Sunday, May 28, 2006

In the land of the blind...

this is an audio post - click to play

Japanese fountain (c) Kayar SilkenvoiceWhatever I observe, whatever I experience, I embrace. There is nothing that is unworthy of acceptance. There is nothing taken on 'faith'. There is nothing that I cannot endure. I am capable of enjoying the moment, of somehow enduring what others find unendurable by finding something pleasant in it. I can smile with equanimity and say that I never did mind the little things, and mean it. Does that make me a masochist? A realist? A hedonist? A sinner?

Whatever it makes me, I cannot evade the awareness that I sometimes make others uncomfortable with my sensory perceptions of reality. Why the sensual makes people so uncomfortable, I do not know. I do not understand. Do I need to change? Can I change? All I know of the world is what I have experienced, and I experience it through my senses. My senses are acute, not corrupt. How can I deaden them, except to retreat into myself, into the bubble-world of the life of the mind? And with my vivid, multi-sensory imagination, would retreat make me any less a sensual, pleasure-centric creature?

What is so wrong with being aware of the world, with enjoying it? What is wrong with being sensitive to shades of colour, to the subtlty of sounds like the patter of water, to the touch of someone's hand on my skin? What is wrong with swooning over my first bite into a ripe nectarine? Why is it wrong that I enjoy scents that others cannot smell? Why am I odd because I am transfixed by the flow of water from a bamboo pole, its drip into a granite bowl? It seems such a metaphor for life, that fountain, in a way that I cannot express in words. It simply is. Why don't others see/hear/taste/feel/smell it?

Japanese fountain (c) Kayar SilkenvoiceI do not know. I am passionately interested in knowing, in understanding why my being so sensually aware threatens others, why it makes me feel like a one-eyed man in the land of the blind, waiting to be stoned to death.

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Friday, May 26, 2006


this is an audio post - click to play

It was a perfect morning. We drove up into the Sierras with the windows down and the stereo turned up. As we got into the foothills, we hit patches of fog that wrapped the trees and outcroppings in filmy shrouds. Each time our spirits started to flag, worried that the weather was going to be poor, the mist would thin and the lapis-lazuli of the sky would appear.Sequoia tree, (c) Kayar Silkenvoice Eventually we reached 5000ft and the rarified air was crisp and clear--no mist, few clouds. We skipped gleefully around the Sequoias, those wonderfully shaggy giants whose trunks beg to be stroked. I love the feel of the bark--its like petting a dog with a wiry coat. And then there is the way the forest smells... the scent of pine and oak and dampness.

I decided I wanted to see Hume Lake, as I had never been to that area of the Sequioa-Kings Canyon Park. So we headed deeper into the wilderness. Its a rather sensual experience, this penetration of nature, delving into areas where the only human marks upon the landscape were the roads we travelled. We curved around one mountain, only to come face-to-face with an entire jagged range of snow-capped peaks. I felt like I had eyes for the first time, like this was soul-food for the eyes, this view. The sun made my skin smart, and the air made my lungs expand, as if saying "now this I can breathe." I felt so very alive.

We wound our way down into the Hume Lake area, and when we got there, found this perfectly groomed lawn dotted with prettily-painted adirondack chairs. There is apparently a christian camp here, and they've maintained the land well, if a little too perfectly. We parked and grabbed our picnic stuff and headed down a trail alongside the lake, until we found a big slab of slanted granite that faced north and looked across the lake. The sun pounded down on us and the wind flirted with our hair and after we ate our sandwiches we stretched out on the slab and sunned ourselves like lizards.Hume Lake at Sequioa National Park (c) Kayar Silkenvoice At 2pm we decided to start working our way back out of the Park area, which we knew would soon be swelling with people determined to enjoy their 3-day weekend. Just like us.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Compelling Question

Individual, apart from the rest of the world,
Hyper-aware of flaws and imperfections,
Tantalizingly, undeniably incomplete,
Openly closed.

Flooded with need,
Seeking to claim and to possess.
Yet feeling this need,
Ever unfulfilled.
Struggling blindly,
Unable to see
The chasm between self and other lies within,
A rift which Desire alone cannot bridge:
There must be Love,
Demonstrations of erotic passion,
Dropping of ego-barriers.
Physical attempts to unite with one
Proves they are eternally beyond our grasp:
Another's consciousness is impenetrable.

Are we objects of gratification and denial,
Or numinous, uncontainable symbiotes
Mutually nourishing our souls?
The answer infuses Life with meaning.
this is an audio post - click to play

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Fear of loss equals loss

Sunset, Bryce Canyon, May 2005 (c) Kayar Silkenvoice, courtesy of Mother Nature

How does a woman tell a man
that his fear of losing her precludes his ever having her?

Fear of loss equals loss.
It is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

this is an audio post - click to play

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Where the Mystic and the Hedonist meet

this is an audio post - click to play

I am a woman who chooses her partners and I do so with forethought and an overriding awareness not only of what I want, but what is healthy for me. I do not just fall into bed with people, anymore. The interpersonal and emotional fallout are rarely worth it, and the sexual pleasure, while often heightened by the adrenaline rush that accompanies 'newness', is rarely deeply satisfying.

I am not a passive person. I try to actively make myself available my partners in every way possible. I have two attitudes toward sex: hedonistic and mystic.

The Hedonist in me loves sex the way a horse loves to run. I was born and bred for it, for the sheer joy of it. I do not want or need to experience a bit and saddle in order to be fully present in a sexual forum. If I want to run, to feel my heart pound and the wind in my hair and the sweat of my exertion on my skin, I will do so, with or without a partner--but if I invite my partner along for the ride, he or she is going to ride me with hands fisted in my hair and knees pressed to my ribs--or they will run alongside me. Because, while I may allow another to direct or steer me, to urge me on, attempts to truly control me in any fashion make be contrary. Push me past contrary, I will try to throw them off, or failing that, I will get the bit in my teeth and run, and no amount of cropping will change my determination. It is a pattern set in me from childhood, one which has made me psychologically indomitable.

The Mystic in me sees the giving and the receiving of pleasure as a form of worship. I was dabbling in tantric sex long before I knew there was such a thing--all I knew was that the cyclic exchange of sexual energy was a mind-blowing, orgasmic high for me. When I learned that the Tibetan Buddhist model for the awakened mind was an orgasm, I had an 'ah-ha' moment--I understood, immediately and intuitively, what that meant. There is a beauty to the flow of erotic energy between people, especially when it is accompanied by mental intimacy. Deep down, we humans want do know others, really know them and share ourselves with them, and sex is a vehicle for it, an urgent alternating current of penetration and openness that occupies our carnal lizard-brains, freeing the higher self to seek, without fear or inhibition, a coupling of mental awareness in an intimate dance conducted to the beat of the flesh.

And, having tasted of the fruit of real sexual intimacy, knowing abandonment of self and the dropping of ego barriers, I am consciously aware of the many levels and layers of sexual expression available to us. Sex as a form of physical release is nothing to be sneered at--it is wonderfully freeing between people who all agree that it is that which they seek, and nothing more. And situational constructs like D/s and role-play, they are exciting, but they are constructs, props--they can be tools for achieving intimacy, or a distraction from it. But the truly erotic intimacy of unscripted, unconstrained spontaneous sexual sharing... ah, now that satisfies the soul, as well as the body.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Contemplating obstinacy

this is an audio post - click to play

Starfish at Yahats, Oregon Tidepools (c) Kayar SilkenvoiceI've recently been contacted by someone through Literotica. An interesting man, who claims to be an editor, and who insists on calling me a writer, much to my chagrin. We had a bit of an argument about it, which he cut short by changing topics, I think becuase he felt that he, as one who edits writers, knows far better than I what one is. After our conversation ended, I went about making dinner, and as I ate it, thought about what we had discussed. And with a glass of wine in hand, I mailed him this:

You are not the only one who calls me a writer, if it is any consolation to you.

I do not know why I resist the label so. Perhaps it is a habit: I do not care for labels.

Or perhaps it is that writing comes too easily, or that I put so little effort into it. I mean really, I write what I think or feel or see or notice. There is no craft in that, no art, it is merely transcription.

And friends say to me, "Mozart and Beethoven merely transcribed the music playing in their heads. Does that make the label 'composer' less applicable? Does that lessen their genius?"

My answer is that I am no genius. Most days I feel like a fraud for being recognized for saying or writing things that simply 'are' to me. It is like saying Columbus discovered America. When I was a child I said: but it was always there! Why not recognize him for having the courage to test the theory that the world was not flat after all? Its not sexy, that is why.

I write about things that are sexy. Perhaps that is why people call me a writer? I do not know.

As for your feedback, also known as criticism, I welcome it. Truly. If nothing else it sheds light on the contrast between your perception of what a proper ending is, and my intuition that there are no endings, merely transitions from one moment, one state, to the next.

I recently wrote a poem called Compelling Question.
In it, I mention that another's consciousness is impenetrable. But it does not stop us from seeking to penetrate, to possess that other. Perhaps because I express my consciousness well, people find me more accessible, find the mystery of the other more accessible, and grasp at it. We are all so powerfully driven by the awareness, conscious or not, that we are alone, and not only that, but by the knowledge that the only certainty in life is that we will end, and we will end alone. And yet, there is a commonality, a universality to all experience, to all perceptions of reality, and in that, we are not alone. We find ourselves touched by the echoes of another's pain or self-awareness--their creative expression of it--and through it we can vicariously experience the other, or feel that they have experienced us, and know, for that moment, that we are not as alone as we felt. But people are not content to let the moment happen, and flow into the next, not if it means the possible loss of that shared consciousness. They do not want it to move on, and leave them solitary again. And so they cling to it, they close their hands about it, and forget the lesson of childhood: If you clutch the butterfly tightly in your hand so it will not fly away, you destroy the butterfly.

I think. Perhaps the better label is 'thinker'. I am a thinker. But applying that label to myself would seem vain, yes?

Better yet, call me a self-aware, self-conscious babbler.
That is a label I will not argue with :)

Starfish at Yahats, Oregon Tidepools (c) Kayar SilkenvoiceThe irony of the above is that it is written in response not only to him, but also to CD, my friend and mentor and ardent, loving admirer, who also calls me a writer, and whose encouragement on my writing I so roundly rejected this morning. Sorry, CD.

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Water lilies and rose petals (c) Kayar SilkenvoiceSome are not comfortable with my silences, grown long as shadows in the afternoon.
They think there is something wrong, but that is not so.
It is my nature to observe, and to contemplate, and silence is natural to me as breathing.

It is possible to meditate in a crowd
to know onepointedness and nothing else
to walk slowly, feet bare in cool grass, and feel each blade bend underfoot
to converse with the dead, hear their voices and smell their scents
to re-experience a moment in time
to communicate non-verbally, feel that wordless flow between myself and another
to reflect upon the nature of consciousness and existence for a heartbeat or an hour.

Silence is timeless as the soul is limitless.
Some do not know this, and so it stretches for them like a rubberband, waiting to snap.

this is an audio post - click to play

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

How not to help a friend who is depressed

I have a friend who is very dear to me. And he is going through a rough patch, and he is feeling down, and he has his good moments and his bad moments. I've tried knocking him out of his blues by attempting to awaken him to his senses, to the beauty of his surroundings. I've given him a book on meditation, The Calm Technique, a very clear, non-mystical book that makes mediative practice very accessible. I've sent cards, sent him puns via SMS, told him I love him and he is not alone. I don't know what else to do. I guess I don't understand depression--I don't really feel it, I suppose, because whenever I feel down, I just open myself to the beauty around me, and the cloud passes.

I suppose, where I am going with this, is that perhaps being a sensualist handicaps my abiltity to empathize with friends who are depressed.

I think I turned one of my friend's bad moments into a 'worse moment'. It makes me sad. I am feeling sorry for myself, my failure as a friend. I recognize it as a very selfish, self-absorbed thing, making this about me, instead of him. I should be feeling sad for him, and I am, but I am also feeling helpless, and that makes me a bit angry. I'm not very good at doing helpless... except in bed, and only if it is sexy ;)

[23:18] Amicus: I'm having a bad evening..I'd rather wait to discuss this when I'm in a better mood.
[23:19] Kayar: Which means it will never be discussed, which is quite alright. All you have to do is say you do not want to discuss it again, Amicus. That is what 'wait to discuss later', really means.
[23:19] Amicus: why can't you just take me at my word sometimes?
[23:21] Kayar: Because I have learned that you mean well, you have the best intentions, but don't follow through with what you say you will do. Other things, other sexier or more pressing things, come up, and such things are buried.
[23:23] Kayar: Its ok, Amicus. Its not a bad thing, its how you are. And I love you just as you are.
[23:24] Kayar: You can pick this conversatoin up again, if you want to. But I have no expectations of that occurring. Ever.
[23:25] Amicus: Guess I should be glad you set your expectations so low
[23:25] Amicus: Especially after I specifically said today that I wanted to talk about things (or was it yesterday)
[23:25] Kayar: There is expectation, and there is acceptance. The former gets in the way of the latter.
[23:26] Kayar: You said you did. And then you didn't. And that is ok. *shrug*
[23:26] Kayar: When you really want to, you will.
[23:26] Amicus: umm, you were afk at the time I sent the messages ;)
[23:26] Amicus: and then I had to turn off my computer to deal with getting the computer done
[23:26] Kayar: And I am always just a phone call away. A promise I made, that if you called or messaged and really needed to talk, I would drop everything to be there for you.
[23:28] Amicus: I guess that's just it
[23:28] Amicus: I'm just completely trying to avoid it
[23:29] Kayar: I have no desire to influence you to do something you do not want.
[23:29] Kayar: I did it once, somehow, to our mutual regret.
[23:30] Kayar: Obviously, you need to talk to someone, and obviously, I am not that someone.
[23:30] Amicus: I knew I should have logged off when I said I was
[23:30] Amicus: Because this discussion is just getting me more and more frustrated
[23:31] Amicus: So goodnight.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Life is beautiful

this is an audio post - click to play

Surfacing slowly, with a growing sense of well-being, I spent a moment of emergent wakefulness enjoying the silken warmth of my sheets. They are exquisite, these sheets, all 1000 thread count of them, and with their sateen finish and years of washing, they are softer than the skin on a baby's bottom. I knew this morning was different, and not just because it is the weekend. My senses were telling me something, and as I opened my awareness to more than a decadent enjoyment of the sheets against my skin, I noticed the birdsong, and the scents, coming from my window.

And then I understood cognitively what my senses had been telling me: the heatwave has broken. Yes!

As much as I love summers here, as much as I love the pristine glow of Mt Hood and Mt St Helens against the clear, impossibly-blue sky, I love Springtime, and I was not ready to relinquish it so soon. A week of 80 and 90 degree weather in May! My heart soared for the first couple of days, but as I watched the flowers wilt and the leaves of the bamboo start to roll up, my heart sunk. Too soon. Too soon to spend the heat of the day bunkered inside shaded cool rooms. Too soon for the quarts of suncreen to protect my pale-pale skin. I relish the cool late-Spring mornings, the air redolent with moisture and scents, the scampering squirrels, and the parade of ducklings.

I slipped out of bed with something near glee. I brewed some micro-roasted coffee and stepped out onto the patio. It had rained overnight. The morning air--oh, how to describe the air!--was so alive with sound and scent. It was moist and cool, making my skin pebble and my nipples tighten. Beads of dew glistened on the bamboo, the maidenhair ferns, and the last of the tulips. Crimson-striped white tulip, (c) KR SilkenvoiceMy breath caught when I saw them. No longer tired-looking, the last three tulips glistened with diamond dewdrops, their white petals striped with crimson. So vivid. So incredibly beautiful. Without thinking, I put down my cup and went inside for my camera and shears. I took photos of the Last Tulips and then I cut them, and brought them inside, to the dining room. I like them there. They are so beautiful. Yes. What a wonderful way to start the weekend. Life is beautiful.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

A Letter from a Stupid Woman

this is an audio post - click to play

A Letter from a Stupid Woman
--by Nizar Qabbani

(A Letter to a Man)

My dear Master,
This is a letter from a stupid woman
Has a stupid woman before me, written to you?
My name? Lets put names aside
Rania, or Zaynab
or Hind or Hayfa
The silliest thing we carry, my Master - are names

My Master:
I am frightened to tell you my thoughts
I am frightened - if I did -
that the heavens would burn
For your East, my dear Master,
confiscates blue letters
confiscates dreams from the treasure chests of women
Practices suppression, upon the emotions of women
It uses knives...
and cleavers...
to speak to women
and butchers spring and passions
and black plaits
And your East, dear Master,
Manufactures the delicate crown of the East
from the skulls of women

Don't criticize me, Master
If my writing is poor
For I write and the sword is behind my door
And beyond the room is the sound of wind and howling dogs
My master!
'Antar al Abys is behind my door!
He will butcher me
If he saw my letter
He will cut my head off
If I spoke of my torture
He will cut my head off
If he saw the sheerness of my clothes
For your East, my dear Master,
Surrounds women with spears
And your East, my dear Master
elects the men to become Prophets,
and buries the women in the dust.

Don't become annoyed!
My dear Master, from these lines
Don't become annoyed!
If I smash the complaints blocked for centuries
If I unsealed my consciousness
If I ran away...
From the domes of the Harem in the castles
If I rebelled, against my death...
against my grave, against my roots...
and the giant slaughter house....

Don't become annoyed, my dear Master,
If I revealed to you my feelings
For the Eastern man
Is not concerned with poetry or feelings
The Eastern man -
and forgive my insolence -
does not understand women
but over the sheets.

I am sorry my master-
If I have insolently attacked the kingdom of Men
for the great literature of course -
is the literature of men
And love has always been
the allotment of men...
And sex has always been
a drug sold to men

A senile fairytale, the freedom of women in our countries
For there is no freedom
Other than, the freedom of men...

My Master
Say all you wish of me. It does not matter to me:
Shallow.. Stupid.. Crazy.. Simple minded.
It does not concern me anymore..
For whoever writes about her concerns...
in the logic of Men is called
a stupid woman
and didn't I tell you in the beginning
that I am a stupid woman?

Translated by: Diaa Hadid
Read by: Kayar Silkenvoice

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dreaming at 5am

this is an audio post - click to play

I dreamed it was the weekend.
I got up and showered and then when I came back into my bedroom there was a man in my bed.
I didn't know who it was but I was not surprised by his presence.
Even though I did not know who it was, I knew him, so I thought it was another dream lover dream.
I went over to the bed and bounced him awake and gave him a big kiss and he kissed me back so wonderfully...
And then he said "I love you" and I opened my eyes.
I was very surprised.
I said, "How odd."
And then I woke up.

It was you.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Glorious Dawn

Glorious dawn
morning mist pink
gold limned clouds
chinese dragon in the sky
serpentine and ruddy
belly glowing and golden
overhead, raining
beauty instead of terror
this is an audio post - click to play

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Desire as something sacred

I think that 'desire' is perhaps the singlemost misunderstood concept in the world today, so before I write any more on the subject, I should probably clarify what I mean by 'desire'. In the context of what I am thinking, desire is more than just sexual longing... Desire is the energy that strives for transcendance. It is the unending quality of yearning that drives us to persevere, regardless.

I am coming to see Desire -- the energy that is Desire, not the act of desiring -- I am coming to see it as something sacred. I am shifting from an ego-based identification with desire into a more reflective consciousness that permits an appreciation of what is sacred in the mundane world. In learning to see Desire as sacred, there is a transformation in the way I view and experience a lot of things...

Society teaches us that it is wrong to desire, but I've realized that all my life I've keep my desires too small. Too limited. There is this division in the world, this belief that we have to conquer desire in order to become better people and better the world, that desire is wrong or bad, that it controls us.

What created this 'division'? The belief that the seeds of suffering lie in the nature of our endless pursuit of our passions. That there is virtue in disengaging ourselves from desire, because desire can lead to obsession. But that is the wrong tactic! Oh, we can try not to come into contact with our desires, we can push them away, we can deny them. But they will be there, pressing at us ever stronger--and that is how they become unhealthy obsessions. It is not that desire should be controlled... it is that what we desire should not be internalized to the point that we cling to it for fear of losing it, or grasp desperately for it when it comes into range.

And so it is that I believe that the separation of the spiritual from the sensual, of the sacred from the experiential, and the enlightening from the erotic, is a mistake.

And so it is that I believe it is important to understand Desire as something sacred, to accept and explore Desire in a love-relationship. I am beginning to recognize the importance of experiencing desire as something sacred in a relationship that is intimate emotionally, mentally, spiritually and sexually.

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

How silk scarves started a friendship

this is an audio post - click to play

My friend LN is quite pregnant. She moves with languid awkwardness as she struggles to maintain control of a body no longer hers. She is a uterus with legs, I think to myself sometimes, slightly appalled. Obviously, I've never been pregnant. And yet she glows with health, this woman: hair, skin and nails all have this impossible sheen, so that while she seems like a fatted calf, she also looks like a glossy purebred animal. A horse, with dainty fetlocks and a big barrel.

LN and I were talking about how we became friends, about what drew us together, inspite of our mutual aversions to developing intimate friendships with co-workers. "At first glance you seemed so ordinary, I hardly noticed you. You sure know how to hide your light under a bush," she said with her big Texas grin.

It wasn't until she gave me a ride home one night that our friendship started in earnest. I invited her in, because she'd heard me talking about how much I liked my place. She said she really liked the energy, and she'd forgotten how restful and comfortable a home can be when you don't have to worry about everything being 'child-proof'. She marvelled at my wine stock, liked my idea of putting a string of lights with coloured paper lanterns inside the firegrate, and was floored by the ornately carved 4-part teak screen that I had found leaning against a dumpster.
Silk scarves on a coat-tree (c) Kayar SilkenvoiceWe moved on to my bedroom, which she loved, of course, with the beaded canopy draped over the teak bed and tempurpedic mattress, all the bookshelves, the eclectic asian/scandinavian influence, and the coat-stand draped in scarves.

"You rarely wear these," she said as she ran some through her hands.
Something impish in me made me say, "I wear them mostly in bed..."
She looked up in surprise and I met her eyes, and a dialogue began, and we learned just how much we had in common.

Oh yes... quite a lot in common.

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I am reborn

this is an audio post - click to play

I am reborn.
Dawn touches the sky again,
bestowing numinous silence
upon lips kissed
by illuminating sensation.
Intuitions clear as morning
trembling wisdom,
revealed life,
simple being,
I Am.

I Am
this tender kiss,
sun-spawned, rippled,
eternal moments of bliss
suspended mindfulness,
self-awareness gone,
nothing remaining.
Not here, but there,
where sky aspires
to blue breathlessness
and breathes again,
I Am.

I Am
love's golden sun-kiss,
reclaimed and whole,
bathed in scented pools
dripping naked, exposed,
dreamy and dreamless.
Sudden clarion insight,
infinite motionless moment
of undeniable knowing:
I am reborn.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

The sensual is spiritual is sexual

this is an audio post - click to play

There are important links between the spiritual and the sensual and the sexual.

I have almost always used the sensual as the entrance to the spiritual: for there are ways that the sensual and the erotic experiences can be transcendant, just as spiritual experiences can be erotic.

I know this: the Tibetan Buddhist model for the awakened mind is -- orgasm.

Ideally, the sexual is an expression of the sacred, it is an act of worship of the divine spark in my partner.

There are those out there who remain unconvinced of the spiritual dimensions of sexual pleasure, who are in doubt that the heights of which I have spoken are actually possible. Indeed, most advocate a temperate, low-key "it feels good bodily function" status for sex -- I know and understand this perspective because much of my own sexual expression has been a rational exercise in the mechanics of arousal and orgasm -- and yet I have also experienced the magical, spiritual aspects of sex.

I also know that it can go beyond what I have experienced, and I Desire that. And I will have the transcendant consciousness I have experienced with my most intimate friends, only it will be with a lover who is my match, and together we will traverse those peaks and valleys, and it will happen because I Desire it.

Why do I desire it? Because I am wired for it. Because I am a sensual creature, like many others in the world, and there are multiple points of access to spiritual transcendance, and the path of the Sensualist also has a Gate which opens upon that spiritual level... it is just a far more pleasantly distracting, winding, and branching path than most who seek enlightenment would choose to walk.

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Feminist Rantifesto

[begin rant]
I was fortunate to attend one of the Seven Sisters Colleges, attendance at which would automatically enroll me in the "Feminist Club" in most minds. But when I was at college, I subscribed to Playboy, which raised a few eyebrows and prompted heated discussions on exploitation of women. I also argued long into the wee hours of the night various sides of issues like affirmative action, historically single-sex and single-race colleges, racism and reverse racism, (under)representation of women in technical fields, reproductive rights, sex education, rape awareness education, defamation of our gender in religions, etc etc.

And when I was a student at my alma mater, I was privileged to meet Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Camille Paglia, and Susie Bright. Four very different women, each of them feminists in my opinion. But perhaps the most radical extremist feminist of them all, Andrea Dworkin, I never had the opportunity to meet or hear speak. Mom was a big fan of hers--she embraced radical lesbian separatism and often quoted Dworkin to me. Their views were so extreme that my sweet young avidly-heterosexual self was appalled and repelled. My own experience of sexual violation by a woman made me dig my heels in--if all men were considered potential rapists because some men committed rape, did not the same 'logic' apply to women?

Andrea Dworkin, who died a year ago last month, did a lot for women--she dared to look at what polite society denied the existence of: pornography and the sexual degradation of women. She was a lightning rod and her thoughts and opinions attracted and repelled women for decades. She profoundly affected the feminist movement in the 60's, and even if she disapproved of the tangent that women like Susie Bright pursued under the feminist banner, I firmly believe that if it was not for her and her bellicose in-your-face self-expression, women today would be as out of touch with their sexuality and the politcs of sex as they were in the first half of the 20th century.

But Dworkin's activism and views chap my ass. In fact, I have issues with feminists, especially older ones, those of Andrea Dworkin's generation.

Just as I eschewed the label 'lesbian' when I was sleeping with women, I do not identify with the label 'feminist', even though many would consider me such. I consider myself more of a humanist, in the sense that I feel that every person should be treated with respect and be able to live lives unoppressed by another.

As such, I was considered a bad feminist by some because I questioned the anti-male attitudes of so many of the women I came into contact with. I asked if it was really necessary to emmasculate men in order to achive parity between the sexes. I had to argue my word-choice of parity instead of equality, calmly (and sometimes heatedly) stating that by parity I mean equivalency, rather than equality--a functional equivalence as opposed to the questionably achievable idealized equality (pertinent parity definitions from Wikipedia: In sports, parity refers to engineering an equal playing field in which all teams can compete, regardless of their economic circumstances [and] Potty parity attempts to equalize the waiting times of males and females in restroom queues by designating or building more womens' restrooms, giving them more facilities to use).

The humanist in me finds many feminists to be hypcritical. I do not like the superior attitudes of women toward men, especially those men who are genuinely trying to attenuate the effects of both socialization and biology on their interactions with, and attitudes toward, women. And I particularly dislike those women who have no problem with grinding a man underfoot, eviscerating and emmasculating him in order to get that equality she desires, to break through that glass ceiling, to blow the top off the sexist box. The problem with such behaviour is that all they are doing is bringing men down the the demoralizing levels they themselves feel they are at. And to what purpose? There is no dignity in such action. There is no respect for the humanity of another in that. Such acts and attitudes do not result in a truely lasting betterment of either gender, and certainly not in humanity as a whole.

No, of course men and women are not equal. They will never be equal. We are complimentary to each other. We are capable of relating in ways that enhance each other's strengths and nullify or reduce the effects of our weaknesses. We are capable of parity. And the sooner the ball-crushing feminists out there either understand this or die off, the better. Their attitudes are outdated, atavistic, and counterproductive. Its time to get on with our real work, which is improving the lot of men, women, and children, indeed, all of humanity, and not just the lots of those women who feel they have been unjustly denied recognition or power because of their gender.

As a result of my opinions I've been called a bad feminist and I've been called an enlightened feminist. I suppose both labels are accurate, but they also conveniently marginalize my views. Ah well. Some of us think. Some of us act. The rest of us are entertained.
[end rant]

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Dream Lover again

this is an audio post - click to play

I am being haunted by the memory of a lover I have never met.

It is a tease: my flesh leaping to ghost touches, an almost-heard voice thrilling my mind, and feeling that parturient flutter in my solar plexus that says "He is real, he is thinking of you, he is coming to you, this ineffable, numinous One for whom you have waited." I take a shallow breath past the sun that has filled my chest, and the taste and smell of him are there, just a hint, like last night's scents radiating from my heated skin.

In my dreams last night he visited me but we did not make love, no, we talked, we read, we cuddled. There he sat, on a loveseat in a room in my mind, in the house that has always been mine in my dreams, which is so rarely occupied by anyone other than myself. Sometimes he read to me, or sang silly songs, sometimes I rubbed his neck and shoulders and listened to him purr. And we spoke of many things, of things dark, and light, and deep, and mundane. I don't remember most of what we talked about, but I remember him saying "Don't be afraid" and "Live in the now".

When I woke up I felt a bit tired, but more peaceful. He's out there. I may never meet him, yet, I do not despair that I will never have him in my life--just knowing he is there, somewhere, somewhen, is a comfort to me. I only hope I shall one day meet him, and in meeting him, know him for the soul that is intertwined with mine, lover or not.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The moment

this is an audio post - click to play

One of the pitfalls of trying to live in and experience the moment is that each moment is itself a piece of eternity, and it can become all too easy to fall into the trap of believing that the moment is all that exists. Like teenagers who become depressed because they live so in the moment, and when the moment-to-moment existance weighs on them, they cannot see past it--they can see no light at the end of the tunnel, because the tunnel is all there is. Fortunately, I'm irrepressible. I think I was depressed once for 48 hours and it was terrifying. I don't know how people live that way. Dalia, (c) KR Silkenvoice 2006I am fortunate. I am surrounded by beauty.
I need only to stop what I am doing to appreciate the sensual immediacy of life and the world is righted, at least for the moment.
And the moment is what I have. What any of us have.

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It takes courage

this is an audio post - click to play

It takes courage to be 100% present in each moment, and to respond honestly and openly when there are no guarantees as to outcomes. It takes courage to approach life that way, and some days, I'm a coward. I admit it.

Daily, I try to find the courage to fully experience the other person, and to hear with an open heart what is being said to me, and to speak my truths back to others with candor and compassion.

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Monday, May 08, 2006


upon silken sheets
arms and legs atremble
passion spent

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Awareness: a remedy for what ails you

this is an audio post - click to play

Come down to the river with me, my friend, my love.

Walk through the falling mist to the shelter over-looking the water. Sit close by me, here, your thigh touching mine, and just be.

Here is my remedy for what ails you, for the pain and worries of the day:

Take a moment to just be.

If you are alive in the moment, really alive and aware with all of your senses... if you are really open to and aware of the moment, there are no worries. There is nothing to depress you. There is nothing sad or disappointing about being in the moment.

Try it. Close your eyes and breathe...

Let that cool, moist air enter your lungs. Can you feel the breeze on your face? It smells like Spring, doesn't it? There! Did you hear that, the birds are calling to each other, flitting from branch to branch... that is what that rustle is, high overhead.
Columbia River Gorge from the Women's Forum (c) KR Silkenvoice 2005
Open your eyes... look at the glowing jewel-like greens around you. Have you ever seen so many shades of green? Look at the quality of the light, the shadows, the way light shimmers where the mist has collected. Its so achingly beautiful...

Feel my hand, my warm hand, feel my fingers sliding along your palm, squeezing it. I'm here, my friend. You're not alone, I'm here with you, in this moment, in any moment, in every moment, for as long as you need...

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Friday night sushi

Friday, RS asked me what I was doing for dinner: I told him I had no plans. So we went for sushi at a little hole-in-the-wall place, and sat outside under some flowering dogwoods, and talked. He told me I looked stressed. I teased him and told him he shouldn't tell a woman that she looks stressed, because it means she looks old. He laughed. He looked like he needed a laugh. He's lost a lot of weight the past couple of weeks, and I took the opportunity to ask him about it. He said he is having issues with his ex-lover.

And so we had a conversation about what we want in our next long-term partners.

He said that sex isn't as important as it once was, that companionship, that mental and emotional compatability were most important to him. He said that when a relationship is built mostly on sex, and the strong sexual attraction dies, which is almost always doomed to happen, then there isn't anything to sustain the relationship.

I asked him what if he came across a Great Love that was fulfilling on the mental and emotional and spiritual levels, but not sexually, would he walk away. And he leaned back in the chair and laid his head on the hands cupped behind his head and his expression became very pensive.

And he said: "I don't know... sex is very important..." and then he watched the sky a little longer, and he said, "Sex is very important... in the beginning..." He shifted position, leaning forward to rest his elbow on the table, touched the flower centerpiece with his other hand. And into the silence that grew between us, I told him quietly of CG, who had been on my mind since the anniversary of his death, and described what had been there between us.

I put one hand on my solar plexus, and told him what it felt like there, the connection, the depth of it, the flow, and he looked so solemn, and his eyes widened and closed. And he said that if he felt that for someone one, and they felt it too, he could never walk away from it. I felt tears in my eyes, and I asked him, what if one felt sexually attracted, and not the other? And said, "Oh Kay...that would be hell."

We sat in silence for a while longer, and he asked. "Were you the one who was not attracted?", and when I nodded, he asked, "You didn't even let him try to make love to you, did you?" I told him no. I told him I'd deliberately ignored all of CG's overtures, pretending to be oblivious, and succeeding, until one night, I just couldn't ignore it. CG was reading Twain to me, and it was late, and I fell asleep with my head in his lap, and when I woke up, he was touching me, and his hand trembled, and when I opened my eyes he looked at me with such intensity in those clear grey-green eyes, and I knew. And knowing, I couldn't deceive myself anymore. I thought of MR and the arguments we'd been having over CG. I loved them both, but MR and I were fanastic together physically and there was no way I was willing to give that up for the tepidness I felt for CG sexually, despite the link we had. And so I pushed him out of my life, thinking it was for the best.

RS is an amazing listener, very focussed. He was quiet for a while, and he said "Its a funny thing about chemistry--sometimes its there and sometimes its not." And he said to me that I have considerably more experience than he does, so he knows that I know that sex is about chemistry and pheromones, but did I know that love-making is about emotional and psychological cues? I asked for clarification. He asked me if I'd had a lover want sex when I didn't. And I smiled and said of course. He asked if I pushed them away, or let that person make love to me, to which I answered that I usually let them make love to me, because it almost always felt good enough that arousal usually followed, like a slow burn. And then he said, "Knowing that, why didn't you let CG try?" My answer was that I didn't know it then.

He told me that if I was ever lucky enough to come across something like that again in my life, I would be a fool to walk away. I nodded. I had no other response to that, other than tears that never made it past my eyelashes.

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Friday, May 05, 2006

On intimacy, reality, and disappointment

Moon Gate, (c) KR Silkenvoice 2006
this is an audio post - click to play

I watched Good Will Hunting the other night and there is a scene in the movie in which Robin Williams is talking to Will about Will's reluctance to date Minnie Driver's character because he is afraid to learn more about her and find out she isn't perfect afterall. The line Robin William's character said stuck with me. It was something like "I've got news for you, sport. You're not perfect. She's not either. The question is, are you perfect together? That is what intimacy is all about."

It made me think about love/desire/intimacy and fear. It seems that it is one of the age-old truths about love, that while it does offer unique opportunities for union and the lifting of ego boundaries -- at the same time, it faces us with our loved one's 'otherness'. That we desire this other, that we yearn for him or her, does not eliminate the disappointment that is inevitable as we strive to know and possesses them. Why? Because we cling to our expectations of completion and wholeness and perfection when none of these is possible in the ways we have imagined. Our minds are too limited.

And so it is we ourselves who are the creators of our own dissatisfaction, for we cling to the hope, to the ideal, that some one or some thing will be ultimately satisfying to us. And before long, we are faced with the disappointing truth: that wonderful or perfect-seeming as the object of our desire appeared to be, it is flawed. But it has occurred to me that it is our disappointment in love/desire and how we come to terms with it (or don't) that is truly interesting. It deepens our inner lives, makes us grow, and illuminates the true nature of reality in contrast with the ideal.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Names have power, so does love

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know your name is safe in their mouth." -- Billy, Age 4.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Anonymous Literotica Feedback

This feedback was sent by: Anonymous
Does your face match the Silken Voice? Does your quick intellect match the hint of impatience in your stories? What are the colors of your spirit and passion and mind? Does writing soothe the wounds from the slings and arrows of this life? The reader cannot help but wonder Who you are and Where you are going. thank you, KR.

To your first question I say:
Alas, no.
Would it be fair
if I had face to launch a thousand ships
in addition to a voice that can harden a thousand cocks
a libido strong enough to enchant a thousand men
an intellect sharper than a thousand blades
and Sheherazade's capacity for a thousand and one stories?
I am what I am
plain of face
neither beautiful nor ugly.
I prefer it that way.
Beauty has its price
and there are those who pay for it
all their lives.

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Portland Whore

peonies (c) KR Silkenvoice 2006
A very, very special friend wrote this for me. It is deeply meaningful and quite, quite accurate. It is perhaps the most beauitful thing anyone has ever written me. I am posting it here mainly because I do not want to lose it. I hope he doesn't mind my sharing it too much (if he does, I'll be taking it down).

Portland Whore

Slut. A slut to the gray-green wilderness that hovers over her home, the misted mistress of the environment she loves so deeply, that covers her, disguises her, renders her safely anonymous and—at the same time—places her at the center of the universe, demanding her full attention with senses, camera, and pen, embracing her with the quiet inevitability of adiabatic currents that rise from river, creek, and marshlands, gentle powers that blend air and water, seamless, the water breathes the air, the air inhales the water. Slut.

Whore. A whore to self-discovery, prostrating herself to the truth of where she comes from, selling her past to understanding, spreading herself open to redeem her future and celebrate the day in which her heart beats, now. Today. Here. Whore.

Harlot. A harlot to hedonism, to the exultant complexity of unabashed awareness--of the body, its senses, their frenetic, joyful dialog, the dance between body and soul, mind and heart, brain and genitals. Harlot.

Bitch. A bitch to her own unique principles, snapping at any bastion, shibboleth, or vestigial, arcane supposition that dares to hint at impinging on the freedom that she carves from the dense environment of ponderous, bible-bound past (not her own), a reactionary society, and a bankrupt, dumbed-down culture that would surround her with tawdry stereotypes and diminishing contempt. Bitch.

Concubine. A concubine to knowledge, knowing its power, a courtesan devoted to the nurturing of of the millennial growth of understanding, at once a geisha and a canny perpetrator of the struggle that all artists and thinkers have undergone to leave a deeper imprint of human experience for others to share. Concubine.

Goddam! What a fuckin’ whore this woman is…

Thank you, love. I may be Simone de Beauvoir to your Sartre, but you are Henry Miller to my Anais Nin.
peonies (c) KR Silkenvoice 2006

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