Gutter of the Soul; Ma take this badge offa me….

I am having one of those moments

one only dreams of having.

The ones where you don’t know

whether to laugh, throw up or cry.

I am at the Saloon of Saloons in my

home town of Fairfax. I am listening

to Knock Knock Knocking at

Heaven’s Door —-

Ma, take this

badge offa me. I concur.

The woman electric guitarist

is barefoot singing her heart out

and singing mine in.

There is an abalone shell

with nag champa burning

and I am the only one not

with a cigargette though if I was

brave enough I would light one

myself.  Does anyone have a light?

I have a life saving IPA to rescue

me from this moment

of personal intimacy

where I am so close to my own

self I had to come here just

make sure

I didn’t melt into the one

self of selves. Hot. Dangerous territory.

Just a minute ago

when I ordered my cerveza

the woman in the short short

red dress with the huge

black heals and the legs of

made of forever

with the cage

in her hands

stops at the bar.

That is when the bulldog

sniffs the cage. That is when

she takes the tiny white bunny

the size of a baseball and holds

it in her palm for all of us to see.

The bull dog, is just a nose

away from a bunny croissant

and I wonder if anyone but

me is nervous. The moment

in all its isolating poignancy

grips me right inside the heart

until my hand flies to my heart

in… wonder? Terror? Curiousity

at life and its gritty interior.

I gasp in relief when

bambi bunny goes back into its cage.

Moments before I steal a kiss

on the cheek

from the cutest bartender

with the juicy lips

I cannot help myself.

He is a bar over

and I wonder if

I will ever truly love again. Sigh.

I wonder. I love. But I aint talking

about love, but about truly loving.

The ouchy kind. The wake up smiling kind.

The kind that makes a cup of tea


like ecstasy. That kind. Will I have it?

I sit down hard in the turquoise

faux leather booth to cheers of hello

from almost met friends

and feel gratitude for the

absolute grace and grit

of this moment. A sense of rightness

fills me and I land after a day of

flying in skies too good too be true.

Today completes a dream

come true day for me in my work

and while I won’t go into in detail

about the river with rose petals

or the chanting or the prayers

or the healing stories….

with the women who will heal the world

I know it in the soles of my feet.

In the gutter of my soul, I know.

The Cosmic Cowgirls.

I won’t tell you know about the tears

because I cannot speak a word about

the sacred, instead I have gathered

myself safely into the profane

for safe keeping.

I cannot tell you about the splendor of it,

since there is no language yet

I had to come and ground

here in the gutter of the soul,

the saloon closest to my front door

with the games in the background

on the television.

Did I mention that the girl

in the red dress has a San Francisco

Giants tattoo between her wings?

This is when I fall in love with her.

And also know, that the white bunny

is not in safe territory. The paradox.

With my computer journal

at my fingertips I know

this moment won’t be lost

in the magnitude of its emotion.

Instead. I have captured it.

This time. Gotcha!

This place. This reality.

This moment. This smell.

This strange home.

Fairfax. Where I have come since

I was just a baby.

I have come

to listen. To heal. To ground.

To love. To wonder.

I have spent the weekend

with close to 20 of the most

amazing women in the world

and seen more hope hatched

than I imagined even existed

and I feel like I am coming down

off the greatest drug of all.

Love after love.

Right now, the woman in the purple dress

with green lace is singing, one booth over,

shamelessly, with the band.

I take off the mantle of


and join the chorus

and I am at home.

Lonely. Complete. Incomplete. Curious.

Surrounded by love.

and at home.

Utterly. At home.

As I finish these closing lines

the band belts out

Forever Young

as if their life depends on  it.

Mine does. But not because of the words.

But because of their intention

and because they truly care

that we enjoy their last song.

Thank you.

Shiloh Sophia

The Red Thread Cafe