Pope Francis’s recent visit to the United States raised a lot of complicated feelings for me. On the one hand, I’m glad he walks the walk of his namesake. In the other hand, it’s far too little and far too late; nothing he does or says in his tenure as Pope is likely to repair the damage of my Catholic upbringing. Continue reading “Trigger Warning: Jesus is Lord, Francis is Pope”
Terry Pratchett is one of the most prolific authors of our age. When he died yesterday (March 12, 2015) he left behind a massive oeuvre: more than 70 books, most of them about the Discworld, a flat planet carried on the back of four elephants who themselves stand back of the great turtle A’Tuin as it swims through space.
About a month ago I began re-reading Pratchett’s Discworld books. As I did so, this question kept roiling around in the back of my mind: Is Terry Pratchett a feminist? Continue reading “Was Terry Pratchett a Feminist?”
My company’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employee organization forwarded me this list, compiled by the Employee Assistance Trade Organization. These are organizations and hotlines that can help queer folk with all areas of our lives, including coming out, advocacy, workplace issues, healthcare access, legal problems, gay-friendly religious organizations, and violence recovery. I’ve added a couple of links to organizations in the Boston area as well.
INFORMATION AND ADVOCACY
- Allied Rainbow Communities International http://www.arc-international.net
- Canadian Human Rights Commission http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/default-en.asp
- Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives http://clga.ca/index.shtml
- Egale Canada http://www.egale.ca/
- Human Rights Campaign http://www.hrc.org
- Workplace issues: benefits, protections, policies, FAQs, network groups, transgender information for managers and employees
- Coming out: family support, straight allies, National Coming Out Day
- Laws and legislation
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force http://www.thetaskforce.org
- Family Pride Coalition http://www.familypride.org
- NASW (National Association of Social Workers) National Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues http://www.naswdc.org/governance/cmtes/nclgbi.asp
- NALGAP (National Association of Lesbian & Gay Addiction Professionals) http://www.nalgap.org
- National Center for Transgender Equality http://www.transequality.org
- Transgender Law & Policy Institute http://www.transgenderlaw.org
- Bisexual Resource Center http://www.biresource.org
- Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce http://www.cglcc.ca
- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates http://www.outandequal.org
- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates http://www.outandequal.org
- Pride at Work (AFL-CIO) http://www.prideatwork.org
- Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans Youthline http://www.youthline.ca 1-800-268-9688
- OUTline http://www.uoguelph.ca/~outline/ 519-821-3760
- GLBT National Help Center http://www.glnh.org
- GLBT National Hotline 1-888-843-4564 (youth and adult)
- GLBT National Youth Talkline 1-888-246-7743 (youth through age 25)
- AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) http://www.actoronto.org
- Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition http://www.rainbowhealth.ca
- National Coalition for LGBT Health http://www.lgbthealth.net
- AIDS Action http://www.aidsaction.org
- Boston/New England Fenway Health
YOUTH AND EDUCATION
- The 519 Church Street Community Center (Toronto) http://www.the519.org
- GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) http://www.glsen.org
- Safe Schools Coalition http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org
- Gay-Straight Alliance Network http://www.gsanetwork.org
- Canadians for Equal Marriage http://www.equal-marriage.ca
- Equal Marriage for Same Sex Couples http://www.samesexmarriage.ca
- Family Pride Canada http://www.uwo.ca/pridelib/family/
- Lesbian Mothers Association http://www.algi.qc.ca/forum/algi-presse/messages/36.html
- Family Equality Council http://www.familyequality.org
- PFLAG Canada http://www.pflagcanada.ca
- PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) http://www.pflag.org
- COLAGE http://www.colage.org Support and advocacy for children of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents, as well as support and resources for LGBT parents.
- TransFamily http://www.transfamily.org
- Canadian Bar Association SOGIC (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference) http://www.cba.org/CBA/sogic/main/
- LEGIT (Lesbian and Gay Immigration Taskforce) http://www.legit.ca
- Lambda Legal http://www.lambdalegal.org
- NCLR (National Center for Lesbian Rights) http://www.nclrights.org
- ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project) http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights
- GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) http://www.glad.org
- Pink Triangle Press http://www.pinktrianglepress.com
- GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) http://www.glaad.org
- Boston/New England: Bay Windows http://www.baywindows.com/
- Community One Foundation http://www.communityone.ca
- National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce http://www.thetaskforce.org
- Funders for LGBTQ Issues http://www.lgbtfunders.org
- Dignity Canada http://www.dignitycanada.org
- Eucharistic Catholic Church in Canada http://netministries.org/see/churches.exe/ch04614
- Metropolitan Community Church http://www.mccchurch.org
- United Church of Canada http://www.united-church.ca
- Integrity Canada http://integritycanada.org/
- Unitarian Universalist Association http://www.uua.org
- Metropolitan Community Church http://www.mccchurch.org
- Dignity USA http://www.dignityusa.org
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) http://www.quaker.org
VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND RECOVERY
- The 519 Church Street Community Center (Toronto) http://www.the519.org/programsservices/the519anti-violenceprogram
The Hairpin recently published a piece by Emma Healy about the subtle and not-so-subtle ways men ignore, negate, and harass women in the world of writing and publishing. Stories like the ones she and her colleagues recount make me feel so much less crazy as I contemplate returning to the world of writing and publishing, an industry I ran from years ago when New Media was the big idea. The Web seemed like an easier alternative to the hermetically sealed world of NYC publishing houses and academic presses. I started publishing my work on my own website in 1996 and haven’t looked back since. On a few occasions, it’s even resulted in literary journals soliciting my work — something unheard of in the more traditional literary world.
Like just about any industry on earth, web development (or web design, or web application development, or interactive design, or UI/UX design, or whatever the kids are calling it these days) is also a boys’ club. In the 1990s, I was a member of an organization called Webgrrls that brought women in the field together, but sometime around the turn of the century its founder Aliza Sherman sold it to a man (!) and it faded into obscurity. That heralded the end of the golden days of the web, a world that’s been co-opted by Silicon Valley startup capital and an increasingly crowded and complex Internet (or the Intarwebs, or the Tubes, or the blagosphere, or whatever the kids are calling it these days). The gender discrimination I’ve faced has been subtle and difficult to name. On the whole, my experience has been less creeptastic dudebro trying to get in my pants and more male coworkers bonding over football and beer and then passing me over for promotions.
I try to keep frustration and bitterness from poisoning my interactions with the literary world, but I remain continually disgusted at how hard it is for women to get published and heard in mainstream society. There are bright spots in today’s landscape, such as the VIDA Count, Feministing, Jezebel, the Hairpin, and Gender Focus. Some small feminist presses still survive (Kore Press in Arizona and Alice James books in New England spring to mind. But I’ve found no central community for feminist writers (or queer feminist writers, for that matter), either in print or online. I long for the days of women’s bookstores and feminist presses — in spite of the fact that my experience with New Words in Cambridge wasn’t stellar. Part of the problem is that writers are a solitary lot. Poets in particular aren’t known to be paragons of mental stability, a necessary prerequesite for lasting friendships.
Now that I have a male partner and very little contact with the queer community, finding queer women’s voices in any form of media is an uphill battle. Sexism is a thing people keep denying exists. Feminists continue to have to expend tremendous time and energy just getting people to believe that there is a problem that needs to be changed. In spite of M’s large circle of lesbian friends (he actually knows more dykes than I do), we constantly butt heads when I point out the ways in which women are marginalized in the movies and TV shows we watch together.
And the world of queer women hasn’t changed so much from the 90s when I first came out. It’s still hidden, offline, held in living rooms instead of public spaces. Biphobia still makes it hard for women like me to feel fully part of “gay and lesbian” culture, and legalization of gay marriage has actually widened the gap between “good queers” (monogamous and married, just like you, America!) and “bad queers” (freaky bisexuals with multiple partners and transfolk who dare to challenge the notion of a binary gender system).
Amazon and Barnes & Noble killed the small bookstores like Reader’s Feast in Hartford, CT and New Words in Cambridge, MA, places that served as a focal point for feminist and queer community. I myself worked at a Barnes & Noble with a tiny “gay and lesbian” section (note the absence of the B and T in GLBT) tucked away in the back of the store at foot level, all of its titles shelved spine-out instead of face-out.
New Words closed in the ’00s, and Toni Amato’s Write Here Write Now is on hiatus while Toni recovers from a lengthy illness. Since then, I haven’t yet found a space (meatspace or cyberspace) that focuses on queer, feminist writers struggling to get published. Since I chose a decent paycheck over the groves of academia, I find it that much more difficult to find writers and artists with the time and energy needed to create community in addition to — you know — actually making art. I’ve hosted salons, an Artist’s Way group, a reading series, and writing workshops. These efforts can be rewarding but they also drain me of the resources (spoons, even) I need to do the thing I love the most, which is to write.
So this is a call to action to all queer feminist writers who might read this blog: please share with me where you’ve found or built community for yourself. If you haven’t found one or are hungry for more, consider joining the group I’ve created on Facebook in an effort to foster such a place in a virtual space. Here is the link to the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/womenwritersandpoets/
In honor of Bisexual Visibility Week, I present to you an essay I first posted to the Garden in my early twenties. It’s gone through many iterations since then. Over the decades, the details of my love life have changed, but the fact of my bisexuality — or my queerness, if you reject the binary gender model — remains constant.
On the Definition of a Lesbian
Depending on who you talk to, I am or am not a lesbian. If you define a lesbian as someone who resides on a small island off the coast of Greece, then I am not a lesbian. If you define a lesbian as a woman who is exclusively attracted to women, then I am not a lesbian. If you define a lesbian as a woman who emotionally, sexually, and spiritually centers her life around women, then I am a lesbian. [Editor’s Note: These days, I have a male partner. So I guess I have to give my toaster back and stop calling myself a lesbian.]
I’m much more comfortable with the term “bisexual” than I was when I was a young, confused baby dyke in the early 90s. I shied away from the term partly because of my own internalized biphobia, but mainly because the GL part of GLBT has always been the more respectable side of the rainbow. It can be difficult for people to accept bisexuality as a bona fide identity rather than some phase I’m going through. Lesbians don’t trust us, and men usually get glassy-eyed and say “I’ll be in my bunk.” Or if they’re particularly clueless, they might ask the following questions:
- “Can I watch?”
- “Did you ever do it with both at the same time?”
- “Will you do it with me and my girlfriend?”
- “Can I watch?”
Depending on how polite they are, they may or may not ask these questions outright. In the past, the ones who did usually got these responses: No, Yes, Probably Not, No.
I suppose there are any number of reasons why many straight men are so fascinated with lesbians. My favorite explanation is that they’re threatened by any situation in which they’re irrelevant, and that colonizing the lesbian experience through voyeurism somehow soothes their fragile egos. Hence the large volume of by-men-for-men “lesbian” porn. Pro tip: most dykes don’t have long nails. It’s hard to get your hands in the right places if you do. Even femme dykes usually keep the first two nails on their dominant hands short for just this reason. Unless they’re total pillow queens. Or prefer… well, there’s infinite variety to human sexual behavior. But this essay is about identity politics more than sex. So let’s talk about identity, and the labels we use to define our sexuality. Or better yet, let me just tell you about mine.
Early in my twenties, I generally identified as a lesbian, even though I continued to be attracted to both sexes. Sometimes I said I was a lesbian. Sometimes I said I was gay. Sometimes I would ironically (but not really ironically) say that I was a traitor to my own kind. Sometimes I said I liked girls and boys. And if I was feeling the need to be really, really exact, I’d say I was a lesbian-identified bisexual. In fact, that’s still the term I prefer today. Why do I use it even though my partner is a man? For the same reason I used it when my partner was a woman: just to piss you off.
Bi community? What’s that?
When I moved from upstate New York to Connecticut in 1996, I found a thriving gay and lesbian community. But I got this vibe off the lesbians I met that bisexuality was not an option. This kind of attitude was not uncommon. And considering the struggle for lesbian identity that went on in the 1970s and 1980s, it was understandable. I myself had fallen prey to the ol’ stereotype of the bi-curious female who just wants to experiment a little but isn’t really gay and oh look, I just dropped my towel but I’m not really gay, I just like toying with your affections. I never mentioned my relationships with men to these friends for fear of being cast out of a community it had taken me so long to find.
Then I discovered a group of people who didn’t have any trouble at all calling themselves bisexual. I went to a Bi Net USA conference in August of 1997, and for the first time in my life, I didn’t have to play the pronoun game. In fact, very little I said shocked them. It was through that organization that I connected with members of Conn Bi Nation, an activist and social support group based in Hartford. This group was an important part of my own coming-out process, and it gave me a feeling of community in a time and place where gay-ness of any kind was not generally accepted.
For a variety of reasons I won’t get into here, I’m no longer much connected with the bi movement (or with queer activist groups, which tend to cater to young, single people with plenty of energy). It appears to be alive and well, though. Bi Net USA has a nationwide listing of groups on its website. I’ve found a number of groups on Facebook and am sure they exist elsewhere on the Tubes as well. Boston — my current home — is also home to the Bisexual Resource Center, a wonderful organization spearheaded by Robyn Ochs, a Harvard professor and long-time bi activist. Robyn is the editor of a number of great books and newsletters, including Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World and the recently published Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men. The BBWN’s Bi Women Quarterly is one of the few ways I connect with a larger community of bi and queer women. We’re easily mis-identified — even by our own — and especially when we’re paired up.
Some queers have said to me, “I’ve come out once. I don’t want to do it again.” But for me, the whole point of coming out was about being true to myself and my sexuality. In America, it’s easier to be one or the other, and it’s still not very easy to be gay in many parts of the country. But I’ve never been one to do things the easy way. And at the end of the day, living a lie is way more difficult than embracing the truth about your sexual needs and desires, whatever they may be.
My relationship with Quick was far from perfect. On one of the multiple occasions when she kicked me out of the house, I packed up our cat Loki in a carrier and took him with me. She cried over Loki’s departure, not mine. More than ten years after our breakup, we came together to be with him — and with with each other — in his final hours.
I was visiting a good friend in Hartford, CT on a fine spring day in 1998 when a passel of kittens tumbled across her neighbor’s driveway and onto the grass, mewing and scratching and generally working their kitten magic. From that litter I adopted Loki, a tiger/calico mix with kohl-like markings around his eyes. It seemed appropriate to name a kitten after the Norse god of mischief.
He lived up to his name. On Saturday mornings he would skitter over the hardwood floors of my apartment and under my futon, scratching the underside of it and then running away again. He and Leo, the cat who adopted my mom while she was loading newspapers into her car in the dead of night, would roughhouse in that apartment, jumping three feet or higher at moths, flies, and — in one case — a bat who flew in through the chimney. Other times he would sit and stare at a blank wall for hours. At night he would plop his soft body down next to mine and purr and rub his forehead against my face.
When I moved to Boston to live with Quick in 1999, Loki began sleeping on her side of the bed. She would nudge me and say, “Look at this little animal.” I would grumble that he used to be my little animal.
My relationship with Quick was far from perfect. On one of the multiple occasions when she kicked me out of the house — or when I tried to leave her — I packed up Loki in a carrier and took him with me. She cried over Loki’s departure, not mine. I finally succeeded in breaking away in 2003, just a few months before gay marriage became the law of the land in Massachusetts. When I did, I left him with her. A lawyer, she used to say (more than half seriously) that we had joint custody, but she had physical custody.
Loki developed many health problems later in life. Quick’s obsessive tendencies proved a boon for Loki. She kept him alive through FLUTD, diabetes, lymphoma, IBD, and cancer. Loki was a faithful companion to her through all of it. His health really started to deteriorate in November. Quick kept him alive for six more months,.
Quick called me from Angell Memorial on a Friday night at about 5:30. When I arrived, he was panting in an oxygen tent, unable to raise his head. He’d lost about one-third of his body weight. I could see by his eyes the prison that his body had become. Quick and I had both wanted him to die at home, not on a metal slab surrounded by the cries of other sick animals. But he was so sick, there was no way for us to take him home without causing him even worse pain. Over the course of the next few hours, I helped Quick make the difficult decision to end his life rather than prolong his suffering. Sixteen years after I saw him tumble across my friend’s back garden, Quick and I said our goodbyes to him in that oxygen tent.
I used to say that lovers come and go, but that kitties are forever. They live shorter lives than us though, and it’s inevitable that we will be with them from birth to death. The inevitability doesn’t make the pain of their passing any easier though. Loki’s passing underscores the passing of my own youth — my maiden years. I’m happy to release some of the pain and bewilderment of those years, even as I become aware of my own life’s finite nature. I’m grateful that Quick allowed me to be there with her and Loki, to make those difficult decisions with her and for her, and to be his other mother again during his final hours.
Not everyone understands why I hold on to relationships with ex-lovers. I’ve always found the traditional “straight” approach to love relationhips rather troubling: here is someone you’ve spent most of your waking hours with, for years or even decades, and then you’re supposed to pretend like they don’t exist? I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a period of separation, but at some point in the future I think it’s healthy to remain on at least civil terms with an ex. It’s a way of validating the beauty and connection that happened between you, even if it didn’t result in shared property or kids or whatever else society tells us it means to win at love.
The world of lesbian and queer women is so small, there’s extra pressure to remain on civil terms with an ex. Otherwise, you’d very quickly run out of friends and hangout spots. But there’s another, deeper reason why I hold on to my relationship with Quick. We both know what it’s like to be a woman living alone in a city with no family nearby. Even though we’re no longer partners or lovers, even though we don’t see one another very often anymore, I still consider her to be my family. She’s shown up for me during some very trying times and I’ve done the same for her. I view maintaining the relationship as a way for me to make living amends for the ways in which I wasn’t able to be there for her when we were together. And as I get older and friends move away — or die — I value more and more the longevity of relationships.
When I was in my 20s, I was so full of my own suffering — and my own vision of how the world should be — I couldn’t really pay attention to the experience of other people. Since that time I’ve become more comfortable with ambiguity, more accepting of the world’s imperfections.
I’ve learned what a gift it can be to have someone witness your pain and suffering without trying to fix it, deny it, or appropriate it. Since experiencing that gift myself, there have been a few occasions where I’ve been able to pass it on. This time was particularly powerful. I felt that I could be present not just for Loki, not just for Quick, but also for all those younger versions of myself who fell in love with Loki, who raised him, who met and fell in love with Quick, who suffered through the breakup, and who came out the other side.
Beltane fell on a Wednesday this year. It’s my favorite holiday, but even though it is a holiday of union, this year it leaves me feeling rather lonely. On Sunday I’d intended to rise early and make the trip across the river to my old church for the annual Beltane service — a tradition I resurrected when I was a part of the congregation and the Women’s Sacred Circle. It’s good to know that it still happens without me, but bittersweet. Even before M and I took the plunge and moved in together, I’d begun to pull back from the community at First Parish. It’s hard to say exactly why, although it’s definitely for more than one reason. Since the church is in Cambridge, there’s a regular turnover in membership. People finish their schooling and move away, or they pair up and move off to more affordable parts of the world. Once I’d looked on those people with disdain, but like so many of the people whom I’ve judged in my life, I came to find myself following that same natural progression.
I still remember the incredulity and joy I felt the first time I walked into the First Parish Cambridge Meeting House on a Sunday morning and heard an old, white man in a black robe saying things from a high pulpit that I actually agreed with. Things about the inherent worth and dignity of all people, the interconnected web of existence, the importance of social justice, the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. There was a banner above the door that said “Support Marriage Equality — We Do” — and this was long, long before the tipping point of public opinion on that issue.
Before I ever made it to the Meeting House on a Sunday morning, I’d attended the CUUPs rituals in the Barn Room. Two warm and wonderful Texans I’d met at a public ritual on the Boston Common brought me to my first Yule in the Barn Room. Then later, after I’d left Quick and moved to Cambridge, after I’d reveled in my freedom for a while and dated lots of people, after the rather disastrous end of a rebound relationship, I found myself sinking deeper into depression and isolation.
A woman I met on Craigslist–a recovering Southern Baptist–took me to the rounds of potlucks and parties in the winter. It sounds trite, but those potlucks and parties saved my life. At the time, I was looking up the lethal dosage of my medications, seriously considering death as an option. But I had a party to go to instead. One night, the movie I Heart Huckabees convinced me not to end my life. That same woman started rousting me out of the house on the third Friday of the month for Women’s Sacred Circle. I’d known about the group for years, but was intimidated by the fact that it was closed to new members except for once a year. And Fridays are tough in general, but Fridays in October, the month they open to new members, are brutal.
The community at First Parish was so cohesive and yet so varied. College professors, software developers, non-profit do-goodniks, menstruation rights activists, environmentalists, atheists, pagans, Buddhists, old-school UUs with Puritan pedigrees, a few token queers (I was one), believers and doubters and folks who showed up for the community and the cookies — all these people came together to the Meeting House for a service where they sang hymns like “For the Beauty of the Earth,” and listened to sermons about Martin Luther King and the importance of comprehensive sex education. It was a place where anyone, even a woman, even a lay person, even me — sinner and witch and lapsed Catholic that I was — could organize a service. It was the first place I truly felt that I belonged since I moved to Boston from Hartford almost 5 years before.
After a year or so, though, the bloom came off the rose. Some members of the thirtysomethings group decided to invite all the “cool” people to a Christmas party the same weekend as one my girlfriend was throwing. I noticed the stranglehold of the current leadership of CUUPs; they said they wanted new members, but they didn’t actually let the new members participate in any planning decisions. Friends paired off, got married, moved off and had babies, never to be heard from again.
Even the Women’s Sacred Circle, with all its magic and mystery, began to feel like a chore instead of a place of union and spiritual growth. During my stint on the leadership council, it was not unusual for meetings to run for five hours. And I realized, as perhaps all of us realize as we push on into our late 30s, that my time and energy were sadly finite. I wondered where else I might be spending it.
I began to direct it elsewhere. Slowly but surely, M and I began the careful steps to bring our households together. Settling in took longer than I thought. I mourned my old life in Camberville: the friends an easy T ride away, the streets, the back way from Arlington to Harvard Square, the Trader Joe’s at the Fresh Pond rotary, the summer meadow just beyond it, next to the Fresh Pond Reservoir, the water itself enclosed in a chain link fence. Some of them I still keep in touch with, but the meetings require planning, long drives. Weeks and months might pass before we see one another. Sometimes one or the other of us cancels, and so more weeks and months pass. We keep in touch on the Intartubes, but there’s no substitute for physical presence.
Nine months after the move, I joined a poetry workshop one of my circle sisters has been attending for years. The critiques were tough, but I appreciated the focus on concrete results — publication — and the practical tips given and shared to help us all achieve the same goal. In December I had my first success: my work was accepted at Lyrical Somerville and will be published next week. In April I read at Porter Square Books, and I am scheduled to read again at the Newton Public Library in October. After the reading, the workshop leader said “you surprised us!” She’d never seem or heard my finished poems, only the unfinished ones I brought to workshop. Buoyed by the praise I’d coveted for so long, I submitted to two journals.
Finances demanded that I take a hiatus from the workshop for a few months. With the world’s sap rising, I find myself composing more and see how my own eye has changed, my writing more careful — sometimes for the better, and sometimes not.
As I write this, the sun shines in the back courtyard on the forsythia bushes, all yellow in the bright spring light. Birds come and go from the feeder I installed last year; this spring I know most of their names. The leaves and spines of my garden wave in the breeze. The cats wander in and out of the treeline. For the first time ever in my life, I have a room in my home that is three walls open air, the solid brick behind me. The oaks have just begun unfurling their leaves, but for now the sun shines unimpeded on the bed I planted one week ago, on the pots I brought with me from Camberville. A nature-worshipper, I have access to more actual nature than I’ve ever had before. It’s right outside my door, front and back, and yet I’m a five-minute drive from Jamaica Plain, Boston’s answer to Cambridge.
It’s not the same, though. I am too far from my old circles. It’s a distance through both space and time. We’ve scattered and settled elsewhere. The bonds grow weaker. And I’m not sure I have the energy, the strength, or even the inclination, to build another circle from scratch around me here.
I don’t regret the union I entered into when I moved to this new green and alien place. I bathe in it every day, and the water is sweet. But I do regret the interconnected web of existence I left behind in Cambridge.