This girl sleeps on protected rooftop, under awnings and brightly colored fabrics. Her light flicks off at the first sign of dawn, to bring morning light into her space. The others who sleep on the rooftop do not rise so early, and rarely see her leave. They are her friends, most ways. But perhaps not yet allies.
When she leaves her rooftop she’s wrapped in dance of fabrics and spaces. To keep out the sun, to carry goods and possessions, to allow her breeze. She slips over the edge of the rooftop, to the balconies connected with leafy trellis and precarious ladder stairs.
She doesn’t pay them any mind, this is the part of the city she grew up in, and this climbing is faster, quieter, and much more fun than tiptoeing down the inside stairs. Her footing is sure, and when her fabric wrapped feet touch down in the soft earthy garden below, she wiggles her exposed toes into the rich ground.
Her appreciation only takes a moment before she’s off, light on her feet, and quick. To the market, the streams, or the build sites, to make her day’s earnings. This part of the city is hers, undoubtedly, and always has been. She rarely ventures into other areas, she finds no needs there.
Though, this girl, has forgotten she once knew of other places. She lives happy and free. The wind tumbles her hair around her face and she laughs.
Lights in the city below twinkle. Marking Progress and imagination. Some buildings dark, too old, tired, or unwilling for lights, some simply sleeping.
The city is a jewel in the darkness of expanding plains in every direction. Recovery from this last kind of apocalypse. Watcher Garden remembers ancestors of this disaster, recognizes the pieces that are being reconfigured in this new springing of life. Watcher Garden will welcome this generation, as it has all generations past, remembered or simply seeming ever present.
The wind washes through the city. Lights don’t flicker at the source, but through the thousands of leaves of the garden, the lights flick, dim, and dance as if dreaming until they wake.
Heat finally broken, sun fades into horizon. Wind picks up, leaves shiver against blue gray sky, twitterpated in dissipating heat. Their spiky offspring dangle, waiting for their own chance at ground, water, and sky. The world awakens again, reprieved. Trees breathe.
This is their jungle, their forest, and their domain. Petrified, concrete collected around them, illusions of permanence believed by the flesh who moves among in steel and glass.
In the end the smallest bits can’t be seen; they will survive. In cracks and crevices, pushing through to make their own space.
Until then, the flesh roars this evening, getaway street race rubber screeches against asphalt, sirens wailing next. Bewildered birds flutter, look for their stillness to claim.
When flesh noise fades away in time, wind and rains will take their place. They own this world and its trees, with all prickly drop seeds, annoying temporary flesh, and the microbes that remember.
A couple weeks ago I got the opportunity to present Olympic College’s 5th Annual Diversity Conference. This was the first presentation I’ve done outside of school, and there was unsurprisingly a lot of procrastination involved. I wanted to take a moment and share some things about my topic, and what I learned during this experience.
“Sex education, sex positivity, consent, and bodily autonomy are ever important in this era of media addressing sexual harassment and accountability so prominently.
In this talk we’ll go over basic terms refining sexuality discourses, highlight the importance of sexuality inclusive social justice work, and give participants practical ways to advocate for healthy discussion of sexuality in their daily lives.”
When I wrote this description I had a lot of goals and expectations for myself, a lot of which got much simpler because of my inexperience in preparing for and executing a presentation. By the time conference time came, my main goal was to talk about the connections I was making between the tools used in social justice work and advocacy related to sex and sexuality, and ways to apply these tools more broadly.
On the day itself, I went over a collection of terms and ideas I enjoy thinking about, or that particularly frustrate me as the case was for several, played a video about Jacqueline Boxx (linked below) as an example of where there’s more work to be done, showed off some of the people I’ve found most interesting in my own learning, and mercifully my lovely participants had a wonderful discussion that interestingly took a parental approach focus. Though, there were quite a few interesting tangents and questions that I’ll be considering for my future projects.
I also got some really nice, and constructive, feedback. I have some ideas for where I want to go next, and what things I need to keep in mind for next time.
I’m incredibly happy that my topic was interesting, and that I got such positive feedback as motivation to keep pursuing it. I know I’m not the only person working on similar topics, and I’m looking forward to discovering new details and timing that make my thinking valuable contributions. I know I’m going to be writing more on the ideas I explored and my slightly haphazard way of learning them, but I make no promises for swift products.
As for the nitty gritty on the presentation side, I need more practice speaking itself. This is given. I need to be better about making time to prepare, and refine. (Basically, the opposite of procrastination.) I also want to include more points to include consent and actively build on the accessibility of my projects.
All in all, I had a wonderful experience, I learned a lot, and met some really awesome people. It great to build on my previous experiences at Olympic College’s Diversity Conference as an attendee, and I’m excited to keep working on more formal, academic-ish, researched work.
This week has been incredibly long and tiring. Some awesome things have happened, as well as the simply exhausting things.
Primarily, I attended Olympic College’s 5th Annual Diversity Conference, this year as a presenter myself. It was a great experience, though incredibly nerve wracking and highlighting my incredible skill in procrastination. I promised attendees that I would post slides from my presentation. Yesterday.
So, in keeping with the rest of my current schedule, let’s aim for a nice little reflection and information post next week.
Consider this your teaser post. (I’m considering it hanging onto my weekly post promise to myself a little bit longer.)
Awesome things in the works: (Theoretically, anyway.)
A few more previously published pieces,
Some awesome short pieces,
and for me, actually working on my novel.
From somewhere under the pile of things, Happy Pride!
Warped and lengthened timelines are fine. We can always celebrate cool things.