Friday, May 14, 2010

Let Peace and Justice Kiss: Ruminations on Criplove


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via (Crip)Love and Neutron Stars by Naphtali on 5/13/10

My good friend, Bethany and I use the word criplove quite often. I meditated upon this for the past couple of days, and I've realized that it's more than a charming neologism of our community/ies. It's an epistemology of and expression of a radical kind of love, desire, and resistance.

Foundational tangent: I was talking with my incredible friend, Amariah over at Radical Politics, Radical Love about what it means to be perceived as weak, especially in relation to the risk of exposure and vulnerability when we express our love for another. Weakness. What's it mean? What're its connotations?

1. the state or quality of being weak 2. a deficiency or failing, as in a person's character.

failing imperfection imperfectness insufficiency inadequacy a lack of competence fatigue flaw helplessness impuissance impotence impotency powerlessness

I still feel the sting of shame that I get when I'm so sick that I'm too weak to bathe and feed myself. I cry and scream as a result, even though I know that the shame is a process and product of internalized ableism. There are those of us who are oppressed and marginalized--who have to fight to exist—the queer of color disabled (im)migrant chronically ill poor trans gender nonconforming nonchristian neurodiverse fat poz deaf intersex multiracial twospirit transabled femme butch womyn man—who have to struggle to form our own language to articulate our own experiences. How can we develop a linguistic cultural armor that helps us from ingesting the poisons of self-doubt and self-hate? How can we resist the compulsions to be "on" all the time, to fight, scream, and work—especially when we have to deny our own physical, mental, and emotional limitations do to so. In the end, we pay the price: not only do we realize that we've been screaming into the void this entire time, but now we're weary and tired and disappointed and jaded.

I think that we need to revolutionize our understandings and experiences of weakness (in all its forms) as something beautiful and necessary. A softened, quiet strength that lets us relinquish control so that we let our friends, comrades, and lovers have the space to nurture and carry us when we're too weary to do it for ourselves. It warrants the recognition that our work is hard, and that we refuse to be slaves and robots to it. We need to do that for one another. Our path towards justice must have moments of serenity in it—moments where we scrub off our war paint and look at each other with no pretenses or illusions Moments where we touch each other, feel each other, skin to skin.


1. the state of being present and honest about or needs, wants, and desires; that simply be-ing is enough. 2. the recognition of our own power and limitations as embodied, living, loving healer-warriors.

beauty mutuality courage relinquishment survival solidarity community beautifulimperfection honesty.

That's criplove.

It's a love of becauses and not even thoughs:

I love you because of your intensity, your rage, your passions.

I love you because of your meekness, your timidity, your quietness.

I love you because of your scars, both physical and emotional.

I love you because of your dreams and your nightmares—your hopes and your fears.

I love you because you feel so strongly in a world that tells you not to feel at all.

Others call it depression. I call it empathy.

I love you because of your crooked hobble, your twitching, tremoring hands, your slurred speech.

I love you because you let me love you.

I'm here to tell you that I don't need to fix you, because you're not broken.

I'm here to tell you that I don't need to make you whole, because you were never half.

Let me take care of you when you need me to.

And help me learn that it's okay for you to take care of me when I need you to.

We seal the rifts of the world when we cradle each other in our arms.

"Let Peace and Justice kiss" – Mother Tongues


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