Monday, May 31, 2004

United States Constitution

Amendment 1:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

p.s. An allowable exemption of said rights is granted when declaration of personal opinon is found to be in direct opposition of thought by civil or federal authorities.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

It's still Sunday morning and I've already gone grocery shopping, picked up breakfast and lunch for 2 days, grabbed my venti americano, completed two loads of laundry, watched Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, and now here I am.

This afternoon I'm headed to a birthday party. I plan on a couple hours and no more. I want to be with friends and coworkers, but also need to spend time with me. Alone. So, that's the compromise.

Tomorrow I have no appointments and look forward to a full day at home. Or more accurately, a full day without ready-made plans. Impulsive sounds nice.

Yes, I have been busy.

My shrink is away for two weeks. It's an interesting concept considering I've been seeing him twice a week for about 9 months. He will take a week away, here or there...and in the past I've been anxious about those lone weeks. This time, my thought was, "good, I can save some money." Sounds like progress to me. I learn volumes whenever he goes away. It seems like it's the time that theory turns into practical. But I look forward to my next appointment so I can dump. Lots happened.

I am getting a handle on something though. How to open myself to the pain of another without allowing it to drag me down. Instead, I discover my strength. This faith in me is, in a little way, helping the person who hurts.

It just began to rain.

Haikus have caught my attention for the last few months. The efficiency of haiku intrigues me. It's a puzzle that comes with constraints. How to describe a personal human experience in few words. Ideally, no first person pronouns. Relay your vision through nature. Keep it in the present tense. Begin with season words which sets the timeframe. Limited syllables, 5-7-5. Although from what I've read, the 5-7-5 originally applied to Japanese, not English. You can write an amazing haiku and the syllabic content may be off a little. Not to worry. It is about intent. The spirit of the poem and the act.

The first line describes "when?"
The second is "where?"
The third, "what?"

I'm fascinated because beginning with Sir's training, I was pushed to make my speech more concise. Stop and think. Decide what it is I really want to say. Be direct. Recognize that 80 percent of what I verbalized is unnecessary and is simply diarrhea of the mouth. Granted, as a circular thinker, it isn't easy to do. All thoughts connect to others. Simultaneous multiple tangents make dissection difficult.

The second push was the stroke of a loved one. Succinctness became necessity. If I was to be understood, I needed shorter, clear sentences. No extraneous stuff.

So haikus are a good way to exercise my mind. I've yet to be successful with them. By keeping it tucked in a part of my head it reminds me to clarify my thoughts even though I still come out wordy in my blog or with others. Maybe one day I'll get there.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Hey there.

Yeah, it's been a few days. I've been busy. Today was no exception. Having just returned from drinks at Cafe Septieme, I now have a minute to stop in, and give you Mark Morford's latest column. Nothing is too small to catch Morford's eye. Check out As Satan Scrubbed My Toilet.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

To my friends in NYC and surrounding areas: I plan on really, truly, seriously and studiously (how many adverbs can I pop in this sentence?) check out everyone's whereabouts for the time I'm on the eastcoast. Now that work is slowing down and I have time over the shall be done. For real. No procrastinating. I figure I'll take all the emails, pop everyone's availability onto a calendar and see what I can come up with. From there, I'll book the rental car sometime next week.

My tax return just arrived. Can you say psyched? Reason being, I can finally get new glasses. The last 8 months or so have been spent pulling glasses on and off, contingent upon the distance of course. Yeah. That damned age thing. In the last month it's gotten worse. Eating my food now requires me to pull off my glasses. I am considering progressive lenses, but am leery. What will all these differing 'scripts be like in one lens? Will I lose peripheral vision? I have one good friend who loves his whereas it's frustrating for another.

Aging is interesting. There is truth that youth is wasted on the young. Each year sees me falling deeper in love with myself. As soon as I think I've figured out who girlfag is, a new layer is revealed. Yeah, there's turmoil that goes along with each revelation. I see it as part of the package. And with a little distance I look back and embrace my past suffering.

My physical body was not so good when I was young but it got better in my thirties. I loved my 30's body. The whole decade. Early 40's as well. I didn't have the magazine physique. And I didn't care. It fit me. And I was fit. Grueling warehouse work works wonders.

Being in an office these last 4 years isn't good to me physically. It means I need to take more care outside of work. Depending how life chooses to hit, it can make exercise an actual challenge. Time and energy are commodities. But I'm not too worried. It'll get there. I'll get there. I don't have a weight issue but I'm not crazy about my softness. Some toning is needed. Yeah, it'll come around again.

So why can't we have the physical and the emotional work hand in hand? Why do our eyes need to change, our sleep patterns change? Why does it take longer to get back into shape than when we were 20? We are getter wiser and more beautifully seasoned. Yet now l feel muscle aches two days after an intense workout. The mirror shows wrinkles beginning on my forehead. They worry me. Now my new laugh lines at the corners of my eyes...those I'll keep. It changes the character of my face. I like 'em.

I have a couple different bottles of lotion in my bathroom. Use them daily. I have a pocket size one in my car. It's used a few times a day. I want my whole being to be in sync at the same time. And it won't. Or maybe...I need to let go of my idea of ideal. And trust me, my ideal is so not what we see in the media. That which we see, I consider plastic, artificial..and not something I've ever desired to aspire to. It's never turned me on. But my ideal. What if when I look in the mirror...what if I shift my idea of unique perfection to look just like my reflection? What if I were able to smile and sigh...tell my reflection that I'm in love with the person I see, on the outside. Then my inner and outer would be working hand in hand, eh?

You know how we get know the ones. They pretty much only happen when we are in lust, love or infatuated. Those new relationship butterflies. The giddiness that makes one a silly stupid. It's a delightful place to be. Have you ever felt those for yourself, by falling in love with yourself? I don't think I have. I can be happy with me, but I've never had the swoony butterflies for me. Even now. I have no desire to be anyone else but who I am. Yet, no butterflies. It's a helluva thought...and question. Why not? Aren't any of us as deserving as the other person we throw our love at? More so? If not, why not?

I was not expecting all this babble when I began. But here you have it folks. More questions. Or maybe just one big one. Why don't we get butterflies for the relationship with ourselves when we can experience it for another. Even for a little while...why not?

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

I am so running late this morning. I groggily woke at 9 am...which never happens! Grabbed the phone, called work and in my still sleeping, not awake voice, said "hey, it's me...just woke up." A coworker said, "good for you! See you whenever!"

They know that I can't sleep late. They know that I'm up with the sun. I think that's what did it today. It was dark, cloudy and rainy...and I slept. And they celebrated the fact that I could sleep.

So I ran into work, after a long, drawn out commute due to the fact that Seattle-ites do not know how to drive in the rain. (yes, another for the 10 top Seattle cons). It's the oddest thing. Even when it's misty, rainy everyday...which of course I swear hasn't happened in a year, they still can't drive. They slow down, they ride the brake, and they do...I don't know what...while in the car. Maybe they are steering with their knee while one hand clutches their triple tall dry skinny latte and the other is frenetically dialing traffic and weather reports. I haven't a clue. Now, you'd think I detest Seattle or it's people. I really don't. I totally love where I am. But I do enjoy the quirkiness of different areas. And this is a biggie. We don't know how to drive in the rain. It's incredibly ironic and ridiculous to me. Anyway, back to my story. I was running into work, dripping wet because it was pouring in a manner not normally seen, which means we are dealing with rapid-fire big pellet drops, clutching my grande americano in a venti cup, for the room please, and ran right into a meeting which I was late for.

Dontcha just hate not starting the day with your special routine?

Now I can give you the Wednesday regulars.

Here is the latest Rob Brezsny's horoscope.

And, I really like the latest Mark Morford column.
He writes about how we place our lives on the internet, with online etc...yet what are we really saying about ourselves? They (the online companies we bare our commercial souls to) still don't know us.

I highly recommend the read.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Holiday weekend.

I am going to have 4 days off and thus far, other than a birthday party for a coworker, no plans. No plans that is, except time in my studio. I'm anticipating quality studio time. I mean...I'm REALLY looking forward to it. My workload is more manageable. It seems I'll have the energy and time to get my hands in paint. Yes!!!!

The invitations my coworker sent out for his party said, "All I want for my birthday is to get George W. out of office. Instead of gifts, I'd appreciate a donation to" Smart boy.

It's raining and I love it. Hopefully it rains tomorrow also. You see, it hasn't rained nearly enough this winter and spring. The forests were already really dry. I like the way the air smells during the first rain after a many day dry spell. Like tears.
I've been quite preoccupied the last 5 days or so.

Last night, I wanted to do something more for someone who is going through tough stuff. And I became confused. My spirituality has come to a place where I no longer believe in god. Therefore I don't believe in prayer. I wondered about faith. Somehow, even without the godthing, I've always felt that when someone may feel like they are sinking, another can carry that person on their faith. I think I still believe that. What puzzles me now in what? I'm confused. And...seeing the shrink is out of town this week I can't discuss it with him now. I enjoy spiritual discussions with this buddhist priest because he encourages questioning. He also asks pointed questions that allow me to come to my own conclusions. He does not expect or want me to envelope his belief system yet develop my own. It's a safe place for me to explore. Every other religion, it seems, demands "this is the one, true way." No questioning allowed. No critical thinking. No individuality. Whereas, with my shrink, he knows that we each carry the answers for our own lives within us. We just need to find our own path.

So...I want to ask him about faith. I have in the regard to myself. That's clear to me. But what does my faith look like when it's for others? I guess my question is: how can I spiritually help someone else...? Sometimes I feel that I have to do something. Sometimes I feel that even though I may not be able to physically assist, there's always the spiritual (or 'religious') route. And traditionally, for me, it's been prayer. Or sacrifice. If I hurt enough and deny myself, then somehow, miraculously, it will help another. But what good is that? Just because someone is suffering we need to create our own? Misery loves company?

Wouldn't better assistance be if I were strong, content and peaceful, and impart a little of that to the one who struggles?

So...if I no longer believe in the old way of spiritually helping does it work now?
Dammit...where is IT? What is IT?

Going back to the grocery store incident. Sharing the story of the jobless man and the last dollar, helped everyone a little. We all carried someone's pain together and it assisted with life not being so crappy...even for a moment. Okay, I get that.
What about meditation? What about keeping someone in my thoughts? Does that really do anything for them? Or does it only make me feel better because I then feel that I've done something tangible? And then, I suppose that if I feel better, that energy can't help but go out and touch others. So in some way I would be helping. I suppose.

Maybe that's where the faith lies. In the knowledge of being responsible for myself, yet work on increasing a compassionate heart to remain open to others, including their hurt and pain, and....and...

...okay, now it's all tangled up in my head. shit.

Monday, May 24, 2004

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower - April 16, 1953

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Shame on me.

I was reading Singletails' blog and he reminded me that I forgot a few things in my more than top 10 best and worse of living in Seattle entry.

Utilikilts (which I really can't believe I forgot!) and great thighs. Thanks Singletails! Being a walkable city keeps one's legs in shape. Not only thighs, but calves and asses too. I can't wait to move back into the city. I miss all the walking I used to do.

Just got home from a work event. We were the featured nonprofit at a professional sports game. So we had a table, and the home team gave us two autographed jerseys to raffle away. Me, the introvert, was hollering and encouraging folks to buy raffle tickets. Actually, I was the loudest and most insistent. Sometimes I can do it, and sometimes I can't. Tonight I could. It surprised me. Not only am I an introvert, but I am so not into professional sports. You see, I have this thing. I'm annoyed at the amount of money and attention paid to professional athletes and celebrities when our teachers are struggling and they are cutting back on art and music programs. It's a huge sore spot for me. So the event really isn't anything I can get excited about. It must have been sheer adrenaline that had me pumped.

Part of my sales tactics, other than flirting with almost everyone who gave me a smile when I made eye contact with them, was, "listen, we gave away over $100,000 in scholarships to queer and allied students last weekend. We need to replenish our coffers. Wanna buy a ticket?" Yeah, it didn't hurt that I intentionally wore a tight white t-shirt that nicely shows my nipples. I may not have boobs...which I'm glad of. But I'm quite proud of my nips. They are large and always at the ready. A few of the men in my life appreciate them wholeheartedly. Anyway, we were successful with the fundraising. Sometimes everything just clicks. Also, I was feeling sexy. You know those times where you are so into your body? I had my favorite jeans and t-shirt, flagging black right, and my black boots. I feel good in that. At home.

In between the chaos of ticket pushing, my coworker and I kept checkin' out the guys. It didn't hurt to be parked next to the men's room. We were rating asses and fantasizing about tag-teaming. I could tie 'em up and he'd take a paddle to their ass. One guy walked past us. Quite hot, yet he had a serious attitude a mile long. Coworker and I checked him out and immediately looked at each other. I said "that boy needs a big ole fist up his ass. We can call it attitude adjustment." We're so bad when we get together. Nothing is sacred. And it's part of our fun.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

The end is near.

Growing up, I heard that often from my father. He was sure that there'd be some type of catastrophe or war and he desired to create a self-sufficient Catholic community where we could hide, live and ...who knows what else? It's pretty creepy.

Anyway, at this moment my end is the conclusion of an intense workload, not the end of the world. It's been the month from hell at work. I have busy seasons, but none as crazy as this. Today I ran a report comparing our phonathon these past 5 weeks to last year's campaign at this time. I pulled for actual money in the door, not pledges. We increased the gifts by $11,000 over last year! Mind you, most of these are $25 and $50 gifts. That's a shitload of gift processing and acknowledgements. No wonder I'm burnt, stressed and pooped. I had to pull the report for one reason only. Validation. My own.

Our phonathon is over and the gifts and pledge payments will drift in at a more manageable pace. I can breathe again. In the midst of all this I've had to deal with weekend work functions as well. One more tomorrow evening.

Now, I love my job. But sometimes I hate the way it demands more focus and full immersion. It steals from time that's better suited to writing, reading, drawing and painting. Or...even sleeping. I managed to grab 45 minutes of drawing last Friday. I wanted to paint but didn't have the time to prep. So a large sheet of paper went up on the easel and I began sketches and ideas for a specific painting I want to do. It felt good. And when I needed to put down my charcoal and scrub the black off my hands, bitterness filled my mouth. I didn't want to stop. I'm a painter dammit. I wanted to do nothing more than work in my studio. I had the energy yet not the time.

In one month I am taking a 2 week vacation. On one hand, I need to get away. So much has happened in the last few years and I seriously need a vacation. Too much pain and hurt. Loss and death. It will be good to get to my safe place on the Maine coast. I can't wait to sit out late at night on craggy rocks that jut out into the ocean. The sky is black. All I hear is the sound of the waves and feel the spray against my skin. It's been 6 years since I've sat in my favorite place. It is time.

While looking forward to it, I'm also mourning the fact that if I weren't flying east, I'd spend those two weeks in my studio. My depression has lifted and I want to paint. The paintings in my head are stacking up and beginning to overflow. There is a series to finish, a new one to begin. Portraits, still lifes and dungeon paintings. I have ideas for large washes mixed with charcoal. I am hungry.

There's not much else I can do right now but nurse the hunger. Nurture it meticulously as tending to a fire. A fire that took so long to ignite. It's still a small flame and I fear a possible storm on the horizon. I don't want the spark extinguished. How long will it be before I can put the pot on to boil?

Friday, May 21, 2004

Have you met Auxugen of 'Slow, Deep Breaths' yet? No?

Well, it's time. Readers, let me introduce you to Auxugen. Auxugen, these are my readers.
Auxugen is my sweetboy, a part of my leather family. In many ways we are like brother and other. Quite a while ago when I told him about my blog, I suggested that maybe he should begin one. I had this feeling that he'd be a good blogger. He's a loner, introspective and intelligent.

He surprised me. Last week he emailed me and mentioned a private blog. Although curious, I didn't press for details. In his own time he gave me the url and allowed me to link to him.

His writing is thoughtful and honest. Sensitive. Check him out.


This morning Mark Morford wonders about stupidity. Not the stupidity associated with lessened mental capacity but of arrogance and indignance.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Sometimes you can't be there for the people you love. Sometimes you are so depleted, that, barring an emergency, there's nothing you can do. You don't have anything to give. And in spite of the fact you need to take time to care for yourself which also helps them in the long run, it doesn't do anything to ease the pain of knowing that the person you love is hurting and you can't assist.

There is someone in my life who I love more than anyone I've loved before. It's a different kind of love. It's not the romantic, hallmark kind, nor the parent kind of love although there are aspects of that. But it's a love that goes deeper and in a different direction.

I hate feeling helpless. I hate not having the ability to fix this person and make it all better for them. I hate that they may not understand why I can't help. It sucks big.

Life really isn't fair, yanno?

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Well, well, well.
Singletails has thrown out a meme. I thought I'd never engage in one, but my nevers are "never is only never for the moment."

A little background for those of you who are out of the loop. Hoss wrote about his desire to live in NYC. Singletails gave his top 10 pros and cons, and then wondered about Seattle, LA and SF, or your city of origin.

Well, my city of origin has no positives whatsoever except for the fact my family lives there. Each time I return for a visit I don't bother with the city at all. There's nothing I want to see, except their small Museum of Fine Arts (and we aren't talking Boston).

But Seattle...oh my.

My top more than 10 reasons to live in Seattle

Weather: temperate climate (40-80). It rarely snows in town although you can drive 30 minutes east and be skiing on 2 foot snowpack.

The amazing summer weather (2 months of sun, very low humidity compared to New England)

Long summer days/short winter days. I like the contrast and each have their plusses.

The light. I believe the quality of the light comes from being surrounded by water - Lake Union, Lake Washington, and the Sound.

All the cafes and restaurants that pull tables onto the sidewalks in the spring and summer.

It’s a gardener's paradise. You can have blooms all year if you plan for it. Roses until December and camellias begin January.

Brand spanking new kickass library.

There are more readers and college grads per capita. When I used to ride the bus to work, I was amazed to see at least 80 percent of the riders, including little kids, reading.

People are warm and friendly.

Although rents are high, they aren't as high as Boston, Portsmouth, NYC or even a few small boring towns in the middle of NH.

Coffee everywhere!

3 hours to an amazing temperate rainforest.

The bungalows and craftsmen style homes.

Capitol hill

It has a small town feel with big city amenities: Seattle art museum, galleries, plays and concerts, the opera, indie film houses, and the Seattle Men’s Chorus which is the largest gay men’s chorus in the world.

Elliot Bay Books

Fremont aka The People’s Republic of Fremont with its own bronze statue of Lenin brought in from Russia, and the Fremont Troll.

The neighborhoods that have their own unique flavor.

The floating homes and boating.

Pike Place Market

It’s a walkable city.

Dan Savage

I've yet to use an umbrella in the 6 years I've lived here. Wait…that could be a con also.


A too small art museum, but a major size increase is finally underway. Patience.

No tenants rights.

Too many real estate developers (the spawn of satan).

Where are the sidewalk vendors who sell sausage grinders and hot dogs?

3 hours away from the ocean.

Poor public transportation.

Badly designed highways and on ramps which increases congestion.

People do not grasp the concept of an rsvp.

Thunderstorms and torrential downpours are a novelty. (when it rains, it tends to be on and off misty and grey)

Dan Savage

No small apples. I miss the large bag of small macs I used to purchase each week in NH. Here they are massive. Also it's difficult to find Macintosh apples and no Macunes.

People don't drop in on each other the way we did in New England.

You don't always know when people are being honest. They wear their nice face even when being discriminatory

Casinos. I detest casinos. They aren't in Seattle proper but you can find them in neighboring towns.

Now, regarding the leatherscene. I can't compare it because I didn't become a social perv until after I moved here. So I don't even know where to begin with pros and cons of the Seattle leather community. There are many for both. But from listening and reading the viewpoints of fellow bloggers in other cities I wonder if the scene is similar in any large city. I think it boils down to creating your own. As s/m has gone mainstream, words carry a multitude of meanings. Everyone has their own idea and definition of leather, s/m, d/s, kinky etc. I believe the only commonality will come in handpicking your community.

Speaking of which...blackbird laid a delicious golden egg. It's perfect.
He gave a list of his 10 things to create a local leather community. Here is blackbird's list:

1) When you go out to a bar, call some of your friends.
2) Pass out your e-mail address as much as possible
3) Introduce friends of yours to each other
4) Never say never
5) Attempt to be someone you would look up to
6) Discover yourself before attempting to discover someone else
7) Buy a book, read it, and then give it away
8) Decide if your into leather sex or leather lifestyle
9) Don’t do crystal
10) Be honest

I love this list and agree with it. I just want to add one thing. The list can be used to begin community closer to home. First deal with yourself, and then choose your friends wisely. It'll increase, little by little.

I think what makes a city or town a good place to live is that it has to feel like home...your home.
Two things before I dash off to a meeting.

Rob Brezsny's horoscope and Mark Morford with an epitaph.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I'm taking a quick break from the stacks and piles of phonathon lead sheets. Do you remember when I posted a few weeks back about how our founding fathers were not Christian?

A coworker informed me this weekend of an interview on NPR that spoke with Susan Jacoby regarding her new book.

In this morning's Arts & Letters Daily there is a review of this book, Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism.

From the review:
"Jacoby's argument is that all such movements embodying Reason and Progress were influenced, if not guided, by secularists. The latter term subsumes agnostics, atheists, anti-clericalists and those whose religious beliefs coexist with an "insistence on the distinction between private faith and the conduct of public affairs." The role such figures have played in American history has been erased from public memory by what Jacoby often calls the "religiously correct" mentality -- a turn of phrase that would be slightly witty, if used no more than once, but that soon proves irksome."

This will be my next book purchase.

(Note: edited 6/5//04
I noticed the link to the review has been archived, so here is another review from The Washington Post. Hopefully it stays active longer!)
From lack of time last Friday, I neglected to link to Mark Morford's column. It was a good one. He explains why he doesn't always write about the horrific goings on. And I quote:

"The short answer as to why I don't is, of course: To avoid utter spiritual meltdown and ideological wrist slitting and savage karmic pain."

Yeah, I get that one. I get it big. Yesterday I wrote about the heaviness I'm feeling. What I didn't write about was a glimmer I experienced 4 days ago.

A true story.

I was standing in line at the grocery store. There were two people in front of me. An elderly woman who was paying for her groceries and a young, lanky guy who had pulled a wad of bills out of his pocket. He was going through them, readying himself for when the cashier would begin to ring up his order. I was next in line and then two others behind me.

Lanky boy pulled at a bill and then loudly proclaimed, "listen to this!" He wanted all of us to hear. I noticed he began to read the writing on a dollar bill.

"This is my last dollar. I was let go from my job May 7, 2002. Make the most of who you are. Work hard. Be well."

After the initial hush that fell over our little group, the blond woman in back of me said, "I wonder if he got a job yet." Lanky boy responded "who knows?"
"Two years, almost to the day" whispered the cashier.
"Oh wow" was muttered by a few. The 6 of us allowed the impact of the last dollar to sink in. A moment of silence as we shared in someone else's past grief.
I then asked, "I wonder what he spent his last dollar on?"
Lanky boy, "good question."

We then returned to our regularly scheduled program and the cashier began again. People wished each other a good day. Lanky boy, with a big grin on his face piped in, "and I got a chance to share this with strangers!" He offered his greetings and left.

As I walked out to my car, the plastic bag holding bananas and bubble bath rustling with each step, I realized something. That 5 minute scene felt large. 6 strangers gathered together and for one brief second, the weight wasn't too heavy.

I thought of that moment often during the weekend. I couldn't fully place my finger on it until I write.
The pain was distributed amidst a few and lightened our individual loads. Huge idea.

Monday, May 17, 2004

I haven't been writing much for a few reasons. First, I've been too busy with work. Also I am spending more time away from home. So when I'm home, I enjoy being quiet and attempt to silence my mind.

The other reason is just as big. Maybe more so. I've been incredibly sad. Not in a 'my life sucks, I'm depressed" sort of way. Personally, my life is good. I'm seeing loads of positive moments. The seeds of my hard word are coming to fruition. I'm sad in a...not sure how to explain it...hmmm...okay, let's try this. It feels like a deep, cosmic sadness. I see what's happening in the world and it's seriously getting me down. So much so that my heart aches. Man's inhumanity to man. All over the place. Not only the war, but what is happening in this country. People are suffering. The earth is suffering.

Today, I went to the movies with The Bear and wonderboy. We went to see Van Helsing. Sitting in the darkened theater waiting for the movie to begin, a family scurries in to take their place. One woman was holding an infant. An infant! The movie was no place for a child. Just the sound alone would be too much, let alone all the quickly flashing images. It got to me. I wasn't mad at the woman specifically. Instead, I was pissed at a society that brought up that woman and allowed her to not even realize it wouldn't be a good thing for an infant. The baby wasn't the only small one in the theater. About halfway thru the movie another woman led a small crying child out by the hand. Sigh.

Again I felt the heaviness of our fucked up thinking and our fucked up world.

I cry because I can't believe that people don't see what is happening. Tears flow because people refuse to live and let live. Why do we have to have such a stake in each other's lives to the point where we will fight to smother people with our beliefs? Why can't we focus on our own lives and allow others the same courtesy?

This has been keeping me silent. I get angry and then watch it dissipate. There's enough cruelty and hate right now and I have no big desire to add to that whirling dervish. Feeling the weight is sucking energy that could be used to creatively act upon my despair and anger. I'll figure out how to balance it all. Otherwise the dark wins.
Am I even making any sense? Maybe it's time for bed.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

I discovered an amazing blog this week. Baghdad Burning. The blog description: Girl Blog from Iraq... let's talk war, politics and occupation.

She's intelligent and manages to hold onto her compassion while living in a horrific situation. In her words, I feel her anger, her fear, her despair and her frustrations.

Here are snippets from some of her posts.


The end-of-the-year examinations have started in most of the schools. The school administrations are trying to get them over with as soon as humanly possible. It's already unbearably hot and dusty and the heat gets worse as summer progresses. Last year examinations were held in June and July and children were fainting in the summer heat in schools with no electricity. We're hoping to avoid that this year.

We're all donating money to the school in the area so they can remain hooked up to the local power generator during the day while the kids are being tested. You can see them in the streets and trapped behind car windows looking flushed and wilted. We're all praying that they'll be able to finish the year without anything drastic happening (well, relatively drastic).

The air feels stale and stagnant in Baghdad lately. There's disappointment and exhaustion and a certain resignation to the anger and fear that seem to have taken over during recent weeks.


There was a time when people here felt sorry for the troops. No matter what one's attitude was towards the occupation, there were moments of pity towards the troops, regardless of their nationality. We would see them suffering the Iraqi sun, obviously wishing they were somewhere else and somehow, that vulnerability made them seem less monstrous and more human. That time has passed. People look at troops now and see the pictures of Abu Ghraib… and we burn with shame and anger and frustration at not being able to do something. Now that the world knows that the torture has been going on since the very beginning, do people finally understand what happened in Falloojeh?


He's claiming it's a "stain on our country's honor"... I think not. The stain on your country's honor, Bush dear, was the one on the infamous blue dress that made headlines while Clinton was in the White House... this isn't a 'stain' this is a catastrophe. Your credibility was gone the moment you stepped into Iraq and couldn't find the WMD... your reputation never existed.


I sometimes get emails asking me to propose solutions or make suggestions. Fine. Today's lesson: don't rape, don't torture, don't kill and get out while you can- while it still looks like you have a choice... Chaos? Civil war? Bloodshed? We’ll take our chances- just take your Puppets, your tanks, your smart weapons, your dumb politicians, your lies, your empty promises, your rapists, your sadistic torturers and go.


There are two different kinds of strain. There's the physical strain of carrying 40 pails of water up and down the stairs to fill the empty water tank on the roof- after the 4th or 5th pail of water, you can literally see your muscles quivering under your skin and without the bucket of water, your arms somehow feel weightless- almost nonexistent. Then there's mental strain… that is when those forty buckets of water are being emptied in your head and there's a huge flow of thoughts and emotions that threaten to overwhelm you.

I think everyone I know is suffering from that mental strain. You can see it in the eyes and hear it in the taut voices that threaten to break with the burden of emotion. We're all watching things carefully and trying to focus on leading semi-normal lives all at once. The situation in the south seems to be deteriorating and we hear of fresh new deaths every day. Fighting has broken out in Falloojeh again and I'm not quite sure what has happened to the ceasefire. It's hard to know just what is going on. There's a sense of collective exhaustion in the air.


I think western news networks are far too tame. They show the Hollywood version of war- strong troops in uniform, hostile Iraqis being captured and made to face "justice" and the White House turkey posing with the Thanksgiving turkey... which is just fine. But what about the destruction that comes with war and occupation? What about the death? I don't mean just the images of dead Iraqis scattered all over, but dead Americans too. People should *have* to see those images. Why is it not ok to show dead Iraqis and American troops in Iraq, but it's fine to show the catastrophe of September 11 over and over again? I wish every person who emails me supporting the war, safe behind their computer, secure in their narrow mind and fixed views, could actually come and experience the war live. I wish they could spend just 24 hours in Baghdad today and hear Mark Kimmett talk about the death of 700 "insurgents" like it was a proud day for Americans everywhere...


Still, when I hear talk about "anti-Americanism" it angers me. Why does American identify itself with its military and government? Why is does being anti-Bush and anti-occupation have to mean that a person is anti-American? We watch American movies, listen to everything from Britney Spears to Nirvana and refer to every single brown, fizzy drink as "Pepsi".

I hate American foreign policy and its constant meddling in the region... I hate American tanks in Baghdad and American soldiers on our streets and in our homes on occasion... why does that mean that I hate America and Americans? Are tanks, troops and violence the only face of America? If the Pentagon, Department of Defense and Condi are "America", then yes- I hate America.


The assumption that Al Zarqawi himself was doing the beheading seems a little far-fetched. So now the heads of terrorism in the world seem to be Ossama Bin Ladin, Aimen Al Dhawahiri and Abu Mussa'ab Al Zarqawi. Here's some food for thought- Ossama is from Saudi Arabia, Al Dhawahiri is Egyptian and Al Zarqawi is Jordanian. Which countries in the region are America's best allies? Let's see now… did you guess Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt?! Fantastic! You win a trip to… Falloojeh!! (And no- it doesn't count if you give Saudi Arabia a little slap on the wrists and poke Egypt in the ribs- you're still buddies).


Saturday, May 15, 2004

Quick, short post because I'm bushed. I didn't get home from the catering gig until midnight and needed to be at the work event at 8:30 this morning. I'm finally home again for about 5 hours and then pop into the Eagle for a birthday party. Tomorrow...unless it rains, I'm headed to a coworker's house. He's going to do an oil change and tune up on my car. In exchange, I'm going to weed his yard. Although I've been looking forward to it, right now I hope it pours tomorrow. I just want to spend the day at home, relaxing. And sleeping!

Anyway, is it just me or is anyone else having problems accessing different blog sites? In the last few days it's hit or miss. I go to a site, and it says "page not found," or some such thing. I have noticed that if I refresh the page it will come up. But it seems like a new development since Blogger revamped themselves. Or...maybe it's a Safari issue. Or maybe it's only specific to my computer. I don't know. But it does get annoying.

I'm piling up things I want to share with you, but it needs to wait until I'm rejuiced. Have a nice evening.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Good morning.

I'm popping in to let you know that it's been a helluva week. Work has consumed me and left no time for blogging. I stayed late last night so I wouldn't have to go in today. Later today I am working a large catering gig. Tomorrow morning, I do have a work function to attend.

I miss you and do plan on being back to my regular blogging very soon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Two things this morning, and then I have to buckle down.

1. Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology

2. You can bet that Mark Morford has plenty to say about the torture of prisoners in "Genital Torture For Dummies. Hey, it's a war -- what did you expect, flowers and bunnies and hopscotch in the Baghdad streets?"
What's in the air?

There has been a change in my life and I am experiencing a flurry of invitations. There was one in my email last night, for a get together 2 weeks from now. And today, the most surprising email. First, a little backstory. 4 weeks ago, when I hit the Eagle for the party of a former Top, BBC Top (Boots, Bondage and Cigars), I was introduced to a crew of men that evening. One in particular had this amazing presence. Later on in the evening we played for a bit and had fun. I wanted to get in touch with him but didn't have any contact info. So I thought.

In today's email, there's a letter from a boy who I see around once in a while. The boy wrote and said that this particular leatherman who I got along with is celebrating his birthday this weekend. He has requested my presence! So, another party. Another chance to connect with this man. Wow.

About 3 weeks ago, after that first Eagle party, I was in my shrink's office relaying the events of that night.
He asked, "what do you think shifted?
The words flowed from my mouth.
"I believe that I am beginning to see myself through the eyes of those who love me and don't hurt me, instead of through the eyes of those who love me and hurt me."
The shrink smiled. "Yes."

I don't know how long this will last. I'm not attaching or expecting anything. Instead I focus on immersing myself in whatever is happening in the moment. We have cycles and seasons, right?
The day I spoke with the shrink about that Eagle party, I mentioned I was feeling powerful and it worried me. All that was in my head was "pride cometh before the fall". I feared hanging onto the good and the strength because I was afraid I'd crash hard. I saw the universe saying "see what happens? You think you're hot stuff. Well let me show you a trick or two."

The shrink said, "oh yeah, that stuff." He continued "shit will happen. But you can't allow that to prevent you from enjoying all you're enjoying now."

He's right. And now that I'm writing, I know that although shit does happen, I'm still worthy of experiencing loads of exciting, sexy times.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Airline tickets are purchased. I even caught a nonstop red-eye from Seattle to Hartford. Sweet! Now I'm working on the second week. I've contacted my seacoast friends, and then will touch base with NYC folks. It looks as if I'll be in NYC on July 8th, during the day and will return to western MA on July 11th, in the morning. I'm working on the remaining details for that second week. Can you say jazzed??

Work's been crazy, busy today and so I'll write more tonight.
See ya!

Monday, May 10, 2004

The last month has filled my life with flavor. Complex and contradicting tastes and textures. Each week is filled with insights, continued healing and feeling of old wounds, creativity, work, play, and reconnecting with friends. Because of that...especially because of that, I am having a hard time with the hurt and cruelty I read about in the news. Listening to reports of backlash targeted at the queer community, to the war and its atrocities leaves me paralyzed. I don't know what to do with all the hate and pain. I have no room for it.

Instinctively I want to be an ostrich. Instead, I keep one eye open, remain aware, and maintain a fair amount of distance. Therefore, it's tough to write about. The feelings and ideas are there, but I don't want to expend energy on it. I can't right now. Maybe never.

So when I find something that follows my train of thought I breathe easier. I relax because I don't need to worry about finding the strength to put it out there. Yesterday, Lydia from Propaganda Ministry, wrote a beautiful and tough piece about the abuse done to Iraqi prisoners.
She wrote:

Those photos.

You know what I'm talking about. Where do you live, in a cave?

To me the most shocking thing about these images and revelations is that they are not shocking. I'm old enough to vividly remember my friends coming home from Vietnam haunted by what they saw and in most cases what they did. I don't think that brutality started with Vietnam, either. It's part of war like orgasm is (sometimes) part of rape.

I think that what makes these images particularly immediate is twofold. One, it's been a long time since this country has been in a full-fledged war; the generation participating in this one has no direct or even second-hand experience with war. And two, because press access to what's really going on in Iraq has been so tightly controlled, this revelation comes in the context of the sanitized propaganda served up by the US of A. We have been misled. Of course this fucks with the ideas we've been spoon-fed.

But what about us pervs? There's something about this whole situation that is -- yes, it is -- relevant to us as pervs. I'm not going to back-pedal and distance myself from what's going on in these photos. I frankly think that's dishonest.

Our reaction as pervs to these images is instructive to us as pervs. I admit that the first time I saw any of these photographs (on somebody's LJ), I thought they were poorly done scene photos offered as a not-very-funny joke. As it dawned on me that this was not a hoax, it reminded my old jaded self that what makes me hard really is lizard-brain shit -- not remotely romantic.

What specifically gets me hard is not identical with what makes you hard; not even among pervs. What we pervs do have in common is that we all need it animal. We need it direct. No blowing chiffon for us. It's in our face: The source of sex (animal urge) is the same as the source of violent brutality (animal urge), and can manifest similarly although its internal and social context may be so different.

For instance, I have experienced physical abuse that was much less extreme than the pain that arouses me. I have been in situations where the line between abuse and SM is thin or nonexistent. I have been in situations where the line between top and bottom merges and morphs into something strange and terrifying -- which might be the sexiest thing ever or pure nightmare.

This is not some old Madonna video. This is not about PVC and soft-core fetish fashion. What we do is real -- if it works.

Let me repeat it: IT IS REAL.

We hide behind SSC. The propaganda some of us invented to make what we do palatable to people who wanted to criminalize it has now become a false reality we clutch to ourselves. Like monogamy, it's something invented to advance a political agenda, something that we eventually brainwashed ourselves to believe is Natural and Right.


The reason those images look so familiar is because they are the same as what we do. The very same. Only the context is different.

No, I don't think it's OK for Little Bo Peep in khaki from Akron to abuse political prisoners. And no, I don't think it's wrong for me to get hard when I push my beloved victim physically and mentally and emotionally to the point of tears. But the animal urge that drives both Little Bo Peep and me is the same. It all comes from the same dark, wet, ripe cavern.

When I fuck with somebody's flesh and somebody's head, I consciously dance with that. Little Bo Peep is following orders. So her idea of sanction is different from mine. Hers horrifies me, frankly, as I suspect that mine would horrify her. I can well imagine Little Bo Peep recoiling at the idea of people doing to each other what she and those prisoners do, but openly in peacetime and for sexual gratification.

I think we all want to distance ourselves from the capability of crossing the line, however we define the line. But I think we all know -- and thus the need to distance -- that we can cross that line casually. It's as much a part of being human as the orgasm that sometimes happens even when we're being brutally raped.

We are changed by what we do as well as what is done to us. I wonder what will happen to Little Bo Peep? I don't imagine it will be good. I don't imagine that she will easily come to peace with herself -- all of herself -- as a result of this experience. I don't imagine that would have been true even if the photos had not been distributed and started this escalating war of blame. I imagine she will be scathed by what she did just like all of the soldiers who come home and spend the rest of their lives trying to integrate their war selves.

Although what she did and what I do come from the same primal source, I don't think the rituals I've built around BDSM will be of much use to her -- no more than her taking-orders justification works for me, the pacifist sadist. I do think that I have to look at her and look at those photos to see myself. I can't look away.

None of us can, if we're honest.

Thanks Lydia.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

When it rains, it pours.

After a two year dry spell I've now experienced play 4 weeks in a row. Last night was a small party of close friends. It was a boy's 50th birthday.

I somehow ended up in the dungeon for a short yet intense scene. Being a safer space, I let go. It was odd because I barely knew the man who was hurting me. There wasn't any trust built up between the two of us and it didn't seem to matter. The dam burst open. Afterward, I played with others. All good. The Bear was there, and provided some great grounding, as well as more pain. Tall top, wonderboy and beautiful boy wailed on me. The birthday boy was receiving his spankings, and I found myself between two wrenched my nipples while the other slammed my ass with the rolling pin. I noticed he alternated his strikes with the ones the birthday boy received.

My belly was so full of pain play it left no room for the amazing spread of tabouli, grape leaves, fresh mozzarella and much more.

Stumbling home, I could barely peel off my clothes. Every muscle hurt. Today I'm moving very slow. It's beautiful out and I considered a walk. That is, until I left the house for coffee. Each step reminds me I've been beat. Forget taking stairs. My chest is so bruised that even a loose, soft sweatshirt hurts as it grazes my skin. I think it's a day in bed or on the couch.

At one point, near the end of the evening, came a touching moment. One of the boys, new to play and a burgeoning masochist, sat beside me.
"I'm trying to get the courage to grab a female's nipples."
"Mine aren't too scary, I don't have boobs."
"That's not it. Men aren't supposed to grab women like that."

I smiled. Tall Top listened in and said, "girlfag, stick out your chest."

My nipples were quite tender from all the night's abuse, but I wanted to give this to the boy. He grabbed one and squeezed. Then the other. Someone handed him clamps and he clamped one of my nipples and placed the other on his. We played like that for a little bit, tugging with each other.

I've been told once that I shouldn't allow the men to play with me that way. This person said the guys were using me as a toy. I knew what he meant, but I didn't feel like a toy. Now I finally understand that he was projecting his personal biases onto me.

Sometimes we make things more complex than they need to be.

The way I see it is I'm a curious being to some of them. They may have gotten to know me socially, and if the energy is there, become intrigued with the possibility of play. Or it's the simple desire to know what it feels like or how I'll react. It's about discovery. I'm a pretty safe place for them to explore. They may like it or not, it doesn't matter...and that's not the point. I don't push, I follow their lead...and I'm honored when they take the chance.

I see the gift they give and cherish it, regardless of whether it's a 5 minute thing or leads into further play. The amount of exploration is irrelevant. Sharing in or being the recipient of someone's courage always fills me with awe and wonder.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Moving and thought provoking.

LIFE As Seen By Cynical

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future."
-Paul Boese

Friday, May 07, 2004

It's my day off and I'm just getting home from work. Tomorrow, I am going in for about 4 hours and then have a date with Tattoo'd Bear for a buzzcut early afternoon. The time was intentional so I can't spend the day on the job.

All I'm going to do this evening is to send out a few emails regarding my vacation back east. The flight needs to be booked in the next couple days. Then I'll have dates to give the folks I plan to meet in NYC. That part's exciting. Also, my parents, in addition to buying my airfare, said they'd pay for a rental car for my second week. It'll make it easier to drive around New England.

I know that in spite of dealing with old wounds and the large white elephant in the room that they don't want to speak of, they do love me. It makes it tough to do this healing because when someone hurts me, intentional or not, I just want to create a monster out of them. It would feel simpler wouldn't it? Easier to lash out and blame. But I guess life ain't that way. And I do believe people are good.
Good morning!

It's a rainy Friday morning and I'm thrilled. This is Seattle, but it seems that in the last year it hasn't rained as often as it used to. We need it now because our summers are typically fairly dry. And if nothing else, it's a refreshing change.

I found the following article about the beginning of Mother's Day in my email this morning. Again, another example of how I believe it's important to know our history.

The origins of Mother's Day was a call in 1870 for women to wage a general strike to end war.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

I was on the phone with my mother this morning, giving her approximate dates of my arrival and departure for my June/July vacation. Laying out plans for my time off, I mentioned I'd be spending a couple days at a gay men's retreat house.
My dear sweet very naive mom asked "will you be safe there?"
"Yes mom, quite safe."
"Are you sure?"

I had to remind myself she asks out of love.
Sometimes I make such a big deal about the littlest things. Or maybe not so little, but not so large as to justify the big deal making. Sometimes I take hold of something and forget the original intent, then expending energy on creating all the accessories when they weren't even needed. Sometimes a cigar really is a cigar. Although last night, when speaking with The Bear about a certain food, I said "a cigar isn't always a cigar." But is.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Last night was the second night I slept a full 7 hours in almost two weeks. Sweet! This morning was the first morning I actually felt rested. I'm slowly getting back into a groove, and honestly, yesterday's temper tantrum didn't hurt a bit. It assisted with blowing off a wad of steam to then kick into work and plow through a ton of paper. I've even finally finished a piece of writing I began over a month ago. It needs to sit a day or so, before I look at it again with fresh eyes. I'll post it when it's ready.

I've had too many unfinished fun projects in my head, and with my current workload, it's made it tough to even begin anything new.

I, um...ahem, plan on making a visit home in the next month and a half. My parents offered to pay my airfare. This morning, Travelocity's farewatcher came thru at $203 roundtrip from Seattle to Hartford, CT. Cheap, cheap. So I'll take advantage of it. I guess that means I need to set an actual date, which I've been hesitant to do. In addition to family, I plan on spending time on the NH and Maine seacoast (my heart's home), and a couple days in NYC. I've been offered the use of a loft in Manhattan by a generous friend. While there, I'll meet some new friends. Also, I hope to take advantage of Easton Mountain in NY, and spend time with Always Erect. Yeah, sounds like a very full two weeks, eh?


This week's Freewill Astrology.


A couple haikus I wrote last week for a coworker.

rainbows fill the air
it's time to pick up the pen
an empty corner

paper flowers bloomed
blue walls lose special flavor
we are crying too

She's a writer and is leaving in June, around the time of the Pride festival. Our boss asked each of us if we'd write a little poem, limerick or haiku. Over a month ago, with tasty butt-boy's help, the two of us made a large, colorful bouquet of colored paper flowers for her desk and placed them in a cobalt glass vase. That's how we are. There are always little treats and surprises awaiting the unsuspecting soul.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

I'm on a tear.


I'm so over the crappy logic and claiming of truth and goodness by goddammed Christians. How dare they continually throw their beliefs into our government? It's arrogant and hateful, yet they attempt to prettify it by using such words as "the love of God"...blah, blah, fucking blah. I'm incredibly pissed that irrational, religious thinking is being used to govern such a diverse and amazing population. I've had it with the Bible being used as a manual to decide what laws need to be created.

Now to be honest, I know this is tapping into childhood stuff, and so am quite emotional. But, I'm done. I am SO done.

I am sick of hearing bullshit like,
"the traditional family since the beginning of time"
"a holy nation"
"getting rid of evil"
"Our founding fathers and their god-fearing ways.."

Fucking wake up and really look at those words.

Yesterday I googled, and found a nice little website, Adult Christianity. Sweet quotes by our founding fathers, Jefferson, Madison, Paine, John Adams.

Madison wrote:
"Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."

From the website:

"These founding fathers were a reflection of the American population. Having escaped from the state-established religions of Europe, only 7% of the people in the 13 colonies belonged to a church when the Declaration of Independence was signed."

Is our country becoming the very thing that people ran from in Europe? I clearly do not understand how people can't see the writing on the wall.

If this push by the religious right continues, it will tear our country apart. I believe that we will see a nation fractured.

Although I have a personal stake in the gay marriage debate because, well, I'm queer...and I believe the marriage stuff is really only a stepping stone for the larger issue of civil rights for all, I'm fascinated by what is transpiring because of this. Bigotry is coming out of the closet. People are being pushed to take sides. There is no more room to smile sweetly and keep your mouth shut - aka 'polite discrimination'.

It's becoming passionate and heated and will blow up.

I believe we are way overdue for serious change, and it will appear to get worse before it improves. Destruction needs to happen before creation. So in the big picture, it is all good, albeit a very painful transition. America, developmentally, is a teenager. Growing up hurts.

Closing my eyes, I try to imagine the future and can't even concoct a vague picture of what this country will look like 5, 10 or 20 years from now. Chaos doesn't lend itself to tidiness and clarity.

"Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy ride."

Monday, May 03, 2004

In addition to relishing Friday's play, I've been quite troubled by the idea of religion and politics. A friend asked me how many of the anti-gay marriage protestors showed up at Safeco field. I said, "20,000-25,000, according to the paper."

"They mobilized quickly, with very little notice."

I responded, "but they are quite organized. These churches meet at least once a week. Imagine how quickly they can get a message across. There is already a strong sense of community."

As the words came out of my mouth my heart immensely sank. More powerful than money is the matter of life and death. Religion provides simple answers and a sense of belonging. We each have an instrinsic need for family and to find an answer for the riddle of life. So why wouldn't we blindly follow whoever feeds us with such promises and cinderalla solutions? It acutely hit me how insidious religion is. I mean, I knew this intellectually. But now I really KNEW it.

Imagine a cult of 200. Your child has been seduced and taken into the cult. Wouldn't you as a parent do anything you could to separate your child from the fanatics, and possibly have him deprogrammed? How is religion any different? Honestly, the only difference I can see is the numbers game. If thousands upon millions believe the same way, it must be good.

With such strong beliefs that filter into every day decisions, how can we as personal activists even begin to create change? The masses have found their place. There is no reason for divergent thinking. They aren't going to question what they hear at the pulpit. Why should they? They have their own mass-marketed rule book. Again, all about the numbers.


I know I can't allow it to keep me down. If I focus only on the big picture, I'll get too depressed to get out of bed. I'm still responsible for my own choices and life. And, seeing we are connected to each other, change does happen.

Anyway, apparently one of the Bruce's must have been thinking the same thing. Look at what I found on Uppity Faggot.

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind."
- Marquis de Sade

"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."
- Thomas Jefferson

"The worst thing you can do to a dogma is give it an empire."
- Anonymous

"The more I study religions, the more I am convinced that man never worshiped anything but himself."
- Sir Richard F. Burton

"It it weren't for Christians, I'd be a Christian."
- Mahatma Ghandi

"History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose."
- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Baron von Humboldt, 1813

"Of all of the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny of religion is the worst."
- Thomas Paine

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful."
- Seneca the Younger

"I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls."
- Albert Einstein

"Beware the man of a single book."
- Bertrand Russell

"Fantastic doctrines (like Christianity or Islam or Marxism) require unanimity of belief. One dissenter casts doubt on the creed of millions. Thus the fear and the hate; thus the torture chamber, the iron stake, the gallows, the labor camp, the psychiatric ward."
- Edward Abbey

"The Church says that the Earth is flat, but I know that it is round. For I have seen the shadow on the moon and I have more faith in the Shadow than in the Church."
- Ferdinand Magellan

"I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct for revenge for which no expedient is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, petty -- I call it the one mortal blemish of mankind."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it as I detest everything that is cruel."
- Thomas Paine
I played Friday night. I played.
Writing those words brings me to tears. I went to the party with the simple expectation that I would be at the party, nothing more.

Part of this weekend has been spent in an attempt to write something eloquent about Friday night's play, and discovered I couldn't. There were no words. Instead, all I could do was revel in my body. The muscles that hurt, the flesh that is bruised dark or reddened with's a tribute to fire.

I watched a lovely suspension scene. The boy's face glowed. The energy between the Top and the boy was a serious thing of beauty. After the boy was unroped the Top beckoned to me. Surprised and elated I walked over and peeled off my clothes...standing naked, open to whatever the Top had in mind.

In the short 6 years I've been into s/m, I've been quite fortunate in the fact that I've played with some really intense, quality sadists. This Top gave a whole new meaning to sadism. The Sadist. It was amazing. "This will be a partial suspension," said the Sadist. The rope came down and the chest harness began.

The Sadist said "this is the boring part". I replied, "no it isn't." I only thought it boring once. The first time. I was antsy, waiting for the rope top to hurry and get all the rope on so we could play. After that first experience with bondage, I knew that the very act of tying, wrapping and knotting was part of the scene. Whether it takes 10 minutes or an hour to create the bondage, I enjoy the ritual. My focus is on the Top, and on the rope. Watching their hands feel its way around my body, listening, their mind thinking. Sensing the energy. I leaned my face against the rope that hung from the ceiling, and inhaled. The prodigal son had returned.

Right from the start the bondage was challenging. All my weight on the right leg. The left, was bent at the knee and tied behind me. He then wrapped rope around my wrists, creating cuffs of hemp and tied them behind my back. I couldn't use my hands for balance. He strung me up in such a way that he could push me over, and I'd literally swing around wildly. But doing so meant that the rope around my chest would constrict and make breathing difficult. Those were my two choices, a precarious stance or swing breathlessly.

The Sadist proceeded to hit the weight bearing leg with something quite stingy. I think it was a thick piece of rubber. As the pain shot through me I'd lose my balance which meant I couldn't breathe because I'd be hanging and spinning. At times the sole of my left foot which was bound behind me was attacked with evil force.

He worked my body with toys. I was on fire. Each touch of rope or toy burned and stung. Flames lept with every strike of the rubber strap. Red was seen whenever the ropes moved or I lost my balance.

Attempting to regain my footing required strength that was dissipating. My muscles burned. I needed to breathe and the ropes said, "no".

And it was good.
Fire. It was all fire.

At one point the Sadist grabbed the flesh under my arms and lifted me off the ground.
I screamed.
And it was good.

The beast appeared, although leashed. He growled and wanted to be loose. But in spite of the intensity of the play, I acutely knew where I was. And he wasn't going to rage there. I didn't want him to make his presence fully known in that space. If we had been in a room of selected peers, or playing alone, he would have come out. Too intimate for general public play.

Stifling my animal created terror and panic. The Sadist connected to my eyes, drawing me in. I locked eyes, yet the music and atmosphere was jarring and would invade the space we were trying to create.

After the scene ended, I sat with myself. Still drinking from the well, the water soothed my bruised, battered body. In spite of the fact that I chose not to let go, I felt full.

Last night, there was another outing. Although I wanted to play, I knew my body couldn't do it justice yet. My eyes were hungry, not my belly. Friday night's play was still nourishing me and I wanted to continue to taste it.

I've savored all weekend. My thighs still bruised, my chest, my neck, my ear, my wrists, my belly. my arms.

I played.
And it was good.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Alrighty then. I'm currently running on about 4 hours sleep, after a week of sleepless nights. I think I'm getting punchy because I'm actually beginning to see some twisted humor in this. Because I am one who firecely cherishes sleep, the silliness of the situation is quite the turnaround.

Maybe at some point, if clear-headedness sets in, I'll write about last night.