Friday, October 16, 2009

Diwali. Mention this holiday, and I'm traveling back in time to a place I've never been in this context. I can see one of those psychedelic spiral time warps suck me down through the colorful years, slupring me so hard I fly back before my time across continents and experience the festivities in India.

I can't remember my first few Diwalis, but I have vivid memories of my parents describing fire crackers and sweets and colors and crowds. I looked forward to joining in on the festivities, and always thought I would experience it at some point in my childhood, but at age 33, I still have not celebrated Diwali in the Grandmotherland. My associations with the holiday are not my memories, but mostly my mother's. I imagined rangoli, shankar pali, chakli, and kandils long before I really saw them. I heard stories, and they became mine. I saw myself outdoors in a crowd full of decked out desis with lots of children. I saw myself in my new Diwali clothes smelling earthy after bathing in utna, milk, and oil, holding something that sparkles and sparks and then being called in to partake of the sweet and savory snacks.

Over the years, I experienced several Diwalis. My parents tried to make it as "authentic" as possible. We bathed in Trader Joe's olive oil. The chivda was sometimes made using Rice Crispies. Scented candles represented the kandils. I remained nostalgic for the Diwali I never experienced.

A few years back, the nostalgia transformed as I fully looked forward to celebrating Diwali in the California 'burbs. A new ritual had been established, a new culture carved. My parents took what they knew and created. I knew I could expect five types of pohe, chakli, sweets and the warmth and light of the kandils as old school Bollywood tunes played in the background.

Authenticity was redefined as Diwali took on another meaning. I still look back fondly at the memories I never had, but I'm grateful for my own experience. This year, as I eagerly await tomorrow's festivities, I take a look at myself and question my authenticity. This year, I as I renew myself and charge my inner spark, I vow to take what I know and create.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The words that follow are likely to offend many couples. No apologies, for my single friends and I never get any when we are subject to the offensive actions brought on by couples on a daily basis. Similar to being a person of color talking about racism, or a woman pointing out male privilege, or as an ally, bringing attention to heterosexim, being a single woman calling out couple privilege will surely bring about an onslaught of responses ranging from pity to denial to dismissal.

First of all, there is the economic privilege that couples enjoy due to sharing expenses on things such as rent, food, and lodging. This seems reasonable, and it is. However, couples seem to push this privilege when it comes to things like giving presents. If I am invited to a birthday party or wedding, I always bring a present. Why is it that a couple, which consists of TWO people, also tends to bring ONE present? Perhaps they should share a plate too...

This two-for-one special extends beyond presents. It is also prevalent at social gatherings, such at potlucks. Again, many couples think it is perfectly acceptable to bring one dish for two people. I have to go to the store, do all the prep, cook the meal, and clean up. The couple can share the work, or have one person do all the work while the other person has time to take a nap, catch up on work, or watch a movie. Why isn't my time valued as much as a couple's?

Now aside from what the couples literally bring to the table, there is also the constant fussing over each other. "Honey, did you get some of the beet salad?" "Babe, do you want some peach cobbler?" Since when did adults become incapable of making their own damn plate? And if one partner happens to swallow water down the wrong tube, it might as well be the end of the world. Oh, and I forgot to mention the not-so-furtive glances that couples give each other when they disapprove of something that the other says or does. They think they're being incognito, but all the single people that aren't too busy wiping crumbs off someone else's face do notice.

Ah yes, the codependency that exists in far too many relationships basically makes me just cut off friendships with many of my coupled friends. First, there is the assumption that the partner is invited (they're not unless there's an invitation extended, which often there will be, but can't we have a few one-on-ones with our friends?). Then, there is the permission factor. I didn't know so many of my friends were so kinky that they needed to role play and ask daddy if they could go get dinner with me. I have been dissed by my friends because of partners studying for tests, partners being out of town, or partners being sick, not majorly ill, but just like cold or flu sick. Well, screw you and don't come crying to me when your partner is sick of you.

Now the worst part of this is that the couple feels sorry for the single person and not because we have to endure all this bullshit. They think our lives are somewhat lacking. Here are some of the things that my coupled friends have said to me.
"I would hate to be single right now. "
"You must feel lonely."
" You should try match or eharmony or indian dating dot com"
Ummm...why do you assume that I should make coupling up be such a priority? Sure, it might be nice, but i could also end up

Now to all the single people, love is not something you can find if you don't have it within you. You need love for yourself, and love for those around you. As a romantic, I do hope to once again extend my love to a romantic capacity, but not by taking it away from other places in my life. My time alone is sacred. My time with friends is essential. Only with this sense of balance will I truly be able to value a romantic partnership in which I can grow and nurture growth in another human being.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Womb. Yoni. Pussy. Vagina. Cunt.

to Life

That don't leave much Choice
if being a Woman

is just about that space
between my legs
that tunnel
that has potential to birth

but when potential runs out

Am I still a Woman?

Womb. Yoni. Pussy. Vagina. Cunt.

A wise sister once told me that she wouldn't be
blackmailed by the Biological Clock

Time bombs explode inside of me

Womb. Yoni. Pussy. Vagina. Cunt.

Doesn't make me a woman.

I'm a woman
I was constructed

and the repercussions
of construction
are stronger than biology

Womb. Yoni. Pussy. Vagina. Cunt.

My womb chills.

My yoni glows.

My pussy wants some action.

My vagina bleeds.

My cunt is a rock star.