Dec 10th

"Now, here, you see,it takes all the running you can do,to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that" [said the Red Queen to Alice].…Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass"

Sometimes I feel a bit like Alice trying to find her little piece of zen amongst the cocaine fueled chaos of her environment and never finding a stable shelf on which to settle. Sometimes I feel l just the opposite, like the most unmoving and unmoved sedentary lunk, unaffected by even the common cares and concerns of Citizens.

Sometimes I find myself in both lands within moments of each other. The whiplash can be nearly as punishing as the self recriminations. Witness the following week-end long ramble...

Recently I've been working on reassembling those things which have been strengths for me, those things which have earned me respect from myself and others, finding the tools which have given me advantage and creating a sustaining safety net composed of whatever it needs be. Starting back with Raven, my counselor, will be good - our first session has already given me tools that I have but to use. I've gone back into some of the readings that have always gifted me - Starhawk's The Fifth Sacred Thing, for one. This is the book which gave me hope that I could find or create a functional spirituality for myself again, after decades of avoiding it. I recently bought another copy as I've loaned or given away half a dozen since I first found it in the mid 90s. Another I've been chipping away at and extracting bits of useful lore is Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life [discussed here].

Omaha and I are planning an intense ecstatic ritual for very soon, which will be shared between us, although we will each be on our own journey. This I'm looking forward to very much, and am putting to use all the ritual construction skills I learned when I was attending classes with the Temple Grove School of Night. I will be applying the humbling lesson I learned last time - I will receive the journey I need, not the one I predict.

Yesterday afternoon #1 Son came over and I took him down to the Vendor's Faire at the Wet Spot. He blends in well with my friends and lovers, looks a helluva lot like me except he's as skinny as I was at his age, and he always enjoys himself in kinky environments. His birthday present when he was about 19 or so was his first visit to a play party. We both did a bit of shopping at the Vendor Faire, then I brought him home for a dinner of fresh clams steamed over a chicken broth dusted heavily with Old Bay, steamed vegetables, and a chunk of steelhead that seemed to take forever to bake. I enjoyed our visit - they happen too rarely. Driving him home became way too interesting as the motor of my windshield wipers decided to act only sporadically. #1 Son - has a worse case of Raynaud's than I do - had his leather overcoat on along with his gloves, reaching out the window every couple of minutes to jiggle the wipers until they consented to kick in and wipe a stroke. The driving rain was in our faces and I got him delivered home at the cost of several new gray hairs and his overly chilled hands. He came up with a long piece of twine which I attached to the wipers and through my driver's window, and that worked right up til I started heading over the floating bridge, where the twine snapped. Luckily the rain was at my back and visibility was better. Even so, I headed directly to the Wet Spot for the Saturday evening party, instead of going home for an hour or so first. Argh. Got there early enough to get a parking space though!

It was a pleasant enough evening. And old friend walked in just like I was - hungry for something, nothing on her dance card, and we enjoyed ourselves out on the dungeon floor with a rope bondage that moved into a flogging that moved into a signal whipping and bullwhipping. Jim left Linda, his lovely date of the evening, at one point to bring me some tape and gauze when the whipping got a tad bit too scalpel-like on my bottom's bottom. She travelled a sublime journey of sensation, going over the top to a couple of swats by the industrial strength rubber paddle of Jim's, about 2"x12"x24" or thereabouts. I didn't think I hit her that hard with the paddle, but when I returned it to Jim he said that the shock wave travelling up her spine and nearly giving her whiplash made it really clear just how significant it really is. [I just read Linda's recounting of her first Wet Spot evening, and she is obviously one of the people we need to encourage to visit more often.]

Gads, I am rambling - I guess we all know which side of the Alice vs sedentary equation my head is in today. Just to move in another totally divergent direction, I got together with Sol and a couple other friends today, and headed over to the eastside to send fast moving pieces of lead through papers with bulls eyes on them. I took my 9mm and .357. Others had a variety of weapons and most of us tried most of the selection. My aim was terrible. I've been a competitive shooter for well over 30 years and I was lucky to hit the dirt at the far end of the range. As with so many skills, I'm going to have to get in more regular practice. After, over dinner at Red Robin, we had an active conversation discussing common points between BDSM dungeon ettiquete, pistol range protocol, and spiritual moments of clarity and vision. We flitted about on topics from purists and separatists common to all communities to the stolen moments of terrible beauty in Malick's Thin Red Line, from the zen of an Army sniper to the functional utility of the surrogate families that arise in gay and lesbian communities. Now, close to midnight Sunday evening, I'm working on ICQ to beg help so my C Drive doesn't say "no file space left - please clean me the fuck up" every couple minutes as it has all week long.

Alice found her path through her journey, just as Dorothy got back to Kansas, the Mariners got to the play-offs, and I will get my strength back that has been so depleted these past few months. I liked me a year ago, but that's been hard lately. In amongst all the diverse buffetting going on about me, I'm going to start with that as an early anchor - I do like me again. Now I just have to continue to gather and utilize the tools to bring reality to match that affirmation, and even work on spreading the word to others.

Alice ended her journey with -
Ever drifting down the stream --
Lingering in the golden gleam --
Life, what is it but a dream?

For me? I'll just repeat that life is good. Over and over again....

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