This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Golden Nugget in the Argument Against Abstinence Only Teaching

Via Democracy Now from The Washington Post

Abstinence Pledges Ineffective, Study Finds

A new study has found teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do. The Washington Post reports the study is the latest in a series that have raised questions about programs that focus on encouraging abstinence until marriage.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Letting Go

I woke from a dream in which I had done nothing right feeling sore and rankled. It all started yesterday.

I'd held balance all through the xmas festivity, but then I was given advice. I didn't ask this connected woman to divine anything for me, I was at her studio getting a Raindrop Therapy massage at her request, for her benefit of practice (not that I'm complaining!). We talked for much of the 2 hours I was there and she laid out all sorts of her insights about Aquarius me and my path. Much of what she said was pleasant to the unattached listener, which I was not. I am attached to my nice idea of a future in massage therapy, but she told me I'd be bored by the schooling bureaucracy and the lack of spirituality in the reality of massage therapy. She gave me suggestions for other elements to focus on - anointing, baptizing, christening, marrying, and administering spiritual hope to the dying, a sort of non-denominational last rights. I'm honored at her confidence in my healing ability and that she saw so clearly my devotion to whatever I'll wind up calling the Divine. Maybe I'll call it Her, or The Wind; at any rate it was good to have these encouragements but it was, an hour after I left, agitating me as well.

I stood at the bus stop, the air stunk of city exhaustion and it was misting a fine rain in the chilly air. When my pen wouldn't write smoothly while I stood waiting that was it, I got irritated. No, it was before that. When I walked to lunch and made a wrong turn, when the bathroom was occupied for 20 minutes, it began to bubble up then and the pen's insolence showed it to me. The young boys wouldn't stop cussing - even that pissed me off. My thoughts ran a route of I didn't ask her for advice. I didn't want it! I liked my happy little ideas just how they were!! She'd probably laugh at my reaction right now...silly ideal Aquarius, never listens! And while I'm at it, D___'s pissed me off too with his calling my beliefs naive yesterday. Fuck!!! Thank god, there's the bus. I need to calm down.

For the rest of the night, a night which I packed full of running around in a crowded and foggy city, I was on edge and more sensitive than usual. My emotions batted me around from crying jag sad to seething rage snappiness. I maintained a bevel of calm publicly speaking but my wise friends were on to me, helped by my occasional sharp snapping. I had said I'd go rest at home to my masseuse. She'd warned me that this technique was one for balance and had a detoxifying effect on many people. I countered the simple answers at every turn; but she meant body didn't she? Her words spun in my head until I came apart at the seams and accepted that I'd worn myself out.

In my dream I had a fancy new laptop and assignments from work. But we weren't at work, we were in a big theater preparing for something momentous for the company and I kept procrastinating, kept watching daytime TV and not working. (Where did the TV come from?) Finally, when I was ready to give effort, and the deadline was about to drop on me like a guillotine, I lost the laptop. It had been moved and I couldn't find it anywhere. It wasn't mine to begin with and I was frantic with searching. I woke up after 30-or-so dream minutes of searching for this laptop that wasn't mine but that I'd held responsibility for. this some kind of unconscious message to me? Shana, let go. Be still. Be at peace. There are many reasons to be content. You didn't really lose anything. I'm going to go not to eat cake for breakfast now.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Damn, but Art is amazing

Info. from the Wooster Collective led me to one the top 5 most visually pleasing things I've seen all year.

I can say that, the year's almost over.

Making Books, André Bernard

One of the best descriptions on my feelings at this time of this year:
Yet I can't help thinking that as this year gasps its way to its merciful end, something terribly sad is happening, that a vague, general shift in the cultural landscape will alter how or what we read in some still indefinable way; that a quirky, creaky, financially insupportable business that in spite of itself produces that most desirable and perfect of objects -- the book -- is perishing, and that we are yet to fully feel the loss.

From The Washington Post on-line yesterday
Click the title of the blog post to go there.
Emphasis mine

Meeting Eat, Pray, Love

In honor of the Solstice I took the day off yesterday from responsibilities to others (except my hungry cats). It was so lovely. I began reading Eat, Pray, Love which is going to be "one of those books" which consumes me. I've been thinking about something I heard on a podcast from a Zen teacher in which he spoke about the mind. The mind, he stated simply, is the most malleable thing. If you do not consciously shape and discipline your mind, it will be shaped for you by the world; by society, popular culture, family, "norms", etc. It's a simple idea, but not necessarily an obvious one.

I think my quarter life crisis was, and has been, primarily made of my first time attempt to shape my mind for myself, despite the influences (and there are SO many) around me. I have been learning how to cope with suffering without letting it stop me, I have been learning how to discern more mindfully what I allow to mold myself. One of my best qualities is my childlike enthusiasm for the world at large, but it has also been my Achilles heel because I soak up many things that are detrimental.

Eat, Pray, Love is going to be a great book to read right now because I'm becoming more fully aware of the kind of person I am and the kind of things I want to endow my future person with and that's what it's all about. It's a nice touch for me that she too is a passionate goofball writer with a love of language and a compulsion to seek "The Love that moves the sun and the other stars".

Thursday, December 11, 2008

From I Wrote This For You: The Water

The Water

You make me want to drink water. Not soda. A salad. Run every morning. Get enough sleep. So when I end, I'll know I had all the time I could get, with you.

(A good 100th post for 2008, I think!)

Emotional transferrence

So there I was, with my new Cadillac-of-a-vibrator, sexy underwear, and my new friend in bed. He knew about my story before we ever met in person. We talked about it and about statistics, safety, and boundaries and I felt immense relief at not having to wonder about all the variables and possibilities that accompany me and I navigate this turbulent new path. It's been just over 6 months since my life changed and I just recently accepted that my life has, in fact, changed. I didn't want to think of it like that; I didn't want to accept that this nuance to my being must alter everything - if just for awhile. There's a lot of story here but I have a more pointed place I'm going to.

So I got to be slutty again. I got to go home, after 1 drink, with a man I hardly know beyond attraction. I got to have him in my home and play coy for a bit before leaning over to kiss him. His beard is soft and his lips firmly agreeable. One of the many places our interests intersect is kink. He's into a tantalizing variety of things and last night I got to be tied up in a what I'll call a tits bind (partly because that's just fun to say): tits bind, tits bind, tits... It was so good.

And it was so difficult. The point that I'm coming to here is about my healing. I am holding the irrational but true feeling that I'm damaged. I'm coming to accept that a very large part of my identity is my sexuality; a part of me which I've imprisoned since late May. One of the things I know is that you cannot fix problems until you know they exist. I feel good that I know this one exists now. I have recognized the imprisoned, damaged part of me and can begin to rehabilitate her back to not just her former glory, but a glory she before did not know. I will have to be so vocal, so proactive, about my virus statistics that I will become an advocate for others like me. This isn't going to happen quickly, but it will happen. The woman of my future, the idea of me that I fall more in love with everyday, is going to be so huge, so exciting.

So there I was, the vibrator whirring beautifully, me moaning softly and recognizing what I have to do to get to deep orgasm right now. My imprisoned self hasn't had many conjugal visits; she's worried she doesn't know how anymore. It terrifies and frustrates her and makes her cry and hide her face. Emotions of anger, seething rage at the perpetrator (I like that traitor is in the end of that word) bubbled up a couple of times and I had to actually look at my sweet, innocent companion to remember that it wasn't his doing. I had to talk my rage down and appropriate it. I have never been cognizant of this happening before; my emotions seemed to transfer themselves onto a situation in which they didn't belong. It was pretty fucking heady.

So what's a woman to do? I slowed and stopped when I felt my capacity shrink and my good nature evaporate. I couldn't allow myself to just break down into tears of rage or despair in front of this innocent, so I smiled as gracefully as I could and bit back my explanations and just let it rest. I didn't cry when he spoke of the fantabulous squirting female he knows (which I really, really wish he hadn't). I didn't scream for him to get out when he fell asleep faster than me, because it's not his job to stay awake longer so I can be, I didn't ask him to.

I'm the only one who can really heal this prisoner, but I can let others help. These are good steps forward, as fucking confusing and confounding as they may feel. I will be whole again.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Something, but what?

A strangely familiar unease. I'm having "one of those days" where my apartment is far too small, far too centered on electronics and this computer. I feel something closing in on me and that something might just be me. Everything except eclectic drifting is too much a task for me. Does this always happen when I sleep too much? I thought I was sick, so I stayed in bed. My apartment is freezing, so I stayed in bed. Then my body began to ache and the day seemed over before I ever began it. I'm not processing some things, they're sitting there, and they don't feel benign. When masturbation seems like too large a task to attempt it's a sure sign for me; something is not ok.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Comforting Stokes Forward

After a harrowing week with Devyn I'm finding myself again feeling stuck. He left Friday night and I didn't let anything "hit me" until Monday. I was looking forward to therapy a lot, and when I started crying because of a poem my friend wrote, for she and her girlfriend's anniversary, I knew it was going to be one of those epic feeling sessions.

I found myself curled into a fetal position crying and wanting to sob harder. Wanting to wail "it" out. My wonderful therapist made some helpful observations and then helped heal me further by leading me through some guided relaxation and imagery before my hour was up. I left there, bought some Ben and Jerry's, and found my bus home. Monday night was a night of self care in the most comforting ways possible: beer, herb, wintery scents of nutmeg, orange, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander simmering on the stove, bathrobe, and finally masturbation. I came to some helpful decisions for the future.

By Tuesday morning I was a new woman. I took my time, wrote myself a love letter:
The lunch you packed me was perfect...Come to think of it - you did me a TON of favors yesterday! You're so awesome! As in - I'm filled with AWE (not to mention awwww). From morning - that rosewater lotion you got me is Lovely - to noon (have I mentioned yoga??), to night (therapy, thai food, ice cream, beer, weed, a clean house, spices, and a hearty mouthful of pussy?!?!?!?!?!! God bless the universe that blessed me with YOU!

I felt empowered, in control of my happiness, and wise. So today's crash back down is much more frustrating. Can I blame it on the alcohol? I did go home a bit tipsy last night, but it was a good night, wasn't it? I sat in front of my computer, while mourning the quiet chill of my apartment, and stared blankly. There's a lot I need to get down on this blog, but I'm preoccupied right now.

I wanted to take a "mental health" day today and meditate and care for myself, but feared that it'd look bad after taking a sick day last Monday. So here I am, at work. It's been a slow day and the attitude that's dragging me has my body aching too. I looked up some guided imagery and meditation podcasts. There are yoga podcasts too. So tonight, the first thing I'm doing, before I do my Vagina Monologues work, before I read a bunch of jargon about my medical/financial benefit options for work, before I get high or any other distractions, I'm going to work on this block. I'm going to find the space I had created where the good energy lived and I'm going to stroke it's proverbial back (always makes me feel better) until it loosens up a bit. I'm going to stretch and breathe and sit and notice and I'm not going to force anything. Maybe I won't "get there" tonight. Maybe I won't be laughing with glee before bed today, but I'll loosen up this knot and reassure myself that I know how, I have access, and I am in control of my own happiness and success.

Because that's all there is too it.