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April 2014

I met up with a boy last week to go for a bike ride. He took me down a steep, cracked, ancient asphalt canyon road to an abandoned World War II bunker. It was covered in graffiti, beautiful graffiti, as though the people who visited it cared about the place and wanted to enhance rather than deface its appearance. The property was a planned homestead in the thirties. Seeing the terraced gardens and water tanks and living quarters and generator house totally dilapidated and reclaimed by drunken squatters seemed to tell the story of a dead yet revered way of life. It would be depressing, if my ideals or convictions could still be affected by reality.
We later rode along a ridge into the depths of Sullivan Canyon. The road was dirt and it was dusk. I had never taken my bike on a dirt road for so long and was rather proud of the way it was holding up. After a grueling climb of a few miles we reached the summit of the hill: a 360-degree view of canyon walls; shadowed valleys; clouds; houses far below. Stars. After a few minutes we realized the aircraft we were spotting were in a sort of formation: lining up to land at LAX. We counted eight planes arranged in a semi-circle in the purple twilight, red and white lights blinking. We were just far enough away that we couldn’t hear them.
The ride back down the ridge was an exercise in exhilaration and giddiness. We did the whole thing in the dark, no light save the nearly full moon to illuminate our path. On the way down I saw, or rather sensed, beings on the trail: a raccoon, a rat, maybe a squirrel or a lizard? Wondering no doubt what a couple of crazy primates were doing tipping themselves at the darkness.

Nearly five months into my new life as a single (grieving) woman I have lately been visited by fleeting feelings of happiness. Not complacency, not domestic bliss… but joy, joy of living, of being alive and capable of expressing myself. Feelings of worthiness, above all, feelings that were I to create and create and create from my soul it would be well received, others would see the value and recognize the joyous, universal energy which guided my art into existence. I have been experiencing high self-esteem, possibly for the first time since puberty. I know what I am looking for in human connections and not willing to settle for less; I am happy in my own company and can rationally process feelings of loneliness or longing. Maybe I don’t need to say that I am enjoying it immensely. Suddenly I am creating more, finishing projects, writing. Opening myself to more possibilities for my future: daydreaming of being a gypsy in Spain, of wailing on a stage, of creating an entire line of beautiful living clothing, of belly dancing and teaching yoga and thriving. I did not imagine these things for myself before. I did not believe myself worthy of these things before. Now I feel the world is open, or rather I am open to the world.
I am not afraid to share those things which enliven my soul…not afraid of anybody’s disapproval. Finally ready to work on improving my chances for living the whole human experience. I’ve waited nearly three years to start reading The Ethical Slut. This book seems like some rite of passage for me, something I didn't feel ready for in the past. I am willing, open, in the right state of mind. There is enough life, love, for everyone!
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I went to yoga for the first time in months today. It was an easy class. Some satisfying albeit frustrating stretches. I am spectacularly out of shape. Since Genghis died, my mind has been using my dormant body as a sort of cocoon. I've been physically numb for weeks.

Anyway, a few minutes before class was over the tears began to fall. I don't know if it was my body waking up and beginning to experience the anguish that the rest of me has been through lately, or if it was the beautiful ghostly shapes I saw swirling above me as I lay facing upward, thinking that maybe he was there, in the room, letting me in on his presence. Longing to believe it. I remembered the list I found in his cabin when his family and I were going through his things after he was murdered. He'd written it shortly after moving to Cooper Landing, all fits of positivity and momentum. "Cabin plans," he'd written, and "Yoga: DO IT!" New beginnings.

He got his DUI shortly after that and his attitude changed. Back to bitter. Back to liquor. I don't believe he ever did the yoga.

After the instructor led the last namaste I lost it and started sobbing. Such an unconscious, telling phenomenon. I had no idea the body was capable of taking over like that. I'm thinking maybe I should be doing more yoga, if it will release that pain from whatever part of my body I have it stored in.

Last night I dreamed I had sex with a woman. She had a throbbing, veiny penis. I was dripping wet for her, in my dream. I hardly ever have sex dreams, at least not ones I remember. I remember cuddling this woman after she fucked me. Her back felt cold. I can't imagine who she might be. A manifestation of my simultaneous reluctance and eagerness to move on, maybe. I haven't had sex in six weeks. That's some sort of record for me. I crave intimacy, but I also fear it, fear that fucking someone else will betray Genghis in some way, even though he's not even the last person I had sex with.

My roommate told me the other night that I need two years to grieve for Genghis. Drunk and indignant, I said, Hell no. He would want me to move on, not sit in my room crying for two years. One of the last things he said to me was that he didn't want to see me cry anymore. He was all about smiling even in the face of gray, gray clouds. He never took being alive for granted. One of the most basic elements of our connection was that we both valued, and sought out, rapturous moments. The ones where you lose your ego and become one with life, the universe and everything; the ones when you feel truly alive. Tripped out, staring at stars; fucking like drunken deities; taking over dance floors like we were the only two people in existence, reaffirming for one another that what matters is not the bad shit.

There was a lot of bad shit. Cheating, drugs, alcohol, accusations, jealousy. An unrestrained temper on my part. But still, it was easy to overlook these things in light of the good, in light of the crazy amazing feeling that just existing together gave us. Experiencing life as we blew through it and past it and swam into new waters. I experienced my relationship with Genghis as a journey. His presence ignited and accelerated a personal awakening in me that kept going, and going. It hasn't stopped yet. I am unlearning and reshaping and slowly creeping toward a life full of love. Eradicating all the fear. All the fear, of what others think, of what I think, of the expectations that were ingrained in my psyche from birth, of what society wants of me, of what the media says, all of it. It's becoming more and more strange to think about, the way fear rules so many lives, when none of it really matters. Just the love. That is life. I owe this beautiful journey to Genghis, whose soul was ancient, and wise, and needed only company.

Genghis's gift to me, this amazing leg of my journey, won't end with his death. He's still making waves in my life. I plan on having some delicious, satisfying sex in the near future, and I'll deal with whatever it brings up. But I won't believe some BS about sitting in my room for two years. I've already committed to making 2014 a year of travel, of rapturous moments, of life-affirmation, of rebirth and new growth. I hope I see him in my dreams sometime so I can tell him about it.
glam shots

why words matter

because words live in my soul, yet words long to leave it.
Writing has about the same effect on my soul as an orgasm does.
Yet. I judge the words that come from my soul. So much so that eventually I stopped letting them leave. My own judgment was too painful.
And I spent a year hurting, a year full of questions unanswered and unexplored and crushed and squeezed and crumpled inside of me until I find myself here. On Livejournal. Again. God it's been a long time.
My boyfriend, my muse and best friend, was murdered three weeks ago. His death, to witness his beautiful soul leaving this world, quickened my own sense of mortality.
I can't do this to myself anymore. I quit judging the words that come from my soul. Writing is too integral to who I am to not do it.
Keeping your carpe diem spirit alive, baby. Thanks for showing me how to live my truth.

This was hard to write.
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glam shots


It just occurred to me in the past week that I am sexually repressed. I read a book of writing by various sex workers, and it is probably the only book in the last few years that has had a truly powerful effect on me—the kind of book which (a) you can't put down and then (b) once you finish it, you go around seeing things and FEELING things in a completely new light. It's been a while.

It feels good, but scary. Because new possibilities have popped into my mind. Possibilities for a lifestyle that until now I would have (a) vehemently opposed on political grounds and (b) vehemently opposed on the grounds that I am enormously insecure.

It occurs to me that I am not a monogamist.

It occurs to me that without the fear that has kept me from addressing this subject, which, in fact, has kept me in denial in regards to this subject, I would be a lot happier either being polyamorous or in an open relationship.

It occurs to me I don't fully love and enjoy my own body. Still.

I experienced a new sensation after reading this book and considering a few things discussed within. It felt a bit like being in control of my body. And loving it. It felt rather powerful. It made me horny. It was lovely. And it was for me, MINE, not for you, not for any man or woman or other human being. Which I think it why it was so powerful. It felt real. It's also hard to describe.

I am going to start writing again. I miss my old life.
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Colombia calls

So many things that terrify me.

I’ve been studying sailing and boat safety by the books for the last month and planning, basically, to leave a permanent land-based home for good in three months: first as a sort of nomad in Colombia, then as crew on yachts. Part of me, the dominant part, is amazingly excited and jazzed and empowered and can’t wait. The other, smaller part of me…worries.

Little voices in my mind say, You’re not planning well enough. You don’t have enough money saved up. You say you’ll find a way but what if you don’t? What about all the dangers out there in the big bad world? How is a single female supposed to get around when she can’t trust anyone? Oh well, you probably won’t go through with it, anyway…

The concern most jarring to my apprehensive, undisciplined mind, however, is the fact that this new endeavor I’ve undertaken has no bearing on anyone but myself. I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone. I’m not doing it for money. It’s going to require a lot of hard work, and I’m not guaranteed to get anything out of it but the experience and plenty of life lessons.

This is a first for me. Everything else I’ve ever done has in some way been the easy way out. The path to college, this job—I’ve never gone against the grain for any sort of meaningful goal. I’ve never really worked hard for something I wanted, because it was easier to just settle for what I was given, and I'm scared I won't be able to go through with it.

A realization even more shameful than that: I’ve never really done anything significant without some ulterior motive. Sure, I enjoy discovering new ideas and hobbies and learning new ways of thinking—but it’s always been in small doses, markedly narcissistic (“Hey peers, check out what I know about!”), and with half-hearted effort. In other words, I’m great at talking the talk. Only recently, after entering the real world, have I realized how much fear has prevented me from walking the walk. I’ve done things only because I thought they would make other people see me in a certain way. Basically, I have been functioning exactly how I think plenty of kids in suburbia have learned and are learning to function: the adulation and idealization of one meaningless image after the next, whether that image is a rock star or a punk or a hipster, rules our lives.

I do not deny my participation in this non-culture. I experienced lots of ill-defined angsty rage during my anti-everything goth stage after high school. I was totally mesmerized by the hipster ideal in college (and post-college, for a while). I used to do things not because I was particularly passionate about them, but to fit in or at least make my perceived image more alluring to others. For example, in college I loved to dress 80s-neon-sexy-goth and learned to DJ with my then-boyfriend, who had founded the cornerstone discotheque of the artsy-hipster scene in Ames, Iowa. I liked that this seemed to surprise and impress people. I loudly voiced radical feminist opinions in many of my classes. I had an all post-punk college radio show. “Fuck you, society, look what I can do,” my behavior screamed. But really, I was trying to communicate that to myself. The extreme passion with which I pursued these endeavors was not just about music or activism or fashion. More than anything, I was passionate about breaking the boundaries in my own mind, about taking action to unlearn the harmful and limiting ideas I had absorbed from mass media about what it means to be female in modern America.

Since coming to terms with all this, it’s been pretty easy to identify what needs to happen. I need to learn to work hard. I need to stop caring about image and start caring about meaning. I need to establish a long-term goal and achieve it. I need to learn the difference between external validation and real self-esteem. Progress is good so far, but the step I take in July will be the most extreme—and hopefully the most transformative.

The only thing going to get me through this is strength of will. Got to stay positive!
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(no subject)

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before me,

The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,

Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,

Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,

Strong and content I travel the open road.

--Walt Whitman
(Song of the Open Road)

glam shots

prograp crap but oh well

i only identify with identity conflicts
life's a bitch when the damn shoe fits
i grew up almost rich
but i stick it to my niche
escaped the 'burbs to kick it on the curb
embrace my inner nerd
got back my self-worth

you can unlearn the pain
the chains youth laid on your brain
if god came today to see girls on myspace
accepting their fates as meat on a plate
she'd shake her damn head and some of the blame
because every damn day it's more of the same
only idiots claim it ain't fame
ridiculous that more aren't ashamed
when kids are dying out front of your door
you're still playing that more money game

cos it's never sufficient
this cycle is vicious
you'll always feel empty
cos you're so narcissistic

brush the teen years off like
dust from the wing of a moth
you say you wasted time being soft
when really that's a game for the lost
what's culture, but exclusion
what's this art but illusion
it gets so confusing--when in context it's bullshit
they tell you value can't come from some young bum
they tell you the gs you rake in rank over the fun
but who cares what it runs for when the artist is done for
turned sheep by corporation-sanctioned free speech
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Dying to say "let's go." Dying to say Yes not knowing what could be in store for me. Hoping to finally take the risk that at the moment I am terrified to even think ahead to. I want to get lost; to learn not to care; to learn to value true wealth above all else; to see the world and not only realize my potential but to EARN it through personal struggle and life experience. I want to sell my stuff. I want to learn through others. I want to not know where I might be a month from now. I want to journal my fingers off and have excited one-way conversations with my mom and inspire people close to me to make the leap. I want to learn to sail in Colombia and GO, live, leave. I want to completely surprise everyone I've ever known. I want to think on my life as it stands now and has for the last year as one misdirection I will never take again. I want to find a place I can truly call "home" even if I'm not from there. I think that depends not so much on the place itself but on the quality and the amount of life experiences it will take to reach that level of comfort. I want to be bored with the normals. I want to live my beliefs and consider absolutely every possibility out there before even considering settling with any one combination of them. I want to be old and worn out when that happens. I want to be able to celebrate my fortieth birthday not regretting a thing. I want to play volleyball on a beach for a month straight getting tan and sleeping in a hostel hammock. I want to eat fresh vegetables and seafood every day for lunch. I don't want to eat dinner. I want to drink rum. I want adventures. I want to not need to dream. I want to ride a horse every day and climb mountains because I can.
glam shots

(no subject)

Utterly consumed lately by an urge to take command of my life, to exert continuous proactive energy toward my future. I want to build it from the ground up, not rely on some horrific marketing company to support me in exchange for nearly all of my time.

I want to be a craft brewer, or a mushroom grower, or a translator, or a sailor, or a cross-stitcher, just something which guarantees me some level of autonomy over my professional life.

Going to Colombia in July, can't wait, will probably never want to come back to the states.
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