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Tickets Please: 2021

It took a ride on an experimental roller coaster for me to figure out that I need to modify the type of adventure I seek. I walked into 2020 confident about my motives, unsure about the execution, and curious about the outcome of all that I set out to achieve. Not only did Covid shut down much of 2020, after trial and error, I had to shut down much of my own personal experiments. Let me explain.

I’m referring to personal choices of 2020 as “experiments” because I tried something new, tried to navigate through it, didn’t like it, and ended up shutting it down. Then I tried again but the same process happened. It became a pattern which I then observed as a greater experiment. This took me straight to the end of December. As I sit here on January 3rd of 2021 looking back over the last year trying to analyze the sum of all of my actions I realize something I hadn’t before. I’m not ready for the roller coaster yet.

I was hooked on the exhilaration of the ride but not ready for the maintenance of the equipment. I tried everything I knew to keep it moving and keep it fun but I discovered that I have no idea how to keep it functioning properly. Eventually equipment needs deep servicing and that’s what I need as well. I can’t keep riding wild roller coasters without taking care of the deep inner workings of my heart and soul.

It’s been a week so far that I’ve been silent. Sitting for hours in silence listening to my inner workings. I’ve randomly watched documentaries and movies and just letting the messages seep into my mind. I know this sounds weird and all but this is honestly the way I process life. Our physical bodies are designed to filter out toxins and I believe our minds can as well.

I don’t have the answers today. I am not even trying to find them right now. I do know that I am not ready to ride any rides, go on any adventures or seek any type of sensory satisfaction. I am going to do some deep work on my inner self. I don’t know exactly what that means yet as I have no itinerary.

This post serves as a launch pad to document my progress over 2021. Last year it was to create a poetry space and I did. I know that I will achieve whatever I set my mind to do. This year I am silencing the outside chatter, putting away the credit cards, not making any resolutions, and walking through the amusement park with a tool box in my hand.

I want the thrill of the ride, believe me I do, but I don’t want to find myself on a ride that is broken while I am in the middle of enjoying it. I don’t know how long it will take. I don’t know what I will find. I don’t know if I am able to fix what might be broken. Maybe nothing is broken and maintenance is all I need.

This year I will be requiring tickets to access the park. Admission is not free and there are requirements to get in and for each ride. For some, it will be simply to walk with me, for others it will be to do some work, and yet for some or one it will be to ride the rides with me when they are ready. I learned that not everyone is entitled nor should everyone have access to this amusement park.

I look forward to whatever will be in 2021.

Tickets please.

Featured

Heart Space Facts

How to navigate this space without being distracted is proving to be quite difficult. What space you might ask. Well, the space between my thoughts and my feelings. There it is. The place I love to dwell, the place I wish to converse with others, the place where mysteries are solved, theories are debated, and psychology is snack food.

I’m not the first to be here and certainly not the first to contemplate the gap, however, I am here and fighting. I want to be smart and make sound decisions, ones that will protect my best interests and keep me on the right path. Here we go- what path? to where?

Yet, my heart speaks louder than my mind. It rallies in protest and weeps in defeat all while desiring to rise in revolution. Lenny had it right when he said “Let Love Rule” and I sure wish I could. Love is dangerous though. Love is costly and wildly risky. I love yet do so in silence even though I recently wrote and spoke about loving openly and freely-I think I meant that in a broad sense.

Loving intimately is contrasty different. It requires allowing vulnerabilities to surface and weaknesses to be revealed. Loving intimately requires trust and that is something I have none of. How is trust born? How does it come into a relationship? I cannot for the life of me fathom such a thing. I fear I may never trust anyone, no one, not ever, never.

So what then is this love that I am trying to speak of? Who am I endeavoring to be intimately in love with yet at a distance? Can I say I love you yet stand far enough away to not get hurt? That’s what I want. That’s what I’m doing. Yeah, that’s me right now.

God for one is someone I love but feel the need to be a safe distance from. I have a hard time confessing this affection with my heart, yet, my head knows of the fact. So, is it still love? Oh the way this space between my head and heart confuses and stifles my growth. Here’s another thought- what if I choose to embrace intimate love and get hurt, will it forever scar me and prevent me from loving again? Is there any way to be safe in love?

I know He says he will never leave me nor forsake me and though my head knows this as fact, my heart felt broken and abandoned when my life came crashing down. Why do I cling to this? Am I trying to give Satan his due by allowing myself to hold this fear like a treasure? It sure seems that way.

Jump to loving a person. Do I feel the same fear with people? Well, in a sense, yes I do. I feel like love has its own mind and wants to express itself without my permission. I have been holding back “I love You’s” for some time. Once many months ago and now once again. It’s hella scary to admit you have loving feelings for someone. So, like with God, I just accept it as a fact in my mind and keep it behind my teeth unspoken.

It is what it is and until I can navigate this path, I will just leave this here as a declaration of love in its existence. That’s it. Like a matter of fact. End of story.

Eve of the Inauguration

For the last four years I did not listen to one word the President of the Unites States said.  I did not respect him nor care about any of his opinions.  He is repulsive to me and I cannot stand to look at him nor even say his name. 

On the eve of the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris, I have some thoughts; a bit of my personal history.

As I became old enough to vote, my parents lacked the wisdom to explain politics to me.  The only advice I received from them was “go in the booth and pull the Democrat lever” which I did for several years.  I had no idea what I was doing except obeying my parents. (For the record, I never could comprehend American history in school.  It bored me and was overwhelming to learn.  I was a math and science kid.)

At age 25 I joined a Baptist church and began to learn of things I had never considered. Some of what I learned was a bit contrary to my deep personal beliefs but I was an obedient student of the faith and followed along. As you guessed, I changed my voting preferences to selecting all of the Republican candidates without much consideration. I did that mindlessly for 20 years. (Yes, I am ashamed of that.)

Five years ago I selected the Unaffiliated box on the voter registration in the new city in which I live.  I began deconstructing of everything I had ever believed. I stripped all of my childhood learning and my Christian learning down to bare bones and then I listened to what the politicians had to say.  I observed their actions.  I voted my conscience which was sometimes Republican, sometimes Democrat, but never all one lever.

I am not politically minded whatsoever.  I don’t follow it much.  But I know when somethings speaks to me and I know how to research things when I really need to know.  

Our country is and always has been a mess- don’t give me your facts- I have a strong opinion on this. I’ve learned so much over the last five years about the role politics and government has played in the oppression of black and indigenous people of color that I am sick over it.  My heart is BROKEN and devastated that I believed lies told to me by others- all of my life.  I cannot identify with a political party nor with a label of religion anymore.  No one can define my heart with a label.

I voted for Biden/Harris and I did so because I believe they will bring change to the United States. If not real change, then HOPE of change, as many have already begun to rise up and stand for what is right in the name of equality.  If we are truly “one people” then there should be no white supremacy.  All people should be treated the same no matter what their skin color. This is sadly not the case in America. 

Are they perfect for the job? No.  Is anyone? No. Have they said and done things in the past that would indicate they’re falling short of perfection? Of course they have- and so have I and so have you.  But I know for sure that I do not want my actions today to be judged by my past.  

I am not politically minded, I am people minded.  I stand for the people- all the people to be treated the same.  It is terribly sad that there are people in our country asking not to be shot the same way the whites are not shot.  That’s not right.  It’s horrible and yet it is a reality here in a country that identifies itself as “united”- a gross misrepresentation to say the least.

I’m not looking back to shame myself.  I am looking back only to grow from where I’ve been and become the change I want to see.  Standing in solidarity with all people of all colors.

God Bless America- we need it.

The Price of Beauty

Art by Ariel Cruz / Poem by Lori Minutoli

Lipstick smears across her cheek

Her tiny fingers can’t hold steady

Still she paints the required mask 

Bold eyes make men and women look

Plump red lips brings them closer

Smooth cheeks makes them touch 

Everywhere this is the message

From toddlers to teenagers

Models to mothers they all want this

Perfecting the mask becomes her life’s work

Hiding herself in an image of perfection

Deceiving her identity 

Criminalizing her authenticity

This violation of her born characteristics

Not a choice of her own doing

But a deception of her mind 

Society corrupted her mind

If Daddy had only validated her worth

If Mommy had taught her she was worthy

If boys weren’t programmed to lust

And girls not encouraged to tease 

She would be walking unmasked in her truth

Her smile would defy popular opinions

Her energy would attract sincerity

Her need for acceptance wouldn’t be

Her tiny fingers only wanted to play 

Mud pies and butterflies in Daddy’s eyes

Finger paints and silly string with Mom’s applause

Hugs and kisses just for  being present

But Daddy was gone long times in a row

So Mommy kept lipstick in her purse

The waiter, the trainer, the doctor too

Mommy’s mask made her happy 

Tiny minds just want to play

And see things a different way

Mommy was always happiest

When Daddy was  gone away

©️Lori Minutoli 2020

Condemned

Art by Richard Goulis / Poem by Lori Minutoli

Chosen to be Condemned

Planted as seeds of desire

His curious mind entwined

In the idea of complexity

Wrapped in natural tendencies

Reaching for independence 

Striving to be free

They just wanted to be free

To grow naturally in their own beauty

But he weaved their limbs 

Together they grew

Endured every storm

Summer drought

Winter freeze

Embracing change

As they grew stronger

Images of love formed 

Hearts within hearts

His love for this art 

His design now complete

Cut off their life

Severed their feet

Forever entwined

Preserved for all time

Condemned 

Though life has ceased

Love remains

©️Lori Minutoli 2020

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Always Matter!

What is going on in the world hurts my heart. I feel surrounded by people who do not care about the imminent danger to BIPoC everyday. I try to imagine what it is like to constantly be in fear for your life simply because of the color of your skin. I try but I cannot fully imagine. I listen to the heart cries of my friends when they express their frustrations with systemic racism, hateful humans, whiteness, white supremacy, white fragility, white everything.

I read books to understand. I listen to feel the pain while they mourn. I cry. I am creating a place for me to share my thoughts and feeling about this because there is no safe space in my world to discuss the importance of Black Lives Mattering. There is too much hate around me. I am outnumbered by white people who are racists.

As I write my thoughts as an introduction to my new website, I feel safe. I feel like my words have a home. To my Black and Indigenous People of Color friends and neighbors- I LOVE YOU.

I Feel You

A poem about water.

I am energy

moving

a constant force of nature

alive

a vapor in the morning air

a mist upon the cedars

refreshment when you need it most

but when upon your skin I slide

warming from your body’s touch

I see the shimmer in your eye

pressed upon your wanting lips

a rush flows inside

chill

it’s a vibe

Lori Minutoli 09/01/2020

Just Passing Through

Art by Shawn Christopher Martin /

Poem by Lori Minutoli

Do they know the terror  in the streets

Do they feel the agony in the cries

Or hear the last words of those who die

What of the gun shots or sirens

Flashing lights and toxic smoke

Do they even know at all

We stop to notice 

The colors of their wings

The gentle ways they pass us by

We photograph their elegance

Adorned with detailed lines

Fragile complex beauty passing by

Where are they going

What do they see

A flower or a tree

I wonder if they see me

I want to follow their lead

And wander to and fro

Take me to the green fields

Where wildflowers grow

©️Lori Minutoli 9/1/2020

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