It is a process extricating myself from this city like boiling tears to find salt or uprooting a reluctant tree I suck on each memory patiently savoring how the textures have changed in my mouth resisting the urge to bite, to pack my bags and leave tomorrow My gnarled roots go too deep to tether so let's pull and pull together this process is goodbye
In Seattle, in autumn, the boulevards become cathedrals the stained glass windows are chestnut trees (they tithe by throwing down glossy artillery) and the pew (PEW PEW) is my motorcycle I bomb through the streets hymning nonsense songs I make up for the sheer joy of living Blessed art thou? Nah, Blessed art I, motherfuckers. Blessed art I to be here, right now.
In Seattle, in Autumn, I hold court with two toddlers. Beautiful, they greet me in french hold their arms in the air like little white flags surrendering to their need to be held. Which is, more honestly, my need to be held by sticky little fingers and soft noses in my neck. All of the small wonders that stop me mid-step: the first time she said my name the way his hands so delicately pluck apple slices off of the tabletop In Autumn, they learned to speak. They learned to run from tree to tree in the park chanting "rough rough rough!" into the bark In Autumn, they kissed me goodbye leaving Cheerios on my cheeks for the last time.
In Seattle, in Autumn, we built a gym a gym, and JIM we called him hewn by our hands as a fellowship of monkeys I sanded the edges for you We matted, painted, carpeted and filled him with joy and community success, sweat, and weights Moar bars in moar places we chanted as they went up one by one "we need one here, so people can lache" "and one over here for pullups and play" So, hammers and nails and buckets of varnish reused plywood and rails rusty tarnished in Autumn, we built a JIM.
And in Autumn, I'll say "Goodbye" to him. He who runs so deep in me. There's hardly been a day in the past five years when I haven't woken him with eggs and tea (he takes two sugars, not three, and cream) We don't talk much anymore, but I know he knows That I will miss him most of all. It's him I'll call, when my pride falls. When I wish I hadn't left. and the "Hey girl" he uses to say hello will fill my heart, bereft. Him, my champion of peaceful silence and headstands in awkward places. In Autumn, I'll pack my heart up too, and leave him in Her ample graces.
New places? New places. I'll tie up my laces and go belong somewhere else I'm sure the sun shines on the East Coast too and oak trees throw down artillery shells And there's good work to be worked, and tears to be jerked and the hobos play jazz with soul And there's a new Him with arms like oceans vast, capable, and true with eyes like storms, and hands deeply worn and a voice that says "I love you" And means it. And all that makes it worth it. Worth tying up loose ends on traveling sacks and Goodwilling most of my clothes worth stopping this life right dead in it's tracks and trying this new, larger path I've chose.
I will be back, often, and loudly. Love you all, Janine
Hey everybody. I'm back in school. This will mean many writings will be thrown upon this website. Here's the first.
My teacher asked us to bring in something from home that symbolized who we are, and write about it. This is what happened:
My symbolic object isn't, precisely, an object. The very word "object" implies inanimation, whereas my subject is very warmly alive, adaptive, and thoughtful. The best representation of myself I can bring to you are my hands.
My hands are the only things I've ever had that have been mine to own, to control, and to trust never to be taken from me. I've made them into something I can be really proud of. They are small, seemingly fragile looking, with short, tattered nails. They are swarthy, becalloused by gymnastics rings, bars, and hot coffee pitchers. My fingers are capped with the influence of my steel-stringed guitar, the backs of my hands spattered with well-earned scars. My bones are laced with the evidence of many days spent pulling down hard on bouldering walls, juggling, twirling fire, and building decks. They are ink-stained, palm-ripped, scar-covered, veined like young ivy, and remarkably adept. These are hands that know how to catch a back handspring, scrub up a park playground, play moonlight sonata on a baby grand, build a house, birth a foal, knit a sweater, throw a punch, hold a sword, and gently rock a baby to sleep. They are not an aspiration of what I hope to be, but evidence of what I've done, a scrapbook of my time here so far.
What I adorn my wrists with changes as old strings fray away and new threads replace them, but etched permanently into my skin is a french proverb that's not going anywhere. It says "Etre fort pour etre utile." "Be strong to be useful." The font is from a messy typewriter with a crooked "l", ink spatters abounding unapologetically. That phrase, evidenced by the visual aids that are my hands, is the best introduction I can give you to who I am, what is important to me, and what I will always work to aspire to.
It's been a little while since I've posted, so I figured I'd catch you all up on what's been happening.
First of all, I've been chatting for the past few months with various members of the Latin American community about flying down, training, and setting up some femme jams this summer in various locations. Super exciting stuff! I'll keep you all posted as more information gets set in stone.
Secondly, I discovered a really awesome and affordable gymnastics gym just outside of Seattle that I'm now haunting as a gym rat. The community in this gym are just the sort of people I love hanging out with; happy, driven, and excited to see others succeed. The mat burns are completely worth it. :)
Thirdly, I'm heading back to Texas on Thursday to meet up and train with some good old friends from around the nation that I haven't seen in a while. Should be a fun and exhausting week.