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Long-distance loving

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I am grateful to have been loved
and to be loved now
and to be able to love,
because that liberates.
Love liberates.
It doesn’t just hold—that’s ego.
Love liberates.
-Maya Angelou

 

Writing that last post unexpectedly drew me into a space between melancholy and nostalgia, contentment and exasperation, as moments with my wife replayed in my head. Like our first dance together when her moves told me sexiness was her middle name. Or when she asked me to take a week off work, pack a bag and come with her; next I knew we were in Cuba – land of my Utopian feminist-Marxist self.

IMG_0788You put a spring in my step and make me feel ten feet tall, she told me. That was eight years ago. You brought sunshine into my life and make me feel deeply content, I replied. Our journey has been an adventure in living and loving. From exploring the mesmerizing Buddhist caves in Ajanta, and sunset dhow sailing in Lamu‘s magical mangrove channels, to cruising in the Baltic Sea.

090120121097Bliss interjected by everyday couple differences like her unrelenting pursuit of culinary delights in every meal while bran cereal morning, noon and night is fine with me. Or my need to plan out every detail while spontaneity is her third name. Or her disinterest with tidiness as I obsess – yes babe, i admit it – about arranging each item where it belongs the right way up.

In choosing to have it all, a relationship and career, we pay the price of separation. Thank you Skype and WhatsApp for making goodmorning and night  blow kiss emoticonpossible, yet the longing to touch, feel and be under the same roof remains.

Having a plan has made it work. A plan on when, where and how to meet next. On everyday life projects, home improvements or involvement in causes. On how to conjure jobs in the same country if not city.

For now, our choice remains to be long-distance partners, allies, lovers.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Not a lost chapter

engagedBut one that took years to find a voice.
She would have understood, or, would she? She will understand, or, will she?
There it is, that quizzical look. Comprehension followed by disbelief, then shock and sadness.

Why did I say it?

Mum, coming out to myself changed my life. I am speaking my truth to you in order for the untruths to end. I am not salacious or lewd or dirty or evil. I am the child you raised to work hard, be honest and respectful.

At the height of my anguish I cried to the God I’d prayed to all my life asking her why I could not love like others could.

My journal told another story. A woman who made my heart skip a beat, twenty times a day. Who shared my politics about politics and kept me intellectually engaged. Conversations with her continued in my head long after we had parted. A woman whose skin I fantasized what it would feel to touch, soft, smooth and silky. Whose scent I breathed in, no, drank in, with every pore. A woman whose spirit melded perfectly into mine. Whose thoughts I knew even before she put words to them. Whose sorrows and joys I felt despite being thousands of miles away.

Mum, a weight lifted off my shoulders the day those words crossed my lips. Indescribable peace washed over me. I am a lesbian.

She hangs around me, and I around her, because we are lovers, partners, friends. The song she put in my heart six years ago still plays, a melody I had never heard before. She put a lightness to my step, encourages me when I need it, chastises me when I am not exerting myself. She warms my heart, holds me close and with her, I know it will be alright. I know for certain that I am capable of loving, of relationships that are sincere and true. You have come to love her too Mum. You’ve experienced her gentleness, her generosity, her thoughtfulness. She is your daughter-in-law.

I am a lesbian.

follows from I am a homosexual – Mum

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Dare to object to prejudice

dare to object to prejudice and injustice - Gloria Ray Karlmark

“Dare to object to prejudice and injustice” – Gloria Ray Karlmark.

Feminist standpoint epistemology theory has crystallized for me in a whole new light. I am no longer surprised that individuals, and indeed institutions, can profess to be ‘progressive’ yet remain unable to recognize systemic injustice. Standpoint epistemology explains to me the inability of an individual differently located to recognize identity-based oppression and discrimination occurring in their immediate environment. How does one explain to a different ‘other’ that talking through what the ‘other’ believes to be a ‘personality conflict’ will not lead to real or lasting transformation? Should one even try?

Well, this past week I resolved to follow Gloria Ray Karlmark’s exhortation. I dared to object to prejudice, to call discrimination by name and say yes, it was on the basis of racism, sexism and ageism, at the very least. To my surprise, my objections evoked yet another intersecting explanatory variable – a remnant colonial mentality; in a different era, my ‘oppressor’ (if we were to call him that) and myself would have had a colonizer/colonized, exploiter/exploited relation. A refreshing analysis indeed from a ‘different other’ but with whom I share the female and feminist identities. My proposal for a structural solution – to put in place an explicit institutional anti-discrimination policy – was well received and accepted.

There is hope that those in positions of epistemic privilege can help willing others in different social locations ‘see’ – perhaps not ‘understand’, but nevertheless ‘acknowledge’ – prejudice, oppression, discrimination – in hues they cannot experience.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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