Ray’s Rays, Number 24: Midnight Sun, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays, Number 24

Midnight Sun

by

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

 

There is something in the dark.

It’s you.

And you’re worth seeking.

And you’re worth allowing it to come forward.  It’s a kind of holy darkness

that might be filled with menace, it might be filled with tears.

It’s likely a mix of both.  First, the rage; then, the tears; or maybe

the other way around.  What is certain is that healing is there,

and a kind of unreasonable, and thrilling hope.

Whatever’s there—it is worthy of your love,

and you are worthy of the love it brings to you.

Some might say it isn’t smart to go digging in the dark.  It might

lead somewhere dangerous.  And they’re right.  It might.  And

It isn’t smart—intellectually smart, that is.  It’s genius as fuck though

where the heart is concerned—where the soul is concerned, where the imagination,

and the right to be fully alive, is concerned.  So, go.  And why not

bring someone with you.  Chances are both journeys into the darkness

cross paths or tunnels or passageways. Lift the light.

Be a lighthouse for your own shadow.  Be a light for each other. The dark light—

the midnight sun—that’s often where the magic and power is.

Go and find out.  There is no time to lose.

 

 

 

 

 


Ray’s Rays, Number 23: Resonances, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays, Number 23

Resonances

by

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

 

 

 

 

When my voice settles into/with a chord on the guitar

as I’m playing by myself or for a crowd, it’s magic.

Resonance—merging with—a kind of vibrational oneness–

it rests there—thrums in that moment—radiating

into/through my heart, my whole body, and then, out into the world.

It’s moments like these that my soul longs for.

Not necessarily from/with another person—like,

in a relationship, or a friendship, but that would be

OK if it ever happened. It’s more like longing for the healing

to settle into my whole body. When past traumas ring

in unison with my present shimmers of wholeness–

when the work I’ve done and the work I do

to make something of my life after sexual assault, rape,

molestation, physical and mental abuse—blends

with my body as it is and can rejoice a little–

safe in this moment—in this song I am singing–

in these strings I am strumming—heart strings,

and songs of hope, and realizations of being alive

and worthy to be alive. When the vibrations of the truth–

lived truth, lived experience, lived hurt, lived moments

of redeeming my own life—sound and spread through

branches of bones and body. It is possible. Healing.

I know it. I’ve experienced it. Whether you play a guitar

or any other musical instrument, whether or not you sing,

settle into/with those moments when you have even one

resonance of hope. Healing can be really fucking hard.

And it is also possible. You are not too broken. You are not

too far gone. You are worthy. You are a divine being

full of all the spiraling galaxies, who deserves all good things.

Whirl in those little moments of hope—

let them spread out/through your mind, heart, spirit,

and body—and then, out/into the world. For they will never

stop ringing, and they will shine forever through/with

the future of all.

 

 

 

 


Ray’s Rays Number 22: It All Comes From the Earth, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays

Number 22: It All Comes From the Earth

By

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

 

 

 

Everything ultimately comes from the earth.

All paper, fabrics, food—even metals and plastics.

They all have there basic foundations in materials from the earth.

For this reason, I believe everything is, in its own way—alive,

and I live my life knowing this. I express this

in different ways. One way is that I thank everything–

my car, the washing machine, the stairs, the chairs, the tables,

and appliances. Call me crazy, I don’t give a fuck.

I thank the earth for everything I eat, wear, and that sustains me

physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

I also thank the people who built the stairs and the car

and the clothes they make, and the food they farm that I eat.

At some point someone cut the wood, pounded the nails,

and measured everything to make the stairs I climb everyday.

Someone’s planted the seeds and harvested the crops.

Someone who has feelings, concerns, secrets, and joys.

Some of these people might even be dead. I thank them anyway.

So, yeah. I think/know/experience everything is alive.

Not in a pantheistic way (which would be fine if I did, of course),

and not in an anthropomorphized way, but in a real, living

way. Everything comes from the living, breathing earth,

and for that I am beyond grateful.

 

 

 

 


Ray’s Rays, Number 21: Lost Daze, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays, Number 21

Lost Daze

by

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

 

 

 

For me, they happen most in summertime.

Maybe it’s lying on the bed in my room

and hearing children playing somewhere in the distance,

or a lawn mower, or a breeze that rustles the drapes, and misses me entirely.

Lost days have been happening to me since the day

the traumas began. Not everyday, of course, but some days–

some days are like one long, lost, timeless drifting–a sort of

drowsiness, a kind of loneliness that is crushing.

Sometimes it helps—the old adage: Move a muscle, change a thought.

Sometimes it helps to go for a walk. And sometimes,

this deep sense of being inside a lost day is a horrible

manifestation of my clinical depression, and no adage

or activity will help. Somehow, I have to ride the wave,

or drift with the wave, or somehow not drown in the wave.

And there are days when the wave takes me under

and I am barely alive when it spits me up on the shore

whenever it’s through with me.

Being bi-polar, there is another kind of lost day.

It’s the one when the mania grabs me in its jaws

and thrashes me around. It’s when I go shopping

in wild, dangerous spending sprees—spending time

and money indoors—going from place to place–

being outside only long enough to go from car to store

and store to car. I sense the day is happening—the sun,

the blue sky, the lazy bobbing dragonflies landing on the car,

and I can’t stop. The wave is pushing me—forcing me

to move and, without thinking, I lose myself, and my money,

in an empty, wasted day. When I get home I look at what I bought

and am most often like–”Why did I buy that?” Mania

does that to me, and no amount of deep breathing

or mindfulness can slow me down. It’s terrifying.

I have lost many days to depression and/or mania,

and it sucks. It is a deep hopelessness and loneliness

that hollows the bones and causes me to lose myself–

a tasteless, formless dissociation that drifts in and out of the window.

So, what do I do when depression steals my day (or days)?, or when

mania hijacks my day (days)? I do my best, as I said above–

to try and ride it out. In the case of mania—I hold on for dear life.

In depression, I sleep—let the day lift itself away.

With both mania and depression, I keep taking my meds.

I stay as close to trusted people as possible. And, it’s

not easy—and often seems impossible. Somehow,

I am still here. I hope you are too. Ride out the wave.

No matter the existential feelings, you’ll be glad you did.

You are strong, even in weakness. You have rode many waves

and made it to the shore. This one will be no different.

You will survive, and perhaps, riding the waves will become

closer to surfing.


Ray’s Rays, Number 20: Living With PTSD, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays, Number 20

Living With PTSD

by

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

 

 

 

What does it mean to feel safe in this world? What does it

mean to you? How does it feel for/in you?

Have you ever felt safe? Felt safe for long periods of time

and/or just brief glimpses? What do you do

when you feel safe or unsafe?

I can say for myself I have yet to feel utterly

and truly safe—ever–no matter the situation,

circumstances, or company. My body/mind/spirit/heart

is so hypervigilant, so on the look-out to be hurt again,

so ready for something horrible to happen–

some form of violence, some shaming, some rejection–

it’s ingrained in me. Something is about to happen–

something bad, something scary, something really, really

wrong. How do I live with this sort of deep trauma?

It’s day-to-day. I don’t describe myself as “healing,” so much

as being able to exist in this world in a somewhat

present, compassionate, creative way. I have wounds

that may not ever heal. Certainly there are scars

that won’t ever go away. There are memories

and visceral experiences inside that may not ever fully

drift into the void. How do I keep moving?

I try to build little glimmers of safety—moments

when I feel relatively safe. Who am I with when I feel

a tiny bit safe? What am I doing, or not doing?

Where am I? What time of day is it? Again,

no matter how safe a situation and certain people

may feel safe to me, there is always the impending

terrible thing that’s about to happen—usually

of a violent variety—something horrible happening

to my kids and loved ones, some sort of accident

happening to me or those I love. But that being said, there are times

I can gently, tentatively sink into a sense of safety,

and I am learning to be deeply grateful for those moments,

to help create more of them for myself as well as others.

They help me remember safety is more or less possible

for some periods of time.

And yet, in this world of terrorist capitalism, far-right

extremists, environmental devolution, racism, violence,

viruses, and unpredictable weather extremes, it is very

difficult for me to feel truly safe, even when I’m in a “safe,”

situation. What helps me? Conscious breathing, writing,

and reading poetry, listening to a making music,

drawing, looking deeply at a flower, practicing some sort

of mindfulness and gratitude, my meds, my therapist,

being a part of healthy communities, helping others,

doing little, secret and anonymous acts of kindness, finding

funny memes and sharing them, reading, watching silly TV shows,

embodiment meditations, movement meditations,

and sometimes pleasuring myself sexually.

Living with complex PTSD sucks, and yet,

it is also livable—in the sense that I am able

to survive day-to-day. There is no finish line

to grieving or healing, or resolving, but there are

moments, little, and sometimes big, experiences

of joy. I hope you experience them too. I hope

you have safe places and people, and things to do

when it all gets too scary. They say, “this too, shall pass,”

and it’s true. And sometimes knowing that

doesn’t help a goddamn bit. In this moment–

the one in which you’re reading this right now–

may you feel safe, held, and able to seek, and receive,

and share support. It may totally suck. But you got this.

It may or may not, get better, and yet–here you are.

 

 

 

 

 


Ray’s Rays, Number 19: The Ego Isn’t the Enemy, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays, Number 19

The Ego Isn’t the Enemy

by

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

 

 

I don’t really know much. Sometimes

I don’t know my ass from a hole in the ground.

It’s a good thing I’m ace or that could be problematic.

I’m over half a century old, and I know a few things–

or, at very least, have experienced a thing or two,

but have I truly learned from those experiences?

That’s questionable in many instances as evidenced

by my making the same mistakes over and over.

So, at the end of the day, I don’t really know shit.

I do know one thing though—talk nice to yourself.

Unlike what I just did above, honor your experience

and what you’ve learned. I am over half century old

and I still struggle with deep self-hatred.

Start now. Right here—where ever you are–

say something nice to yourself about yourself.

Try it. If you don’t believe what you’re saying

say it anyway. “Act as if,” they say. “Take the actions,

and the feelings will follow,” they also say.

Start practicing now. I wish I could have started years ago,

but I didn’t. And there’s no finish line. I will keep striving

to love myself and like myself and honor myself and praise myself–

and if anyone says loving yourself is ego-shit—tell them

to fuck off. The ego isn’t an enemy. Be proud as fuck

for who you are, how far you’ve come. You’re fucking amazing.

 

 

 

 


Ray’s Rays, Number 18: Everyday Anarchy, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays

Number 18

Everyday Anarchy

by

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

 

 

 

There are many forms of anarchy, and many ways

to be an anarchist. While the origins of the word

date back to around 400 BC, and mean, “Without

leader, or ruler-less,” it can be difficult in today’s

capitalist-terror regime to be “without a ruler.”

Most have to work, and many under oppressive conditions

where the amount of money made is barely enough

to live on, and very often it isn’t enough for that.

Many are forced to work abusive hours with hardly

a moment to breathe. Many people are “ruled,”

by asinine government policies, lack of medical insurance,

the barbaric costs of health care, the hassles to get on

food stamps, social security, and housing programs.

How can one rebel against such terrible, oppressive, racist,

classist, and cruel systems? How can one be an anarchist

in today’s world? It’s difficult and risky for most of us

to live outside the system–to fight against it. So what can we do?

Sometimes we need to turn to small, but mighty ways

to be an anarchist. Subversive ways. Sometimes

not even noticeable ways. But there are ways—everyday ways

to be an anarchist. For example, you can be an anarchist in your relationships–

and practice non-hierarchical ways to partner. You can

embrace sexual pleasure as a form of anarchy. You can

practice mutual aid and find ways to thwart capitalist-terror

and trade or exchange services and things with others in the community.

You can challenge gender roles, gender expressions,

and the cis-hetero normative trappings in society.

You can utilize local libraries as another way to bypass capitalism.

Perhaps you have the means to financially support mutual aid organizations

and other such community causes. You can volunteer to work

in community gardens, harm-reduction efforts, queer

community centers, and homeless shelters.

Some of these may not seem like anarchist activities,

but they are—they all challenge oppressive systems of government.

And there are many other ways to do so–inventive, unique, subversive ways.

So, go ahead, break some rules, get people upset,

and help change the world.

 

 

 

 


Ray’s Rays Number 17: Fuck the Upgrade, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays Number 17

Fuck the Upgrade

by

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

 

 

Q-Anon, whacked UFO cults, and many fringe “New-Agers,”

often talk about waiting for the cosmic DNA upload,

the divine upgrade that will give them superpowers.

They speak of having a new, alien-given matrix

downloaded into our consciousness.

One of the thing that troubles me about con-spiritualists

is their comparing the human brain to a computer.

Of course, this is by far not the worst thing they do.

Along with their strange bedfellows—the extreme right

terrorists of the evangelical variety—they’re causing

more death, violence, hatred, transphobia, racism, Islamophobia,

an antisemitism at one time than this country has ever seen.

Addressing their language though is important—the terms they use.

By comparing people to machines, especially computers,

they further dehumanize others and put themselves above others.

Their believe their upgrades and downloads and uploads make them better

than the sheeples. They make them more cosmically aware

and give them advanced states of consciousness

that fuels their white supremacy. These terms are now

a part of our everyday vocabulary, and it is degrading.

Resist this type of computerization of the human being.

Change the analogies, comparisons, and metaphors

to ones of nature. We must get ourselves out of the machine-

consciousness and back to earth. It’s about descending

not ascending. Instead of getting alien downloads,

let’s cultivate the gardens of our hearts, let’s weed out

self-hate, and plant self-love. Let’s plant seeds of compassion

and community. Let’s water the gardens of our communities

with love and the sweat of our activism. We are not machines.

We are not spirits in the machine. We are people.

The more we resist the computerization of our language

the more empowered we’ll be. Using computer comparisons

disregards the horrors of colonization—it forgets the US is occupied

territory. It is designed to divert our attention from the earth,

the marginalized, and the real issues at hand. Resist it.

Stay human and humane.

 

 

 

 


Ray’s Rays Number 16: The Glory of Descending, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays Number 16:

The Glory of Descending

by

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

 

 

In plenty of new age cults and con-spiritual groups,

such as Q-Anon, there are references to Ascension.

It is believed and preached that only a select few–

the “woke,” ones, the ones “in the know,” the ones

who have been enlightened and have special DNA downloads

from aliens and beings from other dimensions.

In capitalist, and hyper competitive societies–

like the US, the goal is to climb higher and higher

in terms of social status, the amount of money you “make,”

and how above you are over the poor, unfortunate souls

who don’t want to rise above their lowly circumstances

or else their manifesting of prosperity would have worked.

Indeed, there must be something wrong with them or

maybe they’re not believing hard enough. This, of course,

is classist and racist bullshit. It’s thought-terminating.

Those who seek to ascend to higher and higher levels

of status, consciousness, or cosmic awareness,

too often are afraid to get their hands dirty. “Leave that

to the ones who can’t make it because they have faulty will-power,”

they say. But the key, if there is one, isn’t in the ascension. Sure,

the world can be, and often is, a shitty place to live and thus

the impulse to ascend to higher planes of consciousness

so that you can conquer the ravages of modern living–

which is, of course, not the worst idea. But back to the key.

To me, the key is in descension. A wondrous

diving down to earth, the “incarnation,” of ourselves

as earth-dwellers. Hopefully this descension leads to

a deeper care of the earth and of each other. The ground of being

is where it’s at. It all happens on the ground, on the earth–

on the farms, the wildernesses, the parks, the bodies

of water, our bodies. Try descending from your striving for ascension.

Turn your face towards the earth, and make a gesture of respect,

love, and gratitude to this endangered planet. Dig a little.

Search the gardens of your heart. Explore the roots of your ancestors.

Dive deep into the dark shadows of the soil of your life.

Ascend if you want, or need, but perhaps try descending as well.

There are many gifts among the earthy ones—the horizontal communities

and not the hierarchical ones. Try not to be afraid to have your feet on the ground–

on the earth—right here, and right now.

 

 

 

 


Ray’s Rays Number 15: Judging and Condemning, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays Number 15

Judging and Condemning

by

Radiance Angelina Petro

 

 

 

 

Go ahead and judge.

Watching others and learning from what they do

and/or don’t do is good information. It’s also

a judgment. Judging for yourself whether or not

to do, or not do, something based on an observation

of someone else is a healthy thing.

The trick is not to condemn–

unless they’re nazis, fascists, racist police, or TERFS.

Those we can safely judge as total and complete shitheads

and it’s more than OK to condemn the fuckers.

But in general, we have no right to condemn others.

That’s not healthy socially, mentally, spiritually, or, at times, physically.

People conflate judging and condemning, but they’re not

the same thing. One is helpful and we can learn from it,

the other isn’t (unless it’s the afore mentioned shitheads).

Judging someone you admire and respect–that you want

to emulate, and learn from in positive ways—that’s completely valid.

Judging someone from a place of toxic superiority doesn’t

go well. Is the way someone is acting, or what they’re saying,

positive and healthy, or hurtful and destructive? If you think about it

those are judgments. And they’re completely valid.

Conversation stoppers like the phrase: “Don’t judge,”

aren’t helpful when having an important discussion. They demonstrate

an unwillingness to engage, for whatever reason. They’re not

fair (which is a judgment), and neither are they helpful

(another judgment). They can also be used to defend toxic,

racist, shitty behaviors (that too is a judgment).

So, judge others, judge yourself, and do both with compassion,

empathy, and a humble desire to learn. Try not to

condemn. That goes nowhere and also stops

important dialogues that sometimes need to happen.

Keep your judgments to yourself, unless

you’re calling out transphobia, Islamophobia, and all

other forms of hate. Then shout, or perhaps whisper

like an angry, menacing vampire.