judgment, go ahead, I’m up for it.  While working there, counseling women on choices I faced interesting dilemmas presented by each individual I talked with.  The most fascinating thing to me was the judgment those women passed on me. (I know, interesting concept) 

I was pregnant with twins while working there and to be candid women were down right RUDE to me.  I never understood this.  Here I was, okay, so there was a great big huge stomach between us, but I was still there to hold their hand.  I still stood beside them and listened to their choice and was able to see what they wanted.  I did this without judging or condemning them.  I did this because I believed in what I was doing and why I was there. 

I’m telling you this story only to say, even while I make very different life choices, I still see the other side of the story.  This is very IMPORTANT to remember cause this is where the shit gets



I quite simply don’t think I’m going to make it to this election and still have a facebook account.  Either that, or I might no longer have half the friends I had before.  Am I alone?  Does anyone else feel this very real and gut wrenching PAIN??!!!

Did I mention that some weird person out there is stating that a woman’s body secretes something that prevents them from getting pregnant if they are raped?  DID I MENTION THIS??!!!

As a woman I have to say, I have never secreted any special sauce that prevents me from getting pregnant.  In fact, I happen to be VERY fertile, fun little tidbit you were salivating to know.  See, all this talk about secretions and I get sidetracked.  I can think of many secretions, but none of them prevent me from getting pregnant if there is sperm involved. 

My daughters are growing up in this world.  This one, this very one, right now.  They are breathing in this air and seeing and hearing and worse of all, they are absorbing it all in like the little sponges they are.  I think I might be crushed. Somewhere in their life they might be shouted at by someone who will try and convince them of something.  Something that may be very, very, very wrong.

Our children are growing.  It happens at night while they are sleeping.  It happens during they day as they play.  It happens as they hear our conversations, as the news plays, as they read our facebook pages, our tweets, our journals.  Please try to stick with reality.  Please try to be truthful, not truthful according to you, personally.  In return I will try very hard to keep my damn PERMANENT MARKERS off your damn lifescape. 

I’m passing judgment on the other side.  I can’t seem to keep my damn mouth shut through one more conversation.  Please help me see why you feel the way you do.  Please don’t let me be one of those women who passed judgment on me.  I want to be able to hold your hand through your choice, even if I have a great big different opinion.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dear Heavenly Father, Mother, or Flying Spaghetti Monster in the Sky

Dear Heavenly Father, Mother, or Flying Spaghetti Monster in the Sky,
We don’t talk much anymore and I’m kind of okay with that.  I honestly feel as though I talked AT you for so long that I didn’t see too much of a reason to keep doing it.  Your scriptures condemn the use of vain repetitions anyway, and that’s all I seemed to be doing - ever.  Asking you over and over and over again for the same thing, but never receiving an answer. Never feeling like you cared or that you were even there.  It’s all a bit discouraging, you know?
I've frequently asked myself, "was it me?"  Maybe. At least that is what many of your churches tell me.  If that is true, why?  Why did you decide to make me and some of the most wonderful people in my life different than what you supposedly wanted or expected? Why do your books say “love one another” and “that [you] [are] love” but you let the people who teach from your pulpits tell me and others like me that you hate us and that you don’t want us around?  It hurts. A lot.
You claim to be a god of love but I’ve rarely ever felt that affection.  Your churches claim compassion but more often than not they hurl hate. It all seems so counterintuitive to me.
As you should know, when I was young, feelings of fear, self-loathing, and disgust led me to do some pretty damaging things. At times, even today, I still think it’s better to kill myself than spend a lifetime disappointing you and my family any more than I already have.  I mean, you know how hard I tried to please my family over the years. 
For decades, I figured maybe, just maybe, if I could get to be good enough for them, I would somehow be good enough for you – and vice versa.  At least better ENOUGH for you to maybe let me squeak by and into those pearly gates and hopefully garner a small portion of acceptance from everyone.  But that feeling of being good and loved rarely ever came; not from you or my family or my friends.
Over the years I did everything I thought you wanted. From reading your churches’ books, to going to “your” university, to giving you two whole years of my life, I tried to do it all.  But what did I get in return?  More self-loathing, more self-pity, and a burning hatred for the people who claim to lead your churches.  And yes, at times, I even hated you. That doesn't really seem to make too much sense, does it?
Maybe you’re used to all the pain and hurt.  Maybe you expect it.  Hell, maybe you like it and find it entertaining, I don’t know.  I do know, however, that things are changing in my life and I’m okay with that.
These last couple of years have forced me to look into my heart and truly ask myself who I am – I don’t yet have a full answer to that question, but I think that I’m much closer than I’ve ever been.
I’ve also been stretched and beaten and broken – physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually – over the last year and, again, I am emerging from those experiences stronger and more individually aware than I’ve ever been. I guess it's true, what doesn't kill you makes  you stronger.
I’ve stopped going to church and I rarely read your books anymore, but I’m finding a new sense of spirituality that I hadn’t allowed myself to cultivate before.
I tend to see you in the trees, the architecture of beautiful buildings, and in the faces of strangers.  I hear your voice in the laughs of small children, in the comforting words of a friend, or the notes of a lyric melody. And, dare I say it, I feel your presence now, more than ever, in me when I acknowledge that I am who I am and that's okay. Or when I reach out in service to those in need; or when I try recognize the good in others rather than focusing on the bad.
These types of experiences lend me to love you, to miss you, and to fill my spiritual well.  But I wonder if that’s enough.
If I’m honest, I feel a yearning to have you in my life again.  There is a spiritual side to me that needs to be nourished and one of your churches played such a huge part of my life for so long that it feels weird without that structure in my life. I’m not sure how to fill that hole, now, though.  Truth be told, I’m still angry at religion; still angry at you.  I have a lifetime of pain that I am trying to work through but I realize that’s not really your fault.  At least it’s not all your fault - I hope.
I may have left Utah, the heartland of bigoted Mormonism, but my new state borders the Bible Belt and the South and I don’t know that any churches here will be much different in their views than those in Utah.
So here I stand, at a little bit of a loss.  I don’t know what I am going to do to potentially fill that need but I am going to continue to find your presence in the world around me.  The more I Iook for you, the more I think I’ll find you.
And, let’s be honest, even if you’re not really there I still think there are benefits in finding good in the world and searching for the best in people.  Either way, I am happier and I hope you’re happier for me too.
As we end, I would really like to ask a favor. If you could please tell my mom to stop hating me, I would really appreciate it.  She says she doesn’t but she sure doesn’t seem to love me the way she used to.  Also, please help my dad to clue in and pull his head out of the sand (I know it sounds harsh but I mean it with all the love in my heart). Similarly, if it's not too much to ask, it would also be helpful if you could encourage my sisters to learn to love less conditionally.  I know they’ve learned that lesson from our parents and their church leaders but I would really appreciate an intervention.
I know I’m supposed to express my gratitude and tell you all the things I'm thankful for, but I think I may try that another time. Today I am too tired and I've become quite weary. Even writing this letter to you has made my heart hurt; I literally have an ache in my chest so I’m going to go now.  So, if you are out there, and part of me really hopes that you are, I will simply say what I’ve said for years: you know what’s in my heart and I hope that is enough.  If it's not, there's not much more I can do about it anyway.
Cheers and amen.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Horror Movies

Since Halloween is my favorite holiday, my boyfriend and I have been kicking off the October season early by watching horror movies. For instance, this weekend we watched this one:

which was absolutely and completely terrifying, in spite of the eventual triumph of this lovely leading lady:

played by Jessica Harper. We also watched Interview With the Vampire tonight, and I've never wanted Antonio Banderas to make out with Brad Pitt so badly:

or at least for their fabulous hair to become romantically involved in some way. 

Anyway, what I've been thinking about tonight is the fact that we have an entire holiday that forces us to think about death. I guess in American culture it isn't really about death anymore--it's about kids dressing up in cute costumes and parading around suburban streets to collect candy. Alternatively, it's about me watching scary movies and throwing a Halloween party featuring pumpkin carving, baked pumpkin seeds, caramel popcorn, and dinner inside a pumpkin. Spooky Halloween decorations placed strategically around my apartment are fun too.

But--and correct me if I'm wrong--it seems like Halloween at its heart is a reflection on death and dying, even if our culture tries to ignore that, like it does every other facet of aging and dying. It makes the familiar unfamiliar by dressing us up in masks and sending us to scavenge the dark neighborhood under streetlights. We hang up cutesy little ghosts that bobble from trees and windows, completely divorcing them from the idea that they represent dead souls.

I guess I was thinking about this in part because I've been watching so many vampire movies. Vampire mythology inverts the Christian mythos by substituting unholy vampire blood for the blood of Christ, which then acts to resurrect vampires to immortality. Interview With the Vampire wants us to believe that the tradeoff isn't worth it--instead, we're supposed to die at a given time to make way for other souls, so that we're not constantly feeding off each other. But death is a terrifying prospect for most of us, which makes it hard to fault vampiric characters who choose an unholy immortality over death.

What's interesting about Halloween, though, is that in some ways it becomes a celebration of death. Autumn represents the temporary death of some parts of nature, but it's a beautiful season (and, if you couldn't tell, it's obviously my favorite season). I know that it's been hard for some friends of mine who have lost their faith in a monotheistic god to deal with the fact of death without the cushion of faith in an afterlife with an eternal family. Speaking for myself, I don't find the idea of an afterlife comforting; it indicates that life goes on in some eternal toil, when what I want out of death is rest and release. But still, death is big, and terrifying, and painful, and frightening, regardless of whether or not you have a religious cushion.

But the point of the matter is, no one knows what happens after death. Different religions take different perspectives, and I like the Islamic idea that the afterlife is like an oasis in a desert. But what we do know is that everyone dies. Which is part of why we need a Halloween--a carnivalesque turning of life on its head to remind us that death is a natural part of life, including within the natural world itself, that the eerie can be lovely, and that as humans, we share a collective fascination with and terror of death, which in itself makes death less awful and all-consuming and disastrous.

I hope this post isn't offensive or harmful to anyone; speaking as a suicidal person, death can be a tricky thing for me to talk about. But Halloween is one of those rare times that makes me feel gleeful about being alive. And so does this poem by Robert Hass, a former poet laureate, which, in my opinion, is about the joys of life, of human sexuality, of beauty in the natural world and our connection to it, and about our inability to comprehend the enormity and beauty of the entire wonderful universe.

Have a good week, everyone!


Her body by the fire
Mimicked the light-conferring midnights
Of philosophy.
Suppose they are dead now.
Isn't "dead now" an odd expression?
The sound of the owls outside
And the wind soughing in the trees
Catches in their ears, is sent out
In scouting parties of sensation down their spines.
If you say it became language or it was nothing,
Who touched whom?
In what hurtle of starlight?
Poor language, poor theory
Of language. The shards of skull
In the Egyptian museum looked like maps of the wind-eroded
Canyon labyrinths from which,
Standing on the verge
In the yellow of a dwindling fall, you hear
Echo and re-echo the cries of terns
Fishing the worked silver of a rapids.
And what to say of her wetness? The Anglo-Saxons
Had a name for it. They called it silm.
They were navigators. It was also
Their word for the look of moonlight on the sea.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hello MTV, and welcome to my crib

I love my room. I'm the type of person who will settle into a new place by decorating the crap out of their room. I decorated my room before I bought groceries for my new apartment. And I kind of love it. Plus I remember eons ago someone asking to see my art. Well this is most of it :)

I see this as I'm getting dressed in the morning. It's pasted to my closet door.

These are various doodles that I have received over the years. Notice all of them call me Sarah so they are very old.

These hang on my closet door. They are the more recent doodles. The black thing in the middle I painted. The two quote pages underneath I made. The thing on top that says "Like A boss" is an award I got this summer for apparently being awesome. The thing on the side is a note an old roommate wrote about me being a good example. I wonder if she even knew me :P and the hands at the bottom is prison art that my grandpa sent me. He had some guy draw it for him. Says "God Bless".

Self explanatory. Just some of my favorite movies.

Combine the corner and two walls put together. I have my Obama posters. The splatter paint is a random art project. And another art project from high school is the silhouette water color landscape. And in the top right corner you will find my glow-in-the-dark stars because apparently I'm an eight year old girl. 

Up close to the bookcase you will find various pieces of memorabilia. A note my mother wrote me when I was a child, the hat my grandmother used to wear, various photographs, and books. Also you will find Taylor Lautner sulking in corner.  

Books Books and more Books. Also my high school letter (yea I got one) and my scrap books. And pillows that I constantly kick off my bed. 

Up top is a GD art project. It's a distorted photo of a friend from home. Then we have the beautiful Santana, and then Voodoo donuts box that I cut up. If you ever go to Portland or Eugene grab some. So worth it :)

Up close and personal to my calendar collage. Yea we got three name tags, various markers, two concerts that I didn't actually go to, many Glee references, one pair of converse, two quotes, and one creepy as flip clown. 

So here is where the main art comes out. The one up top is my favorite painting I've done. I'm really into finger-two-minute-abstracts. Basically me throwing paint on a canvas till I like it. The blue one was also fun. Just a gradient of finger swirls. The cherries were interesting because they are made out of colored paper. The piano was a pen line drawing. The original piano was a miniature music box that my grandmother loved and below that in pink is her name that went through the temple. Also we have peeks of Kurt's and Santana's heads. :)

Such a fashionable human being. 

This is an up close of the picture before. In white is myself, in black are two of my old best friends (not pictured C or T) and in the purple was the first girl crush I had. Actually she really wasn't the first, it was just the first time I thought that maybe a girl that I liked might actually also be into girls. And the green are my favorite shoes. By the time I graduated high school they were worn to bits but I insisted on wearing them through the ceremony. 

My amazing desk. I would like to highlight the piggy bank, wineglass of pencils, crayon-melt-art in the background and the stickers on my laptop. Imagine Dragons, HumorU, CrankItUp music, and LGBT for Obama :)

And last but not least, my schedule for graduation. R asked me why I stay here and I pointed to that. Because I'm almost done. I can't give up now. I keep that there to remind me that I'm over half way done. 

Well that's me in  my tiny little nut shell of a room. But it's my room. All mine. To myself. So I love it dearly.