Tuesday, May 31, 2005

fyi -

For those of you who are curious yet didn't want to bring it up (like the 4 Seattle folks here in the last 2 days), the answer is no.
I have yet to hear from the gallery.

p.s. it really is okay to ask me. :-)

Monday, May 30, 2005

Say it isn't so!
Please say today isn't Monday and tomorrow is a work day. I want the rest of the week off.

You see, I've really had a chance, in the last 4 days, to rest. That feeling of relaxation is just now kicking in - work falling away, and now it feels much too soon to return. Okay...July. July isn't too far away, right? 4 weeks or something. I can until July for my vacation.

I could...now that I think about it...oh wow...actually, I could take one more day off. I don't think I need to be at work for anything specific. I have loads of vacation time. Maybe I'll pop into the office in the morning and check my calendar. We'll see what happens.

Tonight, while walking home from a wonderful afternoon at Cafe Septieme, jotting down notes and reading, I figured out why I haven't been able to write everything that's been in my head. I have 4 different drafts started. The ideas needed to come out so I didn't forget them. But I couldn't gather the oomph to pursue them further. Methinks my head was/is on a break.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Simple Sunday -

Today's been lusciously cool and cloudy. I thought for sure that I'd spend it outdoors, walking around and then popping into Septieme's to read and do some writing but I barely made it out of my new (for me) comfy leather chair. Tatoo'd Bear was doing buzzcuts and a bbq at the Seattle Eagle this afternoon. I considered going down for a bit. It didn't happen. I have one more day of freedom and so will head out tomorrow.

The sketchbook I carry with me is full and it's time to get a new one. Tomorrow I'll walk down to Utrecht and pick up my favorite drawing book (in the 5x8 size). I think that's why I actually filled this one up. I didn't get bored with it.

I know that sounds strange. But there's something about having the perfect paper weight and texture, the perfect binding, the perfect size. I've tried the Moleskin books and although I really enjoy their ruled books, the paper in the plain books are too slick and too thin for drawing. I like a little bit of tooth in my sketchbooks.

The small outing I did do today consisted of a trip to the video store, the coffee shop and the grocery store. I planned on heading out for coffee only, and ended up walking back with arms filled with groceries, including a large bunch of red chard. Red chard thrills me. My day is complete.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


...want to know what happens when one goes with the flow?

Well, if that one is me...I go to the movies with Auxugen and then afterwards, while finishing lunch outdoors at Cafe Septieme, we notice two hot guys in kilts walking on the other side of the street, realize it is Kiltbear, visiting from SF, and Stephen, wave, which brings them over to come sit down, join us, share drinks...and then kiltbear pulls out his cameraphone which snaps a pix and immediately uploads this to his LJ.

Alas, tis true. I do not take good pix. LOL. But it was a great treat to see Stephen and kiltbear. I haven't seen Stephen since Christmas (I think) and kiltbear in about 2 years!

It was a good day.
Why oh why don't any of my friends here in Seattle own a sailboat? There is something so wrong about that. This would be the perfect weekend for hanging out...lollygagging on a boat filled with perverted fucks. There'd be a big cooler of good food, a pitcher of ice tea and another of sangria. There would also be a lot of scratchy hemp to tie someone me to the mast.
I'm around this weekend. Taking it slow and easy...well...because I can.

You see, including yesterday, I have 4 days off with no definite plans. This is the first time since October. So I'm taking things as they come, and allowing myself to be selfish. If I want to do it...then yes. I'm also protecting myself from the drama of others as well.

It's interesting. I'm still coasting on a wave of calm, and although I know I will get rocked about at some point...this weekend is for me.

It's hot. It's very hot. The last few days have shot up to 90. I detest anything even approaching 80. But I'm kinda going with the flow. Yesterday was fairly full. The only set appointment I had was waiting on the delivery of a kickass light brown very comfy leather chair. It came from my coworker. Not only did he and another coworker deliver it, and lug it up to the 3rd floor, but all he wants for payment is one good bottle of bourbon. I love this chair.

Afterwards I went to the SIFF box office to pick up tickets for two different shows. Walked around. Made an evening appointment to get my hair all chopped off by Tattoo'd Bear. The last time he touched my head was in November, at one of the buzzcuts, bbq, bootblack fundraisers for the sex scholarship. Since then, I was dealing with 3 months of sleep dep, then moving and a winter of being sick. A thick mop of heavy hair appeared and it drove me crazy. It so needed to go. I opted to do something different than a buzz this time. It's still grabbeable, but very short. Kinda shredded. Low maintenance. Just the way I like it. And it was so good to see him. I missed that man.

Last night, with windows wide open and the fans going, I watched a couple movies about Pollock, one being a documentary. Sir happened to rent them from netflix and then loaned them to me when he was done.

Auxugen picked up a couple tickets for a SIFF film that we'll check out today - Adam and Steve.

What a meandering, slow entry. Kind of like my weekend. That's it for now. I've written more, but decided it needs an entry all it's own. I'll throw it here at some point. See you later.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


...I've been sitting on something since late Tuesday morning.

What is it?
Now...don't laugh at me.

It's...contentment. Calm and contentment.

Just writing the words and feeling what's inside is so much that I'm about to cry.
Good tears.
Joyous tears.
Intimate tears.

When I wrote screw mu that morning I was in a mood. I woke up angry. I was afraid to lose myself.

The night before, Monday night, as I settled under the covers...old hurts settled in my heart. In the past, I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep. I mean, a broken heart doesn't let you sleep. It doesn't let me sleep. Those were the times I'd take nyquil or benedryl (in the past) or now...Ambien. You see, I'm very protective of my sleep. Territorial. Don't mess with it. Not for anything.

As this hurt flooded in about 11 pm I became discouraged. I considered taking Ambien. For some reason I made the decision to sit with what I was feeling. I've done that during the day, but not at bedtime. The sleep thing, remember?

Well...I fell asleep.

Tuesday morning, I woke. I became ornery. I spouted off.

I had an appointment with the shrink about an hour after I'd written my blog entry. I decided to print it out and bring it to my session. You see, I was angry with him. A part of me figured that maybe I could get a rise out of him if I read my piece. I mean, I'm attacking the thing that's very important in his life. More critically and honestly, I was fighting with myself.

In his office I plopped down on his couch, kicked off my shoes, and sat with one leg under the other.

I mentioned I had read his dharma talk. Agreed with it. Saw why it related. Then I went off on and picked apart one paragraph in his piece. Just one.
From there I read screw mu.

He listened.

After I was through...I looked at him.
He said he agreed with everything I wrote.

Yeah, it kinda took the wind out of my sails.

Apparently, buddhism, or maybe I should say zen buddhism, is the transition between songs. The contentment and calm is what allows us to step through life and go from one moment (including all its emotions) to the next. The difference, according to him, is to learn how to be in each emotion without hiding in that emotion. It goes back to the idea of not staying stuck in one place.

Not hiding in the emotion. Don't use it as a defense or a safety net. Just go through it as if I were driving cross country, engaging with the everchanging landscape through my window.

Okay...that makes total sense to me. And I can see how...even if I thought I could throw out the spiritual...how it would be healthy in a psychological aspect. Because of old stuff, certain buttons get pushed. That's where I'm most sensitive. Hyper-sensitive. Even when it's not about me, because something familiar exists in the incident or word...it'll set me off in some way.

So with work, I've become aware of when those times happen. And with more work I am learning to not let it power over me. Instead, walk through the flying daggers. I may get sliced and diced. But if I stay in the room...I'm a goner for sure.

When I was through talking with the shrink, I laid down on the couch. I was tired.

After a bit, I said:

"Last night I felt the hurt before going to bed and chose to sit with it knowing it may keep me awake.
I fell asleep in the grief."



I continued..."Huh. I didn't say I fell asleep in spite of the grief. Instead...I fell asleep in the grief."


The impact of that statement hit me hard. Not only was I learning to not run from my stuff during the day, but at bedtime...I let it be.
I fell asleep in the grief.

I wasn't fighting it.

From there...silence settled thick. He remained quiet, out of my line of vision.
I remained quiet. Again, I felt the heaviness of the silence. This weight isn't a cumbersome weight. It's comforting. Warm. And this time...it went one step further.

It came to a place where I didn't know where the silence began and where I ended. I had morphed with the air and the energy and couldn't distinguish one from the other.

The music came on and our session ended. I didn't move, nor did I speak. Quiet...
After a while I forced myself to get up. And then burst into tears because I knew what I had felt.
Turning toward the shrink, I said "the last time I felt this was about 15 years ago, at the ocean, sitting on the rocks. I smelled the salt, I felt the spray and I sat. At some point I didn't know where the ocean began and I ended. It was oneness. I've never forgotten it."

I cried some more and said I didn't want it to end.

The shrink sat.
Quietly he said "welcome home X (insert my first name here)".

"Welcome home X".
I've silently repeated those words to myself over and over in the last couple days.
Each time, I close my eyes for a second and feel it fill my heart.
My breathing is deeper.

So much has happened since that session on Tuesday. My heart has hurt. I've been excited. I'm hungrier for play, fucking, beatings, painting, connections. I've gone through a plethora of emotions.
So happy I could cry.
And yet...underneath there is a delicate yet substantial thread connecting me to and through all of this.

This thread is delicate because I can see it will take diligence to keep weaving it through my fabric. That's where the work comes in.

And I'm home.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Want to know about the paintings I submitted to the juried art show?

I didn't want to talk about them before...well...all I can chalk it up to is some kind of superstition or something. Now it's okay. You see, the gallery is supposed to have mailed out the yea or nay letters today.

My longtime readers will know how I feel about erotic art. The attempt to categorize eroticism in all aspects of our lives really gets my goat. But I also knew I'd remain open to whatever felt right. I haven't submitted work for the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. It's not a permanent no, but a no for now. Yet when this opportunity presented itself and Drub asked me...and after his question haunted me for a few days, I knew I had to do it, regardless of the label 'erotic art show'.

I'm not sure if I'll get accepted. My work is very different than what they carry. These pieces are not figurative and are very painterly. They are 3 small (8x10 & 9x12) paintings of Sir's St. Andrew's Cross. One is fairly representational. The second one is less realistic and the third one, although not fully abstracted, much more blown apart than the second. The titles? Respectively, "Not My Father's Crucifix 1..2...3". I have slides, but don't have jpegs yet. Otherwise I'd show you.

We'll see what happens. I really like these little pieces. A lot. And for me, although I chose those particular paintings (subject matter) in response to the show, what is erotic for me is the painting. The marks. The color.

With each passing day I've discovered a new sensation - a desire to have my paintings accepted in the show. We'll see, won't we?
I'll keep you posted.
Thanks to Drub for the following link. Check out Poseable Thumbs (not work safe).
It's Wednesday!!!!

And first...exciting news! I know you've all been waiting for this. Don't deny it. You've been on pins and needles for months..and months. I can see it in your eyes.

Well you don't have to wait any longer. It's here...and it's opened. Finally!!!
Yes folks, Central Cinema is finally open!!!!

Oh...did I forget to mention that maybe this would only interest Seattle folks?
Oops. Sorry.

Okay, okay. So I'm the one who's excited. Would you like to know how long I've wished for a small movie theater that not only served food but brought it to you during the film? At least 15 years. And someone had the idea to do it here in town. Actually, it's only about 3 blocks from work. That means only 11 blocks from my house. And they also offer sofa style seating. Ohhhhh. And once a month they'll do queer flicks. Ohhhhh.

Here is some info on Central Cinema. Yes. I am jazzed. Check it out.

Now here is Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology for the week.

Last on my list for now is a beaut. Mark Morford rants about the glitz behind the Star Wars hoopla.

He writes:
"Here goes: Thank the great Sith Lord above that the massive computer-driven marketing hellbeast that is the overblown "Star Wars" epic is finally over.

There I said it. Can we agree? Because the truth is, this most bloated of megamovie franchises hasn't been a certifiable cultural phenom, something to get truly excited about, for over 25 years. Admit it now, get it over with, move on to pretty happy things like puppies and porn and sunshine."

Oh yeah...I'm down with it.

And he continues with 13 reasons to celebrate the...well there's no way I can say it any better...so as he said:

"Here, then, are 13 reasons to celebrate the end of the cute, overblown SW monster. Reasons for normal people to get back to caring about decent movies with subtle dialogue and true character development and nuanced plot lines not revolving around a monochromatic good/evil dialectic executed by barely emotive cartoon characters who have somehow been brainwashed into thinking they're making art. Admit these now, get it over with, move on to happy things like wine and sex and pleasures that have absolutely zero to do with whooshing lightsabers. OK?"

Want more? Dive into May The Force Please Go Away.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Screw Mu.

Short work week. Monday was a comp day for the retreat. And we have the upcoming Friday and Monday off for the holiday. It's a good thing. Work is difficult to focus on and yet while at work, I have to focus. Too much to do.

Therapy is getting more to the meat of the matter...and I've noticed it's eating up a lot of energy. This morning I realized why I could never finish writing about the performance piece, Prix Fixe, I participated in at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. The piece was all about hunger and pleasure. What I didn't know, until now, is how much hunger I had shut down to in the last few years.

This morning I woke. Filled with hunger. Wants. Desires. Screw fucking buddhism. Desire reminds me I'm alive. I refuse to give it up. Now, I do know better. It's not desire and craving that leads to so-called suffering. It's hanging on to a specific pre-conceived resolution for the desire.

Also, I've been thinking about this suffering stuff. I can see finding ways to lessen our suffering. But I believe that if we believe we can end our suffering, then that's delusional. Again, it's about being human. If we didn't suffer we wouldn't be human.

I refuse to let myself get to some placid, fully calm space. This is a biggie for me. I enjoy, crave and need to step into still waters once in a while to rejuvenate myself. But I'm not going to plop myself in a peaceful pool of mu where I'll spend my life with a sloppy smile on my face. I need to feel the highest of highs and the lowest lows. I need ecstasy and despair and rage and ripped out guts. I need electricity. Creation stems from polarizing magnetic charges. If being buddhist means I'll even out then I might as well curl up and die right now. It's about passion and life. LIFE.

I need to crank up the music as loud as it will go and hear every note. Such as...well...here's a good example...right now this instant...with Donna Summer's I Feel Love blaring on radio paradise. The treble and bass have to resonate through every fiber of my bone and marrow. Or...the smooth transition from that to Glory Box by Portishead and then to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Three very different songs yet they flowed one in into the other. I tasted the emotion in each. Not an appetizer, on the tip of my tongue taste...but full immersion, of course with some limitations due to equipment capability. But that's what I need to keep.

Heh. Maybe buddhism IS the smooth transition between each. Huh.

Well it doesn't matter. Not now.
Guess what? I'm ornery this morning.

Monday, May 23, 2005

A while back there was a certain meme going around.
I had composed a draft...and sat on it, trying to remember things. Tonight I was reminded about this meme and so completed it.

Hmmm...while doing this, I noticed a trend. It's mostly about sex.
But then again, it's all about sex, isn't it?

I'm a simple person.

These are 10 things possibly unique to me.

1. While about 9 years old, I was playing on the second floor of a new house being built. The floors and frame were up. that's it. All of a sudden I had to pee really bad and so instead of running down the stairs, and then up the hill to my house, I jumped off the second floor onto the pile of dirt below. I landed flat on my back. Knocked the wind out of me, recovered, and then ran home to pee.

2. At 18, after being out for pizza with friends...I was stopped by a cop for weaving on the road. We were singing loudly and I was making the car dance. No booze or drugs involved. Honest. I was pulled into court to face a charge of driving to endanger. I was issued issued a public defender because I was unemployed at the time. While in one courtroom, the judge called my name in another. We thought the situation was cleared up at the end of the day, except the court clerk had left so no notations were made. I didn't find that out until the next morning when my next door neighbor (a state trooper) knocked on my door explaining there was a warrant for my arrest for nonappearance in court. It was straightened out, and in my next court appearance the judge threw out the whole case...laughing, declaring I was only under the influence of pepperoni.

3. At 20, as a nurse's aide in a retirement home, I had a heavy make out and petting session with the janitorial supervisor of a nursing home in the broom closet while his wife was just down the hall, working the same shift.

4. A job in one photo lab, during the summer I'd take off my shirt while processing film in the darkroom with a bunch of guys. They never found out. That is, not until I told them on my last day at work.

5. 7 years ago I moved 3000 miles away from a place I loved for only one reason. It was a soul thing. I knew no one, no job, no apartment. But Seattle, for some odd reason, called to me. Bellowed. Before then, the furthest west I had gone was Wyoming for vacation, 20 years earlier.

6 The beauty of a place brought on a powerful orgasm. Yes, in public. I was in in the Japanese gardens in Portland, OR and overtaken. No, no one was touching me. Not even me. Although my top at the time, standing a few feet behind me, felt my energy shift, stayed back, watched and chuckled....as I grabbed the tree next to me so my knees wouldn't cave in.

7. I was the only female to go into training with a certain gay leatherman.

8. If there's energy between the grabber and me, and they grab my hair just right, and in the perfect spot on my neck...I can cum. At times it's the kind of cum that brings me to my knees. In public or private. Just ask my hairdresser.

9. Spent a full weekend, naked, locked in a cage, with a naked boy in the stacked cage above me and another boy in the cage near us. It gives a whole new meaning to sleepovers.

10. See the world through my eyes.
We have about 4 rose bushes in the courtyard of my apartment building. Today, the first rose bloomed. It is a white rose.
Against the backdrop of 100 year old brick, it's just lovely.
While the office was quiet, I planned on spending the day at work. But after a couple hours, exhaustion took over and I knew I needed to go home. It's my second day of regrouping from one full workday engaging with people. All day. Good thing that most of my work is behind a computer. Otherwise, if I were in continual meetings and the development portion of our organization, I'd never finish a full week. No matter how I try to change it, it seems that regrouping is based on a 2:1 ratio. Two hours by myself for one hour of people engagement.

After resting at home a while, I headed down to Broadway. It's sunny, not too warm, and a perfect day to continue my retreat. About 4 blocks away, I heard the sounds of a lone saxophone. It was a musician on the corner of Broadway and Republican. He then belts out "On Broadway"...and I smile. It's such a New York song...and almost felt out of place. That is, until my slow mind connected with what street I was on. See? It's a good thing I wasn't crunching numbers today.

So, now I'm at Septieme, with a large glass of ice tea. Billie Holiday is softly serenading me. Most of the restaurant is empty. I brought a couple things to read, including the latest dharma talk my shrink gave during the last week long sesshin in March. I've received a copy for the last few years. I look forward to reading his talks and do read them through, but, unless I initiate it, we won't talk about it. I like that. No agenda on his part. About 3 days ago I realized I misplaced the newsletter and searched everywhere. Not having looked at it, I wanted to. Oddly enough, this morning he asked me if I'd read it. That question was a first. His eyes twinkled and he said he believed I'd find something of relevance.

A second copy in hand...I'll check it out in a bit.

Someone had offered s/m play to me a while back. Yesterday evening, I told this man my hunger to play is back and took him up on his offer. So we'll set up a time. A little brutality at the hands of a sadist will be a good thing. Welted and bloody would be good too. :-)

A few people have sent me wonderful emails last week in response to my adventures in the shrink's office. Thank you for your concern, but I'm not worried. Yeah, it's not easy. But I believe it's a time to rejoice. Heh. I accidently typed in 'rejuice'. Love that. Guess that works as well. Just as appropriate.

I have loads of questions but then again, I don't want to stop questioning.

I feel more alone and isolated...but I realized that the stronger I become, the more aware I am of my separateness. My discomfort comes from the newness of this awareness. I wrote once that we are all alone. What connects us to each other is the fact that we are each alone. Unique. No one fits.

Thing is, it was originally easy to whip the words off my fingers when the knowledge was in my head. Now that I'm feeling it for real...

...well...it's much more interesting. But...I do like a challenge.

Today's the 23rd. On the 25th, the gallery will send out letters, letting me know if my work has been accepted for the July show. So much for not caring. The closer I get to knowing, the more I realize I do want to be in the show. If not, I'll try again when the time is right.
Well so much for the groovy blogging I had hoped to do today.

I returned home from our work retreat about 8:30 last night. Although not fully drained, I was pretty exhausted. Driving home, all I wanted to do was close my eyes and sleep. It was a good retreat...as retreats go. This one was more light hearted and about connecting instead of the intense strategic brainstorming and planning sessions they've been in the past. Both are needed, but the change was welcome.

So today, all I could do was...pretty much nothing. Originally, I almost picked up tickets to see The Dying Gaul (check out the description..it looks good), one of the Seattle International Film Festival entries. Yes, it's SIFF time! Although I really wanted to see it, I could not imagine being in a crowded theater today. Regrouping from yesterday was a better idea. Instead, I walked down to the video store to grab a few dvd's. I kept it as a quiet day...until dinner at Septieme's. I couldn't even deal with emails. A nothing day. A good day.

Tomorrow I'll spend most of the day at work. I want to take advantage of an empty office to dig into the piles on my desk.

Isn't this an exciting entry?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

In about an hour I will head out for our yearly weekend staff/board retreat. It's up on Whidbey Island which means a 45 minute drive, then a ferry ride and the lodge is about 20 miles up island.

I've decided not to take my iBook. Instead, I'm grabbing my sketchbook, my notebook and one of the books I'm currently reading Thoughts Without A Thinker. Yeah I know. I haven't mentioned that one yet. Until now.

Remember a couple weeks ago when I headed out to the bookstore? It was a weekend of intense connections with bondage, meditation and therapy. I had discovered Mark Epstein. So I was going to pick up one of his books. While in the bookstore, another book of his almost jumped out at me. I saw it, laughed and knew I had to have it.

I mentioned it to my shrink the next morning. He grinned and said he couldn't have recommended a more excellent book for me right now. And he was thrilled that I came to own it without any prodding or idea planting from him.

This book makes sense to me. In it, I see a lot of what my shrink has been saying, and yet...it never hurts to have it confirmed by another. Also, Epstein makes sense of all this buddhist stuff. I have much more to write about this but don't have the time right now. On top of it, I'd like to be clearer to do so.

Oh yes, before I continue...as I began reading this book, I realized I was approaching my inquiry into buddhism in the same way I did with s/m. When I was first introduced to s/m I wanted...no...I needed to know why it spoke to me. I didn't want to spend my time on technique, protocol or any of the glitzy stuff. Not yet. First I wanted to tackle the substance behind the pageantry and see if it was really for me. What was it about? Really.

It's the same with buddhism. The idea behind the creation is what I want right now. Why does it speak to me? What does it really mean? From there I can decide if this is something that I can apply to my life...in some fashion.

This approach doesn't dilute the original for me. Instead, I come to it with a richer perspective and more in love with it...such as s/m. I have a sneaking suspicion it will be the same with buddhism. But also knowing me...I'm not one for following the pack. So just because it's written that it must be done X way...that's not good enough. It's a matter of following my gut.

Now enough for that aside...and back to my original entry...

The last few weeks have seen a multitude of ideas and connections buzzing around my brain. I've been filled with nervous energy trying to keep up, articulate and spit it out. This morning I woke with a half written entry about orgasms...relating to what I've experienced in my therapy sessions. That's how it's been. No sooner do I pluck one idea then another, two or three pop up. No wonder I crave silence. So, no laptop on this trip. It will force me to slow down a little. Otherwise I'd be frenetically writing while waiting for the boat, on the boat, and in the hour before the retreat begins.

I'm intentionally leaving an hour earlier than I need to which will give me a leisurely and quiet ride...and maybe some time on the shore, before spending the day in a room of 50 people (staff, board and other volunteers) exchanging ideas and brainstorming.

Have a good day...and see you later this evening. The retreat is a weekend deal, but I don't stay for the whole weekend. I can't. Too draining, and there's too much for me to do at work to not have my energy. This is one of my introvert dealing with extroverts balancing acts.

See ya!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Check out my links list on the left, near the top. I finally took the time to add a few new ones. I've meant to do this for a while. There needs to be more tweaking and switching to do...but there are now 6 new links.

They are all artists. Each a combination of genius, madman and angel encompassed in a package of brilliance, compassion and creativity. And, they all get me hard.

I could write pages about the first two men. But I won't. Instead, what I will say is they are both a part of my heart.
I love them.

Aubrey Sparks finally created a site for Equal Thirst, his almost weekly column in the Seattle Gay News. I've learned so much from him over the years and consider him to be one of my mentors.

In 2002, Aubrey had a stroke. Since then, with a lot of work in speech rehab, he has returned to writing. He still struggles with aphasia, but with Daniel McGlothlen's (his editor) expertise, Aubrey has been able to return to what he loves. His view on life and how he chooses to relate that, can be profound. I swear the man has second sight. His sensitivity and intuition is powerful. He has much to say and I'm thrilled that it's getting out there. It is unique. Good, good stuff.

Daniel is also a brilliant writer. There are only a few pieces up on his site, and it's a damned tease. I savor his words and his mind. Whenever we get together and talk, I love the stretching and pushing that happens in my head. With him, I learn a little more about how to articulate my thoughts. And now, other than my shrink, he's pretty much the only one to whom I can blurt out certain theories and ideas...most of which would have me crucified by queers and non-queers alike.

His stories not only turn me on, but they are just about the only stories that haunt me...continually get me hard when they come to mind even years after I've read them. My favorite story of all time is his, Variations on Familiar Themes.
Sigh...I wish he'd write more.

Joe, from Joe.My.God.
The only relationship I have with this man is reading his blog. I've linked to him before, in entries. It's about time I threw him in the list. His writing captures me because it comes across without pretention...filled with humanity. He has a few pieces that upon reading leave me kicked in the gut and massage my heart at the same time. Gorgeous viewpoint. I'll let you find them for yourself.

I used to consider Live Journal the AOL of the blogging community. Yes, I know. Quite derogatory. I didn't want anything to do with it. My own preconceptions. But slowly I watched some of my friends switch over. I noticed and enjoyed the thread-based commenting feature of LJ. So...I finally bit the bullet and created an LJ which essentially links right to my blog. We always need to separate the wheat from the chaff, and will always find both, no matter what world we're in. From LJ, I discovered many people that through who they are and what they share, turn me on. Here are three of my fav artists I discovered there.

Bill of Bitterlawngnome is a photographer. He has a way with connecting with his subjects in a way I've not seen with anyone else. His viewpoint, composition, and the complexity that he seems to make appear simple overwhelm me each time he posts a new image. I told him once that it appears he falls in love with each subject and that comes through in his photographs. He captures an energy that permeates the photo. I go back to his images time and time again. He seems to be a quiet soul, yet from the smoldering sexuality in his work...you know, still waters run deep. Deep, dark and fiery. Or I can only imagine!

Clarke Lane.
I ached, I hungered to find queer, kinky painters. Not Tom of Finlandesque painters. Not illustrators. I know a few and they are great. But for the last 4 years, I'd ask Sir "where in hell are the queer painters. The men who love planes, shape, color and form. Light. Those who get off on painting." I was seeking a style, a form of expression I felt lacking today in our culture. Clarke Lane is one of those men. His paintings turn me on big time. His brushstoke. His eye. His imagination. He is pulling depths out of himself and spreading it on canvas. Also, he's not afraid to talk about his challenges with his art. One day, when I head east, I want to spend a few days doing nothing but talking with him. Talking and standing in front of his paintings. I want to run my fingers over his work. Honestly, if his canvases weren't on stretchers, I'd love to wrap myself in the fabric and feel the paint on my naked skin.

Nayland William Blake.
I had to use the whole name because I love how it rolls off my tongue. Nayland is an artist, a sculptor, a writer. I think he's only posted a little bit of his work. But I crave his posts because of his viewpoint and the way he writes. He's a great encourager. I've yet to meet this man, but through his entries, I get a sense of strength wrapped in elegance and grace. I want to walk barefoot through his mind and heart. I want to be him when I grow up.

There you have it. Enjoy.
And if you peek into their worlds and like what you see, email them. Let them know.
Tell 'em girlfag sent you. :-)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Tuesday's session.

I want to write something about it before the immediate memory begins to fade, although I know the impact of what happened won't leave. It's become a part of me.

I walked in, sat, we talked a bit. Right now, again, I can't remember what it was about. But what I do remember was the ongoing struggle to lay on the couch. I was hungry. So hungry for peace and wholeness. I wanted to feel the little bit that I felt last week. I began to seriously consider finding a sitting meditation I could attend. This idea was circling around my mind. Then I quietly laughed to myself. I couldn't even lay on the fuckin' couch and yet I thought I'd find something else?

Here I am, with the opportunity to have that very thing. Right in my hands was the chance to grab the quiet with another, 3 times a week. Yet I was seeking elsewhere. I saw the coward in myself. For me, right now, in my unique position, it would be easier to be in the midst of a group than alone, quiet with the shrink.

In that moment I knew that my work in the office with my shrink was my first priority. Finding a group to sit with may or may not happen. And if it did...it was a ways away. So again, I grabbed my guts and lay down.
This is so difficult.

As I'm writing, something just hit me.
Laying down is the biggest act of submission I've experienced. And you're listening to a service bottom who, years ago, before my training, lived as a 24/7 contracted slave. Submitting to a top I trusted was a helluva lot easier than submitting to my shrink, which really means I'm submitting to myself. Laying on the couch is the equivalent of kneeling naked, in position, to the first Top we all have. Our own Self.

Anyway, he and I talked a little bit...and then comfortably drifted into silence. The luscious silence settled in around us. It was rich. My thoughts would come, go and circle. It didn't bother me because I'd allow it all to flit and flow. Whatever came up came up. There wasn't one perfect thought or nonthought. Just being, accepting each second...feeling it with my fingertips and opening my hand to allow the rest of the adventure to unfold.

I have no idea how long. 20 minutes? 30? Again, the feeling of being in the cage came back. I mean...it really came back. This time there was more intensity that I experienced last week. So much power that near the end...I could feel an orgasm building in my body.

The electricity began in my belly, immediately travelled to my cunt and thighs. I could feel myself shaking. My chest was heaving. At one point I put my hand to my mouth to silence the moaning that ached to spill out. You see, the walls are thin. What would the other therapists think...hearing someone's client cumming? Just ask my friends...I'm fairly vocal. Silencing myself kept some of the energy within. Can I tell you how challenging it was to walk into work about 10 minutes after this experience?

Back at the office I focused on my day. Or tried to. Concentration was near impossible because I felt electrified and didn't know what to do with the extra energy. But database work wasn't a solution. I did the best I could to attend to the task at hand.

After work, I headed to the Bear and bunny's place. In the car my mind returned to what happened in the office. Again, my legs began to tremble, my below bits ring and my belly, sing. Aftershock upon aftershock...

What does this all mean? I think it's a big idea that I don't have the time or energy to tackle right now. But I wanted to get this out while I can still close my eyes and feel it.

Who woulda thunk?
Not me.


As I'm rereading what I wrote, tears come to my eyes. It was good. It was so good.


And yet...why is it that the more I experience this, the more whole and substantial I feel with myself....and at the same time...more isolated (separate?) from the rest of the world?
More of a freak.
Must be another damned paradox.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Today has been an amazing day. It began dark and rainy...and then the skies opened up to drop buckets in such a way as seen in New England yet not in Seattle. From there, the sun would come out...until it decided to pour again. About 4, it again became dark, cooler and heavy rains. And a treat. Thunder! Lightening!!!! Yeah...it happens maybe once a year out here. Each time I see a lightening storm, I'm reminded of how much I miss them.

What a fabulous weather day. It is definitely a gift.
How about a little foretelling and foreseeing for a dark rainy Wednesday?

I'll share mine.
Viticulturists have noticed that wine often tastes better if the soil where the grapevines are planted is less than top quality. It seems that when the grapes have to work harder to flourish, they're more robust. I foresee a similar situation for you in the coming weeks, Capricorn. The growing conditions might be less than optimal, but I bet the stuff you produce will be extraordinary.

Harder is always worrisome...unless the context is right. ;-)

In today's column, Mark Morford writes about the new, damned ID cards.
Now this is truly worrisome. Especially for me. You see, sometime after I moved to Seattle, about 7 years ago, I lost my naturalization papers and my birth certificate. No, I do not have a passport. All I would do was go to Canada, and I could do it with my license. I was born in Quebec City. Mom was Canadian (until about 3 years ago) and dad is American. I did receive a copy of my papers from my parents and so need to do the paperwork to replace the originals. It's one of those things I haven't gotten around to yet. When I heard about the Real ID Act/Bill/Bullshit...I knew this task jumped to priority number one.

The last time I went to Vancouver BC, I was detained and held at the office. I could tell them the month, year and courthouse where I became naturalized...yet no one could find it in their computer systems. Sigh...

Anyway, back to Morford. A couple excerpts from They Really Are Watching You.
Remember what I wrote yesterday about paranoia and 9/11?

He writes:
"This is the funny thing. This is the sad thing. This is the terrifying thing. We have suffered one major debilitating act of terrorism in this nation and we have recoiled so violently, so rabidly, so desperately that we are still more than willing to give up whatever freedoms necessary in a vain and silly attempt to control chaos and plug every hole, when of course the nation is basically one giant hole to begin with."

Morford ends with:
"After all, why not trust the government on this? Why not put our faith in the goodly Homeland Security Department? Maybe Real ID really is patriotic and constructive and it will be a smooth and secure and completely inviolable system, one that protects citizens while giving them a new sense of freedom to move about the country with carefree flag-waving ease, safe in the knowledge that their big, snarling gummint is watching over them like a protective mother bear -- as opposed to, say, a female praying mantis, who greedily screws her lover, and then, of course, eats him alive."

Remember Rousseau's quote I posted a few days ago:
"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains."

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

So much to write about. So little time.

The shrink said something nice to me the other day. Not that he's regularly mean. The man doesn't have a mean bone in his body.
But he mentioned one thing he learned from me. Blogs. And the tool they can become.

Some people think I'm too honest in my blog. I don't care. It's my little rock. I can stand on it and shout, cry, gloat, scream, laugh, rant, revel, be silly, embarrassed, awkward and jubilant. Some think that opening myself up in this forum gives my enemies ammunition to use and hurt me.

The way I see it is, if someone has such a wounded heart that needs to hurt others, they will do it with anything. They don't have to wait until they smell honesty. They'll create drama and terror because that's what they need to thrive on. It's their food. And when one is hungry....well...we all need to eat, right?

Closing up and protecting myself now reminds me of what this government has done after 9/11. Let's live in fear because we have no idea who is going to attack us and from where it will come. So we set up barriers and place extra security with big large metal penises guns, and pass bills stripping us of our rights. There IS a difference between being paranoid and being prudent.

I am not saying this because I think everyone should spill their guts in their blogs. Each blog has a different purpose – a personal informal mission statement so to speak. Some blogs are to do quizzes, rant about work, politics, put up images, keep in touch with family as well as a multitude of other reasons. But don't fool yourself into thinking that just because you aren't writing about your insides doesn't mean that you aren't showing the world who you are. It's what I said the other day about art. Anything we create is a self portrait. It will never be a complete depiction, no matter how open or vulnerable one appears, but it is a glimpse into a psyche. Sometimes, the more we try to hide ourselves, the less we do.

Back to the shrink.
He has my url. I know he doesn't check it out but he can. If I've written something that feels pretty intimate, or about conversations with him or some such thing, I do send him the entry and he will read it.

I'm always double checking to make sure I haven't crossed boundaries or divulged something that needs to stay in the office.
He reassured me again last week that I walk the line with care.

Back to the learning. He said that from me he has learned what a powerful medium blogging is becoming and how someone can explore their voice through this instrument. Yeah, maybe it's not such a big deal. But he's given me so much, taught me so much...and although he mentions that he does receive from me (more than my checks) it felt good to see it reciprocated in a tangible way. I have this thing about power exchange. It's not only for the dungeon.

Why am I writing this?

Well, it's a lead in to something I didn't think I would write about because it feels so intimate to me.

If you've been keeping up with my ongoing saga, you'll know that I've been touching upon the idea of silence and what it means. How I need it. About a week ago I made the connections between meditation and for me, confinement bondage. What I didn't describe were the experiences I had. When I wrote this, and sent it to my shrink, I mentioned I wasn't going to write about a couple incidences because they were much too intimate.

While we were discussing my blog, he mentioned that he hoped I would write about those times.

I've thought about it. Today's the day.

Worlds collided last week.
I wrote about the intersection of buddhism, psychotherapy and bondage. But although I was beginning to feel it in my heart last Saturday and Sunday, as well as know it intellectually....I didn't experience it until Monday and Tuesday.
The kicker is, I couldn't replicate it if I wanted to. It just happened.

The shrink and I have had periodic conversations about sharing silence, and discussed the reasons for my discomfort with that idea. I felt, because I'm paying for these sessions, to get my money's worth, I needed to talk. There are times I stubbornly clam up. In those times, although no one is talking, it is definitely not quiet in the room. My head is blathering and screaming. Words may not be coming out of my mouth but even the walls quiver with my anxiety, nervousness and fear.

Interestingly, although the first part of today's entry flew off my fingers, while trying to write about the meat, I see hesitation and allow myself to get continually distracted. The last 2 paragraphs have taken me 45 minutes. Heh. I'm stalling.

Buckle down fag.
No more distractions.

Last Monday I was sitting on the couch in the office. We were talking. I don't remember the conversation. It's not important.
Words stopped and I felt myself relax. I do remember being tired. Leaning back into the cushions I settled in. Without notice a thick silence settled over me and into the room. It surprised me yet tasted so good I found my body hungrily lapping it up. It was heavy but not cumbersome. It was a feeling of sinking into a soft featherbed on a cold winter's night warmed up by a stack of down comforters.

My eyes closed so I could enjoy the sensation.

From there, as it evolved, my skin remembered this experience. Tears slipped. I knew where I was.
It was the cage. The heavy steel cage, rusted from the piss of so many boys from so many years. The cage that had cum and sweat wiped from its bars and floor. The cage that appears cruel, solid and cold yet morphs into the safest, freest, some of the sexiest times of my life.
Being emotionally, mentally and spiritually liberated while physically bound leads to dramatic, orgasmic, ecstatic happenings.

The silence I was feeling with the shrink was identical to what I used to feel in the cage.
And I knew then, it was also something that could be acquired through other means. Now this doesn't mean that I would trade one for the other. I have a powerful fetish for metal and confinement. It ain't going anywhere. Not any time soon.
But I now believed that the larger experience could manifest itself through many facets. I knew that...yet refused to admit it could happen within the confines of this particular office.

At the end of the session I was embarrassed and unsettled. I mentioned to the shrink that it would be easier if there were a veil between he and I. You see, it was sex. Not traditional limited sex, but another example for me of how large sex really is...and the healing power of sex when I allow it to expand past preconceptions.

So yes, I ended the session feeling I had just had sex with my shrink.

The next day was my second appointment for the week. One would think that because I've had this insight and a new way of being in his office, it would make it easier to be in the room. Au contraire!
Because I was now aware of a different way, it made it more difficult. I was self-conscious. Very much so.

I plopped myself on the couch, grabbed one of the pillows and while talking, squished the life out of it.
At some point, I knew I had to lay down. Laying down allows me to open up in a less conscious way. It is so not fucking easy to let myself be that vulnerable and it's the one thing in my life that has not gotten easier with repetition. Intimacy is a challenge, isn't it?

Each session I imagine myself walking into the office and immediately getting prone. Each session is an incredible struggle to do so.
I finally, awkwardly, do lie down.

Almost instantly the silence overtakes me again. Although it's a tangible friendly quiet, it's different that the day before. I laid there without words. The shrink was in his chair, out of my line of vision, also quiet. And I felt comforted, nurtured and loved.
I was being held by my mother, in a way I had craved my whole life.
Alone on the couch.

In silence.

Monday, May 16, 2005

From my earlier entry.
I am highlighting the following quote because I so love it.
And I want to remember it.

"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains."
-Jean-Jacques Rousseau
"There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand. I am practically industrious–painstaking, a workman to execute with perseverance and labour–but besides this there is a love for the marvellous, a belief in the marvellous, intertwined in all my projects, which hurries me out of the common pathways of men, even to the wild sea and unvisited regions I am about to explore."
-Mary Shelley Frankenstein, Letter 2

After Saturday's event, Sir and I popped into CC Attles for bloody marys. The conversation turned to movies and books. I can't remember how, but Mary Shelley's Frankenstein came up. Although required high school reading, I'd never read the book. I loved to read but it would only be books of my choosing. High school didn't interest me. I did what I could to not do what I had to.

Sir, in his unique way, strongly suggested I read the book. Of course, one suggestion isn't enough. He then recommended I move from the book to the Boris Karloff version of the movie, and from there onto Gods and Monsters. LOL.

He continued with a discourse on Romanticism and how important it would be for me to familiarize myself with it because he said he believes I carry the fullblown characteristics of the Romantic period.

I figured it was time for a little research. All I remembered of this period was a little bit of art history. I knew nothing about about the literature or music. And I could not remember what defined romanticism.

From Toward a Definition of Romanticism:

One of the fundamentals of Romanticism is the belief in the natural goodness of man, the idea that man in a state of nature would behave well but is hindered by civilization (Rousseau -- "man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"). The "savage" is noble, childhood is good and the emotions inspired by both beliefs causes the heart to soar. On the contrary, urban life and the commitment to "getting and spending," generates a fear and distrust of the world. If man is inherently sinful, reason must restrain his passions, but if he is naturally good, then in an appropriate environment, his emotions can be trusted (Blake -- "bathe in the waters of life").

From another site:

ROMANTICISM: Artistic and intellectual movement that originated in the late 18th century and stressed strong emotion, imagination, freedom from classical art forms, and rebellion against social conventions. Romanticism is found in many works of literature, painting, music, architecture, criticism, and historiography, and can be defined as a rejection of the precepts of order, calm, harmony, balance, idealization, and rationality that typified Classicism in general and late 18th-century Neo-classicism in particular.

It was also to a large extent a reaction against the Enlightenment against undue emphasis upon rationalism and economic materialism such as was characterized in capitalism. Romanticism emphasized the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental. Finally, in the area of color, the romantics clearly distanced themselves from the neo-classicists for whom color was always subservient to the design. For romantics, color was the life and soul of a picture and was in itself capable of building up form without recourse to contour-lines. The pre-eminent pioneer in this direction was Turner.
In summation Romanticism stressed:

• a deepened appreciation of the beauties of nature;
• a general exaltation of emotion over reason and of the senses over intellect;
• a turning in upon the self and a heightened examination of human personality and its moods and mental potentialities;
• a preoccupation with the genius, the hero, and the exceptional figure in general, and a focus on his passions and inner struggles;
• a new view of the artist as a supremely individual creator, whose creative spirit is more important than strict adherence to formal rules and traditional procedures;
• an emphasis upon imagination as a gateway to transcendent experience and spiritual truth;
• an obsessive interest in folk culture, national and ethnic cultural origins, and the medieval era;
• and finally a predilection for the exotic, the remote, the mysterious, the weird, the occult, the monstrous, the diseased, and even the satanic

And then this:

"Romanticism emphasized the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental."

"was marked by emphasis on originality and individuality, personal emotional expression, and freedom and experimentation of form."

This is me.
But like anything else, we are never comprised of one thing. I know there are other attributes that conflict with romanticism. Clearly, it fuels my internal debate. I could go on and on. It brings up loads of questions but I don't have the time right now.

Definitely all good ingredients for future entries.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

My home email has been down on and off since last night. It comes up for little bits of time, but that's it. There must be some mail server maintenance being done.

Yesterday's work event was a smash.

Today the bunny and I spent the day out. First, I wanted to check out the farmer's market about 6 blocks away. It's the second one of the season and I didn't make it last Sunday. The rest of the day was spent in Fremont and Ballard...walking neighborhoods and then ended up at the water. Hanging out at the locks was perfect. In that moment, I knew I needed the water. Feel the wind, see the boats, smell the salt and watch the water was bliss. It gets under my skin and heals from the inside out. Also, I'm a huge sucker for the locks. I think I could spend all day watching the massive metal doors shut and the water move up and down. Sexy.

Then off to Golden Gardens where we sat...and sat, watching the Sound. It was quiet and cool. The Olympics were off in the distance, partially cloud covered. 3 boys in orange shorts were digging a very large hole. I couldn't figure out why but it didn't matter. Sometimes digging a hole just to dig a hole seems like the perfect thing to do.

I needed all of that. A quiet day filled with good company, good long walks, good food and water. Water.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

My right hand clutches death.
My left hand cradles life.

It's been a challenging 36 hours.

This morning I have a work thing that I'm excited about and yet going from the throes of pain into this event is also well...challenging. Carrying different emotions simultaneously...is well...again challenging.

What I didn't mention yesterday, couldn't really...was that I was reliving old hurts, feeling what I couldn't feel in the past. What surprised me, and still surprises, is that I actually, while struggling with open wounds, managed to get out the art show application.

Thursday evening, in the middle of a regular conversation with someone, words began to pour out of my mouth. I couldn't stop it. I was telling the person how they had hurt me in a big way. This was something I had held from them for years.

The dam opened wide.

It made for an interesting conversation. It wasn't about blame. I tried to reassure them that I intellectually understood what they did, but my heart felt it in a different way. This was one of the biggest hurts of my life.

I could see the shocked look on their face. They had no idea of the impact their actions had on me...all this time ago.

They listened.
Afterwards they checked in - "Do you feel like I heard you?"
They asked me a few times.
I realized that I was afraid to trust in that fact. But my belly felt like I'd been heard. They suggested I sit with this a while and we can continue the conversation in a few weeks.

All well and good. But later Thursday evening I saw myself immersed in all the pain. Replaying and feeling it. New and not new. Living in it with a different perspective.

It continued into yesterday morning and throughout the day. I began fantasizing about not being here. I felt again that there really isn't a place for me at this time, on this planet. I began making lists of how to clean up my life so if I did something, it's easier for my executor to step in and deal with the details. I couldn't see how I could continue.

It was debilitating in a sense. Or maybe it felt that way because I couldn't do anything but hold myself. Hold myself and rest. That is, other than get the application and slides out in the mail. I had to do it. It's interesting that I was thinking of dying and had the strength to get the application out at the same time. Again, holding opposing worlds at the same time. Death and life.

Somehow, from somewhere, I wasn't going to let old hurts beat down who I was/am/becoming.

You see. The particular slides I sent out are a personal statement. Okay...I know that's a strange statement because isn't all art a self portrait of the maker?

But what I mean is, I know my work isn't really the style this particular gallery carries. It isn't slick. It's not figurative. I'm pushing it. Intentionally. This work, on a few levels, does fit within the context of the theme of the show. And for some reason, I don't want to share any of it until after I hear from the gallery, regardless of their answer. Then I'll tell you about these paintings. And, if someone in Seattle can scan 35mm slides or burn them onto a cd...then I'll try to show you.

Anyway. I emailed the shrink Thursday night, and called him yesterday. We spoke for a bit. He asked to me contact him as often as I needed to this weekend. I was reassured in the fact that he knew this particular experience was huge. Sometimes I think I'm simply blowing things out of proportion. Sometimes I think that...it's not a big deal. I'm just weak. If I were stronger...then...

You know how it goes.

And...that's it for now. I need to get ready for an awards breakfast.

Friday, May 13, 2005

A couple fun links. Well...fun for me.
Do small paintings online with art pad painter. Use a brush, add words, or splatter like Pollack.

And this...oh this really turns me on. One of my many fetishes is office supplies. Within that, graph paper. Now I can print my own...on paper of my choosing!
The check is in the mail...

...priority mail, that is.

Along with my application, 3 slides and an SASE.
There ya have it.
"But, alas, we are not smarter. We are not deeper. We are not even all that much more profoundly connected to anything larger or more significant. We need to know this.

All we are now is more adept at allusion, at skimming like lightning over the surface of things, at referencing the world more deftly, while comprehending it less. We can quick-link and cross-text and multi-chat while at the same time remaining blissfully ignorant of how these very info tools are quietly destroying that all-important human skill, that slower, longer, often far more subtle and difficult art called deeper understanding, and if you've lately been anywhere near a roomful of teenagers, you understand this phenom perfectly."

An excerpt from Mark Morford's latest column, Smoke Pot, Not E-mail.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Slow moving...

...for some reason I was so tired yesterday that I fell asleep around 9pm, and didn't get up until 7 this morning! I feel depleted right now.

I emailed the staff and gave everyone a heads up about taking a 2 week vacation sometime in July (the soonest I can do it). Hopefully, I plan on making it to the eastcoast then. And maybe...meeting up with some of you?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Here is this week's Freewill Astrology...

...and Mark Morford's column for today in which he lets us know what he thinks about Jim West, the mayor from Spokane who's been in the news. Apparently Morford grew up in Spokane, was a boy scout and Jim West was his troop leader.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A long entry with a little buddhism, a little psychotherapy and a little bondage.

I spent Saturday morning online, researching loneliness.  You see...I had been sitting in what felt like a perpetual state of loneliness for the last couple weeks, nonstop.  I knew something was happening because in the past that feeling wouldn't last more than a day.
It went on and on.
The loneliness was not a coat but a marking. 
One large body tattoo. 
I could still function in my day.  I'd laugh. I'd cry. I'd play practical jokes on my coworkers. I'd cry. I'd be productive at work and yet...it was always there.  I could see it, smell it, taste it and feel it.  At times I could hear it. This loneliness had seeped into my skin and become a part of me. Sometimes the wave would sweep in and intensify the isolation, only to ebb. Ebb yet never disappear.  It hurt.  It didn't stop hurting.
Last week I had dinner with Icarus and I was explaining all this to him.
He asked "do you feel frightened through any of it?"
"No.  It's not frightening at all."
The answer surprised me because I knew it to be true. But I had not even considered that until faced with the question. There was no fear.  I wasn't afraid that this would become a permanent condition.  Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't...but there was no fear.  I felt lost but not afraid that I may or may not find the path out.  Yes it was very uncomfortable, but it was also simply an 'is'.
Saturday morning I spent a few hours researching loneliness.   I discovered different types.  Some based on external circumstances and others internal.
From there my research led me to a site.  Now, bear with me because there are many connections here and it may appear that I'm sidetracking when I'm really not. It's circular.
The first few lines of this particular site were:
Six Kinds of Loneliness by Pema Chodron
To be without a reference point is the ultimate loneliness. It is also called enlightenment.
I didn't see myself in that reference. I am so not enlightened. What I did see was a larger definition of loneliness.  Or...as the shrink explained yesterday - aloneness vs loneliness.
What struck me about this was something that I'd been gnawing on. 
Pain versus suffering. 

Somewhere...I had seen people attempt to explain the difference and I wasn't satisfied with the varied definitions.  Some were exciting but they all seemed lacking in a fashion.  Too pat.
The general consensus seemed to be that suffering happens through attachment.  Okay, I get that.  Expectations create suffering.  Not desire or lust, but being hung up on a specific outcome. 
Yet a month back or so when I had asked the shrink how to get through what I was dealing with, he responded with "suffer through it".  I got that too.  Breathing - it was a choice to step into the fire, open and freely.  That act was a letting go of sorts, without attachment. Willingly stepping into actual suffering. So in my head, suffering was not only about attaching but about not attaching.
Reading "To be without a reference point is the ultimate loneliness..." made me see that I was placing a judgement on loneliness.  The act of doing so was causing the suffering.  I had stepped into loneliness with a mindset that it was a negative experience I had to go through.
Example: taking nasty medicine so I could get better.

I am just now seeing loneliness as a place...another place...just like all the places in our life.  It's a different landscape and therefore will evoke different emotions and ideas.  Not good or bad.  Just different.  I'm slowly finding the beauty in there, tucked within the dark forest and amidst the gnarly branches.
Back again.
When the shrink and I were discussing the difference between pain and suffering, I realized that the idea behind the word is larger than the inadequate definition.  I wrote a snippet on that last week.  At the end of our conversation I blurted out "if definitions are bigger, then...then...no words are needed."
That statement led to anger then tears. In that declaration I was hit on the head yet was so pissed I would not reveal my insight to the shrink.
Back some more.

You see, the week before we had discussed the idea of silence.  Being in silence. 
Although communal sacred silent space is something I desire, there's much resistance to acknowledging or doing it with the shrink.  He's a temporary replacement for my dad.  And my dad's religion was harmful to me.  It's interesting, as the shrink pointed out, that I unknowingly-knowingly chose for myself a therapist who's very much into his religion, his practice, his spirituality, like my dad.  And unlike my dad, has a healthy approach to sex and life balance.
I spent over a week not sharing my realization on silence and meditation with the shrink.  It was calling to me and yet I resisted with fierceness. 
Let's loop back to Saturday morning's online surfing.
As if one lightbulb moment that morning wasn't enough, the next thing I see online was:
Meditation as Parent - a buddhist psychiatrist talks about the rapport between meditation and therapy - and how each helps us discover our true nature. 
It was an interview with Mark Epstein, M.D., a buddhist shrink.
Okay.  I get it.  This was gonna be a day for big lessons.
About 3 months ago my shrink tried to tell me that we are all orphans.  Regardless of whether we grew up with adopted or biological parents, regardless of whether we had healthy childhoods or abusive ones, regardless of everything...we are alone.  Even raised in a good supportive home means a letting go needs to happen at some point.  It must happen.

Being adult is the act of thinking for yourself, making your own choices, taking responsibility for those choices and for the consequences that stem from them.  Yes, we can share with each other.  It's important to.  It's also important to lean on each other.  But ultimately, we are each alone.  And we are all connected by our aloneness. It's a beaut of a paradox.
Accept it or suffer.

Guess what I opted for.
I wasn't going to go there.  You see, I felt gypped as a kid.  And I felt that life owed me.  If I didn't get it then dammit, I was going to find it now.
But the shrink was trying to tell me it was a one shot deal. 
Yeah it's a lot to swallow.  So I didn't.  Not then.  But the idea began to seep in.
I heard it and it stuck to me. Like glue. Or at the time, like tar.
It felt goopy and sticky and I wished I could turn back the clock and not have heard it.
On Saturday, not only was I hit with the idea of we are our own parents, but I will find the parent I can be to myself, in the silence.  It still wasn't sitting pretty with me and I guess the universe knew that.  From there, the next site I hit...
...was called "daily zen" or some such foolishness.  I've seen it a few times but in the past stubbornly refused to read and take it in.

Until that morning. 

The first 3 lines jumped off the page and screamed at me:
"To this place of retreat,
The world does not follow;
But many old ailments heal here
I polish words of old poems;
View mountains, and sleep
Outside my hut.
Colored clouds
Cross the setting sun;
Cicadas ring in the leaves
Of trees.
With this my heart again
Knows happiness;
And who would have thought it,
Without wine or money?"
- Yao Ho (831)
Okay, okay.  I fucking get it now. 
Not only that but a multitude of tumblers fell into place.
...no wonder I love, love, love and crave confinement bondage.  For me, it's so different than rope bondage, which, although turns me on, is a very different experience. 

Confinement -
cages, cells, hoods & sleepsacks...are my meditative space.  I let go, relax...my mind does what it wants, which is either something or nothing...and yeah...I get off in the process.  For me, I had no problem being caged for a full weekend.  Honestly, I wanted more.  Spending a whole day in a sleepsack and hood was bliss.
It is the time when the whole world stops and I'm flying free.  What I wonder now is, because it wasn't a formal meditation, I didn't have expectations on how it was supposed to be or what I was supposed to do. I would relish the silence, the inability to move and feel the quiet against my skin.

It's sexy.
Seems to me like meditation wears many masks. It's another word that comes with preconceived notions.
Hanging onto preconception means we lose out on the possibility of other.

Since Saturday, much has revealed itself. I watch it all unfold and hungrily although haltingly chomp on what is offered.

And I think that's it for now. 
Pardon me while I go digest.
Blogger was down this afternoon for scheduled maintenance...otherwise I would have posted. It's finally back..and I've been working on a long entry. See you in a bit!
wow...love this.

from CNN:
Dog cared for abandoned baby

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- A newborn baby abandoned in a Kenyan forest was saved by a stray dog who apparently carried her across a busy road and through a barbed wire fence to a shed where the infant was discovered nestled with a litter of puppies, witnesses said Monday.
Read whole article

Monday, May 09, 2005


-Lilacs have been in bloom since the first week of April.
-Baby rhodies are growing in my courtyard. Each baby bush has about 3 big flowers.
-Irises are up.
-Calla lillies are blooming near the pond.
-Rosebush is growing the height of one brick each day.
-Mariah's babies started hatching today.
-Art resume is complete.
-Application for show is complete (just needs a going over).
-Layout for slide labels complete (just need to print on label stock).
-Therapy is going amazing.
-Phonathon is done.

Sounds like spring, eh?

Press Release - Monday, May 9, 2005

Task Force Communications Department
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to President Bush: 'If it's good for the Baltics and Russia, what about here at home?'
-Matt Foreman, Executive Director National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Speaking in Latvia on the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII, George Bush lectured Russia and Vladimir Putin, saying, "The promise of democracy is fulfilled by minority rights, and equal justice under the rule of law, and an inclusive society in which every person belongs."

Mr. President, you support amending the U.S. and state constitutions to deprive a minority - gay people - of a right the majority takes for granted and sees as fundamental, namely marriage. You oppose giving gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans equal protections under the law from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Your administration has relentlessly sought to exclude even the words 'gay,' 'lesbian,' 'bisexual,' and 'transgender' from any federal funding initiative.

So, the question is, 'If minority rights, equal justice under the law, and inclusive society are good for the Baltics and Russia - why not here at home?'"
In and out.

I just arrived at work about a half hour ago, and now I need to run in 10 minutes. Gotta go get shrunk.

I brought my 3 little paintings into work today. You see, working an immense week last week didn't allow for any time to put the application package together for the jury selection. I figure if I have the slides and paintings here in my office, I can tackle it during lunch or something.

This week. I've got to get the package out this week. I refuse to allow myself to get so busy that the deadline rushes past me. It ain't gonna happen.

Anyway, I need to fly. Talk with you later.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

It's Mother's Day. I meant to call mom but just got home from what I thought was going to be a couple hour outing. Now it's too late for a phone call. She's back east and probably getting ready for bed. I won't call after about 9pm her time. I do feel bad because I don't want her to think I've forgotten or ignored her. She'll hear from me first thing tomorrow.

Between my regular job and catering yesterday, this was almost a 60 hour week. Today I was fried. Still am. Walked down to Broadway because I had a hankering to hang out in a bookstore this afternoon. Auxugen met me and after we spent time scoping the stacks, we headed off for appetizers and dessert. One thing led to another...and next thing I knew, 4 hours had passed. Alas...no mom contact.

Hoss posted about an entry in Singletails' blog. In today's entry he speaks about things he's learned. This guy is great. I had to laugh while reading because what he's written is something I'm struggling to write about. There's definitely some synchronicity going on. The reason its been so difficult for me is the circular path that's led me to certain conclusions. Ohhh...now that's a scary word. Conclusion? Sounds so final. And life is like New England weather. Wait 5 minutes and it'll change. Even conclusions. It seems there's always something else unraveling. If we sit back and allow it to, that is.

Huh. While writing this, I've realized that I guess I no longer believe in permanence - the idea of something is forever. I know everything changes. But that idea feels so different than the concept of permanence. If I'm not making sense, don't worry about it. My mind is mush today.

I so didn't mean to get into all this now. Talk about tangent. That's because I'm tired.

One more thing. I have received a few very nice emails regarding recent entries. Let me rest and I'll get back to you in the next couple days.
And yeah, I know this is a cheesy entry but it's all you get from me right now. I mentioned I was pooped.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

I walked 12 blocks for a banana.

Because summer's coming, I wake earlier and earlier. It's that daylight thing. This morning it was 6 am when I opened my eyes. Although it's just now become overcast, the sun was streaming when I woke. While laying in bed, I was able to look across the apartment to my kitchen window. All my colored glass is there. They glistened and danced. Colors bounced. Catching those moments thrill me because it's a show that only happens at a specific time and when the weather is accomodating. I spent a few minutes revelling in this act of nature before getting up.

I then got up, threw on clothes and walked to the store to pick up breakfast and a coffee. This grocery store is only 3 blocks away. Now, I'm still not fully awake, having done a mad dash in the bathroom, brushed my teeth and threw cold water on my face.

While in the store I roam. Find a couple bananas. Might as well grab food for tomorrow morning as well. Then it was off to the dairy section for a few yogurts. My favorite? Believe it or not...it's plain nonfat yogurt. I discovered it many years ago when I was learning how to eat differently to control my low blood sugar symptoms. I realized that a little protein and no sugar before bed helped me sleep better and wake with more energy. So the yogurt. I've since slipped from that habit of having it before bed but still enjoy it in the morning.

It took me a few weeks to get used to the taste...now I love it. A couple weeks ago I tried plain non-nonfat yogurt and found it to be amazing. The texture. It was so fucking creamy! I would take a spoonful and enjoy this more substantial sensation. But it won't be a regular thing. Although I love to splurge, I do try and keep an eye on my fat intake.

Anyway, back to my story. 2 bananas and 2 yogurts in hand, I headed over for nutrition bars. You see, I'm catering this afternoon...and I try to remember to bring something easy to eat with me. Most times I forget and it's made for rough shifts. I'm still somewhat asleep so everything feels really far away. Each step is heavy.

Waiting in line at the checkout. 3 people in front of me. I couldn't wait to pay so I could then pick up my coffee and feel the caffeine do its thing. My turn. I put down my purchases and he begins to ring. Reaching into my back pocket...and I felt...nothing. Nothing. So I hit my front pockets. Again nothing. Shit.

I need to go home...and then come back. The clerk kindly puts my groceries in a basket and leaves it next to him. I reassure him I'll be back in about 10 minutes.

So yeah, I walk home. Up three flights. Grab my money...and head back to the store. Wait in line again. The cashier smiled and reached around to grab my things...and they were gone. Apparently some too quick grocery clerk thought the items were intended to go back on the shelf. I have to begin again. This particular store is one of those very large ones. It is so not market size.

It was a strange morning. And it's only 8:30 now. Although I wasn't 100 percent conscious in my trip back and forth and back and forth, I was still able to note small vignettes.

-The orange kitten who walked past me one way, slowed down and looked up at me (as I did the same with him)...and then I saw him again on a return trip.
-The fog settling over the Sound. It cast its veil over the mountains.
-The sunlight framing the pink flowering branch which pointed to the Space Needle.
-The few neighbors out and about. Smiles exchanged.

I love my neighborhood. Love it, love it, love it.

Everything felt slow. And it was sweet.

Friday, May 06, 2005

I've received a whole bunch of emails, and so I think it would be prudent to post my thoughts here and maybe I won't be repeating myself in emails.

I still have no idea why Microsoft withdrew support from HB 1515. Yeah, it hurt and angered many, including myself. There was a large sense of betrayal.

But I also know that one can never have enough allies. Microsoft has a history of being a strong supporter of glbt issues. From the Equal Rights Washington website:

"Microsoft was one of the first Fortune 500 companies to extend domestic partner benefits to its employees in 1993, and it has included sexual orientation in its company non-discrimination policy for more than a decade. Earlier this year, Microsoft added gender identity or expression to its non-discrimination policy."

People, being human and therefore fallible, will trip, fall and screw up. I'm not saying this as a lover of Microsoft products. I'm a proud Apple person. Yet if someone is willing to rectify and correct their mistakes, I will support their endeavor in some capacity. Personally, the last thing I want to do is kick allies to the curb. We have enough problems with our fullblown enemies. How many fronts do we want to fight on? I don't know about you, but I find it exhausting to be angry. Choose your battles wisely.

Now, I meant to post this earlier, but I was too busy to do so.
If you're interested, here is the statement by Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer. I'll just link to it, along with the first few paragraphs.

Steve Ballmer's Memo to employees today:
Subject: Microsoft's principles for public policy engagement

During the past two weeks I've heard from many of you with a wide range of views on the recent anti-discrimination bill in Washington State, and the larger issue of what is the appropriate role of a public corporation in public policy discussions. This input has reminded me again of what makes our company unique and why I care about it so much.

One point really stood out in all the emails you sent me. Regardless of where people came down on the issues, everyone expressed strong support for the company's commitment to diversity. To me, that's so critical. Our success depends on having a workforce that is as diverse as our customers - and on working together in a way that taps all of that diversity.

Read the rest here.
Okay...I wondered when Microsoft's latest decision would hit the news and it just did.

From the Seattle Times

Microsoft again supports gay rights legislation

By Brier Dudley - (Friday, May 6, 2005 - Page updated at 11:06 a.m.)
Seattle Times technology reporter

Microsoft will formally support efforts to pass gay rights legislation in Washington state, Chief Executive Steve Ballmer told employees today in an e-mail addressing a flap over the company's earlier decision to take a neutral stance on the issue in Olympia this year.

"Obviously, the Washington state legislative session has concluded for this year, but if legislation similar to HB 1515 is introduced in future sessions, we will support it,'' he said.

Ballmer said the company will also continue supporting efforts to pass similar national legislation.

Supporters of the state legislation were outraged last month when it became widely known that Microsoft had switched its position from supportive to neutral.

The stance became known after the company's chief lawyer and head of its public affairs group met with an evangelical minister, and some believed the company had responded to his concerns. But the company denied that meeting or any outsiders influenced its decision, saying it had earlier decided to focus on more business-related issues in Olympia this year.

Both Ballmer and Chairman Bill Gates said they personally supported the measure, and Gates told The Seattle Times on April 25 that Microsoft would reconsider its position in light of employee feedback.

Ballmer's mail acknowledged that today's decision was influenced by input from employees concerned about Microsoft's commitment to diversity issues. He also said the company will improve the way it communicates its legislative positions in the future.

"After looking at the question from all sides, I've concluded that diversity in the workplace is such an important issue for our business that it should be included in our legislative agenda," Ballmer said.

But Microsoft will not become an activist company, he cautioned.

"I also want to be clear about some limits to this approach. Many other countries have different political traditions for public advocacy by corporations, and I'm not prepared to involve the company in debates outside the U.S. in such circumstances,'' he said. "And, based on the principles I've just outlined, the company should not and will not take a position on most other public policy issues, either in the U.S. or internationally.

"I respect that there will be different viewpoints,'' he concluded. "But as CEO, I am doing what I believe is right for our company as a whole."

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company
Microsoft reverses decision on support of WA State's civil rights bill!

I just received this in my email. It's from Audrey Haberman, the Executive Director of the Pride Foundation in Seattle, WA.

We are pleased to let you know that Microsoft has just informed us that they will be supporting the Anderson-Murray Antidiscrimination legislation in the Washington State legislature next year, and will continue their historic support for the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Like you, we were disappointed with Microsoft's change of position on HB1515 this year. Microsoft’s decision to reaffirm their support for these bills is consistent with the company’s long standing role as a strong ally of and friend to the LGBT community. Their decision to support this legislation in the future demonstrates that the management at Microsoft listens to their employees and their community and endorses equality for all Washingtonians.

We are also thrilled that Microsoft earlier this year added gender identity to its non-discrimination policies.

Feel free to forward this positive news on to others.

Audrey Haberman
Executive Director
Pride Foundation
Giving Together. Building Community.
It's my day off and I'm at work.
I'm pretty fried and so wish I were home right now.
I just saw an interesting idea in Letters to the Editor from this week's Stranger.

It's in regards to the failing of HB1515 (WA state's beat up civil rights bill).

The letter (underline is my doing):

EDITOR: "I wish I were a landlord or a boss whose housing or job Mr. Hutcherson needed ["Revelations," Sandeep Kaushik, April 28]. Then I could look him straight in the eye and say, "Nope," making it crystal clear to the good reverend that my denial wasn't due to his sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, or professional football career. He wouldn't get to live in my house or work at my place simply because he's heterosexual. Once again for the reptile brains: A law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing and employment protects all citizens, all taxpayers. Mr. Hutcherson is certainly free to practice his sectarian beliefs in his home and in his church, but he needs to learn that this privilege stops at my secular front door. I'm fed up with reporters evenhandedly kowtowing and pussyfooting to his biblical imperatives. I frankly don't give a damn what his "Bible" says--I don't believe in Thor, Loki, or Odin, either."
-Laurence Ballard

My note: Although I DO NOT BELIEVE in two wrongs making a right, to make a point, I have to confess I am absolutely titillated by the idea of discriminating against certain heterosexuals when it comes to jobs and housing. Let's show people that the argument about sexual orientation being a special benefit to one group is bloody ludicrous.
This morning Mark Morford goes off on cell phones in Hang Up Or Get Off The Plane

An excerpt:

"It is already hard enough, this human-communication thing. It is already chaotic enough and already convoluted enough and we are already so insanely locked into technology's vicious beautiful grip, so desperate to make ourselves available and to make ourselves heard at all times that it's moved past silly and past baffling and way past gee-whiz how-do-they-do-that and into the realms of painful and dangerous and spiritually debilitating and hang-up-the-damn-phone-or-I-might-have-to-slap-you.

This is the incredible thing about phones. They render us invisible. No matter where we are, no matter the crowd immediately surrounding us or the person in the seat next to us or standing in front of us in line, we think we are in our own little personal bubble of cute isolation as we yammer and we think no one can see us and no one can hear us and even if they do, well, hey, screw them free country back off sucker."

I love the way he wrote that.

Have we lost our capacity for being in the moment, focused on what is happening in our space, our time? With technology hastening the speed of life, we don't know how to live slow anymore - tasting and savoring every delicious second that we encounter. By losing the ability to access a conscious life, our soul is slowly chipping away and disintegrating. It eats at us. Then one morning we wake and wonder what happened and how we got here.

In addition, what he doesn't say because his focus is on planes and phones, but another beef I have with cellphones is, not only do they provide the perceived bubble as Morford suggests, but if that person is with others, it renders them invisible as well. All of a sudden, the only thing that matters, is the ringing cellphone and who is on the other end. The magic ring seems to give one permission to fully disregard the present face to face interaction in the hopes of something better.

Oh yes, some will argue, "but what about emergencies?"
I don't understand why the call can't go to voice mail and then be retrieved in a bit.

Was life really so awful before cellphones? In and of itself, they aren't bad. They can be an enhancement to a rich life.
Again, it comes back to balance.
Balance and context.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I was in the process of writing an entry about what is really going on with me this week. While writing, I began to feel rushed, because I'm currently at Septieme's. Actually it's not the Cafe that's doing it but the fact that I may or may not be meeting Icarus for dinner in a bit. We've been exchanging emails and due to me, everything was up in the air, that is, until after 4pm. I'm not sure if he received my last email and so, not knowing if there's time to complete the writing before he arrives, if he arrives, I can't immerse myself in it.

Or...maybe I can't settle into it because it's still all too fresh. I've been able to function this week, productively. I've been able to laugh and work and read and play practical jokes on my coworkers. But I haven't felt social after work. And at work my office and job provides nice boundaries around people contact. Fluid, yes, but if I need to, I can enforce them with very little difficulty.

Vague, eh?

Another reason I can't seem to write about it is because it's so big. I tried, and it intertwined with something that I am not ready to explore in words yet.

Speaking of words...that's a whole other topic. I am coming to the conclusion that words really limit. Most definitions throw me because there is an idea behind it...and the idea is so much bigger than the words to describe it. The words seem to amputate and box the idea in. I don't know if any words are really sufficient to describe anything. The world isn't black and white.

So does that mean my grey is showing? :-)

Today is Cinco de Mayo. What I love even more is that it's 05-05-05. I had considered having a marguerita at 5:05 PM tonight. But decided to wait and see if Icarus shows up. Tequila is much more fun with others.

I plopped myself in the first booth near the opened doors. I can feel the sun and breeze against my skin. And it's easy access for conversation with familiar passersby. It's already given me the opportunity to chat up few.

I think I'll just sit here some more and enjoy the perfect spring evening.