HI THERE. I’m Michele Kraft, AKA Hey Old White Lady, AKA Grandota AKA Shemi, AKA your friendly neighborhood GILF. After a wobbly start in life, under His eye in a strict Catholic family, I’ve made a few changes over the years, starting with becoming an atheist when I went off to be drunk and stupid in college. Too bad I didn’t dump the entire patriarchal package, politics included, but the company I kept, and my home-grown beliefs about what was normal, made it hard for me to see I was becoming a prisoner of the same bullshit I grew up with: authoritarianism. It wasn’t long before I dropped out of school to fully accept the Mantle of Conservative Misery.
Then, in my 30s, I went back to school, and a bunch of crazy shit happened- synchronicities within synchronicities- proof to me of an active divine force, the same I knew as a child, but without all the patriarchal control freaks. Turns out, God, the Universe, whatever you want to call It, is a Free Range God and progressive AF. I did not see that coming back then, but it makes sense. Just look at how Nature can’t stand stagnation, and the message of that Jesus Guy, for starters.
Billy Corgan seems to get my drift. He said:
“I’ve always been spiritual but I’ve never had a proper context, and it took me a while to find the proper context. It’s hard to realize you can have any kind of relationship with God you want… and so I now have a punk rock relationship with God”
Billy and I are not alone. So many of us are waking up, seeing the divine in ourselves and each other as we engage, as we challenge each other to grow. Divine intervention comes in the form of cell phone activism, it’s regular people taking the action, showing America to itself, and that’s just one part of the big change, the holy unmasking of abusive power. It’s the end of the Age of Pisces, the end of the age of saviors and sinners, of blame and control, of illusions, fear, and damnation. The Age of Aquarius is about us bringing our own salvation, in our personal lives and in how we govern ourselves. We decide. We act. We make it happen. PUNK ROCK.
I want to help usher in the change. I want to talk about Spirituality, Psychology and Politics. You and me. The only way I can think of to get out of the authoritarian nightmare we find ourselves in is to apply love. I know, I know, ugh, not the fun answer. Distributing black eyes to these garbage people sounds really fun at first, but love is what’s going to get kids out of cages, love is what’s going to restore voting rights and finally bring us equality. We’re going to have to love standing up for ourselves and each other more than we love feeling helpless, blaming each other or doing nothing. The change is happening. Help it along. Make the magic. We’re all tired of waiting for us.
A writer and artist, I’ve been a dishwasher, a server, a bartender, a housekeeper, and a captionist for the hearing impaired. I was a web designer when the tech bubble burst at the turn of the century. I worked for the real mafia as a short order cook. I was a paperboy at 11 and a reporter at 42. I got a B in LGBTQ and a BFA from SAIC, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. But while I was having my Post Bac Experience at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014, it finally got through to me that what I’ve been trying to do all that time with my artwork is tell stories.
I’m one of those people Pew calls Spiritual But Not Religious. If you asked me, I’d tell you that’s another way of saying Eclectic Pagan, or maybe Solitary Witch, but those words are still pretty scary to some people. Here’s what they mean to me: wisdom and spirituality are universal. I can get my God direct from the factory, thx. Everything is sacred, including our desires. Evil comes from acting on our basest impulses– pain, fear, and ignorance– not from a defect in the soul. I support your way of reaching the things that help you grow.
When I’m not writing, reading, or wiping dog drool off of my pants, I run in the woods, cook things, brew things, burn things, and grow things. My husband, our two dogs, and I live in an 1860’s farmhouse, with six hens occupying the matching vintage chicken coop. We are truly blessed in beautiful Baltimore, Maryland.