Love, Church Camp, Punk-Barns and Heartbreak


I still miss PIX fest and listening to the Ghost Mice without feeling sick, and I still miss being welcome at Twin Rocks Friends Camp.

The summer of 2017, during the total solar eclipse, the diy folk punk band label I fell in love with and learned about anarchism through got exposed as lead by a chronic and unaccountable abuser. Not a surprise, but heartbreaking for the communities that came together under his lead. The same summer was the first in four years I didn’t get to counsel at the summer camp I learned about quakerism, and mysticm’s intimate ties with community living and horizontal organizing. They told me it was because I don’t hold the same literal interpretation of hell as they do. They also have a history of targeting queer counselors.

I miss throwing elbows with gay kids in a barn at PIX fest, feeling god mingling tensely in bloody noses and cigarette smoke. I miss listening to god’s voice hanging in the verdant salty air of the coastal camp I used to work at.

I wake up sad about it. I walk around sad about it. It feels so silly. My friends has gone through so, so much worse. Hell, I’ve gone through so much worse.

But there’s something about these two spaces that gave me a glimpse of the new world in the shell of the old.

A glimpse of the world I need. The world my friends need.

I fell in love with these spaces and the people I met there, and I carry that with me. And true love opens you up. Sometimes love is the sun and i’m a blooming flower. Sometimes love is a wrecking ball and I’m the demolition site.

I heard people talk about how love increases your capacity for hurt, but I don’t think I knew the way that those loves would haunt me. I didn’t know they would be with me in my waking breaths, or the salty winds, or bars that smell like piss and beer.

This love. It lives in the pit of my stomach and makes me cry. It makes me softer and more ready to care. To tend to my wounds and to tend to those of others. More ready to fight and sacrifice for the people and places and animals and plants that I love.

These little tastes of the new world. They showed me that there is something about them that is feasible, and so very worth fighting for.

I take these ghosts of PIX fest and Twin Rocks with me, and they help remind me to find god in queerness and quiet and garbage and rage and towering pines. In kiddie pools and the ocean. In cut-off shorts and sun burns. In intimacy and boundaries and sharing and taking care of my own needs. In my friends, in my lovers, in my enemies.

In this season of solstice and advent, we feel the pains of labor and of longing for the light.

May our broken hearts guide us to a new world in the shell of the old, to god’s glorious kindom.

May our broken hearts guide us to the new world, to god’s glorious kindom.


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