Ru Otto’s Crone’s Nest Enterprises

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Crone Musings

When not painting, I blog about my life as an lesbian crone, mobilizing the city streets in a power chair. Sometimes, I also post my poetry and short stories here. Feel free to dive into my world by browsing the entries below. Should you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me 


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It’s been a hard couple of months. My partner died and my lover broke up with me, and not in that order. Left me feeling kind of burnt and empty and missing someone to talk to. Even though I was mad at one or the other most of the time.

Ammah and her secrets. It’s all out now, baby-girl. You hope that a woman you meet at a Buddhist Conference at least knows not to spew hate into the world. At least try to hold it back. I now have a woman I truly think loves me, look over at me, in a room full of chanting Buddhists,  and mouth “FUCK YOU. I HATE YOU BITCH," and she really meant it.”

Enough said about my life condition. I guess I need to get a better grip on this ”Co-creator with the Universe” thing.

So, I took a ride in my powerchair today, because the sun was out, and bought a bunch of stuff that let me know I was in a party mood;  a quart of tequila with ½ gallon of mix, 2 packs of Trojan Pure Ecstasy latex condoms, a Durban Poison 1g Cartridge for my vape pen, and a packet of cannabis infused suppositories. 

I mean, if this can't cheer me up, what can? 

Widowhood is not as bad as it sounds. I was married to Janie for 23 years, but those last 5 were divorce court all the way. Finally, about 15 years in, she stomps her feet, looks me in the eye and says “I break with thee. I break with thee. I break with thee.”

 Pushing the words out in front of her like she was holding a crucifix. 

Always so dramatic. Like a knife to the heart. But we just couldn’t make that break. 

No matter how much she drove me crazy with her stubbornness and her moroseness, her vulnerabilities always brought me back. I was devoted to her.

 And now she's gone for good or to good, hopefully. Party on!

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The Need for Renewal

It didn’t used to be

So difficult.

At 30, renewal was everywhere,

Like women marching in the streets,

Taking Back the Night,

Taking back their bodies,

Taking back their souls,

Shave your head, pick up a sign,

Will yourself safe in the dark.

If only for a night,

We knew in that short

Emboldened parentheses of our daily lives,

That we were surrounded and lifted up

By hundreds of sisters,

The Army of Lovers that could not fail –

And didn’t really fail,

But seemed to fade away,

As we acquired our own singular bravery,

We no longer needed each other,

Or thought we didn’t, anyway.

And now, Daughters and Grandaughters

Spangled with metal piercings and graffitied with tattoos,

Leather-clad and rainbow-haired

Go fearlessly into the streets.

They have no need to “come out”

They were born out.

The old paradigm has shifted,

And we, the once young, bright, system crashing First Wave

Have sunk back into the homogeneous warm sea of humanity

That brought us so alive at their age.

I know what I know,

And my tired back was a bridge

For this generation of women.

Might they not at least

give us credit for suffering the first blows as

we sought justice and equality for our female-centric ways?

No, it’s not the way of a revolution,

And besides,

Too much looking back

While traveling at this rate of speed

Can cause accidents.

But must I content myself with living in the shadow

Of a lesbian nation I helped to create?

Must I allow myself to be cast

Into the pile of elders and crones

Whose stride is no longer strong,

Whose voices are no longer relevant?

I think not!

I am old, but I have lived the truth of this revolution,

And I will not be silenced

By either apathy or disappointment.

I am tired,

But I still have the strength to vote “The Woman Card”

And bring this patriarchy to its knees.

I am no longer young,

Dew-kissed and lovely,

But I will continue to model a life

Of value and valor

As a Grandmother and Wisdom Keeper to

The next wave of empowered women,

And to the wave after that,

Until I finally slip beneath

The restless currents of human consciousness

To my own deep and satisfying final resting,

Until the next time, anyway.

Buddha Babe Goes to Camp

Buddha Babe Goes to Camp

This past May 9th on my birthday, I had the pleasure of attending one of the SGI Conferences at the Florida Nature and Culture Center, or the FNCC, as we know it.

When I became a card carrying Buddhist and joined the Soka Gakkai International, three years ago, I read about these conferences, but knew in my heart, I would never have either the money or the physical endurance to go. Nevertheless, it went on my altar with my list of “impossible things” I wanted to accomplish.

Another impossible goal I put on my list was to make money selling my paintings.

No one could have been more surprised than me when I sold my first painting, and then my second and then my third. Money started rolling in along with many physical benefits.

I was led to a surgeon who trimmed back my stomach and helped me lose 80 lbs, which caused me to no longer be diabetic, hypertensive, or pain-filled. I began to sleep better and as of my last blood test, everything is running at 100%

Suddenly, I found myself monetarily and physically ready to make the trek to Florida and see this SGI miracle in the Everglades, the Florida Nature and Culture Center.

I won’t say I wasn’t nervous about traveling in my power chair. I knew it would have to be stored in the hold of the plane for the trip, and then I would require lifts on the various vehicles taking me to and from the airports.

To my delight, everything went smoothly, and I arrived at the center just in time to enjoy a steak dinner. The first of several mind blowingly delicious meals.

That first steak dinner for all the new arrivals says a lot about the ichinin of the land.

The Florida Nature and Culture Center sits on 125 acres of pristine, Florida Everglades, normally teaming with reptiles and insects. Yes, there was a 7 ft gator that liked to bask among the water lilies on Toda Lake, watching us eat on the veranda. And yes, sitting outside at dusk, one had to spray mosquito repellant all over your body to keep from being eaten alive, but in general I’ve never felt a place so gentle and protective.

In 1996, President Ikeda dedicated this piece of land to the SGI-USA members as a place to go to refresh our spirits and our determination to practice. It’s all that and more. I would encourage all of you to make the trip someday soon, and enjoy this precious gift.

There is an aura of caring and compassion that fills you up while you are there.

This started right off when I first walked on to the property. An attractive man hailed me with a wave and said, “Hi there! Welcome to this beautiful place on this beautiful day with the happiest people in the world!”

The conference I attended was the 15th Annual LGBTQ Conference, and for those of you who have never heard the term, LGBTQ stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual and Questioning or Queer

This year, President Ikeda honored us by giving our group a name: The Courageous Freedom Group, and we spent the weekend dialoguing about what these words meant to us, on a personal level.

We were asked, “What does freedom mean to you” and “What is courage”?

What does freedom feel like? How do you know if you are being courageous?

As was stated at one of the workshops, “our community is a majestic spectrum” and there are no simple or cookie cutter answers.

Sometimes you can only define freedom by what you don’t have: Like the freedom to be yourself, when you are an outlandishly feminine gay man,0r the freedom to be a man when you have all the plumbing of a woman.

I justy know, It’s hard to come out, no matter how many times you do it.

I suspected I was a lesbian at age 20, but did not admit it to myself or others until I was 30. That’s 10 years of no courage and no freedom.

At 33 I joined a women’s collective and fairly burst out of the closet, shaved my head, had 5 earrings in one ear and became a “man-hater”.

Well, I’m older now, and I know I’m not really a man-hater, but I bond emotionally only with women, and I don’t want to be ashamed of that. There is a place for me on this planet and Sensei has convinced me that I’m an important part of that majestic spectrum.

Being at the Florida Nature and Culture Center reminded me of how proud I am to be a lesbian and helped me renew my vow to challenge and overcome my limitations whenever and however they pop up.

Some of the people at the conference were not as lucky as I and told stories of abuse that I’ll never forget. It was a healing experience for us to all be together and be able to open our hearts in love and acceptance of each other.

I made about 100 friends at this conference, and I’m going to have a hard time keeping up with them all, but I’m going to try, because I learned so much from them, and I just love them.

I would like to end this experience with a quote from President Ikeda in his personal letter to those of us in the newly formed Courageous Freedom Group where he encouraged us to remember, quote “that there is no Buddha who is defeated by suffering and hardship”…and to “please lead a life dedicated to your personal vow, filled with pride as a bodhisattva of the Earth. Let us adorn our lives with optimism and cheerfulness, as we “dance with joy” all the more.”

Breaking Ice at Dawn

Slipping from warm bed into January dawn,

Well padded and clumsy with down,

Melting the brittle air in a world of cold silences,

Softened only by huff of horse breath

There, near my left shoulder

And behind my swaddled head.

He stands, expectant, beloved, waits

For my pick-ax to fall, patient

For this morning gift of water soaking

Through the splintering ice.

Massive head on graceful neck

Lowered now to drink, accepts

The daily offering of my labor.

Tiny shards of ice catch fire in the light,

Airborne crystals sparkle like jewels,

Stick to my coat and skitter across

The frozen pond. My arm arches with the rising sun

As I swing the ax in rhythm with my heart.

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