Sistah Summerfest 2003
                June 6-8, 2003
An Event for Womyn of all Ages,
                               Lifestyles and Persuasions



Commentary FemmeNoir Events Contact Coffee Klatch The Village

Pat Parker
Twenty Years . . .
The Women Gather
Since I Do Not Dare
An Ideal Partner
The Greatest of These
In The Spirit
You Were Loved
You Are Not Alone
Choose Your Label
Peace On Earth
This Life I Live
Eros, Pathos
Choice of Weapons
On My Own











The artwork above was done by a very beautiful woman (you really are).  Thank you.  The first poem was written by an unknown author, the second quote is from Maya Angelou.


What I Have Learned

I have learned this past year that what someone says or believes in life will not necessarily be what they believe in death.  I’ve learned they will do whatever it takes to get through to you to right the wrongs.

I have learned this past year, that what appeared to be Christine’s fear of death or dying was actually not that at all.  Dying was of no concern to her, what she feared most was losing a newly realized love.  I was angry with her for not providing me with what I needed from her all these years – her talking to me.  But, for Christine, granting me this final wish meant accepting she would lose someone she finally realized actually loved her.  She wanted to live for me.

I realized, and have since been told, that by watching someone I love die, particularly when miraculous events take place to ensure my attendance, I worked off some karma.  As I watched her eyes knowingly find me and lock onto my face, my spirit blocked logic and walked my lover home.  In doing this, the universe simultaneously revealed the importance of living and life.  Within my soul, a great work took place and cautions me always to check myself to see how much living I’m really living.  There has been no greater mind trip in my life as this one.

I’ve learned this past year that anger does have its purpose.  If you make a conscious choice to look at it, through it, you’ll come face to face with the source of your unhappiness.  Sometimes the volcanic eruption will cause you to eliminate every ugly thing you don’t need in order to get to the source and subsequently find your unhappiness.  At that point, you’re better able to see what’s really going on and make changes with the realization that life truly is too short to be unhappy.

I’ve finally learned these past few months what Christine tried to tell me right up to the eve of her death as she struggled to get the words out – it doesn’t matter what you do or how much you give, you still will not have done enough and people will still find fault with you.  You will never be able to trade in, with full measure, what you give with that which is expected.  You can give all day long, but as long as the receiver of the gift considers your gift worthless, by their measurement, you will have effectively given nothing.  In essence, it will be like throwing precious pearls before swine.  After trampling over your precious gift given in love, they will move to your heart, even your soul, and will feel very self righteous for having done so.  They will not see your tears, they will not hear your protests, they will not hear your cries in pain, and they will deny you basic human dignity. 

I’ve learned while being beat up, brought down, and torn asunder that growth is necessary, we’re always learning, and sometimes there will be growing pains.  There are no right and wrong decisions, only lessons.  Taking stock of self is just as important as nurturing the soul and love is always a beautiful thing, particularly when allowed to feed the soul. 

I’ve learned my greatest wish now is to fill my cup with love not from the loin, but from the soul.  The wine is fuller, bolder and well for the soul.

I’ve learned beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder and I wish to behold the beauty that pours from within the soul and heart.  Outer beauty withers, but the beauty of love from the heart is most beautiful indeed and lasting.

I’ve learned this past year that someone can profess love for you but love you not.  Their only desire is for you to become their private possession and for you to provide them with enough fodder for their sole entertainment.  There is no freedom in this type of love, only bondage.  This is not love. 

I’ve learned that lovemaking for me will always be in tantra, where all boundaries dissolve and we become one with each other and all of existence.  A couple should only involve themselves with each other in the moment, dissolving their egos in complete union with the divine energy each holds within.  Today is all we have, tomorrow isn’t promised, and we should never assume it so. 

I did learn, after making a phone call one day, that the voice on the other end was someone I loved 20 plus years ago.  Her fragrance still lingers and in spite of what we went through, my heart still leaps at the mere mention of her name and at the sound of her voice.  Love still seeks to bloom deep within this soul that has experienced much pain these past few years.  I thought the soil unfertile and too hard to receive the seed.

I learned what I experienced these past seven years was actually written in the stars and the lessons learned will guide me into the future.  It was all meant to be – it has been seven years exactly.  Things happen for a reason and while we’re going through it we will never have a clear understanding for why until we’ve gone through it.

In the past few weeks, I’ve learned when you talk with someone you know is dying, their words pierce your heart a little easier than someone who is flippantly talking without listening.  There is urgency in their words and you feel as if they’re packaging up a portion of their lives through words and delivering them to you as their inheritance.  I’ve really been hearing a friend of mine lately and fear I will lose her soon as well. 

I’ve learned this past year I can still listen to Sammy Johns Chevy Van, Gary Wright’s Dreamweaver, Terrence Trent D’arby’s Sign Your Name, and Train’s Drops of Jupiter, over and over again without ever tiring of them.  Like a picture she was laying there, moonlight dancing off her hair.  She woke up and took me by the hand.  We made love in my Chevy van and that’s alright with me.

What I Learned From My Uncle In June 2001

My uncle, honestly, had gay literature in his storage facility in San Francisco and a rainbow bag.  Did he know what it was?  When he went into the back room at my mother’s house to see the things we retrieved from his storage, I watched him as he looked at the rainbow bag and then backed his wheelchair out of the room while saying he didn’t know what that stuff was and claiming it was not his.  Back at the convalescent home, however, and after my mother left the room my uncle looked up at me and said “you understand me don’t you?”  At first and without thought I said yes, but he shook his head hard and said “No! You understand me don’t you?”  After a little thought and quickly remembering a dream that revealed what I thought was his secret life, I replied “yes, I do understand you.”  He seemed quite content with my response that time and we retuned to joking when my mother returned to his room.  Was his Gaydar up?  Did he know about me?  My mother says no, she never told him.  I think he knew.

What I Learned From Christine In May 2002

Christine, on the other hand, was very out and open with her life.  If anyone had a problem with how she led her life her response was “they’ll get over it sweetheart, please.”  Christine had all kinds of gay men and women pouring in or out of her house – could that have shocked the neighbors any more?  No, because she was the most respected individual on her block and in her neighborhood.  This same woman could carry on a telephone conversation with me; walk out of her house with a flashlight, pen and paper in hand; walk over to a suspicious parked car with an equally suspicious man sitting behind the wheel; and write down the license plate number and type of car without missing a beat.  If you didn’t belong in her neighborhood and you looked suspicious, you got to meet Christine Tripp, whether you wanted to or not.  Don’t have a loud party in her neighborhood after 10:00 p.m.   If you did, you would see her again, standing in the street when the police arrived with helicopter flying overhead so you’ll know exactly who called the police and why.  What was the worse you could do to her?  Kill her?  That would be like handing her a gift on a silver platter because Christine always knew a bullet spiraled around in her body.  That bullet was cancer and she knew one day, it would get her, but she never let it take away her quality of life.  For Christine, the people who could form their lips to judge her because she was a lesbian, could not change the second hand on her life clock and give her one more day, so why live for them.  If anyone had the balls to walk up to her bedroom, well, you were going to see bear naked women everywhere.   She was not taking them down for anyone.  There was no hiding anything anywhere with Christine and I admired that about her. 

What I Learned From Theresa In April 2003

My friend Theresa lived most of her life in the closet.  She crossed one barrier and did choose to live with her partner, albeit telling everyone she was a cousin or good friend.  Like Christine, she was married to a gay man.  Unlike Christine, she had no children and she and her husband divorced; some years later he died of AIDS.  Very much like Christine, Theresa has always been a hard ass who could tell you off quickly with a few choice words.  Unlike Christine, she kept a lot of her life secret.  She has told me she found a mentor in Christine’s life and death and decided, after trying “a spot of chemo” that like Christine, she would choose quality of life over being sickly and trying to prolong her life.  Surgery was not an option for my friend because the cancer has spread to other parts of her body, including her liver.  Like Christine, she asked the doctor “what are my chances?”  The response from her doctor was not good.  “Chemo would just prolong my suffering” she told me.  Now, she’s outing herself to anyone who has ears to hear.  A few weeks ago, a friend said she sauntered through the house singing “I’m a dyke, I’m a dyke, I’m a [f’ing] dyke” and I ain’t going to go into what she said she wanted to eat. 

In Summary

My uncle died alone with one eye open as if to see if anyone was there to say goodbye.  There was no one.  Christine passed peacefully – no struggle, no hardship, no pain.  My friend Theresa wishes to die with the house filled with friends sitting near and far, music, and the voices of women around her.  She wants to see me and I wish I could be there, but I’ll have to see what God has planned for me now. 

Three different people, three different lives and for some reason it was meant for me to experience their lives and their deaths.  If I could choose one of these to emulate, it would be Christine Tripp.  A fearless, righteous, no-nonsense sister – I miss her, but I know she’s still with me and I feel her presence every day.  Well, she was right and it is time for me to make some changes in my life and set some clear boundaries.  To my friend Theresa, “yeah darling, it’s my time now and thank you for giving me so much of yours.”   And to Christine, I finally got it.  I'm regurgitating now.  Harboring all of that mess will only make me very, very ill.

Train: "Drops Of Jupiter"

For Christine

Now that she's back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there's time to change, hey, hey, hey
Since the return of her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey, hey

Tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there

Now that she's back from that soul vacation
Tracing her way through the constellation, hey, hey
She checks out Mozart while she does tae-bo
Reminds me that there's room to grow, hey, hey, hey

Now that she's back in the atmosphere
I'm afraid that she might think of me as plain ol' Jane
Told a story about a man who was too afraid to fly so he never did land

Tell me did the wind sweep you off your feet
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back to the Milky Way
And tell me, did Venus blow your mind
Was it everything you wanted to find
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there

Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you – even when I know you're wrong
Can you imagine no first dance, freeze dried romance five-hour phone conversations
The best soy latte that you ever had . . . and me

But tell me did the wind sweep you off your feet
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back toward the Milky Way

And tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself

And did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And did you fall for a shooting star
Fall for a shooting star
And are you lonely looking for yourself out there


When The Body Says No
Interview with Dr. Gabor Maté

So people who don't know how to say no, people who are rigid and compulsive, perfectionistic, expecting themselves to be perfect in everything, people who don't know how to express their experience of anger in a healthy way, people who compulsively and automatically take care of others and don't think of their own needs, these people are physiologically stressed, whether they know it or not. So it's not that the person causes the disease. Stress is the thing that leads to disease or leads to conditions for it, but certain personalities are more prone to this stress.










































































"Drops Of Jupiter"

"Drops Of Jupiter Live Video"
Quicktime | RAM