The Antinoan Anchorite

I am not good at saying wise and helpful things when tragedy strikes. Even when I identified as heterosexual, even as a child, I had no comprehension of hatred for gay and lesbian people. Now I can only sit dumbly and think, “My people have been harmed, again. I am bisexual, and in the right circumstances, I could lose my life for that fact.”

All I have to share is an idea for a fanfic that I don’t think I have the energy to write: Steve Rogers, Captain America, goes to Orlando to donate blood in the current crisis. He has type O blood, the universal donor, and thanks to his superpowers, he can donate two or three times the amount of blood a normal person can give without any harm to himself.

The hospital is immensely grateful to see him, of course. The hospital administrators are eager to…

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“Oh You Mothers…”



“Oh You Mothers…”

This is the prayer I use when leaving offerings for my own ancestors.

Oh you mothers, all my mothers

Those who sleep in heavy soil,

Those who went to death so weary

All you thought was no more toil,

Those who danced with joy and laughter,

Those who fought to break the chains

Though you’ll know no more hereafters,

Here a part of you remains.

Oh you fathers, all my fathers

Those who dream in wet, black earth,

Those who let their dreams go hungry

So that mine could come to birth,

Those who died in rage and sorrow

Those who laughed and wandered free,

Though you’ll know no more tomorrows

Your tomorrows live in me.

All of you who came before me,

Though I know your names or not.

All who added to my story

Giving blood or deed or thought.

Take this food and…

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A World without Mia

For Mia, my mom’s friend. May your journey to the Island beyond the sea be peaceful, and may your loved ones be comforted.

The Law of Love

Today’s morning broke on a world without Mia.

I knew, somewhere deep inside—had known since the night before. I smothered the sense of that knowing until I came home from work to face the accusatory blinking red light of the phone. Mia was gone, the ninety pounds of her unable to endure another day.

I did not trust myself to call her spouse, who had said that all that “they” could do for her was make her comfortable while waiting for the cancer to overwhelm itself and her life. After all, twenty-three years of fighting it off… the classic “courageous battle with cancer.”

He had been right, I suppose.

Being right is highly overrated.

Mia was 69 years and two weeks old. Didn’t even get the biblical threescore and ten, which seems enormously unfair for someone so feisty and fun with so much hard work under her belt. She is…

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Of Fire Cider, Folk Medicine, and Trademarks


Every autumn, fire cider begins making its annual appearance at farmer’s markets throughout New England.   The popular cold and flu season tonic is made from garlic, onions, ginger, horseradish, and cayenne infused in honey and apple cider vinegar.

Fire cider was created and named by Rosemary Gladstar, one of the major figures in North America’s herbal renaissance, who taught it to to the recipe to thousands through books and through classes at the two herb schools she founded.  The people who learned about fire cider from Rosemary taught others, and it caught on quickly.  The folk process took hold, and within a decade, people who had never heard of fire cider were making their own varieties and telling people it was an old, traditional remedy.

In a sense, fire cider really is an old, traditional remedy, it just happens to be a variant  named and created by a particular…

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