The "Love Letter for Fans" ediccione, if you will. (As it were.)
Thursday, June 15, 2016
It has been many months (I think?) since I've written this here thang.
First I want to thank and dedicate it to Maurice Baynard, who, when I see you every few years in Philadelphia :) are always abundant with your praise of my writing and my artistry. From the bottom of mine heartal unit, Maurice, I thank you, for in the depths of depression and other life-bummed-titudes, these are the words and memories which redeem and renew.
Thanks to my comrades of the heart, my many supporters, including Dorothea DG., S. C. Thomas, Jon and Alexis of Bindlestiff Books, my peers and professional supports at Community Council's Recovery Paths program, my romantic partners, my friends, and certain members of my family of origin.
This letter is called "Love Letter for Fans" because the only way I'm going to actually get it done (finally, after wanting to for sooooo long) is to just think of it that way.
When I think of how I "should" write a Me Me Me, and I "should" write a BWAF Philly Newsletter, and I "should" write a "renaissance negresse museletter/catalog", I become soooo overwhelmed and nothing gets done.
Every museletter or museletter I do has a "format". I gotta list the topics. I gotta include the contact info at the end. When my life is super overwhelming, well, clearly it's just not getting done.
But my spiritual guidance led me to do it NOW. NOW. NOW.
I don't need a format.
I just need to connect with YOU!
Not only do I miss connecting with you, my dear readers and listeners, but I can feel and sense that you miss connecting with ME. And by that, I don't just mean those of you who occasionally wonder, "How is she? How has Cassendre been doing? Is she still recording? Did she move like she wanted to before? Is she performing shows? Will there another Festival this year or soon?"
I don't think just being curious about me is what may sometimes be happening, but a universal/collective connection we share when I write and hit send. You know the feeling.
We are all connected to one another. This is why when a tragedy happens, even if it's clear across town, or the country, or even the globe - as soon as we're informed about it - we feel terrible. And our neighbors feel terrible. Same goes for good news.
So I'm writing to connect us together again, in hope, inspiration, and community, as are and for a very long time have been, my jams, if you will. (As it were!)
I am still living in Philadelphia. In early May I moved back from out of town where I was living with relatives.
I have Bipolar 2 (BPD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), which were both diagnosed in the early 90s, and which I had not consistently monitored nor managed.
Part of my mission now involves speaking about mental illness and what can happen if you don't manage it. In my case, it created many years of financial instability which led to "softcore" homelessness, meaning I stayed with relatives and lovers, until that could no longer continue and it was time for me to fix the problem once and for all.
In June 2015 I entered a women's homeless shelter and I am still there. One of the reasons I'm writing this is that I am fighting a wrongful 30 day discharge order from certain staff members there, and I am requesting that you send light on my efforts of thwarting theirs.
Fortunately, I am surrounded by people who are not willing to act as my advocates in this. The consensus is that the renaissance negresse will NOT be sleeping on the El again. I will keep you posted on that.
What I'm fighting is staff members using lies, threats, and intimidation tactics to sabotage and deny my efforts at obtaining affordable housing. It's really involved and overwhelming and one of the reasons I have no written this museletter in a while.
I'm very happy to be selling my music again. It was years that I was learning the new and changing music industry, and I think I'm getting it now. Most of my music money now comes from digital sales through Spotify. I am very grateful. Still, it's nowhere near what I'd need to survive, so that, plus my finally accepting the realities of my mental health issues, has me working with an organization to apply for disability benefits. Yes, I know you heard me say that before, but it takes time to get it done. I tried with another organization, and now it's time to try with this one. I am hopeful that it will work, and from what this organization is telling me, I could get it soon after applying. I have been doing my part of soliciting my psychiatric evaluations.
My concern now is that that organization is only available to me if I'm in an Office of Supportive Housing affiliated shelter or facility. If I am not, they can't help me. And I just found out from that organization that my housing application went through and it's just a matter of filing some paperwork. The shelter I'm in, or rather just a few corrupt staff members, are stalling and trying to discharge me, which would take me off of that list. That can't happen!
WHY I'M STILL IN SHELTER
I don't have income. One or two hundred bucks a month doesn't count as enough income to live on, especially if you go for months with no income at all. That's why I have to get on disability, so I can treat this music thing as a hobby and never have to deal with homelessness or poverty again.
Another reason is that one of the things you need to qualify for affordable or subsidized housing is a copy of your birth certificate, and it took 9 months for me to get mine (long story).
So, my housing search really didn't begin until 9 months after.
MY NEXT STEP
Work to be able to get housing.
As always, I am making art my medicine. I write up a storm at my blog, and post to Facebook and Twitter (all links below).
I regularly update my new Inspiration Line 215-552-8850.
I am reeeeeally into my spirituality. I am always trying to keep my thoughts high.
I am always writing. For myself as well. I journal for myself. I write poems.
I am making love. I have two partners, and they're both very fulfilling to my soul in various ways. One is a playmate and we're in a D/s relationship (I'm the "D" and let me tell you is it SWEET to have an "s"!). The other is very much a muse to me. Just by his being I am inspired to become a better persun and artist. He doesn't even know when he's doing it.
Still, I don't have a romantic partner. These are people who provide a certain sweetness and support in my life, but "no strings attached". Of course, in a D/s relationship, the bond is very strong. So, even though I have these outlets in my life, and thank GODDESS, because if I did I'd be even more stark raving mad than I already am!! Kidding :) I know I'm not stark raving mad :) But really, sex is a wonderful thing, and does all kinds of good things for us. However you define sex, and as my partners and readers know, the renaissance negresse's definition is FAR from that of the dominant culture's.
I'd been keeping a "Raw Angel Blog", but it was too much work to transcribe and post as a blog. So every day I still log everything I eat and so forth, but I no longer call it that. I just call it "Raw Angel" and I am trying to get healthier. So far, I'm keeping my weight under more control than if I didn't have it, and my blood pressure numbers are coming down. My main foods are: mangoes, strawberries, bananas, sardines, cilantro, celery, turmeric, and various cooked and raw foods.
Because I don't have my own kitchen, I'm not able to blend or juice, and I really miss that, otherwise, I'd be a green smoothie drinkin' mama!
I don't know what else to say now, and everything else you need to know you can see in the links below.
Just know that I am thinking of you often, and oh yeah, the main inspiration for the title of this is my Facebook audience. I feel that 25% or more of all the therapeutic benefits in my life right now come from my posting on and receiving positive feedback from my Facebook audience. I don't have to get a lot of "likes", because I know that one like represents many more who didn't feel like clicking "like".
I love knowing that I'm getting across.
Saturday June 25th, LansdowneFarmersMarket.com
10:30am-12:30pm Free. A fun gig for me. I love singing to the sky and the trees, for the people there, of course, and I always sell a good amount of CDs, which always pleases the merchantwomon I am.
Things that have helped me a lot lately:
Hugging myself in front of the mirror, first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. I say things I wish I had someone say to me, "Good morning sweetie! You're gonna have a GREAT day today!" and "You did really well today, sweetie. I'm really proud of you!"
I talk to my late partner T. all the time. I sing to him. I feel him rescuing me all the time. At a confrontational meeting recently, at one moment I suddenly imagined him tickling me! It was wonderful! I believe imagination is a big part of spirituality and whatever we choose to imagine and works for us is okay :)
So - hug yourself daily at least once, and if there are dearly departed that you miss - pretend they are still in your life - because in fact, in a way, they are - even if you only believe in their memory.
All my best,
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls, aka Endowed Goddess)
Guided Meditations: http://cassendrexavier.bandcamp.com
$15,000 Leeway Transformation Award-Winning Community Cultural Arts Organizer
Official website: http://cassendrexavier.com