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Blood and bone,
Sweat and rain;
Feeling whole and fatally alive
Beneath the storm.
Each breath a revelation
Sheathed in pulsing lungs,
Every scream a blessing
From a warrior goddess.
Fists beat cadence
On willing flesh
To match the beat
Of a quickening heart:
Prey – sacrifice –
Ripped forth and offered
With cupped palms and bowed head
To the Almighty Mother.
Blood roses bloom
Beneath slicked skin –
A garden planted
By steadfast hands,
Watered by tears and glory,
Fed with murmured pleas,
Moans, sighs and, finally,
The flood of rich essence
After the dam has cracked,
Been shattered, and
I am learning to be alone again.
Relationships are funny creatures; no matter how much we work to retain an individual identity and fight against the codependence that tries to seep into the cracks, a little bit of The Meld still happens. We still become accustomed to having that person very deeply involved in our lives, whether that means spending weekends together, running errands together or what have you. Then, suddenly, all of that changes. Oh, perhaps we have a bit of an inkling that it’s coming. We start feeling that the relationship has reached the end of its natural course and will probably fade away soon, like the last ember of a campfire quietly dimming into the darkness. Nothing fully prepares us, though, for the aftermath of extricating our separate identities and absorbing them fully back into ourselves. Even if a friendship remains–even if a good friendship remains–it’s not quite the same, and adjustments must be made.
I reflect on these concepts most calmly. I accept the slight ache that comes even with a foreseen separation. I know that the decisions mutually made were for the best, for both parties. And now, I readjust. I accustom myself to not being so in need of alone time because it is much more readily available. I acclimatize to moments of complete silence and stillness. I prepare for being completely open to my own mind, to being subject to moments of intense reflection and self-evaluation whether I want to face them or not. I steel myself for the brutal honesty of my own unhindered thoughts, because I no longer have anything behind which to hide.
It is time to come to know myself again, intimately and without bias. It is time to reexamine the cracks and chinks in my armor and adjust–remove?–where needed. It is time to reevaluate my faults and become acquainted with the new ones that have popped up largely unnoticed. And, because I am not composed entirely of complex configurations of shortcomings, it is time to recall the good that lies within me, to embrace and harness that power so that I may be a source of illumination upon my own journey as it enters into this new phase, and also to shed light onto those who walk with me. I am full of love, but first I must turn it inward so that it can reflect upon the mirror of my spirit and, in turn, shine more strongly outward.
If you love me, you will not lay every bad mood, negative emotion or relationship issue at the feet of my gender identity.
If you love me, you will never, ever, ever try to control my physical appearance, be it as trivial as the length of my hair or as permanent as how many tattoos I get.
If you love me, I will be a priority in your life, not an option, a backup plan or an acceptable alternative.
If you love me, you will listen. Truly listen, not just put a patient look on your face and tune me out.
If you love me, you will not rub your flirtations with others in my face unless flirtation with others is an acceptable aspect of our relationship. In any case you will not rub them in my face with the intention of reminding me of how desired you are by others. I don’t care about them. I care about us.
If you love me, you will help me to ensure that we never have the same fight twice; you will help me to solve the problem the first time.
If you love me, you will draw me closer, not push me away at the first sign of troubled times ahead.
If you love me, you will never think it acceptable to criticize or trivialize my decisions and beliefs then get angry at me when I don’t blindly go along with yours.
If you love me, you will listen to my advice when you ask for it instead of shrugging it off because it wasn’t what you wanted to hear.
If you love me then you will realize that a successful relationship requires massive amounts of effort on both sides; it isn’t something you can coast through in the lowest possible gear while I put in all the effort and shoulder all the heartache.
If you love me, you won’t have to read any of this and wonder if it was written about you.
There has been a lot of social media coverage on the fiasco surrounding Oregon State University’s uninviting of Tristan Taormino from their Modern Sex conference. Needless to say, finding out that one of the major universities in my beloved state of Oregon has done this made me embarrassed to be an Oregonian for the first time since I left California behind. This post isn’t much of an eloquent rant or well-worded chastisement of this act of ridiculously outdated censorship, but I wanted to get the word out there that this kind of thing is still happening, and in places that would normally be considered pretty liberal. Huge steps have been taken towards gaining basic rights and liberties for the GLBTQ and sex-positive communities, y’all, but we still have quite a ways to go.
It almost goes without saying that OSU made a big mistake in barring Tristan from their conference. Let’s make sure that the same mistake isn’t made by universities and other establishments closer to your own neighborhood.
Also, Oregonians: fear not that you have missed the Tristan Taormino experience, because she will be coming to Portland’s own woman-owned, all gender- and sexuality-friendly sex toy boutique SheBop in February.
I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday weekend, or just a wonderful weekend in general if you’re not a celebrator of holidays. And if you are, I hope Santa brought you all you wished for, whether you were on the nice or naughty list. ;)
Let your family know you love and appreciate them, whether they be blood or chosen family.
And remember… no hambones, turkey bones or chocolate for the furry ones!