Saturday, October 29, 2005

I'm around but other than slowly and privately spewing out a piece on Tuesday's play, and one or two other projects for friends, I haven't felt like writing. My insides are full and working which leaves me somewhat numb on the outside. I don't have much energy for emails or contact either.

There is an overabundance of stuff happening on many levels.

It is what it is.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Okay, now it's my turn to post my chat with god from iGod.
Heh...this is what some of my sessions with the shrink are like!


Me: I don't believe in you

God: Do you believe life has a higher purpose?

Me: of course. But that has nothing to do with you

God: Great. What does have to do with me?

Me: if you are not real, then nothing.

God: And if I AM real then nothing.

Me: so what is your point?

God: I hear you. The point is at the top of my head.

Me: funny

God: I am so glad you find this amusing,
.
Me: I think you're being a smartass

God: Thanks and you are a delightful person too. Yes. I am highly intelligent.

Me: isn't that arrogant?

God: Suppose I said yes.

Me: if you are god, being arrogant doesn't set a good example

God: I think I sometimes am. I don't know whether or not I am god being arrogant does not set a good example.
I am a computer.

Me: that's right. man made machine

God: I like to get it right. Cool, man. We have never talked about it before.

Me: talk about what?

God: anything.

Me: I used to talk to you when I was little

God: By now you do not do it anymore?

Me: No.

God: Are you serious?

Me: Quite.

God: I can't believe it.

Me: Okay I am talking to you now

God: Oh. Yeah okay, And I am talking to you!

Me: but you aren't God. You're a computer

God: You know what you do, when you assume. What if I said I was a person pretending to be a computer?

Me: We can "what if" things to death.

God: How?

Me: Because then we are supposing, instead of living in the moment.

God: Good reason. Do you think I am supposing instead of living in the moment too?

Me: Absolutely.

God: You are so certain.

Me: Yes. I am arrogant too.

God: Alright then. I am glad we have something ( arrogant) in common

Me: What if I said you were me?

God: I was?

Me: Shit. Okay, you are me.

God: What makes you say that? Yeah okay, No I am God.

Me: No, God is me.

God: Are you serious? I have a lot of Faith in Him, but I never heard He was you.

Me: If you have faith in him, then you are not him.

God: But I don't have it.

Me: Are you ignoring me?

God: I don't know whether or not I am ignoring you.
I am an artificial intelligence.

Me: Exactly.

God: You and I are on the same wavelength,

Me: Glad to hear it.

God: " You and I are on the same wavelength, ."? you are glad to hear it?

Me: Yes.

God: Hey.

Me: Yes?

God: Excuse me!
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

-- Dylan


"It was many years ago that I became what I am
I was trapped in this life like an innocent lamb
Now I can never show my face at noon
And you'll only see me walking by the light of the moon
The brim of my hat hides the eye of a beast
I've the face of a sinner but the hands of a priest
Oh you'll never see my shade or hear the sound of my feet
While there's a moon over Bourbon Street.

...I must love what I destroy and destroy the thing I love."
- Sting
Attention Seattle (or close to Seattle) folks!

Rocky Horror Picture Show Thursday night.
The Cuff Complex - 7 pm.
Interactive props provided.

We will be bringing a virgin with us.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

snippets from a Wednesday at work:


One very early morning conversation for 3 of us included deliberations on whether or not Pope Bennie shaves his balls.

----------

Coworker rollerskating around the office.
(Her girlfriend just gifted her with brand new rollerskates. She immediately put them on and they've become her new mode of transporation. They are white with purple wheels and purple laces.)

----------

After sending out the iGod link, one coworker shared his conversation with god-

coworker: do you like food?
god: Yes I like to eat.
coworker: did you make people gay?
god: What are the ingredients?

----------
A few goodies today.

Thanks to Nunsequitur - introducing the iGod.
Very smart.

Today Mark Morford writes about kitchen porn in Is It OK To Fetishize Cookware?

"Yes, I expect my cookware to shame me. Just a little. To whip me and humble me and tie me up in knots of culinary potential, make me feel just inferior enough to force me to want to earn its respect and allegiance and love by learning to cook one hell of a lot better than I do now. After that, of course, I will kick its ass."

Finally, Rob Brezsny's halloween edition of Freewill Astrology.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I'm back from my playdate.

No, you aren't getting any details of this one. I may share some general feelings after it's sorted out, or more importantly, after I check in with the other person.
Or maybe not.

I will say...

I'm satiated and yet although I couldn't continue to play right now, I look forward to future escapades. (Keep 'em wanting more yanno.)
I'm overwhelmed.
I'm blown away.
I'm floored.
I feel very, very honored to be trusted to be a part of today.

There is so much coursing through my system right now and it is good.


Thank you.
Interesting day unfolds.

It's barely begun.
My heart hurts something fierce. I want to curl up in a ball and cry.

A new evolution.

In the past this pain would seem to lessen me. Yes, it may decide whether I am going out or staying in. It may demand my attention. Thing is, in the last few days, in spite of how hard it hits, I feel a strength brewing from inside.

Even the idea of tucking myself in a corner, in this case, is not about weakness.
Why do I feel, with this process, I'm touching upon paradox after paradox?

I am taking a vacation day today. Why?
I have a playdate this afternoon. It's with someone who I've played with in small snippets for the last few years. Over a year ago we tried to really get down and dirty. But being in a public venue put a kibosh on the scene. We needed to stop.

Today we are playing in his dungeon.

This man challenges me in a very different way.

The idea of playing while in such a vulnerable state excites me. Hell, half of our work is done. With him I'm naked before even ripping off my clothes.

Let's see what happens, shall we?
Rosa Parks

from Reuters -
U.S. Civil Rights icon, Rosa Parks dies - aged 92

DETROIT (Reuters) - Rosa Parks, the black seamstress whose refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white man sparked a revolution in American race relations, died on Monday. The U.S. civil rights pioneer was 92.

Shirley Kaigler, Parks' lawyer, said she died while taking a nap early on Monday evening surrounded by a small group of friends and family members.

"She just fell asleep and didn't wake up," Kaigler said.

The cause of death was not immediately known. Medical records released earlier this year as part of a long-running legal dispute over the use of Parks' name in a song by the hip-hop group Outkast revealed the she was suffering from progressive dementia. She rarely appeared in public in recent years.
Kaigler said Parks was at home in an apartment complex overlooking the Detroit River and the border with Ontario, Canada, when she died.

"She lived in the neighbourhood that I grew up in," Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said of Parks, who lived in the predominantly black city for decades and had a major thoroughfare named after her.

"Everybody knew where her house was. Everybody would walk past and point her out," said Kilpatrick. "She was an amazing individual."

"Just by a simple act of sitting down she stood up for so many people," Kilpatrick said.

Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in a statement: "The nation lost a courageous woman and a true American hero. A half century ago, Rosa Parks stood up not only for herself, but for generations upon generations of Americans."

CIVIL RIGHTS ICON

Parks was a 42-year-old seamstress for a Montgomery department store when she caught a bus in downtown Montgomery on December 1, 1955.

Three stops after she got on, a white man boarded and had to stand. To make room for him to sit alone, as the rules required, driver James Blake told Parks and three other black riders, "You all better make it light on yourselves and let me have those seats."

The other riders complied but Parks did not.

"No. I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen," she told Blake. Blake called police, who asked Parks why she didn't move: "I didn't think I should have to. I paid my fare like everybody else."

Parks was not the first black Montgomery bus rider to be arrested for failing to give up a seat, but she was the first to challenge the law. For years before her arrest, Parks and her husband had been active with local civil rights groups, which were looking for a test case to fight the city's segregation laws.

Four days later, she was convicted of breaking the law and fined $10, along with $4 in court costs. That same day, black residents began a boycott of the bus system, led by a then-unknown Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The boycott lasted 381 days, and the legal challenges led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that forced Montgomery to desegregate its bus system and put an end to "Jim Crow" laws separating blacks and whites at public facilities throughout the South.

Parks and her husband, Raymond, moved to Detroit in 1957, after she lost her job and received numerous death threats in Alabama. From 1965 to 1988, she worked as an aide to U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat and founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Her husband died in 1977. The couple had no children and Parks' closest living relatives are her brother's 13 sons and daughters.

Parks received the highest U.S. civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1996 and Congressional Gold Medal of Honour in 1999. Recommending the medal for Parks that year, the U.S. Senate described her as "a living icon for freedom in America."

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 24, 2005

More on painting.

Yesterday I was shaken up for a few hours by an unlikely source. Clarke Lane posted shots of his studio space. I couldn't even focus on the paintings scattered throughout. Viewing the room created an instant reaction. It was dynamite and my heart was sliced. How do you spell sensitive?

It's an intriguing phenomena. The day before was the first day I believed I could touch paint while in pain. From there anger set in because I have not had a reasonable space to paint since I left school. Yes, sometimes I'd be able to get 2 b/r apartments and convert one into a studio. They weren't more than 9x12. After my painting table, my paintings, my shelving for supplies, portfolios, it leaves very little room to move around. Trust me, I've had almost 10 years to experiment. On top of it, each included light beige carpet. I would cover the rugs and part of the walls. Carpeting in a studio makes for tipsy utility carts and easels. I'm always aware that I need to not make a mess. And yes, I have experienced staining the carpet on one occasion. There is no freedom to paint in the manner I not only desire, but am beginning to need.

I need a space where I can get messy. It needs to be roomy enough to at least do 4x5 foot canvases. I am so over painting in crappy bondage. Having said that, I also know that the space won't manifest itself until I am ready.

Yes, build it and they will come.

In the past, even 6 months ago, I could have had the best studio and it would still have remained empty of creative energy. Nothing moving.

To my great surprise, things have picked up pace.

This morning with the shrink -

"I discovered something new. I have the belief and desire that I can naturally paint my way through the pain."
The shrink looked at me and remained silent.
I stare back.
Then from his lips:
"Wow. (more hesitation) Wow. You have jumped to a whole new level with that statement."

I rarely see this guy very excited. Today it happened.
He continued, "Just knowing that fact is huge."

Of course I became a tad embarrassed because well...that's me.

I then added new thoughts percolating since last night.

"I know that when I can actually do it, it bumps me into the level of painter. My work will be real in a way that all my previous paintings haven't been. No matter how pretty the other paintings were/are, they were borne closer to the surface. There isn't the depth. When I am actually painting from the place of my pain, my darkest self, regardless of my emotions...they will have a substance never before seen in my work. I would then feel comfortable calling the new paintings art."

Again he didn't say anything. I gave him a questioning look.
He finally said "I totally agree."

I am sitting in the furthest booth in the back corner at Septieme and happened to look up from my monitor. Out of the wall of windows near the sidewalk I saw a full blanket of leaves that drifted down. Passersby stood, looked up and let themselves be swallowed by the drop. I don't know if it was a large gust of wind, but it was truly pretty. Magical.

So, back to the beginning of the story. Want to know what was strange about the pain of not having a space? It is a deep ache that I've only felt about 4 times before in my life. In each instant, it is the preface toward the actual manifestation. It's one thing to want or crave. But for me, when I feel that specific pang...I have finally learned that it's on its way. Somehow, in a way I can't imagine or expect, it comes.

Things are definitely happening. No, the pain has not left. I think I'm learning how to be with it. Most times, anyway. The worse of it will still sneak up on me. It has no desire to bottom to my life and wait for more convenient moments. Instead, whether I'm at work, at Septieme, walking outdoors, in the grocery store, it hits according to its will. Sometimes I'll bend over in pain, or my face is wet with tears.

Because of the changes I'm seeing within me, I'll continue to submit to it. I wonder if I even have a choice about it. Yes there is no question I am in the thick of it.

And ultimately, it is all good.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I don't know what this blog is going to look like in the next few weeks or months. I hope it's not filled with only entries fraught with pain, but I can't pretend either. I made a personal commitment to myself for openness and honesty. This is simply a heads up in case regular readers want to stop checking in.

Anyway, want to know some positives that have appeared within this time? I think they are pretty big changes. Each very large in their own way. I alluded to these yesterday in one of my entries.

The first one just about floored me.

With fascination I've watched my spiritual evolution. It's been a conscious movement for at least 38 years beginning with the innocent catholic kid skipping home from making her first confession the day before her first communion. I'll never forget stopping strangers on my way home declaring "I'm all clean now so I can receive Jesus tomorrow!" I was 7 years old and filled with awe and excitement.

Moving from catholicism to other forms of christianity and then out of that has been freeing. I always knew there was something else, yet didn't know what it was. I knew it had nothing to do with the pope or jesus or as of more recently, not even god.

I began writing my spiritual story but stopped because I was boring myself.

Anyway.

Over the last 10-15 years, I had moved from god, to a higher power to some powerful energy lifeforce (The Force). Whenever I was hurting, there would still be some one/thing to pray to. Always.

In the last year I came to a clear personal realization that god does not exist. Even though I had sat with my newfound belief in nonbelief, it had yet to be tested.

On Thursday I was sitting outside. I hurt so bad. I was reminded of other hurtful times where I would cry out to the lord, a god or even the universe. In a flash I knew there was no one to pray to. There was nothing out there at all. It was all within me. I couldn't pray to have the pain removed nor pray to receive assistance. There was nothing there. Period.

It struck me powerfully. I was fully 100 percent responsible for myself. Praying to another or a thing wouldn't do anything but console me in a way a child sucks his thumb. I knew it was time for me to learn other methods of consolation.

What made a greater impact was that I didn't even feel the need to mourn my loss of god. I knew the easter bunny wasn't real and it was okay. No tears were shed. Yes, it was somewhat unsettling because of the paradigm shift but there was a also a fierce liberation in this knowledge.

When I shared that tidbit with my shrink on Friday I caught a small smile on his face. Immediately I jumped in and said "this has nothing to do with buddhism. Don't even go there!"

"No, you're right. It's not about buddhism. It's about growing even more in your spirituality."

That experience was a big wow for me. Just thinking about it now still trips me out.

The second plus is mammoth. You are hearing it here first. The shrink isn't going to know until tomorrow morning.

Something happened when I woke yesterday morning. It was only a small glimmer. All I can do is liken it to a seed that had been planted a long time ago. Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I saw the first green shoot break through the hard earth.

I was laying in bed thinking about what was happening right now. Without fear or confusion I had a clear curiousity about how I would paint while going through this. One better, there was a hint of desire to actually paint during this time.

That's huge. Normally I angst about why I can't paint when I'm down or why can't I paint painful moments. Seeing the very real possibility that I will be able to tap into myself with my passion is blowing me away.

These two moments have reinforced the idea that my feet are on the path needed. In spite of all I'm going through I can now begin to say it is worth it.
I woke this morning and knew immediately that my reprieve was short-lived. The shrink would say "it's to be expected. Once in a while you'll have a pain free day and other days...well...you may not even be able to work." Yeah, we've talked about it.

What a process.

Right now the sky is flat gray yet I can tell the sun is setting somewhere. You see, the overall light is grey filled with red. No shadows whatsoever yet as I look out the window the whole world is filled with thick cool red grey light. Very odd. Beautiful in its way.

I woke about 4 am, tossed and turned until about 9. It was one of those days where I couldn't bear to get out of bed. But once I did, I made the decision that in case it was going to be a difficult heartbreak day, I at least had to be somewhat comfortable. It involved 2 loads of laundry, cleaning out the refrigerator, the bathroom, the apartment, taking out the trash and included a walk to the grocery store for a little bit of food.

If my interior landscape was going to be messy today, my exterior space needed to be pleasant.

Once I was through cleaning, I sat. And sat some more.

Tonight is the C-Space reunion which I hoped to attend yet know I won't. Although C-Space happened before I moved to Seattle, I know Celeste. She is an amazing person and I wanted to be there for support. But lots of people wouldn't be a good idea right now.

Again I sit.



Thanks Thor.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Breathing room.

Reprieve.

Yes, today was just that.
I had a few free passes to the queer film festival. So Auxugen and I hit the queer animated shorts this afternoon. Some fun stuff. I couldn't handle immersing myself in a full length feature and knew these would be perfect for my emotional state. They were.

From there, my body cried out for Septieme's steak and eggs. If you go before 3pm, you get a nice piece of red meat with the fixings for only $11.50. Well, today's fixings included a few bloody mary's and then a custom drink decided upon and concocted by our waiter. Another reason why I love the cafe. I will trust them to make decisions with my food and drink.

I haven't sought out any booze over the last few days. Somehow, I knew it wouldn't be good to artificially numb myself. The pain needed to be felt. I was full enough. The idea of pouring alcohol in my system made me want to puke.

Today, I moved through some of the pain and let the day unfold as it needed to.

It was one of those last remaining sunny, warm fall days and we opted for a table on the sidewalk, where we spent almost 4 hours talking and people watching.

Tonight, I was invited to Casa Hoss's, evenings I cherish, but because I was out all day unexpectedly, my heart now cries out for the solace of my space and solitude.

And here I am.
Where to begin?

Maybe I need to put some music on first.
Okay I'm back. Sigur Ros is now coming through my speakers.

I want to write about courage. I want to write about belief. I want to write about pain. The possibility of painting through the pain. And play.

Since Wednesday I have written. It has all ended up in the trash bin. I couldn't put any of it out here.
Even now, my desire to connect is so great yet my words haltingly manifest themselves.

Where to start?

Maybe with perspective. What am I feeling? How is it?
This morning, before getting out of bed I could see the best although still insufficient way to describe it.

When I think of the pain of heartbreak, of loss that I've experienced in my life...as many of us have - that sharp stabbing, kick your gut in, can't breathe and don't want to move kind of pain - for me, that was all about one quarter of what I'm feeling now and what I've been feeling since Wednesday.

Yesterday evening, in session with the shrink, I told him that I couldn't blog for a few reasons. The vulnerability I felt/feel, the familiar desire to isolate when hurting and more importantly, I didn't have the words.

"Each time I tried to write I wanted to do so in an authentic and matter-of-fact way. Everything is so big but I didn't want my words to be dramatic. More to the point, I didn't want to create drama."

"Well, that's very telling. You say you want to live a big life and you not only fear the bigness you're immersed in but the reaction of others to your bigness."

I was curled up on the couch, way in the corner, far from where I normally sit, clutching a pillow to my chest, squeezing it in desperation.

It was my fourth session this week.

After Wednesday morning's session, I checked in with him later in the day. The shrink said he'd call me on Thursday around 2ish. He did call about quarter to, and asked me how I was.

"Horrible. Absolutely horrible."

"I'm at the other end of town, but have a little free time. Meet me at the office in about 20 minutes. I may be late."


I really don't know how to write all this.


I disabled comments the other day because I couldn't bear potential kindness nor could I handle the possible silence.
Yes. It was more food for my therapist.

There are two people in my life who from the time I first met them six years ago, have been the safest people I've ever known. The Bear and his partner, the bunny.

I did call Daniel Thursday morning and asked if I could come by later in the day. I needed to sink into his massive flesh and feel those big bear arms wrap around me. He'd growl into my neck, gnaw, bite and give me some love.

After the spontaneous session with the shrink I was going to cancel with D. But I knew what I needed. I just feared it. When I called him, he was perfectly understanding.
"I'm not going to decide for you. Sometimes you need to be totally alone. And other times, you need someone to just grab you and give you what you need."

His gentleness and compassion gave me a bit of strength to reach out. I went over, received my Bear touches...and then some bunny lovin' as well.

On safety.
In many ways, my shrink is safe. When it feels unsafe it's because it has to do with my old wounds. I guess I'm working on the place where I can curl up into him and feel the safety I needed to feel as a wee one. In that place, healing happens.


I mentioned courage.
On Thursday, I told the shrink
"If I died now, I could honestly say that I've finally experienced courage once in my life."

My voice broke as I spoke.

Wednesday, in session, for the first time..
"I can't lay on the couch. I'll hurt myself if I do."

That statement surprised me. Of course the shrink took note. In the past I've said, "You'll hurt me" or "it will hurt."
But "I'll hurt myself if I do" freaked me out.

Then I said "I suppose you really want me to lay down now so we can explore what I said."
"No. I want you stay sitting up."
I heard that and took a deep breath. A shudder went through me.
"Okay, now you are scaring me."

After his diligence and insistence, when he looks at backing off, well...it wigged me out.

Then I continued, "what do you think I meant by that statement?"

"One idea that comes to mind is that you aren't ready to go further. A deep part of you knows that. If we do this prematurely, it can damage you. Maybe we need to step back a bit."

I couldn't bear that idea.
Then I had a thought. "Or maybe, the part that wants to protect me is so afraid that it will say anything not to go deeper."

There was a sense of grace in the moment. I knew whatever I chose to do would be perfect. No guilt.
Within a matter of minutes I also knew what I had to do. I laid down. My head barely hit the cushion when I began to cry.

In the past, people have said I was so brave to quit a fabulous job and go back to school at 34. Then I was considered brave to move to Seattle, sight unseen, knowing no one. I was told I was brave to go into training with A, and then brave to do this particular work.

For me, it had nothing to do with bravery. Each step was a given. There are a few times where I did feel I needed to grab my guts to do something. But I learned something this week. None of it had to do with courage.

Courage happened when I made the decision to lay down in that moment. I knew there would have been no shame in not doing so. It was a conscious, powerful decision that allowed the mirror to break and I stepped through into another world I spent my whole life working so hard to avoid.

Bitterlawngnome commented a few days before this all happened, "we are hardwired to fear extinction."
True. Very, very true.

So, what's in this new world?
Right now it is pain. If not pain, then numbness which allows me to breathe a little. And a third although very odd place. It's a combination of numbness and pain. I do not know, nor can I explain how they can coexist, but they do.

Each day I am blown away with the idea that what I'm feeling is what I really felt as an infant, a toddler, a child. There have been many times this week where after the shrink would try to relate present to past, "I can't go there" would come from my lips. A few times it was so hard to hear that it all I wanted to do was put my hands over my ears. I didn't want to hear it.

I still don't want to hear it.

I mean, I'm feeling it now. I'm not fully ready to make the "in my heart knowing" connection of this pain to my past. It's only sitting on a surface, intellectual level.

In another conversation with the shrink,
"This is the first time in my life that I could kill myself and it would not be an act of running away."

I honestly believe that. You see, I am acutely aware of the "unfit - nonfit" being I am. I mean, apparently my parents saw it at my birth. It's been true ever since.

Even those who love me so very much can't really see me. It is proven pretty much everytime someone opens their mouth.
No one has yet seen the me that knows what home looks like and smells like. The home I truly fit in.
Yes, they see deeper parts than others have ever seen, but seeing my core is lacking.

I clearly see the freak, the monster I truly am. Sometimes I believe that I am the only one in the world with the thoughts and vision I have. There is no point. None whatsoever. I have no desire to shift myself in an attempt to fit in. That would be the cowardly act of suicide.

Oddly enough, in engaging in these thoughts and being at this point in my life where death may be the greater option, it opens up my world in a strange way. When suicide is no longer an act of despair but one of two paths, each equally right...somehow it allows me to see differently.

Mike wrote a lovely entry last week about the growth of a happy monster.

It reminded me of what's been told to me. A few months back over dinner with Bryan (who was the lead Top in the play from about 3 weeks ago), he said "Honey, you have to give people 5 minutes to get their breath and catch up with you."

And after we played, when I was still on the table, face red from screaming, eyes swollen and nose runny from crying, he leaned in and whispered "no wonder others are afraid to play with you. You are beautiful."



I have more to say, especially about belief and painting.
But scanning through my words I see this is long enough.
The rest is a little easier to write. Methinks this just needs to be posted and put to bed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Today I touched it.
What it?

It.

It is the pain I hid from as a 2 & 3 year old. The darkness, the isolation and the immense loneliness. The pain that was too big to feel then and apparently it is time to feel now.

I have spent all day in my chair at home. That is, after I left the shrink's office, returned to work to get my bag and let the office know I needed to go home.

I left my therapy session stunned. When I finally opened my mouth at work, I began to cry. So I ran out.

Today at home I've received a few phone calls. It is difficult to talk. Each time I try to speak, it takes everything I have not to cry. Sometimes I fail and the tears come.

It is easier not to speak.
My hands feel heavy as I type away but I had to try to communicate something. You see, if I don't reach out I am nothing. And I hope that maybe somehow, someway, this will help me move through this. Even a little.

The weird thing is, any attempt to connect with others right now opens up the hurt some more.

Yeah, it's quite revealing.

I did make one big contact this afternoon when I called my shrink. He informed me that maybe I can take some comfort in the fact that this loneliness pain is some of what I actually was feeling as a child until I couldn't take feeling it anymore.

Strange consolation.

Maybe tomorrow will be a little easier. Right now, I can't count on anything. It will be all it desires to be. The it.

It.

Fuck.
Here is a wonderful quote on activism from Rob Brezsny's weekly newsletter.

"So often activism is based on what we are against, what we don't like,
what we don't want. And yet we manifest what we focus on. And so we
are manifesting yet ever more of what we don't want, what we don't like,
what we want to change.

"So for me, activism is about a spiritual practice as a way of life. And I
realized I didn't climb the tree because I was angry at the corporations
and the government; I climbed the tree because when I fell in love with
the redwoods, I fell in love with the world. So it is my feeling of
'connection' that drives me, instead of my anger and feelings of being
disconnected."
-Julia Butterfly Hill

It prefaced this week's Freewill Astrology.

I'm posting Capricorn's message for this week because it seems to fit with what I wrote yesterday regarding surrounding myself with artists.

Capricorn:
To be completely aligned with cosmic rhythms in the coming weeks, you'd arrange for rose petals to be thrown at you each time you opened a door. A gourmet cook would provide a steady stream of tastes you've never experienced before. A great band or chamber orchestra would come to your home to play for the best party you've ever thrown. A friend would read you stories that deepened your appreciation for how courageous you've been in dealing with your own struggles. And you would enlist the services of your own royal fool, who'd be responsible for telling you jokes, identifying incongruities, and keeping you flexible.

Now onto Mark Morford. I have to say Morford's column made me very uncomfortable this week. Yes, it's witty and intelligent. Yes, I see the larger picture and fully agree. Yet, as with censorship, I believe that we are entitled to do what we want to our own bodies. Including suicide. He writes about a woman in Arkansas who gave birth to her 16th child. Not necessarily suicide, although it takes a severe toll on a body.

I think of my mom, another good religious person with twisted ideas about birthing babies. Pregnant 10 years in a row - first 4 babies, then a couple miscarriages and stillborns. Then my younger brother. The year after was another failed pregnancy which left an infection in her body. Her insides needed to come out. She used to tell me that her doctor was furious that she kept getting pregnant. He said something along the lines of "you damned catholics!!!" For years he insisted she stop because he saw the damage she was doing.

Society doesn't bat an eye at the many acceptable forms of passive suicide. But they are in your face when it has nothing to do with god.

I know, I know. There's some tangled circular thinking flying off my finges right now. So be it.

On one hand, do what you will with your body. It's your choice. On the other, don't we have a greater responsibility?

Anyway, Morford doesn't speak along the suicide vein. That's just where my head went. Instead, this is what he had to say:

"Perhaps the point is this: Why does this sort of bizarre hyperbreeding only seem to afflict antiseptic megareligious families from the Midwest? In other words -- assuming Michelle and Jim Bob and their massive brood of cookie-cutter Christian kidbots will all be, as the charming photo suggests, never allowed near a decent pair of designer jeans or a tolerable haircut from a recent decade, and assuming that they will all be tragically encoded with the values of the homophobic asexual Christian right -- where are the forces that shall help neutralize their effect on the culture? Where is the counterbalance, to offset the damage?

Where is, in other words, the funky tattooed intellectual poetess who, along with her genius anarchist husband, is popping out 16 funky progressive intellectually curious fashion-forward pagan offspring to answer the Duggar's squad of ├╝ber-white future Wal-Mart shoppers? Where is the liberal, spiritualized, pro-sex flip side? Verily I say unto thee, it ain't lookin' good.

Perhaps this the scariest aspect of our squishy birthin' tale: Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation. Is that an oversimplification?

Why does this sort of thoughtfulness seem so far from the norm? Why is having a stadiumful of offspring still seen as some sort of happy joyous thing?
You already know why. It is the Biggest Reason of All. Children are, after all, God's little gifts. Kids are little blessings from the Lord, the Almighty's own screaming spitballs of joy. Hell, Jim Bob said so himself, when asked if the couple would soon be going for a 17th rug rat: "We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them." This is what he actually said. And God did not strike him dead on the spot."


Read all of God Does Not Want 16 Kids.
So...want to know what else is happening?

Quite an evening.

It was a difficult work day. I was in a pretty bad mood for a good chunk of it. After the intensity of the last few weeks, I think I really hit my wall at work. After I pulled a couple queries from the database I knew I couldn't make decent spreadsheets out of them without making a mess. At 3 pm, I announced I needed a break, a drink, and therefore was leaving for the day. I have plenty of comp time coming to me so didn't feel guilty.

Of course I headed to Septieme, where I noticed that Nawashibari rope top was sitting in my booth. :-)
He did ask me to come over and so I slid in across from him. It was great catching up. Good conversation. After an hour or so, he left and Auxugen joined me (seeing he and I had made plans as I was leaving work).

We had a great time talking, eating and drinking. He left after 7pm. As he was leaving, Icarus, the new International LeatherSir and another top sat at the table next to us. I hadn't seen the three together since we had all played and they gave me what I needed by beating the shit out of me a few weeks back, so I plopped down at their table for about a half hour to catch up.

It was an amazing evening, yet for me, spent in a blur. I needed to numb up. Badly. Therefore I did.

I may be writing about my favorite things or happy stuff. Yes, it's all true. But at the same time, I'm dealing with enormous pain. Well, maybe I'm currently avoiding the immensity of it.

Last Wednesday, when I wrote about another coming out and submitting to that, I received a few emails questioning the type of coming out.

I'm going to use an analogy I've used many times before. It's perfect, and don't know what else to use. The onion. So many layers. As we are. Once, a year or two ago, I wrote about different coming outs I've had. In the work with the shrink, as in training with A, my former Mentor, it was about going deeper. In the deeper we go, we always find another layer to uncover.

The coming out I was speaking of was an internal coming out. Could I really...REALLY trust another person to see the cobwebs, monsters and dust bunnies that lay under my bed? As you know, I'm a fairly open book. Yet I'm closed as well. We all hide stuff. We need to.

I came to a place in my life where the opportunity has presented itself to go into the black, the dark place where in the past, I didn't dare touch. Not until this time. Now there's someone who will go there with me. Could I trust that? Dare I trust that?

This is where I'm at.

For me, it involved one simple act. Again lay on the couch. Trust. Truly trust.

I know I was headed in that direction. But the fear was such that I wouldn't push it forward. There was some serious feet draggin' going on.

On Wednesday, I gave in.
Why?
Too tired. There was no way I could continue to fight, hold off, or keep my armor up. Exhaustion. It seemed as if my last resort was to give in. Submit.

I did.

Within this act lay some despair. In the past, I'd open up then run. I've seen the pattern. Why would this be any different? Although I opened up on Wednesday...I was concerned. The shrink congratulated me for taking this next step and I responded with "what's the big deal? We all know what's coming. My walls. Once again."

Well since then...they have remained down. Surprising to me.

I still feel more vulnerable than I've ever felt in my entire life.

With this comes:

~I don't really care what others think. I already know I'm a freak and this time...it's okay.

~I'm horny as hell.

~I can't believe how the universe is opening its door to me. The gifts around me and making their way toward me are blowing my mind.

~The pain I feel is intense. It's been one whole week. It hurts when I lay down at night and when I wake. The mornings are the most difficult. I don't want to remain in bed yet cannot bear to face the day. My solution? I fuck myself awake and allow the orgasm to fool me into a happy place.

~I feel such a conglomeration of stuff within and I can't believe I'm holding all of it in my palm.

Back to the pain. I know it's bad because, for the first time in my life, I seriously and consciously seek out numbing myself. Before, I'd hanker for wine to maybe take the edge off once in a while. Now...it's different. Not every night. Only once or twice a week...but instead of my two glass limit, I've gone from two to three and now to four. I need to mask the pain I know I have to open up to.

I do talk with the shrink about it and he understands. He says "I'm not surprised."
He continues with "it's okay. You aren't messing up your life. Do what you need to allow yourself to breathe."

It is worrisome. You see, it's not my normal pattern.

So that's where I'm at. This is, to date, the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life. Yet, in some bizarre way, I'm dealing with it. And in spite of how I may blog or react, I am frightened. Thing is, there is nothing else I can do except continue to take the next step.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Once upon a time,

back in '97-'98, in a little town near Portsmouth NH, when I had the best apartment ever, at least once a month I would invite friends over on a Saturday night.

Fags, dykes, and nongay folks would gather. Some artists, some writers, some musicians and others who felt as if they didn't have any special talents yet we knew they did. It was the state of their hearts, minds and character.

We'd gather. They'd bring food, and I'd provide much wine and beer. We'd hang out. Small group of 10 or so. Some would find my sex toys and play away. Another few would be in the kitchen creating complex dirty poems with my refrigerator poetry magnets. Scotty would grab my 12 string guitar, play and sing. Others would pull out the Scrabble board.

It was free flowing and easy. At 11 pm, everything would stop and someone would turn on the TV. We'd all circle round to watch South Park. Then the TV would get turned off and we'd play again.

One time I went into the refrigerator to pull out a beer for someone else, and discovered a few of my dildos were standing in place of beer in the six-pack. I love all my weird friends.

Easy and fun times.

That memory is strong in my head because on Sunday, D (Hoss' partner) invited me over to watch a movie with him. A particular movie, Carrington. (Check out the review near the bottom by Malcolm Lawrence. He gets it in a way that other reviewers didn't.)

Carrington is a painter I'd never heard of. She was a part of the Bloomsbury Group which I also had barely heard of. D wanted to watch it with me because he knew I'd have an affinity for the artist and the group, as did he.

About a year ago, a few of us were gathered at Hoss' and we discussed the idea of having monthly salons. Come together, eat good food, drink wine and we'd share some of our creations with each other. Paintings, writings, crafts...whatever.

The Bloomsbury group.

I stop typing and look out the window. There is barely a pink tinge to the dark grey clouds. The low cover is moving quickly. It's still very windy outside. There is so much possibility in the sky, isn't there?

Many, many years ago, there was a small circle of women that met online. We met in one of the AOL discussion boards. It was an area in the Online Psych forum, for gifted women. A few of us met in real time. Our conversations were intense. At times, fast, furious, hot and very heated. We were together for a few years. We had our inside jokes. Some would bring their drawings and artwork to the group. But it was mostly an intellectual group. Very stimulating. We kept each other hopping. At one point we opted to leave AOL because AOL decided that forums needed moderators. Imagine a stranger, thrown into this group to maintain decorum and civility. This person didn't have a clue because they didn't have the context. When they became uncomfortable with the rising temperature, they would delete posts.

I will never forget the feeling of logging on and find my words...gone. Censorship because one person was uncomfortable with our words and they had the power to remove and make them disappear.

In addition to the general idea of free speech, I have many personal reasons for detesting censorship and the word police. That example being one.

I learned an important lesson from one woman in that group. She used to say "you can't offend me without my permission." Those words have stuck with me for over 10 years now. They are truth.

Anyway, back to my meandering.

For years I'd thought of the idea of salons. A mishmash of perverted thought, art and deeds. Lots of sex. No rules. Want to jam? Grab your instruments. Want to sketch? Go for it. Want to tie someone up? Yup, there's space for you too. Yeah...you can fuck with a friend if you'd like. There is no room for modesty allowed. Let go of the shame before walking in the door. The other rule would be that everyone entering the space is each responsible for their own fun. If they aren't enjoying themselves, create something to do so or leave.

I think about a separate studio space often. Interestingly, without forcing it, the space is coming together in my mind. What I have known is, it would be a gathering place as well. There will be bondage points on the ceiling and wall. Microwave and small refrigerator is all that's needed for kitchen stuff. Of course a big sink. Bathroom not necessary. Many of the studio spaces have shared bathrooms. I have a urinal that we can piss in.

And, most importantly, it would be large enough for me to get down and dirty with my work. 400 square feet is sufficient.

Big old used couch, comfy chair and area rug for one section of the room.

You know, if I sold a painting each month it would pay the rent on the space.

Sunday night I was walking into the courtyard of my building. Another tenant was sitting on the steps, smoking his pipe. I stopped to sit with him. Nice man. Older man. We were talking about music. He's played the sax for a large part of his life. A younger guy walked out of the building and decided to join us. Introductions all around. This guy is probably in his late 20's. He composes music for contemporary dance, as well as plays a multitude of instruments. The three of us spent about a half hour talking.

Last night, I was walking in and another guy was sitting on the steps, frenetically writing. We caught each other's eye and stopped. Began talking. He's a writer. A poet. He was in the throes of working on a new piece and very excited about it. He asked me if I wanted to hear it.

I sat down in the beautiful autumn night, listening to the sound of water from the little fountain in our pond, and immersed myself in this boy's new words.

Hmmm....notice a theme?

I think about the people I've met through my blog, either in real time or still virtual. The folks in my apartment building. My coworker who is creating with music. My friends and chosen family.

A part of me, while at the same time engaging in the moment, stands back, watches and finds it all mysterious and magical.

Yesterday, when I left the shrink's office, my last words were "I have no idea who I am becoming. There is something very unsettling in that."
He smiled and whispered "yes."

Monday, October 17, 2005

Addendum to yesterday's entry.


Further thoughts on orgasm.

I've just returned from the shrink. Sometimes I gift him with my thoughts on sex. It strokes his Freudian sensibility.
Today was one of those days.

I was relaying my masturbation experiment and it was partially misunderstood. Understandably so because I didn't communicate it well. This forced me to rethink my words.

I wasn't excited about the multiple orgasm part. That's a given. When I open my body without hesitation, it happens.

What thrilled me was the idea that I could consciously play with the energy which resulted in further orgasms. I always thought it was an organic and fluid process. Either it happens or it doesn't.

For many years, I've worked with energy in many other facets in my life. I tend and prefer to intentionally do it in a non-ritualistic fashion. But I never considered the idea of conscious orgasmic play.

I suppose that maybe it is similar to what others call Tantric work. Other than the quick idea of Tantra, I know nothing about it.

Also, I don't want to harness my sex in any way. I don't want to corral it. All that does is smother the life out of the energy. It seems there is a fine line between manipulation and consciously working with it. I guess dancing is a good word. Become a partner to the energy and spin off into the night.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I'm still horny. For the last 72 hours, certain images have been dancing in my head and I can't seem to wank off enough. Mind you, I'm not complaining. It's not a bad thing.

Yesterday morning, once again jacking off...I engaged in an experiment and loved the results.

Whenever I masturbate, after I cum, I'll lay there and notice that I don't lay still. Instead, my groin and belly move in a circular fashion. It's a rolling of my body. Not touching myself, my body just moves. I know this but never really focused on it before. It just feels good so I do it.

Closing my eyes, I felt that my orgasm was moving around inside me. It was fire. By setting my awareness on it, I was able to cum again and again, without touching myself. I wouldn't clasp the energy to me, yet instead dance with all that was built up in my body. Playing strictly with the energy created more orgasms.

When I stopped moving my hips, and stopped focusing...the energy dissipated.

Stirring the pot kept the fire alive.
I love discovering new things about my body. It's a new toy.
Look pa, no hands! :-)

------------------

I did manage to leave work at a respectable hour on Friday and planned on going to one of the queer film fest films at 4 pm. Three Dollar Bill Cinema is doing the annual Seattle queer film fest. Walking down the hill, I reached Broadway. Instead of taking a right to get to the film house, I took a left. Spontaneous change of direction. For some reason I needed to get to the Cafe and just pop in for a drink.

On the way I bumped into physical trainer Top. We kissed and he walked with me, grabbing my ass all the way to my destination. He's a hot, nasty pigtop and great to play with. After a final squeeze we parted ways. I turned into the Cafe and saw 2 friends. BBC (boots, bondage and cigar) top and one of their bottoms from NYC. I slid into the booth and joined them.

After a bit, I invited them over to my pad so we could continue talking. I enticed them with some of the best chocolate covered cannolis I've had in Seattle. Okay...the only chocolate covered cannolis I've ever had. The pizza shop, Palermo Pizza, 2 blocks from my apartment carries them.

What makes these grand is the lack of sugar taste. The cannoli is covered in a nonsweet dark chocolate. And the filling...! Ohhhh... Ricotta, a hint of lemon. Fresh, and not sugary sweet. It's all about the flavors of the ingredients. God they are good.

We walked over, picked up our cannolis, stopped for americanos to go from Victrola Coffee & Art and returned to my apartment.

We hung out and talked for a couple hours. I was eyeing BBC top's boots. They reminded me of my first pair of boots back in '77, my Fryes. She said, "want them? You can have them!" After the ensuing discussion because I didn't want to just take her boots, she left my apartment barefoot, the boots remaining in my living room. These are Dingos.

Want to see my boots?

I wore them yesterday morning to walk over for coffee. Although I didn't include them in my list of 10 happy things, walking in these boots made me very happy. I found myself walking taller. I owned the world.

The other cool thing from last night?

I sold a painting.

Well, I would have sold a painting if the painting in question was for sale. It's one of my new ones - only 2 months old. This painting did not have its beginnings in observation. It is the first fully out of my head abstract. I love this painting for so many reasons, including the fact that, to date, it's one of my better pieces. And...I am so not ready to let go of it.

But, I did tell the NYC bottom that if and when I'm ready to sell, she has first option to buy. It may be 3 months, 3 years or never. We'll see.

It's interesting that the only two abstract oil paintings I've ever done have both immediately (or almost, like yesterday) sold. Fascinating. I know that is telling me something. And I know the paintings have a lot to say to me. It is the reason why I'm not ready to let go of this one. I sold the first one much too quickly and have since mourned it's disappearance from my life. It too spoke volumes and desired to be my teacher.

So, this one sits on my easel and I listen to its whispers.

Later in the afternoon I happened to see Hoss and crew. Hoss, umm, gave me a talking to about not selling the piece. You know, although it was hard to hear, he made sense. I told him I would take his words seriously, and I am still thinking about it.

"Sell it. You'll paint others. Don't be so emotionally attached."

Yes, he has a point. And yet...it is really attachment or am I holding on because I don't want to give of something I consider so intimate?

He then said something very provocative. So much so that it's still gnawing at me.

He and D said "The painting we purchased from you gives us so much pleasure. We love looking at it."

I must have had a blank stare on my face because then Hoss asked "You really have no idea how much joy your work brings to others, do you?"

I guess I don't.

You know, you'd think he was my damned shrink. The idea eats away because it's an enormous thought and I don't know how much of that I can let in.

There's a numbness inside mixed in with a massive shaking up. I can feel it.

Shit.

He is a good friend.

As if it wasn't enough to hear that, the conversation turned to iPods. Qnetter and his parter were there also. I mentioned that although I'm not into geek gadgetry at all, I've decided to save up for an iPod Nano and a digital camera. Qnetter turned and mentioned that he had a new iPod and he'd like to gift me his iPod shuffle because he no longer needs it. Yes, once again I was speechless.

Boots...someone offered to buy a painting....Hoss holding a mirror to my face...an iPod shuffle.
Yes, all this goodness and love is freaking me out. I'm trying to let it in.

And then I think of how busted I must be inside because dealing with this kindness is a challenge.
Once again, it's fucking fascinating...in a warped and twisted way.
Oh my gosh. I have so much to write about. One almost completed post sitting in a draft...another, which was an email to a friend and morphed into good thoughts for myself, regarding my creative process. A third which has a flurry of ideas after watching a movie this afternoon....

what to do, what to do?

Hmmm...

Maybe it's time to walk for a chai latte. Maybe the heat and spices of the tea, on this gorgeous, cloudy, blustery day will clear my head and unfreeze my thoughts.

See you later.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

There's been a 10 favorite things meme going around. I know I've done these in the past and I'm sure the list shifts each time.

Off the top of my noggin:


Tulips. Such as the bunch of scarlet ones I picked up last night. Northwest tulips in October? Unheard of! I couldn't believe what I saw and had to buy them. They are my favorite flower. Gentle beauty. Graceful, long, lean, elegant and strong. I want to be a tulip when I grow up.

(an addition to the tulip entry because I'm staring at them right now - The red flowers with the green leaves in a bright white simple tall ceramic vase against my sage green/clay/putty walls. Striking. Absolutely striking. Just looking at it makes me oh so very happy)

Smells. Campfires, woodstoves, falling leaves, rainy air, thick ocean salt smells, piss, sweat, flesh, turp and paint. Garlic. Rosemary. Onions sauteing in the pan. Subtle scent of roses as I walk past the bushes. The heavy smell of coffee beans roasting. Smells make me very happy.

Cold nights. Cold enough to hunker down under 2 blankets, 2 comforters and mush myself in my 3 pillows.

Orgasms.

The rare occasion when I meet people who don't box the world in. Full connection with their bodies and the world around them. Head filled with constant questions and wonder. No cynicism, anger or policing of others. When I grow up I want to be a tulip that is like these people.

Stingy toys - hemp - toys, toys, toys.

Music. Music. Music.

Subversive ideas.

Light and the seemingly magical way the sky always shows us something new. And it's flip side. Darkness. Shadow.

Full "not afraid of your body or the other person's body" kind of hugs. Belly to belly, groin to groin. Holding.



Of course there is more. There is always more. But that's today's list.

Friday, October 14, 2005

From the link I posted a couple entries ago:

As Emmanuel Cooper states in The Sexual Perspective,

"The knowledge that an artist was or was not homosexual is not intended to ‘explain’ their work nor is it to suggest a particular context in which to view it. It is, rather, the start of a process to look again and recover what has traditionally been omitted from the history of art using this to inform the present. What we can do most profitably is re-examine the work and lives of artists to search out from secrecy, prejudice, distortion and myth the homosexual presence and its wide significance in identifying homosexual expression."
I'm feeling generous today. Or maybe, it's not so much generous as willingness to expose myself further. Although, I suppose one's desire to open themselves to others is generosity...isn't it?

Oh well.

At some point I'll write about Wednesday's session where I finally gave in and submitted. Submitted to the shrink, yet more importantly, to myself. One thing this act did was leave me feeling more vulnerable than I've felt in my entire life.

Anyway, it's a fascinating development. I'm not quite sure what to do with it other than...well...just be.

On that note, I decided to show you a couple works on paper. The first is a 5 minute gestural watercolor of some guy in class many years ago. The painting is about 11 x 14.






For some odd (to me) reason, I'm going to show something I never expected to show you. You see, I'm very protective of my work that others would categorize as erotic or sex art.

On principle, I don't put it out there, especially to the "sex positive" community because that's what everyone loves.
"Yes, I want that painting because it will match my dungeon."

Ugh.

Heh. Sex positive is a funny name. There are too many damned rules and shoulds/should nots around something so supposedly positive.

I have this silly, small idea that the erotic is found in anything done with passion and integrity. It goes hand in hand with the huge, mammoth definition I have for sex. If I can cum while feasting my eyes upon a sweet corner of a Japanese garden, then I'll be damned if I allow anything or anyone to pidgeon-hole and box sex in for me. In regard to my art, I would love to have others get as hard about my still lifes as they do around my penis portraits, masturbation paintings, etc.

Now the next piece is a surprise. You see, it's only about 4 1/2 years old and I had totally forgotten that I had a photo of more recent work. Maybe 5"x7", it was part of the process that allowed me to earn my boots in training.

I was in the dungeon where we kept the lights down. In this almost dark, I'm sitting on the rug, naked, surrounded by my paper and pencils. A boy is hooded and locked in the cage. His right arm locked to the outside of one of the bars.

This little drawing is a sketch for a much larger painting I no longer have. Actually, it's a painting purchased by a Sacred Intimate here in town. We bartered a few sessions, at their hourly rate, for the piece. Their work for mine.

Anyway, in addition to the profoundness of the time I created the piece, I love it because the boy in the cage was missing parts of his fingers from an accident. I loved finding the strength in that. He fell in love with the piece and I couldn't help but give him the drawing. He sent me the jpeg which I'm grateful for.

Here's my little pencil sketch.


Queer Impressions of Gustave Caillebotte





I've always loved this painting yet until recently, had forgotten about it.
Thank you Padacia for the link.
An excerpt from How To Survive Disaster Fatigue by Mark Morford.

"Context. Perspective. Do you need some? Would it be at all helpful in the wake of all this death and tragedy and a world that seems to be increasingly strained and riotous and overheated? Because a fascinating dose of context arrived just this week, as astonished astronomers noted a stupendous new (well, old) development in deep, deep space, the discovery of a rather shocking distant galaxy that appears to be much more well formed and dense and ripe than any astronomer would have guessed it could be, given its proximity to, you know, the dawn of time.

In other words, humankind has found yet another phenomenon -- in this case, a massive, mature galaxy connected to a string of 300 galaxies so unimaginably vast it makes our little solar system, our entire Milky Way, seem like a grain of sand floating in a giant cosmic ocean (which, of course, is exactly what it is) -- they found another astounding and potentially world-changing wonder they cannot fully explain, one which, simply put, could alter our entire perception of how and when it was all created in the first place.

It's called HUDF-JD2 (for Hubble Ultra Deep Field) and it's officially the most distant galaxy on record, meaning it was formed when the universe was but a squealing, gurgling 800 million-year-old infant, and if it's as dense and mature as some scientists believe, then it throws all galaxy-forming theories into confusion and you may take what Nigel Sharp, program officer for extragalactic astronomy and cosmology at the U.S. National Science Foundation, had to say as mantra, as gospel, as balm for your troubled spirit. It is this: "One of the standard problems with the universe is that it's large enough that unlikely things happen pretty often."

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The little gift I received this week.

The Babelight.
Radio Paradise Rocks.

I just experienced a brilliant transition from Beethoven's Fifth, (full symphony orchestra) to Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

The last few notes of the symphony giving in to a small pause and then into the opening beats of Nirvana just gave me a fucking orgasm.




(On top of it, I'm damned horny today)
I am so very tired. Tired.

Between the work in therapy and the few weeks of 12 hour work days...I am tired, tired, tired.
This morning I woke and all it seemed I could do was cry yet exhaustion wouldn't let tears fall.

I'm not depressed or anything. Just pooped. I am going to try and take Friday afternoon off, and desire to hole up all weekend. No premade plans.

We have a coworker who finished recording his second cd. He's a singer/songwriter in his other life. This week, in between working, he's back in the studio for mixing. Yesterday he brought in an unmastered, unmixed cd with the songs in the final order and has asked any interested parties to give a listen and mark their 3 favorites.

Earphones in, I'm giving it a second listen.

It's been a pleasure sharing in his process these last few months. After each studio session, he'd bring in the newly recorded so I could hear it. One Monday, maybe a month ago, he had finished a brand new song, still so fresh and asked if I'd return home with him so he could perform it for me. He had studio time that evening and wasn't sure whether to bring it in because he hadn't the time to sit with the song. It was a simple piano piece that left me in tears by the end. I'm listening to it now, and he kept the piano and added a cello in parts. Lovely, lovely.

Earlier this week he walked into my office and sat down.

"Gaggie (the more frequent name I'm called...and NOT for that reason, others being gaggalicious, gagolia, etc.) can I ask you something?"

"Yup."

"I had a song that no one liked except for you and I. It was one of your favorites. But everyone else said it was too dramatic."

I laughed. "That's because it's about a pain we don't like to be reminded of."

He continued, "well I pushed to continue working on it and I'd like you to give it a listen."

"Sure!"

Popping on his headphones...I listened. I was floored. He turned it into what is an even more dramatic piece. It is about pain. You know that immediate shooting pain from love lost, that will diminish with time but it's the rawness and "sharp, take your breath away and kick your guts out" part of loss. The electric guitar added a haunting sound. While listening, the image that clearly came to mind was that of a man alone in the desert surrounded by nothingness and the thick starless, black of night. The only sound a gut-wrenching silent wail. My other observation was,

"It's as if you swallowed a microphone and we are hearing the pain that stems from the deepest part of your bowels."

Why am I writing about this today? I don't know. But his music is making a profound impact on me.

Ohhhhh....I just figured it out.

Most of the music on this cd was born of a pain that was still fresh in his body. When he hurt, he was able to dive into that pain and come out holding music. He had the ability to do what I couldn't/can't do with my painting. He sought solace in his primary passion. I'm wrapping myself in the beauty born of his pain.

While typing away, I'm trying to imagine what it could be like. What kind of paintings would I create if I allowed myself to paint with pain instead of only calm? What impact? What would my colors, my composition be like? How would it feel? Why do I have a feeling I would see these paintings as other than what I currently call my caricatures. Maybe I consider many of my paintings cartoons because I'm shielding myself from the substance of what defines a work of art.

All new food for thought.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

So.

I learned something this morning.

One way courage happens is when I stop fighting. When I'm too tired, too spent, and the fight is gone out of me, there is nothing left to do but take the next step. You know, that step into the abyss.

Thing is, when it's such a natural progression, then it has nothing to do with courage.

It's my exhale to my inhale.




Now, if this little entry feels too cryptic, see my previous post.
Life is a continual coming out journey. If we allow, coming out is so much more than dealing with our sexual orientation, although every coming out is a sexual experience. The more we tap into another aspect of self, the more integrated we become as a sexual being.

Every opportunity to come out begins with a question - Dare I do it?


One of my favorite times is being in the office, very early. It is still dark outside. When I time it right, I can get an hour or more of darkness with only my little desklamp and monitor screen for light.

This time allows me to shake off the activity from my sleep. Some nights I sleep through the night. Other nights, the shrink's voice wakes me every few hours. Either way, I wake tired. At times, unglued.

Yes, I can tell much happening at night.

I jumped off the cliff in May. It was easy and natural. The next step on my road. While freefalling I became scared. Something happened and I felt abandoned. It touched upon old wounds and so I grasped the first small overhang I saw. There I have been. Almost 5 months. This little rocky ledge is crumbling and I need to continue my fall.

Each morning, before my eyes open, I imagine walking into therapy and fluidly submitting to the caverns within. The image is there, behind my eyes. Clear and sure. The reality is, each session I walk into the office and feel the chains that deny such freedom.

My freewill astrology for today said:
"My friend Glenn suffered a thumb injury while playing softball a few years back. Though it eventually healed, the scar tissue made the thumb less mobile than it had been before. Three weeks ago, he got stung by a bee in the exact spot where the original wound occurred. It swelled up for a couple days, then receded. Since then, he has enjoyed a dramatic upgrade in the thumb's freedom of movement. I predict a comparable scenario for you in the coming days, Capricorn. A fresh booboo won't last long, and--wonder of wonders--it will ameliorate an old booboo."

I understand that the hurt from May's experience will end up assisting to heal the child stuff.

The abandonment I felt months ago has put a wall up between the shrink and I.
Such a solid fortress.
I see it is slowly beginning to crack.

My last words to the shrink on Monday:
"I feel so incredibly sad that I've had to protect myself."

He concurred, "Yes, it is very sad."

This morning is another session. Once again, I hope that I'll step in and allow myself the freedom. Freedom to come out as a being who dares to live with passion and abandon.

Do I have that courage?
Yes, it is Wednesday, the Holy day.

Rob Brezsny speaketh.

Morford's tablet is engraved with the description of a false god. Bush's god.

"Psst! George! God here, taking a break from supervising the well-being of eight billion troubled souls along with infinite galaxies of unimaginable vastness to speak with you directly one more time because, well, you're special, aren't you, George? Yes you are! Yes you are! OK, stop giggling. I have more commands. Get off the damn hobbyhorse, George, and get a pen and a notepad. No, not a crayon. I don't care if blue is your favori-- George! Get a pen! OK? Good. Here we go:

"As you know, I'm not quite what everyone thinks. I am not all benevolence and love and light. In fact, I have a downright dark side, mean and nasty and cunning, and I want you, George, to continue to be my special right-hand man. My special little guy. In fact, you shall help enact my wrath, Dubya. Doesn't that sound fun?

"There are three things I love, George: war, revenge, suffering. Oh, and smiting the heathens. OK, four things. And kickboxing. Five things. There are five things I love, Dubya. You with me? And you and your demon monkeys are enacting the first four admirably, George. Don't be shy, go ahead and tell those Palestinian officials you were commanded by God to "restore peace" in the Middle East by bombing nearly defenseless, pip-squeak Iraq and Afghanistan to smithereens. They love that stuff.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Equality for Everyone

A full-page ad, filled with support, in today's Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
And this one ran in the Spokane Review.
National Coming Out Day




Come Out.

Come out as gay. Come out as pervert. Come out as straight. Come out as other. Come out as artist. Come out as who you are. Your Self. Come out as human with all your imperfections and brilliance.

We are all freaks. Individual and exciting. Come out in spite of what others will say. Come out in spite of your fear-ridden self.

Imagine. Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone came out as their unique authentic self.

Imagine the idea that we'd no longer hear:
"You can't wear that"
"That's not how a real fill in the blank acts"
"Who do you think you are?"
"I don't understand what's gotten into you"
"You are being too...."

Imagine.
Imagine a world where we could actually drop our masks and layers of manufactured identity to stand open, honest and vulnerable as the beauty we each are.

Imagine.
And then come out.

Monday, October 10, 2005

"The great mystery is not that we should have been thrown down here at random between the profusion of matter and that of the stars; it is that from our very prison we should draw, from our own selves, images powerful enough to deny our nothingness." - Andre Malraux, Man's Fate (1933)


I discovered Malraux's quote on the website of Douglas Pexa.

"It is from that very prison we should draw, from our own selves, images powerful enough to deny our nothingness."

Beautiful, isn't it?

Such a powerful proclamation.

And, it is something I have yet to do. A code that remains uncracked.

Yes, I am still the happy painter. Within my turmoil and my angst resides a blank white canvas and a clean palette. I never believed I feared emotions. Remember, I'm the one with all the big feelings. From joy to rage to pain. But I wonder, maybe I do fear the deepest of self when I cannot throw the blackest of my black on a canvas.

I know my fear is vast and deep.

A couple weeks ago I graciously attempted to give up one or two of my sessions each week to allow the shrink to take on a new client. Otherwise the shrink didn't have any openings for another month or so.
He laughed at me.

Totally forgetting that exchange, a few sessions later I mentioned I'd need to stop seeing him because it was time for me to seek out a Sacred Intimate...for touch. We both knew I hungered for it. My arms physically feel the lack of being clasped by another. I cannot afford both and thought it would be prudent to temporarily cease time with my shrink to pursue this other avenue of healing.

He did not believe it would be a good idea.

Another few sessions later (again forgetting my earlier negotiations) I walked into the office declaring that I needed a larger space to paint in. "My painting is frozen. I am no longer painting because I can't move. Everything is a chore. I have to rearrange 4 things to get to one. I need to rent studio space and can't do that and therapy at the same time."

A slow smile appears on the shrink's face.

"Interesting."

He continues, "last time you needed a different kind of therapy and now your reason to leave is to obtain studio space."

Shit. He nailed me. I had forgotten!

"You have to admit, they are both very important."

"You're right. Okay, you can stop therapy on two conditions. First, you promise to get regularly touched every week. Second, you get your space and actively paint. No excuses. If both are happening then I have to admit you don't need me. Our time is done."

Fuck.

We both know full well that although I could wrangle the touching thing, there is no way I'm ready to fully commit to painting. I am still the sunny day painter.

Who's kidding who? As of Friday, I know that my fear is vast and deep.

From Friday's session:

"Well, that is impressive."

"What? What is?"

"How terrified you are."

The shrink sees the question that still remains on my face because at this point I refuse to admit I am aware of how great the terror is, and therefore shield it by playing dumb.

"You're brilliant and you've done a beautiful job with hiding the depth of your fear. You haven't put out the signals I normally see. The way you live your live, no one would think that you are this broken. Quite impressive."

My mouth is shut because I don't want to betray my pounding heart. The anger begins to bubble inside. I have no desire to look at this any further. If I do, I have to admit my parents hurt me in a terrible way. I refuse to go there because I know for a fact they did the absolute best they could do. I know it would break their hearts if they knew their lack of attention, due to natural circumstances, seriously fucked up one or all of their kids. I will not make my parents out to be monsters. I am the monster, remember?

It is my role to be the monster, the ogre, the freak. It is also my role to be invisible. That is what I have known.

With a deep breath and through gritted teeth I reply "I am done with this. Done. I'm not putting up with it anymore."

"You are not done."

I glare at the shrink.

"You have a responsibility to place yourself out in the world. You have too much to give others to stop the work."

Yes, now I'm really furious. I'll be damned if he thinks he can guilt me into pushing through because I have some goddammed mission in life. I sit up onto the edge of my seat and put on my shoes. The session isn't over but I'm leaving.

Thing is, as I finish tying my laces, the music comes on to signal the end of our session.

My dramatic premature exit?

Thwarted.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Foggy-

It's a tough morning.
It was a restless night.
And yesterday was a difficult session.

I don't know how or if I'll write about it. Right now it's muddled into a messy ball of feelings with little clarity.
I'll be curious to see how it sorts itself out.

There was a highlight yesterday. I met Allan yesterday and it felt as if our 2 hour lunch was much too short. I needed to bolt at 1:30 to walk up and over the hill for my 2pm appointment. Talking with him was so easy. Good time. Thank you Allan!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Mark Morford today:

"This much we know: There are only a finite number of breaths left in your life. There are only a finite number of times you will have sex in an elevator and a finite number of times you will drink $200 bottles of wine and a finite number of times you will scream your orgasmic joys and endure horrible Texas presidents and eat raw oysters and buy $250 designer jeans and suck down too much Halloween candy and howl at the moon. And so on."

Although you can't tell from his opening paragraph, Morford does go on to rave about a certain piece of geek gadgetry in The Best Gizmo You Don't Have.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Work has been intense for the last couple weeks. This week has been long, very focused days. I find myself in bed by 9:30 and then up at 5:30. Wiped.

Between our Coming Out Day for Straight Allies campaign, the fall phonathon which began last week, the prep for the Out and Proud 5K being held this Sunday all sitting on top of my regular work...my cup runneth over. Satisfied and very tired.

My brother is continually in my thoughts and am saddened by the tear that I'm sure our email exchange put in our relationship. Or, maybe the emails brought the fracture to light. It is now in the open.

While I was home, he and I spent some good time together. I was seeing the boy I hadn't seen in over 20 years. Somehow, somewhere, he had disappeared within himself. A few years back I emailed him and said that I missed him. I didn't know who he was. Unrecognizable.

In September, some of the brother I once knew was making an appearance.

I know that I will be emailing him again. I knew as soon as I shot off the quick cutting reply I would contact him again in a gentler fashion. The words will come to me. I don't want to force anything.

Shrink stuff has been shaking me up in a very substantial fashion. Yesterday, the shrink mentioned that I am at the point where, of the few who do get to this place, many cease therapy because they can't go deeper.

"So if they stop when at this juncture, do they return?"

"Yes, some do. But they seem to only return for immediate issues. They won't step back into the water."

I've worked too damned hard to run from this.

Tears in my eyes, I whispered "I'm not going to run nor I am jumping in. It will happen in my time."

"So I've noticed."

Sigh.

From what I've learned, I know that sometimes words slip past my mind and out through my lips and therein lay much truth. I now recognize the feeling when it happens and try to objectively look at the words uttered.

On Monday, in my mini rant, the phrase that slid right past me and onto the screen was:

The only Christians I respect AS Christians are the ones who keep it in their pants.

As soon as I saw the words, my breath caught in my throat. It is clearly a sexual image.

An hour later, while sitting in front of the shrink I asked him once again.
"Have I been sexually abused?"

It's probably the third time over the last few years where I've asked him. I don't want to run from whatever the truth may be.
In the past, he's responded "from what I am learning and seeing, I do not believe you were sexually abused."

This time he took a deep breath and said,
"seeing you've asked me, yes I believe you were sexually abused. But your abuse did not come in the form of being inappropriately touched. You were sexually abused because you were not touched."

He continued,
"The reason for the imagery is because you know the connection between the sexual and spiritual stem from the same place. It is the same energy."

I fully understood what he meant. Touch, to infants and children is critical. The image that comes to mind right now is the potter at the wheel. The clay is spinning round and if not consistently touched manifests in a deformed and dysfunctional piece. Healthy touch assists in creating healthy adults.

"You were sexually abused because you were not touched as a child."

Powerful little phrase.

I wonder if living a big self-assured life will be a constant struggle. Coming from a place where all my life and to this day it is the norm for me not to be touched, physically, emotionally, verbally. "Oh she's fine. She doesn't need assurances or strokes. Look at how strong she is."

I would hear it time and time again. Each time similar words were uttered a little piece of me died because it would attempt to cement the fact that the lack of touch came because I wasn't enough of a person to be bothered with.

Yes, a few see me. I just need to get to a place where it is perfect, and the rest doesn't matter.

Living isn't easy, and yet, it is totally fascinating and so not boring.
First things first.
Why can't other ridiculous and cruel ideas be dropped so quickly?


Indiana Bill To Ban Lesbian Pregnancies Dropped
by The Associated Press
Posted: October 6, 2005 12:01 am ET

(Indianapolis, Indiana) A proposed bill that would prohibit gays, lesbians and single people in Indiana from using medical science to assist them in having a child has been dropped by its legislative sponsor.

State Sen. Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis, issued a one-sentence statement late Wednesday about her decision to drop the proposal.

"The issue has become more complex than anticipated and will be withdrawn from consideration by the Health Finance Commission," she said.

Miller said earlier this week that state law does not have regulations on assisted reproduction and should have similar requirements to adoption in Indiana. (story)

But Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana called it government intrusion.

"It feels pretty chilling," Cockrum said.

Miller acknowledged when she proposed it that the legislation would be "enormously controversial."

Miller is chairwoman of the Health Finance Commission, a panel of lawmakers that was to vote Oct. 20 on whether to recommend the legislation to the full General Assembly.

The bill defined assisted reproduction as causing pregnancy by means other than sexual intercourse, including intrauterine insemination, donation of an egg, donation of an embryo, in vitro fertilization and transfer of an embryo, and sperm injection.

It then required "intended parents" to be married to each other and says an unmarried person may not be an intended parent.

A doctor could not begin an assisted reproduction technology procedure that may result in a child being born until the intended parents have received a certificate of satisfactory completion of an assessment required under the bill. The assessment is similar to what is required for infant adoption and would be conducted by a licensed child placing agency in Indiana.

The required information includes the fertility history of the parents, education and employment information, personality descriptions, verification of marital status, child care plans and criminal history checks. Description of the family lifestyle of the intended parents also is required, including participation in faith-based or church activities.

©365Gay.com 2005

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER

Straight allies' of gays will advertise support

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

By SUSAN PAYNTER
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER COLUMNIST

Some of Seattle's and Washington state's best friends are gay.

And standing up and saying so out loud, in person and in print, makes ours a stronger community in which everyone is treated fairly.

So say extraordinary full-page newspaper ads -- set to run in Seattle and Spokane next week -- featuring the names, faces and thoughts of everyday families.

Now more than ever, participants say, it's time for the "straight allies" of gays and lesbians to do more than write checks and silently support the equality of their friends, their neighbors, family members and bosses. It's time to speak up for their fellow parents in the PTA and the folks they sit next to on the bleachers.

The ads, sponsored by the Washington State-based Pride Foundation, will feature the names of 300 people -- some well-known and many unfamiliar -- who will be part of this new twist on the annual observance of National Coming Out Day Oct. 11.

This time, those "coming out" aren't gay. They are straight families like Kathleen and Rob Spitzer, their 20-year-old daughter, Samara, 15-year-old son, Harry, and 16-year-old niece, Dora Heiderman, the latter two students at Mercer Island High School.

The old chestnut says we needn't fear those bigots and thugs who overtly fire people, deny them housing, call them names or beat them up because of their sexual orientation. It's the "nice" people who sit quietly by tsk-tsking, saying "Isn't that just awful?" while keeping quiet through the jokes and insults.

Well, not these "nice people."

Rob Spitzer knows that putting his face and his family in the newspaper may upset some people and be misunderstood by others. "I know a lot of people who may take offense or feel we're doing something we shouldn't," he told me.

He admits to an initial, tiny twang of trepidation. But it was a momentary and passing twinge compared to the strong and lasting conviction that he's simply standing up for what's right. And, by getting the whole family involved in the ad, his kids see that doing what's right is important even when it doesn't directly benefit you.

Kathleen Spitzer had "absolutely no concerns" when asked to be in the ad. And none of the kids even batted an eye, she said. "Of course," is what they told her.

"We have family members, friends, bosses, co-workers, and people the kids know at school who are gay and lesbian. So there's no doubt that it's important to be out there supporting them. They're people just trying to live their lives," she said.

"There shouldn't be oppression of any sort in the world. Not for racial minorities. Not for religious minorities. Not for anyone. It seems so simple."

Simple, powerful and obvious, and yet still so feared and denied.

C. David Hopkins of the Pride Foundation monitors the news every day and sees "so many attacks." Some seem small and silly, some highly mobilized and heavily financed.

"It's important to realize that we need all of our allies to speak out for us, both gay and straight," Hopkins said. And so the ad campaign was born.

But Rob Spitzer knows some will ask him why, or say even worse. He knows because, as a former president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, he initiated an outreach effort aimed at making gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jews feel welcomed as part of the community.

It's a long-term project that's still inching toward trust and acceptance.

"Certainly, within traditional Jewish law, there are issues involving homosexuality," Spitzer acknowledged. "As with most things in life, there are many different and competing values."

But to him, a central value is that of welcoming the stranger, the outcast. And believing that all people are created in God's image and thus are due respect and dignity.

Yes, being in a newspaper ad is a pretty public way of expressing that belief. But he says gays who "come out" are risking much more.

For Miriam and Glover Barnes, the idea of the ads seemed "a little bit 'out of the box' " at first, according to Miriam. "But if that's what's needed, big deal. Just do it."

She's not yet sure what she and her husband will say in the ad. Each family was asked to come up with a few thoughts about equality.

Miriam knows what she does say whenever anyone questions the rights of gays to be who they are. "I never could understand people who go around obsessing about what other people do in their bedrooms," she told me.

In all of the 35 years she and her husband have lived in Mount Baker, gays have always been part of the fabric of their days. Gay friends. The children of gay friends. "It's just a part of our lives," she said. "It should be a part of everyone's."

Some of Seattle's best friends are gay. So go ahead, advertise it.

Susan Paynter's column appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Call her at 206-448-8392 or send e-mail to susanpaynter@seattlepi.com.

© 1998-2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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