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So I've been habitually posting on weekends. Then Dave came up for a weekend, then I went to a music festival for a weekend. This coming weekend my mom is coming to visit, and the one following that I'm going to hang out with a new um-maybe-friend in Williams Lake and eat oysters and see what physical proximity does to our interaction, then the one following that I'm heading to the Mission Folk Fest, and then to the other side of Canada for the first time to visit Nova Scotia with Dave. So there's a lot to catch up on, obviously, and I may not update lots.

I do, however, have lots of things going on in my head.

The level of casual friendly to strangers here is about the same as the level of casual friendly in Vancouver to someone you've been introduced to through a friend but not previously spoken to much. It's turned up a notch from Vancouver-stranger. I like it. It's ok to talk to folks, coworkers are more invite-able to things, every interaction is just a little bit closer or at least allows for more than the equivalent one in the city.

One of the fun/frustrating things about sex is that you basically reinvent it with each person (unless I guess you wanna follow the standard het escalator vanilla template?). You never quite know what's coming down that pipe.

The Smithers music festival was fun; it had more different types of music than I was expecting. I went up with two co-workers, Jeremy who was the instigator and who's my fellow summer hire, and Brett. It was nice to hang out with them some; they definitely viewed it as a drinking/hanging around experience, and were maybe slightly distressed that I wouldn't accept drinks. Thy hung out in a group together; I realized I'm maybe more independent than I think I am, an definitely moreso than my twenty-year-old self could have understood. I danced a bunch and stayed in a tent. It was really, really good for me. I discovered a couple local bands, one called Black Spruce Bog who write about things like salmon and who might play over here in Fort St James in the fall.

Instead of getting a ride home with my co-workers, I caught a ride with the okc person I met a couple weeks ago. It was basically an excuse to talk, and talk we did... and then the next night we spoke on the phone pretty late too. He lives about four hours away, towards Vancouver, so he's not entirely local, but he's close enough for visits. I'm enjoying the feeling of spark with someone. We'll see where this goes.

Interest in someone else is definitely making me miss Dave extra-much-a lot. Poly is always like this for me; my desire for long-term/current partners always flares up when I find a new connection elsewhere. I love how contrasts highlight each person's individuality. So even though Dave was just here, the separation is hard right now. I just got extended at work, so I'll be here, likely, till November. That's a long time to be away, and I guess that's also hitting me.

I have no idea what will happen in the future. My original goal taking co-op at school was to do a co-op term in a different place each time, to get to know different parts of BC and see where I wanted to end up. I really like it up here, though, I like the company I work for and I like the town. I likely could come back next summer no problem; it wouldn't let me go work on the coast or Vancouver Island to check them out. It's really far to visit.

I don't know.

An 8 month/4 month lifestyle split between locations is maybe even possible for awhile. Do I want that? It's early to tell. I need to sit with it. But, it's definitely in my mind as a possibility.

We'll also see how I feel about the town and the job in six months when I'm not flush with the novelty of it, or when the winter comes. If I'm here during snow, I've promised myself I'll learn to cross-country ski on the lake. How out of character is that?

Everyone here is really outdoorsy, not the Vancouver weekend-outdoorsy but they all seem to play on multiple sports teams and kayak and hike and camp all the time, not just once in awhile. And everyone means everyone.

And there are so many places that are logging-road or boat access only that you can go and there are trees and water and no people.

Yeah, typical poly dilemma of always feeling like, even when some things you love are here, others are distant. It's not like I'm any different with places than with people.

I want to write more, I may tonight, but now I have to (get this) clean my room for my mom. Ha. Since I'm going to install her here when she gets here, it likely shouldn't have clothes and sex toys in her way.

I'm really happy here. It's miraculous how repeatable and reliable the method for making me happy is. Outdoors all day, some space, some people, enough sleep.

Be well, folks. Love you.
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"Give me one good reason why I should never make a change"

That's pretty much the intelligible lyric in the long I've got on ultra repeat this week. Here's the thing: change feels less like change lately. The things I do don't penetrate so far under my skin. Circumstances might alter, but however much change there may be, it doesn't touch the core of me. I'm just.... myself, in a slightly different setting. That's not entirely new, but it's becoming dependable. S'kinda neat.

And there has been a lot of change.

I'm back at school (very challenging) and I'm probably going to accompany that with a big lifestyle change: instead of the stable home I've been working on making for the longest time, I'm giving serious thought to giving up my apartment and doing serious camp/bush work over the summer and then coming back to a much less expensive home experience in the meantime. Most of my stuff will probably end up in storage.

I'm piloting mindfully through a relationship, trying pretty hard to avoid coasting through something that's easy or that I like. I'm trying to avoid defaulting to partner status with someone who doesn't fit the things I need from a partner, and who isn't into committing in a similar way that I do.

I'm embracing that I'm a moving target. I think I'm gonna get myself a post office box and give up on changing my address every year or two. I love lots of people. I like lots of things, and need to be occupied with things that offer diversity.

And I think I'm pretty happy. I like change, and I like challenge. I like feeling dirt under my fingernails from scrabbling to hang on to edges.

That said, there are some things I don't like. Time really is at a premium, and money at the same time. That's why I'm thinking of getting rid of my place for something a) cheaper and b) that I don't have to pay for over the summer. School is a giant bureaucracy that generally doesn't give a fuck about anything -- my faculty is small and friendly but I was, for instance, refused service at the UBC clinic for not having my name changed on all my papers since citizenship, and there's stuff with room changes and mandatory courses only offered once a year that's pretty annoying. I don't know many folks at school, nor really feel any warmth towards them, and I haven't had time for my own friends.

But all-in-all, I'm enjoying my life, not sharply and intensely but quietly. I enjoy anticipation of things: I'll walk along the water and feel such a strong longing to be on a boat that completes itself in the glow of knowing I soon will be; I start gooseberry wine and have such an intense curiosity for how it will turn out; I look forward to the wilderness swallowing me up next summer and to the friends I'll make and to the sex I seldom have time for these days. Anticipation has always been one of my strongest emotions and it's pleasantly employed these days.

I'm enjoying my body, liking the feel of doing yoga again and also navigating the strange waters of dressing myself for days I don't need to wear a uniform and feeling myself as embodied in a large group of mostly very normal strangers.

I'm experimenting with kink and with various forms of intimacy and asking for what I need emotionally. I'm experimenting with where patience feels good and where it doesn't.

I'm reading on social justice when I have the wherewithal.

I'm practicing being mutually supportive adults, especially with Dave: I help him evaluate apartments and he helps me send off for my credit score. We take turns making dinner. We practice doing things we prefer to do alone some nights and things together others.

So, I'm doing alright at this point (except for my current massive ear infection, ugh). Hope it's as good for you.
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I've been doing a crazy amount of learning lately, and I've been surging forward full speed on a bunch of decisions. Let's see if I can get some of it down.

Sunshine + exercise + food == happy Greenie. This is no news to me or anyone. However, I'd been depending on work for the exercise and sunlight, and work right now is a source of stress and not a source of any of those other things. I had been (have been) having a rough winter; I've got a lot of changes going on, much of the outcomes outside my experience or control, and I can't afford to let this stuff slide. So, I've let my competitive instinct kick in and started doing hot yoga like Dave, just... more often. Every single day I do it I feel better for hours afterwards. I am keeping an eye on overtraining issues and not doing absolutely every single say, but it's good so far. It levels my head so well and is conveniently close. I may keep this up even after I start bike commuting.

Sunshine was really forthcoming this fall until sometime in December, which is when I started to nosedive. Exercise can compensate to some degree for light, especially since I'm being kept too busy at work to get out into the light during the week. Ugh.

I'm getting real good at eating enough, and at asking for help when I'm having trouble. It helps that my neighbour is always up for eating together and I can use her presence to put myself into a better place for food. This all gets difficult when I'm financially stressed, though the meat box and farm stuff really helps.

Sex is a problem in a bunch of different ways. I thought I had this figured out; I thought that by taking back my bodily autonomy so I didn't have to ask folks permission before making choices around sex I would fix everything. Instead I only began a learning curve totally different from the one I've been on most of my life. How do I decide who to have sex with and when? How do I deal with humans when I decide to have or not to have sex with them in general? Per instance? How do I deal with the fact that in people's eyes when I don't have a primary partner I am always on some level available no matter how much I protest to the contrary? How do I let people know the ways in which I am more available than suspected, and how less? How do I deal with not having enough sex, or with feeling subtle coercion around sex? How do I deal with sex that I want beforehand but don't want in the moment? How do I calibrate desire vs complexity and work? How much do I like emotions involved in sex and what kind of sex do I like, anyhow?

I imagine you folks who weren't in serious relationships most of your life are laughing at me about now.

I'm learning that I probably want to have sex with fewer people less often than I thought I did, because the complexities that come with it are just not worth it. I'm also learning how sexual compatibility and emotional intimacy work together for me, and how they don't always go together regardless of how much I might want them to. I think I'm learning that when something works, I should let it work, and when I need to push and work hard on something, I should probably drop the sexual aspect of it.

I don't know that my original interpretation of solo poly will end up being what I choose, after all. Especially with the time and energy I'm putting elsewhere, it may just not be worth it.

Romantic relationships aren't enough. In fact, even non-romantic relationships aren't enough. I've made huge strides lately in learning to have friends, people with whom I'm close in non-romantic, non-partnery long-term and very intimate ways. That enriches my life immensely. I've been treating my home, careful selection and upkeep of my house, with as much attention as I have in the past given major relationships. I really enjoy the result. I have decided to add my career to the mix of important stuff to give that much time and attention to.

This has resulted in my making some information-gathering dates with folks at my old school, formulating a career path, and now doing some more information-gathering from folks in the field I want to head into and (this is scary) applying to, not a technical college, but a formal huge sprawling university-temple of academia. I'm formulating a support team (emotional, physical, logistical, motivational) which I can do really well based on my previous experience with working through my diploma. I actually feel pretty confident about this path of mine, though it's me against huge and arbitrary machines within machines, which is never easy for me to deal with.

I may not be in Vancouver forever. I may stay in the Valley forever or I may not, but a million tiny roots are shaking themselves and working their way loose. I had never thought to leave, before, but in a couple of years I will be able to if I so choose.
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MOVERS BOOKED FOR APR 29TH @ 5:00PM. This is for real! One or two people with a car would be welcome that evening if they wanted to help, but no pressure. I'm pretty sure my brother and my mom wouldn't mind helping, and that's two cars, and really it's just the rats I wanna move outside the truck.

One Light

Apr. 19th, 2008 11:26 pm
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No one's home but me tonight. I had a passover dinner at Anthony's that was lovely. I got to see some people I love spending time with, I got to participate in a Thingy, and I had an excuse to re-dye my hair. Now I am so, so, so tired.

I'm not even sure what to say beyond that, except that I felt so good to be coming home -- to *my home*, that hasn't changed despite the move to come -- and now I'm here and the space is quiet and welcoming and I'm in my home and it's good. Restful, relaxing: I really do like this. And now I can sleep.

The studio in Kits called me up and offered me the place today. It's a stand-alone building two blocks from work in a vine-covered yard behind a shop heated only by a gas stove, though it has a full fridge/stove/etc. $500/month plus utilities. Minuses: shower-only that's super-gross, shaded yard so no tomatoes, far from tarnsit (though pretty bikeable to anywhere) and the dealbreaker is that it's only six months to a year and a half before it's torn down. Now, knowing construction stuff that might actually mean five years, but the place on 42nd has come up three times now when I'm moving, then gone back to unavailable till I was moving next and so I'm going to roll with the sign being waved in my face there and take that one.

It's a bitch to give up the Kits place though. I mean, $500? Stand-alone!? With fire!!!

So now there's one light on in the house and the glow from the computer monitor, the cats and rats need to be fed, and I need to be tucked in to bed. It's very quiet here. I will miss the quiet: Victoria's never quiet and there are tons of sirens that run along it. OTOH I'll be able to hear water all night long when I get the fountain in. And... pottery wheel! And... space! And... it's my home. It just is. It doesn't even have to be made so.

I'm at that point of sleepiness where getting up from the computer is too much work so I keep trying to think of things to write to avoid having to do it. Oh well. Time to make the effort. Night, loves.
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Music of the Day: Devendra Banhart, The Body Breaks:

Just play it and listen.

Today I moved, as best as I can tell, 8 tons of stone, half of it twice. I worked a nine-and-a-half hour day, that despite being pretty late. Yesterday was a big lifting-moving-carrying-hustling day too. My back will be sore (half of that eight tons was pulled out from under a 4 1/2' patio. I am 5'8". Hauling stone while bent over? Wow.

I am happy. I feel good. I had dinner with mom and my brother, and I'm going to hang out with said brother more on the weekend. I haven't talked to him in forever. I noticed tonight that he has a beautiful smile. I hadn't seen him smile in some time.

Other weekend plans include two passover dinners, climbing with brother at noon on Sunday (anyone else want in?) Tomorrow I go and give seeds to Doug and maybe Kat. This is awesome. I've been buying seeds for years and only using a fraction of what I've bought. Now I'm giving them away to people who will grow and appreciate them! I'm helping people with their gardens every weekend! My own garden will go in soon! This is what I was born for, yannow?

I just got home (when I got off work I was so tired that I just wanted to sit down and cry, eating did help) and I was feeling pretty lonely, then I put this CD in. Youtube doesn't have a good version of 'Will is my Friend' which is the song I played on repeat in Kelowna and that almost-not-quite replaced human contact for me there, so you can't hear it. I put it on, though, and I relaxed immediately out of the loneliness, and now I'm just trying to stay awake long enough to write.

I guess the thing is I'm not sure what I'm trying to write. It would be good to write about change, I think. Paul is almost certainly moving to New York (he'd better) for some very important personal reasons, and he'd just kind of been settling into my most-reliable-friend role. You know, when I say everyone leaves me it's not some sort of melodramatic hand-to-the-forehead. It's just plain truth. Paul, like many, will come back and it will be wonderful-- and of course he's not gone yet.

Maybe I should write abou tthe mahonias all blooming right now. The air is so full of perfume it really does make ya dizzy. Masses of yellow blossom atop holly-looking leaves: surely some of you have noticed them? And the magnolias look like oil paintings now, masses of those thick heavy petals just starting to litter the ground. The cherry petals are dropping. The world is love. Does anyone remember that lj meme?

I need to figure out moving day, and also do some paperwork stuff for the place on 42nd. Still, it's decided. That's what I'm doing.

I need to start my tomatoes!!!!!! I will do that this weekend. Have you seen my tomato list yet? I'll type it up when I'm less tired. I have longkeeper this year. I wonder if the VanDusen plant sale will have anything interesting? They always have good clematis, but perhaps I'll luck into a mutabilis again? Or a camellia sinensis? Or.... something? I should check out their fruit trees, that's what I should do. Pawpaws aren't deck-friendly I don't think, nor are mulberries (damn) but so many trees are.

The deck is fully-covered. This means: hammock = yes, greenhouse = not necessary, just string up some poly, water feature = important.

Today as I was working I totally had stuff I was going to write about polyamory (the less practical kind of poly) and about how jealousy is often a sign that you're not getting what you need in a relationship, but I am again too tired.

Mmmmm. Sleep. Night, folks.

Warm Bath

Apr. 16th, 2008 05:02 pm
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This weather is unreal awesome. It never got light out today, it just looked like predawn-- all day. It never dried out, the air was soggy and warm and the scents were trowelled onto it. I know I say this every two weeks, but it's spring.

I'm almost done working at my first installation. Walls are done, paving is almost done, we just need to do the detailing (should take just under a week). It looks awesome. I will show you pictures. After that we get labourers for me to order around (w00t!).

Just when I thought I was as strong as I get we started paving, by the way. While a big chunk of rock weighs a fair amount, there's something about precisely maneuvering a 2x2 concrete square that puts me right back to square one. I need to climb some just so my back can support the muscle I'm gonna be putting on my arms. This is getting ridiculous.

I've been advised to read and/or watch High Fidelity.

I'm going to take over Angus' place when he moves at the end of the month. The roommate comes with the place for a month or two till he finds his own space, which enables me to spend money to 1) get furnishings for my home or 2) spend all my money on plants for the patio until I can walk out there naked, surrounded by fruit trees and clematis. I'm betting a little more of 2 will be happening than 1. I'm also gonna put a greenhouse on the deck. Exciting! (!!!!!!!!!!)

I go to measure things today.

I am happy. Yesterday I ended up with a panic attack(?) at the end of work and spilling over into evening, which sucked. I always come down hard when I go up, and the night before I was definitely up. This part of my cycle always leaves me a little funny in the head anyhow.

Ahwell. Looking so forward to moving. This means I can get my stuff over there sooner rather than later! Time to start buying trunks to pack into.


Apr. 11th, 2008 06:21 am
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When I was involved in the poly community, one of the truisms was that there was enough love to go around: any person had the capability to love lots of people, it was just time and attention that were limited. Without going into great detail on how I feel about that particular idea, I will say that it made turned time and attention into commodities, something to be measured and meted out.

I suspect my scarcity issues around that sort of thing predate poly: I tend to fall for people who are jerks, who are self-absorbed, who are budy or who are emotionally unavailable. In short, I fall for people who aren't there in key ways. I also, whether because of this or because of earlier training (both dads and also my mom were extreme versions of physically or emotionally absent while I was growing up), just believe that when I want someone around no one will be there for me.

By not believing, I don't ask for it, and by not asking, I make it so. And the thing is, of course, that no one is there all the time, so when I get up the courage to ask someone to be around for a bit and am refused I use it as evidence that no one is going to be around ever. And, of course, I still seem to get emotionally hung up on people who are more absent than otherwise (ok, maybe I'm just being momentarily bitter here, but still).

It's smething I've been struggling with for a long time. This is just a reminder to keep struggling, I guess-- though for awhile I did have that feeling of no-scarcity, of someone who could bring everything to the table, and I'm gonna keep looking for that again.

On a totally different note I'm really looking forward to my housewarming. I'm going to rent Walking with Dinosaurs on the advice of my co-worker, put a pot of soup on, and invite you guys over, one per night, to be in my new home with me and do stuff we like, and talk. I'm really a one-on-one person and this will allow me to be that and also to spend a little time meeting people I haven't taken time to get to know individually, much better than a big party would do that for me at least.

Oh man am I looking forward to having my own place. Imagine quiet in the livingroom, and the ability to turn off the lights everywhere in the evenings and just have a couple of candles or a lantern on with no one walking through noisily! My music! New plants! Psychic space!

You can bet I'll miss my roommates some of the time though. Just having someone around to hug is pretty important and I will miss that. Also, couple of them are pretty cool people. ;)

Dreamed about Angus last night. We were at a convention in Toronto(?), he'd convinced me to go and them mysteriously disappeared halfway through and wasn't answering text messages, a whole bunch of us couldn't find him and his group of friends who'd wandered off. Someone came around and gave us this stuff which we found out afterwards was some kind of drug, and we found out afterwards too that we owed him $550 each for it. The dream ended in chaos and waking, not resolution. Angus disappearing halfway through a festival and just not existing afterwards? Feeling like something there asked more from me than I was expecting? Well, hmm. My dreams aren't transparent or anything. Hopefully that means my brain is processing back there.

Ahwell, enough morning can't-sleep rambling, time to make lunch and head.
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In the beginning, the very beginning, I said: you're gonna break my heart someday, boy.

The title of this journal is watching the cycle: leaves to mulch to soil to leaves. It's because that's the only thing I can count on.

This week I talked to Eva about what-ifs, backup plans, and I tried to stay open and not close myself off to him in case I was wrong.

Last night I took the twenty up Victoria for 'a talk' that, when asked, he admitted I should have a friend around afterward for. I knew to ask that question. I was angry on the bus ride there, and I dreaded waiting for the bus because then I'd have to think. Luckily there was no wait.

He was upfront and straightforward. He made no excuses. He doesn't love me, he wishes he did, but he doesn't. He's not the sort of person who can continue on just like that even so, despite my many wonderful qualities. It's maybe the second time in my life someone's been so upfront about a breakup with me, and the first time was when I was thirteen. He held me, he cried, I cried. He said in the next couple weeks I could go to him for comfort if I needed. I said don't do this to me-- I didn't mean to say it, because he was being so good about it, but I had to, just in case it helped. He said he really wanted to be friends. I said when I get over the angry phase, I'm not there yet but I'll let you know when I get to it, so yes, comfort, but please could he not do this to me?

When I first came into the room he asked me what I meant when I said I loved him. I said no, just say what you need to say, and he did. Later I tried to put it into words: he's the shining thing that my life sudenly and inexplicably organised itself to hold up, rather than just curling and tumbling in an attempt to stay up with no particular focus. He is a reason for things. He is beautiful. He is... I don't know how to describe, it's a spiritual thing, he makes me ring. It's like a flower at the top of my head with a lacework all down my spine. Still when he smiled at me it gave me butterflies in my stomach.

He doesn't feel any comfort when I hold him in my arms. When he holds me, even now, even after that, it's still the best place ever to be.

It was seven months to the day from the date we had decided was the beginning. That was the day he came over to talk about rats, after the first family dinner where things sparked and Eva brought us together. We talked about rats for a long time, then things went silent and he looked up at me. I looked back. Eventually I went around behind him in the chair and bit his shoulders, and that was that. I took the day off work to see him get his tattoo and we went to the park and made out for hours, then hesitated before going to his place.

We waited to fuck for what seemed like forever, waiting for test results to come back (I do try to keep my STD tests up to date before the fact).

It was private. I called him babydoll, puppy, my love, sweetie, Mister, every pet name seemed to fit him. He called me ma'am and my tummy did bellyflops. I beat him with a cane for the first time and he liked it. I cried sometimes, after sex or during, because it was like god coming down. His body was built for mine-- ribcage fashioned to fit the length of my arm, his arms designed to curl around me just right to trigger all my safe feelings. His cock was exactly right. I loved the little bit of soft on his belly, the way it pooled out a little. I loved the flame tattoo on his arm, and the grapes. I loved the way he looked at me when I hurt him, his eyes got so big and soft. They were usually blue eyes, with a ring in the middle the colour of his year. He's a redhead. I notice redheads more on the street now, and people dressed in construction-worker clothes.

I didn't write much about it and I regret that now because it will slip away, but at the same time I couldn't.

I don't regret the thing, because it was spring itself. I think I'll be okay. I didn't, on the way to his house; I thought of bridges and knives. I don't do that, it's not my style. When I was there, though, the network kicked in. I thought of the people waiting for me-- Mom, my brother, Eva, Bob, and the web caught me, and I couldn't just lie down and roll over.

On the way home it was a feeling of unreality, like the last seven months had been a little miracle. They're over, sure, and I'm back to my regular programming.

I wanted to have his babies. I wanted to marry him. I wanted to do all those silly things, carve his name into my flesh, you know?

I don't really know what to do now. I still want a job that I can have children in. If men are fickle, dammit, I still want to raise a child. I have work - retail today, which may be awful but better than an empty day. It's the second-last shift, and 10-8, which is long. Then there's dinner with Eva and/or karaoke. Ryan was home last night. He held me, which felt weird -- he's so tiny compared. He let me talk, and he talked, and it was diverting. That was important. Diversion.

When people said they love me to that last post-- thank you, it helped. Sympathy would be a problem for me right now though. Love, yes. Caring, yes. Sympathy, no.

I'm a bit of a mess. I hate spring.

I never showed him Secretary, or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

We never had sex in public.

When he was really sick I used to hold him and he'd feel better, but later on he wanted space to deal with it. A sign, I guess. He woke up at the same time as me, in the mornings. At night he'd tell me he was going to stay up, then fall asleep. Id' poke him and he'd sit up sleepily, trying to look alert, and say, 'I wasn't asleep'. Everything he did was adorable, odd on a six-foot-something construction worker.

He _was_ my springtime. When it snowed he'd get up, all excited, and put on his clothes and go out into it. It's snowed a lot this winter, and after awhile I started to smile too when it snowed. There's more to say, perhaps -- he was in Vegas for New Years, and I still have the message saved on my phone that says he wants me to be his forever. I want to save that message, but I don't want to listen to it for awhile.

His hair is still wrapped around the ring of my black collar.

His hands were much bigger than mine, a full joint plus some. Something about his cheekbones and lips was a song, a poem. I look at him all the time, even after seven months, just for the sheer pleasure I took in it. He does his best, he feels guilty a lot of the time over not living up to his personal standards which are high, sometimes unrealistic. He tried really hard in this, and he tries really hard generally to be a good person.

I don't know. This morning before work will be long.

I've done this to other people. Jan, I remember you didn't say much. I know why now. I'm sorry. I am so sorry.
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This remains an uncomfortable space in which to write. I feel like my elbows will poke people, like my words won't ring. Ignoring that, I'm going to write in an attempt to take back space. I will allow myself to be personal again, and I'll remember that anyone who doesn't wish to read only needs to stop going out of their way to be here.

Talkin yourself out of a tree, Greenie? It may work.

My life continues, love poetry aside. It's got the same elements, mostly, though with the new year I've shrugged my shoulders a little bit and the old skin is beginning to crack a touch. With the new year something new will be born, as is the case with every new year in my life.

I'm feeling impatient, ready to shed constraints. I'm moving from the old place, where I took what was easy, to a place where I'm going after things I want that require effort. I read a post today about someone's distinction between daydream-type dreams and goal-type dreams. He mentioned that he had more of the latter nowadays. I'm in the same sort of boat. I'm ready to say "I want" to things in my life that I might fail at and that'll knock me around a little.

Since I'm done having relationships knock me around emotionally, and I'm done knocking my feet out from under myself in terms of work, it's time. I need something to give me some bruises, no?

This little jaunt into retail has reminded me that it really is important to me to make money -- not a ton, but enough, and doing something that I can be intellectually or spiritually absorbed in. I'd like to sharpen my mind again because it's dulling. I'd like to make enough money to take some more classes and I'd like enough money and/or job security to have kids in three or four years. So that's work.

I need a home to live in. I'm on the way towards figuring out what that means. It may mean finally doing what I said I'd do last fall and move out on my own. It may mean more negotiations with my current living situation in this house I adore with people who are, well, human... and possibly something of a roommate switch. We'll see, but again I need to avoid that trap wherein I'm constantly in a state of waiting for things to get better.

My rats, my garden, and cooking all remain great, important things to me. I need to get out more, though, in an exercise-and-sunshine fashion. Since money for kayaking or climbing isn't going to materialise, this likely means running at first, and getting around to doing that biking I said I was going to do (though cars do still scare me to bike around much). I will not spend all my days off housecleaning to the exclusion of this sort of thing. I'll stop losing weight and grow more muscles-- and hopefully regain my hips.

I am going to pay off my medical and rat-medical debts sooner rather than later.

I'm going to experiment with more vegan dishes because I'm eating a lot of meat at work and it's not good for me. It keeps me slowed down.

I'm going to remain mindful with my social engagements, doing things I want to do and spending time with people who I want to spend time with. I don't have extra time to kill. I remember too that I'm an engrossing social engagement for myself. This lj is sort of like a personal conversation with myself, but I'm a great person to go on walks with especially, and to go food-shopping with, and to wander through the bewitching celebratory things going on outside at the start of the new year right now with.

This is sounding like my new years' post, and this is feeling like the new year (with the window open to let out the old and in the new).

I'm going to make sure my Angus feels cherished and not taken for granted. I'm going to allow myself to care about him without worrying about who that will upset, or whether I'm over-the-top. I'm going to be sensitive to this feeling of not wanting anyone else, and mindful of it.

I'll continue to reclaim my body. I won't use 'well, you've always let this person touch you before' as a reason to permit physical contact that I don't want. I will continue to have sex only when I want to have sex, and not because I think it's the only currency I own.

I will practice being a friend rather than a sex goddess. I won't latch in to exchanging that sort of energy with someone if it's not my intention, regardless of how innocent on paper the situation may be. Harder yet, I will try to be up-front about my interest level when it's low.

I will dance more. I will get a skipping rope, and a bed frame to which ropes can be attached.

I will go to seedy saturday, come home, and plant tomatoes regardless of my housing situation (unless I can get Juggler to grow them).

I will find a park where I can eat the green things that grow there, and get myself some chickweed or dandelion or something, and practice being a part of the world.

These aren't hopes. This isn't a statement of intention. It's a notice of action. It was a hard winter. It's done. The world is crackling.
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So here we go, several nighttimes under the bridge since my last post and leaning hard on the change pedal, perhaps. My life is always transition, of course, and this has been a smooth fast one. Picture a stream coming to a deep cut that flows strongly downhill. There may yet be rocks.

On the night of my Thanksgiving I was very sick. I shopped and cooked all day, going to Famous Foods, Sunrise Produce, and Sweet Cherubim and Eternal Abundance on the Drive with Angus and Marvin, my lifesavers for the day. I spent a lot of money on food and then cooked and cooked. About four o'clock my throat started to feel daggers in it again, but my voice didn't go until later when the pain got to be a little much for me. People started really arriving till seven and I was in them for awhile, visiting and joining in the singing in my kitchen and the dancing in my downstairs. Then I went to bed.

Before I went to bed I saw so many people I was glad to see. People came and ate (I didn't end up making all the food, but people had plenty until I went to sleep) and talked. I saw Ellen and Adrian again, and remembered once more how much I *like* Ellen. She's thoughtful and warm and her company is lovely. There were more people, too, and I can't even start on names because almost everyone I love in the world came through with a few exceptions. Marvin and Angus kept me from being overwhelmed and kept me amazed with their kitchen magic (cheese-crust apple pie! that moussaka! that dairy-and-egg-free tapioca pudding!) and I was so happy. The oven caught fire, and my house was warmed from the centre outwards.

Before sleep there was a moonlight walk with Angus and we started talking. That conversation didn't end for days, continuing through the loss of my voice and snaking very gently through many of the tripwires I'd set without catching on them. For the next few days I more-or-less slept and talked and slept and talked and that was it -- less talking than you might imagine because I was not well. There was a bit of kitchen cleanup, but Marvin and Bob magicked most of that away after and Vicki (the guest, not the roommate) did during.

I was restless at home. I couldn't sit down, I couldn't stay still. I couldn't rest. I spent time away from home. I thought a lot. At one point I reread Khamura's livejournal back to several years ago where we broke up - I had never backread before. I brooded some.

I've lived in a lot of patterns in my life. Some of them I like. Some of them I don't. Some are matters of pure indifference. There is, however, a growing feeling of control to what I'm doing now. I used to be afraid of being out of work, for instance, where now I approach it as an intriguing situation that has interesting potential. A free evening alone used to be a tragedy where now it's something quickly filled if not left as an opportunity. I can live where I want, with someone or without. I can keep my mind on an even keel or I can let it lift and drop for a bit of a ride. I can do a distant dance of attraction or I can electrify onto someone or I can ignore them altogether. I can learn new skills. I can be pleasant and distant, pleasant and close, or unpleasant and either of those things. I can laugh at things or I can be pulled under.

I've had a pattern for a long time of thrill-seeking in my relationships. I'd get into something accidentally, stumble on something that was exciting and fun and intimate, and I would ride that. Another thing would come along and I'd embrace it, and another, and eventually I'd run out of time and drop something. Things that were exciting and possible became yeses automatically because I wanted that thing, that new experience, and I didn't think particularly much about long-term practicalities or overall suitability.

It's been almost-but-not-quite ten years since my first experience with multiple people in bed, a little less time that I've been poly. Not a decade, but most of my relationship life and definitely a third of my whole life at least.

I consider it an orientation, polyamory. I can love many people at a time in the emotional sense-- that is, I can be closely drawn to many people at a time. When I was little I'd imagine scenarios that would result in sleeping between a bunch of people that I loved - say an earthquake that would trap all us five-year-olds at school so we'd have to sleep there, or improbable scenarios created to mash a bunch of my favourite book characters into one story with me in the middle. It was comforting.

My actions, though, are a different thing altogether than my emotions. My actions have ridden the back of my emotions and attention span, and I haven't stopped to acknowledge that this has been a pattern. I've hurt people this way -- diving in with intensity and such assurance and then wandering away again after six months or two years. I haven't had the self-knowledge to know what I was getting into, what I could give, what I couldn't promise. Sometimes I haben't even had the self-knowledge to see what was happening as it was happening, holding instead onto the idea of love-the-feeling as love-the-commitment as obviously-forever.

Lying to myself, though, has hurt people I care about quite a bit. I want to do better. They all deserve it. I also deserve to be more forthright, to admit what I want to myself, to look at my purposes. So, I'm going to.

That's all.


Zeugma. From the Greek, zeugnynai, to join together; from
a pair of animals linked at labor;
yoked oxen. Read more... )
Zeugma: maker & vessel, master & slave.

by Campbell McGrath
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Read more... )
And what should you base your life around? Well. Isn't that just the question now? I've always held the art of being happy in high esteem. Somewhere along the way I forsook honesty in pursuit of an attempt at gentleness which seems to have been a mistake to do wholesale. I'm particularly graceless at gentleness anyways. It seems like joy may be worth following; the other side of that coin is stability and steadiness and that doesn't seem to get along with me anyhow. What is your basic motivation? What drives you?
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I've always been one for metaphor, so after he says "you haven't been happy" he says further "tend your own garden or the winter will go hard with you. It's coming, you know." It leaves me wondering about the funny shapes our hearts come in, slewing sideways in the haphazard harness of hidden motivations on the road to some -- goal? It is true that I never think about the ends and true too that I've been neglecting the means. There's not too much you can say to that and so the wind blew the leaves around like rain and often there was silence except for the breathing and shifting.

I could throw all the metaphors in the world at that touch and never describe the essence of it. Cut through the bullshit, cut past expectation, cut past kindness and once you're there in the center it takes a deft knife indeed to make the proper slices and then retreat, no harm done. It was almost professional; not a nick in the wrong place for all the blade was driven so deep.

they are all surgeons, all of them the voice said, and for all I know it might be right.

Sewn back up and slept up, I'm making oatmeal for breakfast and the leaves are blowing past outside in a fierce wind. "Out with the old," the wind says, "where you're going there's no room for it."
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Mary Oliver's Wild Geese is an always poem: Read more... )

Now for an update. First the gross physical changes: my rats are at my breeding partner's place in New West. Bob, Ryan and I are living in one (big) room of a house, more-or-less, while the rest of the house gets 1) framed 2) electrified 3) plumbed 4) drywalled and 5) floored, which should be done by the end of next week. We're already up to 3, I think. The story is as follows: I'd been looking slowly for a place of my own, as I knew I had the backup of staying at Lizzy's if I didn't find something perfect. I didn't find something perfect and Tyler who was gonna room with Bob, Ryan, and Vikki bailed sorta last-minute, and Bob asked me to come in for a little bit to be a temporary roommate, which gets me a place to stay temporarily and also gets them some of the rent money.

Then they found the house, which wasn't finished, after I'd agreed. Yeah, it was a pretty last-minute deal. It is going to be a really beautiful house, with walnut laminate floors throughout the whole upstairs, it's in really solid shape, there's an oldschool bathroom all in pink (not just the countertop or toilet or sink or tub, but everything, including the original linoleum and walls), there's a veggie garden, we're kitty-corner between two parks (one of which contains morning tai chi and adult swings), it's super-huge with room for studio space not just for Bob, Ryan, and Vikki's music stuff but for my pottery wheel (by the fire) and my easel with a livingroom left over, right behind a chinese grocery store, etc. I love the house, so I'm going to see how long I can stay till roommating makes me totally crazy and I need to leave. I'm taking bets-- two months? Six?

Long enough to do a Thanksgiving/Housewarming in November.

In general I'm super-confused about stuff. There's change afoot, but it's more deliberate change and I seem to be avoiding my usual lightening-speed direction reversals. Work in West Van is fabulous but the commute is so long, so I'm thinking of dropping that. It'd make me totally sad to leave my boss there. There's also the parkour academy in West Van, so I could go full-time with that boss and move to the North Shore, that's a pretty intense option. I could go back to work downtown with the indoor plant company for awhile and possibly do supervising with them -- it means back in a uniform (ugh) but maybe going all-bike (yay). I could do that part-time and work outdoors in Van part-time too. I could move to a different plant thing entirely. I could go to school for a hort certificate.

Additionally, I have all this relationship stuff going on. Gotta figure out what I want there too. Bob's been pretty wonderful to me through the whole thing, and he's been able to deal with my need for space so that now I feel myself wanting to spend chunks of time with him again and missing him sometimes when he's not around. The joy of just being with him isn't sharp anymore, but it's strong enough to warm myself at, and I was very cold for awhile. It's a good way to feel. My bitchiness is subsiding a little. Exploring the new neighborhood with him is fun, and he's a good roommate and boyfriend as well as a good live-in boyfriend thingy (which is the relationship we have living in this house now). My hope is that I'll kick the irritability altogether at some point soon.

Angus is a sanctuary from all this and a joy. It's nice to be around someone who can't go for more than ten minutes without smiling. I don't know where the thing is headed- it's been two months, it's fabulous right now, he's a mono boy and I'm pretty sure he'll break my heart someday.

I've been breaking further and further away from the label poly in my own head, though obviously my relationships are pretty open. The institutionalised stuff just doesn't do it for me. I float in a cloud of people I love, some of whom are people I have sex with, some of whom are people I'm attracted to but don't pursue, some of whom are people I'm not attracted to or where the issue doesn't come up at all. Nowadays I'm finding fewer people worth the logistics of making time to pursue sex with and occasionally wondering if monogamy isn't more stable long-term (how quickly I come to take my freedoms for granted. How quickly I forget). I've fallen really, really hard for Angus and now I feel the classic divide with things healing with Bob: I want both of them very much. There's not quite enough time for the amount that I want them and to do my own stuff as well. I think, if there was just one I could have *enough* time with someone, for once, with spaces in between with no one. I guess I'm moving further in that direction but it's a slow move and it might just parallel this path for awhile and head out in a totally new direction soon.

Last night Mike and I read poetry aloud to each other. This morning Angus is elsewhere and I have his room to myself. It's so good to be in a room with no one else around, you can't even imagine. It's been a long time. There are also baby rats here.

Rains have started for fall. Working outdoors is requiring more and more clothing-craft to be comfortable. Does anyone have tips on dressing warmly for a day outdoors? Long underwear, scarves? Any secrets?
greenstorm: (Default)
Okay, enough with poems and links for now. I'll make an actual, real appearance.


Baby Gabriel, in the boys' cage, is busily trying to beat up Sky, who's 846984657846 times his size and is totally ignoring him. It's cute. The page is roughed out, but not done. It does have pretty pictures though!

Ratty distractions aside, I've been pretty busy lately. I'm househunting semi-seriously, I'm trying to make up for vacation time at work, and there's a bunch of stuff coming up, like a rattery open house and a rat show, that needs prepwork. Together with my newly-rediscovered love of sleep, this fills up a lot of my time, and sex takes up whatever's left after that. There's startlingly little of the latter.

I'm on an even keel again (quick, who out there knows what a keel is? This is another example of silly metaphor, even though many of you do sail) and have been for a day or two. It's good. Stuff with Bob is sorted (I'm getting my own place, we're keeping the relationship), stuff with Juggler's settled down a bit, I've spent a bit of time with friends and avoiding heavy social crowd-things, it's good. I've been eating decently. I have groceries.

I still miss Greensinger a bit. Did I mention how good it was to see someone with relatively similar philosophical positions, but from a different cultural background? There are so many things I want to show him, to show off, I suppose. My friends and I, we made this loosely communal urban culture of KMM and Family Dinners and shared meals and swapped keys to houses and Free Hug Day and all these things that are very important, they make a community out of the city and work towards a sustainable cultural model. I want someone to see it and appreciate it, but of course here's the month or two where I'm retreating from it a bit and leaning on it a bit and not actively involved as much. Oh well.

Permaculturalists are marvellous things.

Did I mention that Angus pulled out a permaculture book one time and showed it to me and said, 'my Grandpa gave this to me, I thought you should see it'? Can't write that kid off as only a pretty face, I tell ya.

Thursday at work I hauled stone, shovelled sand, and pickaxed tree roots and gravel loose for variety. That's what really snapped me out of my thing. Can't feel bad after a day like this. Then there was rat-cage-cleaning, it was a very full day indeed, and bed was ever-so-welcome. The new babies at Lizzy's are adorable, all thirty-three of them. Erin, one of the mamas, is daughter of my Lightning. Lightning, by the way, isn't doing so well, and I'm worried for her. Cross your fingers. How did I end up talking about rats again?

I'm more-or-less decided to take some parkour classes. It seems like a nicer thing than climbing because it's all /right there/ to practice on- the city, I mean. I wish the classes weren't in West Van, but them's the breaks. I'd like to learn to use my body more spontaneously. When I climb, I'm a very slow and thoughtful climber. I don't fall often, and I think things through first. I want to develop my physical intuition, and that will require experience with my body at high speeds. So. It's also pretty inexpensive.

I'm finally listening to music other than Devendra Banhart for a change. Some Doors are getting play today.

I think a lot of the recent weirdness was a commitment-fit on my part. That seems to happen after a breakup, and also in a relationship when it hits the omg-this-may-actually-stick-around-awhile point. I sort of freak out and try to prove that nothing will stay around me by pushing everyone away. So yeah, enough of that, self.

It's time to reinvoke thankyou lists on here. I've been too whiny for myself to stomach lately, whether or not my dear readers like the angst.

The sunlight is the most wonderful part of today. It heats my skin like a physical touch, through clothing and on bare skin, and it gives my flesh that lovely dusty scent that sunshine does.
Read more... )
I love thinking about the place I'm going to live. It gives me such joy to picture a place where the only things inside the walls are mine. I can have a room empty of all furniture except pillows if I want it. I can pile friends three deep on the floor to sleep after parties if I want, or kick everyone out. I can give a key to a friend and say, 'come over anytime you want'. I may even be able to drum without fear of waking anyone, depending on where I end up. I can have sex on the kitchen counter. I can nap on the livingroom floor. I can put my drum somewhere close to hand and it will be safe until I want it.

I'm done bleeding for now.

So there.


Jul. 1st, 2007 09:21 am
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So here I am in Iowa. Yesterday was the big family reunion, eight of ten of my mom's siblings were here (Uncle Dave had his flight cancelled, rescheduled, and then cancelled again at the last moment, so he couldn't make it and we're all a bit pissed off) as well as a bunch of cousins, maybe twenty of the thirty of us, and a few people from the older generation, plus assorted siblings' spouses.

That makes for a really full house.

It feels the same way family reunions always feel, which is intensely reassuring. My life's changed a lot on the ten-something years since I've been to one, and I am a different person here, but the cradle or the roots are still there if I look hard enough. It took me a day or two of looking to find them, of course. It's a bit of a gear switch. It's on the same lake it always is, at Rita's house, though she's in a different house this year. I had expected everyone to look much older, but they don't. I guess my eyes have grown as I have.

My mom and my aunt Rita are close, and Rita's kids are the only cousins I've kept up with regularly. It's been really good to see them again. The youngest is about three feet taller than when I saw him last, and he has brown hair instead of blonde now. Everyone else has filled out into these massive, tall boys built like sides of beef. It's such a beautiful thing to be connected to people in this way. I remember my older cousin Justin being sort of godlike in his abilities, and so old and world-wise. Now the little cousins can't tell him from an uncle, even though he's only five years my senior, and he's great with the kids. He did a ton of driving the boat around pulling a tube on the lake, and we talked well into first light one night. He'd worried about me, apparently, last time I came out-- he'd worried I'd go home and kill myself. These are the kind of people who think about you afterwards. I remember he drove me from one place to another in Iowa once, he put on cruise control and crossed his legs in the driver's seat and I was in absolute awe. We wrapped up some loose ends from the last time we'd seen each other.

The little wavelets on the lake are sparkling in the morning sun. There are fireflies in the evenings. It's magic.

My other cousin, Joe, is my age (I'm just about a year older, but not quite). He's so well placed,so suited to his environment, it's a joy to watch him. He has little mannerisms that I remember adoring when I was fourteen, like chewing on the edge of his drinking glass, and yet he's so changed and grown that recognising them is ... oh, I don't know what I'm trying to say. I see my brother, too, grown up with muscles from Ken-do. holding on to the back of a tube and dressing eccentrically, and they're all grown up, all young men. It makes me so happy to see, because this sort of flourishing growth and wellness and coming into oneself is part of the same cycle that death and decay and birth are. I have less experience with it in other people, though. It reminds me that summer also comes.

Anyhow, Joe and I traded memories (I remember when I came to Vancouver and went to /Dangerous Lies/ with your friends, I think because your mom made you take me; I remember when I came out to Iowa and you smeared fireflies and showed me how they left a glow). He brought me a dead firefly, that was still glowing, and was careful to say he had found it and not killed it. He brought me a live firefly.

This is the place I came when I was fourteen and sixteen, or something like that, when things were very bad at home, right before the divorce and maybe afterwards at some point. I definitely think of that as my coming-of-age summer, or maybe all the trips blur into one. Because my home life was so bad then, my family was so numb and incapable of giving much and my friends were too distant to adopt their parents and sort of graft myself on like that, I'd never really been in a place where everyone was freely and generously loving. I came here and they were, it was just here, I didn't have to be anything or do anything or project anything right, they just liked me and loved me because. Just because.

It probably was one of the most significant things in my life. Looking back, I realise that it's what made me think people might be worth giving a try. I learned there might be something special between people after all. I think it's also been a model I've imitated throughout the rest of my life, once I sorted myself out: love people fearlessly and freely, because it's okay. And you know, it's a good model. Love is okay.

It's a lesson I should keep. And it's a lesson I should expand: ten years of seperation doesn't diminish, it changes. I saw that this weekend. Changing is not a problem, it's often an enrichment to the people involved. That's good.

And I think this is the well my love comes from. The soil is deep, here, and it supports that sort of generosity. I feel replenished. I know I was feeling stretched, before, losing sight of what precisely love meant, and what it meant to give it-- I was getting the details confused with the thing, as so many of us do. I was going through rote actions in the hopes that the ritual would bring the feeling, but no, it's the other way around.

So I think I am going back home, when I do, a little bit soothed, a little bit reborn, and a little bit sad from missing these people. I'm trying to get Joe to come visit, maybe it will happen. Certainly I'll need to see them again before another ten years are up.

That's all I have to say.
greenstorm: (Default)
Warning, random angst.
Read more... )

Just needed to write, argh.
greenstorm: (Default)
Greenstorm, at one point you had a revelation about the interrelationship between "plant permaculture" (how to grow plants in a labour-space-etc efficient manner) and "cultural permaculture" where the behaviour of the people consuming the plants was important. You should not then be surprised when, in your personal life, your own culture and emplacement is as important to you as growing plants is. We are more than what we do, pay attention to that truism.

There are many aspects to the permaculture of your life. Gardening has always been the strongest and easiest to pin down, you have done it everywhere, it's easy to say you 'do' gardening. You also 'do' social relationships, sexual relationships, love relationships, relationships with the land around you and its seasons and soil and weather and changing features. To be a whole person you cannot simply follow one and ignore the rest, however convenient it may be. You need many kinds of stimulation and contact. It's as reductionist to think that you'll be okay "doing" what you want as it is to think that someone is what they do (though of course there are people who try very hard to put themselves into a box that small).

You live in Vancouver. You just do. You're a gardener. You just are. See it. Acknowledge it. Accept it. Now do your thing.
greenstorm: (Default)
We make our lives with our own hands, love, and what springs up out of them is ours to claim.

This is like wrestling, for real. My brain feels like it's occupied by two huge slippery sweaty straining men who bump into things all the time. It's a background process, so it's slowing the rest of things down.

Two poems, then I'll give this a rest for a bit. I guess I don't just post when I'm lonely, but also when I've no appropriate audience to speak to, or when formulating thoughts for anyone in particular feels like it would distort them (though that's the point, to get perspectives).

Just before she flew off like a swan
to her wealthy parents' summer home,
Bruce's college girlfriend asked him
to improve his expertise at oral sex,
and offered him some technical advice:

Use nothing but his tonguetip
to flick the light switch in his room
on and off a hundred times a day
until he grew fluent at the nuances
of force and latitude.
Read more... )
Often we ask ourselves
to make absolute sense
out of what just happens,
and in this way, what we are practicing

is suffering,
which everybody practices,
but strangely few of us
grow graceful in.

The climaxes of suffering are complex,
costly, beautiful, but secret.
Bruce never played the light switch again.

So the avenues we walk down,
full of bodies wearing faces,
are full of hidden talent:
enough to make pianos moan,
sidewalks split,
streetlights deliriously flicker.
Tony Hoagland

Villanelle at SundownRead more... )
greenstorm: (Default)
If life were a poem, it would be a circle. If people were a cradle, the world would be no different- when we're talking about social networks we refer to the hammock that supports us, each knot and strand shaped to a different part. It keeps us from lying in the dirt (though what sort of a metaphor is that, you ask, coming from someone so in love with dirt?) What we put into us effects us, it becomes us. Food, speech, emotion, we suck it up and, just like eating a clove of garlic, breathe it out again on our skin. It's hard sometimes to make choices about what comes out, but it becomes easier when we monitor what goes in. This sounds so analytical that it's crazy, because the feelings come up out of you and you just *do* in accordance with them and it works-- better than forcing yourself into too many things you don't like, because then things you don't like have stuck to you. Only, you must try a lot of things with an open heart, to know what you like.

I'm trying to put joy into words but I don't know that it comes clear across to you. Of course, there's very little common frame of reference societally for this feeling, for ringing like a bell with each event and person and feeling. We're great with shared anger and pain, not too bad with desire and the glut that is its fulfillment.

When there's no time to be fully aware of doing a thing while doing it, the unique and lovely character of each thing becomes dulled. There's no fullness to action, no ful-fill-ment. If I remain in Vancouver for the rest of the summer, this is what I've learned from Kelowna. If I live in Kelowna for the rest of the summer, or for my life, this is what I've learned from the last month and a half.

From the last ten years, my years of relationships, I've learned that people are what they are. To distort them by percieving them through more of your own preconceptions and fears and desires is a disservice to them and to yourself. To them, because then you leave them alone and speak to the shadow around them. There's no connection. To you, because then life becomes solitary confinement in a box of funhouse mirrors. If you are so busy attending to the way smeone's actions interact with your expectations, you have no time or attention for their actions themselves-- and a person's actions are a person, really. And a person is a wonderful complex thing that is so often a joy to behold.

This year, the most beautiful thing I've ever seen is people I love smiling. A real smile is like a flame, like sunshine in a dark place, like rain in the desert. These are not idle metaphors, because I've experienced both these things, and they are the same. They don't touch me as humanly as happiness in the face of a loved one, though. I may say this because I have known the land more frequently than I've known people, just lately, and we really do see things better when we have a little space. We may feel them better when they're closer, though? Sometimes at night I remember smiles, networks of lines crinkling big at the corner of the mouth or little around the eyes, and I am soothed.

My next lessons will be lessons of respect. For myself, for others, when there's a tie involved (and there always seems to be, somehow), respect involves behaving in an appropriate way to honour that tie. I will learn about the appropriate. It needs only a little quiet space in my head to come out, and time to come out, and a life to come out in. I will be those things, time and space and life.

Good morning.


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