Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Nov 30 Self Portrait

Self Portrait Nov 30 2008

The Gratitude Dance

Check out the GratiDudes.

Ken Wilber - Love Until it Hurts

I've been into Ken Wilber for years and find him highly intelligent. I've tried reading a lot of his stuff and actually have made it through a few complete sections of his works/books. I have many of his books I have only read pieces of. I comprehend him best on an intuitive level but when he is speaking like this he is very easy to follow/understand without effort.

Sunday Morning Self Portrait

Don't I look more like a cat than a human in this picture?

Check This Out

Jerry started a blog for his band, Spark-n-Cinder. I took a few nice pictures of Friday night's gig that he posted. I love these then and now pictures of him.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

This Is My Dream

I'm contemplating New Relationship Energy (NRE) as it particularly applies to polyamorous relationships. NRE is like a drug that induces an alternated state of consciousness with a heightened sense of sexual and emotional attraction for a new partner. NRE helps a couple form deep bonds of attachment when they are still virtually strangers to one another on many significant levels. Swimming in NRE is often experienced as intense waves of bliss and well being mingled with bouts of anxiety that lessen as the mutuality of the attraction is more securely established.

In monogamous or serial monogamous relationships, NRE energy often plays out significantly different than in polyamorous relationships where the person (s) experiencing NRE is concurrently establishing a relationship/falling in love with a new partner while at the same time maintaining an ongoing relationship with an old love/spouse/primary partner.

Unless a "monogamous" partner is cheating on a current and ongoing partner, they are pretty much free to jump feet first, into the supreme joy and emotionally bonding pleasures of NRE. Although a monogamous person may have other commitments such a career, children etc., there is no "significant other" to interfere or distract them, no other lover that loyalty insists they must mindfully consider. They are pretty much free to dive into their new relationship, fully immersing them self in the waters of love, allowing the rest of the world to disappear while the full focus of their attention is directed to the supreme loving of this new other.

NRE is a valuable and exhilarating gift that new love offers. Some say it is indispensable to the bonding process of new sexual loving relationships. It's the glue that sticks new lovers together. Others are leery of NRE, even labeling it as a "false love" because of the common distortions in judgement and perceptions that one is susceptible to making in regards to this new person who is the object of their desire. These people would rather deny or suppress NRE than risk being swept away on a wave of irrational and exaggerated positive feelings where the new lover's attributes are magnified and their deficits are barely noticed. These people prefer a slower, more pragmatic approach to the process of creating new relationships and falling in love. I suppose that some new relationships, with otherwise potential for compatibility, actually drift apart when NRE isn't given it's due. That's not to say that love in some relationships doesn't grow slowly and surely with measured steps and careful calculations as one allows their heart to open with very little manifestation of NRE. Who can say how love will present itself? The possibilities are endless.

But for those romantic and polyamorous people who want nothing more than to dive deep into NRE, experiencing it in all it's wet and wondrous glory, rarely poking their heads above the surface for a breath of air, well theirs is perhaps a different story when they have another significant other relationship to maintain. As much as they might desire to take the plunge, they have commitments and responsibilities in sustaining their other, older, perhaps momentarily less exciting, but nevertheless tried and true, long term, love relationship (s).

This can prove to be a huge challenge and is often seen as the cornerstone of being a worthy polyamorous partner. What a balancing act! If you are of the school that NRE is a good thing (and I most certainly am while at the same time advocating for caution) where do you start? I suggest starting with strong intention. Intend to keep your heart open to both partners. Intend to maintain your primary and already established relationship with devotion to mindfulness. Intend to ride NRE with both wild abandon, and cautious, graceful integrity. How does one do that? Heck if I know as all relationships have different needs, but I do know that with intention all things are possible. Intention sets us on the path and the steps we need to take are often revealed on an as needed basis. There will be holes that trip us up and boulders that seem to block our way. When we are intent on maintaining an ongoing long term relationship while establishing a new one, we may need to put the wild abandon of NRE on a long but tethered leash. Depending on our situation, we may need to put it on a short leash. Maybe it needs to be practiced in a timed released sort of fashion--in small doses that don't rock the stability of the boat of our other relationships. Perhaps setting an alarm clock to wake us up from our NRE dream at scheduled intervals. Fuck if I know. There are no hard and fast rules that will work for everyone. We are the architects and I suggest using freedom as the foundation that we build our love relationships on. Again, how to do that? Intention provides the answers. We gotta make up our rules as we go along, caring as gently as we can for one another's hearts. And yet there are open relationship pioneers who have already blazed some trails into this wilderness and I think it prudent to follow their lead, at least listen their suggestions and try some of their ideas when we are first starting out. Reading lots of books on polyamory is a good idea. Finding and connecting with others who live this lifestyle is invaluable.

Good communication with both partners--your long term relationship partner, as well as your new love, is imperative. All three partners (or four, or however many partners there are) getting together and discussing the dynamics of NRE and how each person is being impacted by it is helpful.

I repeatedly advise couples I work with to keep their hearts and minds open to everyone involved and of course I attempt to do this in my own relationships. Also, to be a good friend first and foremost, and to love your lover's other partner (s) which I know can be most difficult at times but that's when it's probably most important. I think it's a good idea for the established, long term partner to be as generous and understanding as they can possibly muster in allowing for their partner's experience of NRE with their new lover and the dimished focus they will perhaps receive for awhile. This takes a lot of trust and emotional maturity, no doubt. At the same time and equality important is for the partner who is caught up in NRE with their new love, to simultaneously keep their long term partner's needs and vulnerabilities close to their heart at all times. They must be diligent in following through on the commitments to their older relationship (s). I've always felt that I wouldn't trust a partner who was lax with his attention and focus on his already established relationships. If he was willing to forsake his old love for me, I'd suspect that my heart would be next in line to be trampled when I was no longer so fresh and new. At the same time, I'm also worthy of attention and focus and I want my opening heart protected and cared for too. We have to be willing to talk about our needs and be creative at finding innovative strategies for making sure everyone's are being met.

So the point of this post is the contrast of dealing with polyamorous NRE as opposed to dealing with "monogamous" NRE. Polyamorous NRE is, or at least certainly has, the potential of being much more of a challenge. I've found it to be one of the biggest complications/challenges for many who are starting up a new polyamorous relationship. That and the simple fact that there may be unlimited love but there is not unlimited time and energy. There are only so many hours in a day.

This is one of the reasons that I am most attracted to a family centered model of polyamory, where time and energy can be used more efficiently. It affords one to feed two birds with one seed. I want the freedom to have all my lovers with me most of the time. This doesn't mean that everyone will necessarily be together most of the time, but rather that there is the freedom to choose to be together as much as is practical and possible for each particular person. It means that building a comfort level is paramount, one of knowing that you are welcomed, wanted, and loved. It doesn't mean that everyone lives together in the same house or that everyone spends an equal amount of time together. But it does suggest more fluid boundaries while extending the opportunities of more actual time that is available to be together. Kind of a mi casa su casa sort of mentality. What I don't like is when people end up feeling excluded and left out, disconnected and as if they don't really belong. If my lovers can flow more organically into and out of the days and hours of my life so that I'm spending time on my own, with other friends and activites, as well as in dyads, triads, quads, so on and so forth with my various loves and their various loves, cuddling in puppy piles and meandering into and out of each other's arms and space as fierce (and happy) individuals who are choosing to live interdependently in a close knit family of friends sort of way...well, this is my dream.

Some polyamorous people keep their different love relationships quite separated from one another and while this might work just fine for them, I think it more often adds to the potential of people not getting enough time and attention from their lovers and also possibly feeling excluded from the warmth of companionship. Again, there is only so much time in a day and while every relationship deserves some one on one privacy, if you throw in some family style dinners, play time and parties where everyone is invited, a willingness to share in another's chores and errands etc., everyone can get more time to share in the juicy love that's available in unlimited abundance.

Trees and Culture

Jerry and I are laying in bed next to each other, each of us on our laptops. We've just returned from a full of day of activity and it feels good to physically relax next to him.

We were up at 9:30 this morning after quite the night of drinking and dancing...well I was drinking and dancing and Jerry was on stage doing what he does best. It was a very special night on so many levels. Connecting with many friends that I love, one of my son's came out with his girlfriend and partied with us, several friends from out of town were there, just so many reasons to celebrate and give thanks.

Had coffee with friends at the market and then did a little shopping before coming home and doing a few (very few) chores before heading up to Concow to a tree planting party on our friend's land. They lost 30 acres to the fire this last summer and it was incredible to see their house still standing right smack dab in the middle of so much devastation. The fire literally burnt right up to their home but left it alone. We enjoyed the afternoon and evening planting trees, socializing, eating, drinking and even singing few Christmas Carols. We also had a bonfire and the kids were excited to be getting s'mores when we left.

Back in Chico we stopped by the grand opening of Cafe Culture, a new cultural center for music, dance, yoga, prayer, whatever your passion that you would like to share with the community at large. Looks like a nice space and I hope our diverse circles of culturally rich people will support it, and each other, well so it can stick around.

It's a Beautiful Night

Last night was something else. Jerry's band, Spark-n-Cinder played from 8:00 to 12:00 last night at LaSalles, a downtown bar. After the holiday gigs are always special because the college kids are out of town and a menagerie of local folks come out of the woodwork to party down. Last night was no exception. The average age of the crowd was probably about 45 or 50, all of us aging hippees with our dancing shoes on. People danced all night--well to midnight anyway, with smiles on their faces and hearts wide open. At one point during the night I was just dancing there in the middle of the crowd with tears pouring down my face, just feeling the love for everyone, knowing how blessed I am to be alive in the midst of my community. We are a bunch of awesome and fortunate folk. Can't wait until New Years to do this all over again with twice as many people.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Drink For My Baby

Black Friday. I was going to say that I've never been out shopping on Black Friday before in my life but then I remembered last year. Jerry and I were actually at Mall of the Americas, (one of the largest in the world, definitely the largest in the U.S.) in Minneapolis last year on this day. We were traveling home from our Thanksgiving in New Jersey and our flight was canceled. Then we ended up in Minnesota with a long lay over and many hours to deal with so we jumped on the train that's connected to the airport and drops you off right smack dab in the front of the mall. Now that was a pretty amazing experience. Very strange indeed.

We jumped out of bed early--no, not 5:00am as one of my daughters did but at 9:30 or so and headed to Starbucks and Best Buy in hopes of picking up a cheap computer for Jerry. Fortunately we found one for $350., not a bad deal at all.

We came home and I found my son's girlfriend in my kitchen washing the rest of the dirty dishes from last night that I was not wanting to think about. We all eat leftovers and then I spent the rest of my day sewing curtains for the windows in the house my daughter has just moved into.

Jerry is at the bar setting up for tonight. I love the after holiday gigs when most of the college kids are out of town and all the local folks come out.

Jerry rarely drinks but he enjoys mojitos and I've been threatening to learn to make them for him for awhile now and today I picked up the ingredients and he'll be home to share a drink with me before we head back over to the bar for a night of music, dancing, and merry making with our friends.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Drinking In All The Lovers

I am a cup caught in the hand of love. If you don't believe me, look in my eyes.

Or better still, listen to my heart, beating like crazy.

But watch out! This love is not the pale and slender type.

She is drinking in all the lovers right now!--Rumi

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday - The Beatles

Happy Birthday Cara. I wish for you an abundance of all good things your heart desires.

Thanksgiving 2008

Hassles with the insurance company this morning. They have offered me $2,800. for my injuries and loss wages. I figure they owe me a minimum of $13,000. and that makes their offer about $10,000. short. I was hoping to settle with them without an attorney but now I have an appointment for next week.

Good news in that I get off work today at 12:00 noon as a Thanksgiving gift from the college. That gives me 4 and a half extra hours to shop and do errands. I really needed some extra time today and I'm happy to be gifted with it. Last night my son came by and used my kitchen to make curd for Thanksgiving. I knew I won't have the time and so he happily obliged. My daughter is making some to. Curd is what my family eats in lew of turkey. I started making it maybe 34 years ago. Curd is made by separating the curds from the whey in cow's milk. I've made it with goat's milk before when I lived in the mountains with goats for awhile. But in India cows are considered sacred and their milk is a staple in everything from sweets to main dishes that are then offered up to Krsna, another deity or spiritual master. After Krsna tastes the food himself it is transformed into Prasadam and is considered holy food that cleanses whoever eats it from their past karma.

You make curd by bringing a gallon of milk to a boil. When the boiling milk starts to rise to the top of the pot you curdle it by adding either buttermilk or lemon juice. I prefer using both. When the milk is curdled you strain the curds from the whey into a cheesecloth and then let it hang overnight. The next day the curd will be a very hard fresh cheese that you can then use in a number of delicious preparations. You can even eat the curds soft and fresh if you like. What we do in my family is slice the hardened curd into thick pieces (think a nice thick slice of tofu that you are going to fry up for a tofu burger, except curd is very firm, much more so than the firmest of tofu--very hard cheese like) and then fry them up in butter (over the years I've taken to frying the curd in a mixture of butter and olive oil.) When the curd is fried to a golden crispy brown on each side, you take it out of the pan and dip it into a bowl of soy sauce and then roll it in nutritional yeast. This part is very nontraditional but incredibly delicious. Then you eat it as you would enjoy your traditional Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce, stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy. Oh, you save the whey from making the curd to make your gravy. Leftover curd can be used to make curd sandwiches with all the other leftovers as one would use the leftover turkey to make turkey sandwiches. I suppose you can tell I prefer to eat vegetarian from all this. Yes, something like 34 years now except not really as I started eating fish about 5 years ago and I even eat eggs now too. Out of my six children that I raised vegetarian, three of them still eat that way. They all love curd on Thanksgiving though.

I'm feeling pretty happy today. Remembering Jerry's and my trip back east to be with his family for Thanksgiving last year which was a first in something like 39 years...If I'm remembering correctly he hadn't been back for Thanksgiving since he was 18 years old but my memory may be exaggerating this a bit. Well, it had been many, many years and we really enjoyed the time with all of his family--his mom and lots and lots of cousins. One of his cousins plays in a band and ended up getting arrested the night before Thanksgiving when the police raided the bar they were playing in. He had a bit too much whiskey in him and didn't stop playing his guitar when the police ordered them to stop the music. His son got upset when his dad got arrested and then he got arrested too. His daughter who was working at the bar had to bail them both out. Jerry and I been at this gig, in fact, Jerry had been playing with them earlier in the night. The bar was miles and miles out in the country but was the one and only happening place that all the college kids congregate when they are home in that neck of the woods for the holidays. It was a huge mob scene that we had the sense to flee before the cops arrived--well, as we we fleeing we actually noticed several police out in the parking lot.

My friend Dan who is in a wheel chair helped me figure out how to get my mom, who is now wheel chair bound, up the stairs into my house so she can spend Thanksgiving day with us and that is a weight off my shoulders.

I'm so grateful for all of the beautiful friends I have in my life and I feel very appreciative to be spending tomorrow with my family. All of our kids and grand kids won't be with us, several are out of town, or have other plans but that's OK, it will make the day a little easier, a little quieter and I'll be a little less exhausted tomorrow night. There will be eleven of us and that's a full enough house for me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Juicy Women

I love my Juicy Women. Randi finished her sexual history last night and it was an awesome finish. She is such a sweet thang that just oozes sexual energy. She's constantly struggling with her lover, splitting up and getting back together, making passionate love and fighting. She is traveling for a month without him so it will be interesting to see how her story unfolds upon her return and the time they spend apart.

Lena is struggling too, fresh out of a live-in love affair and missing the sex and the companionship. She's feeling nervous and overwhelmed with the prospect of being a single woman on her own, living alone for the winter. We encouraged her to take up the offer of a couple of her long distance relationship lovers to go and visit them after Thanksgiving.

Ana is awesome. Alone, in her power, really juicy and wanting a lover but living the fullness of her life with an abundance of friends and well being.

Molly is appreciating her husband and his willingness to evolve, appreciating all of the beautiful women, a diverse group of good friends who enrich her life.

Pema is taking her life one day at at time, watching it unfold, watching her responses, sitting right smack dab in the middle of her relationships with her lover, her children, and herself. She seems so surrendered to whatever is, that is about to unfold. Open to the possibilities.

Rosemary is aware and grateful for the richness of her life. She struggles with emotions and staying balanced with all that is. She is comitted to creating loving relationships based on freedom--whatever that means.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jealousy, Connection/Separation

Besides the rug burn on my knees there was more that made it an interesting weekend. I was telling Ren the story and she said, "Oh my, so when are you going to blog about this!?" Well I've been known to blog about my insecurities and emotional immaturity before. Why stop now just to save face by putting on the facade of how cool and polyamorously advanced I wish I was.

The current drama started on Thursday night. I got jealous. Yes, moi. Jealous. Again. I have worked through so much of my jealous and possessive nature. I used to be way worse. Really I was. This work is a huge part of my spiritual path, discovering the truth of self and transforming my ego into less of a bully. Jealousy feels like shit and I'd really approve of getting over it sooner than later. But when it rears its ugly head I realize what a tenacious monster it is.

I must say this--it's not all my fault! I refuse to take all the blame. I'm being facetious saying this of course because it's not about whose fault it is, or who's to blame and of course my thoughts, emotions and actions are my own responsibility...but just the same. When I look back over the details of this jealously taking its hold on me, I think H. was pretty darn insensitive. His insensitivity triggered me big time. He is generally so attentive and caring, so concerned and gentle with my heart that this contrast, this perceived coldness and distant separation to my needs just smacked me good and I got really angry.

Hey, being in real relationships and balancing everything that comes up is much more challenging than theoretical polyamory. And it's not others who are causing the waves, although of course they could, and eventually probably will to some extent, if and when those relationships deepen intimately. But this is just our stuff, insecurities related to the changes we are dealing with inside of our own relationship.

So we fought, or rather I fought with him because my feelings were hurt and then he wasn't bending over backwards to take care of my needs. He went to bed so I tried to let it go and follow suit--we cuddled but then I couldn't sleep and it was a restless night for both of us. Friday morning we were exhausted and needed to go our separate ways with our busyness. And then friends showed up in the evening so we played and partied with them until late with no opportunity to talk and love it out. Saturday came with more preoccupation with a friend who had spent the night with us. We walked around the farmer's market and visited with friends but we were both off balance and needed to connect with no real opportunity to do so. H had business to take care of so he left for the afternoon and I had a date with lover who is my lover for the afternoon and night so H. and I went our separate ways again with the energy gentle but unsettled between us.

Lover who is my lover and I went to a friend's 50th birthday party. It was in the foothills at a place I haven't been to in awhile but is very special to me, a place I hold sacred where I've spent many, many happy hours, days, of my life singing, sweating, meditating, dancing, partying, being in community with beautiful friends. It was a sweet party where I had the opportunity to connect with a few folks I haven't seen in a long time and I enjoyed being there with lover who is my lover. We left the party and shared a very sweet night together and then with the dawn of a new day I noticed my energy all caught up in my solar plexus, my emotional center, which was out of whack with all the unsettled stuff that was up with H. Lover who is my lover and I did some errands together and then he took me to see my mommy. I felt really appreciative of that and she was obviously needing a visit when we popped in on her--a little attention does her a world of good. Afterwards I went home to be with H.

As soon as I walked in the door it was all I could do to keep from crying. I wasn't ready yet. I felt disconnected from lover who is my lover and disconnected from H. so I just settled in to experience the emotions I knew were coming. I've blogged before about my personal journey with this relational dynamic here. It's the dance of separation/connection. I knew it was just my ego playing its tricks on me so I tried not to make up any stories and to just experience the emptiness and vulnerability I was feeling in all its fullness rather than resist the separation. H. and I talked a little and I was hungry so we walked downtown and got some dinner and then strolled around for the Christmas Preview. People crowded the streets and we ran into some friends. I wasn't feeling social so we parted ways with them. It was nice to just walk around listening to the music, watching all the different dancers in the storefront windows and the people dressed in their festive attire. We held hands in silence and it felt nurturing to just be together quietly. We went home and I cried for awhile and then we watched our Sunday night movies together and then went to bed.

As we laid in bed it was good to finally talk it out. Honest talk, sweet connection, feel good sex. We cuddled in each other's arms and went to sleep. This morning there was more to say. And there will be more tonight I'm sure, before the dust is all settled this time around.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Intense Urge To Be Penetrated

Greenwoman was recently blogging about the need to be penetrated in a great post call Glass Wearing Day. It got me reeling. I mean come on. Ultimately, what else is there in life but to be penetrated? Well, also to penetrate I suppose. The yin and the yang forces of penetration. Sexually; intellectually; emotionally; psychologically; artistically. Penetrate me please. And allow me to penetrate you. Is there anything more intimate than penetration? Opening oneself to be penetrated takes trust. The ability to surrender. To let go and allow someone, or something inside. It takes the audacity to fully receive.

Penetration takes me out of myself as I join up, merge, become one with, whatever it is that is piercing me--body, soul, mind, intellect, heart... I like the feeling of losing myself, or losing the artificial boundaries that constrict and hinder my definition of who and what I am. I like becoming one with something alien to me. It's a curious process that brings me closer to the truth of myself as it forces me to let go and expand out of what I just was experiencing myself to be a moment earlier. Allowing myself to be penetrated opens me and makes me vulnerable. It creates more space that perpetuates this yearning to be filled.

And then there is the yearning to penetrate...

Garrison Keillor on Obama

Sitting on Top of the World--Garrison Keillor
Thursday, November 13, 2008

Be happy, dear hearts, and allow yourselves a few more weeks of quiet exultation. It isn't gloating; it's satisfaction at a job well done. He was a superb candidate, serious, professorial but with a flashing grin and a buoyancy that comes from working out in the gym every morning. He spoke in a genuine voice, not senatorial at all. He relished campaigning. He accepted adulation gracefully. He brandished his sword against his opponents without mocking or belittling them. He was elegant, unaffected, utterly American, and now (Wow!) suddenly America is cool. Chicago is cool. Chicago!!!
We threw the dice, and we won the jackpot and elected a black guy with a Harvard degree, the middle name Hussein and a sense of humor. He said, "I've got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher." The French junior minister for human rights said, "On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes." When was the last time you heard someone from France say they wanted to be American and take a bite of something of ours? Ponder that for a moment.
The world expects us to elect pompous yahoos, and, instead, we have us a 47-year-old prince from the prairie who cheerfully ran the race, and, when his opponents threw sand at him, he just smiled back. He'll be the first president in history to look really good making a jump shot. He loves his classy wife and his sweet little daughters. He looks good in the kitchen. He can cook Indian or Chinese, but, for his girls, he will do mac and cheese. At the same time, he knows pop music, American lit, and constitutional law. I just can't imagine anybody cooler. Look at a photo of the latest pooh-bah conference--the hausfrau Merkel; the big glum Scotsman; that goofball Berlusconi; Putin with his B-movie bad-boy scowl; and Sarkozy, who looks like a district manager for Avis. You put Barack in that bunch, and he will shine.
It feels good to be cool, and all of us can share in that, even sour old right-wingers and embittered blottoheads. Next time you fly to Heathrow and hand your passport to the man with the badge, he's going to see "United States of America" and look up and grin. Even if you worship in the church of Fox, everyone you meet overseas is going to ask you about Obama, and you may as well say you voted for him because, my friends, he is your line of credit over there. No need anymore to try to look Canadian.
And the coolest thing about him is the fact that, back in the early '90s, given a book contract after the hoo-ha about his becoming the First Black Editor of The Harvard Law Review, instead of writing the basic exploitation book he could've written, he put his head down and worked hard for a few years and wrote a good book, an honest one, which, since his rise in politics, has earned the Obamas enough to buy a very nice house and put money in the bank. A successful American entrepreneur.
The last American president to write a book all by his lonesome self, I believe, was Theodore Roosevelt, who, on graduation from Harvard, wrote The Naval War of 1812, and, in my humble opinion, Obama's is the better book for the general reader, but you be the judge.

Our hero who galloped to victory has inherited a gigantic mess. The country is sunk in debt. The Treasury announced it must borrow $550 billion to get the government through the fourth quarter, more than the entire deficit for 2008; so, he will have to raise taxes and not only on bankers and lumber barons. His promise never to raise the retirement age is not a good idea. Whatever he promised the Iowa farmers about subsidizing ethanol is best forgotten at this point. We may not be getting our National Health Service cards anytime soon. And so on and so on.
So, enjoy the afterglow of the election awhile longer. We all walk taller this fall. People in Copenhagen and Stockholm are sending congratulatory e-mails. Imagine! We are being admired by Danes and Swedes! And Chicago becomes The First City. Step aside, San Francisco. Shut up, New York. The Midwest is cool now. The mind reels. Have a good day.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lucinda Williams at the Fillmore

San Francisco is having Indian Summer weather also. We were walking the streets last night at 11:30 with no jackets and it was warm. Our first stop upon arriving in the city yesterday was Macys for lingerie and I found a few pieces I like. Then we went across the street to Macys for men and found a very cool new shirt for Jerry. We also enjoyed perusing the racks at Barney's New York with their simple $300. t-shirts and $8,000. dresses. Actually there was a very cool $600. paisley shirt that was 40% off that I would have bought for Jerry if he were a rich rock star. Well, if he were a rick rock star I'm sure we both would have bought several of the clothes there even if they hadn't been on sale.

After shopping we found our hotel and rested for awhile before walking down Polk St. and finding a nice looking Thai restaurant to eat dinner. We settled on Chai-Yo and the red curry and brown rice was excellent. The red sticky rice with lychee and coconut cream was to die for. As usual, Jerry had a Thai iced tea (which was really nutty and yummy tasting) and I drank a Singha. Then we found a little coffee house called Royal Grind (still on Polk) for an after dinner coffee. The guy behind the counter was really friendly and struck up a conversation right away based on Jerry's accent. On our way back to the hotel we passed by a little tobacco shop and I noticed some empty cigar boxes in the window that I thought might be for sale so I went inside and bought a couple of cool wooden ones for $4. a piece. I'm going to use one of them to keep my spools of thread in.

We arrived at the Fillmore about 7:30 and headed upstairs to the bar for some water and the pre-show act. Tosho, who looked like a Japanese R. Crumm, was singing old Jimmy Rogers tunes and playing guitar. He was a hoot. After his show we invited him to sit at our table and got to know him a bit. He has been in the United States about 30 years (from Japan), first moving to Dallas, Texas where he met his wife and started following Lucinda Williams because of her, about 23 years ago when she was big in Texas but not very well known otherwise. Now he and his wife live in San Francisco and he has played the pre-shows at the Fillmore 6 times, mostly for Willie Nelson. Sitting there in the bar I wished I had brought my camera in to snap a few shots of the probably 400 framed posters covering the walls of all the bands who have played there over the years. That place has a lot of musical history and the vibe is powerfully strong inside.

Lucinda William's opening/back up band, Buick 6, started playing at 8:00 and they were great. And then the queen herself came onstage and opened with Real Love (Little Honey). God that women rocks! I first saw her perform this song on David Letterman. I loved watching her move about the stage, in her tee shirt that read Love is a Drug across the front. Her body really reminds me of my friend Ren. Her second song, I Just Wanted to See you so bad (I Just Wanted To See You So Bad), sends me to a place I know inside--that compulsive obsession that she exposes in her poetry so well. And then Steal Your Love (Essence)--that speaks to that knowing when something righteously belongs to you.

The lyrics to Fruit's of My Labor (World Without Tears), I dedicate to you R., here's the strong poetry you've asked for:
Baby, see how I been living
Velvet curtains on the windows to
Keep the bright and unforgiving
Light from shining through

Baby, I remember all the things we did
When we slept together
In the blue behind your eyelids
Baby, sweet baby

Traced your scent through the gloom
'Til I found these purple flowers
I was spent, I was soon smelling you for hours

Lavender, lotus blossoms too
Water the dirt, flowers last for you
Baby, sweet baby

Tangerines and persimmons
And sugarcane
Grapes and honeydew melon
Enough fit for a queen

Lemon trees don't make a sound
'Til branches bend and fruit falls to the ground
Baby, sweet baby

Come to my world and witness
The way things have changed
'Cause I finally did it, baby
I got out of La Grange

Got in my Mercury and drove out west
Pedal to the metal and my luck to the test
Baby, sweet baby

I been tryin' to enjoy all the fruits of my labor
I been cryin' for you boy but truth is my savior

Baby, sweet baby if it's all the same
Take the glory and day over the fame
Baby, sweet baby
Next she sang:
People Talking (World Without Tears)
and Overtime (World Without Tears)
...I guess one afternoon
You won't cross my mind
And I'll get over you
And then:
Can’t Let Go (Car Wheels On A Gravel Road
Sweet Side (World Without Tears)
Out of Touch (Essence)
Little Rock Star (Little Honey)
Essence (Essence) I fell in love with My Lover Who Is Not My Lover to this song:
...Baby, sweet baby, you're my drug
Come on and let me taste your stuff

Baby, sweet baby, bring me your gift
What surprise you gonna hit me with...

...Baby, sweet baby, whisper my name
Shoot your love into my vein

Baby, sweet baby, kiss me hard
Make me wonder who's in charge...

...Baby, sweet baby, can't get enough
Please come find me and help me get fucked up...

...I am waiting...
I am waiting for your essence...
Next was:
Changed The Locks (Car Wheels On A Gravel Road)
Atonement (World Without Tears) Now this is an intense song.
Unsuffer Me (West) This song is a powerful prayer. A holy supplication.
Unlock my love
and set me free
come fill me up
with ecstasy

surround my heartbeat
with your fingertips
unbound my feet
untie my wrists

come in to my world
of loneliness
and wickedness
and bitterness
Unlock my love

Unsuffer me
Take away the pain
Unbruise unbloody
Wash away the stain
Anoint my head
With your sweet kiss
My joy is dead
I long for bliss

I long for knowledge
Whisper in my ear
Undo my logic, undo my fear
Unsuffer me
Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings (World Without Tears)
Honey Bee (Little Honey) She just sort of belts out this song
On my little honey bee
I'm so glad you stung me
You've become my weakness
Now I've got your sweetness...
And coming to an end:
(World Without Tears)
Angel (Hendrix cover)
For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield cover) She talked a little about the election and Obama Winning--"We Won!" She called it a miracle and then sang this song:
There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear...
It’s a Long Way to the Top (AC/DC cover) She ended with this song.

At one point during the night someone called out "You've got your mojo going tonight Lucinda!" and she called back, "The mojo is always happening at the Fillmore." It's a magical place for sure.

Nice to crawl in bed and make love with my baby after a long night of dancing.

This morning we checked out of our hotel room and walked back over to the Royal Grind coffee house for our morning caffeine and bagel fix. Another really pleasant and helpful guy served us. We had a bit of time to kill, waiting for Good Vibrations to open at 11:00 so we checked out a second hand store and then I saw the perfect gift for K. in the window of store we were walking by so I went inside and bought it for him. Then we went shopping at Good Vibrations and found a couple of new fun toys to bring home.

After a brief stop at the Lucky Brand store (I can not resist those stores and darn if it wasn't just sitting there on the corner beckoning me inside with it's $25. off $100. purchase sign), we met our friend M. at a little cafe called Lettus, for lunch on Chestnut and Steiner. M. actually lives in Kauai now but likes being on the mainland a lot so she and her partner are currently doing a house exchange with someone they met on Craigslist--a nice place with a beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge. They will be going home after Thanksgiving for 4 months and then will be back again.

We left the city at 2:00, just in time to get back into Chico for me to see a client I had scheduled for 5:00. That went well and then we had dinner and settled in to watch our two Sunday night movies that we missed last night, True Blood and Dexter. It's good to be home but I sure do love visits to the city. It's so alive and full of variety and culture.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sexy Lingerie

My friend Molly turned 50 years old today and I was thinking about her all day. It's late Saturday night now and I've just returned from her birthday party where we were supposed to dress up as that part of our authentic selves that we want to express more fully.

It was a very sweet but intense day that started off with a love making session with my beloved. I so enjoy the way Saturday mornings afford leisurely time in bed. Afterwards we dressed and headed out the back door for the farmer's market and my friend Bobbi's coffee cart. Another of my favorite Saturday morning activities is drinking coffee and connecting with friends at the market. Today was an extra blessing with the warm Indian Summer weather sharing the beautiful fall colors of leaves dancing at the whim of the wind.

At 10:30 I met Pema at the downtown city plaza for a protest rally/march for proposition 8. There was a nice turn out of city officials and townsfolk and the sharing of compelling and inspiring stories. Around 12:00 we started our march, weaving through the streets of downtown Chico. When cars would beep their horns in support I would raise my fist in the air in solidarity. Somewhere between 3rd and 2nd street it happened. The horn honked, I raised my fist in response and looked in the direction of the vehicle and there he was, my lover who is not my lover. I saw his face, smiling in support as he honked and drove by in his truck and noticed my reaction to immediately look away. I didn't mean to look away, I just did. It shocked my system, seeing him like that after so long. I told Pema, "There is my lover who is not my lover, in that truck." " Yes, I saw him too" she said, "Are you okay?" "Sure, I'm fine." I said, but after a couple of blocks I realized how intense it was for me. I felt like I'd been emotionally whacked (I have been). She squeezed me knowingly.

We marched on and eventually ended up back in the park for more speeches and such. We were sitting on the park bench chatting when unexpectedly, my lover who is my lover showed up. He stayed just briefly for a quick hello. It was sweet to see him but he was in the midst of a treasure hunt of sorts and preoccupied. No matter as I was enjoying my time relaxing in the sun with Pema but I was happy when he called me afterwards to connect. Little gestures can mean a lot.

Pema and I parted ways and then Jerry and I hooked up for some lunch and headed out to shop for a birthday present for our youngest grandchild who just turned two. While shopping I realized that the part of me who was going to the party tonight wanted to express herself via more sexy lingerie along with the cowboy boots I've been wearing a lot since Burningman. It was a great idea but I couldn't find anything new that I liked (never fear, I will be in San Francisco tomorrow!).

Every once in awhile throughout the day, I'd think of my lover who is not my lover, seeing his sweet face that always melts my heart and my eyes would brim with tears. But I was preoccupied with Jerry and hunting for lingerie so I'd move on to other thoughts. But when I finally settled down at the party tonight, thoughts and feelings of him came flooding in and coalesced with the my day--Molly's 50th birthday, this phase of my life with lingerie and cowboy boots, my husband, my lover who is my lover. I thought of Molly's 50th birthday and the adventure she is about to embark on--along with my 50th birthday and the adventures that I've been embarking on since I turned 50 a little over 4 years ago. I met my lover who is not my lover right before my 50th birthday and it was love at first sight. I invited him to my birthday dinner along with Pema, Ren, Jerry and I. What a night that was! What the last 4 years have been for me! And lover who is not my lover has been significant piece of my awareness of self, truth, freedom and love. I've called him my Anam Cara, my soul friend, my forever friend, and that's truly how much he means to me. Whatever the truth is for him, I suppose I don't really have much of a clue. I only know what he has told me and what his actions have been. I combine those things and make my stories but I know that they are only my stories.

There were 21 women at Molly's party. Each one of us stood up and shared about our lives, what was up for each of us currently and what we are intending to move into. Lots of emotionally moving and vulnerable stuff was shared.

C. was dressed in a sexy red dress with her breasts overflowing out of the black bra that attempted to contain them. She told us her fantasy of leaving the party and heading to a bar where her husband would come and meet up with her, pretending they had never met. He would seduce her and then take her home and fuck her. We encouraged her to play out her fantasy but she said he would never comply. I whispered to Pema and Randy how sad that made me. Here, this voluptuous and sexy woman, wanting to stir up some passion in her marriage, believed her husband would have no interest in her fantasy.

J. in menopause, talked about the malady of losing her mind and how much she missed it. "I had such a great mind!" she said. We all laughed knowingly at her chagrin. It's either laugh or cry with this growing old business and often it's both. We've all been losing our minds and pray that what those who have gone before us tell us is true, that our minds will eventually return to us. J. also shared how strong her intuition has become and how much she depends on it now that her mind is so undependable. We all nodded, affirming our understanding of that sacred wisdom.

Pema was glowing and beautiful and she made me cry as she shared her stuff, raw to the bone, encompassing all of her heart. It was powerful and sweet and tender.

And I shared of course about the woman who likes wearing lingerie and cowboy boots, my husband who is my lover, my lover who is my lover, and my lover who is not my lover. The three men in my life that I love, and what that all means to me right now.

One thing that was special and interesting to me was that I did not know the majority of these women. I was close friends with only 3 of them and knew half a dozen of the others only minimally. The rest were virtual strangers, friends I don't know yet. And yet we opened up to one another in honestly, baring our souls. Afterwards, several woman came up and hugged me, profusely thanking me for sharing about my life. Our conversations about love and relationships, sex, freedom and self expression continued throughout the night.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pussy Piqued

Today I am contemplating the emotional connotations of Yoni Puja (pussy worship), stri puja, in particular, which is the worship of the yoni of one's actual lover rather than via symbolic means. Currently it's yoni gazing, and the sacrament of divine nectar, also know as yonitattva or yonipuspa that has my interest particulary piqued.

I'll write more as I find words to match the significant personal implications of this matter that today I find I'm mostly aware of in a viseral and intuitive sense.

David Best

David Best was on Chico State Campus yesterday. One of the art professors had brought him in to speak to one of his classes and then he spoke in Aryes Hall last night. Jerry and I went and it was a real thrill to hear him speak and see some of his slides.

David is a well known artist from San Francisco. My friend Pema has seen a couple of his art cars at the de Rosa Preserve Art Gallery in Napa. He has build these incredible temples in: Chicago, Temple of The American Dream; San Rafael, Temple of the Workingman; Ireland, Temple of Truth; etc., as well as 6 different ones at Burningman.
Temple of the Mind 2000
Temple of Tears 01
Temple of Joy 02
Temple of Honor 03
Temple of Stars 04
Temple of Forgiveness 07
(Check out the art car he drove to Burningman 07 at the end of the YouTube video posted below.)

A few David Best quotes from last night:

A ball of shit on the table is better than a ball of shit in you heart. This is art.

Nobody here can replace anybody that's here.

It's all about collaboration, you can't force people to do it your way. If you want someone to make a straight line for you, as you perceive a straight line, you have to pay them.

David Best Art Car

This is one of his many art cars. He drove this one to Burningman.

Yes We Did--Marianne Williamson

By Marianne Williamson

America has had a non-violent revolution. As long as there are historians writing about the United States, this moment of fundamental re-alignment of our national purpose will be remembered, pored over and analyzed. It will be seen as one of the shining points along the evolutionary arc of the American story. Yet it will never submit itself to being summed up in a nice little package that reason alone can understand.

It's been noted before that Americans get excited about politics every forty years. Then, in the words of comedian Will Rogers, "We have to go sleep it off." We were certainly excited in the l960's. And this is 2008; exactly forty years since the most dramatic and violent year of the Sixties decade: the year when both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were literally killed before our eyes.

At that point, a generation of young people -- looking much like the youthful army so out in full force today, only grungier -- marched in the streets to repudiate an oppressive system and to try to stop an unjust war. And then bullets stopped us. The shots that killed the Kennedy's and King carried a loud, unspoken message for all of us: that we were to go home now, that we were to do whatever we wanted within the private sector, yet leave the public sector to whomever wanted it so much that they were willing to kill for it. And for all intents and purposes, we did as we were told.

According to ancient Asian philosophers, history moves not in a circle but in a spiral. Whether as an individual or as a nation, whatever lessons we were presented once and failed to learn will come back again but in a different form. For the generation of the Sixties and for our children, the lessons of that time -- as well as its hopes and dreams and idealism -- came back in 2008.

During our forty years in the desert, we learned many things. Then, we marched in the streets; this time, we marched to the polls. Then, we shouted, "Hell no, we won't go!" This time, we shouted, "Yes, we can." Then, we were so angry that our anger consumed us. This time, we made a more compassionate humanity the means by which we sought our goal as well as the goal itself. In the words of Gloria Steinem, "I feel like our future has come back." And indeed it has. For in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., "No lie can last forever." What Bobby Kennedy tried to do, and was killed for trying; what Martin Luther King tried to do, and was killed for trying; what the students at Kent state were trying to protest, and were killed for daring to; Barack Obama and his army of millions of idealists with the audacity to hope have now succeeded at doing.

Praise God. Praise God.

And that praise to God didn't just go out last night, when Obama's election to the Presidency was finally achieved. That praise was part of what allowed the waters to part here in the first place. Millions of Americans have been deeply aware that this kind of historic and fundamentally positive effort has not gone well in the recent past, and the spiritual understanding of this generation of Americans -- an understanding not yet fully formed forty years ago -- created an invisible light around the Obama campaign. How many people over the last twenty-one months have posted, in their own way, angels to Obama's left and angels to his right, angels in front of him and angels behind him, angels above him and angels below him? I know I have, and so has everyone I know. Hopefully we will continue to do so.

The Obama phenomenon did not come out of nowhere. It emerged as much from our story as from his -- as much from our yearning for meaning as from his ambition to be President; as much from our determination to achieve collective redemption as from his determination to achieve an individual accomplishment. And those who fail to recognize the invisible powers at work here -- who see the external drama of politics yet fail to discern the profound forces that moved mountains by moving the American heart -- well, they're just like Bob Dylan's Thin Man to whom he sang, "You don't know what's
going on here, do you, Mr. Jones?"

Back then, Mr. Jones didn't know what was going on, but many of us did. We knew what was going on then and we knew what needed to happen; we simply weren't mature enough and we were too wounded then, as people and as a culture, to pull it off.

This time, we both knew and we did. We knew who we had to become and we knew what we had to do. The violent American revolution of 1776 entailed separating from another country. The non-violent revolution of 2008 -- a non-violent revolution that did not quite fail, yet also did not quite succeed in the l960's -- has entailed separating from who we used to be.

In the l960's, we wanted peace but we ourselves were angry. This time, after hearing Gandhi's call that we must be the change we want to see happen in the world, we came to our political efforts with an understanding that we must cast violence from our hearts and minds if we are to cast it from our world; that we must try to love our enemies as well as our friends; and that when a genius of world-historic proportions emerges among us, we cannot and we must not fail to do everything humanly and spiritually possible to support him. For his sake…and for ours.

Having gone to a higher place within ourselves, a higher level of leadership began to emerge among us. A higher level of leader now having emerged among us, he calls us to an even higher place within ourselves. And from this spiraling dance, these two forces together can and will, as Obama has told us, truly change the world. Having
moved one mountain, we will now go about the work of removing the ones that remain.

With God's help, yes we can. Yes we did. And yes we will.

--- by Marianne Williamson, author of Healing the Soul of America

Copyright © 2008 Marianne Williamson. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

San Francisco's Proposition K

Mistress Matisse has an interesting article called, Props for Prostitutes, this week in Seattle's alternative paper, The Stranger. It's about Proposition K that failed in San Francisco during the last election. If Proposition K had passed, all the money used to bust prostitutes would have dried up. I took these two pictures in September at the Folsom Street Faire.

Special Comment on Gay Marriage ~ Keith Olbermann

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Illiterate Stalker

I had anxiety dreams last night and I woke up feeling really agitated. Yesterday was a surprise vacation day as I hadn't realized that it was Veteran's Day and that I didn't need to go into work at the college. I discovered my opportunity late in the day on Monday so I hadn't scheduled clients or any other appointments that I normally would have, had I known. I love those days that I get paid for staying home and sleeping in. My plan was to stay home and clean house (I'm decluttering again) most of the day and then head out and visit my mom and another friend I haven't hung out with in awhile.

Well, my morning went as planned but my cell phone's display disappeared so I headed over to the Sprint store to see if they could fix it. Sucess! I then headed over to visit with my mother at her assisted care home and she really enjoyed the big slice of Key Lime Pie I took to her. Also, she was happy and we had a wonderful visit besides the fact that she thought I was her sister most of the time (which really doesn't bother me and didn't impinge on our visit at all.) But it comforted my heart to see her doing so well. I've recently agreed, begrudgingly, to allow those in charge of her care to increase her antipsychotic meds so maybe, just maybe, the little cocktails they are mixing up for her will work better. I'm am leery of placing my hope in that direction but it sure looked that way yesterday. Let's say I'm being an open-minded skeptic about it all. I don't trust pharmaceutical drugs in most situations much but I'm certainly willing to have them do their job. Especially if they improve the quality of the last years of my mother's life. So we shall we.

As for the cell phone, by the time I was done visiting with my mother it was not working again so I went back to the Sprint store to buy a new phone. That ordeal ended up taking the rest of the afternoon and part of the evening. It was a crazy situation all around but in the end, I had a new BlackBerry. I don't know how that happened. It just did. I've never even thought twice about having a BlackBerry. I figured I'd get myself an iPhone at some point once the service was no longer restricted to AT&T. They look like a lot of fun and I'm a big Apple fan so I just figured that's the direction I would eventually move in. But no, I am now the, not so proud owner of an almost $600.00 BlackBerry. I did not pay the full price for this smart alec phone. My son is on my plan and out of our 3 family lines he is the one who was eligible for a huge discount on that particular phone, so part of the hassle of the day was picking him up and bringing him back to the Sprint store with me so they could activate and then change lines and then deactivate, and reactivate them all again. Some crazy ass thing they had to do to make it all work so that in the end I paid $200. for the phone. I had to increase the cost of my phone service also, as I didn't have Internet access before but whatever, now I have a phone that is smarter than I am and I can barely figure out how to make a phone call with the darn thing.

And I swear, the first thing that came to my mind when I first held my new BlackBerry in my hand was, "Oh look, I'm copying Mistress Matisse. Yes, Matisse has a BlackBerry and she blogged all about it when she was contemplating which smart phone she should purchase and now she's always downloading pictures and making Twitter updates to her blog from her BlackBerry and I'm sure I'll be doing the exact same thing soon. I'm kinda embarrassed really. And I also just set up a Twitter Account. Well, actually I've had a Twitter Account that I was unaware of. It just so happened that Gillette, one of my most favorite bloggers in the whole blogosphere started Twittering and then I got this notice that Jenny Block was following my
twitters. Excuse me, I don't twitter, I said to myself in a rather snobbish, uppity tone. And even though I find myself always reading Matisses's Twitter updates when I'm reading her blog, I've held some disdain for the whole activity. It strikes me as vain and odd and, oh I don't know, somehow presumptuously egregious. But I followed a link to the Twitter site and found myself trying to sign up for an account but my handle, intendit, was already taken. Wait a minute, I thought, that name belongs to moi, who took it?! Then I thought, I wonder if I did? So I typed in the password I figured I would have used and, well yes, as a matter of fact, it was me. OK, so I'm twittering now too. And, like Matisse, I can even twitter from my new BlackBerry if I ever figure out how to use the darn thing.

So back to my anxiety dreams. I actually was dreaming about Matisse and my BlackBerry. In my dream I had emailed her from my BlackBerry and although I thought my 2 emails to her were very witty and creative, showing off my intelligence and charm, well she didn't take them that way. She took me as more of a stalker personality. And if you read the Mistress, you'll know that when she in one of her moods, she has a penchant for belittling the most ridiculous and ignorant of those who contact her via email with the silly things they say. She also does this with the off the wall phone calls she gets. Well this is what she chose to do with my emails to her, she published them on her blog along with her snarky comments full of contempt for me. Not only that, she didn't keep my name confidential so there I was, exposed to the world as the illiterate stalker of Mistress Matisse. The illiterate part comes in obviously because I think Matisse writes very well and she has a real issue when people butcher the English language, which I fear I have a tendency to do at times. I don't consider myself a great writer by any stretch of the imagination (although I know I get by and the more I write the better I get) and one of my great weaknesses is that I just don't really have a very good handle on all the rules. One of my goals is to take more English classes and learn some of the very basic stuff that I somehow missed out on. Anyway, she was also making fun of my skills as a writer. Come on Mistress, give a girl a break, I'm not even your submissive.

Remember people, this is a dream. But this was the anxiety that I was dealing with when I woke up this morning. Isn't that funny and strange?!

A friend got Jerry and me tickets to go see Ozomatli with her tonight. They are a great band and it's just down the street from our house so we can walk there after Thai food. I'm stoked!

American Prayer

Watch this. Very nice.

Repeal Prop 8

Click here:

From the site--Repeal Prop 8: Restore marriage equality to California
Sign the pledge to build the Marriage Equality Movement
The birth of a new Marriage Equality Movement -- the civil rights movement of the 21st Century -- is unfolding before our eyes.
Movements are visceral and popular, often borne of outrage and anger. What we are witnessing on the streets and online is a community of people who have come together to say: "These are our lives. This is our time. This is unacceptable." Organized from the bottom-up by thousands of ordinary people just like you, this people-powered phenomenon is exponentially growing by the minute, online and offline.
This is our moment to stand strong together -- gay and straight -- and say that we refuse to accept a California where discrimination is enshrined in our state constitution. Please show your support by pledging to support our campaign to repeal Prop 8 and restore marriage equality to California

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

She is Me

I was cleaning house this morning when I ran across a little miniature deck of tarot cards. I drew one and received The Queen of Swords. She has totally been up for me the last couple of days so it's no wonder. See post below. And believe me, that's just a smidgen of what's going on for me.

The Queen of Swords is all about my ability to clearly perceive and intuit what actually is, regardless of appearances. This is a blessing of course but it can also be a curse when I'm not trusting myself fully, especially when I'm dealing with others who may be less than upfront with communicating the truth. I'm usually pretty accomplished in getting to the heart of a situation, seeing it for what it truly is, rather than seeing the cloaked reality that another might hope for me to see.

My inner Queen of Swords is intelligent with a very dry sense of humor. She offers me a very keen insight of self and others which serves to make me a good therapist. I am a good therapist too, although I would be better if I trusted myself more. This grows stronger the longer I'm around and see myself in action.

The Queen of Swords is showing up for me particularly right now because I need to do some slicing. I am the sword itself so to speak and I'm needing to slice through some confusion and sadness to creative some clarity and connection. I notice some bitterness and sharp cynicism attached to this confusion and sadness so I realize how imperative it is for me to keep my heart open at this time. I need to do some cutting and make myself felt. I need to stay centered in love.

The Queen of Swords is very powerful and She is Me.

You Swore Communion With Me

You swore communion with me lover.
Do you think I'm through with you?
I've only just begun.
But you've a higher price to pay now.
I promised I would demand the best.
Well of course, if I have to put up
with the worst of you.
I'm ready when you are.

We Fill Each Other Lover

We fill each other lover.
I am swept away on the raging torrent of your desire.
Your wild lust pummels and then satiates me.
Your arms cradle and keep me safe.
I melt into your stillness, emptying,
Until we rise again, possessed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Transamerica - Like A Rose

We have tickets to see Lucinda Williams in San Francisco on November 15. I've been listening to one of her older albums 'Lucinda Williams' and really enjoying this song 'Like a Rose". I could only a it with pictures from the film Transamerica, which if I recall was a decent film. Anyway, this song is really touching me right now.

A Master of My Own Psychology

Me and my husband's horoscopes from Eric Francis for this week because I think they profoundly address the current issues we are facing in the evolution of our relationships. If you are interested, you can find your horoscope at the bottom of the article I linked to, The Branching of the Road, in the post below.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
People are slippery and they are mostly informed by their pain and their fear of loss. I marvel every day that people trust one another as much as they do, but I reckon this is because they need to more than they want to. You are in the process of developing something that is ambitious, risky and worthwhile. To do it effectively, you need to become a master of psychology: your own, that of a key individual, and that of a group. You need to do this all at once, and it won't be easy -- but you do have the mastery to work through this at a significant profit. I mean this in the individual sense and the group sense; you will neither gain nor lose alone. So you may as well gain, and get everyone around you on that page -- even if one or two are having issues at the moment.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
I've commented before that the current phase of your life may be arriving with a strange sense of isolation. It is not the sign of things to come -- please trust that. Yet what you are experiencing now is an entirely necessary phase of your journey wherein you face something essential to the privilege of living in a body with an ego. That is the perspective that to be an individual, there is a necessary moment of renunciation of companionship; indeed, there may be many of them. There is the truth that no matter now deep we may go with someone else, our own experience is unique and cannot, in truth, be shared. Most people run from this dimension of existence. It's actually easier to dive into the core, taking with you a breath of the knowledge that the closer you are to yourself, the closer you can be to others.

The Branching of the Road by Eric Francis

Eric Francis, over at PlanetWaves. has written his first commentary on Obama's victory, The Branching of the Road . I encourage you to read the whole article, and also to check out his astrology site that I've linked to above. There are horoscropes for this week listed at the bottom of the article I've linked to. Here are some excerpts:

"Barack Obama means many things to many people, and I want to first give a voice to the anger and suspicion... "

"We all know what was done to the Africans when they were "purchased" and taken as slaves to this country. We all know that there has been no recompense, no apology, little authentic acknowledgement, and that in some places, life is no better than it was 100 or 150 years ago. Those who believe that white people should be perpetually in power are afraid that if and when the anger they suppose African-Americans feel is released and the tables are turned, they will be the ones getting lynched. This may seem like an overstatement; I contend that if anything, I'm understating the situation because of how insidious the problem is."

"To African-Americans, I think the message here is too profound and subtle, and to some, too stunning to even summarize. We live in a country where there are more than two million black men in prison."

"As of 2003, about 10.4% of the entire African-American male population in the United States aged 25 to 29 was incarcerated. We live in a country where being black means you might get executed for something for which a white person gets paroled or acquitted. Obama winning the presidency on a groundswell not just of public support but of authentic love of the people is proof that anything is possible, and maybe we're not all a bunch of seething racists."

"It is true, as my friend Tracy pointed out and as everyone who has worked in politics knows, that your candidate sometimes disappoints you. She noted that for the UK, Tony Blair represented the end of the Margaret Thatcher/John Major era of history, and people were elated that the left finally got a voice."

"Then Mr. Blair turned out to be more interested in playing Little Big Man than leader of a nation, selling out wholesale to Cheney/Bush and the Neocon movement. He supported the Iraq war, knowing it was a fraud; knowing that the alleged British intelligence about that yellowcake uranium was forged; knowing he was playing along. France, which did not support the war (remember "freedom fries?") and spent years ridiculing Bush and the stupidity of Americans for allowing him to be their leader, elected Nicolas Sarkozy, Bush's clone and Dick Cheney's disciple, to be its president."

"Politics is often a disappointing game, run by the greedy, inflicted on the ignorant and too often born of lies and unstated agendas. Few people on our level are willing to do more than vote, if that. Times are changing. There are now millions of people obsessed with following alternative news websites, and who know there are many viewpoints; there are millions who blog, which means writing about something expecting an audience; there are tens of millions who forward articles and videos to their friends."

"...I believe that Barack Obama won the presidency based on two factors. The first was the Internet, which functioned as the immune system of the media....I don't think anybody missed Katie Couric's interview with Sarah Palin, but many would have missed it in 2004 or 2000. Dan Quayle, the Palinesque vice presidential candidate under Bush the First, would not have survived YouTube. Nobody missed Tina Fey's brilliant satires;..."

"The second entity we have to thank is Sarah Palin and whoever put her there. What began as one of the most cynical gestures in American politics -- baiting the public with a manipulative, ignorant, anti-choice woman who threw her daughter under a bus the first day she was put on the ticket -- backfired brilliantly. When a presidential candidate mentions that his running mate is qualified in part because she served on the PTA, that is just ridiculous, and we all saw it with our own eyes. It's shocking that nearly half the country voted for her, but as Brian Mahoney, my editor at Chronogram said to me on election night, "That's the country you live in. Welcome home."

"WE DON'T KNOW exactly what an Obama presidency is going to bring, because the world is on the brink of such enormous changes, and in part because you never really know in advance. We also know that we have to participate in those changes, and influence the outcome of events, just as we have the past few months..."

..."We know that we have to become the change we want, and that is much more difficult than electing a president."

"I can tell you this. Americans are a traumatized people: traumatized by fear, though many of us are smothered in privilege that insulates us, for most of the day, from our uncertainty, pain and sense of loss. We are traumatized by what we have witnessed and what we have been compelled to participate in and approve, which is injury both karmic and emotional. We are traumatized by being lied to endlessly, and conditioned to believe those lies..."

"...Let's look back just 10 years. I believe the Cheney-Bush regime begins with the impeachment of Bill Clinton, which only worked because sex is the one remaining offensive subject to numerous Americans (sex doesn't sell, guilt does) -- and then we ended up with nearly a decade of ongoing war. We are traumatized by what was created by numerous lies and done in our name, including millions killed, injured, displaced and grieving in Iraq. We are traumatized by the loss of our servicemen and women, our spouses and siblings and neighbors, including untold thousands who have returned with brain damage and/or psychologically shattered. We are traumatized by knowing how our vets are treated when they come home."

"...That was turned into two wars, one of which came with the prisoner torture and sexual abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. American servicemen and women, acting in the name of the American people, paid for with our tax dollars, sodomized and tortured numerous Iraqis, grinning and flashing thumbs up."

"I believe that this was done to taunt the Muslim world; and it was done as a form of psychological abuse and desensitization of the people seeing the images. The message was: get used to it, which shuts down our hearts; and the subliminal message was, don't complain, because you could be next."

"For a last example, there was the horribly botched response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the summer of 2005. The American government proved, paraphrasing The New York Times, that it is utterly incapable of taking care of its people, and we have lived with that knowledge for years. This includes the disgusting, vicious anti-environmental policies of the Cheney-Bush administration, in a time when everyone knows that we have to take care of the planet and its fragile atmosphere."

"...We have now elected a president that the majority of voters seem to feel, at the very least, is a decent and capable guy. He appears to be all there; there is actual consciousness visible behind his eyes. He is capable of speaking in sentences, of doing basic arithmetic and teaching constitutional law."

"He is young enough to have a vision of the future, and to not be stuck in a militant or war hero mentality. I believe he is qualified for the presidency in part because he was not subjected to having his spirit broken at boot camp and being forced to commit murder. His wife is his intellectual and spiritual equal, presented to us as such. I think for everyone, their young children are an exciting and genuinely welcome presence in the White House. And many of us are chuffed that a black family is moving in."

"...We are people too, and more than we have political work to do, we have personal work to do. We need to be more introspective, and understand why we are so prone to cheering on militancy, greed and ignorance. We need to understand why we're so eager to be lied to. We need to understand why we are so easily manipulated. And we need to assess the many festering psychic wounds of the Cheney-Bush years, so they don't run our lives forever."

"What we have witnessed in these past few months is that finally it became easier to say 'I love' than 'I hate'. To me, that is encouraging. "

Obsessive Obama Supporters Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

This is very funny.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Don't Keep Quiet and Fuel Small Mindedness

Five or so things I've noticed lately about polyamorous relationships:

1. Awhile back I was reading the blog of a poly woman where her post for the day was Polyamory is hard! She is the secondary partner to a lover who lives with his primary partner. His primary partner has a secondary partner who is married and lives with his wife. The woman who writes the blog has no other partner. This means that her lover is her primary partner while she is his secondary and she gets lonely at times.

I was recently talking to a friend, another poly woman who seems to consider herself as her lover's secondary partner. Her lover has had another lover of many years. Whether he considers my friend his secondary or not, I don't know, but it's the lack of time that he has available for her that has her aching for a primary partner of her own. I'm not using the word primary here to signify the quality of love felt and expressed between two people. I'm merely describing the time/energy/obligation factor that someone often has tied up with their primary partner and the ensuing commitments that a primary relationship often entails.

From what I've noticed, two people who are in relationship and who have both a primary and secondary lover, and who are both either primary or secondary to each other, seem to adjust better to the juggling of schedules and being satisfied with the amount of time available to spend together. A person with only one secondary partner who is a primary partner to someone else, is apt to experience more yearning for attention when their partner is off busy with other aspects of their life. Throw kids into the mix and more complications arise. The old poly adage is that love is unlimited, time is not.

2. When one is actually living a polyamorous lifestyle, you come to notice that you are having relationships with real people, not just ideas you've concocted in your imagination. This is very different than theoretical polyamory. The way my imagination works is that everything falls into place all on my own terms. I design and develop relationships exactly the way I envision I would like them to be. In my mind, relationships are created and geared totally for me, at my whim. I run the show and get whatever I want. Everything goes my way and everyone is happy giving me exactly what I ask for--and mostly I don't even have to ask, it all just flows my way in a tide of no ebbing.

But being blessed with relationships with real, live, warm blooded others who have their own ideas, agendas, and way of doing things is another animal altogether. It's a beautiful thing that I honor and have welcomed into my life but it's not as easy. There are more complications with the real deal. I am now not the center of my own little poly universe--we are all revolving around each other rather than everyone revolving around me. I do not always get anything and everything that I want. There are all sorts of snags and triggers and truths to be communicated before they get inadvertently swept under the carpet. There is the fine line between accepting people as they naturally are and asking for what I need when what another is giving isn't working so well for me. Communicating with lovers can be tricky. Communicating with a lover's lover can be even trickier. Somethings are just not my business. But then again... Sometimes I just need to let another know that I've been triggered and that I'm dealing with it, and have nothing to request of them. Other times, I need to request something be different. If I ask for something and get a "no" for the answer to my request, then I have to deal with adjusting to that. And what about when agreements are broken? Lord this stuff can go on and on. Polyamory ain't for wimps I'm telling ya. But some people are just so easy going that for them, just about anything goes and they can be happy with just about whatever is. Truthfully, I've had a fairly easy ride lately. Well, that's true and not true, but regardless of what angle I'm currently looking at, I feel incredibly blessed. My life is good and my relationships are making me juicy and I like being juicy. I'm certainly not complaining.

So yeah, considering the preferences, needs, desires and comfort levels of real people as opposed to the imaginary ones I create in my mind who are there solely for my own selfish pleasures, I'm happy to be doing reality. I'm enjoying watching the issues arise and processing through them. It's pleasing to me. This is what I want. It's not always easy but it's good. It's teaching me stuff I want to learn. It's my life. The one I have created. I like living my life. It's not boring that's for sure.

3. I was discussing a past lover with my husband. It was a triad relationship, our first stab at polyamory and we were fairly clueless. We came up with lots of rules and agreements to keep ourselves feeling safe. So we were discussing this lover and the way we treated her, the role she played in our lives as we moved into a sexually open relationship. Like I said, we came up with lost of rules and agreements that were put into place to keep us (that would be me and my husband) feeling safe. What she wanted wasn't considered so much when we came up with our rules and agreements. Well of course she was there of her own accord and she was making her choices too, the best she knew how. But he was the king and I the queen and she was...well, she was our lover who basically didn't have a voice in regards to how things evolved in the relationship. We (King and I) never consciously not considered her or acted inconsiderately of her feelings and desires (she was our family, best friend, and we loved her dearly) but really, for all intent and purposes, we were quite selfish. She used to jokingly and self effacingly call herself Quasimodo (think "almost one") at times, in regards to her relationship with the two us. It was meant to be funny and it was in the way that we played with that concept--sort of a playful mistress/slave role play that was obviously a joke (and yet sort of not) that the 3 of us had fun with. We were definitely in love in a big way and mostly just 3 friends on equal footing doing something rebellious. But she was also dealing with some real pain regarding her secondary status in our unequal triad. We could have handled it better but we were naive. The bottom line was about us as a couple and what the two of us were ready for, what we could handle and what we needed to do to secure the safety of our coupledom. And I'm not saying that this was "wrong". It just was what it was and oftentimes when first opening up a relationship, couples need it to be this way. Especially if one doesn't know any other way to be. Case in point. She didn't know how to do it differently either. The control that I demanded back then was the tool I used to keep myself safe. My other tool was truthtelling. Considering my level of emotional maturity and the skill set I possessed for dealing with my intense emotions and how terrified I was, they worked well to move me through my stuff. I was propelled by my polyamorous purpose, and exhilarated by what I perceived as a spiritual calling. I still see it that way. Fortunately I've been able to release most (not all) of my control issues but I'm sticking with the truth. I understand ego much better now than I did back then.

4. Several years ago a friend commented on the quest for freedom he saw in me and he pretty much hit the nail on the head. When I started on a polyamorous path (I was first attracted to it 24 years ago, talked freely with my husband about open relationships 15 years ago, and then truly ventured into the lifestyle 9 years ago) I didn't know how to articulate what it was about love and freedom that I was seeking at the time but I've since come to realize on a very profound level that true love has freedom at it's core and that is the essence of what polyamory helps to play out for me, this experiencing a love that is brought forth from freedom.

And so here I am today. Reveling in the opportunity to love more than one while being in relationship with real people. And I'm thankful that my ability to do this multi-partnered dance has improved. Somewhat. I suppose it will be a lifelong project.

5. Currently I'm triggered by an aspect of dealing with polyamory in a particular way because it might pose threatening for one trapped in a traditional mindset. The outward expression of my authentic self has always been a bit unusual and odd when compared to "normal society" and I guess I've pretty much preferred just putting myself out there on public display for others to do with me as they will, accept or reject me. It seems to have pretty much worked in my favor. I don't like the idea of loving in secret, or hiding my true nature. That doesn't mean I'm not capable or willing to be discreet, because, certainly there is much in this life that has asked that of me and that I do willingly. I'm not stupid or unreasonable. I can see the benefit in being reserved at times. Nevertheless, it saddens me that the simple act of loving someone can pose a perceived threat merely because it has stepped out of the normal societal monogamous box. I prefer to model loving more freely. I want to bring it out in the open. I want polyamory to be a model for families and I wish for the children of those families to be exposed to it as a viable option. This is the 21st century folks. We get to redefine our relationships anyway we like. Polyamory is not immoral. It's not something to hide. What is it with us? Here in the United States we just elected our first African American president and yet proposition 8 passed in California, banning same-sex marriage. Human potential is so extraordinary and yet we can be so close minded and closed hearted. I don't want to keep quiet and fuel such small mindedness.

But I do respect others choices. I understand. It's not always so simple. I know that. I'm just saying.