The Intersections

            THE ONLY LGBTQ NEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT SOURCE FOR NORTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS

Reader prose, poetry, art, video and opinion. 
                RUDE AWAKENING- AN EXCERPT FROM "23 STATES"



 






The wind was blowing the rain, up onto the porch, and I had to move back to the glass wall, near the front door, to stay dry. I looked around and realized I had the entire porch, to myself. This had never happened before. Amazing what a thunderstorm can do! Suddenly my solitude was interrupted. A guy I had seen around a couple of times, named "Blue," came running, out of the darkness, toward me. He ran up next to me, reached into a shirt pocket, pulled out a joint, handed it to me, and said, "I know, you know, what to do, with this." I glanced around nervously. "C'mon motherf**ker!," Blue exclaimed, "Ain't nobody out here, but us!" I lit up, and we stood there, on the Sally porch, smoking dope, in a thunderstorm.
 
When the smoke was over, Blue said, "F**k this, I'm getting out of the rain!" The wind had gotten stronger, and was blowing the rain, clear up, to where we were. Getting soaked was unavoidable. "C'mon man, lets go!," he yelled, as he ran back out, into the storm. I got up and started after him. He had already sprinted down the street, toward the thrift store. When I saw him run behind the building, I hoped he wasn't going to do anything stupid, like breaking into the place. I followed him anyway. I got to the parking lot, and did not see him anywhere. "Over here!" I followed his voice to a large trash dumpster. His head was sticking out the side door. I swear to God, it had a sliding side door! "What are you doing?," I yelled over the rain. "Get your ass, in here!",he hollered back, motioning for me to join him. "Are you f**king crazy? This is a dumpster!" "Nothing in here, but clothes and cardboard, so get your ass up here!" I could not believe it. "Maybe you didn't hear me" I yelled, "I said this is a f**king dumpster!" Blue didn't give a damn. "Stay your ass out in the rain then, b*tch!" He started to slide the door shut. I reached out and grabbed the door. "Hold up man." He stuck his hand out again, and pulled me inside.
 
I landed in a seated position atop of a large stack of cardboard. At least I hoped it was cardboard. It was pitch black, inside the dumpster, and I immediately conjured up all manner of horrors. Rats, feces, bugs, DEAD THINGS. Used hypodermics, used condoms, broken glass, DEAD THINGS. Radioactive waste, petrochemicals, DEAD THINGS! Done a lot of crazy stuff, in my life. Never considered this, for 2 seconds. I'd rather get arrested. I knew of a homeless guy, in Denver. Got himself arrested every winter. Pretty smart, if you ask me. I damn near froze to death, in Colorado. Blue shut the door, and struck his lighter. I was seated atop cardboard, sure enough, and there were a lot of shoes too. I was still conjuring up DEAD THINGS! "I can't believe I'm inside a f**king dumpster!" Blue killed the light, and replied, "Shut the f**k up, and go to sleep!" I lay back, on the cardboard, and tried to relax. The rain was coming down really hard, but I remained high, and dry all night. I awoke once, and the rain had stopped. I was comfy, so I went back to sleep.
 
I was jolted awake. It was still pitch black, and for a moment I forgot where I was. Then I heard an all-too familiar sound, immediately followed by the sensation of being lifted. It all came back so fast, I left my shoes behind, in my effort to get the door open. The look on the truck drivers face, when I opened the door, and stuck my head out, was truly a Kodak moment. Blue came flying out, after me. He ran to the truck and yelled, "Put that thing down Holmes, our shit is in there!" The driver complied, and we retrieved our belongings. Then we watched the dumpster being emptied. The truck was one that lifted over the front, into the back. Chances are, if we had not gotten out, by the time we passed the windshield, we would have been compacted, and ended up in a landfill, somewhere in Texas. These thoughts were running through my head, when I turned to Blue, and said, "Don't ever invite me to spend the night with you again!" I did not wait for a response. I walked off, shoes in hand, Toward Caseys. Luckily they were open. I went inside, sat down, and took my socks off, putting my bare feet back into my shoes. I knew I could get new socks, at the thrift store, for next to nothing. I walked back over to the dumpster, I had just gotten evicted from, and threw my now worthless socks, into it. "F**k You," I said as I walked away. I did not see Blue anywhere, and have not seen him since. I hope he is not in a landfill somewhere.

D.J.Hawke,
Temple City, CA
Disabled Human
  
                                        

THE GRACE OF GRIEF

A poignant memory of days gone by, the hope for a
peaceful death as a parent lays weary and ill, the
tragedy of innocent life cut short by the blades of fear
and loathing...moments such as these, and so many
more, pull at our heartstrings and release the
dam of tears; tears, the very salt and water of our lives,
the essence of that which we all share as children of
Earth and starry Heaven. 
 
Tears are a cleansing of the soul. In the pouring of grief
made manifest through tears, we affirm our shared
human experience, we affirm the love of those who
have passed from this life, we affirm the loss that
we have endured, be it loss of life, of hope, of faith,
of house or home, of relationships, of work or
livelihood; and in affirming all of this when
we let loose the wellspring of tears, we affirm that we yet live. 
 
No matter the pain, the heartbreak, the burden or the loss,
we yet remain steadfast to carry the torch of hope ever higher,
even if we need to first set ourselves down U pon the cool, firm ground to find our center again In the flowing of tears, or however  we might let our emotions pour forth, when we allow ourselves to fully experience and  pass through grief, we are at that moment our most human selves, vulnerable yet
empowered in true feeling,true experience. 
 
I use the example of tears as it is an almost universal experience, but that is not to say that tears are the only expression of grief. Humans, as products of the diversity of our world, express ourselves and experience deep emotion.

It is in allowing ourselves to explore those deep feelings, that gets us to the root cause of them and  enables us to mature in wisdom and grace.  
 
In those moments when we find ourselves most broken or lost, we may find within ourselves the strength to continue to live our lives most fully, and in that continuance, all of our pain, our loss, our bone-deep sadness gives way to the great song of life, for life transmutes all things, good or ill, into new life, new creation, a new song.

So, how might we create that space to delve into our own selves and those experiences through which we have lived? How might we manage our grief in tune with the chorus of life? Let us briefly explore three simple techniques of embracing and transmuting our grief:
 
Take it to the Waters -- Often times we may find ourselves unable to allow the tears to flow out of a sense of needing to remain “in control”, I would invite you then to find a quiet place to stroll alongside a stream, brook, or other body of gently flowing water you find soothing.  Walk along it, through it.  Sit beside the waters and submerge your feet, your hands.  Allow yourself to be in the moment entirely and just feel the waters move around you and with you.  As you feel the waters of that brook or stream, allow yourself to reflect on your grief, to feel it as you feel the water, and to pour it through your body back into the Great Cycle that is the life of water, and as you empty yourself of that grief or pain, breathe deeply of the vivacity of the life of the stream and allow it to nurture your spirit. 
 
Should you have no local brook to meander with, or if you might seek a warmer form of transformation, I would invite then to take your grief to the fires.  Fire is the essence of physical and spiritual transmutation and by its very light it claims for us sacred space in the darkness of our world. Light a candle and prepare a fireproof bowl, or if possible and desired, build up a small campfire in a suitable, safe place. Welcome the fire into being, take some time to ponder it’s dancing flames and shining embers.  As you share space and time with the flames, look through them and ponder your circumstances, experiences, associated feelings.  Take with you pen and paper and engrave on the page the pain of your heart as fully as you are able, pour out the words and sit with them, and when they are fully out of you and you are ready to release that grief or pain, cast it into the flames (or light it with the candle, and gently toss it into the bowl) and allow the fire to transform what was into the potential for a brighter tomorrow.  Tend the flames for a quiet time, and in tending the flames, you may well tend your soul.
 
The last technique I offer you is this:  Take it to the ancestors.  Many of us have had beloved grandparents, great-aunts or uncles, cousins, or dear friends who have crossed through the veil the covers the divide between life and death and life renewed.  If you have a quiet place with photos of your dearly departed, or perhaps visiting the burial place of a particular ancestor with whom you were close, take time to sit with and talk out all of your experiences and be open to quiet moments where they may just whisper support or advice, or simply hold you in a blessing embrace.  In my own life, when I have been under great stress or grief, I often find myself visiting to grave of my maternal great-grandparents, bringing with me a pipe and cherry tobacco as a touchstone and offering for them.  I’ll sit beside their stone and pour out my story, my experience to them, talking away just as if we were visiting over tea like we would have before their passing. Whether their spirits hear it or not, it has always left my heart lighter and the way forward a little clearer.
 
These are only suggestions of a few potential tools that may help you process your grief as they have helped me in times past, but know that we are a species as diverse as the leaves of the forest and therefore we each experience these emotions in our own, unique ways.  We each carry within us wounds or sorrows, but with what has been broken within ourselves, or in the world around us, what new beauty might we inspire and nurture?  As we endure this season of darkness, I implore you to allow yourself the space and time to sit with and fully experience whatever your pain or grief may be, and to pass through it knowing that you are the culmination and continuance of the love of thousands. 
 
Pour your tears, your emotions, upon the living Earth, and when those have flowed back into our common Mother, rise up and dance.  Rise up and live.  Having passed through your pain, your sorrow, your grief, you have come to know yourself and the world in a deeper way.  Though you may walk in darkness, know that the light which lives within your heart will carry you through the night, for it is the same divine light that we all share, that light which shines through every tear.  Have faith, dear one, for you are the light of the world.

  
Rev. Jeremiah B. Lennox,
Archpriest of the Nemeton of the Ways
  

A black and white image of a rose on a wooden  bench

                                                   MAGNETISM
                              A Cautionary Tale
  
I was a drug dealer magnet.
And no, I'm not talking about
one of those crazy pet tiger,
coke snorting dealers.
I mean the more low-key
dealers...pot dealers. 
Which for a while, wasn't so bad.
But then you get older,
and you have to reconsider.

There was this one guy who
use to grow it, and he would tell
me how he could look at his
plants for hours, like children...
And there was this other guy, that if he was mad at you, he would put a little heroine in the pot he gave you...you know, if he was mad at you...

-And it was after that one that I realized I had to build a force field around me to keep them out; 
'cause let me tell you,
the last thing you need is to be on the bathroom floor of a Denny's
asking the waitress to bring you some lettuce!
  


​                                         PIPELINES

                  It’ll be coming through pipeline when it comes
                All the mass destruction that they have caused
             No more fresh water to drink, no more air to breathe
             Just for a little bit of money and whole lot of greed

                   We stand on a rock with our fellow man
                Trying to stop the contamination of our lands
                 But they push forward, refusing our demands
                   Because humanity was not in their plans


              It’ll be coming through the pipeline when it comes
               The thick stench of death that they have caused
            No more pike in the Cannonball, no pipits in the trees
              Just for padded pockets of the one percent elite

                     We stand on a rock with our fellow man
                  Trying to stop the contamination of our lands
                  But they push forward, refusing our demands
                       Because humanity was not in their plans


                It’ll be coming through the pipeline when it comes
                    The downfall of society that they have caused
                    No more sounds of music, no more curtain calls
            Because blood is thicker than water but oil is thickest of all.
ll             
               Submitted by and copyright Wednesday Leary
                    Submitted by and copyright Moon Man​​
         
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