Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Jen's Tripping...


yep... jen of "her own invention". the one word that comes to mind when i think of jen is sweet. no, not like that. like, sweeet. damnit, you guys aren't southern enough. jen knows what i'm talking about... and kelli.

see, there's this kind of fragile sticky sweet aura that she has, and it makes us want to reach out and stroke the tears away, throw her over our shoulder, and fix all her problems.

but have you noticed lately that we are seeing a different side of jen? a little more independent, a little more confident, a little less bloggy? it's okay guys... she's living life.


-------------------------------------------------------

thanks for doing this. i'm kind of nervous because i haven't done this in a while... so, slap me around if i start getting off subject.

i remember the first time i read your blog. the word that sticks out in my mind is "sticky"... probably because i couldn't stop reading. i combed through the archives, i memorized your patterns, i probably had a mild case of the stalker syndrome, etc...

but, i was amazed at how accepting you were. there has always been this underlying friendship between you and i. we may not email every single day, but i know that if i shot you off an email needing help or advice, you would be there.

all this wouldn't be possible without our blogs. how has it changed your life?


Well, Rick, I have a case of the nerves, too. It's so exciting being here! I am really thrilled you asked me and of course it's always an honor being invited into your place. This is the blog behind the blogs...it's like MTV Unplugged or maybe it's like the Barbara Walters of blogging...I'll tell you anything, I swear. I might even cry! :-D

Sticky Ricky, eh? I do remember when you first found my blog and you were making noises about uprooting your family to live with me in Tulsa. Heh. I was, like, who the hell IS this guy? But when I started reading your first blog your words were like drinking a shot ~ you know that charged, sexy, warm, jittery, euphoric, slightly nauseated feeling? You just had this amazing capacity for supercharging words. And you still do. I think I've said this to you before, but I think you really found your home with your new blog. You hit your groove with it.

You are the one blogger who seems to have my archives memorized...more than me, even. You always have a way of seeing beyond my current post. It's like you get the "big picture" of everything you have read in my blog and you pull out that one thread that really makes sense and ties it all together.

And thank you for the accepting compliment. Well, you know, the things people most want to hide are the things I most want to know about them and love them for. I prefer the raw version inside us all. Maybe it's those points of pain I really connect with (and we all have it in some form in our lives). I've always been one to cut through the bullshit and go straight to the heart, I guess. I have this capacity for carrying secrets. People tell me just about anything and in the most uncanny circumstances, too. I also happen to be a very intuitive judge of character and I know more about people than I let on ~ or that they even realize I know.

And how has blogging changed my life? I started writing again, for one. My writing was something I had really let die in my life, which is a shame, because it's the one thing I love the most. I started my blog and suddenly I had this forum for my thoughts that I could get feedback on. I went through a period where I was very heavily into blogging and I really worked a lot of shit out, I think. I needed to get a hold on who I was and who I wanted to be because not knowing those things got me into a lot of trouble (my marriage).

This past year I have shaped so much of my thinking on sexuality, sensuality, relationships, what is meaningful in this life, where I should take my career direction, the past and it's effect on the present...so many things. It's like I worked all of these thoughts through my system and now I've stepped away from my blog quite a bit...I'm out living my life.

Even deeper than that, though, have been the friendships I have forged through blogging. I have really found some very good people here. The thing about blogging is that you aren't limited to a pool of people immediately around you. You can find anyone...anywhere...you find soulmates and you find people who read your shit and still think you're fantastic. I don't think I have ever felt so "understood" as I have here. I really feel so much more self-confident and sexy because of it.



yes! over the last year we have all become more confident.

i can remember when jason came out and announced that he would be working on a novel... A NOVEL. he was taking it to the next level because he had gained the confidence here, among the same circle that gives us our strength.

and now, the lovely jen in red is doing some outside writing too. seperate from your blog, exactly what type of writing are you doing now? and more importantly, what type of writing do you plan on doing in the future? some of that sexy poetry maybe? or some wild tales about you being bent over that comfy couch?

okay, you don't have to answer all those... i mean, you can if you want. i won't publish it... okay, i will. but, we're all friends.



mmmmmmmmmmmmm...that comfy couch! {Smacks her lips.} Some good times on that sofa. You'll just have to wait and see what I have planned for that. ;-)

My writing. Funny, I feel so awkward talking about these details of my life. Don't know why. Anyway...I will talk about it here. I am currently starting my own copywriting business, which means I am writing all kinds of stuff for businesses and getting paid for it. Web content, press releases, brochures, all that crap. I am also doing some light technical writing for a software company so I guess you could say my career is a bit of a hybrid right now.

When crazy crappy Christian company fell on its knees (no pun intended) and I was released out into the wild...I started this little venture and I've never been happier. Or more stressed! A good friend of mine keeps telling me all I need is CONFIDENCE with my writing and that's, well, hard sometimes.

But what I REALLY want to write are novels. I've known that's what I wanted to do since I was very little. I haven't really had the frame of mind for writing much fiction these days...but I love it and one of these days I will start kicking my ass to really do it. Fiction is something I keep pretty private, though.

I do have a few pieces I am working on...article essay type stuff I am spinning off from a few of my blog posts...that I am planning to submit.

And of course ~ I always have that sexy poetry in me that I want to get out there! That's actually my favorite kind of writing right now, to tell the truth.

Me, my DDs, and my words. That's all I need.


crazy christian company... crazy christian... christian. that word brings something out in you. one of your recent posts you talk about being in a christian environment, the hands raised in the air, the trembling souls...

you and i have both had our fair share of christ... we understand the christian movement. we know all these things about christianity, but yet we are different from those that have much of the same knowledge.

are we missing something?



With all due respect, I get the feeling they're the ones who are missing something. Yes, you and I have quite a different perspective from most...our backgrounds have allowed us to be close to this particular brand of Christianity and yet we have this outside view of it. We can understand it...and yet not be a part of it.

And yes, Christianity is, for better or worse, a central theme of my life. It has sent me running and it has also drawn me in. It's something I am continually wrestling with. I feel I am always weighing its worth in my life and how much of it I want to let in. It certainly holds a twist of fear over me and that is hard to grapple with sometimes. I long ago stopped feeling guilt about some of those Christian "hot button" issues: masturbation feels good. Sex feels good. Drinking is not a sin. I really hate how Christianity tends to make people feel inferior or bad about themselves and I also really hate the overwhelming message that our bodies are bad things.

I try to see my spirituality as its own thing...sure, I believe in God. I don't believe, however, in this crazy religion that mainstream Christianity insists is the right and only way. As a good friend of mine tells me: religion is the enemy of God.


preach it sister! shake that bush! hall-a-freakin-lujah...

ahem. well, that got me started. i always thought it funny that nothing is EVER good enough for christians... "it's great that your baptist, but did you know that baptist don't dance. you better come to our side."

years ago, i made the mistake of telling my pastor that catholics were christians... "they don't serve jesus, they serve the virgin mary. they are worse than devil worshipers."

oh well, blind leading the blind is the way i feel.

now, tell me about your blog... are you still feeling it? i mean, does it still excite you like it used to? yeah, i'm nosey.


Oh, I'll shake somethin' all right!

Phhhhpht. Yeah, you can tell my heart's just not into blogging the way it used to be, right? No, I'm just not feelin' it the way I used to. Anymore I just post when I feel I have something to say and lately, I haven't felt like I have much to say at all. When I was working for crazy company, I didn't have much to do all day so I would write and I would blog. I just don't have that kind of time to commit to it anymore. There was a time when I posted nearly every day and I felt I had so much to say...I really loved it. At least I do try to maintain my bloggy friendships behind the scenes these days.

I don't know. I think also I tend to write the most when I am going through it or when I am worried or depressed or when I am trying to work something out. The process of writing for me has always been borne out of pain...the words insist on seeping out.

I feel great in my life right now. A lot of really, really good things are finally happening...and it's just not there for me when I think about blogging it. Who knows, eh? Maybe someday I will come back to it.



okay... one more question and then i'll stop... i mean, i could go on for days... stamina... but, if i don't ask this i'll regret it... i know i will...

the thing with you, jen, is that people want to love you. sure, you have a way with words, but your words would mean nothing if there wasn't a golden heart behind it. so many times when reading your posts, i would say to myself, "i wish there was another me..." not because i'm not happily married, but because i know that i could love you the way you need to be loved. i have it figured out. that's the part of me that want's to fix everything.

there you are... this lovely creature full of love waiting to expel it on the right person...

will it happen? will you find love again?


Ooohhhhh...that's the question that brings me to my knees. And it's not just the stamina thing. I can have stamina on my knees, too, you know. ;-)

I'm honestly not sure what to say, I'm just stammering from your huge compliment. And you've isolated the one thing that's been somewhat of a torment to me in my life. How to find love? How to find the kind of love from a person who will love you the way you need to be loved? The kind of love where you can just give it all with abandon. Your comment that I am just waiting to expel it all on the right person is right on the mark and it reminds me of my favorite Victor Hugo quote from Les Miserables:

"In this solitude there was a heart that was all ready. Love had only to show its face; there was a temple there composed of greenery, of grass, of moss, of bird sighs.... Her heart, thrown back on itself, makes itself a channel, being unable to overflow, and deepens, being unable to expand."

Will I find love again? I know I will.

But it's the "again" word of that question I have to pause at, since I wouldn't consider that my ex and I were ever really "in love" and I think we both knew it and that's why we got out.

Since then, I have learned. I have experienced love in various forms and each one of those unique experiences has given me an extraordinary gift. I think you can have different kinds of love with different people and you get something from each of those experiences even if it isn't the "whole package," if you know what I mean. Some relationships aren't meant to be anything more than what they are. Maybe it could be right in the right circumstances but the circumstances aren't right.

I think love has always been a very difficult aspect of my life...but I am really opening up. We've all been hurt in some form or another and it's my fear of being hurt that has kept me ~ in the past ~ from entering loving relationships. But don't you think that's the element that is so necessary in these relationships? That your vulnerability, your trembling heart, are handed to the care of someone else? And there is the *possibility* there of them hurting you. You know this. You know it goes both ways. It's the risk that makes it worth it. Maybe there is something telling in the power you hand over to the other person ~ the power to hurt you whether they actually do or not or whether it's intentional on their part or not. When two people can be purely unguarded and naked with one another it's a beautiful and terrible thing. I certainly never had that with my ex and it's unfortunate that that is one of the reasons for my choice in marrying him and also of our imminent demise. He could not hurt me. He did not hurt me. We were devoid of such risk.

I don't know if that answers the question or not or even if my answer makes sense in relation to the question. But I do know that inside me lives a woman who above all wants to risk intimacy and find love in a cynical world.


i just have this huge smile on my face right now... thank you so much for agreeing to do this... and more importantly, thank you for your honesty.



Well, I'm smiling, too! Thanks so much for inviting me to do this! You're the best, man. Hugs to you.


--------- ----------- ----------------

jen used to write daily at "her own invention"... as you can see, things have taken quite a turn in her life... so, she's a bit spread out. she has the sexiest colored blog ever, and when she's in the mood, she can bang out some pretty hot stuff. she's my friend, so drop by and say "hi".

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Maddy-Love



i believe everyone suffers. its just part of livin huh? and shit - we love to quantify it. make it rational and minutely scaled. so we can decide whether or not we're doin it right. and so we can weigh in on whether or not we have the right to hurt.

and ive wondered lots lately

what is the 'right' way to be in relationship with sufferin? what does health and wholeness and integrity look like when we're faced with unbearable pain?

and i think our cultural discourses dont help us to answer that one real well huh?

we're recruited into the story that

health means happiness. it means bein able to function independently from others. it means lettin go of past wounds. it means acceptin yourself. it means assertin your needs. it means conformin to social codes of behavior that define and restrict what we view as 'normal'. it means lettin go of anger. it means suckin it up and pullin up our bootstraps and chugchuggin away cuz i think i can i think i can

but
(and)
there are other stories we can enact eh? ones that are marginalized from the happyeverafter script we're asked to write.

and mine is

health means allowin ourselves to honour all the feelins that come with livin. it means valuin sufferin as a part of bein fully human. it means takin time to grieve and rage and scream. it means knowin that the 'symptoms' we experience as problematic - as indications of pathology or weakness or disease - are really invitations to growth. it means acceptin that life is beautiful AND it sucks. it means searchin for purpose and meanin and light. it means hope without expectations. it means letting go of the need to let go.

i wont blink back my tears
i wont run from my fierceness
i wont devalue the darkhurt parts of who i am
i wont think of my life as somethin i inflict on others
i wont put on my happy face unless it fits me that day

i wont live a half-life and call it livin

and no im not sayin that we should wallow in the hard stuff always. i think thats
just the opposite end of the same narrow scale of Truth. the idea that (somehow) if we punish ourselves enough we'll be redeemed. the hope that if we go through enough hard shit we'll be worthy of attention and respect and care.

thats not real healthy either eh?

i just think 'healin' aint synonymous with happiness. cuz hey - on the practical side - its fightin a losin battle :/ life doesnt stop happenin huh? and theres always gonna be painful times.

and cuz

theres nothin inherantly bad or depletin or harmful bout havin ANY feelin. what fucks us up is when we take on the message that happiness is the only acceptable feelin to have.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Maddy-Love, Part Two of Two



i'll just let her words speak for her today. you know how i feel about her, and her writing.

again, maddy-love of "Finding Yonder".




well i'm back... my weekend not nearly long enough.

i hope your's was peaceful.

so, back to you. as i was gone for the weekend, i kept coming back to one thing... your life is sensational. not in the "i have the best life in the world" meaning of the word, but in the "so much has happened in 30 years!" sense of the word.

do you ever think, "maddy... you can't handle any more."?


heya rick.

yeah - time away never seems like quite enough time eh? i hope you were able to enjoy the parts you could grab for now :)

and does it ever feel like i cant handle any more?

shit yeah. lots of the time it does :(

honestly rick? (well thats been a theme and all lately huh? :)

up til my brother got sick it didnt feel like that very often. cuz i did have lotsa sweet things in my life. my husband. my children. a job i was real good at - and that i loved. enough money to get by - with some extras squeezed in :) my brother and the family hed made. him and sarah and jay and julie :)

and see i still struggled with past stuff sometimes. but i could always pull myself
out of it ya know? cuz i figured well sure i went through lotsa shit - but theres gifts that came through all of that huh?

my capacity to empathize and connect with people my deep understandin of what its like to hurt the gratitude i feel for all of the light parts of my livin the small wisdom ive come to hold
my fierceness
my strength
my bullshit detector

i dont think i would have found any of those things - or not to the same level and that - if i hadnt been invited to create them as a way of survivin the traumas ive endured.

but mats death?

that broke me. more than anythin thats happened in my life. fuck. it broke me down.

i think i just didnt expect to live through it. and he knew that i guess. he asked me to promise him to live a year. and i sed i would. and if it wasnt for that - i know i wouldnt be here today. i would have let myself slip away, back when i was so ill it wouldve been easy.

a friend asked me how he got me to say that i would. i remember it kinda surprised me eh? she was the only one who asked.

i told her the truth anyways. i promised cuz hed never asked me for anythin. ever in his life. how could i say no huh?

and i know he wasnt askin me to get through a year. shit - i do know that. he was askin me for somethin smaller - cuz he knew i couldnt see farther than that. i couldnt have promised to live the rest of my life without him. i wouldve told him i cant do it. i just cant. but a year? i felt i could do a year.

and i will too. its been kinda close - but i will keep my promise eh? im good like that :)

and shit :/
i sure hope this isnt too heavy rick. but you asked - and its the best answer i have.



when you ask for someone's friendship, the load can never be too heavy. i'm a firm believer in friendship and that they are just as important as family... as long as you choose the right ones. those that support and nourish, that provide and shelter. those are the friends i'm talking about... and it's the type of friendship that we
bloggers know best.

because you can't always be there physically, but you can be there emotionally. many time's a comment on my blog has provided much needed lite on a very dark subject. other time's, i'm reminded that someone cares just by a simple "hi", other times i'm reminded by an email that says "i understand".

what touches you in your blog... what keeps you coming back?



my friends are my family in lotsa ways :) the very best kind of family huh? cuz you dont get to chose your blood family and that. every person i calla friend - i chose. actively and consciously. and im so lucky in my friends rick :) both in 3d and on-line - and in the places those things run together for me :)

and
what touches me bout my blog?

kinda a big question that :/

guess i need to start by sayin ive been a part of a close on-line community for about 6 years now. i hooked up there originally durin a real different time in my life.

bein a trauma survivor isnt somethin ive ever hidden a whole lot. partly cuz i havent had much of a choice that way - but also cuz i see my past as a big part of who i am. well shit. i wouldnt exist without it eh? not as me. not as maddy - seperate from 'pete' (our bodies name). so yeah. ive spoken as a keynote bout some of my childhood abuse. ive shared my story and my path to healin with a few thousand people over the years eh?

what i DID keep hidden for many years was the multiness of my/our existence. it always feels like a scarier thing to share i guess. cuz there are so many misconceptions eh? talk shows and movies often show havin 'multiple personalities' as a rare freakshow kinda thing. people goin into trances at a therapists cue, leadin completely seperate lives as the different parts of who they are. most times i cant recognize any of it as anythin close to who or how i am :/.

so the message forums i found back then were related to mulitplicity eh? and
it felt awesome connectin there. cuz i felt normal ya know? finally :) cuz i could let all of the parts of who-we-are speak, and play, and build their own friendships with other folks like us :)

and when my brother got sick, my on-line friends were like a life-line huh? and man - i sure needed one bad :/ cuz everyone else in my life was in about the same shape as me.

a ring of roses
we were huh?
without him
we all fall down :(

writin became the only way i could talk bout what was goin on. i had so many words in me rick. i felt like i would explode, tryin to keep em all inside :/ and my on-line friends have been so wonderful. patient and givin and the ground beneath my feet sometimes.

but theres only so long you can rehash the same old shit huh? and ive been stuck for 10 months man.

hes dead. i miss him. it all hurts so bad
repeat

:(

sooooo i started my blog for a couple reasons (yeah i am gettin to the point - i
hope :)

partly so that i can write whatever i need to - i can be however i need to be - and no ones obligated to respond.

and partly as a way of creatin a memorial to my brother. to his life. to the things he taught me over the short years i had him. to the joy he brought to so many others - and to the pain we all feel at his loss.

and what touches me most rick? that people listen to far more than i ever believed they could. that theyre touched by the pieces of my life ive been able to share. that im believed - without always havin to cart out 'proof' of what my lifes looked like (i have to bring newspaper clippins and a photo of mat to the hospital when i
go in - ive found out from experience that im likely to be locked up as delusional if i dont :/).

and most of all that i get to share my brother in that place. i get to keep who he was alive - by lettin other folks know a little bout what i lost through his
death.

im so glad to know some of the folks ive met through yonder. you and edge and flygirl and scorpy and satistfied spouse and muse and psychokitty and so many others.

im always blessed in my friends eh? :) thanks for your gifts to me rick.



i don't know if i've told you or not, but i lost a good friend to drugs almost 2 years ago... the nite he passed on, i felt him "visit" me.

i had always said that he was too much for this life anyway... he needed to move on to the next level.

we smell him, hear him, and feel him, his spirit, still... his death changed my life. i was so lost, maddy. slowly i'm finding myself again. i've come a long way. i'm improving, but i still have some work to do...

what's next, sweetie? after your year, where do you go?



im real sorry to hear bout your loss rick :( and i know how its hard to find the good stuff sometimes.

i do feel mat hangin round some days. i know that ive grown a lot as a person through my greivin. i just dont give a shit.

i want his smile and i want to have aggravatin stupid fights with him and i want to be able to pop by anytime just cuz i wanna and i want to tease him bout bein hit on by anyone and everyone and i want and i want and

fuck growth. fuck believin in a frickin afterlife even. id give both those things back in a heartbeat.

its like that sometimes
huh?

((((u))))

and
whats next?

well i gotta live i guess. it kinda sucked really takin that in. jay brought it home for me - he sure did. i never want my child to wake up screamin - thinkin its her fault im not there to love her anymore.

i cant do that. no. and guess i cant blame jay too much. he was just the smack in the face for the rest of us contemplatin it :/

i have to live so im livin in the ways that feel most meaninful to me

im lovin the folks in my life who love me im reclaimin the sunlit parts of my childhood
and
im buildin a pain memorial to the basement parts and one day i wont have to tend it so much ya know?

and the future that pulls me?

i want to continue healin into the world. i want to find ways to make my wounds contributions. shit theyre there huh? i might as well use em :)

thanks for askin me to do this rick. it actually helped me pull myself out of a couple of real bad days. babblin always helps me somehow. which is good news since i cant seem to shut up much :)



thank you maddy for taking the time out to blab away with me. honestly, i could go forever. in my line of work, i have to ask question... tons of them. so, when i meet someone like you, i tend to keep asking and asking and asking... well, you get the picture. so, thank you for this. it means more to me than you'll ever know.

one more question... then i'll let you go.

so here we are... a couple of kids that act grown up because we have to, that have completely different lives and a completely different past... yet, we're connecting via this world wide web thing that i still can't figure out...

take it a step further. we're sitting on your porch, drinking cocktails of our choice, with one of those little am\fm radios playing in the background just loud enough to hear... what type of music are we listening to?


well thanks for takin the time to listen huh? :) ramblin away is not much of a hardship for me (what with 150 posts a day and all that ;-)

sittin out on my porch with you makes a nice picture hon. course i tend to play my music a little loud. my kids tell me to turn it down :)

i think for a lazy porch talk? id be playin some blue rodeo or sarah maclachlan. mellow but damn catchy :)

take care hon k?
((((u))))

love
maddy

--------- ------------ -------------------

Again... Maddy writes at http://findingyonder.blogspot.com . She is talented beyond belief, and her words will take your breath away. Go ahead... read her.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Maddy-Love, Part One of Two.



you read it right... part one of two. i'll post the second half of the interview later this week. possibly, wednesday. thing was, i just couldn't stop asking questions.

what a lovely sport she is, and an example of making lemonade of life's lemons.

i can't remember how it was that our meeting came about. it just happened... over the last few months, i've laughed and cried and hoped and prayed that this precious being would pull through.

i've often thought that i would give her some thoughts to think about, or possibly provide insight into a situation that's troubling... but in reality, i go to her for inspiration. i have nothing to offer her except friendship, and she gladly accepts. but, i get so much in return... i get the wisdom of a brother through her words. i get a loving adult who was molded out of a violent childhood.

this one is special to me... my maddy-love.


you know i love your writing. there are times when reading your words that i want to find you, grab you around the waist, and hug the hurt away. it really has become a physical pain for me... because, well... i've grown attached to you. they aren't just words anymore, they are you.

i'm not the only one that feels this way. many people do. you never really expected this type of reaction, did you?

hey rick

you know - its funny that you say it that way. 'theyre not just words anymore - they are you'.

in a very real way thats exactly what my words are. which is maybe why i kinda have a reaction when when people ask me to speak differently :/

bein multi aint somethin ive talked much about on my yonder place. not much. i dunno why. but its always there for me huh?

ive been diagnosed with what psych folks would call 'dissociative identiy disorder' for bout 11 years. im actually not the part of who-we-are that was 'out' for most of our life. i was a protector part. i was round to keep the others who share 'my' body safe. i did that by tellin everyone else to fuck off mostly :/ i built a wall and i guarded it close.

so yeah. my words ARE me. the realest me i have. i dont sense body as a part of who-i-am. its just a skin i slip on so that i can act and be and relate to others.

am i confusin you yet? :)

and no - i didnt expect anyone to connect to my writin. cuz my words are for me ya know? and guess i didnt think anyone else would really want to plow through them. im not the chirpiest person in the world or nothin. and some of the stuff i talk about is real hard eh? :/

the fact that anyone can connect to my words - feel some of what i feel - hear things ive held inside for so much of my livin - fuck. i cant describe what thats like rick.

scarey. movin. empowerin.

its a blessin i didnt look for. lots of the best kinds seem to work like that huh? :)

im not a writer. i should say that. i was a therapist - back when i wasnt so messed up and that. id like to be that again one day. im hopin that my writin will help me get there.

don't sell yourself short, love. you are a writer. it's why i have been anxious to talk with you at length... there is presentation to your writing that visually reaches out and wants to be loved, to be understood, to understand, to make sense of emotion.

memories come fast and hard, i've noticed. some days, the memories areas beautiful as your eyes, while other days memories strike the very center of your turbulant past.

most days, there's a very common theme, mat. tell me about your brother...

well - guess when i say im not a writer i mean i dont write with a lot of thought - if that makes sense? its just words and words and words and they flow through me and i post. sometimes i go back and edit a bit. not often tho :/ feels like real writin should be more work ya know?

and
my brother

oyeah :(

he does show up a lot in my writin. i miss him. it feels like time shouldve stopped when he died ya know? some days i look round and wonder how the world can exist without him in it. guess it feels like mine doesnt in lotsa ways :(

mat raised me and my sister. he was 6 years older than me, and ky was kinda in the middle. they both had a different mom. she killed herself when mat was 4. she was annishinaabe (ojibwe), and my brother and sister both look lots like her.

we grew up on farms. the place im livin now was one of em. and my dad was real violent, and he was mentally ill i guess. like he hallucinated a lot. his 'visions', he called them. and somehow lots of what he saw related to my brother. he saw mat as a demon and that. we would listen to sermons growin up - i dunno what else to call them - and dad would tell us how mat was evil and hed been born that way and he needed to be punished so that god would forgive his sins. and guess dad took his role as gods punisher pretty serious huh? :/

my brother didnt have a name growin up. he wasnt allowed to eat our food. he wasnt allowed to speak when dad was around. and every thing we did wrong - he got in shit for too huh? cuz he was sposed to be watchin us. he was responsible. so hed be the one to get beat over it.

and the beatins were real bad :(

he was the sweetest kid tho. he really was. he played with us, and made us toys. he sang me to sleep every night he was well enough and that. he brushed the tangles outta my hair every mornin. hed always tug on the ends when he was done. 'there ya go haystack - all set'. with his slanty sunshine kinda smile :)

he taught me how to read and brush my teeth and take care of animals andhide from dad. he protected me and my sister with everythin he had. he wouldve given his life for us. there were many times he nearly did.

i lost him for 16 years. mom kicked him out when he was 17 - and then moved me and ky a couple of thousand miles away so that he couldnt find us and take us to live with him. wasnt till a few years back that i got up the strength to look for him. i was real scared of what id find out ya know? mom told us so many stories over the years. dad killed him. he killed himself. he ran away. hes in jail for life. and i didnt know what was true. and findin out that he was dead was bout the worst thing i could think of.

i wasted so much time. sittin with that fear :(

but eventually i dug up his number through a police contact i had - and we met up in a coffee shop one day. and he was the same kid id known all those years ago huh? :) unreal beautiful and a giant size heart - and he made me crack up laughin almost right away. first thing he sed after how much hed missed me was 'shit pete - you aint grown much eh'?

i had in back in my life for close to 4 years. and shit - we fought sometimes and he could be an absolute ass. but it was the best time i ever had. the happiest ever after.

he died of leukemia 10 months ago yesterday. he fought it real hard. conditionin chemotherapy and radiation and two stem cell transplants (with kys cells - i wasnt a match :/). lots of close calls with illnesses he picked up cuz his immune system was such shit.

and then he died. i was there. i got to say goodbye.

he left behind his long-term girlfriend, and an 8 year old daughter. along with so many sweet friends who loved him dear. they paid for his funeral. they helped rebuild the place he was hurt into a somethin beautiful and filled with love.

i got real sick after he passed away. i couldnt eat huh? not for weeks. i think part of me wanted to go with him. real bad. part of me still does i guess :( feels like a lot of empty years with him gone.

he sed we shared a heart, me and him. and thats what it feels like huh? like half my heart is missin always. and the rest of it dont work so well :/

when you say you didn't eat for weeks... was this a one time thing, or have you battled with eating disorders prior? since?

ive always struggled with eatin. i still do. every day.

not cuz i think im fat or anythin like that. its one of the things that screws with my treatment for it. i dont do well in hospital programs, cuz they focus on body distortion shit. i know im too skinny. i just dont like food is all.

i spent lotsa years watchin my brother starve rick. literally starve. he used to eat feed meant for the horses - and hed puke it up always and that. its not somethin people can eat huh? me and my sister used to steal stuff for him sometimes - but if we got caught it was pretty bad :/ and when he was doin his chemo he lost alot of weight - and guess that triggered lotsa stuff for me ya know? it was like back then. sittin at the table and mom rappin her fork against my plate. 'i cooked all day and youd better eat it girl'. so id haveta shovel things down - while he watched from his spot on the floor. dad sed he could beg like the dogs, if he wanted to eat. mat wouldnt beg tho. he was a stubborn kid. stubborn man too.

i was 61 pounds when i first went into hospital last year. was about 5 weeks after mat died. ive been in and out lots since. fucked up my heart pretty bad and that - cuz it shrinks along with the rest of you huh? so i did some permanent damage to the muscle. wound up havin serious episodes of an arryhythmia called torsades de points. its what they think causes sudden deaths for many seriously anorexic women.

i have an implant now, to help regulate my heartbeat. theyre not sure if ill need it forever or not. im hopin not :/ im 30 ya know? feel kinda young to have a pacer :/

i know that i still dont eat as well as i should. i never feel hungry huh? i dont experience any cues from my body sayin 'feed me' - its more the opposite :/ if i mess up, i usually notice when i get dizzy or spacey - cuz my blood sugar goes wonky and that. i wear an alarm on my watch these days. when it goes off - i gotta have a snack :) that seems to work ok.

so im doin better huh? gettin there. havent been back in hospital since my surgery, which is real cool :)

i have so many questions... you don't mind if i keep asking do you? maddy, you're precious. you're strong and delicate... i've never met anyone like you, and i'm honored that we have a budding friendship.

these are things that i've wanted to ask you since first reading you, so i hope you don't mind. please let me know if you are starting to feel uncomfortable...

in your writing, you've mentioned your violent past at various points. it really hits home when it's condensed... almost like an ultra-emotional timeline. for me at least...

recently you explained your tattoo drawn by your brother. did he paint the portrait on your blog?

nope - i dont mind the questions. if theres anythin i dont feel safe answerin ill let you know k? ive got good boundaries like that :)

i have experienced lots of violence. from dad. from a slimy uncle i lived with for a couple years. from moms new husband. from katies sperm donor dude. and on and on i guess. its quite the list really :/

mat did paint the green lady on my site. its a pre-paintin really. one of the quick sketches hed do as part of a larger work. playin with the colours and forms and all that kinda stuff.

he was real good, as an artist. his works sold well - and people paid high for em. hes got a totem in a large conservation park near our old home. he has some paintins in smaller galleries in the city. some others in fancy office buildins.

he quit sellin his stuff bout 3 years ago. he sed he didnt like bein marketed the way they do it huh? they emphasized him bein metis. they used his looks a lot too. well - he was strickin and that eh? all the scars - and then that pretty face he had. he wound up sayin it felt like he was sellin himself all again. hed rather make houses and cabinets and that kinda thing. 'well it feels less traumatic and shit' :)

he was a musician too, for lotsa years. he stopped cuz of his hands bein messed. his arthritis started gettin bad a few years back. he sed he couldnt bear down enough to be much good anymore huh? i liked to hear him tho. he 'dinked around' up till the end of his life. he sed it was his way of talkin. he wasnt much with words, he felt.

mat was wrong bout himself. he was so bright in other ways - but he was real messed up bout himself. it made me sad. it still does :( he always thought he was dirt huh? guess its hard when you were taught that your whole life :/

but he loved to be alive - and he sure loved other people. he just gave too much sometimes. not just the shirt off his back - but the livin heart from his body. and it was really the only thing i can remember him doin that hurt us. all of us who loved him.

and think i rambled sorta there huh? sorry bout that rick. hope i answered what you asked me somewhere in there :/

and hey it feels like a nice beginnin to a friendship. what ive known in you :)

to be continued...

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Maddy is a gifted writer that can post up to 150 times per day. Just kidding, but she can post quite often in one day, should she so desire. You can find her at http://findingyonder.blogspot.com.

Don't forget to check back for Part Two. Peace.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Garrison


(click on the image and go check out Garrison's books...)
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He sat on the side of the bed, silent. Naked.

Behind him, snuggled under once-crisp, white, cotton sheets, she was still asleep, oblivious to the sunlight streaming through the window, casting slatted shadows across the soft carpet.

He sat there, looking at his toes scrunching the heavily treated fibers, wishing that it were sand beneath his feet instead. How long had it been? Six years? Seven? No, more like twelve. He wondered briefly where that girl was now. Had she married? Did she have children? Was one of them his? The sand had made a wonderful bed then, so cool and inviting to their warm bodies.

That’s what he needed: more sand in his life; not the playbox or construction grades found at the big box store, but beach sand, treated by wave after wave of a salt-filled tide, the result of millions of years of natural recycling.

She rolled over, her dark hair framing her tan face as her blue eyes blinked open. She reached up and let her long, slender fingers trace a pattern along his spine. “You’re up early,” she said.

“Not worth sleeping,” he said.

“For a whole week?”

“If you say so.”

“It’s time, isn’t it?”

“Probably. I don’t want it to be, but ... yeah, it is.”

“Then do it. You’ll only make life miserable for everyone if you don’t.”

“But I’ll be miserable if I do.”

“Only for a while. You know how it is. There’s always another one right around the corner.”

“I don’t want another one.”

“But, maybe I do.”

“Is that it? Are you what I’m feeling?”

“It doesn’t have to mean what you think it does.”

“What else can it mean?”

“Just add, nothing taken away.”

“I don’t know ...” His voice trailed away as he looked out the window, the wind turning over the young leaves of the elm tree, revealing their lighter underside.

“You sure are getting a lot of exercise this morning,” she said as she sat up behind him, her bare breasts pressing into his back as she wrapped her arms around his chest, her firm nipples imprinting their shape on his back.

“Marathon training,” he quietly answered.

“You don’t have to,” she said. “It’s NOT the leap you think.”

“What other leap could there be?”

“Remember a beach, the setting sun glowing with a perfect orange-peach?”

“I was just thinking of that very beach.”

“I’m not surprised. It’s spirit has never left you.”

“The sand ...”

“The love ...”

“The loss.”

“Found.”

He turned and looked at her; those eyes dancing with the energy of the smile she was trying to suppress.

Her smile broadened. “She’ll be here this afternoon when you get home from work.”

“But ...”

“She’s been here all the time.”

“Where?”

“Three blocks over.”

“How ... ?”

“That candle party last month.”

“You were late getting home.”

“I almost didn’t come home at all.”

“She was delicious.”

“She still is.”

He kissed her, deeply, feeling a passion for her that he had never felt for anyone else. As they kissed, she slipped over onto his lap. From nowhere she produced a condom and within seconds she was lowering herself onto his instantly hard cock.

Gasping, he wondered if he could really handle them both.

There was only one way to find out.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Garrison Steelle... A Conversation



have you ever clicked on the "worship naked" button? how could you not... 95% of y'all are as horny as i am. shit man, all it took for me to become a member was a few of his pictures and a quick glance at his blogroll. well, that's not entirely true.

it was more like a "i wish i could be this guy" type thing... not because the women flock to him, not because of his lifestyle... but because of his outlook. he thinks. he puts so much thought into his posts. he inspires. he educates. and most importantly... he loves.

so, i give you Garrison Steelle of "The Church of Steelle"...


i don't know if you remember or not, but there is a sequence of events that lead me to you, but mainly it was through "easykimmie, a girl in transition" who now writes under "mercurial girl". basically, i followed you from one blog to another for an entire day. by 10pm that nite, you were at my blog with the following comment "You knew I would
be by, didn't you..."

the above is one of the many reasons why i call you the "perfect blogger". you keep up with more blogs than i ever could, you always leave the right type of comment, especially when someone needs support.

how many blogs do you read? and how on earth do you come up with those perfect comments?


LOL. I remember thinking, “Is this guy stalking me or what?” I was beginning to become concerned until I read through your blog, which confirmed your level of coolness. ;)

I subscribe to 118 blogs using Bloglines. Those are the blogs to which I comment most often because I know when they’ve updated. There are about 15 or so “church members” who have blogs with either no RSS feed or some other funky reason that prevents me from subscribing. It is much more difficult for me to get by those simply because my memory is pretty well shot.

As for commenting, I try really hard to get a feel for the writer’s situation, to empathize where possible and sympathize elsewhere. I strongly believe that if it is within my power to make someone’s day better, I have a responsibility to do so. Since I’m such a comment whore myself, I try to leave the type comments I most enjoy getting in return.


the church really isn't a church, is it? it's a play on words... pun definitely intended. i'm proud to say that i am member number 26, sandwiched in between vampyregirl and mamacita. as far as i can tell, i was only your 2nd male member.

do you think it's funny that i just said that i am your "2nd male member"?


No, it's nothing CLOSE to being a church in the traditional sense, but in the more broad definition of the word, that is apart from specific Christian references, the word, derived from the Greek, is an extended derivative of the word "ecclesia" which is quite simply a spiritual congregation. In THAT sense of the word, we are when we want to be. That we focus our spirituality in regard to sexual matters offends some, but is still an accurate use of the word.

Hmmmmm ... Your my second male member and you don't fit in my pants. ;)

you know as your second male member, i would at least like to think of myself as a deacon. of course, there are some of your members much more deserving of such a title.

going back to the spiritual aspect of your blog... there are certain topics which you have taken to heart. sexual freedom, sex education for children, and sex life improvement being just a few. do you feel this is your "calling"? would your spirit be troubled if you weren't able to advocate and educate?


You know, we've not done the whole deacon/elder/bishop thing. Perhaps we should. ;)

I'm going to steer clear of the term "calling" because the inference there is that one's destiny is pre-ordained and I just don't buy into that philosophy. Are sexual issues a driving passion for me? Absolutely. Would my spirit be troubled if I lost my "voice?" Without question. Few people work with more young women, ages 18-26, than I do. The greater majority of horrors I've witnessed in these young girls' lives has been because either they weren't given basic facts about sex or because their home environment was so overwhelmingly oppressive that they rebelled with the most dangerous forms of sexual activity.

When an 18-yr-old girl approaches you about helping her get into porn, not because she likes sex but because it's the only "skill" she has with which to feed two small babies, how can your heart not break? She had believed all the wrong people (church and school primarily), had tried to be a "good" girl, but in the end found herself abandoned by those who claimed to be "right". Abused, used, and confused, she was turning to sex for all the wrong reasons. I had that conversation for the first time in 1988 and it has repeated itself multiple times a year every year ever since.

Perhaps I'll stop screaming when I stop having those conversations.


you are a photographer... and while your trained eye can not only catch the leading lines of an illuminated building at nite, you can also see even the smallest of imperfections of a woman's body.

you've talked about how having the right type of model effects your work, yet you are still able to stay grounded in reality without being superficial... how do you balance the two?


By understanding the difference between beauty and marketability. Beauty is everlasting, something that grows up from inside a person and, sometimes, even makes itself physically manifest. There are millions of beautiful people who will never be models, though. Why? Because they are not marketable. When a model steps in front of my camera for professional reasons, the purpose becomes one of selling and the model becomes the object. What is marketable is not something I can control. I have absolutely no say in the matter and, a very difficult but important lesson to learn was that my opinion really doesn't matter to anyone who matters. Marketability is fleeting; very much a "here today, gone tomorrow" quality. What defines marketability is something manufactured on Madison Avenue; it's not real.

To that end, my professional work requires that I create marketable images, mindful of every detail and possible imperfection. We brush out lines and freckles and stretchmarks and scars, enhance eye color, skin tone, and sometimes even do a little body sculpting. However, when I step away from the professional world, I'm no longer concerned about what's marketable and much more interested in beauty.

Make sense?


of course you make sense... you always make sense. which is why i lean on you so heavily... it's why i've incorporated your views on sexuality with my own. it's why i've realized i have an active role in the sexual education of my three children. i'm proud to say that i'm a member of your congregation.

one last question before you leave...

you were an original blogger... i can remember you saying that you gave Blogger a donation back in the day so they could improve their servers. you have seen the blogging evolution from the beginning, but where do we go from here? what's next for us bloggers?

Asking me to delve into a bit of futurism, huh? ;) I'm not sure everyone is going to like the picture.

One of the big successes of blogging is that is has finally allowed anyone who wants one to have their own web site. You don't HAVE to know a lick of HTML. You don't HAVE to rent space on a server somewhere. You don't HAVE to have a domain name or understand URLs and IP addresses. FTP? No longer a concern. To that end, blogging has allowed the great promise of the Internet to be realized.

However, I see some strong trends developing.

One is the commercialization of blogging. One of the most obvious examples is Whitney Matheson's entertainment blog on USA Today online. Here's a person who assembles very basic entertainment information five days a week and gets paid for it. Is her blog any better than any of the other entertainment blogs out there? No, not really. Whitney just happened to be in the right place at the right time. The point is, however, that there is a commercial value to those blogs with large audiences and I fully expect there to soon be a strong delineation between "professional" and "amateur" blogs, possibly even to the point that some blogs may adopt a pay-per-view subscription model.

The second is more of a merger between blogs, multimedia content, and podcasting. Services such as "Hello" and "Flickr" are driving this trend, making it possible for average users with no real technical knowledge to incorporate pictures into their blogs. I won't be the least bit surprised when someone creates a similar tool for video (Blogger already has one for simple, short audio). As blogs become more media rich, "viewers" are going to want to know when a blog is updated and be able to access that blog from multiple source points, creating a natural tie-in for podcasting. There are still some technical challenges to that last step, but I see no reason to doubt those will be overcome probably within the next year.

The third is the creation of formal blog "associations." To some degree, that's what we've been up to this point. Only within the past month have I started getting regular membership requests from people who don't have blogs of their own. The blogging community is more than a little incestuous when it comes to links and references and I think that ultimately may result in certain blog identifications, affiliations, or something within that realm. We are just too hung up on categorization for that to not happen.

Finally, I think there is a real possibility for blogs to create political chaos on an international level. We saw in the last U.S. Presidential election how that bloggers not only from the U.S. but from other countries around the world did not hesitate to vocalize their support for one candidate and spew hatred toward the other. That impact created a small but measurable ripple in the election results. Now, assume that someone such as Matt Drudge (not to pick on anyone, but he's a recognizable source) releases an article claiming that Saudi Arabia is cutting off its oil pipelines, essentially forcing an oil embargo. Thirty years ago, the White House was able to prevent total anarchy by controlling the information released to the public. Blogs essentially remove that control. Rumors start flying, accusations become rampant and every oil dependent country in the world would erupt. What's truly frightening is that I see no real way to control such a disaster. The power of blogging is much strong than I think most of us realize.

This has been fun. Thanks for inviting me. Now, if you could talk to Nay about letting me take the Mini for a spin ... ;)

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Garrison writes daily at The Church of Steelle, which is found at http://www.churchofsteelle.com/blog1/index.html . It's so much more than a blog... It's a community. Go by and say "Hi..."

Thursday, June 09, 2005



Well, shit! It happened again. One thing that I’ve learned since joining this crew is that if I’m going to gain a foothold, I need to be sharper than the average cat. That’s why I check blogs so often and comment so rarely. I have to read the newest posts first before you guys get a hold of them and I can’t leave a decent comment because you all beat me to it.

Fly stole my topic today. Well, she didn’t really steal it because she didn’t know that I was going to write about it. I’ve been thinking since last night about what I’m going to write my guest post on and wouldn’t you believe that out of all the topics I could have chosen, I picked the one that Flygirl wrote about today? Sheesh. Well, I’m going to proceed as planned. I’ll just add to what she already said.

*******

It sounds silly, but I’ve come to rely on my blogger family. I’m not exaggerating. The first thing I do when I get up in the morning after I brush my teeth and take my morning piss is check your blogs. This usually proves to be a double-edged sword because sometimes I’m left in a good mood when your lives are looking up, while other times I find myself sharing the same pit of shit with you when you’re feeling down. It’s freakin’ crazy, but you know what? I wouldn’t change it for the world. I would rather be in that pit with you than for you to be there alone.

I discovered this “Blog” thing a few years ago. It started out as a way for me to blow off some steam and enlighten the world in the ways of the Marine Corps. My first post ever was in 2001. It was about how ridiculous the Marine commercials are with the whole ‘Dragon slaying’ bit and that it would be more accurate if they showed him fighting the dragon with a broom instead of a sword (since we spend so much time cleaning …. get it? Nevermind). Ha! I thought I was hot shit on a silver platter. That was a long time ago.

Fast forward four years and four blogs later and you’ll find a different man. I’m a different man because of months of intense reflection. Much of this reflection is because of our friend, the blog. This simple little web-based application has honestly changed my life and I can’t imagine living without it. I’ve met some people that have turned my life upside down. Boy have you guys changed me. You’ve changed me so much that I almost feel like I should change my name.

You’ve taught me so many lessons.

Because of you, I’ve learned how to care about others. Through your vivid depictions of your lives, I’ve learned that I’m not the only person out there. Seems like a no-brainer, but I never really thought about it. I actually had a ‘Eureka’ moment a few weeks ago – other people have problems too! I’m not the only one that is having a rough time. It wasn’t long after that before a second ‘Eureka’ moment hit me – instead of worrying about my problems all the time, what if I help others with theirs? What if I take part in their lives, you know, like a real friend?

I’m trying.

I’ve learned that life is a growing process. I’ve always thought, “When I grow up and stop being an immature little prick …” Because of you, I’ve learned that I’m never going to “grow up” because I’ll never be done growing. Do you realize that nearly every post you guys make teaches me something? Whether it’s another technique to simply be good to others or a poetically hidden roundhouse kick to the stomach to remind me that I don’t know shit, I’m always learning. I’m taking your greatest traits and making them my own.

I don’t think I have learned any greater lessons than from Rick, a man that I now call ‘friend’. I don’t want to sound like I’m fellating him, but he has become a mentor to me. He’s taught me one lesson after another. He taught me a lesson a few weeks ago that I never thought I was going to learn: how to be a sensitive man without coming across as a sissy. It IS possible to be a strong man while being sensitive to the needs of a woman. I never would have written about my love and my fears and my weaknesses before Rick showed me that it’s okay. I’ve added him to my list of mentors. He’s in good company with my mom and dad, Captain Ken Walden and that ideal Shane that I see in my mind’s eye. I study his words and his reactions. He is one hell of a man and I’m glad I know him.

Your comments on our interview called me wise. I hope you all understand that my answers to Rick’s questions were shaped by you. I took all of those little nuggets of wisdom that I’ve picked up from you over the past couple of months and I thought about them. I discarded the ones that I didn’t understand or didn’t agree with and polished the ones that I did. I incorporated the keepers into my everyday philosophy and wouldn’t you know it ….. they spilled out all over my screen as I answered his questions. It was amazing to see the new me at work. As I went over our interview, I read it as an outsider looking in. I imagined that it was somebody else saying those words. I hope this doesn’t sound too cocky, but I was impressed. I compared the me that I saw on that page with the me of yesteryear. Dudes and dames … they weren’t the same person. You have taught me well.

My point is that these blogs have become the most important tools in my life. This is far more than a hobby – it’s a lifestyle. The friends that I’ve made online are so much more important than the friends that I’ve made in “real life”. You guys have taken me by storm. Let me ask you a question. How does it make you feel to know that you have changed a man’s life? Think about that for a second. REALLY think about it…

Never doubt the impressions you’ve made on me.

*******

Thank you for indulging me, not only on this post, but throughout my journey. You have enhanced my life in so many ways. I love you guys and I am so thankful that I’ve found you. Peace …… friends.