May 14th, 2000

I've spent most of today preparing for tomorrow, in a variety of ways. I was about to muse that there ain't no book on how to do this, but then I realized that there are indeed hundreds of just that, and the ones that sound right to me are the ones that basically say "as long as it is with respect, do it as you will".

Watched 'comfort-food' videos last night while I was working - "Blood of Heroes", "West Side Story", "A Chorus Line".

Slept long, with valerian root and chamomile and melatonin all helping out. Hazel was over this afternoon to help out around the house and I had her do the kitchen, clean out my car [somewhere over 2 dozen empty espresso cups], and make my bed with fresh linens. A fresh bed to rest up in before and to come back to after, a lack of dirty dishes, a car I can have friends in without apologies - comfort things.

The artist who wants to paint me called, and he will meet us tomorrow nite at the Wet Spot to photograph the ritual.

Around 4 or so I drove over to the Sunlight Cafe [], a Seattle vegetarian landmark. Had my usual garlic/ginger vegetable and tofu saute with Earl Grey, chatted with Joe the owner and refreshed myself on several chapters of a book on shamanic journeys.

I gave Laura a ride down to the Wet Spot tonite, but hadn't planned on staying long. Schmooze, gather my wits for tomorrow. Lobo was there from Canada, beautiful man, and I invited him and his fine photography skills to join us tomorrow nite. He got psyched by the idea and said he'd stay over if he could.

I was chatting with Lobo and just about ready to leave, right about midnight, when I noticed a stunningly beautiful young redheaded girl walking past, and then again. I don't recall having seen her before. We went back our discussion and all of a sudden that same redhead is standing in front of me saying, "Hello, do you do play piercings? Would you like to do some piercings on me?"

Argh. So much for my determination to go home. I decided to use this most wonderful opportunity as a chance to work on my focus. Yeah, I enjoyed it. Yeah, she had the most marvelous pale skin for the blood to drip down. Yeah, blood cascading over her pink puffy nippies spoke to the beast in me. Yeah, she was a most wonderfully erotic person to watch as she tranced out. Yeah, I allowed myself to sluttishly enjoy all that, but I also maintained my professionalism [I did I did I did!], and as well it was clearing my head, putting my attention on the dynamics involved, and refreshing myself on the issues I'd be dealing with tomorrow. She's supposed to call or email me in a couple days and let me know how she's doing and I'd love to play again, yeahsureyoubetcha!

I came on home and am putting a few ducks in a row. Bath towels for after the sweat lodge. Dished up stone ground mustard and horseradish for the corned beef I cooked for the potluck at the sweat. A wrap to wear and a change into jeans for after the piercing. A tshirt that won't show blood. Gatorade, presto-logs, my prayer stick and my special ritual jewelry. Masturbate one last time before the big day and dedicate the energy raised to the needs of the ritual tomorrow. Put on a comfort tape as I write this [a VHS tape dubbed off of PBS of the Leahy family of Canadian Celtic musicians - a __very__ happy thing to me]. Top off my tanks with a TV dinner. Valerian and chamomile again for beddie bye time.

The book talks about different shamanistic traditions, various journeys. What caught my eye were the descriptions of trancing and travelling through a tunnel to an Upper World. That is how I visualize tomorrow's ritual. I just don't know where the tunnel will end up, what world I'll visit, and who I will encounter. One of the things that distances me from Christianity is an absolute absence of the faith they require. I've always considered it a significant intellectual failing in their story. Now it's time for a different faith - in my own strengths, my ritual partner Panther's strengths, the power of the experience and of the spirits of the land we will invoke, and in the loving support of the friends who will be there to catch us if we fall. The only part of that that I can't touch is the visiting spirits, and they will either present themselves or not. A clear mind will allow them the room to, should they chose.

And now it's 5am. Two hours writing and rewriting the above, using it as a chance to sort out just what I do think and feel. Kevin will be over to pick me up around 3pm and I'm off to bed now. To sleep and dream on the concept of faith.

For someone who grew up around religions outta comic books and philosophical discussions from bumper stickers, that's pretty heady stuff.

Life is good.

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