You recognize their costumes. They are “woke,” wide-eyed activists who attended every march this year. They are white men, sometimes with long hair. They definitely talk about vulnerability. They have auto-prepared life stories that feel slightly scripted but are so deep, so intense, you can’t help but tear up. They are super sensitive; they practice setting boundaries; they ask permission before doing anything. They talk about their anti-racism work. They’re probably ethnically non-monogamous or open to that. Maybe they identify as queer or use they/them pronouns. Maybe they’re sexually fluid. …


Side note: Welcome to my mind. It wanders. This was written during the Super Bowl. I went from family to football to racism in football to coaches to female celebrities to objectification to communication strategies to somehow, maybe (?) tying it all together. But, I did this essay today! Mission accomplished. Day 2 done. Enjoy the crazy musings of my mind AND some great articles about the history of football. Also, because football, in English, is about FEET, and it makes me laugh to hear Spanish speakers say “Fútbol Americano” because yes, fútbol, or soccer, is the real foot sport…


Woman. Women. Womxn. Transwomen. Females. Femmes. Mothers of all definitions. Grandmothers. Sisters. We are special.

In this lifetime, my path has been to be a white, cisgender*, heterocurious* woman and the last two years, especially, have been a time for me to reconnect with what it means, for me to be woman, and who are some of the women who have been there for me in this journey. Today is the second day of my cycle (sometimes I call it my moon) and I want to begin this Creative Challenge: 30 Learnings for my 30th Year with this essay because…


I hold the cup in both hands, my palms lined with little passageways of sweat, of nervousness, of desert warmth and poor circulation. I look at the woman who sits across from me. I don’t remember where she came from, or how we came to be sitting here, but here we are. And somehow, though I don’t know these things, I know she is of me, of course, and so I know her completely. Yet still, she remains a stranger. How can someone belong to me, and be utterly unknown at the same time? …


Why do I feel constriction in my chest when I think about staying? I think I feel it because it feels hard, hard to commit to a place, to actually plant down my roots, to be ok without a hundred options fluttering around, those freedom birds floating on the breeze of possibilities.

It is hard to plant myself, to be both the gardener and the tree, the shovel and the sapling, the hole and the roots.

Part of me wants to stay put. I know, rationally, it makes sense. Studies have shown that community is one of the most important parts of growing deeper into yourself. When I always fly off toward the horizon, I’m chasing beauty, that joy etched in my faraway imagination…


It starts with a black dress. Tight, and yet comfortable, though it doesn’t have pockets. Add some jewelry because bright yellow or orange or turquoise makes me feel more of this earth, and these colors all have stories and histories. Cozy shoes, woven from the women who live in Otavalo, Ecuador, and purchased long enough ago that they have formed to my feet in a perfect hug. A new purse, yellow and red, bought along one of the market streets in Oaxaca City. A little mascara, a little concealer on these pesky chin pimples that love to flare up during…


When was the last time you made something happen with your mind? As a child of the Harry Potter generation, I came upon magic early. Even before I was 11, curled up at our stone fireplace of Normandy Pl., Evanston, IL, reading that first chapter book, waiting for an owl envelope that may still come. When I first could write, I began with tales of witchcraft, magic, and young girls who just knew there was something out there they couldn’t see.

Nowadays, I tend to call this magical sensation intuition. I don’t believe in coincidences. Ever. Different cultures and practices…


The Full Moon is for letting things go. The New Moon is for asking things to come. Twice a month, we are offered the perfect moment to pause, to look skyward and inward and reflect on where we are, and where we want to go.

I have celebrated the full moon, and now new moon, in various iterations. Two days ago, a group of friends old and new gathered at my new home in downtown Tucson. …


It’s not very often you see a father-daughter Navajo hip-hop duo performing at a social justice festival. When you are so lucky to witness an event, you have to pause, to take note. Renisha Clara, a young girl in the tug of adolescence with black-framed glasses and the confidence of preteens, spoke first, asking the audience, “Are you ready for some hip hop?!” Her hands flew up to the sky, mimicking the fluid flow of her father, Synapse, standing behind her. They had practiced the art of rallying up the crowd. Prepare yourselves, they invited us. Today you’ll bear witness…


It starts with a black dress. Tight, and yet comfortable, though it doesn’t have pockets. Add some jewelry because bright yellow or orange or turquoise makes me feel more of this earth, and these colors all have stories and histories. Cozy shoes, woven from the women who live in Otavalo, Ecuador, and purchased long enough ago that they have formed to my feet in a perfect hug. A new purse, yellow and red, bought along one of the market streets in Oaxaca City. A little mascara, a little concealer on these pesky chin pimples that love to flare up during…

Kristen Sawyer

Writing to remember and to understand.

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