It Still Amazes, by Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

It Still Amazes

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

This rhythmic exchange

of sky and lungs.  We hold sky inside us,

swirl it around so it touches

everything; and the sky, in turn,

holds us, touches everything—such delicate

intimacy, such cosmic play.

 

And even when our body has breathed its last, still

we merge and we weave and we dive

and we swim, we turn and we go

where ever we go, lifted in the song

of it all.

 

 

 

 


 

 


We All Know It’s Going to Happen, By Radiance Angelina Petro

We All Know It’s Going to Happen

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

Fields of corn, after whispering

all summer, have fallen silent,

the earth begins its long, slow inhale,

the last cricket suddenly stops singing,

the grey heron flies, pushing the past

dreamy months behind with sad, tired wings,

branches and roots withdrawal green

back down into the ensouled earth.

 

We all know it’s going to happen,

we all know the cold is coming.

And what does heaven say to us,

as it blankets the ground with gold?

 

It says:

 

begin building your fires, keep each other warm,

and all through the harsh and difficult winter,

remember: seeds are dreaming of light.

 

 

 

 


 


Coming Out Day Reflections, 10/11/2020, By Jennifer (Ray) Angelina Petro

Coming Out Day Reflections

10/11/2020

By

Jennifer (Ray) Angelina Petro

 

 

If you didn’t already know—I’m trans, and every time I leave the Treehouse automatically makes the day, no matter what day it is, for better or for worse, Coming Out Day.

There are still private, and little/big moments, when I look at myself in the mirror, and for better or for worse, realize all over again that I’m trans, and there is nothing whatsoever I can do about that even if I wanted to. And that can bring a wild, almost feral joy. It can also bring the oppressive sense of being trapped in a life I did not choose.

There are times when I think back to my initial coming out, and how it smashed my world all to hell, and I regret it–in the sense of wishing it didn’t have to happen. And yet, the truth was/is that I couldn’t NOT come out. When you’re born you’re born, the rest of the world be damned.

I have learned over these past 5 years that my being trans–in my particular case–and, for better or for worse, is only a beginning to the discovering/uncovering of who I am, and there isn’t a finish line to this journey, and the journey is wondrous, terrifying, full of laughter, full of loss, full of gain, full of joy, full of anger, full of shame, full of power, full of gratitude, full of healing and pain, full of possibilities and opportunities, full on the kind of emptiness that is crucial to being a vessel for authenticity and for good.

Coming out, for me, was really more of a coming down–as in descending, incarnating into my body for the first time. It was the embodiment of fire in wood. It was also more of a coming up, as in the cicada nymph having no choice but to allow the light to draw it skyward. And magically, it was also a certain kind of coming in. As the revelation of who I was blossomed into the world, its roots found soil in my heart, and my own self-compassion turned inwards to treasure and protect the truth of me in ways neither you or I will ever fully know.

Coming out was also the acceptance of how powerful I am, how resilient. It was embracing that being a shapeshifter is holy. It was honoring and feeding a ferocity that for too long lay hidden, afraid, and directionless. It was accepting that coming out later in life, for better or for worse, makes me an elder, a crone, a warrior who will fight for the young with my new found claws and teeth.

Coming out has also made my life far more threatening to those around me than it was when I thought I was a cis male. Surrendering male privilege in this society threatens people in strange, outlandish, and very real, dangerous ways.

Know this: if my coming out was a choice I may have very well not come out. I am not that brave, but I have to be now.

My coming out, however, wasn’t a choice. It was, as mentioned above, the giving birth to myself; it was Joseph midwifing me into the world.

The only thing I can control now is how I outwardly present who I am, and how I choose to use the new-found power that lives within me. And sometimes choosing to hide is the wisest, bravest thing I can do.

And even as my wings continue to grow and there are times I can spread them, like an angel, I am very conscious that the more I fly, the more I soar, like a hawk searching for those that would harm the fledglings– the more vulnerable I am to violence, hate, discrimination, and marginalization.

So, while Coming Out Day can be a day of celebration, it can also be a day of reckoning; a day where one’s destiny suddenly unfolds before them, like an unstoppable river. And this can bring joyous freedom and excitement, and it can also bring churning fear of what might happen next. It can also bring a deep sense of inner crisis, isolation, and the need to hunker down for a bit to grow into the truth.

Know this, my blessed allies–Coming Out Day is a very big day indeed with repercussions that will be felt the rest of our lives, and so, we need you. Please continue to make this world safer and safer for people like me and to the young ones coming after. I know you will, because you too, are brave. Please also continue to make the world safer for older trans people like me to come out later in life.

And remember all of you seasoned, professional queers–remember what Coming Out Day was for you, and never forget how scary it can be. Protect each other. Celebrate each other. Remove the gates so gatekeepers have nothing else to do but turn away and grow into better people.

So, there it is. It’s Coming Out Day. I am a transgender woman who presents somewhat non-binary, and uses she/her pronouns. I am, every day, newly born, and, for better or for worse, I am not going anywhere.

 

 

 


 


While You Are Not Obligated, By Radiance Angelina Petro

While You Are Not Obligated

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

(Using my own words as well as words

found in The Dictionary of Shipping Terms and Phrases,

by Edward F. Stevens, pub. 1947)

 

 

You are sufficient, seaworthy,

you have tendered time

its disbursements of grief,

your tears have perfected your sight

enough, you have recouped

the solvency of the spirit,

your manifest includes hope’s readiness.

 

Now, against all risk, enter outward,

for there is yet the safety of adventure,

and you now sail unenclosed waters.

 

Mooring ropes, as you know,

wear thin, and there are ships

drifting at sea, others are icebound,

nearly inaccessible, waiting

for the frost-feathered gull

to drop the notice of abandonment.

 

There are plenty of lighthouses along the shore.

What is needed are lightships willing

to take the lost alongside, to pass provisions,

to touch and stay, and lead them

to believe out of the starless night,

and into the harbor of taverns and song,

where they can, unladdened and free

of encumbrances, reinterpret themselves

back into the land of the living.