sfincione {a special pizza from Palermo}: ancestral eating for the seasons.

My Zia (aunt Pina) had creamy, flawless skin, silver white hair, and bright blue eyes. She looked nothing like what someone from Sicily "looks" like. That's because Sicilians don't look like anything. They are 2000 year mix of so many different genes from so many different places. There is a saying that comes out of the mouths of elder's in Sicily when a new baby is born: what carnagione do they have? Or. What is their skin tone? Not to pass any kind of judgement -- but because they are truly fascinated by their own genetics - their own spectrum of who they are. In the States - Aunt Jay was always seen as "so beautiful" "the pretty one" - and of course she was to me but not for the same reason's I think other's talked about her as. I always wondered if she was this light skinned, light eyed, light haired woman in a sea of darker folk - and that became the standard for beauty in the New World. 

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Pina aka Josephine aka Jay (she went by every one of those names) was pretty the much my family's best baker/pizza maker. Hand's down. Best pastry. Best crusts. Best Creams. Best deep fried sweet treats. Nobody knows how she did it they way she did it - but god bless her - she will go down in history as the best, and generously so. She's 100 years old now (somewhere around there) - still alive. I wish I could be back in NY at this very moment and make her some Sfincione and bring it to her at the assisted living home she resides in. It really wasn't Christmastime until she arrived with trays, and I mean trays, of Sfincione aka - Sicilian pizza. I wish I could somehow let her know that her "recipe" lives on in and through me - although I can never replicate her art. (quotes around recipe because there are no written recipes, just passed on verbally).

Of course, I didn't really love this "pizza" for a few years there when I was a teen and just wanted "real pizza" (probably from Pizza Hut -- which just makes me sad looking back at how hard I rebelled against all the food I was cooked, baked and fed as a kid). Sfincione pizza wasn't thin and full of cheese or toppings- it barely had cheese and no toppings but a sauce made from fresh tomato sauce mixed with anchovy, onion, bread crumbs + seasoning.

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When I went to Sicily almost two years ago, my sweet friend Russ Lombaro, took me all around Palermo to the best street food vendors. "You want the caponata?"

"Si. Si."

And he took me to an old guy with a folding table and a pot full of eggplant stew. It was served to my in a single use plastic bowl and fork in exchange for 75 cents.

"You want the Sfincione?"


And he took me to a guy who had a little tiny stand against an old stone building in an alley just off the famous street food market. 

For less than 1 Euro I got the most glorious piece of Sfincione - wrapped in butcher paper. It was a massive sized piece. Perhaps the size of my entire face. I hadn't had it like that since Zia Pina made, tray after tray.

"Hard to find the best Sfincione here in Palermo - not like the old days," Russ explained. "But this man, he makes the best still".

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The bottom layer of the crust is buttery, crisp, the middle layer must be light and airy, bouncy, (the term "sfince" means spongey and this is where the name comes from) the top layer must be saturated with it's unique "sauce" which is really more like a paste; fishy, salty, gooey, sweet, onion-y. All these layers shouldn't be abrupt in their transitions. They just ombre against each other so it becomes one experience - multi-textured and flavored.

I prepare this pizza, and all these traditional foods, and share them here with you because they bring into a sensory experience, a remembrance of what the hands before us lovingly created, re-making memory, or at least trying to. And doing so out of pure joy and because this food, if made with attention to detail and magic -- is just fucking out of this world. And without a little story, without a little relationship — it’s just something to eat. With the story and connection — it becomes something about life, about who we are and who we have been and who we are remembering we can be.

So, whether you have any Sicilian in your blood, or not - here is a recipe for this pizza that truly unique to this region - the back streets of the beautiful, gritty, food centered Palermo, Sicilia.

(I am not giving you Pina's recipe. There are some things that just stay on lock down, folks - it's like a familial magic spell that cannot be written - and only passed on to those in the kitchen with you. So come to my kitchen and you can get all the secrets. But for now, I'm sharing a very similar recipe by Fabrizia Lanza, who runs Case Vecchie - a cooking school in rural Sicily. This recipe was recently published in the NYTimes - but she also has a fantastic book - Coming Home To Sicily - which explores the seasonal flavors of the island).

SFINCIONE: a palermitan pizza.


1 tablespoon dry active yeast¼ cup fine semolina flour2 cups flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting1 teaspoon kosher salt2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing pan and drizzling1 small onion, thinly sliced1 ½ cups plain tomato sauce (look for passata, which is not a thick purée)Salt and pepperPinch of red-pepper flakes, or to taste1 cup fine dry bread crumbs1 cup grams grated pecorino or other sheep’s cheese (3 ounces)8 anchovy fillets, cut into 1-inch piecesDried oregano, preferably Sicilian


Make the dough: In a mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, put 1 cup lukewarm water and yeast. Add semolina and stir to make a thin paste. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes, until bubbly.Add flour, salt and olive oil, and mix until dough becomes a rough mass. Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Dust with flour as needed, but don’t add much: This is meant to be a soft dough. Put kneaded dough in a resealable plastic bag or a bowl covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably longer, up to 24 hours.Make the sauce: Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, and raise heat to high. Simmer briskly until all the water has evaporated and onions are soft. Add tomato purée and bring to a simmer, then turn off heat. Season with salt and pepper, and add red pepper to taste. Allow mixture to cool, then stir in bread crumbs, grated cheese and anchovies. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes, then taste and adjust seasoning.Heat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil to coat the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet. Remove dough from refrigerator and press down to deflate. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough to a small rectangle.Transfer dough to oiled baking sheet, and, using the palms of your hands, stretch dough to the edges. If dough is rebellious and resists, let it rest for a few minutes, then stretch again. (It may take 2 or 3 attempts.) Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel, and set in a warm place to rise. After 30 minutes or so, dough should have doubled in thickness.Spoon the topping evenly over the dough, then use a spatula or the back of the spoon to spread the topping smoothly over entire surface, leaving a half-inch border. Drizzle surface with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil.Bake for 30 to 35 minutes on the oven’s middle shelf, until nicely browned. Check the underside to make sure it is crisp, and bake for a few more minutes if necessary. (Tent top with foil if top has browned too quickly.)Remove from pan to a cutting board. Sprinkle with a little salt and a large pinch of oregano. Cut into 8 square slices. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Let me know if you make it!

xx MB


....... It's taking the time to remember things. It’s taking time to stir intentionally, allowing the tomatoes to slowly cook into the foundation, a broken down story of what was once whole. 

It’s a process of magic. Of remembering how each and every one of your grandparents had their own version of sauce. Whose was sweet. Whose was spicy. Whose was complex. Whose had a hog foot in it. Who threw in a hard boiled egg. And figuring out what yours is. What are the layers of you, your lineage, in a sauce? It is a spell. What does this oregano do for it. What does the thyme bring to it? What is the song the basil will sing? What will this sauce cling to, your future, you past, what lives beyond.

Making sauce was making a re-connection back to my roots. I fled. I ran away. I left what I was and wanted to erase. I wanted to escape the bones of my family. I wanted to cut down the trees that linked it together. Because I was stuck between generations. I didn’t know who we were - but the kid who was called a greasy WOP. A girl who the Swedish boys weren’t allowed to date. I was the daughter of an alcoholic bookie who was repeatedly arrested and in jail but revered on the streets. The daughter, the 7th child of a mother named after Our Lady of Sorrow,  an aware partaker in patriarchal bullshit, a woman who longed for her own liberation. 

But really, all I wanted was a deeper understanding of how every generation made love to each other with their slow cooked sauce, how every one of us, from a thousand years came to bring me here, in this moment, through the food they slowed cooked from survival and love. 

...... Want to read the rest?

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xx mb

{ I heart mushrooms} + sicilian mushroom stew recipe

I have long been obsessed with mushrooms. But who hasn't really?

Maybe you were like me as a kid, who spent long amounts of time surviving by being outside, laying on the grass, getting a micro perspective into the earth. The blades moved and danced with the wind, parted, and you'd see one, it's silly, adorable little cap. And it totally made you smile. And then your mother would come into the picture and say "DO NOT EAT OR TOUCH :: DANGER"

And really, you were never going to eat it, because why? It was just there, and you knew it was special. And truth be told, the chance of it being dangerous was slim.

To me, mushrooms were oracles. They were some kind of hope as a kid needing to spend a lot of time in the backyard, laying on the ground.


Mushrooms are the grandmothers.

I say "grandmothers", but truth be told, mushrooms don't have a gender. They are either/or. They are their own thing. They cannot be fit into a box. They burn the box.

They are exactly what we think of when we think of non-duality. They are both, none, and everything. All at once.

I call them original grandmothers, or call them the original ancestor, because they were here before any of us. They are NOT a plant. They are NOT a human. They are totally their own thing

Most likely they came from the primordial waters of the earth. And situated themselves. In connection to Earth. And then spored themselves around like sexy little beasts with wisdom from fucking outer-space... and from an evolutionary stand point- probably the plant kingdom bore out from them and went down one path, and the human kingdom broke out from them down another-  in the earliest stages of existence. {Don't quote me, cuz I am just an intuitive scientist.}

BOTTOM LINE: Fungi are the original ancient. 

AND. As everything else is dying, being destroyed and becoming extinct, they are not. They are growing and spreading, wildly, and there are so many types of them, we can never, ever know them all.

Mushrooms do their crucial work underground. 

What we see and eat is mushroom flowers/fruit but one of the most incredible things about fungi is what we don't see. 

The threads of the fungi (mycelium} are intricately webbed underground, or under bark, interconnecting the roots of other mycelium with other species. The mycelium is actually the living organism of the mushroom. These are the real deal information and relational specialists between species. So thanks to this beneath the surface weblike movement, like dancing through the dirt, we are schooled in woven connections. 

Mycelium is what delivers all the info life needed for growth. Because of the mycelium, our trees can talk with the flowers, the bushes, the plants - other species can send messages, wants, needs, gifts from one location to another THROUGH mycelium. They also boost the immune systems of the roots systems of other plants. A Douglas Fir tree and a birch tree can transfer carbon between them via mycelia. 

Mushrooms are the medicine/energy highways between all that grows, giving and transporting and translating. Bringing together what shouldn't be separated. They connect all that is. We are held up by them. Their spores are everywhere, in our beds, on our kids, floating through our lives.

The inherent need for interaction and care taking, for exchange and connection, is apparent, and in fine working order when it comes to the mushroom kingdom. They are great examples of community. It makes me think::: WE CAN LEARN FROM THIS. 


I sit daily with the mushroom fruit, knowing the underneath, the unseen, is doing so much work for the forest. Like really radical and underground, a secret society of do-gooders. Not needing to be really seen in their action.  Not needing to be "known". 

And when we ingest fungi, we are receiving the magic from below the forest floor. Mushrooms :: conductors of language and love and wisdom underground and above. The grandmother’s exchange

Being the grandmothers, they pass around the wisdom of Earth, of what is dead, and they gather it and birth all that through their fruit {their fruit is literally made of what is dead, mushrooms are the Fruit of Death}. 

They are also made of star stuff, their spores can even exist in outer space, and are closer to human creatures than they are plant beings. As a matter of fact we share something like 20-30% DNA with them. Whoa.

Personally, I think they are their own very special badass revolution from the beginning of time “thing” :: something impossible to define and what they have to teach is boundless. 

Their medicine is evolution. 

I receive mushrooms medicine in lots of ways :::

* simply witnessing them in the forest- paying close attention and almost trance like walking, seeing which ones will show themselves, not hunting, but paying attention.

* gathering them for food + tinctures + daily medicine.
* making art with them
- spore prints and natural dyes are so beautiful- and fun to experiment with. I am currently obsessed with making oracle cards with mushrooms spore prints::: look for those coming out soon.

one of the spore prints me and the mushroom made - that i just love.

one of the spore prints me and the mushroom made - that i just love.

I also have been microdosing psilocybin mushrooms since the spring. I am 100% invested in their medicine to shift and iron out some tangled pathways of my brain. This story is for another time and venue, but I can attest to the powerful work they have done :: they have helped with focus, anti-anxiety, PTSD, and creative clarity, not to mention upgraded connections to the divine within <<< and this one is a really important one>>> Psilocybin is a boundary dissolving compound that help strips of ego and sense of individuality. I feel this is necessary for my creative life, for my time here, now, in the culture we have created. I like how I am feeling and evolving. 

I remember hearing a story by Terrance McKenna, his theory on our microdsoing ancestors of 40k years ago. After having to leave their canopy housing in Africa, Homo Eructus had to wander to find different sources of food. They followed wild cattle around, and began to eat insects off the cattle dung. Their dung also held small psilocybin mushrooms. They ate these as well, because, they were presenting themselves and evolving humans needed to eat. McKenna’s theory is that these small {micro} doses of daily mushrooms actually aided in evolving the brain to be better at human-ing :: and at that time it was about surviving- hunting and gathering. McKenna also has a theory that mushrooms helped create cohesive societies around 10-20k years ago. His theory for this stage of evolutions is humans figured out macrodosing entheogen mushrooms by then, meaning taking larger amounts versus smaller daily doses for nourishment:

“Everyone would get loaded around the campfire and hump in an enormous writhing heap,” half-jokingly posits McKenna.

Causing greater genetic diversification, these orgies also had the effect of creating the first societies, where males could not trace paternity and as such did not identify children as personal “property," raising them as a community.

These orgiastic sessions also led to the development of symbolic functions in hominid cognitive abilities via early art creation and dance."

McKenna isn’t a scientist, but archeologists and anthropologists agree, mushrooms did play a large part in the daily diets of our ancestors.

Mushrooms ARE the food of our ancestors. From daily nourishment to- in many cultures- entheogens that helped guide them through rites of passage and evolutionary portals.

For me, all the varieties of mushrooms that are safe and edible, that are medicinal, and even the ones that are poisonous are gifts in:: 

-self-care and health, they are superfood, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-patheogen, anti-capitolist {for real though- they share resources non-stop through the mycelium} and co-community and create through spores.

-connection to ancestral energies

-rooting deeper to grandmother consciousness :: a guide to becoming our own wise grandmothers

-helpful for navigating through pretty intense PTSD, which I think we all are going through as a culture right now, we are all in kinda of a state of trauma.

They also connect us to death. Which helps us connect to our grief, our ability to let go, and feel what that means to us.

They are made from underworld wisdom, of everything that has ever been. 

They push themselves up from the dirt, or from what has decayed, and remind us of how beautiful death can be, how wise death is, and in death, there are still so many fruits of life. 

The mushrooms have taught me to seek deeper, to lean more into the great unknowing. They help me with {in}sight. When I am out in the forest looking for them, it isn’t until I get REALLY CLOSE to the ground so they begin to appear. They are shapeshifters. Once I connect with them, and see them, more reveal themselves to me. I like to think of the practice of death, of releasing old ways, of honoring the ancestors in the same way: 

>>>seek deeper, unknow more, get close to earth, look carefully, allow for shapeshifting<<<


Some of my favorite mushrooms right now are:

lion’s mane



angel wings


local polypore’s – which are BLOWING my mind with their medicines.

Amazonian cubensis

We {as a family} have been using wild mushrooms to replace meat in our diets. My mantra to my family is: MUSHROOMS ARE THE NEW MEAT.

I want to share a recipe for a Sicilian mushrooms stew – it’s simple and you can use mushrooms that you find locally through farmers markets or co-ops.If you are great at foraging and indentifying - then go for a hunt into the woods {at your own risk!}. I’ll share the mushrooms we use, but know you can swap in and out, depending on what you love. 

  • 2 lbs. of mushrooms {I use chanterelle, oyster, chicken of the woods, lion’s mane, shitake}
  • Olive oil {few tablespoons}
  • 1 large onion diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • fresh parsley, fresh basil, fresh thyme {about 1/2 cup total}
  • red pepper flakes {to taste}
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 small ripe tomatoes- chopped small.
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Porcini broth, heated, or use chicken or vegetable broth
  • Butter {I like a lot!}
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Heat olive oil in large skillet and cook chopped onion and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer to another bowl.
  • Add more olive oil + butter and turn heat to high. Add mushrooms, season lightly with salt and pepper and fry until you can tell it's cooked, and nicely colored- about 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Add fresh herbs, red pepper and tomato paste. Add chopped tomatoes, stir well, and cook for 1 minute. salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1-tablespoon flour, stir to incorporate and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in onions.
  • Add garlic.
  • Add 1-cup broth and stir until thickened, about 1 minute or 2. Gradually add 1 more cup broth and cook for 2 minutes. Sauce should have gravy-like consistency; Adjust seasonings.
  • Serve straight up, over pasta, couscous or polenta.

Thank you for letting me share mushroom medicine with you. I hope it inspires you to know some fungi in your life, spiritually and for food. 

xx MB


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on the new moon + dying times. or words from mary.

this was not written now. this was written months ago. i am not sure where it came from.

I sat down and this came out. It def isn't my voice. But I'm gonna own it. I tucked it away for a while. But you know, how writing goes. Sometimes it is quiet and sometimes it is loud.

I am sharing it now. Because it means something to me.

And I am doing it in honor of a dear friend who lived life so fully, who was a master, who was a teacher, who was entirely celestial and also with roots so deep she could reach through to the other side, always. She died too soon. And it's fucked up. And yet, she is working her magic through us all now, multiplied. Multitudes. Layers and layers. I so feel it. It has change everything.

<<<<<>>>>> This one is for you, Dove. I love you.<<<<<>>>>>

The moon is almost new. Empty. Released. I don't even know what sign it is in, or what it's all about, grief will spin you like that. But I can feel it. And big things are happening. I hope these words come as some kind of guide, somehow. I hope they make you feel more at home, no matter how long we are here, we are here now. Let's live. Let's live. Let's live.


prepare to die.

and to let everything you think you knew to be true to die along with you. this is the only way we get to bring a new world together. to sew something, to carve and saw and cut something, to put fire to something so it melts together and looks otherwordly.

let go of your dogma, whatever it is. just use love - if everything you do is motivated by love, the love you know in your heart, then it is right even when it is totally wrong. if you cannot feel the love in your heart then that is your work to do - to be with your heart- until you can feel the love- for yourself - but also for all the people, for the earth, for what is between all the layers of rock and soil, cloud and empty air, between the stars and the dark matter, between the layers of the skin, the fascia and the follicle. pull it up. push it down. let it simmer. let it rage. let it undress you. let it lay you down to rest. love. that is where it begins. and ends.

do not carry on with self care and extreme spiritual practices unless you are doing it to hold space for all of us, do not do it, as a reaction or in contraction. do it as practice, as imperfection. so you can take action. do it so you can show up with flexible muscles and strong bones and clear eyes and booming voices. do it so you can explode from the heart, bleeding, stabbed, broken, whole, cared for, loyal, connected- your heart. your heart. your heart. it is the most badass of science and mystic beating into one.

we are living in dying times.

we are here to be part of the medicine, to be the midwives, the leaders, the healers, the artists, the truth seekers, the the space holders. who is willing to let go of the programming that says:: forge forward for success, at any cost ::::: when there is no such thing? who is willing to walk away from that system? who is willing to go back and pull threads from the deep ancestors, and weave together the story where spirit lives in all things.

do you feel a little bit of something? a subtle peace happening? and it’s called death.

this does not mean death cannot be violent and painful. this does not mean death will not entail thrashing. this does not mean death will not scare the ever living shit out of you.

because it can and it will.

it will cause us all to grasp at every old syllable of every old language that never was meant to include everyone. it will cause us all to grasp - cling- to the tiny comforts we have been given, and if even they have been stolen from us, even if we have stolen them, even if we have worked our skin to bone for them. we will grasp at our need. we will grasp at our anger. because in the rage, we know we can spiral somewhere, to death or birth. the rage can move us. make movements. brings us back and forth. in the in between. to all the places that are ok and more than ok and not very ok at all.

letting go of life is not easy.

letting go of what someone told you that you were and that you are and where you are going and what happens - is not easy.

you have no guidebook.

and yet everything that takes a breath, stops taking a breath. every thing that comes from seed, goes back to seed.

but i am telling you this: you are not what you have been told.

you are, though, what you have always thought you have been, as a child, before anyone got to you. before anyone got to you and made you think love was tarnished. and if they got you as a child, you are what you knew you were, before all of it, when you were floating in the celestial fluid of the body, when you said yes as sperm meets egg, when you said yes when the spinning happened and the DNA was formed. you are what you were in that yes.

you are what you are on those days under the old chestnut tree and you were spoken to by the wind.

do you remember then? when the trees still talked to you and the earth still held you tight? before you had to hide under the covers because there were so many boogie men and you never felt safe. before you had to talk to me with your shaken voice, to beg me to listen. and when i answered back, you talked to me about the blades of grass and the the way the earth smells under your nails. because i was there and you were too and all was well, underneath the dirt.

do you remember then? before you became a place for others to wage war? to make you scared that your very existence, the women and all the women that you were, that lived within you, had to stay small and hidden, because if you were seen, you would be in danger. if you were too loud you were risking the very skin that felt so damn uncomfortable on you?

do you remember before the days when you would stand in the shower and ask yourself “why do i feel such dread? i am just in the shower? under the water.” because before those days, there was not trauma. and trauma will crawl in your skin and make you feel nervous or anxious no matter where you are. trauma will crawl like worms in and out of your skin. and you will fill full of holes.

do you remember before all that?

can you? can i ask you to try? beneath the beneath. under the under. below the dirt. inside the birthing star. against the yellow of the moon.

if you can, and i know it is hard. that is the person to trust. to listen to. that is who you are. who you always knew. what to be and do.

i am your mother and i am sorry you felt so alone, without me. and i am sorry my image has been used to bring even more trauma, connected to pain and judgment, who defines me and describes me in ways that are not me, not meant to be. i am sorry i am attached to a religion and a one way road. please know i am endless trails and multitudes.

i am here to say

obey yourself.

worship the earth.

throw your entire being into land and up towards the sky.

hold tight to the people who you trust to die with. invite them near you, always.

and together, in community, in connection, it is the most revolutionary thing you can do. to bring yourselves near each other. feed each other. cry with and for each other. dance with each other. pull off the masks with each other.

to be so vulnerable to expose all the things you carry, all the weight on your shoulders.

that you can put it down.

down down down by the river.

you belong to us which is just another yourself.

and you belong not to just feminine or masculine, because that is not what i am. get over the words. even the empowering kind. even the "right" ones. kill it all. and let there be stillness and silence for a while. let there be chills on skin and chattering in teeth and green lights that ripple through the sky.

the earth needs to heal. you can belong to it, be slow. be slow. it can be slow.

be the slow down.


this time has been coming forever, and we are in it, as we have always been in it. do not think time is a line. it's just space.

and things happen, like stars die and make the most beautiful nebulas, and light bounces off shadow and shadow holds us while we slide down to places we do not have names for.

trust this space. do not trust time. do not trust leaders with words and lightning that pierce you in your heart and make your brain feel wicked and tired. do not stop working, never stop working, but make sure it is your heart that brings you to those places, and work until you know even that must die. work until you must lay even that to rest.

because it all has to. i am the consort of the god. i am the mother of the holy. i am the voice of the earth. of the heavens. i am the mother of the angels. i am the mother of everything. i am everything.

and i am not apart from you. we are not apart. this is not a hierarchy. oh for fucks sake. no. no. no.

i am you. you are me. but i cannot be activated until you connect deeply, with each other, form relations. dig in the dirt. hold seeds in your hands. remember that the true revolution is not in a system, it is in the seed. it is in the love of the mother and father that you never received. so be it, to everyone you meet. be it. be what you never got. be all that you ever wanted. give it. GIVE IT AWAY. this life is not guaranteed. and i can promise you, we are at the end. let it be.

*release yourself this new moon. hold each other close. breathe for each other. catch each other's last breaths*

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unapologetically unchaste. {notes for my daughters : part I}

this piece of writing was originally written for performance. if you'd like me to read it to you, please enjoy that HERE.

Those shorts are not okay I whispered to her dad. Those shorts.

Mom, what are you talking about?

Never mind. I don’t even know. 

She went out trick or treating that night. With a sweatshirt tied around her waist. And then I had the nerve to ask her why she was wearing it that way.

The nerve I had.

That night I cried In the bathroom stuffed disgusting little chocolates in my mouth until my teeth hurt.

The booty shorts were not the reason. 


I just wanted to feel pleasure. Isn’t that our birth rite? To feel pleasure?

I wanted to feel everything catholic mothers tell us we are not allowed to feel. I just wanted this person, by this stranger. To be spread open and devoured. i wanted to feel something and i wanted it to feel fucking good. Is that so wrong? 

Shouldn’t that be ok? To trust this must? To want and to trust?

To dive waist deep into desire, to pull it all to the chest and swallow it whole inside your heart?  But then it became clear. What he wanted was to suffocate my desires with an elbow digging into my throat.  

I blamed it on the booty shorts I was wearing that night.


Listen, I ain’t sorry for how I feel now.

I am the catastrophe, i am what dives down and inside, and turns the rocks over in revelation. I make a point of walking down the road dripping my scents from the inside out.

Intoxicating myself as I write down the words. 

Opening my legs as I type. 

Brushing against people. Looking into eyes. Connection. 

The more I strip down. And let people see me. All of me.

The more my body heals.

I am finding that my body owes no apology. That my body is not sorry for what has been done to is. I am finding that my body is now open as fuck.  And I want to invite each on of you in.  Even for a glance. Or to linger for a while.


I am believing in something different, every day. 

I unpack the right and the wrong. i unpack a heavy load of shame. I unpack blame. I unpack my stories. And I do this by: spreading my legs wide and that path becomes my open road. 

I enter myself. 

I don’t care if you think it’s improper when I pull my shirt down really far because I love the feeling of my shoulder warmed by sun. 

I am learning to pull my entire pelvic floor up.  So far up it touches the roof of my mouth and I swallow it back down.

The more I reek of salty, sweaty freedom and walk around with tangles in my hair, and hold the DNA of someone else under my nails, the more I sway into the day, and steal honey straight from the jar, with my tongue- 

the more I can pass it on. I want to pass freedom on. 

the more I let go of apology-  because being who i am is not an invitation to take from me.

and giving birth to daughters just as they are, does not mean you can have them.

and we will be more and more unchaste and i will show my myself, beyond even my skin.

inside my skin. who i am. from inside out and outside in. this is freedom to me. this is what i want to pass on.

We show our skin because we understand something. We are skin. We are bones. We are blood. We are minuscule and enormous miracles forever and ever loaded into cells. We show our skin. Because we are desperately trying to live when so many of us are dying. Despite the abuse, despite the violence, despite the war waged on our wombs. the battlefield on every angle of our cunts. Despite the stories that have been branded in places inside our skin that we didn’t even know existed. Despite the trauma. Oh the fucking trauma. But still. 

We want to show our skin because 

someday our skin will slide off us.

it will compost into the earth. 

and we will all be dead.

Because sex and death go hand in hand you know.

I am trying, as hard as a woman can try because I am going to die someday, actually i am already dying, right now. We all are. We are all dying. 

I want to leave this world free and safe for a human to undress. For my daughters to enjoy the body they live in, the body that is theirs. I want them to be here for the reasons we are here, to experience the world through a body that is safe, free, unapologetic. 

I want them to feel the expression of stars between their legs. And feel the burn of fire inside their ribs. And feel the sea swooshing between their pelvic bone. 

And to give the first and last gift we have all have to give, before we all go. To live.

So I say to myself, daily. A prayer. 

A prayer of holy resistance, of sensual sanctuary, of mysterious humanity.

I say a prayer for pleasure deep, and wet and loud. I pray for the outright lightning strike of erotic trust for my daughters. I pray that we become temples, not something to enter, but something to be invited into. 

I pray for endless dark hotel rooms in the middle of the afternoon. i pray that we hear the howling of ecstasy from open windows instead of the shot guns from down the road. 

I pray for us all to get a chance to fuck beneath the stairwell at 2am. 

I pray that sex becomes our benevolent god, one we give to, and give to, 

and not one we steal from.

What else do I really have besides experiencing the pleasure of being human. The ache. The grief. The sorrow. the rolling hills of impulses.

What else do I have besides the hauntingly beautiful power of being a woman, who is alive,  who longs to finds the cracks and blow life into them, to fill them with gold, to find the cracks and finger them until they come and spray out the ocean.  

Because the cracks are sacraments in the text of this unchaste living.  they split inside your everything. They are a certain kind of bravery, the subversive and horrifying courage of what has been in uninvited and lives within you.

I am pressing new stories into my daughters. There will be snags and mistakes. Because this road, of an unchaste woman, is not easy. We come heavily weighed. We will be kicked out, removed, blocked, have to dodge the stories placed on us. We will be told to dress differently and act differently. We will be shunned from neighborhood coffee talks. And we will hide our real selves from our kid’s teachers. This is not easy, to be an unchaste mother. It is not easy. We have been forever told: 

cross you legs. sit like a lady. listen to your mother. fit in. be real good.

we have also been told: you are not safe. stay small. cover up. men are bad. they will hurt you. 

i want us to unpack and relearn this: it is our right, our rite, to enjoy the flesh. to teach our children to enjoy the flesh. desire. with consent. 

My daughter came out kicking. There wasn’t a cross that could touch her legs.  She came in with water. With smoke. With the original god, who could shed her skin, over and over again, who could rise up, and devour all the apples that she wanted. All the apples. And she came in taking many bites.

I am working on getting unstuck between fear and freedom. i am leaving a story that i was told. and entering an unknown place.

I show up. Unresponsive to what I am suppose to be. I will not wear unnecessary layers of clothes. I will not bite my tongue when it wants to shoot arrows. I will not hold my words when they want to explode like bombs, like dancing stars, against your sky. I will not sit down, and stop. I will not make you more comfortable and put on a bra. I will not stop smoking or cursing, and I will be the women who will reveal more and more of herself, no matter how dangerous you think she is. I will be too smart and too slutty. I will be too old and too young. I will be too masculine and too feminine. I will be undefinable quakes and radical acts of molten lava. I will not change into long pants. I will not let my daughter ever feel the need to cover up again.

Because being unchaste is saying, either way, anyway, this is not yours to have. This is mine. All mine. My offering to you. To me. To them.

{below are some graphics of words, from this piece, if you'd like to grab and save for inspiration or to share} xx

*I have exactly 10 spots available for one-on-one Liminality Sessions from the months of March + April. I would love to work with you, as you learn to undress, un-apologize, learn to die and birth a new you, a you that is more free to explore and question your life, and get clarity on all the gifts. Sign up here for 1 hour or 3 months.

*Speaking of body freedom, My friend dawn and I will be worshiping and workshopping on April 2nd- Voices of The Body is a day long space to move and write- being guided and held by myself and Dawn who is a gifted body worker/movement guide. This is in Portland, OR and it's going to be fantastic. Sliding scale {$75-$150}. Wheelchair accessible location. Sign up here!

*If you want some magic and you want to read my book "of blood and belonging" please consider taking part in Benedita, a reading + ritual + amulet special for you, on my ancestral land, with my ancestral ways. Click here to find this island magic.

The Justice Sessions

Equality. Awareness. Truth.

Connection. Action. Embody.

The Justice card shows up as card 8 or card 11 in the Major Arcana cards of the tarot, depending on different decks and schools of thought. 

The Justice card is aligned with the planet Venus and the astrological sign of Libra. 

It’s symbology often shows up with a women, often time a goddess, with scales, indicating a sense of balance, the act of practicing balance, or seeking and achieving fairness.

The word justice has latin roots in meaning “sacred formula” of righteousness. 

But what is that sacred formula? What is righteousness? What does justice mean to us from the inside out?  I started creating my own Justice card using an image of an ancestral rebel women of my cultural heritage who changed a horribly dangerous law in the old country, and I realized, at the root, while i was creating this card, and learning this story... that the formula, in essence is::::: Just Us. Us, in action. Us, in resistance. Us, in creation. Us, in awareness.

Just Us. We are justice. And our actions, reactions, choices, movement, stagnancy, blindness, programming, and prejudices all inform how justice shows up in our lives, in our world.

Justice is an archetype that is crucial to explore and embody right now. It lives within us. And rules outside of us. And the card is calling us in. 

But first. What does it mean? How do we show up for it? How does it show up for us? How are we able to find deeper spiritual understanding about the beauty of truth, the danger of lies, how we can become a seer, being a voice, being the LIVING EMBODIMENT of Justice? How can we become the reformation?

This card, when it shows up as number 11 in a deck, is the very middle card of the Major Arcana’s 22 cards. The middle, or center, of the body, is the heart. This card is directly connected to the weight of our heart. What is that weight? How can we release it? How can we deliver straight from the heart? And how can we become a part of equality and righteousness in our lives instead of being the burden that tips the scales, in the direction of alternative truths, injustice, and lies?  

We show up. We rip apart everything that holds us back from seeing. Blind justice is just a thing in the courts that isn’t even real…we cannot be unbiased in a world that has programmed us to judge unfairly...  but Seen Justice is what we want to embody and what we want to empower- for ourselves and anyone more vulnerable than us right now- in terms of race,  gender, religion, age, economics and disabilities. And this includes the Earth, who really does NOT have time for any more shit, who is asking us to become justice, in a living and breathing formation. 

And so I decided. It’s time. To explore the Justice card. Because it’s here, right now, and waiting in power. And it is also a very good reminder that in its wounded state- injustice- is about programming us, keeping us followers of systems that are not fair or equal, or right. In it's wounded state, it scares people into obedience to a moral or religious code that is not true to all. 

Justice, Lady Justice, is an energy to own, to practice, to converse, to help with shifts that are necessary, within our own lives and beyond. What does it mean to live justice? What does it mean to fight for justice? And above, below, within, without it all—— what do our hearts, the center of our beings, have to say... and give?

The tarot cards are a discussion piece for history, what has happened and what is happening. They are a timepiece and a story piece for the inner and outer. We get to create the stories of the cards-  as a matter of fact it is our responsibility to do so. Cards have always been used as a sacred and secret language to carry on the wise ways, the truth, the meaning of life, a language for the people - when things have been silenced, when everything was at risk.

Lets gather together, and unravel Justice. In the name of truth. In the name of love.

In the Justice Sessions we will:

-briefly discuss the history of this card, going back to Egyptian and Hebrew thought… as well as understanding that a colonization of the cards change the meaning, and that the cards, here and now, constantly continue to evolve and transmute meaning/story. 

-create our own justice card. 

-find an ancestral story of justice in the linage you most identify with. 

-explore journal prompts about our own relationship with justice- how we act or chose not to act. And how that effects the universal scale.

-explore how justice lives within us, as a spiritual force, as a divine energy.

-explore how justice in an action and a tool to understand intersection. 

-justice as awareness + community.

-we will write, write, write. because even though this is a tarot course, this is also an experience in creative expression. your voice matters.

As all of The Living Tarot sessions there will be:

-content delivered via email daily {some video, some audio, some written}

-a private, safe, listening community forum to share

-ritual, ceremony + writing prompts around this card/archetype

This session is wonderful for:

-anyone who is on the path to awareness, truth, and justice- both for the self and for those around them. 

-anyone who loves tarot

-who wants a deeper practice, one card at a time

-is a coach, reader, or midwife to others

-is interested in learning basic ways of connection to their ancestors

-who wants to feel into the process of honoring Justice

-who wants more awareness + truth and honors the cards as tools to reform both Self + world. 

The Justice Sessions will be 7 days. And I have created this course as a sliding scale. 50% of profits from that will be given to the ACLU. 50% of the profits will go to my overhead for facilitation of this course. Typically these courses are about $30-40. I want this one to be accessible to all. If you have no money, $0 will be available to you. If you have money, then $20 will be available to give.

AGAIN:: this course runs from 2/28 - 3/6 2017. Would love to have you in the circle. 

Thank you for being part of this cultural and spiritual tradition with me,  that has been passed on to me. I am honored to do this work. And I am honored to give back. 

xx, love, justice, truth. 

Justice:sliding scale

i don't want holidays. i want holy days.

I don’t want Holidays.

I want Holy Days.

I spent a lot of time planning how my little family *would and would not* celebrate the holidays before my little family could all walk and talk.

Thanksgiving would be a harvest meal, shared at the farm, with the farmers, in gratitude and abundance of what the earth gives. And it wouldn’t be on Thanksgiving either. It would be on a different day. And Thanksgiving would be spent in reverence and apology, somehow, for the damage that was and has been done. It would be spent in repair, active, and loudly. 

I was sure we would celebrate solstice only, with the bonfire lit, the food prepared with love, maybe gathered with extended communities. Lots of ritual. Lots of flame. There would be gifts, of course, because who doesn't like gifts. But they wouldn’t be bought in the way we are taught to buy. They would be sought and cared for, they would be prayers wraped in old fabric. And they would be something to pass on, not to discard. 

Christmas would come and go, maybe we’d go to the hot springs or camp and offer our services to those in need, but we wouldn't celebrate it in the traditional sense. Because I do not practice this faith. I love Jesus. And I believe in Jesus. And I try every single day to embrace the resistor, rebel, love warrior, teacher, and wild fire he was. But he is not my personal savior. I do not believe he was the only one born to lead in love and peace. And I do know that December 24th isn’t even the day he was born. Common sense. And also, colonization of religion.

If all the pagans and pre-colonized spirituals were celebrating the Light and the Sun on the 21st, then why not bring in The Son on the 24th and convince people this is the new Way? Makes sense. Slow or fast, a take over, a colonization, happened. And that is enough reason that I cannot settle into the season, in the ways that are of spirit. I cannot celebrate, with good heart, a time that has been stolen from others. And most likely those others are in my blood, the women, behind the women. And so on.

Then there is that media thing.  In which we kept away from the kids as much as we could but then they get big and they see for themselves and begin to taste the sugar before they open their mouths and they want. They desire. This is human nature and a child doesn’t come here with the understanding of captiolistic brainwashing, they come here with wanting joy and family and community. They want to belong. And this is what is given, over and over again, through tales of Santa and commericals and radio and internet and just because these kids are sponges, they take it all in. You can hide them in a cave but the world will always find them. This world is ruthless like that. So we work on what we do, what stories we tell, what they see and feel from the inside out.

It wasn't until probably a few years ago, when my children began defining the season beyond what I would offer, when they began being seduced by what they were being fed.  It felt like Consumerism was a predator swooping in for a kill on my kids, eating away at them until there is nothing left but little wanters, and beggars, addicted to plastics and electronics. I didn’t know what to do or how to proceed. Part trust and part no and part yes and all things done in love. And yet still, much didn’t sit right. Like I had no choice. Like I wasn’t able to create what I wanted because there were bigger forces as play. And I didn’t know how to keep temperance among it all. I stuggled and still do. To live in both worlds. For them. For us all.

And of course all the sentimental leftover stories from my own childhood that somehow I was both pulled + triggered to re-create - but never really have been able to {my mother used to cook for like 18 people for 3 days in a rows and our front door was revolving and to be honest it was fantastic and exhasuting but how extended families and communities like our did it. I certainly don’t have a neighbor willing to drink his weight in whiskey and stand on the table and sing Sinatra until 3am- which was my holy day season as a kid. I can’t compete with an era that is now bygone, a history that is now only story, and I certainly cannot compete with my mother’s cannoli or Aunt Pena's sicilian pizza crust.  

It’s not like I want to throw away tradition. I don’t. I love ritual and what has been passed on.  But what has been passed on? I knew that along side my own stories about the holidays, I needed to create new ones. Because too much stress and obligation have been carried forth. To much "needing to do" and not enough just letting ourselves "be". To much belief in a religion, or a dogma, that does not even apply to me at this point. And I don’t want to be a fake. I don’t want to appropriate someone’s faith- I seriously respect Christians and Christianity. This is the time of year they celebrate their savior’s birth. This symbol is sacred to them in different ways than it is to me. I am not about to celebrate their holy day in ways that they do when it isn’t exactly mine to take. 

So mostly, I’ve struggled. I have struggled wanting to feel more connected around the holidays and also wanted to pull away from anything that felt gluttonous, wasteful, sugar-infused, and exhausting- and not align with my own very eclectic spiritual path- yet at the same time-  I want family but I don’t want overwhelm. I want abundance of food, but not at the risk of my health. I want to celebrate but not at risk of my own values.

What I do want is to connect around the seasonal shifts and the magical story of what’s available to us all during these times :: the moon making way for the sun, the heat instigating our voices to open and be ready to birthmup even in the quiet, to laim queendom of the underworld, to become the daughters and sons who roam a landscape of darkness, not out of force, but out of choice. To know the hope that shimmers against the blank space of death. It’s a mystical time.  Holy.  I have always felt this. It is my time of birth. The time of year I chose to say yes, to fertilization, to gestation, to growing, to birth, to my first breath.

I want to stop the shopping and start the making. Wood, glue, glitter, yeast. Yarn, paint, beads, paper. Paint, dye, wax, fabric.  I want to stop the doing and start the chopping of wood and spend the next 2 months stoking the fire in between sticking my finger in the honey and getting comfortable in the cave. It’s like I am nostalgic for a time I never was a part of, an era that has been impoverished in me, and know it as intimate truth.  I want to show my children what matters ::  Us. Together. A fire. Warmth. Hope. Faith. Light. Giving. Gratitude. Silence. Wandering. Receiving. Creating. Gathering. Being alone.

I am not sure how I got here where I am, or how my kids write these long lists of shit they want- though I will say that conversations over dinner has proven to make their lists shorter, more simpler than last year or the year before that. And no matter how hard we try not too, we still spend too much money that we really do not have to spend… only to maintain this sense of "belonging" to a culture that I am not super stoked on anyway.  And how I have no will power to say no to gatherings and parties that I just don’t want to be at so I guzzle a bottle of wine to cope. And the brie.  I don’t know how to say no to the brie. Please, tell me, how do you say NO TO THE BRIE? {maybe saying no to the brie is just too much to ask of me}.

And when I try to re-create anything else and change shit up…. everyone in my life whines and moans and wants to do things the original way {THEY WANT THE BRIE}. Because it’s addicting, to be honest. The holidays, in many ways for me, means addiction {for tarot people, check: the devil card}. 

Maybe I have become scrooge. A heartless empty human who does not want to belong to this season in the same way everyone around me seems to love. 

I do not watch Love, Actually.

And I do not really like Christmas music.

And I do not want a secret santa. 

Or maybe I just know what serves me and nourishes me.

Maybe I just know.

Maybe I just want to spend these days in honor of the season.  With nothing much to do but reflect on the past year. Knowing I am safe and held. And my kids are growing and thriving and cared for. That deep down they appreciate and respect this path I am trying hard to carve.

Maybe I know I can never have the holidays my mother and father gave us, it’s just not in my blood anymore.  And if I can’t then why pretend? Why try? Why relive? Why not just make something new?

I know what I need now, at age 42, what is needed to maintain health, vitality, homeostasis.  I need to *not* have another season fly by where in the end, I am just worn out, sick, and annoyed {and ten pounds heavier}.  And swearing on the graves of my ancestors that NEXT YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT.

This year I am committed.

I am saying no to a lot of things. 

Even if my kids hate me {I know, I sound so mean}.

Even if the elders get angry when I say- no more shitty gifts, please. 

And I am saying no to too much control on my part as well.

and I am saying no to capitolism.

And I am saying no to the colonization of the mother and the father and the holiness that comes when we enter the in between of the two.

I will drink some.  I will eat well.  I will enjoy the company of others.

But I won’t over-give. Or over-eat. Or over-spend. Or over-commit..

And I won’t get drunk every night in order to have a good time.

And I will create new things for my children that bring in the Light.

And I will make fires.

And I will make things, beautiful things, from my heart, and give them as freely as I can.

And I will walk in the cold and wet, at night, every night, and do this as a ritual. As a way of bringing in the holy day ahead. 

I will trust myself.  And my body.  And my needs.  Because that is what these days are about.  Illuminating to who we really are- when we are in the dark.

Excuse me but I’ll be at the fire the next couple months, I will be in my cave. I will be writing. And I will be making. And I will not be taking in a lot of media. Or sharing a lot on media. You can find me, still, of course. I am never far from here.  I may not be too responsive. But my heart is with you. Promise.

And my prayer, for you, on this 12th day of Christmas, or Advent, or Solstice, is that you align your rhythms with your faith, that you honor what your heart has always known, that you are brave to make changes, and that you are gentle with yourself when you cannot. That you own these dark times, as a queen does, and you have chosen, to go here, to explore the terrain, on your own, as only you want to do. 

xx, mb.


I have 2 more liminality sessions available for this month... and still have 5 open for January. If you are interested in working with me one-on-one, please enjoy looking over this page right here.


The Death Sessions.

The Death card in the tarot decks falls at card 13. 

This card, in it's old energy, means fear. It means we are blocked to life because we fear death. 

click here to purchase $ 20 - please ignore the dates above, it is not do-at-your-own-pace.

click here to purchase $20 - please ignore the dates above, it is not do-at-your-own-pace.

In the new energy, this card is about initiation. It is learning to release all that is already dead to you, that you continue to try to breath life into, that you struggle to grasp and grapple with. The things that are dormant and stagnant. There are some things that are not only in the process of dying, but there many things that are actually dead, that bring us no life, no energy, and we continue to put attention there. We continue to waste our powers on what is already crossed over, owned by the otherworld. But holding onto what is no longer ours, we keep ourselves from untethering our inherent ability to resurrect. We keep ourselves from re-birth. We stay too long in things that are far over with.

To allow for death, for that period of stillness, is allowing things to fall back to the earth. It is allowing for compost. It is a trust the process, that the earth will swallow all that does not serve us - and receives the power of it's death for us-  and with that alchemy, new life is released, risen, and transformed. This is the beauty of snake, to shed and shed and shed over again, and to grow new skin, always. It is the great feminine force of death. We get to *be* the powers that *be*. We get to decide what to kill. What do undress.  What to let go of. What to throw onto the forest floor or into the raging river or out to the darkness of the sea. We get to choose what needs to be stabbed over and over again. We get to *see* what we still carry that has not life, not force, not breath. We get to let go. And we get to become new life, eventually, after we say yes to the achingly beautiful goodbye + grief.

Death is also an archetype that is associated with Scorpio, the most transformational of all astrological signs. It rules over sex {which is literally life}, death and transformation. This time of year all that is temporal eventually breaks down into mystery, and we still have the rite and magic to be part of it, to be of both worlds, to be here, in bodies, in pleasure, in grief, in pain, in knowing, in unknowing. We are the resurrect. We are the transformation.  Know that we have part in what is now formless, seeking new life.

Our ancestors live within us. Dead as they are, they live in our cells and they live in our homes, they live in the soil, they live in the roots of the trees and they live as guides to allow us to make room for death, for grief, and in essence, to live a fuller life.

In the Death Sessions we will:

*practice allowing for what is dead to be dead. we will name what is dead, what no longer needs our breath. we will create ritual for letting go

*we will name all the parts of us that we must let fall to the earth.

*we will honor how to compost it. we get to hold space for it's new growth. we get a say what kind of energy it will alchemize as. what do you want now that you have buried what is rotting?

*as we creep towards All Souls + Saints Day, Day of the Dead and Samhain {and many other names depending on your spiritual linage} we will journey to be with our ancestors, during this time of gatekeeping and threshold seeking. we will invite them in, and help them guide us to a deeper meaning of death, so that we can live a deeper meaning of life. we will talk with the dead. we will listen and receive the messages from the unheard parts of our cells.

As all of The Living Tarot sessions there will be:

-written, audio + video content delivered via email daily

-a private community forum to share

-ritual, ceremony + writing prompts around this card/archetype

This session is wonderful for:

-anyone who loves tarot

-who wants a deeper practice with one card at a time

-is a coach, reader, or midwife to others

-is interested in learning basic ways of connection to their ancestors

-who wants to feel into the process of honoring death and what it feels like to let go of old life.

-who is ready for an initiation into this season, who knows there is darkness ahead, and wants The Death card as a tool, a talisman to hold as we enter the underworld.

In this session we will spend the first half naming death and allowing what must be buried to be buried. The second half we will be focusing on ancestral work + rituals. Yes. We will be communing with our sacred Dead. 

The Death Sessions cost is FREE

in holy death, 



{your email will only go on a list that is for The Death Sessions. You won't be added to my list-at-large unless you want to!  I believe in consent connection. I never want to infringe on your space or time {unless invited}. 




A Letter TO Men

{this writing was originally published in Nailed Magazine. Please head over to there after you read this.. and check them out. They are a local art + culture magazine- and put out some incredible writing worth spending the time reading.}

Dear Men,

Please. Do not touch me. Or hug me. Or look at me like you have any idea what I am really feeling. I do not want anything to eat or drink. Please just let me cry for a minute here. Let me sob. Let me feel this scared. This hopeless. Just for this minute. Every part of me is bruised and aching. Every part of me fears for my daughters. And your daughters. And all the daughters. So don’t try to make me feel better. Just listen. Then I want you to do something.

I know that it will be you that teaches other men. I honor that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a little bit of advice from a woman. Like me. Here it is.

Take a stand. Now.

Show up for the boys. Show up for the boys. Show up for the boys.

Teach them. Guide them. Give them what you never got. Give them rites of passage. Give them the space to be wild little shits and dirty primal animals. Teach them how to touch their dicks and let our their steam and love their bodies fiercely. Teach them that crying is good and holy. Teach them how to stretch a drum or hunt a deer or how to survive in the forest for 3 days. Teach them to know their urges. Teach them to master and transform them. Teach them how to tell a girl that he likes her and how to listen to her when she doesn’t feel the same. Teach them how to touch a girl, how to make a girl feel safe and seen.

Remind them that they never have to be what they have been told they are. Give them space to tell you their fantasies. All of them. Let them unwind what has been forced down their throats, all the stories that they have been fed. Tell them the world view they are shown reinforces this: they have more rights, they can make more money, they have more privileges, they have more dominion over my body than me, than my daughters. Tell them they are part of a system that doesn’t hold them responsible for violent behaviors, so they need to hold themselves responsible.

Tell them that if they are not poor that they will probably be able to get away with things. Bad things. Just by lying.

Especially if they are white. Especially if they rape someone.

Tell them that even if they would never rape a women, because they are good and their fathers are good and their grandfathers might have been mostly good – it’s still their job to do something more than just not rape women. Because that is basically doing nothing at all. Tell them about how women are blamed for what they wear, what they drink and where they decide to walk. Tell them women are punished for just being women. Tell them that women are punished for not being men.

Teach them about rape culture. That they are responsible for changing it. That they are supporting rape if they choose not to do something to dismantle it. That unless they do more, they will hold too many centuries of rape in their blood. That their cells will hold rape stories passed on from generations. And they will continue to pass it on. I do not want that for them or for who will be born next. I want so much more for them. But it’s up to you. To teach them to let those stories go.

While you are doing that, I will teach the girls to own themselves. And their sexuality. I will teach them to throw their sexual energy into their art and their activism. I will teach them to go to nature. I will teach them to masturbate. I will teach them that they are allowed to say no and walk away. I will teach them to see their bodies are sacred vessels. Because without their bodies, there would be no world.

I promise I that I will teach the girls to see the boys as beautiful, caring souls, because I believe that when we see each other at our truest essence, we can transform. This doesn’t mean they won’t be learning aikido, or how to throw a deadly punch. This doesn’t mean I won’t warn them that their skirt, even though it’s super cute and totally perfect, may be used as an excuse for them to be treated badly. That even though they are just playing a drinking game right along with the dudes, that they may be held responsible when one of them gropes her breasts and drunkenly tells her “wear a baggy shirt if you dont want me to touch your tit.”

I will teach them that their choices could be used as a reason in a court of law to blame them for violence that was committed against them.

Men, you might not know what you are doing as you stand in this role as a teacher, but neither do I. We still have to do it anyway. I’m 42 and spent half my life hiding and covering myself up and being scared to say no. I spent half my life scared to open my heart because of what I might endure if I trusted anyone again. Because when women say no, we are bitches.

Tell them this story. My young daughter told a boy she didn’t like him anymore. And the bullying began. He convinced everyone in her class to bully her. Girls and boys. Everyone was mad at her for hurting hisfeelings. Because she said no. Everyone thought she was a bitch. Because she said no. This is how it begins. For our girls. And for our boys. There are egos. And old stories at play. And roles that we attach to. This is when girls begin to deny their needs and doubt themselves and ignore their feelings in order to be liked, to fit in. This is how it begins. How we are taught we can’t say no and even if we do, we will be shamed and cast aside. When women say no, we get hurt.

Tell them the story how about how I had to prove that he didn’t let me get off that bed that night, that his elbow was against my throat so I could barely cry out for help. Tell them how I could not come up with any proof {except the blood on my underwear} and that somehow he even convinced my girlfriends not to believe me.

Tell them this story. The other day I went on a walk and I found a wallet outside on the street, in front of a house. I picked up the wallet and saw the photo of a beautiful 20-year-old woman on the I.D. I immediately did not think “Oh she dropped her wallet.” I immediately thought someone attacked her, raped her, and her wallet was laying there, and she was laying somewhere else, violated and ripped apart. I looked at the house it was in front of, and considered going to the door to see if it was someone’s that lived there. I immediately got scared. That I didn’t dare knock on the door. Because this is where our minds go. Because this is what it feels like to be a woman. To walk alone on the street. Early in the morning. Just to get some fresh air.

One in every three women are physically or sexually assaulted. By a man. We don’t have a lot of breathing room with those numbers.

I know you don’t have it easy in many ways. I don’t envy you. You have been robbed of so many things. I cannot speak of these things because I am not you. But I want you to know–I see you. I do.

I know it is important for men to remind each other how you do not rape women and how you know rape is wrong. This is good work. This is decent work. But this is just the baseline. This is just human decency. This is just how it should be. So please, I am not asking you to stop telling the stories about when you were drunk with a girl and you didn’t rape her.

Those stories are important. But the bar needs to be raised. Like a lot. Like Huge.

I am asking you. Raise the bar. I am telling you. Raise the bar. I am begging you. Raise the bar.

This is what I want.

I want you to share the stories of how vulnerable it is to be a man who expresses his woundedness, who admits it. Who admits being conditioned on how to view women. Because it’s in there. Underneath it all, you know you have been taught to see me as an object. You know you have wanted to take things that were not yours. You might not act on it, but you hold that teaching. That I am less than you. And that my body is not worth protection or freedom. And that women are stuck somewhere in between being owned and being disregarded.

I want you to share how fucked up it is to walk around every single day and not even have to think about how you walk in privilege and safety. That you don’t walk into a parking lot thinking you might be raped by someone hiding in the car next to yours. Share stories about how you don’t have to pretend you are talking on your cell phone when you walk by a man on the street at night. I want you to talk about how unjust and unfair this is. And how there is a need to recognize this. Because owning your privilege is powerful. Your privilege is power. 

Empower the boys to embrace their inimitable divine masculine, an energy that is outstanding and protective and true. Teach them that no human is an object. Teach them to tattoo the meaning of consent into their cells. Teach them to look themselves right in the eye and see the parts of themselves that are broken, the parts of themselves that have been formed by a culture of rape. Teach them to stand up and ask women how to be a feminist. Tell them they are such an important part of healing this world. Please tell them that.

And even if they would never, ever rape a women, this is still their work, from here on in, to move into the world rejecting the system that has created them. Teach them that we have all been made to be victims and perpetrators alike.

Hold them and help them find what it is they need so they stop taking what was never theirs. Ever. Ever.

Show them that in order to to change this world, they need to change how they let the world see us, by changing how they see us.

This is so the earth can heal. So our wombs can be at ease. Can I please say to you that we women need our wombs to be at ease. We want to create something new with you all. With you all. Not separate. Together. There is so much more to birth.

But first. Please. Listen. Own your shit. Then tell me what your promise is. Each and every one of you. Tell a women in your life what your promise is. Tell her what you have done to be part of this system. And then tell her what you are doing to make it better.

I am grateful. And ready to be relieved. I believe in you. You got this. You totally do.


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I'm sorry.

{I'm sorry. a letter to my body}

{{if you would like me to read this piece to you, please click on below. otherwise, you can carry on downward and read on your own xx}}


I am sorry for betraying you. 

So many times. 

I am sorry for the first time I said I hated you. 

I was 7. And you could not cartwheel the way the way the neighbor girl could. And your thighs didn’t look like the thighs on TV. The boys at school called them thunder thighs and used the words bubble butt. I am sorry for hating you and blaming you for how they made me feel.

I am sorry for sticking band aides over your nipples to make them look like the didn’t exist and then hunched so far over to hide you that I spent an entire year looking at the floor. Hoping that nobody could see you and how you were poking out. 

I am so sorry for the times I covered you with my father’s clothes. Big old man clothes. Polo shirts that smelled like old spice. Because the length of his shirts draped over your ass and hips and breasts that were in formation and somehow made me think I was protected. And maybe I thought that if he didn’t see what was happening to you, he would still love me. And maybe the bigger the clothes I wore the less anyone would notice me.

I am sorry for the time I wanted to take knives and cut sections of you away. To subtract the excess of you. Wide thighs. Protruding butt. Puffy gut. I would trace my fingers along your too muchness and pretend that they could sever so many parts of you away. I am sorry for wanting to cut flesh out of my flesh. I am sorry I called you fat. I am sorry I thought you were too big and too much and that you needed to be subtracted. That somehow my raw open wounded flesh was better than my whole, large, full self.

I am sorry for all the days, day after day, I would stand in front of the mirror, over and over again, telling you to be small. To grow taller. For your legs to be longer. And your ass flatter. And your belly firmer. I am sorry I would punch you. Punch your skin. Pound it down. Trying to beat you away. Punish you for being what you were. Me.

I am sorry for avoiding the mirrors. For not looking in them as I walked by. For being so disgusted by even a tiny glance.  I am sorry for not wanting to see you. For not allowing you to be seen.  I am sorry for ignoring the reflection of your truth, all you were and all you wanted to be. 

I am sorry for the times I wanted to stuff your mind into the garbage can because you thought too much and and blurted out those thoughts and made me feel unlikable, unlovable. Because you thought too much and cared too much and were wiling to risk too much. And you wanted to change things. And there was no room for this. You took up too much space. All the ways you spoke differently, said things that you thought were true, made other people hate you. And so I decided to hate you, too, because I thought you were doing me wrong. That we were wrong. I am sorry for asking you to just be normal, to just be liked. To just be pretty.  To just be quiet. I am sorry for telling you over and over again to shut the fuck up.

I am sorry that I didn’t believe it wasn’t your fault when those thoughts and ideas, when your voice dared to quiver with your truth, ended up getting you hurt. Hit. I am so sorry I thought it was your fault, that your mind was a reason for a girl to get thrown down. That your voice was a reason to be pushed around. I am sorry my NO didn’t work. I am sorry for shaming you for shooting your mouth off much and that too much became a bruise on my arm and mark around my neck. I am sorry I didn’t hit back. That I didn’t fight. For your voice. For your skin. For your right to say what you meant.

I am sorry I blamed you for not being prettier. Everyone loves a pretty girl.

I am sorry I wished you could just sit still, be quiet and be pretty.

i am sorry for wishing you would stop being pretty and you start being smart so people could see you for more than the wide dopey eyes, the smile, the hair, the ass, the open heart. Everyone hates a pretty girl.

I am sorry I blamed you for nobody listening to me. If only you could be smarter, I would say, if only you could look like you really feel, which isn’t pretty. 

I am sorry I sucked your stomach in so much I stole you of breath, of life force, of filling up on cleansing air.

I am sorry I made you wear the girdle I found in mom’s drawer when I was 13. Bondage and jailed inside the heavy elastic, afraid to move freely, afraid the boys would see it under my short.

I am sorry for all the times I starved you. To make you fit into the room. To make you fit into the jeans. To make you fit between his legs in the way he wanted. I am sorry I did not feed you roasted figs and cheese. Fried chicken with gravy. Spumoni ice cream. Cream filled cupcakes. All the flavors in the world. I am sorry I didn’t feed you all the bowlfuls you wanted and deserved. I am so sorry I starved you, so that you became nothing but what you were suppose to be, nothing but what you were told to be. The jeans fit. There was nothing to grab and nothing to pull and nothing to put underneath them. I was too skinny to exist. Maybe I would disappear. Maybe my stomach would stop hurting. Maybe I could just pass by everyone without being seen.

I am sorry for all the times I stuffed you. So full. But if I stuffed you then maybe you’d shut up. Maybe all the thoughts and ideas would finally be pushed so far down that you wouldn’t have to deal with them anymore. Maybe if I stuffed you full of everything that made you sick you would sit down and be good and be quiet and tolerate everything that was going on around you. What everyone wanted you to do. To make money. To make babies. To make the bed. To make things pretty. For everyone else. To ensure that nobody was mad or angry. And that the house stayed calm and clean. I am sorry that I continued to stuff you because I wanted them to stop looking at me. Stop needing me. Stop hating me. To stop reaching out and trying to take me away. From me.

I am sorry for all the times I let them get into you. All the times you tried to close yourself like a clam shell, to hide the jewel from the sea, deep inside. I am so sorry I let your treasure be taken. I am so sorry I didn’t kick harder or say no louder. I am so sorry I didn’t stop sooner. I am so sorry I didn’t hold you high and walk in the way that says fuck you, this is a queen. Do not touch. I am sorry I played with fire. I am sorry I let you be burned. I am sorry about the random places I walked you into that were not safe or right. I am sorry I thought it was your fault. It wasn’t. I am sorry for not seeing how powerful you were. And how frightened you were. And how resilient you have been for me.

photo credit:  Danielle Cohen

photo credit: Danielle Cohen


I am sorry for the times, even after you held 5 children. Three of them born and living and breathing. Three of them coming out of you. With no help. From anyone or anyting but you. And them. I am sorry, even after you made milk day after day, night after night, year after year, that I didn’t see you as you are. I am so sorry I never treated you the way you deserved. A hot bath. A salt wash. Water. Sleep. A new pair of silk pants. Loving hands in massage. A day trip to somewhere beautiful, alone, to write. I am sorry that I did not love you more when you have done so much. You brought me everything that matters to me.  Everything there is. All the love that exists came from you.

I am sorry for all the times I have wanted to dig my hand deep into my chest and pull out your heart and rip it out because sometimes it is just too much to have a heart, to feel this kind of sadness and love. It is almost too much to feel. I am sorry I have wanted to rid you of your heart, your blood, your beat. 

I am sorry for all the times I have tried to beat you up under the disguise of exercise or try and tell you that fun was at the bottom of a bottle or endless rolls of tobacco. I am sorry for all the times I have punished you pretending that I am doing some good when all you wanted was rest. to be loved. to dance alone at night. with candlelight. to have your nails painted. and your maybe a decent hair cut. a deep slow stretch. or nothing at all.

I am sorry for all the times i dragged you from city to city, state to state, house to house, man to man. Trying to find the right place to be. And never seeing that you are my only home. That you are the only real home. That you are my holy homecoming. No matter where we are.

I am sorry for all the times I never said I loved you.

I am sorry for all the times I refused love for you.

I am sorry for all the times I didn’t trust you.

I am so sorry for all the times I thought it was you to blame.

I am sorry.

I love you.

Forgive me

From here on. You are yours. You are yours. Only yours. Mine alone.

There is nothing more and nothing less than this body.

This body will be free.

photo credit:  Danielle Cohen

photo credit: Danielle Cohen



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Booty Shorts Are Not The Reason.

Freedom. {freedom freedom freedom}

In order to be free. We need to know. 

We need to know what it is. Exactly. That enslaves us. Or appears to. 

What is the story, energy, history, presence, routine, habit, addiction. Where in our bodies do we feel heavy and unable to release? What stories do our cells continue to spin out, blast into our bellies and rise up to our hearts, holding captive our throats? Holding us. Still. Stopped. Trapped. 

All that has been done. Can be undone. Despite popular belief. I have to know this is true.

The belief that we are chained to something and need to serve whatever that is that does not in return serve us back, is a belief that is just that: a belief. It is not truth. Our bodies can be reunited with our truest state: free. 

We can begin to believe something different. Once we do. We are on the open road.


My dilemma. 

“These girls need to know that they can’t dress like that. You know the statistics,” he said to me.

What statistics? That 1 in 5 of every single woman will be raped and 1 in 3 are assulated and that’s only what has been reported to the law? Those ones? I know them. So well. I am one of the 5 and one of the 3. 

I am so sick. and tired. {so sick. and so tired}. Of the notion that we, as females, need to change our physical appearances and clothing choices and body movements to avoid abuse and attacks. That we are doing something wrong and we need to change in order not to die or be injured or to walk away with bruises. Or body trauma. Or emotional and spiritual loss. So that we aren’t found behind dumpsters. So that we don’t need to ge to the ER getting scans and swabs. 

The notion that young girls are not allowed, should not, should avoid at all costs, the savoring and the expression of their newly blooming bodies and skin - is fucking preposterous to me. The notion that we have to teach them to “cover up” for the simple reason “we need to be safe” is literally twisting my brain and heart. 

I have been around many young and older teen girls. And in my humble witnessing, I find that they choose to dress the way the do, however that may look, because they are excited about their new bodies, that they actually are beginning to like them, not hate them, or are trying to like them, and are needing to feel like they own them. They are practicing liking they way they feel. The way they look. So they explore. Experience. All the things: makeup, clothes, hair, expression.  In my experience with young girls {and being one at one time and raising three of them right now} there is a raw and innocent sense of self love beginning to form within them that is post child love and entering a sweet and sensual maiden-like love. The half shirts may be stylish, a trend, but there is more to it. What I see happening are these small and subtle moments of self-knowing what lies beneath the surface of that skin- something has changed and is continsously changing within them. Things are stirring. Ovaries are popping. Blood is flowing. Sensations are changing. Power is birthing. When they bare their newly longer, more shapely legs, they are claiming a new walk on earth, walking towards being a woman, using their limbs to carry them however they choose to walk as themselves.

I hear a lot of stories about the “revealing” way a girl dresses being about their “low self esteem” or about being “slutty” or about pleasing men or about submitting to the Hollywood sexualization machine. I call bullshit on about 99.9% of that story. I am not saying 100%. I am saying 99.9%. I am saying that WE are making up those stories about our girls. Not them.

The notion that we “show our skin” as a symptom of a patriarchal invented “illness” {such as self loathing or promiscuity} or because we are putting out the message that we “want to get fucked” is stupendously damaging to the psyche of the The Girl. It is covering up the truth of who she is, who she wants to be, and how she longs to express herself and still be safe in this world. Trust me. I know.  You might also know what I mean if you are reading this and you also were a girl once or you are raising girls. All the bullshit is begining to rise and we can smell it.

When I was 15 my friends and I would dress in totally crazy clothes, taken from the attic from my friend’s mother’s more wild collection of 1970s fashion and costuming. We would mix and match and create wonderful ensembles and we would wear them out, and walk up and down on the street feeling beautiful and crazy and wild. We had so much fun. Like wouldn’t it be awesome if we could dress this way and just be? And we did it because we felt amazing. Sexy. Proud. Brave. Beautiful. Bold. Artistic. And then the Porshe drove up next to us. And he rolled his window down. And he said things. Because of course. Of course. We were 15 year old prostitutes walking down a small town residential street. Asking for trouble. Selling our bodies. Because we wore gold mini skirts and crazy oversized sunglasses and held hands while wildly laughing and enjoying the full moon in the sky. Together. As girls. As a matter of fact. My friend just sent me this photo the other day. About what we used to do on Saturday nights to be entertained. Here it is. This is truth:

thank you to my best friend for the permission to post this. i am in the red. she is looking fab in the purple.

thank you to my best friend for the permission to post this. i am in the red. she is looking fab in the purple.


We show our skin. If we do. If we choose.  Because we are understanding something. We are skin. And bones. And blood. And minuscule and enormous miracles forever and ever loaded into our cells. We show are skin. Because we are finding a love for our body. Past childhood. Past abuse. Past trauma. Into womanhood. And we long to feel safe, we want to be sure we are safe.  Why wouldn’t we be safe? We are sure it’s going to be okay, like being a child, like trusting,  like being free. It can still be that way.

We show ourselves because we have not yet been told that we shouldn’t yet. Or maybe we do so in rebellion of being told that we shouldn’t. Either way, we do so thinking we can be safe. Or even if we know we aren't, we do so anyway despite the fear, to prove we don’t need to be scared. But then we are told we are not safe. Nope. No way. And we are shown we are not safe. And somehow, even though it’s “not our fault” we need to dress differently. To cover up. To shut up. To stop walking like that. To ease up. To hide. To not invite in trouble. To not be “too much” or reveal the multiple layers of what being a women means. The feminine and feminist. The breasts that begin to burst out and up. The mind that slowly unfolds into it’s own brilliance. The biceps that are learning to carry all the things we begin to carry, as women. Trust me, it is a heavy load.

These are the bodies. And they are us. And I am so sick and tired of so many stories being told about them. And how confusing and complicated it becomes when it is decided to dictate how we should all dress. And when people start saying “send her to her room and make her change her clothes. She can’t go out like that!”

I am not sure of anything. But I am sure of something. Our booty shorts have nothing to do what has been done to us. 

Our booty shorts mean nothing but whatever it means to us. Whatever our reasons are. And it never is the reason that our bodies seem to continuously be ruled over. And pushed over. And taken from us. We have been told that when we wear them we will get raped. And if we don’t wear them we will be ugly. If we do wear them we must not be feminists or smart. And if we don't wear them we must not like men. And if we do wear them we must hate ourselves. And if we don’t wear them we must hate our bodies. 

And if we wear what we want, we shouldn’t if it makes others uncomforatbale. Because we don’t want to make others uncomfortable. Or make them look twice. Or make them question their own integrity when it comes to young girls and their skin. 

We have been told so much. And so my response to my dear male friend who claims we need to teach our daughters to dress in a way so they won’t become part of The Statistics: Dear One, Please fuck off.

You can dress anyway you want to. Without being hurt. Instead of you telling me how to tell the daughters how to dress, how about this: you stand on top of your very comfy soapbox and you start telling men to stop raping girls. Now. Despite their urges. Despite the stories you have been fed. You deal with the boys. You tell them that our girls and women have every right to wear what they want and walk how they want and dance how they want, and it’s THEIR job to get their shit together. I got my girls covered. They know they drill. You better get the boys in line. Now.

But. Here is my real dilemma. 

I don’t actually want my daughter wearing half shirts and booty shorts and such. I am terrified of the time when she decides she might. I am still thinking that newly formed women need to cover up in order not to: looklikeaslutorattractbadshitfromhorriblemenbecauseit’sutterlyinappropriateandtheyshouldwearlauraashleyandwoolsocks. gah. 

I know. 

I am stuck. 

I am caught. 

Between the paradigms. 

And conversations. And language. And not knowing how to say it or do what we need to say or do. 

I am caught between fear and freedom. Still.

Clear as a glacier: I want her safe. 

Clear as a glacier: I want her free.

Clear as a glaicer: I want change.

Clear as a glacier: I want to do right by us all.

But do I arm her with those fake tiger claws and a depth of knowledge of how to poke a person’s eye out with a thumb? And teach her about the eyes in the back of her head that always must remain open and let her know that most men will look at her inner thighs and feel ways we don’t understand, as women, but to be very warned that our inner thighs will be seen as not our own, but as someones to spread apart and take what is between them?  And. Then. Let her wear what she wants.  And trust the fuck out of her. Because who am I to tell her what to wear? I never did when she was a younger little girl. She was free to choose. Socks and no shoes and bathingsuits under snowsuits and fairy wings and roller skates to the store and mismatches and toplessness- lots of skin showing. Especially when it was hot. Once she asked me "why does daddy take his shirt off at the park and i do and you don't?" And I always thought “how amazingly creative and brilliant she is”. And now. I am going to say to her, in this impressionable and glorious time of her life: “no way in hell, get back to your room”. Or even “Honey, that is too much skin. That’s not appropriate.” {as I pull up my off-the-shoulder shirt and cover up my beloved shoulder on my own body. and run to my instagram account and delete all the skin + poetry.}.  And I am going to say to her: "It's just they way it is, it is not considered appropriate for your belly button to show right now" And then I feel shameful. Because it's a belly button. And under it the entire world exists. And then she feels shameful too. And scared. And I stumble back and forth. And try. And we both dance the dance of figuring this shit out. I am trying to do the best I can do. She is too.

Do dress codes and boundaries around her dressing style perpetuate the message: 

We must change. Our ways. To feel safe. We must dress in another way. From the beginning. To be saved. From our sexuality? Or from a world that doesn't understand it and therefore rips us bare of it's sanctity.

I have no interest in that. None.

First off. I do not need to be saved. My sexuality is all that I am. All that I came from.

It isn’t our ways, our dress, or holy fuckability, or our desires + longing and feelings that must change.

But what it is. That must change. What this all comes from. This whole thing. Instills such a deep, imbedded fear. Still. In me. I am a terrified young girl again. Approached by that porshe. Assuming I am there for him, that my body isn’t my own. That it’s my fault because I have always had the innate desire to walk this earth feeling free, in my own skin, and safe. That it’s my fault that I was born that way. Born to feel that way. To be that way. 

I am chained to this fear. Because it is real. But what are the chains? I am half chained to believing it is our responsibility to do whatever we need to protect ourselves and our daughters from sexual abuse and violence and predators. And I am half chained to saying absolutely fuck no. We should be able to walk outside naked, topless {it’s the law in some places} and be safe, sound, protected, honored. REVERED. RESPECTED. LEFT THE HELL ALONE.

I want to feel free. Safe. Powerful. Ass cheeks hanging out or not. 

This is the shadow part of myself and this world I am trying to look at, straight on, and figure out why I struggle, why I grapple, why I grasp, why I remain chained to living in between, chained to not knowing exactly how to handle this.  And what it will take to feel the freedom. And safety. In these bodies. Because this is what this is about for me. The liberation of my body. And so my daughter’s will experience it as well. 

There are no answers. There are only questions in this moment.  I am living them.  And the ones I am most interested in, are not what I will say to my daughters, not the rules and regulations I will give them about how they should look and behave and dress.  But what we plan on saying to help and heal the sons, to help us all feel like we belong here, together, safe, in this skin.

the devil.

The other day I was hiding in the woods across the street from my house smoking tobacco {I roll it myself. i don't know why i feel i have to always say that. like it makes it better, i guess}. I was hiding. Because I was disgusted. Because smoking is gross. And I don’t do it a lot, but when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, I tend to find myself in the tobacco shop buying a loose bag of the stuff and then hiding. Because. Gross. And the kids. And unhealthy. And all the things, right? 

I am not addicted. Not to tobacco at least. Not physically. But emotionally. I am addicted to a need, a desire, a longing. Something that is behind the smoke.

I can easily say no. My body doesn’t freak out in withdrawal.  But I don't say no. I say yes. Because I want it. I am addicted to the want. I am addicted to the chain.

There are a lot of things that live in me like this. Where I know it’s not the best. Where I know something needs to change, to shift, to transform. And no matter how obsessed I can be with trying to transform, sometimes nothing really works.  To kick the shit out of me often takes a lot, something seismic. Something powerful. Sometimes something extremely dark. Because when we are chained, we are chained.

I have chains. Lots of them. 

Chains that attach me:

Being right.

Being wrong.

Being good enough.

The idea that my intuition is off.

That I make the wrong choices.

That people don’t really like me.

To conflict + lust and  mixture of those too together like fire and blades across my skin.

To sugar, in all it’s shapes and forms, late at night, eating my gut apart.

Late nights. Way late nights. Being a vampire. Refusing my body the sleep. Forcing myself to stay open eyed and waiting for something.

To love. But not the good love. Or the bad good kind of love. The kind they warn you about.

The pain of love.

The struggle of love.

The slice broken heart.

Not breathing enough.

Not making enough money.

The idea of always not having enough money.

Lack + scarcity.

Not believing in my path.

Refusing to work on clarity. Because I don’t believe I know how to get clear. Because I am chained to a subtle, constant fog.

To coffee. Like not just because I like it. But because i cannot even function in the morning with out. Or even now. I need dark as dirt coffee to write. This is what I tell myself. And I will get up, and not finish this, and make coffee instead.

To systems of beliefs that I feel are superior to me. That feel like they weigh me. Pull me. Stop me. 

To prudence. Just too much. Of a good thing.

To righteousness. Because my fist is up. And mouth open. Sometimes too much,

To guilt.

To anger.

To aggression.

To anxiety.

To depression.

To a deep sadness of the world. The ache in the core. 

My white fragility.

Ancient and expired ingrained beliefs. 

All these things. And many more. Are stories I tell myself. That I don't like. That I feel that I cannot stop. That I feel like it’s some kind of bad karma, from the realm of lust and bottom earth burnt gravel. That they own me. That I live behind them. Under them. They keep me down. Unable to breathe or make changes in my life.

And then also I know. It’s all an illusion. Purely. Illusion.

It’s all the process of life. Of the balance of self judgment and self discernment. It's not all bad. It's not all good. It's mostly just a dance. Because as soon as I realize there are no chains. That I can make choices. That I can conjure the energy I need to stand up. To push up. To release the stories, I can shift. As soon as I realize the chains are the stories, none of it matters much anymore anyway.

This is the energy of the devil. The longer we think we are chained to what stops us, hurts us, lowers us to vibrations of the Heavy, the longer we stay there, telling ourselves these stories about ourselves. And believing them.

It does not take a lot to see the chains that are around our necks are not really connected to anything much at all. I mean it feels like. They feel real. And tight. But they are not.

The one True Master of your life is You. 

That even with our primal addictions. Our taste for lust. For blood. For matter and flesh. For money and gold. For revenge. For booze. For smokes. For recklessness. For self sabotage. For co-dependence. For love that is just wrong. For all the darker sides of our being.  

We can enjoy all that we are. All that we like to do. All that we like to make. Take. Feel. Ingest. But we get to master it. Or be master to it. 

We get to decide the volume of our temptations. 

This is The Devil Card. 

The Devil is about the material world and the chains it can so easily claim us with. It is about lust, power and abuse. It isn’t about stopping yourself from fully enjoying the flesh of the material world. And maybe it’s about not enjoying it enough. Maybe The Devil Card is here to ask you step closer to the fire. Or maybe it’s here to remind you, you are not chained to anything, you are free, you are balance. The Devil card is also about consciousness. We are the control. We are the bosses of our actions. We get to choose active consciousness. We get to act on our wants- not our wants acting upon us.


The Devil Card is here to remind us: we are in charge. we are not servants to anything or anyone. we can serve. but we make choices. we get to call the shots. we get to own our lives. 

If you are interested in diving fully into the magic, energy + archetype of The Devil Card, we begin on September 1st and go until September 10th. 10 full days of The Devil. Who is he? What does he want from you? Why do you stay so close to him? How can you step away? Who really is the master of your life? This experience is for:

*card readers

*card lovers



*those obsessed with transformation

*those who love writing, ritual, meditation

*those who love telling stories

*those who just want to know more

*those who want to go deeper

*those who aren’t scared of a little fire

*those interested in alchemy and ancient spiritual practices

*those who want a safe place to explore their own primal wants and to practice balancing living in the real deal flesh on earth with spirit + soul.






Wake Up.

{{From The Tower Sessions}}


{this is how Kali says good morning}

We are going to allow the ash of yesterday to settle for a bit and continue on the journey. For some clarity. And understanding. About why destruction… why the NO… is so necessary.

Kali Ma. She holds the power of the destruction of negative ego.

“At the dissolution of all things, it is kala {time} that will devour all. But it is Kali that devours even time, the original form and devourer of all things. Resuming yourself after the great dissolution, you retain your own nature, dark and devoid of form. There, you remain ineffable and inconceivable. Source of all form, you are the multiform power of illusion, the beginning of all, creatrix, protectress, and destructress.” - The Maha Nirvana Tantra

Just like the tower card... Stories were made up about her  to instill fear, in hopes she would loose her power. Stories were made to think we were separate from her, that she was outside of us,  in order to avoid her wrath, we needed to stay away or use her energy for harm. Stories were built up as walls around the actual truth and power of things- the power of the destructive force that comes in the form of fire and sword that come Love. Through Love. Because of Love. 

What if we all knew and understood we had The Tower and Kali energy within us? To direct ourselves and the universe into a more evolved and conscious state? Destroying the negative egos left and right? Chopping the heads off war? Slicing the flesh of shame? Torching the {inner/outer} systems that enslave us? Burning to ground the imprisonment of the one true and holy self?

Years before the Catholic Church thought of doing so, Brahmin priests achieved a level of infamy by selling {for the right price} rituals to make it hail on your neighbors crops, or make their cattle become your cattle. They used the image of Kali The Fearsome to manipulate frightened souls into buying into the priests’ racket. Because she was a goddess and not a god, she was very useful in a society that held women as 2nd citizens. Her unsavory iconography enforced prejudices of women and of the dark and mysterious and turned it into a story to fear. She is represented as ugly. She become something we didn’t want.


photo of original Kali artwork by Jenn Grosso of Perils Of Living. 

When really she is something that lives and breaths within us. And she is a tool, a gift, a source from the endless fountain of energy you contain. 

Here is some truth about Kali.

She is the destroyer of negative ego. The more negative the ego the greater the destructions. No job is too small for her. No destruction too large. This is why her mantra is so powerful. This is why when working with this energy, you really must choose to be intentional and use with utmost integrity.

She's a protectress. She is a voracious warrior who can conquer demon after demon by the square mile, spilling blood into the soil... but if on battlefield she hears a child cry, she transforms into The Mother and thinks only of the welfare of the child, cares and protects with all her love.  Her destructive side is “modulated in a benevolent way, as a force that removes outer and inner obstacles, demons, spiritual blindness and grants the highest realization beyond belief.”- Tantra: The Path Of Ecstacy

So sit with Kali, if you haven’t been singing to her already since day 2, and begin to tap into the destroyer protectress within your own bones.

And then write something. About it. Find a language for her through you. Ask her "what would you do?" and then listen.

Write all the powerful stories of yourself, the destructive protectress creatrix goddess that history has re-written, that someone has re-told. The stories that have somehow turned you shameful, guilty, loathsome, ugly, sick and powerless.


*What stories have been  told about you, what outside yourself history do you carry?

*But really, what is your true story? The one you know is you? The one that cannot be told by anyone but you.

Use Kali to demolish the first one. Use Kali to protect the second one.









Below is an audio of me chatting about chanting. as a tool. and the Kali mantra inna mi own style. 

om and salutations, i attract the dark and powerful one. the dark and powerful one lives in me. i am her and she is me. you are the first one, the dark within your own reality, the supreme primordial feminine who cuts through illusion to the unabridged truth of existence. i invoke you.

Be prepared to face your fears. Be ready to expose your heart. Make space for the changes. Make space for the destruction. Do not pray this until you are ready to do so. Do not pray this until you are ready for bravery and courage. Because for great peace we must all have great courage... {ps. I know you so.}


The rest of The Tower Sessions {14 days of content} can be found here, on sale, for $15.

the tower card. bringing it down.

for the next couple days i am going to give away some content from my Living Tarot course: the tower sessions.

it was created last summer and blew up a lot of things in my life and i was told the lives of some of the people who took it.  i feel like it's an appropriate time to share some of it's content on a wider scale. we need to burn so much down. so much of the cultural brainwashing and stories that are just not The Truth. so much of our own attachment to the stories that we cannot just make the connection from stagnant to change. i want us all to change, in all the ways we want to change. i want the world to be a better, safer place for all, not just some. i want to do what i do best to help that. and i am beginning to think it's ritual and magic, it's writing, and it's showing up to heal the womb, which is THE womb, ya know, the place where we all decide if we want to be born or not. 

here is a combo of 2 days content of  The Tower Sessions. if you are interested in all 14 days of content, it's on sale now for $15 and will be just for a little longer. 

much love, xx MB


Now is the time to call in Destruction.

I love words. I love their roots. I love etymology. The word destruction means “to bring down”.

We are going to bring some stuff DOWN.

What is not healthy for you or this world must be brought down to the ground. In fire. In prayer. In a mutual understanding. In honor. In rage. In knowing. It is now over and it can grow again into new, fresh life.

You want to bring whatever down that keeps you from:

Living in a body that feels wealth and health.
Living in a body that feels safe and honored.
Living in a body that is free to feel and release without grasping or holding or attaching.
Living in a body that knows boundaries.
Living in a body that receives pleasure.
Living in a body that is not abused.
Living in a body that remains open to The Gifts.

You want to bring down what keeps the world from:

Living well fed and sheltered.
Living without clutching our hearts in constant grief and fear and anger and desperation.
Living without gags or chains or bars.
Living where lies finally are exposed and brainwashing is revealed and we can begin with a fresh heart, a fresh story.
Healthy breathing and healing.
Being ready for Love.


What you will write today is a list.

Of what you want destroyed.

Take note: There are going to be symptoms. And there are going to be energies that create the systems.

Right now, you can write down both. But keep in mind, we *must* burn down the root cause, the miasim, the dis-ease, the energy that enforces the symptom. We can burn down the symptom, too, because who wants to live in pain? Not I. But if we don’t start at THE SOURCE - the CAUSE- then we will only appease, and not destroy.

So write.

What do you want to scream Burn into.

{maybe you scream it and write it}

What so you want to hold in sacred, dark, powerful space before it becomes a fire.

Let it all flow.

This will be an on-going list. You can add to it daily. Remember. You can move fluidly back and forth from what you want destroyed in your *own inner world* and that of the *outer world*. {more than likely you will find direct connection between the two anyway.

This list is the naming of our stories. The stories are the walls of The Tower. The stories of the larger systems at play. The stories that keep us from being free.

You are the Destroyer Archetype. Right now. Hold your head high. You are the Gods + Goddess of destruction.

You also can do this work without causing harm. To yourself. Or anybody else.

Look around. Look inside. Know that you know.

Make a list. This is your intention setting.

These are things you want destroyed. Just know that. And feel it out. Don’t go back and erase things. Trust your first expression. Trust what you write down.

Then go back and circle the biggest things on your list. At least 3. Or as many as you want.

and write or find notice in ::

1. the presenting symptom of this thing, as in, how does it look form the outside?

2. the feeling it gives you when it arises.

3. and then… dig deep and name a root cause, name the POWER behind the sympton. This power can be an energy, and event, a human, a history.  

Sit with this list today and tonight.

And we will do more work tomorrow.



I am sitting here writing. In between chopping some really hot peppers I got in the mail from NY from my 86 year old father.

Apparently he has no idea you aren’t supposed to ship produce across the country.

Anyway I am making a recipe passed down from him to me. Passed down from my grandmother to him. Passed down from who knows who to her. And I am thinking about my culture, which is a mixed up bunch of craziness that spans across lands, but all rooted on the island of Sicily. And I think about the energy that has carried in my blood. And I think about when my father, who had so many demons, and so much rough luck, a shitty immigrant hand, would sit back with his drink at the end of the day and say to me “You know what, Mary? You’ve got to learn to bury this shit that messes with you. Just burn it and bury it.”

Today we will be having a burning ceremony for the list we made yesterday.

You have nothing to loose. But your chains to these things.

And if they want to come back to you, without needing chains. They will.

Chances are, you are done though.

{trust yourself. even if it’s scary to let go. allow yourself that fear. and be ready anyway.}


This is something to be done at your altar. Or wherever works for you, to be honest. But if the altar is there and it feels powerful, then go for it.

Grab the paper that you wrote your lists, the words on.

Cut it up. This is the first act of destruction. You are dismantling the power of the lettering.

Cut them up into pieces as big or as little.

And then throw them in your vessel that can handle fire.

You can sit for as long or as short as you want.

You can chant.

You can meditate.

You can stand up and pound your feet on the ground around it.

You can cry as you say goodbye.

When you are ready, throw in an offering {herb, tobacco, hair…etc}

Say a prayer. That for the highest good of you, this is over with. For the highest good of your family, this is over with. For the highest good of your community, this is over with. For the highest good of this earth, this is over with.

May the destruction be fast. May the destruction be swift. May it all be burned, may the Tower card offer the crumbling.

And then light that bowl on fire.

And watch it burn.

Down to ash.

Maybe drink your special drink.

And let the ash set.

And get a good night’s sleep. {but drink 3x more water than usual first}

And you proceed today and tonight, feel your exhale, your release going into that bowl of ash. As you walk, feel your feet stepping out the power of that ash.  As you speak, allow your voice to vibrate down the power of that ash.

riotess. some new prayers to wear.

There are no failures. 
There is just great wisdom.
Those who wish to live intuitively must know this.
When we appear "to fail" we are only finding our way back on path.
We are only listening. To the voice within.
It may look crazy.
It may look wild.
But we are victorious. We are all ladies of victory. What does that mean? We live by the womb and that way will prevail. Always.

As I was stringing these beads I began thinking about all the places and times I feel like I messed up. Like I failed. Like I was utterly lost. Then I had this deep, deep knowing, this peaceful wave come over me. That is all an illusion. I live by the moon and the womb. I live by the trust in my heart. I live creatively. And I am constantly finding my way on Path. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes there are falls. There is bleeding. There is aching. But there is never failure. Because failure doesn't really exist.

This mantra infused this strand: Hail Mary Who Shows Me The Way. Blessed Is The Fruit Of My Knowing.

Our Lady Who Knows Failure Is Just An Illusion is here to protect you, remind you, guide you in following your instincts, allowing you to fall, but always holding you up, always showing you the way, as odd or as scary as it might look. You got this.

Made with love and:
Magical Tree Agate
Spectacular Spotted Agate
Heart healing + Root Activating Carnelian
Ethiopian Bronze
Smoky recycled glass
Our Lady Of Victory medal {made near my hometown and shrine in Lackawanna, NY}
And Vintage "M" centerpiece, an ancient symbol for Mother.


Our Lady Of What Can Never Die was also born in the forest {so many things are born in the forest for me}. One day as I sat down on the ground, looking up at the trees from the wet, dirt forest floor, I swear the tree was looking down at me.  And this tree was probably like 600 years old and had been through it all, ya know? All the things that happen in the forest: lightening, woodpeckers, windstorms, bears, fires, etc. And yet, there She was. So tall. So alive. So wise. So beautiful. Vibrant. And she said to me, "we can never really die". We just drop down and become something else. This forest is made of all there is. The roots are holding it all in place. Together. Together, we all remain alive. Somehow.

And so this mantra, this prayer was Hail She Who Can Never Die... and may her spirit live on in the trees and the dirt, in our hearts and in our stories. Keep this sacred, keep it alive. Keep it alive. Become this living prayer.

This rosary style amulet is crafted with:
-exquisite tree agate
-smooth, grounding heart opening carnelian
-vintage 1970's crystals from the bling stash of a family grandmother- total spitfire- who is in the process of passing on. may her style live on... 
-Ethiopian bronze seed beads
-bronze center piece of the holy mother immaculate heart
-our lady of Guadalupe medal to seal the magical deal.

No Dogma. Only Love.

When our hearts are broken, there is such a beauty that grows from the cracks. When our hearts have been bruised, we soften, surrender, and relax. It hurts, yes, but we know that there is such wisdom and light seeping through. We know there is beauty in the broken hearted. We know that as always, our hearts, heal.

Mantra infused with each bead: Hail Mary, Mother of All, heal my heart. 

This hand strung, magical creation includes: a spectacular spotted agate, smooth and grounding carnelian, vintage recycled smokey glass beads from Africa, Ethiopian brass, and 2 amulets: one milagro from South America and one Immaculate Heart from Italy. 

For more photos and info, you can hop on over to an etsy shop here.
all love. no dogma. forever.

i love love love you.



redeem. unsilence. re-tell. {writing prompts}

I wrote this while I was walking in the woods. In my head. It started as a prayer. Then became a song. Then became a meditation as I sat on a nurse long and breathed in this air, the cleanest and freshest air, I swear. There is nothing. Nothing. Like the air in the forest here after a few days of rain.

I kept seeing all these mushrooms growing in groups everywhere. Together. And then I thought, those mushrooms are family. All fungal species within the kingdom have the same common ancestor which is unicellular.  All goes back to One Cell. This ancestor is believed to be the point in time in which animals diverged. So these mushrooms. Are closer to humans than they are plants. They are my ancestors. They are a part of me.

In this blood, in the broken down bark of the tree, the decomposing of everything around me. The life that is only moving towards death.  There is me, my family, our family. All of us, really. Actually, we are more closely related to everything. That there is. Everywhere. I am no scientist, so someone can tell me how all that goes. I cannot explain in science what I feel in creative fire. But I feel it. Don't you. Look around? What isn't a part of you? What isn't your family? What hasn't been part of your blood?

Somehow, though, it was the humans that brought me here. Humans with some very recent history of craziness and scandal and trauma and glorious creative beauty and undying and unconditional love. You know, probably like your humans, too. We cannot escape what it means to be human. We can only do better, heal more, be present, and learn to release. 

Redemption is needed.

I don't even know what that means but yesterday all day long I kept saying "how can I redeem us" and I had no answers. But I am living the question. Because we all came from extraordinary people. They were adventurous. And brave. And also I am sure they made choices we wouldn't ever make. Maybe because they don't align with our ethics, because they were awful, racist, murderous, un-evolved choices.  Maybe because we are scared shitless to live like them because they were braver than us and were not scared to make sudden and wild moves.  Maybe because they had no choices, zero choices, were forced, threatened with death. Maybe they had no voices. Maybe whatever they did fucked generations to come. Maybe whatever they did gave you a trust fund. Maybe whatever they endured weighs you down and calls you out constantly, staining your experience with something that has nothing to do with you. Maybe. I can't say. All I know is this: those choices and the experiences they brought, it all lives around our cells. The good, the great, the amazing, the bad, the ugly, the painful. What needs to be forgiven. And what needs to be healed.

I am finding more and more things about me that are not me. I am seeing patterns rise that I know I didn't bring consciously into this world. It makes no sense. I know there are many ways to handle this kind of ancestral work. For some reason just saying no isn't working. So I breath into my being. I stretch. I drink a ton of water. I make altars. I say thank you. I say I am sorry. I sit still and let myself remember there is nothing - there is no past, there is nothing of a future. There is only now. And I am free.  But let's face it, I am layered and complex and I am a work in progress. I stumble. I trip. I fall. I hold shit that tends to break my back and bones. 

Redemption. How can I live my life redeeming choices they may have made? How can I live my life in a way that is redemption for them? For me? Because it's something I feel and do not claim to know. I write. I write and write. I invite you to as well:


*Write a story about how your ancestors are redeemed through you. Write a story of what they did and why and what is the new story now?  And write a story about you, and the choices you make, that are different. In honor. In gratitude. In grace and forgiveness. How can you forgive them? How can you forgive those who hurt them? How can you forgive you? 

Unsilence-ing is needed.

I constantly feel like someone is trying to talk to me. Talk through me. That I am missing the point of the stories. That my ghost of a grandmother doesn't matter as much as the ones that come way, way before her. There is such a pure line of matriarchal bad-ass behind her, behind all of us. We have a warrior tribe of mothers in line - to learn from- to draw from. Recent history may have sucked. But go back farther and see the stars on earth whose womb created us, birthed us, and dreamed us into being.


*Go back. Go as far back as you can. Past the grandmothers that you knew. Past the ones you only know in names. Past the ones that are imprinted in old cracked photos. Past the days of cameras. Past the days of patriarchy. Past so many days. And then sit there for a moment. Close your eyes. And meet up with your original mother, the one that Began You. Write what she would like to say to you. Write what you would like to say back to her. Give voice to both of you, beyond this life, as you sit at the portal and drink from the original waters of creation.


Right now. It's in the words. The journal. The lit candle and the letters I am writing to them. To me. To the ones who are coming of age. 

We are all related. We are all here to heal, redeem, and give voice for the other.

Let's begin.

By creating.

bread of life. + a spell.

My sister told me that when my parents were finally able to afford their own house, somewhere in the mid 1960s- and all 7 of them {with one on the way} moved out of the upstairs apartment of Grandma Salvatrice's Prospect St. house and into their very own home at 345 South Main Street, they would still have to walk by Grandma’s house to get home from school. Before, when they lived with her, for years, every day after school they would come home and she'd have bread baking for them. Ready for them. 

After we moved. We would hide. We knew she had baked bread and would want us to come visit her. But I was getting 'too cool' for that and when we'd walk home I'd rush by her house hoping she wouldn’t see me… I feel bad about it now. But I would literally hide and walk across the street. I just didn't want to hang out with my grandma.

I will have to admitt. I was pissed at her, well not her now, but her teen self. That had a grandma. That had grandma's bread. That had that history, that living wisdom of my own father. Where he came from.  Who stood up for him incessantly. Who yelled. Who loved. Who had a big belly. And undo hair. And nylon hose.  I had none of those things. 

I have some things. Her cheek bones. Her deep set eyes. Her entire face mostly. And perhaps some of the hot blood. And some of the feelings. That might not even be my own. But that live in me. As her.

And her ghost. That I can’t seem to get rid of.

And her ghost. That makes me bake bread. Alot.

I wonder if my grandmother's bread was filled with every emotion she carried. If her fears and her anger and her unconditional, ungrippable love was in each and every crack of dough. I wonder if her slightly crazy was held in each air bubble. I wonder if her rebel was infused in the crust. I wonder if she day dreamed about her lost daughters. Or prayed for her lost sons. I wonder if she thought of home. And what it would have been. I wonder what it would taste like. If I could just have one bite of her bread. 

It's 80 degrees today and I am baking bread. Because I cannot think of another thing to do. We all need to eat the stories. Some way or another.They need to be digested. And passed around the table. Food is truth.

I found out today that I didn’t get the artist grant I was hoping to get to send me to her dirt and find her and find her mother. And write a book about her. About grandmothers. And daughters. About being a daughter. About being a mother. About the portals of existence. Of coming from women. About seeking something, anything, that ties us to humanity. Blood. Bones. Songs. Reminders we had power, we had voices, that we had ways. That we had bread.  Stories in food and dirt. If I look back on my roots-  I feel this combination of extreme bravery and extreme stress and fear.  I feel anxiety and magic. I feel a strong sense of silence. I feel something that was undone and unfinished.  I feel women who had to endure the between story, for me, for my daughters. I feel like before the between story there was something else. Something other than poverty and pain and fleeing. Something I have forgetting to tap into. I also know there is no before, no after, there is just now. And this is my now. Living it all at once, no past or future, just all of us, within my blood, my cells, my DNA.

Who are we without a full past within us, without long, deep roots. Who are we if we do not know we had blood of rivers and flesh of mountains. Who are we if we don’t understand that we come from those who were not afraid to be strong, to be soft, to create, to walk with no shoes for miles in prayer and grace to build temples for the future and to let go of our daughters in ceremony and rites. Who are we without those temples. Without those ceremonies. Without knowing our rites. 

I don’t know. And I do know. Because there is nothing seperate. There are no lines in time. Just an undying curiosity of a life. Of a place. Of a time that doesn’t even exist except for in a fictional memory. And in this ghost. The one that will not leave me alone. She is asking me. To remember when there were no pictures or documents or names known. She is asking me. Telling me. Something. I am listening.

I didn’t get the grant. I was mad. All day long. Sad. Cried. I baked bread. The first loaf was filled with my anger. It did not rise well. It was dense and too sweet and fell apart and the girls ate it with smashed beans and butter on it to get it down. They were nice and said it was good but they know my bread is usually better. I could see both their kindness and lying in their face. By the time I made the dough for the second loaf - which is still rising- 14 hours later, the anger was gone. There is always that. It always leaves. Mostly. And something else rises.

I wonder if she had to make a lot of loaves of bread, too. Because some didn’t rise. Because she was all alone. So far away. Too many kids. Her skin imprinted by someone else anger and decisions. Widowed by the time she was 40. But who was she before all that. And who was her mother. And her mother’s mother. And her mother’s mother. And her mother’s mother.

And who am I. Now. Because she is me. And my daughters are her. 

I will get there. I will write it. She will not let me sleep until I do.

I am not ready yet, to go there alone. Something is waiting. Something is coming. I trust. But I am writing it anyway. Now. From here. Because this ghost won’t let me go.                                                

have you ever had such an intense urge to "go home" and yet you are not sure what that means. because you've never been there. but you are sure olives are involved and cracked earthen walls and endless hours of sunshine. and naps. right when the sun slits the lower part of the sky. and where the wine doesn't give you 3am panic attacks. and the morning comes slowly, easily. and riddles are solved of why your cheekbones rise like they do and why your heart has a funny tingling feeling in the top left corner when you are sad and why your anger feels like love, always, like the turn over of love. and where your insatiable hunger for the smell of jasmine in the morning is satisfied. and why the volume of your everyday voice is no big thing, because everyone likes a loud bold woman. you feel like you belong. like you are recognized. like you've been so very missed. and every day is a welcome home party. with bread. and figs.

this is how i feel.

And so it is.