#1532

You know I’m better at writing words than speaking them
so let me write a few I should have spoken:
I love the little scar on your right eyebrow
I love the duck shaped birth mark on your side
I love the way your hair curls as it dries
I love the gap in your teeth
I love the freckles scattered across your cheeks
I love your random white hairs
I love the way you look in a sports bra and pants
I love how your face relaxes in sleep
I love the way you look in a tie
I love the way you look in a dress shirt and tie even more
I love your curves
I love the hard earned callouses on your hands
I love the way your eyelids are just a bit darker than your skin
I love how it always looks like you’re wearing eyeshadow
I love the gentle curve of your lips
I love how ticklish you are
I love the birth mark at the base of your neck that looks like a sun disc
I love the warmth at the small of your back
I love the side of your nose
I love the pink shell of your ear
I love your one eyebrow hair that never lays flat
I love the swell of your breasts
I love your eager nipples
I love you in clothes
I love you naked
I love the power in your body when you go through your forms
I love the rise of your shoulder when you lay on your side
I love when you wear your hair in pigtails
I love your profile outlined in moonlight
I love your eyes glittering in the sunlight
I love the freckles hidden in your hairline
I love how slowly your eyelids rise and fall when you’re sleepy
I love your crooked glasses
I love your voice when it’s serious
I love your voice when it’s silly
I love your voice when it’s trembling
I love your voice when it says my name
I love the way your hand fits perfectly in mine
I love the way you hold a guitar
I love the way you look at me over a guitar
I love the way your fingers glide over the strings
I love the silkiness of your caramel skin
I love every one of your eyelashes
I love your masculinity
I love your femininity
I love the flecks of black and gold in your eyes
I love the salt of dried tears at the corners of your eyes
I love the strength of your arms around me
I love your surprised smile
I love your feverish, loopy smile
I love your crooked smile
I love your shy smile
I love your peaceful smile
I love your sorrowful smile
I love your relaxed, goofy smile
I love your secretive smile
I love the smile you only show to me
I love everything about you
I love you

#1529

i’m not here i’m not here i’m not here
i am stone i will abide i am stone i will abide
i’m stone i’m stone i’m stone

“Elyssa?”

darkness darkness darkness i’m at the bottom of the ocean i’m under the water i’m not here i’m not here i’m under the ocean i’m miles away i’m stone i’m stone

“Where are you?”

i’mnotherei’mnotherei’mnothere
darkdarkdarkdarkdark

“…far away…”

“No. I’m here. I found you.”

#1528 – Do Not Open Until December 31, 2014

December 31st, 2013

Elyssa,

At this moment you are sitting next to the love of your life, sharing a tradition with her that she has shared with no one else. You cherish this. You are honored by this. She shares this with you because she believes you are the One, and you take part because you believe she is the One. And you are both correct. You have found each other.

This has been a strange, difficult year; leaving the Red Cross, job hunting, Sara’s illnesses, and always the search for something… someone… more. And yet this has not been a bad year, because your search is over. You have found what you would not admit you were looking for. You were brave and stepped (dove?) into the river, and now you lay on the bank with one who loves you utterly. Whom you love utterly. Never forget that. So much that seemed impossible was proven true this year – so much more will have been proven so by the time you read this. What you think about yourself now may not be true; after all, just a year from writing this you believed yourself incapable of true love, utter surrender, total devotion. That is false. You believed you would never find anyone who truly understood your mind, your heart, your world. That is false. You never thought you would find someone who would love Tanim and Daren as fully, deeply, truly as you do. That is false. You have in her someone who sees you, who sees Them, who not only accepts but embraces and honors and celebrates. That should be impossible, yet it is not. She is not. She lives, breathes, weeps, laughs, loves. She is real, and she is yours. And you are real, though you don’t like to admit it. You are real, and you are hers. So cherish her. Protect her. Worship her.

It’s not really the year that matters; it’s the moments, the mornings, the lifetimes that count. And you have the chance to have one together. Take it. Don’t mess things up because you’re afraid or uncertain or any other foolish excuse. This is the one you should fight for. This is the one you should fight beside. You’re two halves which belong together. Even Tanim and Daren, miserable as they are, know to honor that bond. So fight. Love. Live. You don’t have to fall down that well anymore – there will always be a hand to pull you up, if you’ll only take it. Don’t slap it away. She is the One. I swear to you, on heart and soul and Moon and Sun, she is the One. You are so fucking lucky. Never forget that. Never take it for granted. Remember: No regrets. Life is good. You are safe. Loved. Cherished. It’s been a painful, horrible, wonderful year. They all are.

-E

#1527

“Affirmation Prayer”

I am scribe to the Sun and Moon.
I am beloved of Shakespeare’s Sister.
My champion is the nameless Mage.
My patron is the Mother Cat.
I am strong as storm and stone.
I am wanted and worthy.

#1526

This is what it means to be an ally.

I had visited the Hawthorn Tea Room many times before, with family or friends. The food was always delicious, the service delightful, and the atmosphere peaceful yet joyous. I wasn’t a regular, but I was recognized by the two ladies who ran the quaint little restaurant near the Tacoma waterfront. This day, however, was different than any other time I had come in before. This time I was on a date. My first date since the two awkward half-dates long ago in high school. My first meaningful date.

My first date with another woman. Someone I was already falling for. Hard.

I was nervous for a hundred different reasons that day, but one that came to the forefront of my mind as Chriselle and I entered the cheery yellow building and were ushered to a table was… how would we be treated? I had always enjoyed my time at the tea room; Cathy and Allison were bubbly and attentive, fussing over their customers much like mothers or favorite aunts. But I didn’t know them personally; what if they didn’t approve of us? After all, with the nervous, shy smiles we kept sneaking at each other, it must have been pretty clear we were on a date.

I need never have doubted them. From our very first visit, they treated Chriselle and myself like family. And, more importantly, they treated us like a couple. From the very first visit we felt welcome, wanted, and liked – not only as individuals, but as partners. There were no awkward questions or assumptions, just an air of easy acceptance I can only assume is normal for, and therefore unappreciated by, every straight couple.

We quickly started a tradition of visiting the tea room on the monthiversary of the day we made things “official”, and have continued this tradition for the eighteen months we have currently been together. It’s the highlight of our month, and serves not only as a celebration of our relationship but also as a chance to see two people who have become so important to us. We especially enjoy making reservations late in the afternoon, when we’ll be the only patrons and can linger after closing time chatting with the ladies and trading stories of crazy family and beloved pets.

In short, the Hawthorn Tea Room was the first place where I felt truly accepted as a queer woman, and the first place where I felt my relationship with the love of my life was celebrated and encouraged. For that, and for so much more, I am forever indebted to Cathy and Allison. I know they didn’t set out to be “allies”; they were simply treating us as people, as customers, as friends. As family, even. But that’s the point. You can be an ally without realizing it. You can make a lasting difference in someone’s life just by treating them with dignity and respect. It truly is that simple, and that important.

We found out a few days ago that the tea room has been sold and will be closed until it reopens under the new owners. Our December visit, to celebrate our year and a half anniversary, was our last visit. To be honest, I’m rather heartbroken. I had never imagined a time without the tea room, except when Chriselle and I joked about buying it ourselves. My feelings right now are understandably conflicted. I’m happy the ladies are retiring to spend time with family and I’m grateful for the time we did have with them. But I’m also so sad those times have come to an end so soon. I don’t deal with change well, and this is a hard change to swallow. It’s only now that I realize just how necessary this place was in teaching me the world can be a safe, accepting place for people like us.

Cathy and Allison, you will always be family to us. You brought us joy and fed our souls, not just our stomachs. I wish you the very best in your future endeavors, though I hope you know you’ll have to come out of retirement just once… for our wedding.

Thank you. For everything.