Thursday, September 30, 2004

So...have y'all heard that Mt. Saint Helens is rumblin' up a storm?
Last night, after work, I headed out to drop off some brochures to a friend before spending a quiet, still evening at home. Instead he and I ended up at Septieme's for dinner.

He began telling me stories of some experiences from about 9 or 10 years ago. Sharing his own history with s/m, he spoke of how his first passion was fisting, to be following by whipping and hard beatings. He loved the intensity and intimacy of having his arm up a boy's ass. He spoke of how that is when his play switched gears. Apparently, in that period, many fisting bottoms died. In his words, "it was a tsunami of death". The grief was so strong that he stopped fisting. He also stopped heavy play. He watched his play morph into bondage and confinement scenes. He still hungers and aches for the dark play, but can't go there.

On Sunday, at the s/m and spirituality workshop, one of the panelists mentioned he originally discovered leather in Chicago, where he lived at the time. Due to AIDS, the club he belonged to was essentially obliterated. I don't remember the name of the club. For 10 years he didn't play. Grief. He's gotten back into it and has even attempted to look up any members of his old group. It seems he may be the last surviving member.

First let me make it clear, I am NOT comparing myself to these men. I cannot even begin to conceive what that type of pain must be like. I lost 2 in the late '80's, not hordes. But what I'm touching on is the power of grief and the intimacy of s/m. No matter your situation or experience with loss, grief is potent. When the heart hurts, it seems to be that what was closest to you shuts down. That's the fact I'm becoming acutely aware of. We do what we need to work around it. But a door closes. I don't know where all my grief comes from. Some, yes. Maybe it doesn't even matter. It may reveal itself or not. Maybe being aware of its presence, aware of the closed heart and continuing to breathe are the most important. Maybe, just maybe, trusting the present moment manifests healing.

As I've stopped fighting the fear and am learning to lean into it, room is being made to feel the grief. Not depression. I can love, smile, joke, laugh, hug and care. And I can grieve. Maybe the more I allow myself to touch the deep sadness...maybe, just maybe I can move past all this.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Today Mark Morford writes about Karl Rove's GOP spin machine in "Dan Rather Takes A Bullet - While the Right was demonizing the crusty ol' newsman, BushCo got away with murder, again":

"And this machine, it is beyond more than capable of orchestrating just such a tiny, vicious feat as this pointless "Memogate" nonscandal, given how Karl Rove is the demon god at calculation and redirection and removing all accountability from his candidate and making it appear as though some big media conspiracy is treating Dubya unfairly, even as Rove manipulates that very same media to smear the living hell out of bona fide war heroes, all while shrugging off more than 1,000 dead U.S. soldiers and ignoring the brutal fact that his boy Bush has almost singlehandedly made America the most disrespected and openly loathed major power on the planet."

Read more here.

And our other Wednesday regular, this week's Freewill Astrology.
Whoa. Check out today's entry for Uppity Faggot. Reading it, I found myself rolling in the words and the thick space they create. Over and over...

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Chowdah and possibilities.

I just got back from a long walk with wonderboy. At 3pm this afternoon I gave him a buzz. "Wanna come out and play? It's fall, it's sunny, it's beautiful." His hands were in the process of making truffles. 1,000 dark chocolate hand-dipped truffles for a big job on Saturday. Heaven? Yeah...if you like chocolate.

After a 5 minute hesitation he realized it would be good to get some air. I left work early...or not, considering I was in at 5:30 this morning, went to pick him up and we headed for Alki in West Seattle.

It was what I needed. The expanse of air and water. A long walk. We ate at Duke's, opting for the 4 chowder sampler. Let's see if I can remember them.
Shrimp/butternut squash chowder
Tomato/scallop chowder with a hint of curry
Kentucky bourbon/crab chowder
and our regular lobster/pernod chowder.

We sat upstairs, on the deck overlooking the Sound, eating...sampling...and sopping it all up with warm sour dough bread. Simple pleasures.

Since I've moved to the Hill, I've surrounded myself in the ghetto, so to speak. My life is on the Hill. I work in a queer organization, surrounded by queers and live in a queer neighborhood. I like it that way. But as delightful as the Hill is, I need to stretch my legs in other enviroments every once in a while. That's why it seemed perfect today. The light was magical. There was a thin strip of fog floating over the Puget Sound. And the sun was shining. It was warm yet had the distinct crispness of fall. Immersing myself in hot chowder just added to the experience.

I felt myself relax. Something inside me let go. Submission to what will be. I'm now looking forward to Two Spirits and whatever magic may happen.

For Body Electric I was informed I need to bring something for the altar. I've thought long and hard about what item to bring and kept coming back to nothing. I know that an altar that appears empty is not empty. It becomes chock full of nothing which can be powerful. There isn't a void. But with my stuff surrounding the workshop, I wanted to make sure that my decision to come to the altar empty-handed was not fear-based.

Today I knew that I had one item I could bring. The handmade dragonfly card. It's quickly become a powerful symbol of transcendence. Tonight I saw another option. The first piece of leather I earned - the black leather rose. I had considered this option in the past few weeks but felt numb inside at the thought of it. This evening something opened up inside and I touched possibility. Possibility of all the leather rose held and still holds. It showed me how cut off I really became from my deepest leather self. Seeing the door in front of me and the opportunites it holds leaves me in wonder.

Let's see what happens, shall we? :-)
The Gift.

About a week and a half ago, I sat on a hiring committee to help interview candidates for a new position. I was recruited for two reasons. One, they wanted someone whose mind worked in a similiar fashion to mine. More importantly, they mentioned they wanted to use my intuition in choosing the hire who would be the best fit. It made for an interesting morning of interviews. Freaky in a fashion because intuition just happens. I can't focus on it otherwise it becomes worthless.

2 days later I received a small handmade thank you card from one of the applicants. It's lovely, and I stood it next to my monitor. The very next day I received another little thank you card, store bought, from the owner of the telemarketing firm in town. Her business handles the phonathons for many of the non-profits in town, running the gamat from the smaller queer organizations up to something as large as the Seattle Art Museum. She and I have a great working relationship and much respect for each other. The thank you from her was...well...just because. No specific reason.

Two thank you's in two days. Yeah I was touched. The cards are both similar in color scheme and so I have them side by side at my desk. Glance over at them periodically.

Here's the weird part. I've been staring at both of them for a few days now. Yesterday, about 10 minutes before I needed to leave for my shrink appointment, I glance over at the two cards and stop. Picking them up... "oh my gawd..."

I look...and look again. I couldn't believe I had not taken sharp notice of the similarities until just that minute. Both cards are on cream colored stock. One is horizontal, one vertical. Each have a design. One has the 'thank you' above the design and the other below. The design on both is contained within a small square. One has a gold dragonfly floating in a blue squared space filled with silver dots. The other, a silver dragonfly floating in the same color blue square filled with gold dots.

"oh my gawd..."


I am not one who has ever had an animal guide. I know others have, and although I thought it was cool, it wasn't my thing. Two dragonflies, both in a blue square, both floating in dots. Silver and gold. Dragonflies.

Then I remembered an incident on Sunday. Sir and I were at Home Depot, wandering through the plant section. I was touching and playing with chimes and bells. My hand kept going to one in particular, and making it ring. It was wonderful. But it wasn't strictly chimes. I clearly remember saying, "It's too busy with design. If it weren't for the damned dragonfly on here, I'd get it in a minute."


I had about 5 minutes left and immediately googled for the meaning of dragonflies. With no time to research I grabbed the first link I saw and began to read:

"Dragon Fly: You are the quiet messenger and harbinger of order, leaving in your wake the well thought out systems of filing codes and protocols that only you fully understand. Your nature is basically utilitarian and you know that efficiency is only achieved by repetition, attention to detail, and discipline. You love to see how many things you can do quickly and well and at all times you can bring your spot light vision and superb mind to the given matter at hand. You love routine, and believe you and others function better within them.

You are a blessing to be around, loving nothing more than to be turned to as problem solver and personnel efficiency expert and critic. You are usually right about what you think and see, and that makes you difficult to debate at any time. Being better in management, you do not miss the relationship between a box of paper clips, the increase of productivity and next quarters bottom line.

But in truth, you usually miss your calling. You prefer to be unseen and left alone to live in the knowledge that your efficient, ordered world was of your making. Your compensation, and reward in and of itself. A compensation that is designed to protect you from the vagaries and uncertainties of life.

When you are quiet, you will hear the sirens that will call you to a greater world, and a more meaningful life. You are in truth, a gentle soul. One that is so skilled that you were meant to be mentor, guide and counselor to others.

To be happy in end, you must follow your dreams, ideals and visions of life. You must acting upon them and trust in their beauty, worth and truth. You have been chosen to be the artist and the art critic, the musician and the conductor. You were meant to live in the realms of myth and fantasy, for you alone can find your way through the labyrinthine maze of life. You are a true guide and augur on the pathways of life. It is you alone that can enter and return unscathed and unchanged from the sojourns into the realms of Grace, Beauty and Might. O, if you only knew....."

Quickly printing it out, I grabbed the 2 cards, the description, my keys and dashed out the door. On the way to the shrink the above words began to filter in...its impact hitting me. The first three paragraphs are exactly what I've created with my life. I manage a database. A system so complex that it's become extremely difficult to train another unless they have the ability to see the whole picture and how each part is related to the other. A system that requires a combination of logical and intuitive mind to manage the massive amount of records. Just in the last 6 months, I've set up protocols that finally seem to meet all needs and began to create a manual to explain how to enter the information and pull certain queries. I do not want the sole responsibility of this database. Yet I've unconsciously designed my professional life to surround myself in detail and order. No wonder I felt cornered and locked in. Tangled.

The more I began to open myself up in my personal life, the more I sought structure. Procedures that require consistency and perfection. No room for flexibility. Highly creative in the sense of continual problem solving yet creating a fortress around my own little world. I took this position after I began training with Sir. Actually, the job evolved out of the community service requirement I needed to do for my training. I volunteered for a couple evenings and then the ED contacted me to see if I'd be interested in interviewing for a position with the foundation.

"To be happy in the end, you must follow your be artist..."

Big stuff. The universe could not be shouting any louder. It's been a helluva week, beginning with seeing the artwork. The art, the approach of Body Electric Two Spirits...whoa.

Intimacy. It's all about intimacy. Touching oneself and sharing it with others. The closer I get to attending Body Electric the more terrified I became. I know if I remain at least a little open, it is going to touch an area I slammed a door on. Yesterday with the shrink-

he: one of two things will happen at Body Electric.

me: yes?

he: either you will break through or you will go crazy.

I looked at him. He was dead serious. See how comforting the shrink can be? Last week, while we discussed the intensity of this particular time in my life-

he: either you'll make it through the fire or you'll kill yourself.

me: (thinking) isn't that delightful?

he: but i'm pretty sure you'll make it through this.

Well, I did ask for realism and honesty from my shrink.

Back to yesterday -

he: you know you can slow down the process and postpone Body Electric

me: yeah, postponing it right now would be like flying down a hill on skies and the only way to stop is to veer toward the tree on the left and slam into it.

he: yes. that's about right. It's picked up a life of its own and probably wouldn't be wise to rein it in.

So in the meantime I cherish gifts like yesterday. Two messengers sent to speak clearly and lovingly in a time filled with apprehension.

Life is good, interesting and mysterious.

Monday, September 27, 2004


Yesterday I spent the day out with Sir, running errands and engaging in general silliness, which we tend to do when out and about. We were both relaxed enough to have some really good talks.

He mentioned how he's so proud of me, watching me become and evolve, knowing it's incredibly hard work. He then added "I've never told you this, but I chose you for training because I could tell you hungered to be broken. When I saw you play, in that suspension scene, I knew. You appeared to be in a place where you desired to see what was inside. I also knew that I would begin the process of smashing and cutting and from there, you'd access intense therapy to continue the work we began."

He spoke of how many people sought training on one level. How to do. How to access play. How to become a good player. And even though I wanted those things as well, I yearned for something else. I was seeking. I sought my shadow self.


Shadow has been coming up for me a lot in the last 4 or 5 days. A friend wrote to me and said that what I feared was my shadow self. I knew this. But that doesn't make the process any easier or the fear less great. And it doesn't stop me from taking another step.

About 4 years ago I concocted my ultimate fantasy. It is a particular scene, of which I am not sharing details publicly, wherein given enough time, I would struggle between human and animal. How long could I walk the edge between loss of humanity into full primal being? And would that be the dividing line between sanity and insanity? That's the goal of this particular scene. What would that feel like? Could I trust someone enough to take me to that place, dance there and then pull me back? Would I have the desire to return once I touched it?

I remember mentioning that scene to an acquaintance who is a therapist, a sacred intimate and a Body Electric teacher. I watched her face as I described the scene. She cringed. She knew if allowed to happen, I would be playing with fire like never before.

Although I haven't experienced the particulars of said scene, I see myself touching aspects of it. Some things don't always come in the package we envision. My therapy right now is a major scene. It's fully about trust and intimacy. Each day, more and more, I struggle not to leave the office in a fit of rage. Last week, I looked at the shrink and "fuck you" came out of my mouth. It was thick with venom. He is fucking with the deepest part of my being. He's scrambling all my paradigms. Sometimes I wonder if I'm really going crazy or if I can continue to trust myself. The only way I can tell is to keep looking at my life. What is getting stronger?

We are touching my shadows. The more a finger is slipped into the dark cavernous space the more my surface self rebels. I feel demons leaping and screaming.

Another shadow experience is reading a particular book. A couple months back, ThorNYC had set up an online book purchase and signing for Hogg by Samuel Delany. Having never read Delany, this is the book I dove into. It began quickly, and then slowed down just as quickly.

It was a tough go. I finished the book last Friday evening. Septieme's was my library. I couldn't read the book at home alone because it would creep me out. I needed to be in the midst of nurturing, safety and people, touching another reality other than what my mind could concoct at home alone. Also I would go a couple weeks inbetween reads.

Delany writes science fiction. And although this book is set in 1969, it is definitely another world. I was Alice, having stepped through the looking-glass. I wonder...really wonder if it would have affected me in the same way had it been placed in outer space, 100 years in the future. If I dealt with what clearly was a fantastical, alien world with no sense of the familiar, could I more easily have suspended my sense of right and wrong?

With each page I fought the voice that said "reading this makes you a horrid person." My mother was talking to me, letting me know I sinning for immersing myself in such filth. Because I prefer brutality with my s/m, the consensual sex didn't bother me. No matter how nasty, I was fine. I've touched that dark place and embraced it as friend. And the breaking of most taboos turns me on. But choosing to read about nonconsensuality was the challenge. To be immersed in such violence over and over and over, page after page, chapter after chapter, I wondered how this book was spiritually feeding me.

Yet I read on. Although at the time I didn't know why, I simply knew I had to finish the book. It was an ongoing battle, my mother on one side, and me, the artist on the other, declaring that all we can fantasize is legitimate. If more people wrote, painted and played with shadow there would be less nonconsensual violence in our daily lives.

Repression is what explodes without control and creates harm and havoc.

"Cause people don't even wanna see shit like that. I mean, they'd be happier pretending it didn't even happen. But you're gonna see enough of the kind of stuff I usually do."
-- Hogg, p. 39


Sunday, September 26, 2004

I open. I give. I love. I trust.

I live life with the desire to taste fully, the highs and the lows. And yet, it's not enough. There is still a barrier, reinforced with concrete, protecting the remotest regions of my soul. Yesterday I saw my reflection in the face of another and knew the wall to be mine.

Some may say "that's healthy. You can't have it all hanging out. We all need safeguards."

But I know now that if the wall surrounds my gift, what am I really protecting? What's the point of keeping it locked up and never used? Have I actually shared my heart with anyone? Or is what they've seen only the dimmest reflections of light trying to make its way out of the dark cavern?

I can create the best excuses and justifications not to do something. I can question something to death, as I'm doing now. I'm in the midst of doubt surrounding all my choices thus far. The painter who does not paint. The masochist who does not get beat. The service bottom who doesn't give. It comes in fits and waves. Each experience is rich and textured. And then, I pull away. Afraid. Each step, one closer, only to then run.

How do I begin to actually touch and reveal it? Where in the world does the strength come from? The courage needed? I've been chiseling at hard rock for some time and feel myself get closer to the source. I know it's near because the work is more laborious. I tire quickly. The rock is harder and more jagged. I'm bruised and bleeding. Yet in some fucking crazy way I persist. What's up with that?

Is that the drive we each have? Knowing that there really isn't another good option but to continue?

Seeing that artwork last week has truly thrown my ride into hyperspeed. Each day since I feel the heat of fire more intensely.

What lurks in my shadows? What am I so afraid to show the world?

All this makes me wonder if the life I've lived thus far has been a lie. A lie of omission.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

How about some tunes this morning?
Two songs by Heidi Stone
Click on the title links to listen to each:


Seeing billboards for god rising up from the pavement blocking out a big, black sky
And I’m three-quarters empty, hundred miles out of nowhere, don’t you think I’d ever stop to wonder why?

When I can see where I’m going for miles and miles around me
And I know what you’re doing so don’t think you’ll surprise me
And I know what you’re saying but why should I stay when I know everyday and every way you surround me, yes I do

Jack rabbit jumping straight up into nothing and night becomes a big black hat

When I can see where I’m going for miles and miles around me
And I know what you’re doing so don’t think you’ll surprise me
And I know what you’re saying but why should I stay when I know everyday and every way you surround me, yes I do

Seeing billboards for god rising up from the pavement blocking out a big, black sky

Feed the Soul

Big daddy paralyzed, thought you were a supersize, now it’s time to sterilize, line up all your alibis, Gotta be a big man so you twist so that you can
Spot the spies, analyze, live within the little lies

Feel the need, feel the hole, feel the mess, feed the soul

Slow river runs aground, touches everything it’s found, doesn’t matter where it’s bound, soon it is the only sound
Blue water sucks you in, now you’ve got to sink or swim
pulls you down ‘til you drown, what good is your little crown?

You will be tempted by lines, you will be fed more or less all the time, and there are those who want your head and you must decide if you will lead or be led

Grow a shell upon your back, make up for what you might lack, soon the shell becomes a rack,. Never give you any slack
Set yourself upon a throne, always have to be alone, even if you feel the bone never ever find a home
Feel your fingers tingling, feel the fire reaching in, feel the beat beneath your skin, just a little frightening
See the world fade into black, hear the air begin to crack
think of what you might have been, don’t pass go begin again

Friday, September 24, 2004

I've been fairly quiet this week. With my blogging anyway. Inside I've been in the midst of a tumultuous chunk of weather. One high spot was speaking with blackbird a few nights ago. He called...I heard that voice...and excitement filled me. And I rambled. I don't think he's experienced my rambling before. I miss you blackbird!!

My blogging silence has come from having so much to write about that I don't know where to begin. It's all connected in some odd way and yet feels tangled at the same time. How do I unravel words to form coherent strands?

Maybe the biggest is the intensity of feeling. The deeper I delve in this shrink stuff the more hatred and anger I feel. Right. You're all saying "well duh girlfag, that's the point!"
What's difficult is there is a certain personality that pushes these buttons. Yeah...I know the original source. But anyone that has similar characteristics has the potential of being a lucky recipient of my shit, mud and blackness. And it's tough when one is a coworker. I've expended so much energy over the last few months trying to NOT let this dump back on her. We have general conflicts anyway...when it comes to work. The uglier it gets inside the more I need to pull in the reins outwardly.

I remember telling the shrink last week I feel I've lost my ability to be compassionate. I'm mourning that. The intensity of the bitterness doesn't leave room for much warm fuzzy. Therefore, now when I have contact with those that push old buttons, I find myself working extra hard to not have it show. Somehow I'm more patience and tolerant. I'll explain quietly and calmly. I'll go out of my way and create situations to make them feel comfortable and at ease. Everyday I seek out at least one positive thing about each of these people. And with each step I'm fighting the rage and bile from spilling out onto them.
Fucking exhausting man.

In addition, I've been sitting with resentment because I'm not painting. Remember when I wrote that I felt boredom last Sunday? Right after that feeling I desperately wished to have this whole week off. That boredom meant I was relaxed enough to actually dive into paint. I'm not on vacation until the middle of October, and it's meant for Body Electric. I love my job. I LOVE my job. And I hate the way it saps my creative strength. If I could afford to live on 20-25 or even 30 hours a week and stay at the Foundation, it would be good. Then there would be enough of me left to paint fairly regularly.

A few days ago a coworker asked me how I'm doing without cage time, sleepsack or cell time. I haven't been locked up in 2 years. And I haven't allowed myself to think about it in a while. It hurts. I cried from his question. Longterm confinement bondage was my space to regroup and reconnect with my sexual self. It fed the introvert in me as well. I could put forth more energy because I would spend a full weekend locked up in a small tight space. 2 days and night in a small cage...or a full 8 hours in a sleepsack and hood are things my body craves. I stopped thinking about it until this week.

I'm freaking out over Body Electric. Seeing it as a compromise for me instead of an ideal situation. Cranky because there is no such thing as ideal situations. I'm wigging over not painting. I'm pissed I don't have the words to explain all that's inside. I did resolve to begin my workout walks again. For 3 years, I'd walk a minimum of 3 miles...hard. I'd hustle and work up a sweat. Get my heart pounding. Try to make a 45 minute loop. On weekends I'd do the loop twice for a 6 mile workout. Since then I haven't lived in an area that's conducive to stepping out the door and walking. Something felt so wrong in getting in my car to do this workout.

Now I can. I live on the backside of a good, big hill. So I began again yesterday. Walking clears my head and heart. I need to reclaim this time. It's critical now.
I think I should be locked up and put away at least until I get to the other side of this healing. I don't feel fit for man or beast. I fear I'll contaminate everyone with the pus that's oozing out. I don't like myself a whole lot right now and the same time, I am watching myself evolve. I see a more textured person awaken. How can I be in the middle of ugliness and beauty at the same damned time? It's the pool I'm immersed in. Leeches, maggots, flora and fauna.

Sexy life, eh?
Sunday evening is the discussion where I had the opportunity to sit on the panel. I will be attending as part of the audience. If you're in Seattle, check it out.

From the website:
Spirituality of our Sexuality Forum
BDSM and Spirituality: Acts of Power, Acts of Submission
Sunday, September 26th, 7:00 pm, All Pilgrims Christian Church, Stuart Hall, 500 Broadway East, Capitol Hill, Seattle.

Within the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered communities, Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sadism and Masochism (BDSM) are not uncommon sexual practices. There are those, however, who recontextualize these often negatively judged "fetishes" into rewarding forms of spirituality. In this forum, panelists will share how these acts generate profound spiritual connection for them. We invite you to put aside fears and judgments to learn more about the diversity of spiritual expression within our communities. There will be time for questions and discussion. Everyone is invited! We ask for a $5 donation to defray expenses, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Snacks provided. Sponsored by the Multifaith Alliance of Reconciling Communities, a program of Multifaith Works.
This morning Mark Morford writes about John Kerry:

"But I suppose this is the saddest part of all. That is, how cheerless and heartbreaking is it when you are essentially forced to wish that your candidate would be more ruthless, more cutthroat, more ferocious. When deep down you long for a little dignity among your leaders, some humanitarian deftness, some way to salvage a shred of spirit and hope amongst the political carnage."

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Sir just emailed me info about this interesting project. (AE...whatcha think? It might be a fun thing for your community on the mountain to do and then ship it out.)

We are all invited to participate in Spiral 2004, an installation project in honor of art and against the war.

"I believe with all my heart that the monks who burned themselves did not aim at the death of their oppressors but only at a change in their policy. Their enemies are not man. They are intolerance, fanaticism, dictatorship, hatred and discrimination which lie in the heart of man."
-Thich Nhat Hanh. Lotus in a Sea of Fire. 1967.
This week's Freewill Astrology for you.

And...our other Wednesday regular, Mark Morford:
"See, there is this point. There is this point where it all becomes just beyond silly and absurd and surreal. There is this threshold you reach where you finally just have to toss in the moral and spiritual and intellectual and commonsensical towel and just laugh out loud and shake your head and sigh and then run off to the woods with a bottle of fine sake and the collected Coltrane. This is what you have to do. Especially when faced with such wicked absurdities..."

Morford shares with us his views on the CXT, supposedly the world's largest pickup truck.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Monday, September 20, 2004

Friday night I was speaking with Sir, The Bear and wonderboy. The conversation was around how our current political times are really bringing hatred out of the closet. I jumped in and mentioned it was a good thing. It's all hot button issues and it's pushing people into honesty.

Thank you Jimmy Swaggart for at least being honest about something - your views on queers.

Just in my email-
Statement by Matt Foreman, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director:
"The leaders of major organizations heading the campaign to deny same sex couples equal marriage rights frequently say that they do not hate gay people and that they respect us as human beings. Just last night in a national simulcast to oppose same sex marriage, for example, Focus on the Family President Dr. James Dobson said, "I'm not here to cast aspersions on homosexuals ﾿ they need our acceptance and respect... We are not hateful people."

The Task Force calls upon the leaders of last night’s simulcast - Dr. James Dobson (Focus on the Family), Tony Perkins (Family Research Council), Ted Haggard (National Association of Evangelicals), Richard Land (Director of the Religious Liberties and Ethics Division of the Southern Baptist Convention) - to immediately denounce anti-gay violence and specifically repudiate evangelist Jimmy Swaggert’s statement, “I’ve never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I’m gonna be blunt and plain: if one ever looks at me like that, I’m gonna kill him and tell God he died.”

All lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and all people of good will be listening."

Time to paint

I experienced boredom yesterday evening. It surprised me because once I felt it settle in, I knew I hadn't been in that space for at least 6 months (conservative figure). Maybe closer to a year, if not more. Being so busy meant that even in a long period of downtime, I was busy regrouping and didn't have the opportunity to feel bored. The boredom showed me I was finally relaxed and ready to move into something else. And I didn't. Instead I sat with it.

The reason I mention boredom is because of my entry on Saturday. I wondered if I was harsh when I said I realized I was wasting my life. Auxugen commented on that as well. It's a big statement that actually spoke to those periods when I had the energy and time to paint yet didn't. Keeping with a buddhist approach, work when it's time to work. Rest when it's time to rest. Eat when hungry. Feed your body. Feed your soul. And paint when it's time to paint. That's where I felt the waste came in. It's not that I should be painting whenever I'm not working my day gig. But in yesterday's boredom, I KNEW it was time to paint. I was rested. I could set up.

I didn't.

Instead I nursed this pleasant realization of listening to my body and discovering a new clue while in the discomfort of boredom. I wanted to become familiar with the feeling, knowing that I can't always paint when I get home from work. It's not time. But I am granted the time and now know what it feels like. Let's see if I listen to my body next time.


What to paint

When I was younger I used to have large spaces of time where I wanted to paint. I ached to paint. And I wouldn't. My reason for paralysis was "I don't know what to paint." I didn't have any ideas. Instead of simply picking up a pencil or brush and even painting the apple on the table, or copying Old Masters...I would do nothing. My eldest nephew has great drawing skills and he did the same thing. As a child and a teen, my words came out of his mouth. "I don't know what I want to draw." He is doing exactly what I did.

In the last few years I've learned that subject isn't as important as actually doing. I know the ideas will begin to flow once my hand starts working. Prime the pump. Lack of ideas are not a reason to not fill the canvas. If nothing else, grab a mirror and paint your face. Morandi's subjects were simple. Cups. Vases. Look out the window and paint the neighborhood. How about your foot? A little still life of the books on your nighttable. Work begats ideas.

We begin with grandiose visions and use that as the excuse to freeze. I can't do "X" so I won't even start.

Last week I saw The Mystery of Picasso on dvd. It's the second time I've seen it and recommend it to everyone. It's not only about painting. It is a huge metaphor about life. I watched in amazement the ideas that flowed like water from his head to hand to canvas. The demon "I can't do that" floated through my mind. But he could because he worked.

Going through leatherboy's portfolio last Friday and seeing his boundless imagination left me in awe. Feeling the freeness that came with not allowing fear to hinder was a bottle I wanted to suck on.

It comes with working.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Yesterday I saw art. Hmmm, I think I need to rephrase that. Yesterday I saw ART. Before I continue, I warn you it's going to be a tease. I don't have any images to show you and I am not going to describe the work. Although I've shared descriptions with individuals, it's too sacred to put out there publicly.
You'll just have to take my word for it. Or not.

This art was made between 1990 and 1994. The artist died in 1995. He was a leatherman. He knew he had AIDS. He knew he was dying. Included in this portfolio is the last finished work as well as his final piece, left incomplete.

I thought I was a good painter, maybe even artist. Spending an hour, with wonderboy at my side, looking through these large works on paper, left me feeling small. We were in the presence of greatness. For a few years I've sought art created by leathermen. Not the illustrative work that is not only prevalent but the dominant part of art in the sex world...but ART. Once in a while an illustration will reach out and grab me. But I tend to discard most of it because I want to see something different. Where is the uniqueness of the artist? Why are they all following the same path? They have the skills. You can see it in the draughtsmanship, and yet, it all falls into one large beige box.

An artist is one who uses his ability, his imagination and his cock to create a new world, risking everything with each step. To allow yourself the freedom to play and feel and taste and not take yourself too seriously. To put yourself out there in such a way that is genuine. Being honest without pretending to fit it. No one fits. Not really. No one.

Yet we all expend so much energy fearing isolation and loneliness that we shove ourselves into boxes that aren't meant for human habitation. Now a technician may or may not reside in such a structure. An artist won't put up with it.

This man...this boy, along with one other Seattle painter, are the closest personal examples I have of visual Artist. I mourn the relationship that he and I never had.

After seeing the work, wonderboy held me and I cried. The art evoked a multitude of emotions and touched dark corners of my soul. I'm not the only one. A few others who have seen the work said the same thing. It is an experience like no other.

One day, hopefully, the work will go public and be shown. In the meantime, it gave me so much to think about. I am not in the place where I will take risks with my painting. That's what holds me back. I have the skills, a sensitivity to color and architecture. And one other thing. Fear.

I wondered what my painting would look like if I were diagnosed with death. I wondered how my life would change if I was handed a piece of paper that proved my life was finite and shorter than my delusion. That's right. Delusion. The fact is we are all dying and we may not even be around for our next breath. The point of our lives is to live the most and biggest life we can live in the continual presence and knowledge of death.

I was smacked in the face with the realization that I am wasting my life.

And yesterday, by seeing Art, I learned the definition of Artist.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Mark Morford takes a different trip this morning. It's not about war or Bush or homophobia or hate or bloodshed or our endangered enviroment or extremists or stupidity or massive debt. Today he writes about something lighter. It's a nice break from the gloom.

Morford begins:
"And then, as he was happily consuming his baby greens 'n' goat cheese salad, one of the youngish men at the dinner party I just attended just so happened to mention the unbridled glory that is the salad spinner, and the night was never the same again."

Now if you've been reading Morford regularly, you'll see that his columns always carry something for the mind and soul. So although lighter in appearance, you'll find fodder.

Read What Whips Your Spinach?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

A new entry, the first in over a month, from Baghdad Burning.
From Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology:

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Your immediate future reminds me of the
Buddhist monks I saw beaming child-like smiles and waving their arms
exuberantly as they rode the roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach
Boardwalk. Why? Because I believe that whatever discipline and devotion
you have brought to your spiritual work in the past year will soon be
rewarded, probably with a thrilling ride that dissolves obstacles or a
soaring adventure that breaks down inhibitions.

Yesterday I mentioned I may write about my horoscope because it was a way. Maybe it's only a little way.

Over the weekend I received an invitation to sit on a panel for Spirituality and SM. On Monday, I discover my shrink was invited to sit on the same panel as well. Yeah it gave us much to talk about. So much so I booked an additional session for Tuesday, because I wanted to be able to give the organizer a fairly quick answer.

The shrink was good. Actually, at one point I wanted him to tell me how to decide, but he was not going to do it. He said it wasn't his place. It was up to me and he'd respect my decision, including the option of my being on the panel and his sitting in the audience. His job was for me to look at all possible options, see what complications may arise and make sure whatever decision I came to originated from a good place. Some scenarios presented more complications than others. Now, these complexities aren't necessarily negative, but definintely something to be aware of. It could easily change the nature of our relationship and maybe lessen the 'hotness and button pushing' found in therapy at this time.

So what that meant was I changed my mind about 8 times over 24 hours, and 3 times in our Tuesday session. But we talked and continued to peel away layers with each possibility.

I came to the conclusion that I would not sit on the panel but would attend the discussion.

My reasoning:

I respect my shrink and therapy so much that I really don't want to mess it up with anything else. Couch work, analysis, is incredibly tough, and I don't want to contaminate it in some way although I am aware that it will shift some from even sitting in the audience.
Also because (and I've yet to write about this...actually dragging my feet on it), I've been making myself very vulnerable over the last month. By taking risks and putting myself out there, I discover two things are happening. One, I hate people. Not really...but I can feel my defenses up big time because I am raw. The second is, it's exhausting. To sit on this panel, only 3 weeks after the party, and 2 weeks before Body Electric where I'm stuck with people for 4 days straight with no serious reprieve, is a lot right now. It's a good thing I have 2 add'l days on the Mountain after the workshop so I can regroup.
It's about balancing my energy.

In addition, because my defenses are up, I'm concerned I wouldn't be able to explain my ideas on spirituality effectively. When I wrote to the organizer I mentioned I do not have a quantity of thoughts on the topic. Instead, it's one BIG idea. And I'm so passionate about it that I haven't a clue how I'd begin to coherently formulate words. It's one of those 'know because I know because I know' feelings. The kicker is, it's not relegated strictly to SM. My attempt to articulate my thoughts to my shrink resulted in a face wet with tears. Yeah, I feel strongly about it. Frustrated because it seems so simple and yet I can't quite find the words to explain. The shrink smiled, understood and mentioned that's why I blog. I guess that means you are all privy to my mind scribbles.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Rob Brezny's weekly scope was appropriate in an interesting way but other than linking to it, the thoughts will have to wait.

And today, Mark Morford has a chilling but somewhat true insight into our society or maybe it's human nature in general.

In Could four more brutal years of the Dubya nightmare actually be good for America?, Morford writes:

I have a good friend who believes, gloomily, bitterly, resignedly, that not only are we in for four more years of painful and cheerless BushCo-branded tyranny and misprision and aww-shucks dumb-guy shtick, but also that we are actually at the beginning of a long, brutal, fear-based Republican juggernaut that will last a good 16 more years, at least.
Because this is how long it will take for the current horrific conservative cycle to play itself out, and this would resemble a more typical and historically proven 20-year pendulum swing, in this case one toward neoconservative right-wing hate and homophobia and warmongering that will careen us toward heretofore unprecedented extremes of sadness and isolationism and far too many overweight white people with guns.

But here's the catch. Here's the argument: This dark era, this wicked 20-year dystopia America could now be facing, it might be a very good and necessary thing indeed.

Not, as you might dream, because four more years of BushCo and a dozen more of sneering Republican domination means there will likely be good times ahead. Not because we will enjoy an unprecedented era of peace and stability and generosity and environmental sustenance, humanitarian progress and U.N. cooperation and fiscal responsibility and a generally relaxed and open-minded attitude toward religion and multiculturalism and sex. I mean, don't be ridiculous. Besides, the Clinton era already happened.

But, rather, it will be necessary because the moral and spiritual and physical hemispheres of our existence will quickly become so dire and toxic and the nation's socioeconomic situation will become so extreme and desperate that maybe, just maybe, we will finally learn something.

This is the argument. It is bitter and defeatist and, maybe, if you let your inner devil's advocate speak, a little bit true.

Look at it this way: If Kerry wins now, the nation won't have suffered enough, won't have traveled far enough down the road of right-wing egotism and misogyny and homophobia and religious self-righteousness and deficit mauling and sanctimonious ideology and mangled grammar to really learn anything indelible, nothing that will affect a permanent sea change in our worldview, and we will just continue to limp along, never really healing and never really refocusing our intention and never fully understanding the depths of our dark side.

And, furthermore, if Kerry wins, history might not be as fully and inevitably antagonistic toward BushCo as his short, dreadful despotism deserves. Our national memory is frightfully short. Everyone will think, oh well, it's all over now and the damage has been done and it wasn't all that bad, really, was it?

I mean (they will say), sure Bush is widely regarded as the most politically inept and ethically dangerous and environmentally hostile president in American history, and sure women's rights were hammered and civil rights were shriveled and every single major ally we have in the world now either disrespects us or mistrusts us or openly abhors us like an Olsen twin shuns direct sunlight.

And sure Dubya's sanctimonious and violent warmongering actions in the Middle East have done far, far more to inflame anti-U.S. hatred and have amplified the threat of terrorism against us a thousandfold, but hey, the Texas schlub only lasted four years and now we can move on, right?

Wrong. Call it the fatalist maxim: The only way the national soul can really change is through serious crisis, through near-death apocalypse, through things getting so dire and tormented and swollen that something finally has to give, the psycho-spiritual levee at last has to break. And it won't be the slightest bit pretty. But it will be mandatory. And in the long (long, long) run, ultimately healthy. Sort of like finally purging a massive cancerous lump from your colon. Only not as much fun.

History and the culture, it would seem, bear this view out: We don't shun pollutive monster SUVs until gas prices hit five bucks a gallon. We don't quit smoking until we have a lung removed after coughing up enough blood and phlegm to gag a horse. We don't take care of our bodies until after that second heart attack and we don't ease up on the toxic garbage foods until we get so fat they have to haul us to the lipo appointment with a forklift.

We don't lift a finger to protect the environment until the hurricanes slam down and the heat waves crack the streets and vaporize your precious swimming pool and ruin the ski resorts. And even then we just sort of shrug and move somewhere else.

We ignore the Social Security nightmare until 70 million boomers retire and the infrastructure collapses. We don't touch the truly dire water-supply issue until the reservoirs dry up and the pipelines crack and Earth recoils. We glut on the planet's natural resources until the land is choked and billions go hungry and even then we seem to think, well, why the hell don't they get themselves a nice Costco?

We are, ultimately, a species of stasis and lethargy. We are rarely sympathetically proactive, always violently reactive -- and only when the threat is immediate and overwhelming. We have a fetish for shortsightedness and instant gratification and damn the costs and the impending toll on our stunned mal-educated children. We move, in short, only when we have to.

So then. Maybe it has to happen. Maybe we need four more years of BushCo (though not, let us pray, 16 years of toxic Republicanism) just to see how bad it can get, to snap us out of this fearful lethargy, this ignorant numbness, this weird and tragic belief that it is only through sheer faux-macho posturing and pre-emptive bombings and through decimating foreign relationships and igniting holy wars and trying to prove that our angry acidic well-armed God is better than their angry acidic well-armed God, that we are actually safe and healthy and spiritually attuned.

If the past four years are any indication, four more years of BushCo would be just unimaginably dreadful for America, for the health of the planet, for human rights, for the poor and for women and minorities and gays and non-Christian religions. After all, no one could have predicted, four years ago, just how much damage this boot-lickin' puppet president could have wrought on the culture in such a short time. He seemed so harmless and bumbling and lost -- at first.

But, then again, no one anticipated that he would be handed the golden political grenade that was 9/11, and no one could have imagined the he and his snarling administration would so shamelessly, so heartlessly leverage our most horrific national tragedy for such brutal and oily gain, using it not only as a fear tactic and a justification for multiple wars and as a vicious excuse to quell dissenting voices, but also as an actual political slogan, a veritable trademarked brand for the Republican Party. BushCo '04: Vote for Us, or Die.

By the way, there is another option. The path of direness and cataclysm is certainly available and will almost definitely eventually result in significant change born of pain and war and dread.

But know this, too: The mystics and psychics and the energy workers, the healers and the deep astrologers and the ancient shamanistic texts, all tend to agree that a major shift is already under way on this planet, a massive spiritual/energetic transformation slowly sweeping all of humanity, right now and throughout the coming decade, affecting everyone and everything, ready or not, bringing the world's issues and conflicts and spiritual questions to a critical head.

Here's the bottom line: It is our choice. It is up to us whether this astounding and deeply profound change will be, as my friend's opinion suggests, bloody and violent and full of disease and death and flagrant corporate-sponsored abuse of the planet, or whether it will be, instead, full of light and generosity and awareness and a deep, abiding respect for those who share this pale blue dot with us. Both avenues, after all, will cure the cancer. The question then becomes, Do you want it sliced out with a hatchet, or with a feather?

One look at the cruel and arrogant BushCo agenda, and the answer seems evident: We are already making our choice.


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Last Friday night I ended up at Septieme's with Sir. Surprise, surprise. Actually, it was 8 pm and I thought I was settled in for the evening. But a hankering for some good soup came up, and while speaking with Sir in chat he mentioned he'd join me and have a drink while I eat.

Walking into Cafe Septieme I was greeting by favorite waiter #1. Favorite waiter #2 was rushing around serving because it was a full house. Many tables were pulled together into one long line, filling up the side room. There appeared to be a large party although the place was still opened to the public. Favorite waiter #3 came by for hugs and kisses. FW#3 and I were talking and then someone grabbed me from behind. It was physical trainer from the leather brunch a few weeks back. He had been sharing a meal with beautiful boy and soup boy. Biting my neck, I turned and we and heavy. Yeah I was taken aback but in a lusty, delightful way. Then Sir walked in and we proceeded to find a table. It was so loud we ended up at a table on the sidewalk, where we'd be able to hear each other. The night was mild. It began to mist and favorite waiter #4 pulled out the awnings to keep us dry.

The air last week was filled with so much bizarre energy. Weirdness everywhere. Everything felt almost but not quite right. Technological difficulties abounded. Friday night Sir and I sat, ate, watched and enjoyed the calm. Bondage top stopped by the table for a bit, camera man did as well. Camera man has a nice touch with the singletail. It was, at least on the sidewalk of the cafe, a quiet mellow evening. The mist turned to heavier rain. It rained for the 4 hours we were there. And we sat. We felt. We watched. The rain appeared to push the strangeness out of the atmosphere. Although at times it was a heavier pour, no one was rushing. Some had umbrellas and others simply got wet. But there was a leisurely pace to everyone's step. Couples of all orientations were engaged with each other. Much hand clasping. Holding each other, kissing under umbrellas. The sky black. The sidewalks and streets shimmered with wet glistening light from street lamp reflections.

It really felt as if we were in another world. At one point I noticed all the other outdoor tables were empty. And wet. Ours was the only one that stayed dry. Neither Sir nor I wanted to leave. The evening was filled with quiet contentment. Watching, being a part of this world. No one appeared worried by the troubles of this age. People appeared to revel in the rain. Present. We were all present.

Later beautiful boy, soup boy and physical trainer came up to our table for goodbyes. They were headed to the Cuff for the evening. Physical trainer grabbed me, pulled me toward him and shoved his tongue down my throat. A hard, bruising kiss...the kind that gives an immediate hard on. Then pushing me away I spat out 'bastard' and tried to hit him. As he kept my hands down he remarked that the next time he'd have to grab handcuffs. He shot me a nasty smile and they left.

Midnight rolled around and we prepared to leave. Walking up to the bar, favorite waiter #1 approached me for a hug and said, "so you're a gay man." I laughed and didn't say anything. He continued with "that's what bondage top told me."

Smiling, I bid him goodnight and left into the dark. Amused, because I realized this little world, the Cafe, is a small town. It's a place of regulars. We can never plan what will happen there. Always a place of surprises. Sometimes quiet and nurturing, other times filled with hot, steamy energy.

Monday, September 13, 2004

It's been a little while since I've sat down and chatted with you. Between a computer crash and sheer exhaustion, my life felt/feels askew. Apparently, according to one professional and verified by a few others who've experienced similar in the past, I've spent the last couple years running on pure adrenalin. Feeling fully depleted of energy yet somehow managed to get moving, be it a crisis, doing a large task or even really fun things. In addition to expending this energy physically, it is also emotional. For people I love, including myself.

So now that everyone is moved or in the process of...and most of the big stuff is settled, I am hitting my wall. A work meeting or even a few hours being social with friends will have me home napping and not moving for at least the same amount of hours I've spent in the company of others. Most of this weekend found me in bed or in my comfy chair watching West Wing, Season 1 on dvd. I couldn't blog. I couldn't even read emails. I couldn't chat. The only time I used my voice on Sunday was to get out for a short walk and ask the barista for coffee. Bone tired like never before.

It scares me because although I've written of being's never been this big. Sometimes I think I have a horrible disease that is sucking all of life's energy out of me. I think back to the days when I could run non-stop for months, then spend a couple weeks retreating inward...only to begin the process again. Now I can't seem to go more than an afternoon or evening with people before I need to crash.

The shrink keeps reassuring me it's okay. I'll be truly pissed at him if he's wrong.

I do have more I want to write, but need to begin some work stuff. I will try hard to come back later.
Good morning. I'm here and well. I want to share a blog entry I read this morning. It's from Lydia and pretty powerful stuff. I guess by highlighting this I am keeping her in the role of poster child. Although what struck me is how she wrote about AIDS period, not the fact that she is a lesbian who took care of a lesbian partner with AIDS.

My right tit and real life as a poster child

I was filled with grief before I opened my mailbox, before I answered the phone, before I read my email. Yes, the mail and the phone and the email brought me fresh pain. That was private. This was before that. This was public..

I knew it was a mistake to pay attention to any of the shit around the 9/11 anniversary. I avoided the radio and the TV. I did not pick up the newspaper. I scrolled fast when some LJ threatened to go all weepy on me.

I'm not heartless. That's not it.

And what was? Suddenly, it dawned on me why I was so annoyed and so devoted to avoidance.

My right tit hurts, you see. So I was frowning at my boob in the bathroom mirror when it all came back to me. I remembered the last time I got my tit squished, which was a long time ago. It was so long ago that my ex-wife and I went together to get our boobalahs inspected.

Back then, my life was about taking care of my wife Mel, who was a lesbian with AIDS. (Still is. Not dead yet, but not my wife any more.) During those years when everybody was dying or taking care of friends who were dying or going to funerals or just reading the obits of an entire generation, Melly and I were freaks. We were instant poster children. It was not so unusual to be a lesbian taking care of someone sick with AIDS. It was unusual if not unique to be a lesbian taking care of a lesbian partner sick with AIDS. That was supposed to be a guy thing.

So everybody was curious about us. How did she get it? How did we do lesbian safe sex? Why was she fat when the fags were all so thin? With our natural female superiority in the emotional department (yep, that's sarcasm), how did we cope?

Mel was, at the time, a pretty well known lesbian writer. I was a pretty obscure and barely published one.

If you recall, AIDS literature was a booming business. Why not? Everybody lived close to the emotional and physical edge. There was a lot of coming home and family dynamics and, of course, the hideous illness and the dying. It was fresh roadkill for the literary vampires. And a lot of very moving, beautiful art did come out of that time.

But early on, I dug my heels in and refused to write about it. If people wanted to fucking know what it was like, they could come and help us keep the house running when Mel was unconscious or vomiting 24/7 or delusional for weeks on end. They could sit with us for hours in the ER and experience the high standard of medical care (yes, sarcasm again) offered to a delusional dyke who happens to be suing that very medical facility for back benefits for her job-related disability.

I could have made quite the career out of milking the experience. Aides who took care of PWAs wrote books and won awards for their sensitivity. (I admit I am still angry and horrified about that, after all these years.) Counselors to PWAs wrote books, lesbians who cooked meals for PWAs wrote books, PWAs of course wrote books, and the gods know that partners left behind wrote books and books and books. For years, queer writing was pretty much AIDS writing. Go toward the fucking light, man! Or not. I declined.

I did write one piece about the lesbian AIDS thing. It was sentimental and angry and needed about three more rewrites. It got published and republished. Strangers whose names I'd been seeing for years wrote me and asked if they could use it. Sure. Use it. Use me. Use my sick and much more private wife. Use AIDS. That badly written little essay was quite the success, and it tasted bad. Yuck.

So as I was flipping my titty around in the mirror and remembering that time, I realized that the 9/11 literary industry is no different than the AIDS literary industry. Both of them annoy me. I happen to think that it does not honor the people who died suddenly and horribly on that one day any more than it served the generation who died of AIDS to trot out the Story Idea Of The Week and grind out an essay. In fact, it seems downright exploitive.

The books and the careers built on AIDS did neither me and Mel nor the dying and their grieving survivors any good. We needed help. We needed support. We needed sensible people who could do sensible things.

Unless I have that to offer to the survivors; unless I have something of value to address the religious and political extremism that create and feed the virus, the fear and anger, I really should shut the fuck up. I should mourn my dead. I should live and act with compassion, not pole-vault off of pain and guilt to get as high above it as I can.

First, I'll get my tit squished. I'm not done yet.

Friday, September 10, 2004

I'm still somewhat shell-shocked after last night's realization of data loss. I'll try to remember to link to yesterday's post for a while, so faithful sporadic readers, whose info I've lost, can be notified to contact me.

Keeping that news in mind, want to see what my horoscope was for today? This is a horoscope that is periodically emailed to me. It's supposedly based on my birthdate, birthtime and location of birth that I plugged in when I signed up.

Quicksilver is another name for Mercury. Though we can't play with Mercury anymore, we can recall the incredible fluidity and viscosity of pure Mercury. Beading and rolling with ease, quicksilver represents the relaxed mind tapping into the pipeline of unlimited mental imagination. Ideas rise, emerge and bubble forth. Do whatever it takes to get them stored somewhere other than in your fleeting memory. The moment offers shiny nuggets of thought that are easily expressed and shared with others.

The underline is my touch.


This morning Mark Morford writes about the ridiculousness of polls and wonders who can actually be an undecided voter in this day and age.
Guess what? I mentioned earlier today that my computer went on strike last night. It was more than a strike. I lost everything. Beautiful boy came over and reinstalled OS X and most of goodies. We then went to Septieme's to grab a bite and have a drink while updates were running. It's still updating as I type. Shit.

Don't even ask me about backups. No, I hadn't done one. Yes, I've learned my lesson. I had a nice history of stuff that transferred through 10 years and 3 computers, onto this one.

My address book is now gone. I'd appreciate email addresses again. For those of you who I had phone numbers, physical addresses, birthdates and AIM chat names...could you please send them along? Thank you so much.

It hurt losing the address book, although I know with time it can be retrieved. It hurt a little more losing all my writings, but I felt an interesting and clean sense of letting go. That one felt like a release. The sting was greater with the 200+ emails in my inbox I still planned to follow up on, or had important info on that had yet to be filed.

But...went I opened up Safari and hit 'bookmarks', I almost cried. That's when I remembered all my bookmarks are gone. I had files and folders of stuff I was researching. There were massive amounts of art folders, and sexuality folders. Writing folders, literature folders, philosophy folders. I had a great link from a NYTimes section of writers writing about writing. Good read.
I had a Zen folder.

Shit damn piss sonofabitch.

Talk about letting go.

It's strange. Yes it would hurt some to lose my clothes, my books and most of my physical possessions. But I've discarded the majority of the physical a few times now. It's not hugely painful. What hurts instead is all that I've accumulated that was mind stuff. It's all connected to ideas and research. Questions I'd been thinking of and where to stumble upon more questions. Oodles and oodles of mental masturbation.

My zen buddhist priest shrink is going to have a fucking field day with this tomorrow. I can see a session on attachment.

So here I am. Other than what's on my work computer and Blogger archives...I am beginning with a clean slate.

C'est la vie in cyberville.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Before I take off for my meeting, here's an op-ed piece from today's NYTimes.
Cheney Spits Toads

Published: September 9, 2004
NYTimes - Op Ed piece

WASHINGTON — George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have always used the president's father as a reverse lodestar. In 1992, the senior Mr. Bush wooed the voters with "Message: I care.'' So this week, Mr. Cheney wooed the voters with, Message: You die.

The terrible beauty of its simplicity grows on you. It is a sign of the dark, macho, paranoid vice president's restraint that he didn't really take it to its emotionally satisfying conclusion: Message: Vote for us or we'll kill you.

Without Zell Miller around to out-crazy him, and unplugged after a convention that tried to "humanize'' him with grandchildren, horses and wifely anecdotes about his inability to dance the twist, Mr. Cheney is back as Terrifier in Chief.

He finally simply spit out what the Bush team has been more subtly trying to convey for months: A vote for John Kerry is a vote for the terrorists.

"Because if we make the wrong choice,'' Mr. Cheney said in Des Moines in that calm baritone, "then the danger is that we'll get hit again. That we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, and that we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mind-set if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts, and that we're not really at war.''

These guys figure, hey, these scare tactics worked in building support for the Iraq war, maybe they can work in tearing down support for John Kerry. They linked Saddam with terrorism and cowed the Democrats (including Mr. Kerry, who has never been able to make the case against the Bush administration's trompe l'oeil casus belli) and fooled the country into going along with their trumped-up war. So why not link Mr. Kerry with terrorism and cow the voters into sticking with the White House they've got?

It's like that fairy tale where vipers and toads jump out of the mouth of the accursed mean little girl when she tries to speak. Every time Mr. Cheney opens his mouth, vermin leap out.

The vice president and president did not even mention Osama at the convention because of the inconvenient fact that the fiend is still out there, plotting. Yet they denigrate Mr. Kerry as too weak to battle Osama, and treat him as a greater threat.

Mr. Cheney implies that John Kerry couldn't protect us from an attack like 9/11, blithely ignoring the fact that he and President Bush didn't protect us from the real 9/11. Think of what brass-knuckled Republicans could have made of a 9/11 tape of an uncertain Democratic president giving a shaky statement that looked like a hostage tape and flying randomly from air base to air base, as the veep ordered that planes be shot down.

Mr. Cheney warns against falling back "into the pre-9/11 mind-set,'' when, in fact, the Bush team's pre-9/11 mind-set was all about being stuck in the cold war and reviving "Star Wars" - which doesn't work and is useless against terrorist tactics. The Bush crowd played down terrorism because Bill Clinton and Sandy Berger had told their successors that Osama was a priority, and the Bushies scorned all things Clinton. The president shrugged off intelligence briefings with such headlines as "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States'' because there was brush to be cleared and unaffordable tax-cutting to be done.

After the blue-ribbon graybeards declared the Bush administration's pumped-up W.M.D. claims and Saddam-9/11 links bogus, the White House went into a defensive crouch - especially the man in the undisclosed bunker, who had veered wildly between overly pessimistic predictions of Saddam's nukes and overly optimistic predictions of grateful Iraqis with flowers and chocolates.

For a time, it seemed that Americans were realizing they'd been flimflammed by the Bushies. But at the convention, the swaggering Bush juggernaut brazenly went back to boasting about its pre-emption doctrine, tracing imaginary connections between 9/11 and Saddam, and calling all our foes terrorists.

Why should the same group that managed to paint a flextime guardsman as a heroic commander - and a war hero as a war criminal - bother rebutting or engaging with critics?

As the deaths of American men and women fighting in Iraq topped 1,000, and with insurgents controlling parts of central Iraq, the White House trotted out the same old discredited line, assuming it can wear - and scare - everyone down by November.
Last night I sat down and blogged. Notice? That's because once again I didn't post it. It is currently sitting in a draft email on my home computer. I copied it and went to log into Blogger only to discover that I didn't have any internet access. Okay. Not to panic. I figured the modem needed rebooting. It helps 99 percent of the time. I reboot and then restart my computer.

It came on and up came the blank gray screen with one lone apple. That's it. After minutes of staring at this (I did give it the Sister Wendy effort) I went to turn off the power button. It would't work. So I unplugged the damned thing, waited a few minutes and plugged back in.

Gray screen, apple and now the little gear turning. Good sign. It's turning and turning. After a few minutes the apple turns into a circle with the bar through it. Not good. And there it sat. Before anyone makes cracks about Apple, I have to say that this is the first time my Mac's been cranky. My windows computers (old home one and the work one) are continually ornery. Rebooting is a minimum of once a week.

I unplugged my Mac and went to bed. By the way, I called Auxugen and discovered our ISP (same company) went down last night. So that's the initial problem I had.

This morning, I can't remotely access my personal mail. If anyone emailed anything there, please resend to my trick email: autre at graffiti dot net.

I've emailed beautiful boy hoping he can help. He gave me the G3, is my mail server and hooked me into his network. I couldn't call his brand new number because's sitting on my home computer. It's gonna be a day.
I refuse to let this get me down.

Today is our staff retreat, so I'll be away from the office most of the day...only to return this afternoon and hope that beautiful boy responded to my cry for help.

Tuesday I went on strike. I was so tired after the weekend that I only lasted 3 hours at work. My eyes kept glazing over and I couldn't see numbers anymore. I went home and slept most of the day. Wednesday morning Blogger appeared to go on strike. Last night my isp did, and now my computer. Hmmmm....should this be creeping me out?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I would have posted the news about a superior court ruling, but was on strike from the world yesterday. Another Superior court judge ruled WA State's DOMA unconstitutional. It's the second ruling in 4 weeks. First William Downing in King County, and now Hicks in Thurston County.

Seattle Times - Wednesday, September 8, 2004
Gays are a protected class, state judge rules

By Lornet Turnbull - Seattle Times staff reporter

In what legal experts say is a bold finding that gays and lesbians are part of a protected, minority class, a Superior Court judge yesterday declared the laws that bar them from marriage unconstitutional.
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks was the second trial judge in four weeks to strike down Washington's Defense of Marriage Act, overwhelmingly approved by the Legislature six years ago.

Hicks, in a 38-page ruling, wrote, "The clear intent of the Legislature to limit government approved contracts of marriage to opposite-sex couples is in direct conflict with the constitutional intent to not allow a privilege to one class of a community that is not allowed to the entire community."

But Hicks went further, finding that under Washington's Constitution, homosexuals are a so-called suspect class, groups with such immutable characteristics as race or sex that entitle them to equal protection of the law.

King County Superior Court Judge William Downing, in his Aug. 4 ruling, had declined to find homosexuals a protected class, based on federal law.

Hicks' finding surprised some legal observers and outraged gay-marriage opponents.

"The court is taking a significant step in deciding the issue this way," said Peter Nicolas, a University of Washington law professor who teaches a course in sexual-orientation law. "A lot of decisions, including some from the U.S. Supreme Court, have said just the opposite."

Pastor Joseph Fuiten, president of Washington Evangelicals for Responsible Government and an opponent of same-sex marriage, called the judge's decision "an astounding widening of rights for homosexuals."

Many members of his church, Cedar Park Assembly of God in Bothell, identify themselves as former gays, he said. "I have no black members who used to be white."

"It's a huge leap," he said of the protected-class finding. "Everything flows from that. It entitles [gays] to full protection."

Hicks, like Downing, ruled that marriage is a fundamental right and that the state, by denying that right to gays, also denies them a laundry list of benefits and privileges afforded to heterosexuals.

Hicks, a former family-court judge, spent significant time in his ruling on family and children. "Same-sex couples can have children through artificial insemination and same-sex couples can adopt children all with government approval. Where is the protection for these children?"

Like Downing's ruling, Hicks' decision has no immediate practical effect; counties cannot begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ultimately, both cases will be merged and likely heard before the state Supreme Court, possibly by mid-December.

But for the 11 gay couples, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, who sued the state for the right to marry, the emotional impact of Hicks' ruling couldn't be more immediate.

"This has been a life issue for us: being a family and having that recognized," said Brenda Bauer, who along with her partner, Celia Castle, are the lead plaintiffs. Jeff Kingsbury, another plaintiff, said it's fitting that a state as socially progressive as Washington could carry same-sex marriage forward.

"I believe the citizens of our state are ready for this and want it," he said. "In a few years, we'll all know at least one same-sex married couple and be wondering what all the fuss was about."

The couples, along with gays and lesbians across the state who seek the right to marry, now shift their attention to the state capital, where the state Supreme Court and, perhaps, the Legislature may ultimately decide the fate of gay marriage.

Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington, has said she wants to introduce a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in the next legislative session.

Stevens, who was the key sponsor of the state's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), expressed disappointment in Hicks' ruling. "The Legislature passed DOMA to prevent the erosion of traditional families, acknowledging that marriage is between a man and a woman," she said in a statement.

Rep. Ed Murray of Seattle, an openly gay Democrat, said, "The Legislature hurt marriages and families when it passed this law. Politicians always talk about supporting marriage and family. This is the acid test."

Assistant Attorney General William Collins had argued that most Americans don't support gay marriage, as evidenced by the 38 states that have added DOMA laws in the past eight years. Collins had asked the court, if it found for the plaintiffs, to advise the Legislature that it could establish civil unions, marriagelike arrangements that offer equal benefits to same-sex couples. But Hicks wrote, "This court will decline to give an advisory opinion."

Collins yesterday called it "interesting that a trial court came to the conclusion" that gays are a protected class.

"I don't think those trial-court rulings go up on appeal with any presumption of correctness," he said. "The [high court] will be interested in what the trial-court judges say, but they will make their own independent decision about the constitutionality of the law.

"Ultimately, the Supreme Court will decide if they hear the case, when they will hear the case and how they will hear the case."

ACLU attorney Paul Lawrence, who had argued the case, praised the judge's ruling, calling it "well-grounded in state constitutional-law principles."

"He makes a very clear finding that the state Constitution requires equal treatment of all citizens and that state marriage laws don't provide equal treatment and are therefore unconstitutional."

Citing the compelling nature of the gay-marriage cases, Lawrence predicted "this is exactly the type of case that the state Supreme Court will take directly on review," bypassing the Court of Appeals.

Nicolas, the UW law professor, also noted that while the Supreme Court owes no deference to the trial courts, "The chances are more likely for a state Supreme Court finding that state law is unconstitutional on some ground."

Beyond that, however, the legal question becomes more complicated, more political than legal, he said.

It becomes a question of whether Washington is more like Vermont and Massachusetts or Alaska and Hawaii, Nicolas said.

Vermont's high court allowed civil unions, while Massachusetts ordered its Legislature to provide gay couples with nothing less than marriage.

In Alaska and Hawaii, the state constitutions were amended to ban gay marriage.

Lornet Turnbull: 206-464-2420 or
Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company
To read the full decision, you can find it here in PDF format.
I am in the process of writing a longer blog but in the meantime, here is this week's Freewill Astrology. And Mark Morford begins his latest column with "This is the great thing about rabid fundamentalism. You really just don't have to give a damn."

I'll be back later with some thoughts.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I just dropped Keckler and his BF Bear at the airport. We ended his weekend in Seattle at Cafe Septieme's. A couple of Seattle's rope tops joined us as well as other friends. From there it was a mad dash, so they could make their plane on time.

It was a good full weekend.

Monday, September 06, 2004

The fundraiser at the Eagle, once again, was a smash and a success. A good time was had by all. I introduced monkeyboy to Keckler and his BF Bear. About 10 minutes later, monkeyboy was in rope and the cream in the middle of the other two. :-) Nice play. Looking around the back patio, it was great to see all the fun being had.

I haven't counted out the dollars raised yet. That will wait until tomorrow. Even though the office is closed for Labor Day, I'll pop in to settle accounts. I've now overdosed on bar music and smoke. My head hurts and it'll be a quiet night. All these events leave me content, but they do take their toll on my energy.

Each Eagle fundraiser we've held for the Tony DeBlase Scholarship has blown my mind. They get better and better. Not only are we raising the funds for a really important scholarship - I mean...especially in this age of conservatism and fear of eroticism, the more options available for folks to enter the study of human sexuality, the better.

In addition to that, and just as important, community is being built. I've noticed men returning, time after time...and engaging with each other more. Our bootblack had hernia surgery just last week. I didn't expect him to volunteer his time today, but he didn't want to miss it. Tattoo'd Bear who does buzzcuts is still committed as are the others who help with the raffle and chefboy who mans the bbq. Their generosity of time and spirit is a powerful force. They are having a blast which spills into the corners of the back deck and touches everyone else. I am blessed to know these men.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Last night I held a very small get-together for Keckler. Hoss and Auxugen were there as well. Auxugen was a huge help. It's been such a busy week, juggling too many events, half not even related to work. Auxugen was a solid presence I could lean on near the end of the week. Good thing. Hoss came through with extra food stuff because I had a panic struck minute where I feared I didn't have enough food. It was a ridiculous thought yet there none the less. I think I channeled my mother in that moment.

There was a nice energy. Quiet, low-key which makes for good bondage. I experienced some really wonderful play under a certain Top's masterful hands. Nice, nice stuff. It was intense and intimate. Sir, thank you Sir.

Today was a do nothing day. It began with not getting out of bed until about 10ish. Quite unusual for me but not unexpected after the fullness of the week. And other than running out to spend a couple hours with The Bear and wonderboy, I literally did nothing. It was even too much energy to think about food. I simply scrounged cupboards for the easiest meals (read canned goods). So I haven't any good links for you nor exciting thoughts. Working on some...but not yet fully evolved.

I'll be in bed early tonight and hopefully be more charged up tomorrow. Sweet dreams everyone.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Another important bit for today.
Here is a letter I received from Aubrey Sparks this morning. Please feel free to pass along and forward.

Do you want to enjoy a great gift for Valentines Day? What if this gift was more than beyond the box of chocolates now empty or continued to bloom after the roses have wilted? What if this was more than just one day, a season, or even this year? Well, the wonderful Tony DeBlase Scholarship project will be finished by Valentines Day. The project will build an endowment so the scholarships will continue past this project and beyond the next generations.

In June we started a push to make the final lap of the project. What we did was a summer event every first Sunday 4 - 8 at The Eagle with a buzz cut, boot black, BBQ, and a raffle. It was a lot of fun as well as helped to build the reality of a dream. But now it is the end of summer. So we decided to continue the Sunday events until the project is done. I simply calculated the average dollars raised in the first three months of the event. Then I divided the remaining balance by average amount. To my surprise it will be done by Valentines Day as long as people continue to support the project. When this project is completed, it will be a nice gift which coincides with the 2005 Pride Foundation scholarship cycle. Isn’t it interesting that a scholarship for sex education will be completed by Valentines day?

The next event is Sunday, September 5th at Eagle from 4 - 8. Make sure that you make a note on your calendar. We will see you the first Sunday 4 - 8 every month until Valentines Day.

This project is a Pride Foundation community based scholarship is being established for students entering the fields of sex education, sex therapy, research or something that furthers the understanding of human sexuality, especially alternative sexuality.   The scholarship was named after the late Tony deBlase who is generally considered one of the most important Leather people of his generation, in remembrance of his vast work as an educator, but will commonly be known as the Leather scholarship.

Donations can be sent directly to Pride Foundation, 1122 East Pike Street #1001, Seattle WA 98122-3934.  Please be sure to clearly indicate that your donation is for The Tony deBlase scholarship. 

More information at

Thank you,
Aubrey Sparks
I'm not sure how much time I'll have to blog today. And there's lot to blog about. You may get it all or not. While clothes are in the washer I'll bring you Mark Morford. His column for today does for me exactly what's happening to my dirty laundry at this moment. Let's get rid of the accumulated grime, hate and nonsense that has become so much a part of our world.

In Where Is Your Hallowed Balm? Music? Yoga? Porn? These are the things that can defy the savage GOP gloat and give you hope Morford reminds us of ways we can cleanse ourselves of the defiling forces that work so hard to invade our hearts and minds.

Snippets from his column (but please read the whole's absolutely lovely):

I am searching for a few good things.

Things to counteract, to dissolve the simmering dread, to deflect the waves of nausea and karmic pain induced by the incessantly depressing media maelstrom and the appallingly hateful gloat of the GOP convention and by the most tyrannical administration and least articulate American president in 100 years. You know how it is.

Further down he writes:

Because there is always magic. There is always the paranormal, the mystical, the vibrational. There is the old man who plants fresh flowers in Buena Vista Park in San Francisco every week because no one else is taking care of them. There is utterly brilliant Indian quantum physicist turned ecologist Vandana Shiva, and local organic farms, volunteer disaster clean-up crews and meditating monks who endlessly strive, in total silence, sans ego and self-consciousness, to up the vibe of the world.

Do you ever hear about these people? Of course not. Do they make a huge and immeasurable difference to the quality of human life overall? Absolutely.

He writes about love, art, and the power of dogs. A very timely piece. Thank you Mark.
It's been a full, running non-stop day. Non-stop...until now. I left work at 3 minutes of 2, to make it to my 2pm shrink appointment. It helps that he's only a few blocks away. My ass got kicked in therapy and I left bleeding. I talked about an old girlfriend. The pain of the breakup came right back. What threw me is that I worked all that out with a therapist many years ago. I jumped into counseling after she left because of the shock of how it ended. A 7 week relationship took a good 2 years to heal.

Today I discover I still carry that pain. Granted I could think of her and not hurt. I knew time heals, and I felt that. But we touched the scar this afternoon. The scab peeled away and the wound opened up. Sigh.

Have I told you about her? I can't remember.

We met about 7 or 8 years ago before I moved to Seattle.

She intrigued me because she was a girl/guy. I don't know if she'd like knowing that...but that's how I saw her. Strength, aggression, and gentleness. She looked butchy on the outside but loved her Victoria Secret bras. I liked the complexity.

What turned me on the most was her brilliant mind. She has an MA in literature, is a fucking amazing musician and a singer/songwriter. I met her as her first cd was released and purchased the very first one. We were becoming friends at the time. That was January.

A few months later, in April, something happened. You know those moments where was appears to be a friendship changes on a dime. It evolved into a lusty affair, filled with massive amounts of sex and creativity. For 7 weeks we fucked, somehow managed to work, fucked, she did gigs, I painted, we fucked, we fucked, we fucked.

I don't remember sleeping during that time. Laying together in bed we'd dose off. One person would move and the other would feel it and we'd be at it again. We worked next door to each other. After she locked up her business, we'd be on the floor in the back, or up against the refrigerator...fucking.

This was my first exposure to someone who had a similar sex drive. Open and hungry. Unashamed. She introduced me to toys. We'd line up all the dildos. They each had names. The toy bag came with us just about everywhere. Driving into Boston for her interviews with radio stations, one would drive and the other would tease and taunt. Try driving the expressway at night in the pouring rain while someone has their hand in your cunt. We carried books of sex stories with us and read to each other, changing the names in the stories to our own.

We'd get together in my apartment and fool around. Just as we'd need release, we'd each go to work...she on her music and I on my art. Pent up energy was given creative outlets. Then we'd come together and cum.

7 short weeks. I had never before experienced such a mind, such a sex drive, such creative passion. I had never before experienced one who encouraged my gifts as well. I didn't need to slow down yet I could shine also. I had never before touched the beauty that is art/sex/music and food. I had never before met someone who wasn't put off by my open sexuality, yet seemed to match it, step for step. This was all before I formally introduced to s/m. But looking back on our was all there in more subtle ways.

I've yet to encounter such a relationship since.

Something odd happened to me in that relationship. For the first time I was able to love without the preconceived notions I had about love and coupling. I remember looking at her and knew I loved her. In that very moment I also knew I didn't need to tell her right then. It wasn't important to say. It was only important that I knew how I felt. Words weren't needed. I also knew in that moment that I didn't need to rush anything. It would either continue or not.

I remember an event that would be happening 4 months later. I considered asking her to go with me. And then it wasn't important. In the past, I would have asked...hoping to 'latch on' and 'keep' her with me. But I somehow knew there was time. If we were still together we'd probably go. I didn't need to plan a future.

That awareness is still clear as a bell. I won't forget the feeling that flooded over me, realizing I didn't need to physically hold on to love. It just was. Rich, powerful and there. Solid as day. Instead I cherished every single moment we had.

We were headed to Provincetown for 3 days. A couple days before, she walked into my apartment. "I can't do this anymore."
I don't remember her giving a reason. Instead, I kept hearing "I just can't do this anymore."
She handed me my key and walked out of my life.

Mutual friends couldn't understand what happened. I was at a total loss as well. When I return to the east, I discover (through the volunteering of friends, not through my asking) that she still has no desire to see me.

I spent a few years dealing with the pain from rejection, pain of not knowing why, and to learn how the hell to find closure within myself. I had to learn that whatever happened was her stuff. I don't know what was going on inside her and probably never will. I had to let go of whatever private demons she may have, not concoct new ones and learn to go on in spite of my own monsters.

It was 7 short weeks. And to this day I feel it was a once in a lifetime experience.