a spiraling hotmess of a transgressive plan, on my terms!

On a completely random related / unrelated note.  I have been thinking about the triad I was in on Monday during prayertime.  We joked about Jesus’ harem and Jesus as polyamorous in relation to brides of Christ and religious life.  Upon further reflection, I would hope if Jesus did have multiple partners, it would not be a harem as that is often one person with multiple spouses and unequal power dynamics.  I see Jesus more as polyamorous in which there is equality and open, mutual communication.  Imagine that … Jesus in a polyamorous relationship with all the sisters, nuns, brothers, priests, consecrated folks…it takes OMG to a whole other level.  Got to love Catholicism (and my warped mind). 

As we’ve journeyed together, quandaries over vocational discernment percolate and percolate (and sometimes agitate).  In reflecting over creating / laying out a plan, spirals keep coming to mind and heart.   I also hear on repeat, if you want to make Goddess laugh, tell Her your plans.  Though I don’t have a plan in the traditional sense, thinking and creating and recreating a plan has been both helpful and eekful.  As I worked on this week’s reflection questions, I realize that the journey, the plan, the SMART goals—its all one big spiral, reflecting the cosmic dance that is discernment.  A lot of movement in many different directions, a lot of sweat, a lot of switching back and forth who leads (with these dynamics shifting with each new dance partner). 

In terms of trying to give structure but also not limit / narrow possibilities, I share my sparking off point and other goals along the spiral (some are interconnected, some practical, some just part of adulting).   More and more, I am discerning what is both attainable and bold. 

  • “I am significant!” – for some time I had Calvin from “Calvin and Hobbes” as my profile image on Facebook; he was shouting these words.  My first goal is value myself and to demand respect.  When it comes to public speaking or facilitating a workshop or other gigs, I often don’t ask for an honorarium or undersell myself with a low honorarium.  Part of me wants to make sure education is accessible and not wanting money and compensation to be a barrier.  At the same time, this diva needs to put food on the table.  Over this last year, I am realizing that I need to demand respect for my work, expertise, and personhood.  Catholic guilt is real and I wrestle with this; Jesus wouldn’t charge, why should I?  It’s the tension of kindness and professional oomphness and survival and claiming for myself that I am significant. 
  • Get a JOB!!!  I resonated with some of the mini-reflections in this week’s prompts.  I have been actively seeking employment for a year and half now, experiencing over 250 rejections.   I know that the “one” is coming but have wrestled with questions about my worth (see first point) and self-doubt (there’s obviously something wrong me, I am not good enough).  Its taken a while to reconstruct my professional pizzazz (it’s a work in progress) but I am committed to keep applying, to keep learning with each application and interview, and to keep adapting. 
  • Exploring different opportunities..
    • Trans Theology book project in Spanish – need to call the troops and start outlining by the end of the month. 
    • Joined the Call To Action Vision Council (one check on the list of to do’s) and now move on to the next project of helping to recreate CTA’s Anti-Racism Team.
  • Priesthood … what do I do with you?  I have been discerning the call to the priesthood since I was 13.  I “dated” many religious communities from various flavors of Franciscans to the Legionnaires of Christ to the Jesuits.  A couple of months ago, I started looking at both Catholic and Episcopal / Anglican religious communities dabbling with the question of “what if I went back?”  Then coming to the question, what about my beloved?   I’ve tinkered with the possibility of jumping onto another ship…Episcopal Church, Unitarian Universalist Association, Roman Catholic Women Priests, United Church of Christ, Metropolitan Community Churches, even thought about becoming a Rabbi.  I need to let this simmer a little more (to be determined)
  • I recently watched a comedy show by actress, writer, and comedienne, Fortune Feimster.  In her show she talks about being forced to join the swim team however “people were asking for the butterfly stroke when I have a caterpillar’s body.” It was a “oh damn” moment—why am I trying to adapt to others and not own my life on my terms?   I believe we are called to be co-creators with Goddess in the scheming and we live into this as us, not as anyone else. 
  • As Audre Lorde reminds us, self-care is part of the revolution.  In the next two weeks, carving out time to delve into the readings for this group as well as a non-violence course that I am in.  If I burn out, how can I help others shine?  Self-care is more than just spa days and massages, its taking time to be with myself and to be with others in ways that fill and lift spirits.  Online and virtual gatherings have actually opened up the possibilities of connecting with individuals and groups; it has allowed reconnecting with both old and new friends—different ways of being community and holding each other in and through the now.   Upon further reflecting, this should be goal numero uno! 
  • This is not a goal with a timeframe or specific end-date; it is ongoing and organic and evolving.  My goal is to continue to be and learn new ways of being transgressive.   In Debra Harkness’ fictional world of witches, vampires, demons, and other supernatural beings, she categorizes witches into specific categories.  A rare and unique category is that of a weaver, one is able to create new spells.  I am mindful that it is work of fiction and mindful that Goddess speaks through many different microphones.  I realize that in my calling of transgressiveness, of asking queeries, of finding Letty Russell’s third way, I continue to deconstruct and construct ideas outside of binaries.   My life is a form of resistance because I am told I should not exist.  In being transgressive I am learning of living with the harmonious tension of balancing patience with urgency; of challenging and being challenged; of ongoing learning and unlearning harmful rhetoric.  Stretching oneself is uncomfortable but stretching is one way of relieving tension in our bodies and through this discomfort we learn and grow. 

This is not the traditional outline for a plan but tradition and I have a complicated relationship.  Being able to put words on paper through doodling and typing things into a document has been helpful and has sparked thoughts on how to create a more structurely unstructured outline.  This specific reflection has nudged me into learning to be present when there is no set plan.  I used to quote Jack from Titanic a lot in high school in essays about my priestly future … “I try to live each day on God’s good humor.”  I know that our discernment must be active and participatory as we are co-creators in the scheming; but I am also okay with actively figuring things out as we go. 

6 thoughts on “a spiraling hotmess of a transgressive plan, on my terms!

  1. Yaaasss, I love your opening comments! God/dess is so obviously polyamorous with us–“In my house, there are many bridal chambers”–but I almost never hear anyone affirming that.

  2. Hi delfin- I imagine putting roller skates under my butt and riding your spiral into eternity and having so much fun. I wonder how much fun you are having and is there an underside to your amazing creativity? Diane

  3. A couple of thoughts came to mind as I read your post, I’ll relate them in no particular order. First, a colleague of mind attends a Unitarian Universalist Church and loves it. I don’t know anything about it, but he is very happy there. Second, are you familiar with Dignity USA? My husband’s uncle is gay and felt rejected (no surprise) by the Catholic church. I told him about Dignity many years ago and he has found a home with them. https://www.dignityusa.org/ Third, I am sorry that you have been told you should not exist. Everything and everyone that God has created should exist. Last, I love the idea of trans theology. I admit that I don’t know if any work has been done on this topic but I know I am grateful for the early feminist theologians who paved the way for us later “heretics.”

  4. Queridx Delfin – first, a meta comment, and then a few musings in response to some of your specific points. If you seek to find new ways of being transgressive, well, then, your response to this prompt is an embodiment of that. You are not just a color-outside-the-lines kind of person, you are a throw-the-whole-damn-coloring-book-away-and-make-a-new-one-with-glitter kind of person. That kind of person does exist, should exist, must exist, and is beloved by God.

    A book in Spanish on Trans Theology? I can already think of, like, five people off the top of my head I want to give that book to. What are the next steps in that project? Who do you need to invite and engage? What are the fears that might keep you from moving forward?

    Self-care – yes. So much yes to this as goal numero uno. Especially in the midst of pandemic, in the transition of job-searching, given your intersection of identities. Self-care is more than spa days and massages, as you say: so what is you for you, right now?

    Wrestling with asking for pay/honorarium – I’m gonna get invalidly sacramental for a second and absolve you of that guilt. You have a right to be paid for the work you do – factoring in the emotional labor and the years of study and preparation you have engaged in to get to this point. When more of us ask for fair compensation in ministerial contexts, we move the needle in shifting the culture.

    As a former nun, I LOLed on the polyamorous Jesus, and admit that my novice-companions and I perhaps made jokes along those lines more than once.

    Love your use of art instead of just words – thank you for sharing them with us!

  5. Delfin, thank you for your recent comment on one of my posts. I’ll do my best to respond to it in that thread.

    THANK YOU even more FOR THE GIFT that YOU ARE and the courageous authenticity with which you share yourself. I’m so glad to have met you in this space and I sincerely look forward to future collaboration.

    For my feedback, I’d like to highlight a few of your quotes and invite you to sit with them for an extra moment or two.

    “I see Jesus more as polyamorous in which there is equality and open, mutual communication.” Can you tell us more about how you see Jesus? How does Jesus look? How does Jesus sound? How does Jesus see and love you?

    “As I worked on this week’s reflection questions, I realize that the journey, the plan, the SMART goals—its all one big spiral, reflecting the cosmic dance that is discernment. A lot of movement in many different directions, a lot of sweat, a lot of switching back and forth who leads (with these dynamics shifting with each new dance partner).” You describe discernment so eloquently. Do you currently have a spiritual director?

    “Jesus wouldn’t charge, why should I?” I’d invite you back to Jesus that sees and loves you. How would Jesus respond to your question?

    “I have been discerning the call to the priesthood since I was 13.” Can you tell us more about this call? Is the call louder or is there any difference in the call since you were 13?

    “I believe we are called to be co-creators with Goddess in the scheming and we live into this as us, not as anyone else.” AMEN. You ARE created in Goddess’ image and you are beautiful, worthy, and beloved (as others have said).

    Thank you again Delfin. My prayers are filled with gratitude for you and the others in this workshop and I sense that the Spirit is moving with the kind of power present at Pentecost.

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