Perpetual low-level fear of violence by men

I was walking along the canal with a girlfriend. It was early morning but the sun was up. We had a conversation about passers-by. She doesn’t trust them. She checked out everyone who came towards us with a quick glance over her shoulder after we’d passed them. It didn’t matter who they were, how many … Read more

You’re audible, even if you don’t know you know

On Ordinary Chaos, I interviewed three beautiful people who happen to be trans. (Listen to those here, here, and here, or wherever you get your podcasts.)  I have known all three of them for a long time—between 15 and 30 years—well before any of them transitioned. There are closeted gays I’ve loved before and after … Read more

Creating a culture of validation

Validation is a beautiful thing on any day, especially valuable on a rough day or in a rough season. Anyone not having a rough season? We often think about this in the context of an argument or disagreement where we would like our points validated, but it’s applicable to many circumstances. • You belong here. … Read more

Changes in how life changes

photo of a cloth-covered journal

I’m an extremely sentimental person, especially about people. Someone recently asked, “Do you collect people?” Why yes, yes I do. If you and I have had any remotely significant relationship at any point in my life for any length of time, you are a piece of me. For better or for worse. Regardless the state … Read more

Trees as an analogy to people

photo of a tree with its top branches bare and bottom branches covered in leaves

Spring has sprung here in the Valley of the Sun, bringing flowers, leaves, bugs, weeds, snakes…  The trees growing new leaves highlights an issue we have with specific plants here—they have dead branches from the winter. Some trees that grow well here aren’t frost-tolerant, and after an especially cold winter, it’s common to see trees … Read more

Family-run businesses and building community

photo of tools to paint pottery on a table

In the Before Times, we went to Burst of Butterflies more often than you might expect people to go to a pottery-painting place. It was a family-run business in the city I worked in, and they opened a satellite location closer to home (and easier to park) than the original place. We painted canvases. We … Read more