Sunday, October 31, 2004

Talk about syncronicity!

Remember my post from Friday regarding my choice not to mass reproduce my paintings? I just read an interesting essay on Mona Lisa.

Tourists wait in crowds to catch a few second glimpse of what is known as the most famous painting in the world. It's become a mandatory stop of any Parisian visit. They don't even spend time with the paintings on the way to the daVinci painting, or time with the paintings beside it.

No thank you. I'll save my art for those who seek art instead of painted canvas that has become celebrity.

Here are some excerpts from the article in The Guardian, The Mona Lisa Experience:

"Waiting to see the Mona Lisa has all the thrill of standing in an airport check-in queue. The crowd pushes forward, cattle-like and unquestioning, performing a ritual they know they have to go through with in order to complete a pre-ordained tourist experience."

"You have to feel sorry for Salvator Rosa, whose pictures hang to the left and the right of the Mona Lisa. No one spares a glance for the enormous Heroic Battle, 1652, to the left, with its dramatic portrayal of carnage. There must have been a time when this would have been the more obvious crowd-gatherer, but a sequence of quite random events has transformed the Mona Lisa over the past century into a celebrity painting."

"Some visitors are quite open about their frustration. "The Mona Lisa is probably the single most disappointing piece of work in the entire world," Guy Kress, an experimental psychologist from California, says. "The picture everyone has in their minds is much larger and brighter." It is true that the poster reproduction in the museum shop is a much bolder image. With this fresh in your mind, the original looks dour and gloomy."

It's a damned shame.
I'm a tad puzzled but not in a bad way. Instead I'm intrigued...curious. Yesterday, while at the staff/board retreat one board member approached me and asked if I was still writing which is a question I've been hearing often in the last 3 weeks. We then spoke of getting together to talk. It's been almost a year since we spent time together. I have great respect for this person and so enjoy the coffee dates we've had.

The heightened push to continue writing began on vacation. While at Body Electric, I read a piece (actually the unfinished one I alluded to yesterday in my blog) and was approached, actually nagged, to get my work out thoughts in the universe.

Well I think I am. Blogging. Apparently that's not enough for all these folks. The board member has and is again not at all subtly encouraging me to do a workshop.

Me? Workshop? I don't know about that. You see, I'm not the conference/workshop type. Yes I did a Body Electric, and I still can't believe I attended a workshop about sex. There's always a danger of being formulaic. And I hate to see sex become a recipe. But Body Electric was anything other than that. It was sheer magic. Spirit and magic. Regardless, I'm still not the workshop type. Although if I could, I would attend Creating Change in a few weeks. Reading about the workshops left me in awe at the wide range. Look at all that is offered under one roof! Next year I'll try and plan to attend. The organization I work for always sends a person or two. A couple years ago, one of my coworkers presented there.

I'm a one on one person. I believe in mentorship and see my path going that route if I found myself in teacher role.

And even if I ended up not being strictly one on one, what would I do a workshop on? So I have opinions. Who doesn't? So my views may be a tad out there at times. I don't know if that's enough to present. And even if it were, how could I create and organize such a forum. We are talking 1-2 hours. What the hell would I do? How would it look?

How do I present something that is so integral and substantial to me and at the same time feels abstract when I attempt to talk about it? There's no way I could speak for that long. And I wouldn't want to do a 'you listen and watch me blow hot air' workshop. I'd want to hold something that engages people and has active participants. But what would that be?
Okay...barring arts and crafts, I suppose a discussion would work. But I wouldn't even know where to begin.

There is also the danger to consider. The danger that if I created something, did it, discovered a positive experience, it could sway me from what I'm meant to do which I know...I'm not doing now. You know, that dirty 5 letter word. I can oh so easily get distracted. I can immerse myself in a vast variety of things. I've always considered myself a jack of all trades and master of none. A little of this, a little of that. Which is also why I don't think I have enough material for a workshop. It would make for strange soup. This is just like my painting. I have about 20 oil paintings in my apartment and yet, there isn't enough for a show because it's also a little of this and a little of that. The only cohesive theme in the art is the medium and painter. Yeah I know I could find group shows where I don't need to hang a bunch and I'll look for something appropriate.

Yesterday this board member planted a seed. In spite of all my objections I am taking it to heart in the sense that I'm actually going to give it serious thought, regardless of whether or not I do one. I will mindfully consider it. That's more than I can say for last year when I was nudged again and again.
It's very early for a Sunday morning. But just because we gain an hour of sleep doesn't mean my body takes it. I've been up since 5:30.

Guess what I'm working on? Yup, my new 14" iBook. Friday morning, I changed my mind again and, after speaking with a coworker who's a geek powerbook owner, I opted not to order the blue tooth. I'll pick up the adaptor at some point when I need it.

I love it and still am getting used to it. It's been many years since I've had a laptop. I've missed it so much! I haven't had a chance to really read it and set up the wireless. I'm not sure if it's simply as easy as flipping a switch or what. Yesterday was our staff/board retreat and so I haven't had the mental energy to look any further into my new computer.

Once I pick up a bag for it then I can tote it everywhere and do more writing.

If you vote by absentee ballot, have you mailed it in yet???? Yeah..I'll nag you every day until Tuesday. It's important to vote!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Yesterday I received an email in response to my entry about reproducing my paintings. The purpose of the email was for me to possibly consider that maybe my refusal to have my art reproduced into wall prints stem from a fear of success. It was a friendly email and I began a response only to realize that it was turning into a new blog entry. So this morning I sent off a short thank you with a head’s up to check here for the reply I was originally writing. Although our paths don’t cross very often, I know the person in real time. He is a kind and gentle man.
Dear reader,

I take your observation with affection because I know it comes from a caring place. Thank you.

Yes, I have no doubt I have a fear of success. It's part of what I'm working on with the shrink. You are correct. But, I must disagree with your reasoning for that conclusion. It has nothing to do with my choice to not reproduce my work. My fear of painting proves my fear of success. That’s it. Plain and simple. I also know that the work I’m doing with the shrink, touching old wounds, will allow everything else to ease out and heal. It’s all connected. So I’m not worried about it. It shall come in time.

There is something about painting...and maybe sculpture – imagine a 40 feet marble statue that is shrunk down to 12 inches so one can place it on their coffee table. Not quite the same effect, eh? Other creative modes of expression lend themselves well to reproduction. Printmakers, photographers, writers etc. But the integrity of a painting cannot be maintained in a copy. You can’t see brushstrokes. Your heart doesn’t hunger to run its fingers over the canvas and feel the brushwork. Your eyes can’t dance over the thick painterly patches or translucent glazes. You’ll lose at least some detail in the highlights and shadows, as well as the issue of color match. I don’t care how top notch the printer is. Not only is this for my work, but for years I’ve refused to purchase prints of paintings I enjoyed for the same reason. I’ve lived with blank walls before hanging a copy of a painting. I’d rather the painting be a memory.

That is my belief for my work and not a judgement on anyone else’s decision to reproduce or purchase prints from original artwork. Yes, you may wonder about all the art books I have around or seeing the work online. It is about intent. Reprinting in a book for educational purposes is a different motivation than mass producing for cheap wall art. In addition, I do believe there is some purpose and value for reproductions. Nothing is ever all good or all bad.

Speaking of mass production, I believe that as Americans, we are very much surrounded by capitalism, consumerism and commercialism. The industrial revolution has played a big part in how we live in our world and doesn't allow much room for originality. This influence is insidious and has snuck into our deepest core. Why spend the money on an original when, with very little effort, you can purchase a print for $50? It feels like a difference between western sensibility versus an eastern one.

Dear reader, you pushed a hot button when you offered the idea that my resistance to reproductions comes from a fear of success. What I do know, from painful life experience, anytime I choose a path that doesn’t fall into step with what we know or are comfortable with in this society, someone else decides my choice stems from disease, be it emotional, physical or spiritual. I’ve come to the realization that the possible diagnosis of disease is because the other is un-at-ease with my choice. I wrote about this very thing in March and am still tweaking that essay. I've yet to publish it here but methinks the time is soon.

I just did some googling for an idea I had and ran across a May 2004 article in Newday by Susan Cheever. I can only link to the google cache. In Drumming Up A Little Courage, she writes:

"We pay lip service to nonconformity, but all the evidence points in the other direction. From fashion fads, which travel through New York like flash floods, to much more important things, such as cars and even colleges, we all behave as if value comes from imitation. We buy the bestsellers. In the summer we listen to the same music on the same iPods. In the winter we are sheep in sheepskin clothing. If we are so proud of having choices, how come we all choose the same thing? We say we despise conformity, but we say it in unison. Even our schools teach the ability to conform in order to pass the Regents tests or ace the SATs. When we talk about wanting the best for our children, don't we mean that we want them to have what other children have? I certainly do."

Cheever's words reminded me of a wonderful quote I heard a few weeks back. Unfortunately I can't remember the source or the exact wording. The idea is that we are the most liberated nation in the world and yet we are the most enslaved to advertising, mass marketing and the media. We don't make our own choices, yet allow ourselves to be led.

Our society has an explicit definition of success. It’s wrapped in money and prestige. Fame. My life philosophy has a different definition of success. It's not about being the biggest or the best. I have written about ‘being famous' but it’s in a tongue and cheek way. Success is making the most of my potential and individuality regardless of what our society, be it our personal community or the larger world has to say about it. Success is consciously following your own unique voice.

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." - Thoreau

"We can say we admire those who march to a different drummer, but in fact being different is hard, harder than most of us can imagine, so hard that it often destroys the people who manage it. That's all." - Susan Cheever.
Today Mark Morford is bellowing GO VOTE!!!

"You cannot stay here. You cannot sit in this moment any longer. You simply have to get out and vote and scream and then roll up this ugly hunk of living history into a tight little ball of hot gelatinous goo and hurl it at the wall of time and see what sticks." - Mark Morford

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Nix my previous post. I am not getting an iBook tomorrow. After calling the Apple store, I decided I want the bluetooth module which means I'll be ordering the unit. But within a should come. :-)
Guess what? It looks as if I shall be getting my iBook tomorrow. This afternoon my credit came through. Not as much as I expected, but it's the right amount. I was going to head to the Apple store tonight but seeing I hadn't eaten since noon, my blood sugar was down. Thus I wasn't in the frame of mind for a fun shopping trip. Too tired and low. So the prudent thing to do was stay home, eat...and take a quiet evening. Time enough tomorrow. But tomorrow I'll have a home computer again...and a laptop to boot. It's good. My very first computer, in 1995, was a laptop and since it gave up its ghost almost 4 years ago, I've missed it...missed the portability something fierce.
Want to see some cool photos of last night's lunar eclipse?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I can't wait until I have a home computer again. It'll be nice to sit and leisurely write out emails and blog more thoroughly, instead of doing it at work. Although my office is comfortable, it's not home. Yanno?

Did I mention that you better vote this time around? I don't think it can be said enough.

I've been rereading the biography of Georgia O'Keeffe. Personally, she's not my favorite artist - no where near. But I'm fascinated by the person. If I had my book with me...or a home computer, I'd share blurbs from the book. The images that I have enjoyed were her NYC scenes and Lake George stuff. The flowers, the desert...not so much. I wonder if it's because it's been so commercialized. If I ever become a famous artist, although right now that's highly unlikely because I'm not painting, I will have to somehow legally stipulate that I will not allow my work to be mass produced.

Back in 1996 when I was painting all the time, during my fellowship, there is a certain painting that came out of me. My parents purchased it because they didn't want it to disappear from their view. I love this painting. It's a still life. Mostly a study in lights and whites. Images of Singer Sargeant's paintings were scattered on the floor. I'd paint a while and then stare and study his work. His brushstrokes. His handling of whites. If I do say so, and I do, it's a good painting.

When my parents nabbed it, everyone wanted to purchase that particular piece. My family emphatically suggested I make prints. They even began the research for a printer. There already was a line of buyers for high quality prints from this painting. I put my foot down and said no. No one seemed to understand and I tried to explain. I remember the disappointment. In good conscience, I couldn't do it. For me, paintings aren't about reproductions. You lose the essence, the spirit of what turns it into art. What is left is a pretty piece that matches the sofa.

I don't think so.

On one hand, I can see how that kind of thinking is selfish. Yet on the other, I am an artist whose art is one of a kind. Otherwise the integrity is lost. I have no illusions about painting to sustain myself financially. And if that weight of making a buck isn't there, then my work, hopefully, will be freer. I know I've written about this before.

Anyway, maybe it's time to head home and make dinner. Talk with you tomorrow.
Well I was a tad confused. I'm not getting together with Body Electric folks this weekend. That will be next weekend, Nov. 5-7. I returned from the shrink and received an email from one of the participants who happened to read my blog and noticed my error. Thank you! of the five people leaving is the shrink. He'll be away for 2 weeks. Normally not too much of an issue except this time when all the others are away. During my morning appointment with him we spoke of my fear and I mentioned how right now, it's greater than the fear I felt before attending Two Spirits. And that was intense yet it all turned out beautifully. So I'm now holding onto the fact that although this fear is greater, there is something magnificent on the other side. This seems to allow for a calm and a feeling of adventure. Apprehension yes, but I'm willing to walk through it.
Want to know the kind of week I’m having? The 5 people I’m most intimate with are, for various reasons, away for a week. I struggle with old big feelings of abandonment during this time. I’m also anxious about the election in 7 days. Have you sent in your absentee ballot yet? Please vote!

This is all part of the work I’ve been doing since Two Spirits. I feel everything’s coming to a head. I keep trying to breathe and remain calm while in the midst of this maelstrom that threatens to swallow me whole. Honestly...I’m scared. I’m fucking scared.

I know the timing of everyone’s leaving is not a coincidence. It’s too perfect, you see.

Tonight I will swim in the full lunar eclipse.

It’s amusing that I find myself mostly alone this week. Last night, while enjoying a solitary candlelit dinner at Septieme’s, I mulled over the fact that I am entering my own personal sesshin, with a twist. I do not, nor have I ever explored zazen, formal sitting meditation. I don’t know if I could. But 7 days of personal seclusion, embracing the mind. Considering my life, outside of work, that’s what this week will feel like. The one break, although not a vacation, will be our staff/board retreat on Saturday.

Now I know I’m not fully alone. I can get together with Hoss and his boy. I'm sure I'll call them for drinks or some good fun. Also, a few people from BE Two Spirits are in town this weekend for another Body Electric workshop. We’ll be getting together on Friday afternoon or after their session on Sunday evening.

But it is seriously unsettling to have those closest to my heart be furthest away at this time. I can't contact them for hugs or a smile. Their solid presence is missing. That's where my alone comes from right now.
Okay...lots of stuff this morning.

It's Wednesday and that means Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology. And yes, we have Mark Morford. Today he writes about possible conspiracy theories, the cowering media and about seeking truth:

"Sometimes it's all you -- or I -- can do to hint at the existence of these radical notions and illuminate the frightening possibilities and scream into the Void, hoping to agitate and inform and inspire while still covering your professional butt. A copout? Maybe. But then again, if there's an alternative, I have yet to find it.

And the truth is, we don't really want such unstable questions answered. We simply cannot tolerate to have our world, our leaders, our foundations so questioned. We prefer stasis to growth, security to true knowledge, blind faith to chaotic sticky self-defined wonder.

After all, once you allow the real possibility of UFOs or psychic healing or crop-circle phenomena or the notion that we could very well have a hugely malicious, criminal U.S. government capable of pulling a 9/11 on its own citizens, well, the happy capitalistic all-American Christian world begins to implode. Foundations crumble. Trust in our institutions vanishes. Gods fall and doctrines crumble and televangelists spontaneously combust and everyone starts reimagining the social order in ways that absolutely terrify those who now hold the reins.

Real truth, after all, often means anarchy, disorder, revolution. And God knows we can't have that."

Read the entire column.

And here's a beauty I found in Lydia's blog. She wrote:

I've been reading the wonderful Aztec Thought and Culture by Miguel Leon-Portilla, a classic study based directly on Nahuatl original sources. (Nahuatl is the language of the Aztecs and related preColumbian Mesoamericans, who called themselves Nahuas.)

In an examination of philosophers and philosophy, Portilla offers this translation of a codex passage where Nahuas describe a "false wise man":

The false wise man, like an ignorant physician,
a man without understanding, claims to
know about God.
He has his own traditions and keeps them secretly.
He is a boaster, vanity is his.
He makes things complicated; he brags and exaggerates.
A lover of darkness and corners,
a mysterious wizard, a magician, a witch doctor,
a public thief, he takes things.
A sorcerer, a destroyer of faces*.
He leads the people astray;
he causes others to lose their faces.
He hides things, he makes them difficult.
He entangles them with difficulties; he destroys them;
he causes the people to perish; he mysteriously puts an
end to everything.

* "Face" in Nahua parlance means personality, character, self-knowledge; or what I would call integrity.

Does this perchance remind you of anyone you've come to know sickeningly well over the past four years?

Thanks Lydia.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Thanks to Keckler for pointing this out. Sarah McLachlan's video - World on Fire. I loved this. It's a brilliant example of how one can set different priorities when the choice is made to live a compassionate life.
Watch the whole thing.

Lyrics to World On Fire:

The worlds on fire its more then I can handle
I'll tap into the water try and bring my share
Try to bring more, more then I can handle
Bring it to the table
Bring what I am able

Hearts are worn in these dark ages
You're not alone in these stories pages
The light has fallen amongst the living and the dying
And I'll try to hold it in
Yeah I'll try to hold it in


I watch the heavens but I find no calling
Something I can do to change what's coming
Stay close to me while the skys falling
I dont wanna be left alone dont wanna be alone


Hearts break hearts mend love still hurts
Visions clash planes crash still there's talk of
saving souls still cold's closing in on us

We part the veil on our killer sun
Stray from the straight line on this short run
The more we take the less we become
The fortune of one man means less for some

Monday, October 25, 2004

Hopefully by next week I will have a computer. Some computer. Either my old one will be fixed or better yet...I may have a brand new iBook. The 14" with superdrive. We'll see. Today, while talking with the shrink I mentioned it was high time I spoiled myself. He concurred. In addition he agreed that this purchase would make a perfect treat.'s not the powerbook I pined for, but it's also an additional $1,000. There are other things I could do with that kind of money. This one will more than suit my purpose. Also, it will be so nice to have a home computer again. Popping back into work to check email gets wearisome after a while. So the paperwork that allows me to get the new unit should be in the mail by the end of this week or the beginning of next. And the beauty is that I won't have to begin payments until after I've paid off Body Electric. :-)

I happened to hit the Apple store in the UVillage last Friday. I saw the 30" cinema display. Not that I want or need one. Even if I had the cash, my little/big room is too small. was sexy. Simply walking through the Apple store gave me a hard on.
I’ve been dealing with lots of internal changes over the last few weeks. Body Electric Two Spirit’s workshop opened a pandora’s box and now insights are coming fast and furious. I’ve wanted to share this part of my journey with you but haven’t a clue how to do so. By the way, I have noticed a pattern in my blogging. Whenever I get to the point where I can at least write out that I’m not sure how to talk about it, the words soon follow. So maybe that will happen this time as well.

I fear that as I write I may dance around all this. I personally am clear with what’s in my head. What leaves me foggy is how to write about it, how much to reveal. Don’t worry, it’s not some dramatic or lurid affair. It’s not some incestuous trauma. I’m concerned with being responsible. You see, right now, it would be so easy for me to blast most everything and everyone in sight.

I hate. I hate in a way I’ve never hated before. I had no idea I had this much capacity for hate. Yes, the door of hate opened while at Body Electric. Yes, I also mentioned a while back that I saw myself hold compassion along with the hate. But lately, I’m reveling in the hatred. I’m immersing myself in it because I want to remember and not forget how cruel and cowardly some people can be. I do believe it’s time to allow myself the feelings of hatred that I didn’t let myself feel when younger.

This is tough to write because to make for simple writing means gross generalization. And I don’t want to do that knowing it would send the wrong message. So here I stand – not sure how to engage with you yet I don’t want to hide. The original intent of this blog is about exploration and journey. And that is still my desire. It’s about humanity. The times I’m feeling powerful and the times I’m feeling weak. One gift I took from Body Electric is “the spirit of clumsy”. A facilitator was explaining something to us that would be new for many. She spoke about embracing the spirit of clumsy. I love that. It places the awkwardness from newness in a whole different light. The spirit of clumsy. I notice from rereading this blog that I have tried to let myself share that with you as well. Those times.

So I’m blabbering away and what am I really saying? I have stuff to share and haven’t a clue how to do it because I’m mindful of the audience. I don’t want to do an us/them – me/you kind of post. That seems pointless. This is why I’ve been somewhat distant in the last week or so.

Let’s see what happens, eh?

By the way, my dog bite is healing wonderfully. It appears I won’t need the antibiotics after all. Thanks for asking.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Don’t touch my pig’s ear!!!

Auxugen is away on vacation, hopefully getting lots of bondage while in Boston. His roommate is at the house but works long hours. So I am walking his dog once a day. I know this dog. I’ve known him for over 4 years and have walked him many times. He’s a big black goofy angel – newf, rot and lab mix. Huge heart.

Thursday was the first walk. He was happy to see me as I walked in the door. I grabbed the leash and we headed out. Happy dog. Spring in his step. On our walk he even saw another dog he wanted to play with, but this strange dog would have none of it. So unplussed, we continue our walk. Upon our return I checked his food bowl and gave him clean water. A little more attention and then I had to leave. Before heading out I decided to give him his absolutely favorite treat. A pig’s ear. He was happily chomping on it. I reached down to pat his head goodbye and it happened. He snapped and bit my left hand. The fleshy part. In a split second my hand was filled with blood. I know he was as shocked as I was. It showed in his eyes. My heart pounded and I burst into tears. Ran into the bathroom to grab something to mop up the bloody mess. From there, autopilot kicked in. I somehow managed to say bye to the dog, set the alarm, ran home to leave a message on Auxugen’s cell phone and then made my way to the emergency room...where I sat...for over 2 hours. I was supposed to attend a book signing at 7pm but didn’t make it on time. At 9pm, when I was released from the hospital I buzzed over to the signing where I was treated to a glass of wine and some great soup.

I’m fine. No stitches were needed. Although open, nothing was punctured. They irrigated the wound and slapped a big hunk of gauze over it. I’m to clean it once a day and replace the bandage. The doctor gave me a ‘script for antibiotics in case I need it. It’s just a matter of keeping an eye on the wound and see if it gets infected. If so, I’ll fill the ‘script then. Last night I hesitantly checked it out and it appears alright. No sign of infection. I had a tetanus a few years ago because I was assisting with demo-ing part of a home then.

While sitting in the ER I wondered what lessons would come to me from this. Yeah, the very first very obvious one is I learned that although loving, the dog is territorial about his pig ears. And oddly enough, an email about the dogbite yesterday began a chain of events with someone I love very much. One thing led to another which provoked something else that brought up some nasty memory of my father and I. It all began with the pig’s ear and the bite. An innocent walk with a dog opened a door to deeper understanding and healing.

Today I’m spent. I’ve yet to walk the dog again, but will tomorrow. I’ve let the roommate know that I can’t be there right now. Seeing it’s the weekend, it’s okay.
And...everything will be okay.

Friday, October 22, 2004

First, in a whole different vein, Mark Morford grieves for his Apple stock.

“They have been a friend. They have been a companion. They have been a welcoming thread of consistency in a sea of chaos and I have loved them dearly, perhaps too much, perhaps like some sort of rabid overprotective parent far, far too eager to see his kid score the big touchdown so he can feel like he made the right choices in his life all along.”

Secondly, on Tuesday night I saw The Times of Harvey Milk with a coworker at the Seattle queer film festival. It is also on dvd so check it out if you have a chance. Powerful film. It is as relevant today as it was then. What flipped me out was the timing. The events take place in 1977 & 1978. At one point they discuss the struggle with Proposition 6 in CA which would keep gay teachers out of the school system. Anita Bryant was mentioned.

My heart sank and memories came back.

In 1977, having left the Catholic church because it didn’t make sense to me, I became a non-denominational kinda pentacostal type very fundamentalist Christian. I was seventeen years old. The book on my nightstand, in addition to the Bible, was one by Anita Bryant. After prayer meetings and church services, my friends and I would hang out at the local Howard Johnson’s downing lots of coffee and being quite obnoxious with the waitresses. We’d preach and try to convert everyone. We were the ‘in your face’ type of Christian, leaving religious tracts in bathrooms, tables and shoving them into people’s hands. After being juiced by coffee and Jesus, around midnight, we’d head to the seedy part of town where the preaching became more intense. The little pamphlets we handed out were anti-gay. “Homos – get saved or get damned!”


At the time of Harvey Milk, I was passionately on the very side he was fighting against.

Remembering that during the film freaked me out and broke my heart.
I grieved for the lost teen I was at the time and then needed to look at my present to cherish the fact that I now try to work for compassion and human rights. was a moment.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I've spent the last 5 hours at work debating whether or not I should be in bed. Migraine and the beginnings of a nasty cold have me feeling like shit. But instead of bed...I'm still at work slowly plowing through piles of papers that have collected in my 10 days away.

So here's a quickie blog with our Wednesday duo. Rob Brezny's Freewill Astrology and Mark Morford's latest column about microchip implants for humans.

His first paragraph:

"I shall walk toward my car completely naked and keyless and laughing maniacally and I shall wave my arm over a tiny scanner and the doors will open and the engine will start and the stereo will begin to pump out "Highway to Hell" at a nice respectable skull-thumping volume.

And, lo, it shall be Good."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Bikerbearmark had a treat on his livejournal today. I'm calling it buddhist bossa nova. Listen to this , deliciously done by Antonio Jobim and Elis Regina. Aguas de Marco (The Waters of March)

I've included the english lyrics below while the spanish lyrics are found here. Gorgeous stuff.

The Waters of March

It's wood, it's stone, it's the end of the road
It's the rest of the stump, it's a little alone
It's a sliver of glass, it is life, it's the sun
It is night, it is death, it's a trap, it's the bait
It's peroba of the field, the knot in the wood
Caingá lamp, it's the Matita Pereira tree

It's wood of the wind, falls of the river bank
It's the profound mystery, it's the want in don't want
It's the wind blowing free, it's the end of a slope
It's the beam, it's a void, ridge beam festival
It's the rain coming down, the riverbank talks
of the waters of march, it's the end of the strain
It's the foot, it's the ground, it's the beat of the road
Small bird in the hand, a slingshot stone

It's a bird in the sky, it's a bird on the ground
It's a creek, it's a fountain, it's a piece of bread
It's the bed of the well, it's the end of the road
The dismay in the face, it's a little alone

It's a point, it's a nail, it's an account, a story
It's a bridge, its a point, it's the drop dripping
It's a fish, it's a gesture, it's the silvery glow
It's the soft morning light, it's the brick arriving
It's the firewood, it's the day, it's the end of the trail
It's the bottle of liquor, the splinter in the road
It's the plans of the house, it's the body in bed
It's the broken car, it's the mud, it's the mud

It's a footstep, it's a bridge, it's a toad, it's a frog
It's the rest of thicket, in the light of the morning
They are the waters of March closing the summer
It's the promise of life in your heart

It's a snake, a stick, it's John, it's Joseph
It's a thorn in your hand, it's the cut on your foot
They are the waters of March closing the summer
It's the promise of life in your heart

It's a footstep, a bridge, it's a toad, it's a frog
It's the beautiful horizon, its the third fever
They are the waters of March closing the summer
It's the promise of life in your heart
I think I have a chocolate headache. One too many hand-dipped, dark chocolate chipotle truffles. Yeah, you heard right. Chipotle. Made by none other than Seattle's own infamous, iconoclastic caterers, Feeding Frenzy. Oh no, there's no bias in my voice. It's not like they are the loves of my life or anything.

Their chipotle truffle is my favorite and totally kicks ass. It's not hot spicy like jalepeno. Instead, it's all about the chocolate until the end. Then you feel a kick at the back of your throat. It just kinda sneaks up on you. Good stuff.
The movie, Garden, last night was...haunting. Tough but good. Although the blurb on the film mentioned some feeling of hopefulness, I couldn't get much sense of it. I think getting off the streets is an almost insurmountable task. Not impossible, but not easy or common.

A coworker just approached me with an extra pass for one of the films tonight. So he and I are going to catch The Times of Harvey Milk. Neither of us have seen it before. It originally came out the year after I did. Definitely something I need to see. Part of the "must know's" in our queer history.
Want to know what I love about Seattle in the fall and winter? It's the light. I can hear you now. "What light?" you ask. "It's long dark days, low cloud ceiling and misty."

"Exactly! That's what makes for glorious light!!!"

I saw it this morning. You need to be paying attention. It happens fast. And it's brief. But it's saturated, glowing light. Warm...deep gold. Large, heavy clouds and yet somehow the sun finds a crack and beams down. That's when we see it. I'll watch and immerse myself in the minute or two when it makes itself known. Good stuff.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Not quite sure what I want to write about, but wanted to touch base anyway. I came in too late this morning to sit and blog. Instead, I managed to sleep 9 hours solid. So sweet.

I’ve been thinking about the difference between community and culture quite a bit in the last few weeks. My mind wonders about the larger leather/kink/bdsm/whatever world and all the different cultures and subcultures within. I was thinking about the small community the Mountain Men have created. I then considered my personal community, made up of leather family and close friends.

Anyway...I’m sure you’ll hear my thoughts as I formulate them.


I’m killing a little time before heading out to dinner. Having scored two passes for the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, I asked Sir if he'd like to join me. So after dinner at Cafe Septieme's, we are off to see Garden. I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

I still don’t have a computer at home. For some reason, I’m putting off getting it looked at. Hmmm. Maybe I do know why. I’m tired and I don’t even want to think about tech stuff right now. There will be time this week. I suppose it would be different if I wasn’t so close to work.

Weirdly so, I’m homesick. Homesick for last week, the location, the people and the energy. Yet while I was there I was homesick as well. I wanted my leather family around.

I want both. Both of them together. Combine the two worlds.

The day after Body Electric ended I helped out the Mountain Men. I wanted to give back and do physical labor. So I assisted with cleaning out the guest house. It felt so good. Afterward, AE and I went for a walk off the property and down the road. We ended up on the other side of the mountain, where some of the men actually live. It’s a home, up a steep drive, overlooking a valley and hills. It’s a panoramic view that is quintessential Vermont. Remember, I was on the border of NY and Vermont. The rolling fields, farms and hills...trees vibrant in their color.

It was about 4 pm and this home has a hot tub outdoors, on the side. So we stripped down and stepped in. From the tub we could relish the view. It was the golden hour, where the light is sweet and warm, setting the leaves on fire. so many other things that week, heaven.

My heart is still full. I think back upon moment after moment, filled with pain, discomfort, calm, exultation. So much.

I feel so honored to have been in the presence of all who were there. The mountain men, the Body Electric staff and assistants, and the participants.

Saturday night, while at the workshop, after scheduled events, a few of us were milling around the great room. There was a woman there, a leather woman, quite proficient in the singletail. I’d watch her practice at breaktimes. She’d be outdoors, a bullwhip in each hand. Yeah, I just about came the first time I noticed it, watching from the window. We had spoken about s/m at dinner the night before. My voice broke and my hunger showed through. Although we couldn’t get into a full fledged scene, due to the fact my skin needed to stay intact for upcoming rituals, as well as because this wasn't the Power, Surrender and Intimacy workshop, we had an impromptu quickie play session. She remarked it would be a tease. And it was. But fed me nonetheless.

In this great room, there are large paintings on the wall – maybe about 2 ½ feet by 3 ½ feet. Mostly heads of certain people...spiritual people. I don’t recognize the portraits of the men...maybe Buddhist teachers? But one I knew. It was Mother Theresa. She had her white and blue veil, head bowed, hands close to her face in prayer. I took off my shirt, and positioned myself, by chance, in front of this painting. My hands were stretched out against the wall, on either side of the canvas. Yes, I was singletailed in front of Mother Theresa, a spirit of compassion and service. Again...perfect.

Thank you single tail top. You gave me such a gift that evening.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Oh by the way, the most important thing about my vacation.

I had THE best reuben I've eaten in over 6 years. AE took me to Greenwich, NY and we had lunch in this little diner type place in an amazing old structure. I love reubens, and haven't found a good one in Seattle. Although when Roxy's deli was opened, at Pike Market...they weren't too bad. This one last week was sheer bliss.
It’s raining this morning and it feels so good.

Right after lunch I need to run to Sir’s and pick up a fern he potted for me. And some homemade cranberry relish. :-)
A little nesting.

While on the the way, the men who live at Easton were given a new name last week. In the first meeting of our Body Electric group the facilitator was going over basic rules and referred to the community of men as ‘the mountain men’. The name is so perfect...and it stuck. The Mountain Men. Love that.

Anyway, my first day on the Mountain found me installing windows with AE. He has almost completed his little cabin.

Actually, I’ll transcribe the day from my notes written on Wednesday, 6 October.

Guess where I am?
Sitting in a comfy chair across from a wood stove, roaring away, my feet on large unfinished wood planks, in a little cottage, tucked in the woods, off the path from the main house, on the Mountain.

I am in the home where AE lives. I am in the home that AE built.

He finished insulating and putting up interior walls. All wood planks. Today I helped him install windows. Old multi-pane windows previously used in old New England homes. If these windows could talks...they’d have stories. Many tales.

We hung windows. We installed oil lamps. Even found a place to attach the flashlight by the door. “Look is about light. I love that together we brought light and warmth to your home.” The grin on his face was perfect.

Then we moved him from the guesthouse to his little cabin in the woods. Now he’s unpacking while I sit and the comfy chair, feeling the heat of the stove, smelling burning wood and the freshly cut lumber on the walls, hearing the bamboo chime and rustling leaves...watching as they give a hint of color to come.

AE’s home is about the size of the little/big room in my studio apt. I look up every few sentences and watch him decide where to place a piece...a memory...a favorite item.

You know, I am envious. To live in a place that you’ve built, from the ground up, with your own two hands. To chop wood and build a fence. It’s primal. It feels like living.

I want that.
Good morning.

Well....few things taken care of. Apparently my domain had expired 10 days ago. So no email. I had received the notice about 4 weeks ago, but lost the email when my hard drive crashed, and not having had a chance to read it fully, I though it was only about account verification.

As far as my home computer, beautiful boy has offered to run diagnostics on it. I can’t even bring it to him today because I’m busy. Tomorrow is my day off and I don’t have any desire to deal with icky stuff...such as computers. It will have to wait.
Now when I mentioned all this to the shrink, he strongly encouraged me to get the credit and charge a new laptop. An iBook. If my computer is glitchy...I probably shouldn’t mess with it. And maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and make the purchase. We’ll see.

Flat broke? Yup. But that’s from coming up with the last month’s rent for when I moved, the airfare and Body Electric. I should have some extra each month within the next month or so.

I decided not to allow all the computer messiness to mess with my current state of calm and well being. Trust me, it tried...and almost won. But no dice. I love the space I’m in since I’ve returned from the Mountain, and I’m holding onto it as long as I can. Each time I take a breath...a deep breath that I can feel run through my chest, into my belly, down my cunt and out my ass....there is a massive sense of ‘all is right with the world’.

Yesterday morning was tense because I realized I need to figure out how to take what I experienced and fold it into my Seattle life. Thursday and Friday came with large feelings of I don’t want to be back here...and I hate my job. I felt twisted in the blackberry vines created by my own hands. I’m acutely aware of how zany my life is. I want quiet and calm. I want harmony. I want space to live, be, fuck and play.

In the afternoon, at the end of my shrink appointment, I had the unsettledness figured out. I said that my life is a jigsaw puzzle, and I am a piece in the picture it creates. After 9 days on the Mountain I return home and see I don’t fit in my puzzle. The piece that is me has shifted shaped and now it’s time to rework the image. It’ll be interesting to see how it all develops.

Friday, October 15, 2004

In spite of the major discombobulation due to computer conundrums, I am managing to get loads of work done.

Maybe I'll even figure out how to do damned mail merges in Windows XP so I don't have to hop on an older computer. It doesn't seem to want to accept my excel sheet as a data source.

Anyway, seeing I'm trying to get some sense of my regular routine back, here is today's Mark Morford column and this week's Freewill Astrology.

If you've missed other Morford columns while I was away, his archives is located here.

After seeing the shrink yesterday I went to a late lunch with Sir and then a few errands. By 7pm I was done for the night. Crashed a few hours later.

I've been so tired. Normally jet lag doesn't bug me. But I'm tired from my time away as well.

You see, except for my first two nights on the mountain, before Body Electric began, I really didn't get any sleep. The days were jammed full, the air literally electric and my body vibrating. We'd go all day, from about 8am until 11pm. By the time I'd lay down, I was too energized to sleep. And not having any time to myself left only the middle of the night. I think my mind grabbed that time for itself. There was one night were I didn't sleep at all. The others, maybe 3 hours.

So last night I crashed. And...before I did, so did my computer. Hmmmm. It's a brand new hard drive...only 3 days of usage and it's down.

Guess what? Methinks the hard drive isn't the issue. This has now happened 3 times. Each time it crashes and dies after I need to restart due to upgrades. Someone wrote me about a good mac man. Thank you for that. But I'm holding off because well...I'm flat broke. I also have 3 good mac men And apparently what I'm dealing with is some weirdness. One of them wondered about some type of board. So we'll look at that next. I hate computers.

On top of it, I returned to work yesterday to a brand new computer. I knew they were going to do the swap while I was away. My coworkers even found and threw on a Tom of Finland image for my desktop...and retrieved a new whip.wav file for my new email sound. :-)

But, I'm now stuck with Windows XP instead of 2000. I detest XP. I detest the format and the cutesy little icons and how their defaults autocorrect everything. Little by little I'm reclaiming it...tweaking it...getting used to it.

I knew this would happen and so prepared for a slow first day back. I had 3 goals. Catch up on voice mails, emails and become somewhat familiar with the new computer.

One more computer glitch. For some odd reason, I cannot receive or send email from my personal email addy. And my mail server folks are puzzled. So all of you who have that one...don't use it until further notice. Instead, use autre at graffiti dot net or my work email if you have it.

So what's up with all the computer stuff? Have I been so charged up from my week at Body Electric that I'm shorting everything out? It's beginning to freak me out. Can I tell you how unsettling it is to have all the computers being weird?

And all I can do around this right now is...breathe. Very deep, slow breaths.


Regarding BE Two Spirits...I don't expect to say much. First, I wouldn't know where to begin. It was tough enough trying to share with my shrink. And the other reason is...I want to keep it for myself and those I love. Things may come out in dribs and drabs. If it feels good I'll do it. In the meantime, it stays with me.

I will say it was an amazing experience. Body Electric does cutting edge, powerful work and I strongly encourage people to attend a workshop. They get to the root of what can help heal the earth, one person at a time. Now I know they aren't perfect, as I noticed a few things lacking (regarding my viewpoint and life), but no one else is doing anything close to what they are. They have the balls to play with fire in such a way to allow for combustion in a super safe enviroment. They provide incredible, compassionate staff and assistants where no one is left floundering or lost. Powerful, profound stuff.

Because of my 4 years of training with Sir, there weren't any surprises or anything new regarding most of the ideas of energy work and our bodies. But because of the dynamics created by the participants who attended, I received immense lessons and new insights. I was given a place to open up and really play again...intimately. It's different that what happens at the Eagle, which is hot, but not about energy work necessarily. The play from this past week is more reminiscent of what I was doing in training.

I'm still overwhelmed and sifting through the magic and explosions.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

I'm back. Got in about 1 a.m. and now at work, plugging through emails and phone messages. Today will be a short day, appointment with my shrink...and then home. I'll write more later.

Did you miss me?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I managed to sleep about 3 hours, tossed and turned for another hour and so here I am. All packed, showered, sitting in my robe and have about 30 minutes before Auxugen shows up at my door. The boy offered to take me to the airport even though I told him I needed to be there about 4:45 am. He's definitely a great guy.

The Bear and wonderboy joined Sir and I for dinner at Septieme's last night. It was loads of fun and a good way to spend the first night of my vacation. We came up with a few new ideas. One being a new drink we concocted. Bloody Noses - tomato juice, wasabi and tequila. Yeah...we were totally being silly. Although the tomato juice/wasabi part sounds good. Another was revamping the whole leather thing. We decided that felt would be the new leather and so fezzes are in. We'd hand out bright red fezzes at the Eagle next month. Whatcha think? No? Not so much? Oh well.

The fundraiser at the Eagle on Sunday was a blast. I was treated to deep backrubs when I first arrived. Some of the men noticed how stressed and tired I was. So they were gentle before torturing me. Physical Trainer showed up. We played. Some of the hottest sex I've had in a while. The energy gets more intense each time we play. It's thick and solid. Much face slapping at the beginning of the event, which left my jaw sore the rest of the evening. Plunging kisses. Rough housing, and much chest pounding. My chest is still tender. Can't even rest my comforter on it. As I said...a good time. And money raised.

While talking with the shrink yesterday I mentioned that I'd been doing something odd since Friday. Although incredibly busy with my time all blocked out, I would contact those closest to me and make plans to spend time with them before I leave. I think I managed to connect with everyone. It felt crazy because I really didn't have the time, but it was something that seemed needed. The shrink responded with "sounds like you're preparing yourself to die. Looks like Body Electric is already performing its magic."


Anyway, there is much to write about and no time to do it. I haven't any idea what kind of computer access I'll have at Easton Mountain. When I return I need to slow down. Maybe it'll happen. Now I need to throw on clothes and head out. See ya.

Monday, October 04, 2004

oh my gawd!

I've been sitting here typing for about a half hour only to stupidly and carelessly close my blogger window...without saving a damned thing. I wasn't even conscious of doing it. It wasn't a 'whoops' moment. It just happened.

Oh well. I'll be back later. I'm packing and doing laundry. Headed out to dinner afterward, and then back for more packing.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

A total quickie. I don't have time for more than a couple links. Not even time to reply to email. It's an insanely busy weekend, between getting ready for vacation this week, a fundraiser and then what appeared to be a dead hard drive. New hard drive installed about midnight last night, thanks to the generosity of Auxugen.

Now for the links.

Richard Avedon died on Friday. He was 81 years old. Thank you Padacia for the news.

And here is what someone from the other side of the pond, the father of Pip, had to say about Bush.

"just watched a documentary about bush…

…and the role religion plays in his life and politics.
it made some interesting points with regard to his executive order allowing federal funding for religious organisations involved with social aid. the fact that over a billion dollars has been paid out and that not one dollar has been given in funding to non-christian organisations is a sickening indication of the hypocrisy of intent and practice.
what bothered me more was an interesting disection of the relgious language bush abuses to promote his interests. i can’t comment on whether he’s genuine or fake or some half-baked combination. but one thing’s sure, having a self-created religious patriarch sitting in the oval office is as fucked up as it gets, just the same as it is in any country. religious leaders should be in churches, when they’re in the offices of government a nation has become a congregation.
america should be extremely happy that eight years (with certain historical exceptions that people better hope don’t get used again) is the maximum term for the freak show that’s in town."

One other thing. Yesterday I spent part of the day running errands with Hoss and his boy. They loaned me the boy's sweat pants and Hoss' socks for my Body Electric workshop. They said I needed to bring a part of them with me. :-)

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Guess what? Looks like my computer crashed again. Big time. I have the grey screen of death....sigh. So I made a couple emergency calls to a few folks, and we'll see what happens. Good thing I literally live 4 doors away from work. At least I can access it here.

And, because I hadn't a chance to fully load lots of important stuff on the home computer after losing everything the last's not as painful. Today is about errands and getting somewhat ready for my vacation.

Tomorrow, Sunday, is another buzzcut/bootblack/bbq fundraiser for the Tony DeBlase Scholarship (aka Leather scholarship) at the Seattle Eagle if anyone's interested. The Eagle designed another kickass poster for the event. You can check out their tasty images here.

Be back some point.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Celebrate your freedom to read.

So I'm a little late. This is Banned Books Week.

According to the American Library Association, the top 10 challenged authors from 1990-present are:
1. Alvin Schwartz
2. Judy Blume
3. Robert Cormier
4. J.K. Rowling
5. Michael Willhoite
6. Katherine Paterson
7. Stephen King
8. Maya Angelou
9. R.L. Stine
10. John Steinbeck

Check out the rest of the Challenged and Banned Books page. Interesting stuff.
From The Guardian -

Orgies are the way to ease social tensions, claims US judge

Oliver Burkeman in New York
Friday October 1, 2004
The Guardian

He is the conservative bastion of the US supreme court, a favourite of President Bush, and a hunting partner of the vice-president. He has argued vociferously against abortion rights, and in favour of anti-sodomy laws.
But it turns out that there is another side to Justice Antonin Scalia: he thinks Americans ought to be having more orgies.

Challenged about his views on sexual morality, Justice Scalia surprised his audience at Harvard University, telling them: "I even take the position that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged."

It seems unlikely that this is what President Bush meant when he promised to appoint more judges like Scalia to the court, should the opportunity arise. Crucially, Justice Scalia is one of the judges in favour of overturning Roe v Wade, the landmark judgment protecting abortion as a constitutional right.

One audience member also asked the judge "whether you have any gay friends, and, if not, whether you'd like to be my friend," the Harvard Crimson newspaper reported.

"I probably do have some gay friends, but I have never pressed the point," Justice Scalia responded. He offered no clue to the logic behind his claim that orgies eliminate social tensions.

Nobody asked him whether he was familiar with Rick Moody's novel The Ice Storm, turned into a movie by Ang Lee, which appeared to suggest the exact opposite.
"But of course, right now it's about 68 crisp n' flawless pre-fall degrees here in God's Fetish Dungeon, all gorgeous and progressive and non-ravaged, whereas along the Gulf Coast they just finished battening down the hatches and sandbagging the one millionth salmon-colored strip mall and anchoring Jeb Bush's ego in a vat of swamp water and evacuating nearly one million stunned and exhausted citizens for the fourth time, as hurricane Jeanne hammered down and shredded the state. Ironic, if it weren't so sad.

Which sort of makes you think, if I were a God-fearing right-wing BushCo fundamentalist and not, say, a neo-pagan Zen atheist Buddhist Taoist Zoroastrian Orgasmican who uses "Passion of the Christ" DVDs as Astroglide coasters, I might offer up the notion that maybe, just maybe Bush's neoconservative God is more than a mite peeved with the Neon Stucco Retirement State. You think?"

That's a snippet from Mark Morford's latest column, Does God Hate Florida?