In Vain

Help me understand this-
I’m calling on you,
Yes, again—I’m calling on you

Speak to me, please

Quiet tears seep
And I just need your anything

Are you listening?
Can’t you see my cries?
Can’t you see that calling out for you has become my demise?

But I will keep on,
Cause its all I know to do

And my tears will seep on because of no response from you

Does it break your heart to watch me plead?
Does it break your heart to withhold from me?

Or are you just not there,
So why should I care?

I’ve been wired to believe
You’re just a bit out of my reach

And I hang on just enough
To know not to call your bluff

When I see someone claim
That you’re holding them

I can’t help but call on you completely in vain
Then I sit and I wait

I sit and I wait
Eager like a child listening for magic to arrive

And I have been a good girl
So why do you hide
Can’t you see that calling out for you has become my demise

These people say you speak to them, its got to be a delusion
Either that or a chosen confusion

Cause even when I was truest of trues
Peace came at the moment that I would choose

I loved having something to call on
Even better was someone to fall on

But reality is, it was in my head
Nothing concrete but a neurotransmitters release

It did what I needed
Filled up the gaps of my synapses and also of my pleading

My brain won’t allow cognitive dissonance anymore
So today I sit here on the floor

Asking again, which way do I go to get closer to you?
Nowhere,
because I am speaking to the air?

With Every tear
Every prayer
It becomes clear
Either you’re withholding from me
or
You’re
Just
Not
There

By Stacy Johnson 8/3/19

When I was a Christian

My transparency 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
+When I was a Christian, I looked at others with a sadness. I believed that if they just had the knowledge that *I* had, they’d be okay.
+When I was a Christian, I thought of myself as a savior. If they could just hear me, speaking for God, they could have a relationship that changed them. 
+When I was a Christian, I truly pitied anyone who didn’t think like me. I was in full belief that my ideals (or my tribes’ ideals) were the only righteous ones.
+When I was a Christian, I operated from a place of unintentional arrogance. It was normal for me to run into someone and immediately ponder in my mind, “Bless them, they’ve had it rough, is there a sin they are committing, leading them into these troubles?”
+When I was a Christian, I met people with a silent judgement, but fake understanding. While I outwardly displayed the fruits of the Spirit, inwardly, I was pridefully attempting to encourage others to be like *me, therefore more like god. 
+When I was a Christian, I loved making sure others knew where I stood. I approached conversations with locked beliefs, unwilling to meet someone else where they were, but with the full hope of swaying them to agree with *me*
+When I was a Christian, all I needed was my echo chamber. So long as I had my believing friends and pulpit pals echoing back to me what I understood about god, then I’d never actually need to hear anyone else out.
+When I was a Christian I prided myself in speaking “truth” to everyone, even if I could sense they were uncomfortable. My brain was actually driven by this tension, to hurl my knowledge louder because these were the folks most in need of my knowledge, I could lead to the saving they didn’t know they needed.
+When I was a Christian, I made a spectacle out of my childrens’ obedience/disobedience to me and God. I praised their attempts at witnessing EVEN THOUGH I was encouraging their false ego, even though I was inherently teaching an us/them worldview.
+When I was a Christian, I doted on my kids as they *led others to Christ, and I began to cultivate in them, the same echo chamber friend system I had partaken in.
+When I was a Christian, my goal was that my children would stand apart for the Lord. No, not they they would see the face of God in others, but mainly that they would see God in their own reflection and their peers in Sunday School.
+When I was a Christian, I felt an arrogant sorrow for those kids who weren’t in Sunday school, oh how different their futures could be, if they had a mother like me…
+When I was a Christian, I could not love people exactly as they were. I always had small internal hopes for the ways *I could rub off on them.
+When I was a Christian, I operated with an ego so large, that I mourned the souls of those not like me, therefore not like God. I literally was a Pharisee by default.
+When I was a Christian, I got high on church, I got high on Jesus, dopamine levels through the roof with 4 part harmonies or repeated chords.

But now, now that I am not a Christian, I’ve loved from the pits of my own despair.
Now that I am not a Christian, I’ve loved with the kind of love that changes ME, literally reshaping my marrow.
Now that I am not a Christian, those whom I love might change—— but not because of my swaying, not because of *my example, but because they are safe and FREEEEEEEE to be unconditionally themselves in my presence. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I look in the eyes of the humans around me and believe in my whole heart that they, *we* are perfectly perfect and not in need of saving, unless it’s the saving that time spent inside the metaphorical grave gives us. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I understand that there’s a glorious darkness inside that grave. And that this is not something you can prompt, that it’s not something an echo chamber can provide. That it is not something you can indoctrinate into your children. It isn’t in a church and it’s only alluded to through metaphor in scripture. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I recognize the quiet of the wilderness, the silence of the mountainside, the belly of the whale—— that is where the holy sacred work gets done, not the pulpit. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I run into hurting people and I sit with them in my own hurt, I am no longer mentally slightly above them.
Now that I am not a Christian, I recognize that in order to eliminate our ego, in order to operate in humility, we must let go of everything we were taught and re-learn what and who we actually are. 
Now that I am not a Christian, people pity *my children, they’ve been proselytized and told that hell awaits them by their churchgoing witnessing peers— They reply, “oh you mean, Gehenna- no way, they turned that into a garden a LOOONG time ago, wanna see pictures, it’s worth a google” and they walk on.
Now that I am not a Christian, I find myself explaining to my children in full compassion the way indoctrination works and how their peers are truly fearful for their souls, that it’s not a burn (play on words😜)
Now that I am not a Christian, I have daughters who come to me tearfully, longing to be friends with ANYONE without an agenda, anyone who can fully love them as they are, without the line drawn.
Now that I am not a Christian, the tables have turned, and I am not in the Cliques, I am not wise-council, I am not even invited to the table without an agenda. I know the hurt of being “just another neighbor, unworthy of hearing.”
But now that I am not a Christian, there is no limit to my neighbor. There is no limit to what *I* can learn from those that I once set out to save. 
Now that I am not a Christian, *they* are saving me. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I sit on the outside of the gates of those who profess to follow Christ and yet, I am free to love like him more than I ever did———when I was a Christian…

Still Small Voice

If you’re real then where are you?

And if you’re real, then how could you?

Why do you abondon us, leave us in the hands of our mental warfare, it’s unjust of you and I don’t think I can trust you

I remember falling face down before you…all I wanted was to adore you, but you said yourself it wasn’t enough and now I don’t think I can trust you

I made myself open the blinds, unlocked the door then stepped outside and all I found was me

Yes, all I found was me

I broke the rocks, called upon the wind, fell to my knees from the earth quaking, I built a fire inside a cave, but you never spoke my name, I sat and listened anyway

Then in the silence I heard someone speak, it was a still small voice and the voice was me

This shit used to mean something  But Elijah it was your voice, baby

Fall to my knees scared to try to breathe. My own voice was foreign to me

If you’re real, where are you?

And if you’re real, how could you?

You leave us in these dark places  it’s chemical warfare behind the  Traces of lines on my many faces

And I don’t think I can trust you

Written by: Stacy Johnson 7-4-19, cycle day 9 Mother/maiden

Belly of the Whale

Put down the crosses you’re carrying

They weren’t ever yours to hold
Someone placed that thought in You if the truth be told

But

You are enough just being you
And when you’ve had enough
You can be someone new

Keep on pushing

Keep on losing

Any path that wasn’t your choosing

You need to exhale, need to befriend your doubt
Cause you can’t fill up what’s never been without

Sink down into your unbecoming
Float in the sea of the unknowing

Cause in the deep
The tomb does its work

And it’s there in the quiet
resurrection leads to a birth

Do you understand what I’m trying to say
Its a glorious darkness inside the grave

From the belly of the whale it’s a slow escape
but you can learn to enjoy the burn of a dimly lit flame
Only if you let a fire lead the way

Of those gone before you who lit up their torches
Of those who beat down the path so that you could now forge this

Follow their lead, come alongside me

Together we can come up for air, together we can learn to breathe

We’ll burn down the bridges, we’ll untie the strings

No puppet, no master, just a reckoning

In the belly of the whale, I set myself free What kind of savior throws his child out to sea? Only one who is setting up a false delivery

Don’t ask us to be what wasn’t meant to be
In the belly of the whale, I chose me

——————Nineveh can wait til I’m ready

Written by Stacy Johnson 6/29/19 (cycle day 5 crone)

You Feel Me? Rambling Prose, maybe Rhyme…IDK IDK

Steph—-you will be the only one who grasps each line

When we were little girls we used to sing about sipping cider, now we sip our coffee before the sun

We don’t talk about what’s to come, we talk about the past. Reminiscing on our lessons, on the things that we’ve done

We laugh and we have answers—-but then, we were little girls whose dreams were lost in the patriarchy

We ponder aloud, “Who could we have been? Where could we be?” Because no matter how hard we love, this shit is still bitter tasting

“Did I ever belong to me?” I ask. She says, “No, we never did and oh my God- I was so fucking stupid.”

Don’t say that. Don’t say that; It wasn’t our choice that the system degraded us to nothingness

The only goal then was marry someone and have some children…

On our own, we held no worth

But my beautiful sister, we know now—-we know, we know, we know

We know so deeply its reshaped our bones

You know its not just keeping tabs, its using what we have, to seal up the wounds in the gaps where it stabs

That, or bleed out, bleed out—- I think they’d  rather the latter than to simply sit down and ask, “What’s the matter?”

“Oh the places you’ll go and the places you’ll see,” I grew up on that shit but its forsaken me

False promises, Seuss. Don’t say that to little girls, it causes them to dream while their under the roof, or glass ceiling really

But——We are who we needed; We are who we needed. And, We have all we need, behind our eye-lids

We let Silence do it’s work and then for our kids—-we sit with it, no teaching-no preaching—just being

Can’t wake the dead with a kiss, maybe we can rouse them with our metaphorical fists

Cause I’m not ever going to stop blasting this shit, if I ever do might as well slit my wrists—-but only with a butter knife 

So as not to cut too deep, I’m not letting go of this world, I don’t need it- but it needs me

I’m rambling on at this point because my coffee is getting cold, and as the warmth leaves my cup, my ideas start to fold

So now its time for me to sit here and think, of all the things that mean nothing and are everything to me

Rambled and Written by: Stacy Johnson (Day 2 Crone, 6-26-19)

Your child is not a Christian

Recently while listening to Richard Dawkins’, “The God Delusion,” I had to pause and let some of his words wash over me—they were cleansing, if you will.

I won’t quote him directly, but here’s the jist:

**There can be indoctrinated children, and there can be children of Christian parents, but there are zero Christian children.**

Obviously, a few years ago I would have wanted to battle back and proclaim that MY children were believers and students of the Holy book. I would’ve scrambled to find the flaw in his statement—- but deep in my noggin, I would’ve been arguing, not with Dawkins, but with my own indoctrination.

As much as I would’ve wanted to believe my kids WERE Christian kids, the truth was—every belief they possessed came directly from me or the Bible stories I’d allowed them to learn. Sure they knew scripture, but how did they learn it? –Me, a curriculum I’d chosen, a class I’d taken them to… Sure they knew the prayers, but how did they know who to pray to and the format of recitation? Me! These weren’t things they would’ve ever approached on their own. They were simply babies who wanted to PLAY! But my kids were my echo chambers, they were simply regurgitating by beliefs right back out at me. It’s scary to think how deeply I had sculpted their entire world view and reality. Shits terrifying, man. Wheeeew. Breathe. Even scarier is the way some folks never realize what they are doing….

Fortunately for me now, as a deconstructed exvangelical, when I read Dawkins’ words, I was in complete and total agreement. It was actually freeing to hear someone else saying what I knew from my own childhood and in raising my kids.

Every single attempt at raising Godly kids is a form of indoctrination. From reciting scripture, creeds, and prayers at young ages, to attending weekly services, to routines of the home. Every time a parent intentionally places their belief system into the mind of their child, they are indoctrinating that child. Every time a child declares they are saved or that they’ve had a God experience, it is simply a replication of what they’ve witnessed from adults around them or is a fictitious response to hormones released in emotional situations. Again, a fabrication of that child’s reality set up by someone else.

Children are born religion free. Again, when a baby is born, their brain has zero knowledge of any religion. Yet, they are divine. They come to us with an awe-struck curiosity for the mystical experiences of nature. They are bright eyed and eager to explore, they worship in the form of wonder. Wouldn’t it be grand to approach guiding them, with that same joy of learning that they implore. When THEY ask about God, faith, sins, the devil, as parents we show excitement and present them with timelines of all the major world religions, allowing them to see for themselves the bigger picture. There is NO indoctrination in that method. And, there is no right answer, therefore no pressure to conform out of fear.

I remember the fear that being a Christian places within parents. The “their blood is on your hands,” approach to training up children. Hell, I pulled my kids from school so I COULD INDOCTRINATE them to think like me.

I remember feeling afraid when they “sinned.” I remember crying out to God that he would guard their hearts. I spent literal nights awake trying to envision a way to best teach them so they’d know God’s Love….

But now I see, if you look at your child as a fallen being to be saved, you’ve lost the chance at letting the magic of life teach them. Their own Life is their best teacher. You are cutting them off from their own flow when you’ve set the default state of being as a religious one. They have very little chance at growing beyond that default setting, and for many Christians that is their hope.

How sad. But that’s what you get when generation after generation sits in the church pew and never does the work of thinking. You get uneducated worldviews, partnered with indoctrinated beliefs, sculpted into little robotic beings, passing off their ideals as the ONLY right way, all the way into their adulthood, and this then repeats itself with their children. And it’s ALL misinformation, but they live from default because it’s safe and requires no conscious effort to learn new ways and new information.  It’s frankly, an irresponsible way to live.

For me and for my children, I did the work of reprogramming my default settings. They will not have to deconstruct, they will not have to “go astray” or “leave the fold.” Together, we are free to let Wonder, Curiosity, and Life be our teachers. Please join me in ending the brain-washing of our youth-they deserve better. They deserve to be the joyful explorers that they were literally born being. Let us, as adults, give our children the space they need to be here, free from your default settings.

Thanks for reading! XO

Dear Patriarchy

Dear Patriarchy,

I was placed into your grasp as a little girl. I ate the crumbs from your gnarled and mangled hands. I watched you work the system and create a breed of subservient little female beings. You chewed us up and spit us out and told us our purpose was to simply be present to help You. You needed our fertility, open our legs for your pleasure and your cum. Carry your babies so you don’t fade away into oblivion. We sit here now foaming at the mouth ready to rip your fucking throats out, and you tell us to smile, keep quiet, be a lady. Meanwhile, you’re lusting for the blossoms in the church pew, with your pious and godly wife sitting right there beside you. But she doesn’t know how to be the Slut you need. The Sacred Whore within, she’s never unleashed. You did that to her. You, Patriarchy! You told her to be good, but with everything you are, you like em bad. So so bad. You told us to be honest, but you’ve got your secrets. You snicker, and you smile, and you keep things under the table. Your army, your squad, your “good ol boys”—- they uphold you as the Man among men, and while your wife may be fooled cause she’s a product of her raising, just know-your daughter won’t bow down to ANY SYSTEM that’s degrading, she’s not just the winds of change-she’s a fucking tornado. She is tearing this shit down and you don’t know what to do. You hang on to your faith cause it ALWAYS WORKS FOR YOU. Cling to your traditions, the empire built by men for men, but your daughter yells, “No!” She’s watched and she’s listened to every command made on her mother and her sisters, she’s thirsty for the blood of every person whose ever said, “A woman’s place is in the kitchen.” She is harsh and bold and she is ready to hurt your feelings. She yells, “Fuck you and fuck your religion! You pieces of shit-stealing the minds of the innocent, and they can’t even think critically enough to harbor resentment.” Your daughters are coming for you, Patriarchy, are you shaking in your work boots? We are coming for you, right after we untie your shoes.

Written by: Stacy Johnson