mermaiden: (Cozy)
This Wednesday being Samhain (Halloween for all those crazy kids who don't wear pentacles and "Goddess Loves Me" shirts), I'm priestessing the FIRST EVER Samhain ritual at our Unitarian Universalist church. I orchestrated a Yule ritual there, and a very short and sweet Mabon ritual before our First! Annual! Mabon potluck, but they were both Pagan lite, in the sense that these were introductions to Pagan rituals for the congregation. This Wednesday will be the first ever COMPLETE Pagan ritual, which everyone seems to be super excited about. <3 This is what I wrote-up for our church newsletter:

Open Samhain Ritual -- The Beloved Dead
It was believed by ancient peoples--and still is by modern Pagans--that Samhain (Halloween) is the day of the year when the veil between worlds is thinned, and our loved ones who have passed on come to visit us again. Come and take part in a ritual that honors those loved ones who have gone before you, hallowing out a time and space in your life for magic. This will be a full Pagan ritual, including circle casting, Goddess invocation and a meditation. Please bring an image or trinket that reminds you of the loved one you miss most.

Samhain, I believe, is one of the most perfect Sabbats for non-Pagans to get super involved with. Everyone has a person or pet who has gone beyond, who they miss, and everyone understands the idea of honoring those who have gone before us. About a half hour before the ritual, I'm going to explain all of the building blocks of ritual--why we do it, and why we do each piece of the ritual itself. There are several people in the congregation who have been wanting to become Pagan, and several who are just open-minded awesome people, who want to be involved in meaningful rituals, so it's a very varied group. I'm so excited that people are so enthusiastic about this, and have a couple of surprises and magical ideas so that everyone carries something away from this, hopefully.

Jenn and I are both so blessed in the fact that our pastor, Lee, is so impassioned on how he backs up everything we want to do in the church. He *wanted* more Pagan involvement, and has asked me to do these things, when I showed interest in priestessing there. Everyone is so interested and supportive of our ideas, and backs us 110%. Sometimes, it makes me a little misty-eyed when I talk about our church family, and how deeply entrenched they are in our lives and hearts. We're more blessed than I could articulate. <3

So yes! Samhain! Open ritual! Lots of candles and cider and drums and magic! I can't wait. <3


I don't cook very much during the summer months because of how SATANICALLY HOT our house gets when it's hot outside. :D But cooking is one of my favorite things in the world, when I actually have five minutes in which to do it. And cooking in CROCK POTS is my FAVORITE. <3 I just whipped up a vegan pot pie in our slow cooker. SORCERY. Crock pots were invented by All of the Gods at the annual God Consortium one day, because they were like: HUMANS. THEY NEED SOMETHING AWESOME IN THEIR LIVES. And lo, verily, the crock pot was BORN. I know lots of people think crock pots are for old ladies with blue hair, but it is ALSO for YOUNGER LADIES with PINK AND PURPLE HAIR and everyone else, too.

C'mon folks. LET'S BRING CROCK POTS BACK. Like SEXY. But with more CARBOHYDRATES, surely. I will even give you my secret, super-duper crock pot recipe for my SORCERY Pot Pie:

Mood:: 'hungry' hungry
Music:: "Saltarello" from Music from the Time of the Crusades
mermaiden: (Firefly)
Today we woke up early, finished up all of our chores, made SIGNS OUT OF RAINBOWS, and then we were READY. For today was the ending of the week-long celebration in Rochester, NY: Pride 2012, ending in the culmination of the Pride parade and festival. And we were marching in the parade!

You have a fair understanding of how much we love and are obsessed with our church, Pullman Memorial Universalist. As married lesbians in an extremely rural community, being able to have a place that we can go, once a week, and be completely ourselves without any fear of repercussion or violence--and not only no FEAR, but the joy of knowing that you're loved by a family that embraces you in every aspect, cares about you so deeply, and is so intensely supportive of you? Yeah, it's one of the most amazing, cherished things in our world. So, when we found out that our church was marching with the contingency of Unitarian Universalist churches from Rochester and the surrounding areas, we were so excited to take part. <3 EXCITED MIGHT BE AN UNDERSTATEMENT, ACTUALLY.

Jenn and I wanted to dress as Pride Fairies, so I got my tutu out, our wedding wings, AND AS MANY RAINBOWS AS ONE PERSON CAN FEASIBLY WEAR. AND THEN ONE MORE, JUST TO MAKE IT GAYER. And GLITTER! THERE WAS A LOT OF GLITTER.


MORE RAINBOWS and the CONTINUATION of the Story of PRIDE... )

And lo, afterward, we gotteth Pistachio Rose vegan cupcakes as our PRIDE! TREAT! from our favorite vegan deli, and fainted, verily, upon ingestion of them BECAUSE THEY WERE SO DAMN GOOD, thus bringing a SATISFYING and SPARKLY ENDING to our SATISFYING and SPARKLY day. <3

The End. <3
Mood:: 'satisfied' satisfied
mermaiden: (Default)
I spent all day jurying for the Pullman Memorial Alternative Craft Fair, and am just so ecstatic and grateful for the talent that's taking part in the fair. There are some amazing, amazing local artisans, and--as I knew it would be--putting on a show is very different from just being in one. When you're in a show, the sense of community is strong and vital--everyone wants to help, whether you need a tent stake or you left the tablecloth at home. You make acquaintances, and then--even faster--you make friends. You're surrounded by people who are selling the art of their passion, the crafts of their dreams, and there's this really beautiful sense of ease about it all. It can definitely get stressful if it's an outdoor show, and it rains (am I going to make back the vending fee? Is everyone else going to make back their vending fee?), but even then, it turns into a big joke, because who can control the gods or the weather? Everyone laughs with everyone else, and you make the most of it, because that's what you do, standing around the coffee tent, hands wrapped around warm paper cups, listening to the rain patter on the earth, talking with a friend you didn't know existed before yesterday.

So, when you're building a fair from the ground up, all of the beautiful things you knew as a vendor are magnified. The sense of community is even stronger, because even people who can't participate in the festival are now your acquaintances, and the thing about alternative and indie and art and craft people? They're really fucking nice. They're doing what they dreamed about doing, and that makes them just happy and grateful to be there, centered in themselves, built of the gravity of creation and inspiration. There's nothing else like it in the world. Every time Jenn and I vended at a show or fair or festival, we'd come away from it in awe of that community, that sense of abundance and contentment and joy.

And here and now, we're building it. I'm so humbled and grateful to be leading this project with my incredible wife. I'm making connections and friendships and having moments that are just so fucking splendid. It is hard work--you've gotta keep five-million-bean-bags-in-the-air-at-the-same-time, but you don't really notice how much you're juggling or how fast you're going, because there's this whirlwind of people with you, and it's about buttons and art and paper and string, all creating something new and brilliant and beautiful, and the world opens up, because it needs and wants more art. It's hungry for it. So the universe makes things easier, and the days fly by, and you find yourself spending hours looking at tiny pictures on Etsy and making decisions, and scribbling things down in big notebooks with pink and green gel pens, and drinking your tea and feeling really complete and happy.

Because you're doing something you love doing. And you realize that it's pretty fucking wonderful. And you're just...grateful.


My novel, The Bone Girl, is coming along beautifully. I write so much, everyday, words, words, words, and I think and I feel and I drink so much tea and I think some more and there's more writing...

Cover art, official blurb and excerpt coming soon. I just wanted to mention that it's being a very good girl to its author, of which I am very grateful. <3 (I AM LOOKING AT YOU, RAGGED.)


Jenn and I went for a walk last night beneath the grinning sickle moon, and a scattering of glowing, vibrant stars. We talked about our move to Massachusetts, being queer and puppies.

This is my life. <3 <3 <3

I'm so fucking grateful.
Mood:: 'good' good
mermaiden: (Our Wedding:  Cupcake)
I stayed up until stupid o'clock this morning, making the web site for the first annual Pullman Memorial Alternative Craft Fair, and finishing up the vendor application (after having used my knowledge of the ones I've filled out, plus having read eleventy million other ones. ;D It's my pride and joy. *pets it*). It's really real!

Jenn and I are co-chairs of our church's fund raising committee, and we brought up the idea to them for an alternative craft fair during the annual Albion Strawberry Festival. First off, our fair would get a tremendous amount of foot traffic, secondly, we'd be able to plug the Strawberry Fest everywhere, too (symbiotic relationships for the win!), and we would provide a different offering of crafts than what is usually associated at the festival, so not in competition, but providing an awesome alternative and addition to the Strawberry Fest.

The church unanimously (and excitedly! <3) approved it, and the Pullman Memorial Alternative Craft Fair was a go! So Jenn and I began to build the fair~ We've gone to a couple of indie craft fairs, now, specifically looking for vendors, as we wanted to make this an invitation only show, and hand pick some of the best local artists. We've found some amazing, beautiful, vibrant talent that was super excited about vending at our alternative craft fair, and now that the registration application is finally finished, it's coming together!

I love vending, I love the community aspects, how incredibly kind and we're-all-in-this-together people are at Fairie Festivals, indie craft shows, etc., so I'm so excited to learn this new dynamic of fair organizer, and am having the most fun ever with it~ :)

And yes, the Fable Tribe will be vending! :)

Jenn and I are also in talks with the church to put on a psychic fair in September there, and a Witches' High Tea in October (HIGH TEA. MOSTLY VEGAN FOOD. YOU HAVE TO DRESS LIKE A WITCH. I MEAN, MY GODS). ;D They are so excited about both of these things, and I think they're both a go, but they're not finalized yet. So exciting!!!

Pullman Memorial Universalist Church is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. And they need money to keep going, to fix the roof, to even meet this year's budget. It's a tough road, but I'm energized, enthusiastic, and we believe in this church with all our hearts. It's going to be amazing, and I know we'll hit this year's budget. <3

My Polish grandmother, when I was two years old, said: "she came, she saw, she conquered." ;D It was my life's blessing, I think, AND REALLY EXPLAINS ALL OF MY ENTHUSIASM. When I see something that needs to be done and I am passionate about it, I do it and with my whole heart. I am SO excited about the craft fair, what it can do for the vendors, and what it can do for the church. <3 <3 <3 I have a lot of hope~
Mood:: 'awake' awake
mermaiden: (The two swans)
We didn't go to church yesterday--the first Sunday we've been home and haven't gone since summer. Jenn and I lay curled up in bed, limbs tangled, and talked for hours. We did that Saturday morning, too. One of my favorite things about the weekend are the leisurely snuggles we're able to get, entwining our fingers together, cracking jokes and then getting serious and then dissolving the seriousness with jokes again. The warmth of her next to me, the softness of the blankets, the sunshine streaming through the lace curtains: heaven on earth. Precious beyond reason...



My mom asked me this morning: how are you coping with Shiva being gone? And I told her the truth: I'm writing constantly. It's all I do, words, words, words--it's the most potent form of relief and catharsis I've ever known, and the way I've dealt with everything in my life. When I dive into the story, there's such a sweet sense of peace in the words coming right and the story weaving as I hoped it would, and even when it doesn't, to "pull out all the stitches," so to speak, and make it what I hoped it would be again.

Nova, Jenn's parents' beloved dog, passed away over the weekend. When Jenn told me, I just sort of sat there in shock for a good long moment, then we sat and held one another, crying. Jenn's parents--both of them some of the best people I've ever known--loved that dog more than can be articulated. She was so old, so sick--they'd found her wandering on the side of the road a few months ago, emaciated (even when we volunteered at the shelter, I've never seen an animal that bad) and hardly able to walk, and did everything they could to find her original owners (who were probably assholes if her condition was any indication, which it is), and took her to the vet countless times, and--basically--Nova found the best possible home in the entire cosmos to end her life in.

We've often joked that Jenn's parents' house has a gigantic neon sign pointing to it that every stray who needs it can see. <3


My next novel, Ragged: A Post-Apocalyptic Fairy Tale is coming out January 24th--two weeks and one day. I've got to get everything set up, set up a blog tour, start to ask reviewers if they'd like a copy, do eleventy billion other things to get the knowledge of the book out there, but I'm sad and tired and feeling quiet. This isn't a bad thing--every individual needs time to grieve--but it's not a great idea when you're trying to launch the follow up to your first novel. A lot of people are looking forward to the novel, which is going to help it, I know, and this quietness will pass next week, I'm sure. I hope. Eh...

Side note: I posted two excerpts from the novel over the weekend in my Tumblr--Talula's first kiss, and then the follow up "gay" scene, which is one of my favorites in the novel. If ye be readin' them, please enjoy. <3


I spent a lot of time hugging the animals this weekend. This happens every day, but instead of singing them ridiculous songs (and then hugging them) and dancing with them (and then hugging them) and playing games with them (and then hugging them), I just...hugged them. They were, of course, very weirded out by this. "BUT, MOM, WHY YOU BE SO SERIOUS?"


We spent a lot of time putting together the Sparkle Room. If you've ever visited our house, you know how craft supplies take up every available square inch of space. There were blank Glamourkin tiles in the freezer, I'm sure. We've been wanting to make a dedicated space for crafting now, which is CRAZY since we craft everywhere in our house, but we also wanted the ability to make very dangerous things and not have the animals around.

We haven't unveiled our new Etsy shop yet, but we will soon. One of the more interesting/exciting things about it is exactly what I'm deconstructing and then constructing again, and how. It involves a hacksaw. I MAY have almost sliced off my thumb in one of my more stupid daring moves. Jenn gets very nervous when I'm hacksawing.

So, yeah. A separate room is a GOOD IDEA. :D

We had ideas for the Sparkle Room for ages, and we've been gathering them together. We wanted it to be the brightest, most inspiring space we could create, and we used a lot of things from our wedding--not only are they no longer sitting in boxes, but we get to see them everyday and get all smushy and happy, just looking at them and the memories involved. :) <3 So now there's the Temple Room for writing and spiritual endeavors and the Sparkle Room for all things crafty. When we get things a little more organized, we will take eleventy billion pictures, because WE REALLY LOVE IT, and are ridiculously happy with how it came out. :)

Jenn and I just keep wandering into it, standing in the center, and even though it's still messy, we look about with a nerdily euphoric look on our faces and say THIS IS THE HAPPIEST PLACE IN THE WORLD.

This is also helping the general sadness of the household with its BRIGHT COLORS and rampant MY LITTLE PONIES and STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES.


From New Year's Day, on the lake shore~ <3
Mood:: 'okay' okay
mermaiden: (Love:  Hearts)
It's dark out. The sun trips across the sky for only a few hours every day. The earth doesn't know what it wants to do, is half cold, half warm, thoroughly confused. It is past the Solstice, and yet we have not had snow. I hear the reports that in 1889 in Buffalo, they didn't get any snow in December, too. I wonder if they worried about the end of the world, if 1900 would bring about Armageddon, or if they were just really grateful that they didn't have to put on eighteen layers of coats and mufflers to go pee.

On the Winter Solstice, I performed my first ever Unitarian service. More people came to that service than the last three combined, curious to see what I was capable of...and they said they loved it. They warmed my heart with their joy for it, they made me feel like I had done what was needed, and they affirmed that little push in my heart that's been pushing for months. I'll...tell you about it later. <3

Afterward, we were taken out to dinner, we gave Bill his present...he shed and wiped away a single tear, and his voice shook when he thanked us. I cried when he gave us our present--my voice shook, too. Sometimes, the earth turns and magnificent things happen, and you meet the people you were meant to. And you can never predict exactly when that will be, or how long you have with them. So you're simply grateful.

I keep thinking about the people who changed my life, and the people I love. 'Tis the season for it. I keep thinking about my little goddess daughter, sending her love and light every day. I keep thinking about the women and men and boys and girls that fill my heart, and it is full, so full it might burst, and I really don't have words to convey the gratitude for the card with the sparkling glitter and heartfelt message, and the little package I retrieved from the mailbox on the worst day of the year that reminded me that I was loved, or how my wife wrapped me so close and tight beneath the Solstice tree, and how my kid sister gave me something I've been wanting since I was fourteen years old, her eyes twinkling, and how I got a phone call because "I was thinking about you, and I love you." Even in the season of darkness, of cold, of gestation and waiting and sleep, we remember one another, we reach out with warm hands to hold one another in the cold, dying light.

That's family. That's love. That's the holidays.

I'm so filled with gratitude, it's hard to articulate here. There are little things I'm grateful for: with the money we got from the holidays, and my royalties, I was able to pay off a little credit card. We haven't been able to make any headway on the cards in about nine or so months, and it was fucking exhilarating to write that check. (Normal people don't get this excited about paying off a credit card, I'm sure. ;D) We have a long way to go, but I feel hopeful about it again. My depression is--knock on every piece of wood in the world--gone. We are closing Glamourkin in a few days, and the coming creation that has been held secret is ready to burst through the doors, and Jenn and I are so filled with excitement and plans and lists and lists that we don't know how we're going to contain it until opening day. We've been to so many UU services these past few weeks, multiple services a week, but we still managed to--in the middle of Pennsylvania on the drive back up to NY on Christmas day--find one at a Pittsburgh church, randomly, and go. The pastor was so funny--he read one of my favorite stories, "The Gift of the Magi," and the sermon made me cry. <3 No matter where you are or who you are or when you go, any UU church welcomes you, a stranger, with smiling people, huge hugs, talk and coffee. It's one of the most comforting things in the world, knowing that. (And my hobby of visiting different UU churches when we travel grows by one more, putting us at...twelve, I think? I want to start a blog about it. ;D *laughing*)

The year opens up, a bright shining star of possibility. And we wait, hearts warm, hands clasped...together. <3


Below is the Winter Solstice Ceremony that I wrote for the Pullman Church--I'm sharing it here so people can read it if they wish (or, heck, you could do the meditation part, if the spirit moved you). <3 It is "Pagan lite," as this was the first service that ever introduced Pagan concepts to the church--as the months progress, I will be introducing more and more Pagan ideas, rituals, concepts to the congregation.

Lee (our pastor), Laura (my kid sister, who graciously sang for us <3) and Jenn all had parts, which I've included below.

I hope you enjoy. <3

image by uberfischer

The Winter Solstice Ceremony at Pullman Memorial Universalist Church, 2011~ )
Mood:: 'mellow' mellow
mermaiden: (Solstice:  Blessed)
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.

~Susan Cooper


Tonight, I am leading the first annual Winter Solstice ritual/service/celebration at Pullman Memorial Universalist Church! If you're local and can make it, we'd love to have you!

I designed the ritual expressly for a congregation of people who have no knowledge of Paganism or Pagan customs, so it's a good introduction to a very simple ritual, and yet still contains something for the seasoned Pagan. It is our intention to introduce the congregation to ritual, and then build from there with Sabbat rituals and occasional esbats! This will be the first public ritual ever held at the historical Pullman church, and we are ecstatic to be introducing it, and to such a warm and hearty welcome. <3 <3 <3 Hopefully everyone enjoys it and calls for more!

Wish us luck? :D #Sparkle #Joy #SOMUCHCOFFEE

by Raffledoocious
Mood:: 'Lots of coffee' Lots of coffee
mermaiden: (Circle)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 10:25am on 09/11/2011 under , , ,
This is the week of potluck suppers. On Monday night, it was our first Unitarian Universalist potluck, tonight it's the monthly Gay Potluck (capitalized!).

Gathering around the table, rubbing elbows and passing dishes with people who make you laugh and feel completely safe and important and needed...I really can't think of anything better in the world. Your opinion is valued, the conversations are witty and passionate and filled with compassion, and--at the end of the day, driving home with your wife's hand clasped gently in your own--you're filled with such a deep sense of belonging, that you can feel the heartbeat of the universe in your bones.

It doesn't matter what was served--though you can tell the depth of their care by their asking what sort of food we vegetarians prefer, and making certain there's plenty of exactly what you mentioned there. It doesn't matter if you show up late or early. There will be people there, warm lights shining in a cobblestone house or out of stained glass windows in an ancient church that sits, comfortable and cozy and waiting to welcome you.

I don't know how we lived without this church, or the people in it in our lives. B makes our days bright--I love him so much it makes my heart hurt, sometimes. He's the epitome of goodness and kindness, the absolute consummate fairy godfather. I wish I could frame these little moments in my heart and keep them forever--I hope I can. He cares about us so much, and just knowing that he and his love exists makes the world beautiful.

L, the pastor's wife, is my saint. She's so passionate, she sets the world on fire--she's so radical and strong and courageous that--single handedly--she could make the planet turn back on its axis if she wanted. I have never seen a woman so dedicated to ideals and so adverse to just sitting there and waxing philosophic about them. She changes shit. I've told her, over and over again, what an inspiration she is to me as a gay rights activist and lesbian author, and she always turns it around and says that I'm inspiring, and then I'm like YOU ARE CHANGING THE WORLD, CRAZY LADY, I AM JUST WRITING BOOKS, and we always end the conversations with hugs and me in tears and this overflowing feeling of disbelief in my heart that I ever existed without knowing her. She challenges me, every single day, to be a stronger person, to do and be and create more, to change the world every second, not just occasionally. I am so endlessly inspired by her presence in my life.

Tonight, we're going to the Gay Potluck, and I've looked forward to it so incredibly much since the last one. There, we are surrounded by people who have been through...everything. And still manage to have such incredible dignity, such grace and compassion. I don't understand how they do it, sometimes, and I am continuously challenged by them to be even better. If they've been through so much, and still maintain their lives with beauty and compassion, surely I can try to do the same. Again, they care about Jenn and I so much, and I am just so vastly humbled and grateful for that. We'll pass around plates of decadence (and Jenn's cupcakes that Bill asked, so excitedly, for her to make <3), and we'll talk about the state of the world and each other's gardens and hearts, and speak of politics and books and gay kids and recipes, and at the end of the night, we'll leave the little cobblestone house filled with the satisfaction that there is a place for us in the world. There will be so much love in our hearts, they'll feel full to bursting, and we'll begin the looking-forward-to-ness again for next month, and another dinner with our gay family.

Because that's what these circles are--families. Created families. The warmth and compassion and kindness and love that fills those walls and words and gestures sustain us in the times when we're apart, knowing that there is a place for us--that we belong without any doubt.

Being an openly lesbian woman is not easy. Some days, it's fine. Some days, it's a fucking nightmare. No matter what, surrounded by our church or gay families, I can hold Jenn's hand, drape my arm about her shoulder, talk with hardly concealed glee and love about how much I adore her, and it's met with love and cheer and joy and an "of course." I don't have to explain it or fight for it there and I am treated no differently for it. Which...I can't even explain how that feels, to be treated not differently. Gods.

It's...sublime. Perfect.

I have three created families. You're one of them. And I miss you terribly. I get to see you perhaps a few times a year, and the times in between are sad and despondent for me, because of how much I miss you.

But now, in the in between times, my feelings of belonging, of love, don't need to wilt away to nothingness. They are nurtured by the two new families that we began in June, here.

I am so grateful, so humbled, so deeply content that I have this--a spiritual family, a gay family, to share my days with, to feel when all the world is against me that there is some small, blessed portion that is not.

When the dark comes sooner, when the days grow colder, when the world turns to heart is filled and warm.
Mood:: 'content' content
mermaiden: (Temple)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 01:25am on 22/09/2011 under , , ,

image by galateadia

On Sunday, Jenn and I became Unitarian Universalists--we officially became members of and joined our church--Pullman Memorial Universalist. <3


It has taken me many years to create my chosen family. I have the absolute blessing and utter privelege to be surrounded by shining souls, souls that are inherently beautiful, deeply good, innately splendid. I love my soul family, my brothers and sisters, with my entire heart. I love them without condition, and they love me, too. I believe in them with my whole being, and they believe in me. They remind me what I'm capable of creating when I've lost my way, and I do my absolute best to show them how precious they are.

It has taken me a lifetime to build this precious family. I would not trade one second of the heartbreak and heartache I have journeyed through in order to find them, because I'm here, now, and I am blessed to live in a house of love.

I know what it's worth. I know its value. I know the trials and tribulations that you must go through in life to find it. It's irreplacable and unable to be duplicated...

So, then, imagine my surprise. Imagine my surprise when I wandered into the halls of a new place, a precious, old sanctuary. I was wary, but hopeful. I knew I'd have to prove myself--doesn't everyone? I knew it'd take years to shape the love I wanted from a place of faith, but I was ready and willing to work, I was ready and willing to love without love until it blossomed. I was ready and willing to work for the love.

I came into that place, and I was greeted with embraces. Those aspects of myself that I have had to fight for, over and over and over again in this life, to be treated with dignity and respect and love were things that the sanctuary's people embraced. They loved me not "in spite of," but because of. They didn't blink when I told them I was getting married to a woman, that I loved her with my whole heart, that I loved the Goddess, that I was a Witch. They hugged me close, and they told me "welcome," and "you're safe here," and "we're so glad you're here."

They told me "you are needed," "you are precious," "you are part of us, and we are part of you."

Imagine my surprise when I was greeted with enthusiasm when I brought up hesitant ideas my very first day. Imagine my surprise when what I said was listened to, when I was told that I had worth, even though I'd just arrived.

The people there have an easy sense of humor. They're intelligent beyond belief. They are warm and friendly and hospitable and ridiculously wonderful. They're the type of people who top off your coffee and worry about you getting home safely and want to know all the details about your lesbian wedding. Within five minutes of introduction, they're laughing with you like they've known you forever.

...They're Unitarian Universalists.

I have never felt so safe, so nurtured, so part of a community than I have in our weeks at Pullman Memorial Universalist Church, and I have been to many, many spiritual gatherings, camps, seminars, circles. When Jenn and I walk through those beautiful, arched doors each Sunday morning, we're greeted like we're part of a family of faith.

Because we are.

Last Sunday, Jenn and I lit our two candles from the chalice. Our pastor, Lee, with a wide grin welcomed us into the church. "You are part of us, and we are part of you," he said, the entire congregation repeating the words. Afterward, we held warm cups of coffee and tea in the beautiful, expansive hall that will house the joyous beings who come to celebrate our wedding. Jenn and I measured the walls (again), talking to Bill about rainbow banners and unicorn decorations, laughing over little things, strawberry jelly (you would have had to be there), leaving after hugs were exchanged, talking about the book club...

To the sunny parking lot across the street where a dead car waited for us.

"I have jumper cables," said Lee, taking off his tweed jacket, rolling up his sleeves. And, in minutes, the car miraculously started.

I suppose you could be scientific and say: it started because the battery gave it life. I'd rather be sentimental:

I'd asked the Goddess: I feel lonely, spiritually. My priestess friends, my witch loves, my coven sisters are so far from me. I need something here. I need something now. Please. ...Please?

And the gay marriage bill was passed, and the wedding was arranged, and the little drive through the country that fateful Sunday, many months ago, found a beautiful little church in the middle of nowhere, with a family waiting for us.

The car totally started on the love of community and Unitarian Universalist Awesome.

(With maybe a LITTLE bit of help from the battery.)
Mood:: 'content' content


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