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Everything

Filtering by Category: Juniper Klatt

Coexisting with Spiders

Juniper Klatt

by Juniper Klatt

Fear comes in many shapes and sizes, most notably in the eight-legged variety.

I attribute the last how-ever-many-years of screeching when discovering one of such creatures to an infamous moment when I was little and excitedly on my way to a swimming pool in my grandparent’s backyard. In my delight I failed to noticed there was something across the path and ran right into a giant spider’s web and a giant spider.

It was not a good day.

If there is one place spiders love, it is the bathtub. Or the folds of the shower curtain. Or on the edge of the bathmat. Or just hanging out in the corner by the bathroom fan.

Over the last 6 months, my views on spiders have been changing. Previously, I would find a spider hanging out in the tub – scream – and then go get someone to remove it from the tub (or this world). A few months ago I started to remove them gently myself, with a long, long, long stick, and put them outside. Then the other day, I found one in the shower curtain fold, and I just let it be.

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Life with my dad

Juniper Klatt

by Juniper Klatt

My dad is a mystic and dreamer. Throughout my childhood, I often heard the phrase “you can pick you friends, you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose”. With such wisdom and humor, my dad consistently brings laughter and moments of “what in the world?!” into my world.

For most of my growing up years, my dad was a pastor, and I watched him hold space for people to grow, break down, discover themselves (and sometimes God), while he listened with an open heart. He has been a chaplain, sitting with people in crisis, grief, huge and sometimes sudden change, giving them space to feel their feels and making them tea or a sandwich. I’ve always admired my dad’s ability to stay calm when someone else needs to freak out.

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Sunday Night I stood at a microphone and shook

Juniper Klatt

by Juniper Klatt

Tonight while sitting at my computer waiting for blog inspiration, I looked up and saw one of the many cards/pictures/inspiration I have hanging above my desk, which reads:

“everything will be okay
in the end.

if it’s not okay,
it’s not the end.”

(unknown)

This week I did something brave and scary and vulnerable. Sunday night I signed up to read at my first ever competitive slam AND I GOT IN. I have only been this nervous to share my poetry once before…

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Day 7: After #31daysofTRUTH

Juniper Klatt

by Juniper Klatt

I don’t know how to tell my truth without telling this part, but it’s one of the scariest and hardest ones to tell.

CW: sexual assault, description of feelings/affects post assault

I don’t know how to start at the beginning, so I’ll start with the second poem I wrote after it happened:

I heal through
stories
through a thousand
words written by
someone else about
my life
through tears
splashing on poetry
put down on paper
by gods in human
bodies

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Efforts in Befriending my Body (also, that one time I didn’t shower for 4 days)

Juniper Klatt

by Juniper Klatt

I grew up in purity culture (Here’s an article that looks helpful after a quick look, for anyone looking for a definition/examples of this). From a very early age in Fundamental Evangelical Christianity, I learned things about my body that I’m still struggling to untangle. This could probably be 100 blog posts. This could probably be the work of my life.

Since I have yet to actually figure anything out though, I’ll start small.

From my mother I learned that cleanliness is indeed right next to godliness and now that I’m an adult I wonder HOW THE HELL DID SHE KEEP OUR HOUSE SO CLEAN? While I sometimes wish her magical cleaning abilities could have transferred to me more smoothly…as a child in one regard I took this to an extreme.

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On Being Weak (and kinda sort of accepting help)

Juniper Klatt

by Juniper Klatt

CN: anxiety, panic attacks, despair

I feel weak sometimes. It’s painful to write that sentence. I feel weak, exhausted, shaky, unconfident, scared, overwhelmed, panicked, anxious, down, sad, in the depths of despair…

And I DON’T LIKE IT. 

I live with some chronic pain, and a lot of days my body hurts. Aches. Feels like there are spikes or knives in my neck and head. Like my stomach will never understand the goodness of food and serenity again.

I’ve rearranged my life with rhythms of rest and spaces each day, week, month, year to heal, retreat, and recover.

AND YET

Even with these rhythms and intentional spaces, sometimes there’s a period of life with great stress. Events and places and people that are unsafe, dysfunctional, or for whatever reason require A LOT more energy and resilience. Even though most of the time I plan my life around my work and rest, seeking what brings life and joy – there are times when I have to be at/lead/do things/show up for situations that normally I avoid. Places and spaces where triggers are many, toxic energy abounds, or there’s conflict a brewing.

I’m gonna be real here and say I don’t always know how to handle these situations. I have a surprising amount of bravery and perseverance in me, and yet the aftermath is often pretty terrible. My body is very good at processing feelings when the rest of me refuses to deal with them, and usually transforms stress and trauma into physical sickness.

Yesterday after many a hard thing lately I spent the dark hours of the morning pacing in my bathroom sobbing and attempting to not throw up. That feels like a vulnerable thing to put out into the internet.

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Reactive Self Care – a tool of the system?

Juniper Klatt

by Juniper Klatt

Now that I have hooked you with that provocative title…

I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care lately, especially in the context of activism and non-profit work. I’ve found there is A LOT of talk about self-care in these circles, and a lot less follow-through. Often I find myself wondering if the self-care that I do see and experience being practiced here is actually aiding in sustainability, or if we’re putting bandaids on something that will never be healed through bandaids. 

I have chronic pain. I have a headache every moment of every day, and depending on the hour, stress levels, and how much I’ve tried to do, it goes from being mildly annoying to intense pain that blocks everything else out. I also experience anxiety, which similarly goes ranges from something that I’m tending to on the edges, to hours of debilitating panic, often accompanied with nausea and increased headaches.

For a long time my mode of operation was: go and go and go, and give all my energy to the world and my ideas, and do all the work, and have all the fun and then…

CRASH BURN CRASH

I would get sick, or have such a bad headache that I had to stay in bed for days. After repeated attempts at smaller nudges, my body pursued more dramatic measures to get my attention. And so I would give in and rest, intensely and deeply for a few days.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

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When I Grow Up?

Juniper Klatt

by Juniper Klatt

What do you want to be when you grow up? I remember answering this question many times as a child, and spending hours before sleep pondering my exciting grown-up life. I wanted to be an artist. A ballerina. A doctor.

As life, and my uncoordinated limbs would have it, dancing never became my thing. And my incredible distaste for hospitals, needles, and vomit prevented my doctor dreams. Even though indeed I am an artist now (and have been adult-ing for a time), my childhood dream was a little more involved than I’ve ever lived out. You see, I wanted to live in a tree house in the woods for 5 years by myself, and once I emerged, I would be a famous painter.

Alas, my little heart didn’t yet know how extroverted I would become, or my love of hot showers. As I became a teen, I found that I loved writing, and working with people. Gearing up towards college, I decided I wanted to be a screenwriter (in Hollywood!), and change the world with my words.

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Sabbath: A Day in Pajamas, AKA What Brings Life

Juniper Klatt

by Juniper Klatt

Wednesdays are my Sabbath days. This is a rhythm that learned from my family, that we would practice together. The day of the week changed with the seasons, and sometimes it was just a half day, or a few hours, but we would set aside time to rest. The guiding principle for this day that my parents passed on to me is this: do what brings life.

Today, Wednesdays are an oasis in the middle of my week. I don’t do any work, and the people in my life know that I spend the day resting. Some weeks I come to Sabbath broken and tired, in need of a good night’s sleep and a day in bed. Other days, I arrive energized and have time and peace to create and process. I try not to make too many rules for myself, and abandon the lie of constant productivity.

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Into Spring

Juniper Klatt

by Juniper Klatt

Into Spring

Winter came
like a shroud
falling around me
as a warm blanket in the
morning
but lingering until
everything beneath it
lost its color and
gave life over to the
cold and silence

Grief hangs
in the air
its silent particles
an ever present
reminder of
everything lost
of the darkness that
clings to our
eyes and clouds over
our efforts to
move forward
to hope for life
anew

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