(On the Syrian Refugees)
Give me your inconvenient,
your war torn, your ragged,
your wretched. If you no longer
have a home, let this
be yours. Welcome. This is
no inn you will be turned from,
and you are not deserving
of scorn, so please—take a seat
at this table.
I’ll be honest: I’ve never
parted the red sea. I am not Rachel
or Rebekah. My sins are many,
my mistakes my own. But I remember
when the mob rules, when people
crucify, instead of offer kindness.
It’s love thy neighbor
shun the blameless. It’s peace be with you
here is my contempt.
To anyone who wears a cross
and offers vitriol
instead of forgiveness: you
taking the Lord’s name
in vain through practice; I imagine
that’s much worse
than a reflexive damn.
To anyone who forgets that
Jesus was brown, that he washed
the feet of those he loved
within questioning their worth—
what are you doing? Why
are your hands clenched?
Why are your backs turned
on the needy? Where
did you stash your mercy
and when did you last see it?
What is often called righteous
is prettied up fear, living
as a wolf among the sheep,
vicious and bloody. Do not
because it is easier than being kind,
do not forget that we are a nation
founded on freedom, on escape—
we came here
to begin again without tithe
or restriction. Our arms
should be open, and our hearts
should be as well—or have you
that most of our ancestors
were not even born here?
Give me your hopes, your dreams,
your anguish. Tell me
everything you have lost
to arrive here, let us
collect those griefs together.
Let us look at the shoreline
and see hope. Let us
sit down with water
and turn it into wine, and even
if we fail at that, let us drink
from one cup, together.
I don’t believe in coincidences. There’s too much that goes into a moment—too many factors—to pretend that something means nothing. It’s not random. It’s not happenstance. There are a handful of things, at the very least, that aligned, which results in a Thing Happening.
Yesterday, on my way home from work, I drove past—literally—someone I haven’t spoken to in a while, someone I have been thinking about. Someone who I miss, for a million reasons. The person was in the lane next to me, and there was this shock of recognition, as I leaned forward, “Is that…? It is.” But then, I drove through the intersection, and that was that.
This person isn’t someone I ordinarily run across. But things like this have happened in the past, in instances where it should’ve been impossible. Or, at the very least, highly unlikely. And yet. And still.
That happened. This small moment, literally at a crossroads. And it really got me thinking, more so than usual. Because so much has happened lately, and some of it isn’t mine to tell, but they’re the blindsiding moments that take your breath away. Sucker punches to the soul, the kind of things that make you stop, force you to stop and think about your life.
Are you doing what you want? Are you doing what you love? Are you with the person you love? Are you allowing yourself to be loved? Are you open to it? Are you open, period? (If the answer to any of these is “no,” then that’s something to think about.)
There are no guarantees. There is right now. And right now, whether or not we know or acknowledge it, we’re all at a crossroads. Every moment is a choice point. Every second is an opportunity. Seize it.
Because everyone has that person, right? That person you can’t stop thinking about. Maybe your reminders are less literal, less in-your-face than mine. But when it’s quiet, when the world stops demanding things of you, when it’s just you and your thoughts: what’s occupying them? Who’s occupying them? That thing your heart and your head on settle on?
Make the choice to bring it into your life. Because there’s just this moment, there’s only right now.
Guys, it’s a very important month. I’ll give you a hint as to why: pie, confetti, and Baby. Confused yet? Good, my work here is done. *wanders off*
No, seriously: It is Patty Blount’s birthday month!
She’s a fabulous author and darling person. Patty and I have a lot of things in common (Italian, pepperoni-loving, rainbow-cooking eating word ninjas!). There’s also a deep, abiding love of all things chocolate, and I may be eating a piece of dark sea salt wonder right now. But I digress.
So, Patty’s birthday is upcoming, and we are celebrating. Who’s the ‘we’? Me, pie, and the Winchesters:
Sorry, I forgot Sam, didn’t I? My bad.
Supernatural is one of my favorite shows. Patty adores it too. And there are a lot of funny things that have happened in the show. And in the outtakes. So, without further ado, let me point you toward a few things.
The best gif for every writer:
(Because, one time or another, we’re all Cas.)
Now, if you see Patty in the wild (Twitter: @pattyblount) in November, this is appropriate:
Of course, you only need to be around the Supernatural fandom for approximately three seconds to know this exists:
But it is basically an instant smile. So is this, the most meta amazingness ever;
There are a ton more gifs and amazing things, but they’re not exactly birthday appropriate. So, if you happen to cross paths with Patty this month, wish her a happy birthday! And maybe give her a pie. And a Winchester. But you know the drill: holy water first. Because you never know.
When the world is a battlefield, I promise you an open door. A soft place full of quiet. Two hands that cannot fix or save, but can ease. I promise compromises and adventure. Red lipstick ringing a glass, that glass full of tequila. Laughter that echoes and makes your sides ache. I promise fights and arguments without gloves, but without teeth. No names. No unnecessary knives, just the honesty of people butting heads and hashing it out. There’s no going to bed angry. There’s no going to bed apart.
Dinner will burn. Things will break. Money will get tight, and there will never be enough time. But everything works out, with enough heart and consideration. There will be days full of question marks and closets full of worry. But those are ghosts, and a little light can banish them. No house is perfect, but home is just a framework for everything you put inside it. Everything you carry in that cage in your chest.
Happiness is not always a choice. It’s a pursuit. It’s looking down the barrel of a gun and daring it to fire. It’s believing that you’re worth more than your lowest day and darkest moment, and baring your teeth at the fear. It’s letting the light in through the windows, even if the glass is dirty. Not everything has to be perfect, clean. Most of life isn’t. Most of life is ballet on a razor’s edge.
Sometimes, we are incapable of seeing ourselves. Our eyes are a broken mirror, our days too stuck on surviving. I will hold up a better mirror. I will hold up my heart. I will keep you from that pit of dogs you keep trying to throw yourself in.
You don’t ask for someone’s patience. It is freely given. That is love in small moments. Time. A way to sort out the shadows without abandoning the dark. Everything is a balance. But what is offered, without expectation, is an open hand. That is love. It is never a closed door, never an asking thing.
Today, I was driving home from work, noticing how the leaves are changing so quickly. So many branches are full of different shades of fire, a sign that winter is on its way. That soon, things will be quite different. What’s green has gone gold, and bits of what was are already dancing to the ground. Everything seems quiet, so I turn up the radio, defiantly singing along.
Crossing the bridge around the corner, halfway between the bend, I started to cry. It was the kind of feeling that hits from nowhere, but once it emerges, you know it was in every one of your bones all along. So many things are shifting, changing – there’s no set season or pattern. There’s no definite place of arrival. There’s just the road and a bend.
A question mark. Empty space. These things fill up with a sneaky kind of drowning. The unknown and the unknowable can be a vicious monster, but not of hulking terror and overtly gnashed teeth. No, it’s more like the things that flicker in the edges of your vision, at night, when you’re alone and the world is otherwise still and quiet. It’s like the shadows that seem to move, but when you turn your head, nothing is there. But you still find yourself walking faster, breath hitching at the way everything’s turned cold. Trying to get away from what might be.
But good and bad thing about empty space is that it can fill up with anything. It is potential, possibility. Not definitively loss. Not definitively gain. It is a waiting canvas. And while all things – people, relationships, etc. – have their breaking point, it is only in those moments of radical change that we can really see what matters.
You have to show up.
You have to take a stand.
You have to say no.
You have to say when.
You have to stop giving away your power.
The leaves change because of nature. But none of us are trees. And we don’t always have to follow the road.
I met a woman, once, who was made of storms and secrets. Magic threaded through everything she did, everything she touched. She created entire worlds in a single whisper, a single photograph, a single brush of paint. She could read cards and people with a depth that is unmatched. She could light a candle and change the world – even if the world in question was simply yours.
Sound impossible? It’s not. Allow me to introduce Katelan Foisy, mistress of magic (and occasional minion to her cat, QPI). Few people are so talented in one medium, as Kat in her myriad arts. She paints. She acts. She makes magic. She tells fortunes. She teaches online classes on how to read tarot, how to discern the lines etched in a palm. She sees, and she also sees through.
I’m lucky enough to own a couple of pieces of Kat’s art—one original piece and one print.
I will, next year, be buying another. She recently had two pieces featured in different shows. One of them is Al Capone, and there’s something about his eyes and expression that stops me every time. You can see that here.
Kat sees the past and honors it, but she also finds a way to situate it in the present, even the future. She’s captured folks like William S. Burroughs, Amy Winehouse, and Taylor Mead in stunning detail. There’s a bit of Frida Kahlo in her work, but everything she creates in uniquely and amazingly Kat.
And on a personal note, if I’m being honest, she’s saved my sanity more times than I can count – and more than I can ever repay her for. But that’s a story for tequila and a quiet bar. Suffice to say that I’ve been fortunate enough to partake in Kat’s tarot readings. I’ve had reading done by different people in the past. Hell, my 16th birthday had a tarot reader (the last time I actually had a birthday party; it was a costume party, and it was fucking awesome). But no one has ever gotten so much right, with emotional weight and insanely granular detail as Kat does. It blows me away, and I’m not a person easily blown away.
(This is where I tell you she’s working on her own tarot deck, which features a really stunning array of important people from her life. The artwork is gorgeous. The book to go along with it is tremendous.)
Kat’s also co-owner of a business called London Conjure. I wear one of their oils every day as perfume. That wasn’t originally why I bought it, but it smells too good to keep on a shelf. Plus, who doesn’t need a bit of extra magic on the regular?
Check out some of Kat’s art. Have her read, then draw (or paint!), your palm. Get a tarot reading done (she’s running a sale for the month of October on full deck readings for $80; they’re usually $100. Take advantage of it, guys. Trust me. Her 10-car readings are $40, if you want to snag one of those.). Ask for luck in love or court. Whatever you choose, I will tell you this: Kat will absolutely change your life, whether it’s through art or otherwise.
You think the picture is finished
but it isn’t. It’s true
that my heart is stained glass, but
it is also kaleidoscope, always
reforming, making beauty
out of the impossible,
and I love you
with every shattered
little piece, never questioning
whether or not
you are worth it, never weighing
what is weightless
but still heavy. Kisses aren’t rocks
on scales, and neither are hearts,
there is no balance, only
the promise that it will
all work out. Better men
call it faith, but I am no man
so I call it hope. Sometimes
I whisper your name at night
because it’s the only way
to conjure you next to me.
This is everything I have to give,
heart as open as a church door,
hands like rosaries, waiting
for you to come say your prayers.
I know how it looks,
I know the way empty space
fills up with what’s unsaid,
that there’s no guarantee that god
is even listening – would you be surprised
to find that I still pray? Sometimes,
old habits resurrect themselves
and I can’t stop it. You are not
an old habit. You are the marrow
in my bones, and I don’t know
how or when that even happened,
but here we are. Come
with all your quiet shame, every
bad moment and worst fear, every
ounce of your swollen heart, all the little
nightmares you never let live out loud –
give them to me, and I will
take each pain and make a mosaic
out of what some call ruined,
is its own grace, and some
hearts are bandages
for the wounds
we never admit to even ourselves –
is that I love you
with all that is whole
inside me, with all that is
shattered, too. Sometimes
it is our so-called flaws
that turn us
into miracles, the way light
falls through stained glass, taking
broken and making it into