Abundance

Oct. 12th, 2016 06:40 pm
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Well now, here I am again, and so soon.

I guess I have some things to say.

I guess I have some work to do.

I'm at one of those places in my life where everything is pointing me to working through something, making some mindful decisions, but where I'm scared because I don't think I can get what I want and I'd hate to choose a thing mindfully and then be left bereft.

Going to school was a risk like that, where I knew I could take my life up in my hands and shape it to get the things I wanted: a home, a permanent garden, some assurance for the future that wasn't dependent on friends liking me and thusly being supportive. I went back to school. I started going away for the summers. I did these things to further my own life. As happens when I work strongly on my life, other things changed. A relationship ended because there was no future for it with this new plan of mine. I met someone else. I met another someone else. And I have met another someone else.

Now.

What can I do with this, and what do I want to do with this?

The most recent someone is a conversationalist. We talk, we overanalyse, we pick things apart. In short, we do a lot of that internal work that I can only do if I'm writing or talking. I haven't been writing lately, but I have been talking. I've been poking around in there.

He posted something the other day about his wife, a fragment of poetry by Elsse Matthessen

"Only another fifty years,"
I say, "and then I promise
to let you go."

It has undone me. It's a couple words that have brought me to the heart of a thing that's been ravelling for awhile.

I have people who have been around for a long time, but the people who have been around forever have moved on, and the people that I meet recently come near and then drift away again, or sometimes are forcibly ejected. Either way, I have not found continuity in relationships. I have not found a relationship that could be made to fit actual-me forward into the future, one where I would not need to make myself smaller or resentful to maintain closeness. I have loved a lot of people; I still do. I enjoy time with people. I like knowing them deeply. But.

But.

I've always wanted someone who knows my context; someone with whom I share my day-to-day until the patterns come clear to both of us; someone I learn to read and who reads me, and who can communicate volumes with a glance across a crowded room with that knowledge. I want... daily routine, not every day but often enough, and mutual caretaking, and the kind of trust that's built on years. I want that, and I thought I had it with Kynnin when I was fourteen, and many of my relationships since I've been hopeful about it.

I am well loved right now. I am so well loved. It feels impossible to turn down a gift like that, and yet I think it's what's giving me the space here to think about what I want.

Maybe thinking about what I want isn't good. I can think it to pieces, after all, and I *want* everything: Josh and our greenhouses and making a pizza oven and a still together and that lovely house (but not Josh who doesn't want other people in his space and cares for me very much but just cannot say yes unless he's sure of logistics when I want someone who is willing to bend logistics for me the way I do for other people?), James who loves me so much and a supportive, nourishing home full of the feeling of family and kindness (but not James who is dependent on me as his whole support network in a northern town and who prefers to background in the world rather than reaching his power out into it when I want someone who proactively creates their life and with whom I perhaps do not share so many activities as all that?), Tucker and who knows what yet with words and poetry and his way of catching the nuances of my meaning and his interest in opening up my insides (but not Tucker who is otherwise committed to his wife and life in Vancouver and who, well, honestly is so new to me I don't even know what else yet but that is a pretty big start). I want someone who takes joy in my poly-ness and who can communicate their needs in a household. I want someone I can hook into for a long time and who puts just as much shoulder against the universe, who pushes hard enough to change it, just like I do: but I want them to do it for me.

And I am not willing to give so much of myself up now as I was, so maybe the cracks will show sooner now, or at least I can't put as much hope in any on thing as I did. I am not willing to take a terrible job I dislike. I am not willing to give up my other loves. I am not willing to sacrifice a home that is open, hospitable, and welcoming. I am not willing to sacrifice my land where I plant trees from which I will, in my lifetime, harvest the fruit. These things are me, and to be permanently partnered would require these things to be loved *as* me, to be accepted as extensions of my actual-self.

I don't know. I mean, I do know. I'm that person for myself, I am my own person. Other people come and go but I am my own heart. I suppose that's sad and huge all at once. I know I haven't met anyone else who would have been as fully up to the task as I have been.

There's more work to be done on this, but this is as far as I can go for now.

it had something to do
with death . . . it had something
to do with love.
-Li-Young Lee

Shapes

Sep. 29th, 2014 07:58 pm
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I am back in the place. I was triggered, I guess. I have spent today in the place I go when triggered. If you're prone to, I guess depression/abandonment stuff, this might trigger you too, so tread lightly. It's "just feelings".
Read more... )
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I'm getting stronger at being myself.

I'm getting better at recognising my patterns, at predicting myself, at shaping the container of my life which I create to better fit my self which I suppose I also create but seem to have less control over. There's a core there I will not change. As time goes by I have less and less will to change it.

Change is inevitable. I'm moving into it with as much measured deliberation as I can muster this time. We'll see how those ripples make their way under my skin over time. School starts in a week and a half. My hobbies are turning under my hand: a little less brewing, a little more cooking, a little more travelling, maybe some sailing. I've changed my financial stuff significantly. I'm nosing back into the kink scene, or rather dipping my pinkie toe back into that pool. Change.

I'm comfort-reading again; burning through the Dresden Files a book or a book and a half a day. Reading is private for me. It takes me to the inside place that's totally walled off from the world, where nothing can get at me. I think I get the kind of rest from it that other folks get from vacations. I don't know if I'm hiding something from myself or just very tired of the world sometimes or maybe it's normal to need or want that escape.

I'm not as willing to eat or hold other people's pain as I have been in the past. I find myself acting straightforwardly more often and managing folks' feelings less now. It's colder towards other people, who have to deal with their discomfort, but gentler to myself. My life is feeling generally less intense than it has in the past, and also more solid. Picture the difference between jumping exhilarating stone-to-slippery-stone across a creek and walking across a solid wooden bridge.

So I think I'm in pretty good shape; not the greatest, but good. But tonight I am lonely.

I think the internet brings loneliness with it. I only had it reinstalled today after a summer away, and only reluctantly because I want to have it for school. But. It came today, and now tonight I feel cavernously empty, sad, like I'm all full of echoes of voices with no flesh to them. This is superstitious thinking, equating correlation with causation, and further ignoring complexities such as the way that writing allows me to recognise my emotions when, without this writing, I might just have been restless and gone for a walk before sleep.

Maybe I've been calm and stable because my emotions have needed to knock pretty loudly to get my attention without this focus?

I've missed rituals that give me time and attention and ability to look into myself. I think I can budget for a couple months of daily yoga again, like I did last winter, and use that repetitive ritual to check in with my body and my mind in a leisurely but frequent way (body and mind, two words as if separate, and yet 'self' seems so vague) to see how I am doing over an extended period of time. I'm not especially sure how I'm doing now, and here school is starting and my relationship is slowly turning towards more serious under my (yes, quite deliberate) touch. Change.

Whatever else I'm feeling, I am feeling so strong lately. So capable. So able to go through life in my own shape, on my own feet, creating my own connections and responding to opportunities as I decide to: not perfectly, but well enough to be mostly happy enough most of the time and sometimes very happy indeed. Strong enough to feel unhappy sometimes, or lonely as now, and almost shrug it off.

I'm afraid of this feeling strong. I'm afraid of having ability and responsibility gathered together in my own hands so completely. I'm afraid of being the one who can steer myself _best_, of not having someone else with the rules book because there are no rules to this game. I always come here to write when I've lost my compass and I'm feeling a little lost tonight.

There's a line from one of my favourite songs of the moment that always destroys me right now:

My first day walking on my own/ Well what if I'd been made that way?

I really am walking so much on my own this year. So much. And it's of my own making: so much effort put into slowly straightening my spine over the years. So much.

I'm rambling now, so I'm going to put the keyboard away. Goodnight.

Sweet dreams.
greenstorm: (Default)
Oh livejournal, I only come to you when I can't find peace. I've been so quiet, that's been a good sign? I've been busy and it's been mostly good if a little overwhelming. But now...

I'm mourning the death of my normality today. Some things have happened. I need to tell you about them.

I read an article about the game Cards Against Humanity this morning. I learned someone I knew relatively distantly, but who'd knit a scarf I own and smiled a lot, died very recently. And my boyfriend doesn't want me to tell his family I'm poly or to go to pride with them (they're in town from the maritimes).

After I reposted that article someone said, 'me too'. And the only thing I'd heard said about it before? 'No one could feel that way'. Well, I feel that way. When you think something that I am or could be is innately hilarious and laugh about it when I'm in the room you hurt me and you lose my trust. Likewise, when you're ashamed of something that I am, when you're hiding it from people, not for my protection or on my say-so but because you don't want to be tarred with the same brush? You hurt me and you lose my trust. That's not a negotiable sentiment. That's the feeling of it.

I feel like I'll never be in a room where people aren't rejecting something that is me with half of their thoughts. I feel (as always, I suppose) that people love the abstraction of how forthright and open and honest I am about myself but don't want the consequences of being that way themselves and want me to hide myself just for them. I feel like I'm inconvenient to everyone except when I'm a symbol or entertainment. I feel like I can't trust very many people to be ok with my being who I am.

Thing is, I'm too invested in being myself at this point to stop. Thing is, you can't love me without loving those other parts of me; I don't know what you're loving then, but it is not me. I'm at a loss for how you could *like* me without being somewhat in line.

The song I'm listening to says 'what if I was made that way?'. I am made this way. I made myself this way if nothing else.

And I'm tired of it, but I can't put who I am away. I can't put it away and I don't want to, because I can trust myself to stand up for myself when I need, to protect myself when I need, and clearly I cannot trust other folks to do that for me. So this is what I get, tired but one foot in front of the other. Forever.

I've spent parts of my life wishing things were "worse" so I could feel like my emotions were legitimate. Dad was horrifyingly emotionally abusive: he ignored me, he said terrible things, he denied my feelings in all cases. I spent years wishing he'd hit me so my feelings that he was doing something wrong would be justified. Poly, sex, gender, orientation, nudism: I'm invisibled, the butt of the joke that friends laugh at, not mentioned, not on the list of choices given me, nothing that's done is a big deal. So I wish sometimes that people would say something truly awful, hit me, attack me so that it would be justified. Because being denied as a human, because not being included, because recieving defensiveness rather than empathy doesn't seem bad enough to justify my feelings.

Except it is. I feel these things, so it is.

And today I'm tired, but I can do nothing about it but go spend a couple days on the ocean with my mom who at the least does not do these things to me, who believes I'm worthy of love as I am, and hope she stays around for a very long time.
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I most often write when I'm lonely and uncertain. I write when the only voice I trust is my own. I write when the alternative of silence is unbearable and when there is no one to listen.

Sometimes I write when I'm happy.

Always I write when I need an anchor, when the storm of my life threatens to blow me far enough away that I'm frightened of it. Love blows me away so hard and so fast that I write of it often.

There's a hollowing-out feeling before the words come. It starts between my floating ribs and crackles like electricity in the cavern behind them up to the bottom of my sternum. So often that feeling comes and I can't find words to release it and I wander through the next few hours hiding it behind my shields, preserving my vulnerable openness from anyone who looks at me in the flesh.

I'm afraid and unanchored tonight. I root myself in action; I find stability in momentum. When the next move is in someone else's hand it's like trying to balance on a bicycle without moving forward. Everything wobbles. I worry that I will fall. And I am so extraordinarily bad at it that even a couple days of waiting for someone else's move can take me apart.

I'm getting good at putting myself back together again. I'm getting good, too, at knowing that however I feel in the moment I *can* put myself back together again. This continual fracture and repair makes me tired, or maybe tonight it's just that I'm tired, but it adds depth to my experience of the world. Each crack is laced over others upon others until the pattern is so intricate that you can stare into it deeper and deeper.

I get lost staring into those patterns.

Oh, this is useless. Words aren't a release tonight. I'll leave you with Li-Young Lee.

This Room and Everything in It

Lie still now
while I prepare for my future,
certain hard days ahead,
when I’ll need what I know so clearly this moment.

I am making use
of the one thing I learned
of all the things my father tried to teach me:
the art of memory.

I am letting this room
and everything in it
stand for my ideas about love
and its difficulties.

I’ll let your love-cries,
those spacious notes
of a moment ago,
stand for distance.

Your scent,
that scent
of spice and a wound,
I’ll let stand for mystery.

Your sunken belly
is the daily cup
of milk I drank
as a boy before morning prayer.
The sun on the face
of the wall
is God, the face
I can’t see, my soul,

and so on, each thing
standing for a separate idea,
and those ideas forming the constellation
of my greater idea.
And one day, when I need
to tell myself something intelligent
about love,

I’ll close my eyes
and recall this room and everything in it:
My body is estrangement.
This desire, perfection.
Your closed eyes my extinction.
Now I’ve forgotten my
idea. The book
on the windowsill, riffled by wind . . .
the even-numbered pages are
the past, the odd-
numbered pages, the future.
The sun is
God, your body is milk . . .

useless, useless . . .
your cries are song, my body’s not me . . .
no good . . . my idea
has evaporated . . . your hair is time, your thighs are song . . .
it had something to do
with death . . . it had something
to do with love.

Li-Young Lee
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If the year is any kind of metaphor at all this is the bottom of it.

I'm dragging my demons down towards the darkest days. I feel like nothing but a collection of screaming broken things. It's chaos in here; I try the carrot, I try the stick, still it's just one long careening jostling flight and I am being taken somewhere. I am not doing the taking right now, not driving this chariot but instead being driven and steering only when I'm not too busy holding on.

I was so proud of myself just a few weeks ago for driving with such a firm hand. It was good then.

Now.

Well, now I remember there are times when I can't always be in flight from these things. There are times when I have to practice surrender, when I have to accept and listen because that dark seething mass is me. Somewhere in there is the whisper of what I want, of what I should do. Unless I sit quiet with all this I can't hear it and I have no direction to go.

It's just so hard to stop running, to sit down and open my arms to these things. I hurt people; I want the wrong things too hard and I don't want the right things at all; I am not enough for anyone unless I am too much for them. I love things that pass away into the darkness forever and eventually become lost even to memory.

Before, my counselor asked how it would feel if I could move through the world not worried about letting people down and giving them what they needed, if I could just worry about what I wanted and needed. It took me a long time to answer him, because I was busy crying. It honestly had not occurred to me before. I feel like I need someone else's help to find that balance, to begin to know where it's alright to leave someone's needs and where it's not. Should it be a negotiation each time?

There are weeks of darkness yet before the sun returns; long enough to look this thing right in the face. First, though, work and getting through this weekend.
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You've held me for years now. I came to you in the dark, going into winter, and it's coming out of winter into the chinese new year, the one set during the first real feel of spring, that I'll leave you.

There were days in there where I thought we'd never leave but just go on wearing our comfortable habits each into each until we fit perfectly. I've never been the only person who gets to make that choice, though.

People come and go and come again and go, again. My moods, my goals, my desires: they shift and double down on themselves and fade like cream just poured into coffee, swirling and spinning and blending finally one into the other. You are distinct from those. You've been there when I've wanted you, protective and never startling, a shell to keep the storms and the bright sun off in equal measure when shelter was needed. You've been there when I would have rejected you. When I doubted my own sufficiency you challenged me and, when I met that challenge, gave me something at least I could do well enough in my life for someone or something.

I am never too much for you, nor too little. I never worry that I'll do or say something wrong in regards to you, because you are supremely mine in a way no person can be. We dress up together sometimes, or dress down and have a party, maybe with friends and waffles and cartoons or maybe just with tea and muffins as the rising sun crawls through the room.

I know your secrets, you see. I know how at certain times of year, when the sun is low and there is so much dark in the world, you let light all the way inside just for a few minutes every morning to dance across the furthest recesses of your kitchen. I know how during the summer you hunker down and barely let the high sun in at all, but shoot strong cool breezes at that one courtyard window that will chill down the whole house if I work with you. I know the knocking sound of your fireplace starting up and the ticking of gas feeding the flames and the way pools of warm and cool air collect, each in its own room.

I can walk through you at night with my eyes closed and never miss a step.

But: you have always been another's, and it is to that other you will return. My beer and bookshelves will vanish, replaced by her potpourri scents and framed photos. Your kitchen will fall silent. You will recede into memory, fading finally into part of the person who comes after me as you are part of me now. I in turn will go on and fit my skin into another space, will bless another set of walls with my music and my tears, will expand into another shell that will eventually hold me as you do now.

Thank you for everything. You have been very good to me. May it go as well for us both as it has so far, if not better.
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When I was in my last counseling appointment, he asked if I felt less security when I wasn't in a long-term full-time pair-bonded relationship. It's one of the things that stuck with me from the session, that I wanted to chew on a little.

I haven't been doing much chewing. Now my nose is getting forced into it.

At the time I said I felt less secure in my last relationship and maybe what I meant is I felt less safe; I couldn't freely be myself without expecting negative consequences. As for secure, it may be safe to say that I feel secure when I retain control over my time and my feelings, when I know that I am wanted and important to folks, and when situations line up with my expectations. That last is not quite predictability, but not far from it.

And I feel like my task right now is to practice doing what I want to do. It's to say yes when I want a thing, and when I'm uncomfortable with something it's not to put up with it, but is instead to learn to walk away. It's to take control of my time and energy, not to surrender it all to creeping obligation and perceived (or real) expectation.

So: listen to your heart, Greenie. Not to habitual actions. Not to obligations. Not to making people happy. And fergawdsakes, it's okay not to trust folks, and it's okay to ask clear questions, and it's okay to call folks on bullshit. Spend time with people you love, who make you happy, doing things that make you happy (and not weirdly angsty all the time). And you may want to consider re-instituting the two hours max of angst per day thing. You're too tired for this, and you deserve to relax a little.

Mute

Oct. 4th, 2013 06:12 pm
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I still feel it peeking around the edges. It comes when it's inconvenient: when I'm in a crowd of strangers stuck on a rush-hour skytrain, when someone who would be inconvenienced by my breaking down is speaking of something altogether else. I am, of course, a fucking world champion of stoneface when I need to be. I spent many years breaking down that skill, living outside of it, and now a year or two of practice and it's walled me inside.

Inside, outside, apart. I don't know. Metaphor breaks down and I am apart from myself.

I sometimes use music as a tool to break through this. I have not done that. When I had finished the tattoo sitting and Angus came in and I was worn out from resisting the pain I knew it would break when I looked up into his face (so warm! and I can be so, so cold) and it did, but only for a moment.

I think I am avoiding it. I am avoiding some people, for sure, because I'm afraid of being inconvenient. My pain very much wants to be inconvenient, it wants to be a storm or a flood and it won't thus far be contained in a quiet room where I can sit patiently and wait it out.

I find myself fantasizing about a good top who cares about my well-being, someone who could draw the pain out of me (it wouldn't take very much; physical pain is a very open gateway here. I amost broke down in the doctor's office when she drew blood) and revel in the process, who could a big enough, sure enough safe space to contain the storm the first time until it passed a little. I have even thought of asking some people.

But while my pain wants to be inconvenient, I do not. And. I. Feel. Inconvenient.

I guess that's my word right there. Other people don't like to be called bad, or wrong, or irresponsible, or whatever that trigger is that's been built into them. This is the trigger that's been built into me surfacing right now.

It occurs to me that I should think of ways I'd like to feel, words of power for myself. I've been trying during these last two paragraphs to think. I don't want to be necessary, helpful, needed, not even really desired. But-- wanted. I want to be wanted. I want to be liked. I want to be cared-for and cherished. Interesting comes and goes. Correct I reject wholeheartedly. Admired? Yes. I like being fascinated by myself, but not fascinating. I like feeling interconnected, I can tolerate feeling self-sufficient (that is where I'm sliding, these days).

And, I like to feel... sufficient. Enough. For everyone, myself included and especially.

Wanted and sufficient. I'll think about that more later, but for now I will feed myself like a good girl and go curl up under the protection of Kynnin, he who has loved me longest and knows as much about my history as anyone. I am enough for him as I am, and he will not allow me to be inconvenient. So there we are. Maybe I will even, finally, be able to cry a little.

Interior

Sep. 24th, 2013 12:50 pm
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I used to be very good at vulnerability, here and elsewhere in my life. It comes much harder for me now.

The essence of vulnerability is tearing down walls and expectation. It's putting out what's really there. In that way it's easier as an objective process, easier with a little emotional distance.

The thing is, I have no emotional distance from myself. I love my life, very much. I'm invested in it remaining, and vulnerability threatens that.

Still, trying to be right, proper, good all the time, it's tiring. Then I come here to write and nothing really happens.

With the end of the relationship with Blake, and during it to some extent, I was told some things -- in anger -- by a smart person who was motivated to get a reaction from me. At the time it was ridiculous, but those words do sink in. I don't want to allow him power, but sometimes power can be taken, and I don't think I'm doing myself any favours by pretending it away.

I actually wrote a post awhile ago, letting my own voice stand, but I think maybe it's time to put some of the received messages out there. Many are contradictory to my experience of my own life, but they whisper loudly some days.

It's not fair to one person I love if I also love other people
No one will ever be able to wholeheartedly love me if I do not return the favour
Love creates obligation
Other people deserve my presence and attention
Sex is not its own purpose, but instead a powerful currency
Sex is disgusting
Sex is all-powerful
A physical connection between people is dirty, wrong, or something of which to be ashamed
Love is diminished through being shared
Comparison can only diminish the things being compared
I have never experienced real love
I am not capable of empathy
It's not real love unless you deny important parts of yourself to enable it
Nobody could love me, but instead keep me around in the hopes of easy sex
Sex creates obligation for continuation of the same
Thinking before I act is manipulation
I am selfish and heedless of what others need
I ask for too much
I give too little
I am diminished by the company I keep


It's a heavy list, and there's a lot more in there. I'm still mostly numb as I write it. I can see these things in my mind but I'm too exhausted to care about them.

And really all this is mostly setup. The punch line, the one that makes me so tired I can barely write, that shuts my eyes and sends me curling into bed, is that I love people, plural, quite a lot, and that I want them to love me. And of course there's some of that happening now, with the heavy curtain of guilt at all my actions lifted. Despite explicitly negotiating that it was okay for me to be like this from the very beginning (and how is that a thing to negotiate, rather than 'should we be together given that I am like this?') I've spent so much time worrying, fearing, and so very much time guilting almost every time I received a text message from a person of potential attraction, hugged a friend, thought fondly of someone... oh gods, guys, I'm too tired to follow my own sentences from beginning to end, but I want to get this out there. I refuse to keep it in here much longer.

I don't think he was ill-intentioned. How could this have happened? How could we not at least have parted sooner, with less destruction all 'round? Is he really damaged, or just... hardened, grown a carapace to protect what he always was?

How do I avoid this again? What do I even want, now that the world is spreading out in front of me? How can I avoid the 'who' of what I want stealing away the 'what' again?

Oh, I give up for today. Be well.
greenstorm: (Default)
I am not sleeping much.

I feel flayed, skin bleeding pain or poetry or even strength sometimes.

I have tons of people I can reach for at any time, and I have been. This resource feels inexhaustible right now.

I am not inexhaustible right now. I am so so so tired, and I want a home that's mine to crawl into, shape to my skin, and fall asleep in. Blake was going to be gone last night -- he'd asked that I not share a bed, so I found a place where I wouldn't be leaking pain all over him. Now he says one more night, but-- I'm not sure I can be gone again.

I guess all things will come in time. Again, just one more day.

Work is hard right now. Doing things that isn't being close to trusted people is hard right now. My life is changing a lot and it's hard to be out of shelter.

So many people love me it's impossible and amazing and shelter is so easy to come by. I need to make sure I don't escape to it too often.
greenstorm: (Default)
Unique access to my cunt does not make you a special snowflake. You do that yourself
I am larger when shared
I disappear into screaming resentment when hoarded
You don't share me or have me. Only I do that
There will always be moments I like other people more than you
There will be lots of time I don't think about you during most days
I will always love plants more; they're more patient than you
Being with me will not fulfill your escapist fantasies
Just because it's different doesn't make it better than what you're used to
Nudity is not sexy
A good conversation is second only to a good orgasm denial story for turning me on
I cannot be reductionist about bodies
I am a very tiny raindrop in a very big ocean. So are you. Get some perspective
I don't have to like you. I don't have to talk to you
Love exists as much as any other idea, like money or weather or indoorsness
I do good things as much for my own conscience as for the joy of doing them. Not out of the belief it will "fix" things
I'm as much a hypocrite as anyone, and that's ok
I dislike unexamined hypocrisy
Sex is a process between people, not a thing. When I am sex to you, I am nothing
Get over yourself
Then present yourself unashamed but humble; we are our own biggest lifeworks
Everyone has limited XP, and they put it in their own places
greenstorm: (Default)
I could never write when you were around.

Now you're gone I don't want to write a eulogy.

So I won't.

I haven't lived this long without learning that it's what I do that happens. If I get up in the morning, I'm the kind of person that gets up in the morning. If I bite back my tears my skin turns to rock.

Still, you've stolen my words for so long. I'm sitting in our shell, my home has always been my outer skin to invite people in to but you curled up like a parasite at my invitation and then started hardening the walls.

Sweetheart, I don't have walls. I have a skin. You know what comes through skin? Sweat when I am afraid, perfume when I am happy, and needles when you throw them at me. Long ago I decided my skin was not there to keep people out. Instead I awkwardly began to use my surface for touching, for welcoming, for the intimate rhythms of reassurance and communication and in doing that I opened myself.

Now my skin is as permeable as the surface of water: it's better to call it cohesion than constraint. By opening, over and over, I called this self into being until I had enough gravity to hold myself together.

I need to tell you that this decision is not hysteria. This is all me, together, agreeing with my own gravity.

I need to tell you that when you throw your needles, trying to puncture my skin and let yourself in, what they are hitting is not alterable surface but bedrock.

My love, you are already in. Your self is already in. I just don't understand what you're doing in here.

It looks to me like your only goal is to remake me in some image. Whose, or what image, I have never managed to guess. I have asked you to tell me.

I wish I could tell you a secret here. Tell you that I have so many images I still want to share with you, tell you that I want you embedded so deeply in my future that maybe we sometimes forget where one skin lets up and the next one begins. But I've already told you that secret, dear one, and all the other secrets I know.

What you do with them, that's what happens next.

Trouble?

Jan. 22nd, 2012 03:44 pm
greenstorm: (Default)
Well.

I've been amazing at getting my life in order since I started this livejournal years and years ago. I know the sort of things that make me happy, I know what I'm interested in. I've become more competent at doing things I want to be competent at, and at making my life more livable. I go ahead and do the things I want to do, if not fearlessly, then at least with fewer worries about being "good enough" or "able to".

From a relatively isolated state I have developed an enormous host of wonderful, diverse, amazing people in my life who support me. I have become better at the subtle interpersonal compromise and acceptance that leads to long-lasting and resilient interrelationships. I'm better at knowing where my boundaries are, where my desires are... And have I mentioned I'm more confident? ;)

I still have a problem, though. When someone in my life wants "less" of something I'm good at dealing with that; I have lots of good stuff in my life, I like my people to be happy, and when they go off to do things that make them happy I'm happy for them. No fooling.

When someone in my life wants "more" of something, though, especially "more" time, commitment, or intimacy... that's where I have trouble saying no. Sometimes it's because I feel emotionally responsible for my close friends and sexual partners, not all the way but often. Sometimes it's because I'd "like" to spend that time but have a rather flat priority scale after school and work, so it's easy to accumulate more equal priorities than I have time for. Sometimes it's because I feel like I need "a good reason" that isn't just "I don't entirely feel like it right now" or my desire on that front is less valid than the person who wants things from me. Sometimes it's because I feel if I don't take up my opportunity Right Now I won't get it again (though less and less). And sometimes it's because I don't have the energy or desire to deal with any pain someone might have around rejection or scaling back, even if it isn't a large-scale or overall thing but just a "sometimes" thing.

I'm finding that's true in a number of my sexual relationships or connections right now, and it's worst where I see someone the most. That is to say, it's worst with Blake, less of a thing with Angus, and tapers off sharply after that.

And... you've seen this coming, right? ...Blake just doesn't have good communication/emotion management skills. So my hesitancy is being reinforced here. We're getting sucked into the spiral of arguing more, of my backing off physically and of my wanting to spend less time with him, of that making him feel more insecure and needy... you all know how bad relationship cycles go.

I like this guy a lot, in the beginning the relationship was a lot of fun, but now my life is probably less enjoyable than if I weren't seeing him. I'm not sure how to tell if this is a little blip or a trend or what. It's impacting school. It's impacting my *health*, fer gawdsakes.

And I no longer know, if I ever did, what I should expect or ask for in a healthy relationship. I mean, I know reactively: someone who can support themselves, who isn't extremely depressed, who can shoulder their end of the physical costs of life is necessary for me right now. But emotionally, what's the bar for ok? How many nights of staying up late arguing? How many boundaries bent (or do we call that compromise)? How much yelling? How much listening to deliberately painful rhetoric?

I'm starting to argue back, sharply, sometimes hurtfully. That's something Angus and Michael had trained me out of; they were nearly always considerate and careful with their communication, so I was considerate and careful back. Now that skill is eroding as it feels, not just devalued, but like a losing strategy in what's increasingly becoming a zero-sum game.

So this is no good. And I don't know what to do. Counselling? Cut it off? Reduce the facetime sharply and see if that makes things better? As with all my relationships this one grew at an unmoderated pace and it's harder to put the genie back in the bottle than not to take it out so far in the first place.
greenstorm: (Default)
Failure is rarely an option for me nowadays. I've lived a bunch of my life gently, allowing myself weakness when I have it, sometimes perhaps over-indulging in things like calling in sick to have sex or backing out of interpersonal confrontations.

I still try to live the relationship side of my life gently now that I've learned how, spending time with people who are good for my soul.

At the same time I have a rigorous schedule that leaves no leeway for my humanity.

For instance, I've been working and going to school both near full-time and keeping the rats and two boyfriends and something of a social life on the go. That translates to between 20 and 30 classroom hours per week, 12-15 hours of commuting per week, 30-ish to 35 hours of work per week, plus one day per week rat cage cleaning and whatever the people stuff adds up to, plus of course all the cleaning stuff.

I keep myself going in a number of ways. Some are gentle: I put something shiny in the next week or so, and I work hard to get through the week to it; I support myself and encourage myself and tell myself that I'm awesome and accomplish a lot; I pay attention to beautiful things around me and let them inform me of my right and fitting place in the struggles of this world. Often this is all it takes.

Some ways I get through are less gentle: I tell myself how badly people will be let down if I don't do something; I give myself a little time to break down and then remind myself that no one's interested in interacting with me if I cry and whine all the time; mostly I just keep working, through the dark part, through irritation to mental fury, through my brain spitting bile and insults at every contact, through fantasies of great pain or bodily harm to myself or people around me, through everything my mind can send at me I just go from task to task to task. I get things done and let my mind gibber.

There's sometimes a price for being harsh on myself. I begin to lose faith in the givingness of the world. I begin to forget what happiness tastes like and why I would desire any sort of human connection. Finally, pushed too far, my mind short-circuits and leaves me suspended and hanging in an abyss of static, snarling at any intrusion of consciousness.

Things fix this. Time to myself abates it; time with people I love, touching and being touched, talking and being talked to, draws me back into the wonderful parts of the world and gives me reasons for continuing on this path. I can recover quickly, especially if I haven't pushed too far, but I do need time to recover.

This month it feels like I don't have time to recover. I think I have a total of three or maybe 4 days that don't contain work, school, or most often a combination of both. Many of these are 14-hour days. There just isn't enough space.

I'm coming to my computer as a blank screen, to livejournal as a space that doesn't talk back. My own voice will heal me, I hope, that first increment so I can reach out to people for a little more contact. It seems to be working; allowing these feelings and these words to be of value, even if only to myself, is pushing me erratically from blankness through furious anger and towards tears.

It's a funny balance there, actually, seesawing between anger and compassion at myself for this barren painful feeling. It wobbles back and forth from one second to the next. I let it happen, no sense wishing it was some other thing.

That's enough writing for now, I suppose.
greenstorm: (Default)
Oedipus on Mother's Day by Donald Illich

Hallmark sells no cards for our situation.
I scan the aisle looking for a bittersweet

spot between those for wife, those for
mother. Wife seems too affectionate,

while son feels kind of reserved. I should
kiss you on the cheek when I've seen you

naked, lots of times? Or sit on your lap?
But I'm a big boy now, as you know,

probably too much so. I did find one
for Dad, actually, an apology to you.

A baby on the front accidentally spills
his pudding. A rainbow word balloon

yells, “Oops!” Inside, a puppy licks up
the drops. The text: “Accidents happen.

I hope you can forgive me.” We'll try
to pretend they're not blood. Let's admit,

though, you're glad I'm back this day.
Once you winced at brunch specials

and mimosas, visited places mothers
wouldn't be: sci-fi conventions, cock

fights, rugby matches. We can go out
together on a date, act as if we have

a child at home, baby sat by shepherds,
never left alone, exposed to elements.

Indifference will never be a problem
for us. The only curse we have is love.


That was the poem this morning. I liked it; it suits me: the only curse I have is love.

I've been living on my own for three days. Tonight will be the first night I sleep alone. You might think those previous nights don't count, but already I've learned that if there's no one to protect from my grief by living with me I cry aloud and talk to myself.

The secret to surviving the world is not really ever quite believing in it. Believe around corners, believe at the edges, but never confront the full unflinching weight of it. Douglas Adams said "the one thing you can never afford to have in this world is a sense of proportion". How do we think of his books as comedy?

When I'm alone and crying in the interstice between work and school (I always watch the clock: it's 2:52 and I should be leaving, but can stretch it till 4:30 if I need to) I listen to the things I say: first, into my palms with my face in my hands, I say: okay. Okay. This is how I try to surrender resistance. If there's no resistance there's no pain, is there?

But this isn't about ego. That was crushed out of my quite some time ago.

Next I say, over and over: fuck. I try it louder: FUCK. More quietly, testing: oh fuck. I always wanted to learn to swear well and never did. I thought that colourful language might open me up, vent this pressure inside and release it. I never did learn, but right now suspect it wouldn't help.

I'm too old to pull the darkness all the way over my head and disappear into it. I'm too old to dissolve. All I can do is sit here, in pain, and tell myself that's the way life is. There's no one who would argue with me. We've all been here; we almost all will be here again.

I live in the future, in expectation and in dreams and desire. This hauls me forward along with whatever weights I choose to drag with me along whatever paths I choose to beat through the unknowns of my life. This is why my fingers seek the keyboard so urgently now, why words explode and then falter in a counterpoint to the sobs I have no reason to stifle.

You aren't in my future. I'm not in yours. We've agreed on that time and time again. And I've tried to be open to you despite that, to not fear severance and the pain that will come with it.

Here it is, a moment of pain in a long life. In a month or a year it'll be just that, a moment, and return with less urgency each time I see it. I know that. I've been here before.

And I know too that maybe the point where your life diverges is not this week but later, weeks or months or even years down the road. Who knew this would go on so long, after all, haphazard and circumstantial as it is? And so in this writing I come out of the future where we have already had our last kiss and into the present where neither of us know. I suppose that's always the present: assumptions, but no knowledge of what comes next.

The pain is fading in my ribcage, leaving bruises where it forced itself huge against the bone, and leaving an afterimage.

If I look at the clock (3:14) I don't even have to see it.

I'll sit here looking at the clock for a few more minutes before I leave for school.

Oh no.

May. 2nd, 2011 10:46 pm
greenstorm: (Default)
The NDP is sort of the soul of Canada, so that's good, and Jack Layton's a hard worker. And Elizabeth May's official now and has a good tongue on her.

But this is a terrible, terrible result. I'm not saying this from a partisian perspective exactly: I value a mosaic of voices. Conservatives too, even though I'm pretty left (I like bits of NDP, Libs, and Greens). Stephen Harper, however, is... something else.

I'm a student.
I'm going to work in an environmental field.
I'm a poor person.
I'm queer.
I'm a woman.
I want the right to partake in abortions.
I'm an environmentalist.
I believe in social safety nets, health care, etc.

...I'm in trouble.
greenstorm: (Default)
That's what ee cummings said. In whole, he said:

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands


On the weekend I fell open, as I do. Now? Now I'm trying to shut again, to form the steel cladding that lets me batter through the difficulties in my life, to slice away tangental arcs with the laser of focus, to make myself into the enactor of my life instead of the receiver only.

Today has been strange. God has been coming to me all day, singing through me at work and on the evening walk home from school. I soar and dive through music and sunshowers, and my soul can be, while not wholly controlled, at least somewhat guided by my touch.

I remember that I am made of love. I have been so practical of late, all logistics and scheduling and risk-return calculations. My follies have been premeditated, consequences accepted before they begin, and the dangers constrained to reasonable limits.

Today the love is pouring out of me, and at the same time I'm trying to close up. A man in a maintenance coverall with the name "Krishna" on his tag told me to take off my coat because spring was coming. "Look," he said, "my coat's already off." It's a hard spring here though, and I need to keep going through it.

I was chatting online (o, how little sustenance that really is for a soul) last night with Andrew about dating patterns. I was more than a little cynical last night. Those phrases came back to me: the revolving door of my heart, my love's tendency to prey on the innocent. It's when I feel love in me the strongest that I worry about it the most: when my whole body is stood on edge, when I can feel ship's cables stretching out of my chest, when the skin on the back of my upper arms prickles and something dark sits in my throat. That's when I make poor decisions, it's when I surrender good sense, it's when the ground-glass dervish that serves me for a heart gets put between the millwheels once more. I'm no longer sure it's when I'm most alive.

I was circling in on somewhere within me but it's too dark for me to go there now. See, my focus is returning; I need to leave for school in 9 1/2 hours, I can't be self-indulgent. I'm treating myself like I would treat a lover: diverting, edging the mood up and away, distracting a little, not following it deep where damage might lie.

I'll leave you with Li-Young Lee, who in the poem which sticks to my thoughts more than any other, said

useless, useless . . .
your cries are song, my body’s not me . . .
no good . . . my idea
has evaporated . . . your hair is time, your thighs are song . . .
it had something to do
with death . . . it had something
to do with love.


It had something to do with death.

It had something to do with love.

So Much

Mar. 22nd, 2011 11:49 pm
greenstorm: (Default)
I have so much to say. Some of it is secret. Some of it is private, the kind of thing that shrinks from the light. Some of it is personal. All of it is intimate, but that's my schtick, isn't it? I'm intimate at you. You lap it up.

And right now I'm bitter about that. Not deeply bitter, but there's an edge there. You know I'm wearing Michael's prayer beads around my neck tonight. I've had them... for awhile, he didn't wear them anymore and I kept them just for the scent, just for a little while, and the way the clatter and click of them transports me to sharply erotic scenes between the two of us. This is the first time I've worn them not being in his presence, and I wear them because I'm praying. The scent, the sound: these are reminders that I don't need of things that don't often trouble me anymore. Tonight they trouble me. I expect they will for some time.

I don't know what I'm praying for. I know who I'm praying for: Michael and his dad. I don't know who or what I'm praying to. I would be hard-pressed, tonight after a long day, to define praying in a way that satisfied myself, let alone you.

Nothing worth having is easy to lose. Nothing worth having comes without some risk of loss. It's not only intuitive but also starting to be science that losing something makes it more worthwhile. None of that matters in the face of a loss. Words are little pieces of black ribbon that flutter away in the wind.

Loss drives the world. Death is the fuel that drives the engine of change. That engine is how we get anywhere. It's ironic that the process of getting somewhere new can so often destroy the desire to be anywhere at all.

The world is good to live in. It's beautiful, engrossing, vibrant. It's also terrible, unfair, pointless, and painful. For every thrumming, sweeping moment of rightness and joy there is that beat-down misery somewhere. I've never been able to reconcile that. For myself I don't have to: I live in the extremes, I live in the textural differences. I may not always enjoy it, but I know these things are what sustain me.

I don't know what I'm saying. These words are pulling out of me, cryptic enough to leave them safe, I think, but not quite strong enough to crash through this bad taste left in my mouth. Loving someone ineffectually isn't loving them at all. We can never change someone else, not really, and we can't fix anyone else. Where does that leave love?

Some nights I wish I really was a force of nature, a wave to sweep everything away, a rock to anchor to. Instead I end up being only human. I can cherish that, allow that it lets me wrap myself up with other humans, enmesh and intermingle my life as I need to, as I want to. Then something happens and I'm left only human and, sometimes, there is regret.

I don't know what more to say. Goodnight.
greenstorm: (Default)
Everything you know about the world is a lie. Everything you know about yourself is a lie. You tell yourself these lies (you call them stories) to make the world seem explicable.

The world is not explicable. It can be packaged, wrapped, sent, received, and exclaimed over but we are only pretending that the world at the end of the process has a connection to the world at the beginning.

You won't get at the truth of things. You know that. You don't even really try most of the time. You won't get a valid explanation. But you also won't get meaning if you don't make meaning here.

Greenie, your life is stories. You tell others stories and that's how you communicate. You tell yourself stories and that's how you think. Right now your story is that, seven days ago nearly to the hour he told you that you were too much time and energy for him to deal with, that he was quickly losing interest, and that he spit you out of his life like squeezing the soap in the shower and you went careening off and bouncing against the walls. Now you lie over the drain, eroding.

Right now your story is that he's still too goddamn walled off to deal with real help so when he asked you to go over and snuggle -- after telling you he would not do the same for you -- he was taking advantage of you and he's a bit of a jerk for that.

You've got a simultaneous story running. That story is about connection. That's the story where you are a strand in a web, and everyone else is also a strand in that web. That story is where when one person goes down the other strands take the pressure for that person, the net flexes and eventually rebounds. That story is where you are a strand that does not break.

In your third story you're hanging from fraying ropes and he's just handed you an anvil.

You've had so many stories where in the end the hero rides off into the sunset and is never sen again unless you steal a horse and frantically chase after, leaving your own life behind. You've had so many stories where distance is the last sentence. In your stories of yourself you're not interesting enough to keep people nourishing you. In your stories of yourself you demand too much and people go away and they are never close to you again. You don't trust yourself to live a story where you maintain connection without sacrifice.

You don't believe life happens without sacrifice. You believe some sacrifices are much more pleasant than others.

Your lie to yourself is that, because you like someone or find them valuable in your life, that it means something. That's where you find your meaning. Your experience, though, is that how you feel towards people maybe isn't based on anything reciprocal at all. It's not based on their innate goodness for you or their ability to compliment your strengths or teach you things from the way they move through their lives. Your experience is that people come and go and you have no control over that regardless of how much or how little of yourself you give.

You would find it morally repugnant to be emotionally closed to a friend for more than a month or two. You open around people and there's no help for that. God knows you've tried. But also, in a world where you manufacture your own meanings, there is nothing wrong with that. You think that if you call this one way or the other instead of rolling with it you'll lose it, but the liklihood is that you'll lose it anyhow. That's always been the story. You might as well lose it so that you can write meaning into the story.

I understand, though, that then we'd just be writing the same story we've written before: the story where in order to get someone to engage on some level you threaten to go away otherwise. That's the story where you're demanding, the other person is acceding because they don't want to lose you in their lives completely, where you're leveraging any power you have. That's a terrible story and it makes you feel bad. It makes us feel bad.

These are strange seas. I see you're drowning. I guess I'm not much help. I'm not much of a liar. I sat down to write you a brightly-coloured lifesaver to throw you and we've ended up with this swirl of ashy confusion. You can taste the grit between your teeth and it gets in your throat and chokes each gulp of air.

People say it gets better, and it will get better, but you so badly want to live each moment of your life. You don't want to passively wait through it. I understand that. I also understand that sometimes pain and loss is too much, it's just... too much. You've been fantasizing about cauterization lately, about just going in with focus and burning each memory our as painfully as possible until it's all gone. You want it gone. You won't want to have lost it, though.

I'm no help. I have no answers. I'm just the other side on your mental debate on this and it's clear that writing me down doesn't make anything more obvious except that we are, in fact, confused and in pain.

I guess I should stop answering you now. I don't want to, though. It's lonely with no one to talk to.

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