An open letter to my Hermanito: On queer, brown, adoptee love and what comes between

Querido Hermano,

It just didn’t feel right to leave today, on this new exciting adventure without taking the time to say all the things I’ve shared with you in moments, here, openly, for the world to witness our love.   Because, this love, is queer, it is brown, it is an adoptee true love, and it, like us, was never supposed to exist… but like most things that move beyond surviving this brown, queer, adoptee love is resilience embodied.  It is beyond magical and stands on its own two feet, fierce, a force to be reckoned with.

Over the last 6 years we have  become phamilia.   We’ve created a new language of queer love with each other, one that has taught me more about how to love, trust, respect, honor and walk with compassion than any other journey (with the exception of motherhood) that I’ve ever been on.

Over the past 6 years, we have laughed, cried (well, mostly I’ve cried), fought and transformed with one another.  We’ve figured out how to set our boundaries, and how to challenge each other. We’ve learned about affirmation, and celebration and intention and accountability, in real, lived, practical ways.

You have helped me raise my children, a job I don’t think you ever signed up for but took on with true grace and with all the integrity I know you to hold in this world.

You’ve reminded me to laugh, when things feel hard, to keep questioning, to keep listening, to keep learning, and, most importantly, to keep the FAITH.

You have reminded me to not take things to seriously, even when they’ve felt so overpowering.  You’ve shown up to fix things when they’re broken, to soothe me when I’m hurting, to celebrate our phamilia, you’ve shown up for so many parts of our everyday life,  to support  us all in so many ways, and, most importantly,  even when things have been tough, you’ve always just kept showing up.

This IS a brown, queer, adoptee love, what we’ve grown.  It’s something that I’ve only ever witnessed to exist between femmes and their fags… something that is so deep, so true that I believe can only be magically created in a place where two spirits so familiar with gender variance, gender performance and the complexities of the queer brown body meet.  We knew each other the minute we laid eyes on each other- the way that appearances can be deceiving, the way that language can sometimes never explain exactly who we be, and the way that learning to trust can sometimes only be built between spirits.  We created a deep potion between us, brewed together through parts of defiance, of resilience, of hope.  Your fierce fag spirit, my femme diva self, each of us different parts of a story of resistance, each embedded with the historical memory of what it means to exist, as Audre Lorde said, “when we were never meant to survive”.

Today, I am packing my final boxes and saying goodbye to this land, our home together for the last 6 years.   We’ve never lived more than 20 minutes away from each other since we met, and the times we’ve been farther than down the street have been few.

To put into words what it feels like to leave you is hard.  It is hard because it feels like I never hear or see queers lament the loss (even by choice) or their queer partners.   And by partners, I don’t mean the heteronormative partnerships that gain support or visibility through mainstream approval, I mean, the queer partnerships that form out of complex, often un-affirmed unions between two queer spirits when we make phamilia with each other.  So, I am writing this to historicize our relationship because there are so few examples of this sort of relationship available, and I want to make visible what exists and has existed in reality between us.  You have been my brother, my fag, my best friend, my co-parent, and so many titles for so many different years.  In some ways, I think we have grappled for language to affirm what exists between us for audiences whose consciousness have not yet witnessed this queer, brown, adoptee love before and need words to understand a feeling, a meeting of our spirits.   This brown, queer, adoptee love has taken us down many journeys and today, I am saying a prayer and holding a hope that this next journey will only bring us to new depths.  I am opening up to the possibilities that this separation will only create more opportunities to grow with you.

Between packing today I read an email from the phenomenal Alixa/Naima duo of Climbing Poetry, the header said, “raindrop let go and become the ocean”, and inside it read, “ possibility is as wide as the space we create to hold it”.  Never in a million years, would I have guessed what joy, love, and tremendous life lessons this queer, brown, adoptee love could bring to me.   The possibilities are endless if we allow them to enter… I am reminding myself of this today.  That this solid, this magic between us can be held over the miles, that our raindrop selves can be part of a beautiful ocean, still connected even when we are flowing in different directions.

Hermanito, I love you.  I thank you for all you have been to me.  I thank you for the proof that queer, brown, adoptee love can and does exist.  I thank you for being willing to hold this space between us and staying in it.  You mean the world to me.  I am excited to see what our next chapters will hold.  What journeys this life will lead us on, and what great ways the Spirits will lead us to grow with each other.

In writing this, I give thanks to the Great Spirits who knew exactly, perfectly, and exquisitely who to unite each of us with.  I thank them for bringing you into our lives, and pray to them that they protect you, as I know they will.

Yours always, in Spirit and Truth.

-tk

Embracing the freak-out moments too

I am freaking out about my move.

Yesterday, I took my entire family (including my queerbestfriendforever/bestbrotherever and my fur babies) to visit my parents, and to scope out a new home for one of our fur babies potential new homes.   It was a sorta rushed visit because we had things to do right before we left and then things we needed to do when we returned… and there was CRAZY traffic so we were all pretty exhausted from being in the car by the time we got there.  Regardless, it was an ok trip but I feel like all of that might have contributed to my overwhelming emotion at seeing my dad, the man that raised me, growing old.

It’s not like I haven’t seen him recently, but yesterday was different.  I guess because I’m so worried about what leaving him and going across the country is going to mean.  Will he be ok while I’m gone?  How will I know what is happening?  Who (besides my also aging mother) is going to care for him (them)?

I haven’t told them we’re leaving yet and I am so nervous about what that conversation is going to look like.

When we left the house I broke down in the car, I couldn’t stop crying and thinking about what a risk it feels like to leave right now. What if there is no dad to come home to?  What if this is a bad time to make this move?

This morning, I woke up and went right into anxiety mode.  It feels like making this move is putting so many of my relationships right on the line.  How am going to make it without some of the biggest/realest security blankets I’ve ever had. My dad, my brother, and my dog.  It’s like tearing my heart out of my body.  So, I’ve been freaking out all day.  (well, in reality, it’s 2 waking hours), and after some reassuring texts, I am FINALLY reminding myself that freaking-out is part of the process.

Normally, I tend to want to skip over the emotional freak-out and head right to the “I have faith” portion of things.. it makes me feel more secure to know that someone/ something else has a master plan at work for me, and so I try to get myself to that place of remembering right away.  Today, my spirit just isn’t gonna let me go there… or at least not right away.  SO, I’m slowing things down and creating space for myself to remember to breathe, feel, love and hold myself compassionately.  Today, instead of moving on and moving forward, I am going to create time to sit still and let myself grieve.

I am leaving my dad, and my brother, and the little dog that has stolen my heart.  And it hurts so much, I can’t do anything but cry about it.  And, I am accepting that this hurt, this sadness, is part of my process.  If I wasn’t freaking out.. well, that would be sadder.

I wanted to write about this because I wanted to share this icky part of the process with y’all too.  I’m committed to embracing the freak-out moments too, and today I’m creating more space to allow myself some self-care to guide me through this space too.  Wish me luck and lots of deep breathing y’all.  I’ll be excited to share what comes next with you soon.

xo.

Learning how to release and let go.

Today I am thinking about how to embrace release.  Over the past few months I’ve made a decision to move my family across country.  After a grueling process of negotiating with myself, reasoning with myself, doubting myself, and questioning myself, I’ve finally come to a place of understanding that this is a move that I want.  I’ve moved so many times in my life from a place of necessity. When I was 8, I was forced to leave a country I love and move here (to Massachusetts), and I don’t think I’ve ever managed to fully recover from that.  Leaving an abusive relationship when I was a teen displaced me into homelessness, and it seems like I’ve been struggling to make home ever since.  I’ve had lots of places that have felt like home, and lots of places that I’ve been content with, and I’ve had an incredibly blessed life… but there’s always been parts of me that have hungered for something else.  The thing is, when you’re a single mama, state-dependent, moving can not only feel really hard, it can be really hard.  Deciding that I’m willing to risk everything I know, including the skills it takes to navigate certain systems (healthcare, housing, etc.)  to pursue some “dream” can often fall at the bottom of your priority list, especially when you’re actively trying to engage in growing a healthy secure family, and pay your bills.

This past year has been transformational for me.  It seems like it started with small nudges, little moments where I began to wonder what would happen if I let go… I mean REALLY let go and just trusted spirit.  Those little nudges got bigger and bigger until finally I had no choice but to walk the talk that I’d begun to hear coming from my mouth, resonating from my spirit.

When I started this blog, I had just started to reunite with some of my spiritual guides.  Actually, it is clear to me now that it was me reuniting with them… not the other way around- they had been there all along, just waiting for me to wake up and recognize them.. to wake up to myself… to wake up the world.. to wake up the spiritual path that had always been there for me.  Over the course of the last two years, this awakening has been such a tremendous journey full of blessings.  Some of the things I’ve learned is that spirit resides here inside you, even when you aren’t able to see it.  I’ve also begun an investigation about how to grow my spiritual self in more meaningful, enriched ways.   When I started to look at what I needed, I started to realize that I need to be somewhere new.  I need a new environment to nurture myself in.  I need a new landscape to help me on my path.

What’s funny about that discovery was that I had made my mind up about staying here.  After years of wrestling with the idea of moving, this Spring I decided I was finally ready to stay put. Then I traveled to the Southwest and everything I thought I knew changed.  I tried to ignore the feeling I got, the YOU NEED THIS whisper (read: yelling) in my ear.  I didn’t want to leave what I knew.  I didn’t want to feel the pull, and TRUST ME, I tried to resist, and when I came home, I tried to discuss (with ANYONE who would listen) how silly, ridiculous, earth-shattering this desire felt.

I guess, if I had resources to leave, I probably would have a long time ago… but I didn’t and dreaming of going somewhere was the best I could do.  I’ve built a pretty strong support system around me, and I’ve done a lot of work in my community… from small things to larger things, I’ve felt really blessed to have the opportunity to grow with some of the many talented, creative, wonderful people that my local community has to offer.  So, besides the fact that I’ve never really felt like I had the resources to make this move, I’ve also always carried some fear about leaving the main support that my family has had over the last 14 years.  Yes, it’s been 14 years here… and I am just beginning to unpack all the various ups and downs that we’ve (our family) has experienced while we’ve been here.

After all, I raised my kids here.  I built my queer phamily here.  I met and am in love with some of my best friends here.  I know this land, the ways to so many of my most favorite sacred spots here, and I’ve grown myself here. And yet, even with all this said, I know I need something else.

Here’s the most outrageous part of this whole story.  Despite my deep love affair with New Mexico (which is where I was when I first realized my desire to move was still so strong), the real urge to MOVE came from a least expected location visit… and I still don’t fully understand why.  In April, I had the opportunity to travel to L.A.  a place I’ve been many times before, and suddenly, I KNEW.  There was no denying it.  I needed to make a move… and I needed to make a move to L.A.

Wow.  Have you ever moved on spirit?  It seems like this last year has really been a lesson for me about trusting myself and trusting Spirit and taking ACTION.  In typical tk fashion, I came home and worked SUPER hard, in a SUPER conflicted way to discourage myself from paying attention to my feeling.  But, when Spirit is involved, it’s hard to ignore all the urging.  When I silenced myself, and released my fear, I heard my inner-voice, I FELT what I was feeling inside… and I knew it was time.

One of my mentor’s used to say: “little by little, then all of the sudden”… this year I am really learning what that means.  Little by little I made space to hear me.  Little by little I made space to feel Spirit.  Little by little I am awakening… and little by little I was in motion.  I can feel the all of the sudden right around the corner.  All of the sudden, this dream, this relocation, this release, this transformation, it’s happening.  We are moving.. we are letting go of almost everything we own, we are trusting that Spirit is guiding our way, and we are moving across country.

Boy, it’s big stuff… and every day, I’m wondering, is this a good decision?  Am I ready?  All I REALLY know is that this IS the direction I’m (we’re) supposed to go in.  And, as scary as it all feels, I want this.  Like, SO SO SO bad…want this.  I just wish I could have it all.  My beautiful home, amazing queer phamily, and blessed community there in a new exciting, beautiful space.

I don’t really know the answer to why LA?  It’s just a feeling… and I’m good with that.  I am learning to release and let go, and let the spirit move my soul. I am working on TRUSTING that all we need will unfold, perfectly, just like it is supposed to.  I am practicing faith… and it is hard.. and I hope that you will all help me stay on track with this.. because I know that if you all will hold space for me to keep the my eyes on the prize right now, we will collectively manifest something HUGE here. ❤

Today, I sold my dining room chairs. It might not seem huge but it marks a really big thing for me, since it seemed like it took me forever, for whatever reason, to manage to get some functional chairs to sit at.  I felt panicked, and started to question everything, when I realized the woman was really going to come and get them but now that they’re gone, I feel relieved.   Little by little this house is getting cleared out… and I know that I am only making space for the new: New energies, new adventures, new memories, new blessings, new loves, new phamily.

Here’s to practicing how to release and let go ❤

Light.

tk

the truth.

Or at least today’s truth is this:

I am working hard on figuring out how to heal myself.  I know I have all the tools deep inside me, and everyday I am uncovering, peeling back and unearthing something new.  It feels like I am in a cocoon phase, one that I’ve never truly been allowed to live in before.

As a single/teen mama I’ve never had the luxury of “finding” myself before.  Discovering who it is that I am, deep, deep inside has always seemed like a frivolous activity.  I’m not saying I haven’t done my share of growing/healing/exploring/creating myself, I’m just saying making that the MAIN focus of what I’m doing has felt so self-indulgent… like something only kids with trust-funds get to do, and, honestly, that wasn’t me.

This is new land I’m exploring.  I’m starting to learn what I like.. not just because I SHOULD like it, or am SUPPOSED to like it, or because someone else deemed it IMPORTANT.  I’m also starting to remember that I don’t have to do to things I don’t like.. and I don’t need an excuse for not doing them.

I’ve been a “responsible” adult since I was 16.  (well, you know, as responsible as I had the tools to be)  So there is something incredibly frightening (read: terrifying) about being unemployed right now.  I’m unemployed, and I have NO idea where/when I will get another job, and yet, I feel like I am doing the right thing.  I am making space for me.  I am making space to heal ME.

Instead of organizing and stressing over a business, I’m opening myself up to the possibilities that exist when you follow Spirit.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m TOTALLY clear that following Spirit wont mean that someday I may have the opportunity to tend to a business or stress about organizing but today it means that I have to; stop, breathe, go to the gym (a lot apparently), pray, get good with my peoples, forgive my self for previous mistakes, learn compassion, pray more, meditate, cook, eat,  LOVE, and work on being the very best me that I can be.

I’m starting to read again.  I’m hungry for healing books and transformative tools.  I’m excited about words and, two days ago, for the first time that I can remember, I took a nap.  I was like a kid.. so resistant, and had a billion reasons why I didn’t want to (mostly because I didn’t feel like I SHOULD) but I did, and it made me feel good.

I am so thankful for this opportunity to heal, to learn, to connect.  I am so thankful for this incredible tremendous privilege (guised as oh-so-scary unemployment), and I just wanna keep reminding myself that I am ok and being IN this journey is way more important than knowing what is going to come at the end of it.

Ya. That’s all. This is my truth for today and I’m sticking to it.

What’s new…

Hello friends,

I’ve been absent for a long time from the blogosphere…. it can be really hard to stay connected and keep writing when everything feels like it is spinning around you.

The last year has been a huge handful of excitement, transition, journey, adventure, climax, confusion and challenge.  Somethings have been hard and others have been so affirming and I’m in the middle of learning lots of big lessons.

I have lots to share and am going to try and commit myself to sharing more regularly.  I want to give you all some updates about what’s been new, especially in relationship to some of my previous posts AND I want to send some updates about the New Mythos Project.  I appreciate all the support that lots of y’all have given me in my life journey and I’m crafting time to share these upates with you, so I appreciate your ongoing patience.

Looking forward to re-connecting.

This is one of the many images that keeps me inspired. Hope you enjoy it too!

Statement against SB1070 & why I’m supporting the boycott.

I don’t know how much I’ve shared about the organizing work I do locally but, to make  a sort of long story REALLY short, I commit myself to organizing locally, often.

Recently I have been SO completely floored & infuriated by:

1. what is happening in Arizona with the passing of SB1070, a completely racist, xenophobic piece of legislature that targets undocumented folks, specifically latino’s and indigenous folks;

2. the following anti-ethnic studies bill that passed immediately following SB1070, which surely is also intended to specifically target communities of color and, even more specifically, mexican’s and other latino’s, and,

3.  the  ongoing assignment of value to human beings based on completely capitalistic, imperialistic systems that define human beings by dollar values, which, if you’ve been following this blog,  has been an ongoing outrage to me but particularly poignant for me since my latest trip through the southwest (you can read more about that at newmythotour.wordpress.com, the latest entry is actually about NAFTA’s impact on border town and immigrant workers in El Paso)

Therefore, I’m committing myself to organizing locally against SB1070 and joining local residents in making a call to action to our local town to join suit with other cities in boycotting Arizona and becoming a sanctuary city.

I recognize that this is NOT the only means of response that we must take on. In fact, I realize that there are lots of folks who are questioning whether or not boycotts are actually harmful to the very residents we are aiming to support.  I understand those responses and I stand behind this call to boycott for the following reasons:

  • I believe in following the call to actions that have been put forth by folks in Arizona and I support self-determination;
  • I cannot, in good consciousness, advocate sending my resources, or  my communities resources to a state who has implemented racist-hate-legislation against the very immigrants whose labor they have and continue to benefit from;
  • I believe that boycotting has been an effective tool in various social justice movements for various reasons, including;  raising visibility about a particular issue, proving moral outrage, symbolizing solidarity and creating economic pressure, and,
  • I choose organizing from a multi-faceted place, recognizing that many means may be necessary and effective if serving in unison. (I think of this organizing from a place of abundance “and/with” instead of a scarcity “either/or”)

So, with all that said,  I will continue to post about what other folks are doing on multiple levels to respond to and counteract this latest Arizona legislature and  I’ll list sources where you can get more info. Here are a few to begin with:

InciteBlog May 1st: Mobilize for Immigration Safety & Justice

InciteBlog: INCITE! LA Chapter Opposes Arizona SB1070

AltoArizona

toki-wright-by-the-time-i-get-to-arizona-redeux: mix for you!

Oh, and a post about Arizona (and other resources) that I co-authored with my collective bookstore, can be found here.

Below is the statement we wrote.  Per usual,  I’d love to hear from y’all.  What are your thoughts on what’s happening in Arizona? What are some ways that you are responding locally?  What are your thoughts on boycotts?  What are resources you’re using/ following to keep up with what’s happening in Arizona?   What are upcoming actions you’d like folks to know about?  Please feel free to post those here.

Peace everyone.

Statement Against SB1070

By: tk (tanya karakashian) tunchez, Lani Blechman on behalf of No Way SB1070-(local organizing group of Western Mass concerned residents against SB1070)

We have written this statement to address our concerns regarding the SB 1070 legislation that recently passed in Arizona.

SB1070 was signed last week by Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona (the same state that a few years ago denied a holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.). This piece of legislation allows citizens to sue local police departments if they do not feel like the legislation is being enacted effectively, criminalizes transporting, harboring or shielding anyone if the person knows or disregards the fact that they are undocumented and permits law enforcement to question people about their citizenship, based on “reasonable suspicion”.

We agree with Presente.com (a national Latino network) statement that , “(the law) will authorize officers to pull over, question, and detain anyone they have a “reasonable suspicion” to believe is in this country without proper documentation. It’s legalized racial profiling, and it’s an affront on all of our civil rights, especially Latinos”.

We stand in solidarity with the First Nation United statement released April 28, 2010 that,
“This bill is extremely detrimental to the indigenous communities (including indigenous peoples of Latin American origin), which reside in the state of Arizona as well as those who live throughout the country. The language of the bill states that if there is “reasonable suspicion” that a person is an illegal immigrant, a “reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable” to check for documents. Such language purposefully promotes the racial profiling of brown-skinned people, and in particular, of people of American indigenous background”.

We are calling on the town of Amherst to join suit with San Francisco in boycotting Arizona and ending any and all contracts with Arizona-based companies and to stop doing business with the state.

We are also calling on the town of Amherst to not only act as a sanctuary city, but also to become a sanctuary city by law. Our town government must take action to ensure that municipal funds or resources are not used to enforce federal immigration laws, and that our police and municipal employees do not inquire about anyone’s immigration status.

We place this call of action to the citizens of this community to stand against this legislature. Please do:

• Flood the offices of Governor Jan Brewer, voicing your dissent against this bill.

This is her full contact information:
The Honorable Jan Brewer
Governor of Arizona
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Telephone (602) 542-4331
Toll Free 1-(800) 253-0883
Fax (602) 542-1381

• Boycott national corporations who are headquartered in Arizona. Don’t book a flight on U.S. Airways, don’t get a domain name through Go Daddy, don’t rent a U-Haul truck AND let them know WHY you will not be supporting their businesses. Other businesses include: Petsmart and Cold Stone Creamery. You can find more businesses and other ways to support by visiting: http://padresunidos.org

• Please do support folks in Arizona who are actively resisting this bill by staying up to date on what is happening and following their leads as they make calls to action.

We will continue to stand against this legislation. If you want to support our efforts to form a local critical resistance to this racist-legislature you can email us at nowaysb1070@gmail.com

Self – Portrait.

It’s way smaller than I thought but the quote below says:

“By creating a new mythos – that is, a change in the way we perceive reality, the way we see ourselves, and the ways we behave – la mestiza creates a new consciousness. The work of mestiza consciousness is to break down the subject/object duality that keeps her prisoner and to show in the flesh and through the images in her work how duality is transcended.” –Gloria Anzaldua

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