Sunday, February 25, 2007

Walking down memory lane

I spent my birthday with a special someone, walking through the misty Henry Cowell redwoods, revisiting my childhood. Not a mile from the house where my mother and I spent our childhood summers is a place called Roaring Camp. All summer long they run old trains on narrow gauge tracks up to Bear Mountain and back, and down into downtown Santa Cruz. Hearing that train whistle brought back a flood of memories. As did that scent of oak and redwood and humus that filled the air. It was fun to feel the decomposed granite of the pathway crunching underfoot, my legs longer and my feet larger than when I walked it last, but each step rolling back the years. I managed to will back the rain long enough to enjoy the 1880's village there, to toast the marshmallows that MR bought, and to walk the mile circle through the redwoods. I missed the sounds of birds, but it is winter still, despite the fact that the plum trees are blooming. I know I was suddenly childlike in my enthusiasm for being there, in that place, but MR was great about it. He even offered to let me drive his Z3. Pity I didn't have my license with me.

I'll be off to the airport soon, returning to the life I left behind in Portland 10 days ago. CW and Cyn and the others have missed me and I've missed them. And my bed.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Dawning comprehension

I participated in the Landmark Forum this weekend hoping I would discover new tools for tackling those fears and problems that I felt were taking up too much of my energy. I wanted to free myself up to pursue a happier, more fulfilled life. I walked away with full and complete comprehension of three things: that I would always experience fear, that I would always have problems, and that the tools I wanted were too small, too specific. Instead of discovering the magic wand that would make fears and problems disappear, I now have something more important: the tools to live an extraordinary life despite these difficulties. Now all I need is practice!

One of the things that really hit home with me this weekend was the distinction between knowing a thing, and comprehending it. I have a tendency to collect knowledge, to learn as much as I can about something in hopes of finding the answer(s) to my questions. But answering my questions about a thing does not mean I comprehend it, that its mystery has unfolded for me, that I have truly 'gotten' it.

This weekend I learned how incomplete my understanding of what it means to be human is. How incomplete my understanding of the human condition is. A lifetime of empathy, two years of therapy, years of gathering information and evidence, of reading books like Tolle's The Power of Now and Heidegger's Being and Time and Batchelor's Buddhism Without Beliefs--I learned much from these things, and I intuited some wisdom from them, but my understanding was (not surprisingly) incomplete.

My viewpoint was too fixed, too limited, too focused on questions and answers and meanings. I was asking questions and then neglecting to question the answers until the point of irreducibility. For example, the question at the heart of all human angst is: What is the meaning of life? And the answer I arrived at was: Life has whatever meaning I ascribe to it. And I was close, oh god I was so fucking close, but my understanding was incomplete. The answer to the question What is the meaning of life is, Life has no meaning in and of itself. Life is simply life. This is irreducible--it has been stripped of all romantic notions and religious interpretations. One might even think that this answer also strips life of all hope of meaning anything. However, (and this distinction is the most important part) our lives, individually, have whatever meaning and purpose we choose to create for our lives.

My life has whatever meaning and purpose I choose for it. Now that is a powerful statement. And arising out of the flowering of that powerful and empowering comprehension is a question far more powerful and pertinent than What is the meaning of life. It is, What meaning and purpose do I choose to create for my life? And the answer, right now, is, I don't know. Yet. I need to find a problem that I feel is worthy of my life, of dedicating my life to. For now, I choose to create the possibility of being consistently awake to the fact that I am perfect, complete and whole as I am, of passionate commitment to loving myself as I am right now, and being open to the possibilities that love brings into my life and the world. Baby steps, right?

(I enjoyed re-reading my blog entry from 9 days ago. I've taken 'choice' to the next level, I think.)

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wouldn't it be nice if...

Wouldn't it be nice hobby paid for itself? It is tax time, and I've been going over my expenses and receipts, and I've come to the realization that, over the course of the past 18 months, I've invested a fair amount of time and money into writing and recording erotica. I've purchased recording software, a mic, and preamp. This lead to the purchase of a laptop computer because the noise of the fan on my desktop computer was interfering with the quality of the recordings. I've spent hours learning how to use the recording software, how to edit and mix. I even learned how to amplify my voice 300%, since I'm so soft-spoken those listening to my mp3s had listen at max volume.

In July of 2005 I listed my first erotic story on Literotica. By the end of August I had posted six stories, most of them garnering positive feedback, including (surprisingly enough) encouraging words from professional writers and editors. On Halloween 2005 I posted my first audio story. It got mixed feedback, but a lot of it was from people begging me to record more, more, more. In early 2006 I was contacted by various people with proposals ranging from offering me free access to their porn sites in exchange for permission to use my stories, to internet radio, to going into business together. All of this was unanticipated, but intriguing. I contacted some people in the sex industry and received more proposals and expressions of interest. I did a voice-over for TheStoryMill and allowed a couple of my audios to be posted there. I talked with Oceania of PeacockBlue about possible collaborations, and The Sayer of RedWordSaid whose erotic audios for women are peerless. However, none of these produced any tangible results, as during this time I was also embroiled in the ordeal of my sister's illness, an ordeal that occupied me for nearly a year. Between her heath crisis and my work, I've been swamped, but I'm slowly surfacing.

Soon after my most recent audio post to Literotica, I received a request from a listener (for some reason I am hesitant to use the word 'fan') asking me to do an erotic hypnotic induction/recording just for him, for a fee. I'd never heard of erotic hypnosis or 'hypnofantasy' before, and he sent me off to Inraptured for more information and how-to tips. Wow. There is a very interesting hypnofantasy subset of the erotic audio market. I quickly made the acquaintance of the folks at HypnoFantasy and just might be working with them soon.

I am excited about this possibility, for a few reasons. One, I like their approach. Its professional and matter-of-fact instead of amateurish and sleazy. The sites are user-friendly, and they've got erotic and non-erotic material for men, women, and couples, with everything already in place to serve up audio recordings to an attentive audience. Two, there is a possibility of generating some revenue from selling access to my audio stories, which, three, could reimburse me for my time and expense and perhaps provide an incentive to devote more time to this hobby. I know I would be more prolific/productive with my erotic writing and recording if the benefits outweighed the costs. As it is, there are so many other activities that take priority over this hobby.

It should be interesting to see what happens. I can't help but wonder if people would be willing to pay to listen to me telling intimate sexual fantasies. It sure would be nice if my hobby paid for itself.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Silken robe on silken sheets

Sushi for dinner: four pieces of unagi nigiri. Absolutely orgasmic. Sipping tea, I thanked my friend, and told him I had to get home to finish packing. He seemed a bit disappointed, but was understanding. I promised to see him again in two weeks and took my leave. On the way home I stopped at the liquor store and picked up a bottle of Bowmore sherry-casked single malt to bring with me to California. The Oregonian in me hates paying the sales-tax there.

I rushed home and the first thing I did was throw my robe on the bed and strip out of my clothes. There was something about the contrast of my robe on the sheets of my (gasp) unmade bed that made me decide to snap a photo. So here it is. As I write this, I am wrapped in that robe, sitting cross-legged on those sheets. Yummmm.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Meditation on Choice as Creation

And the hyacinth purple, and white, and blue,
Which flung from its bells a sweet peal anew
Of music so delicate, soft, and intense,
It was felt like an odour within the sense.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant (pt. I)

Spring in February! The winter daphne and primroses are in bloom. The bulbs are coming up! I've pots and pots of bulbs in front and back, and the ones in the flowerbed outside my bedroom window are blooming, seeing as they get plenty of morning light: crocus, japanese iris, hyacinth, tulips, primroses. Just outside my door the hyacinths are beginning to bloom, and their bold flowery scent is like a shaft of sunlight touching my soul.

The air, ah, how to describe the air? It is cool and heavy with mist that collected on my eyelashes as I walked along the river at 7 o'clock this morning. It smells of green and growing things, of leaf mold and humus and sweetness. As I walked through the forest I could hear the birds twittering, making their mating and territory calls: "Pick me, baby!"and "This is my tree, find your own!" I strolled over to the community garden. Some people were already there working the soil, preparing it for the next round of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and herbs, tending the bulbs coming up. My toes got wet and chilled in my Tevas, but I did not mind. It sure beats cold and sweaty in snow boots.

There is a shelter overlooking the river. It is a concrete pad with a roof, open on all four sides, with a picnic table in the center. I sat cross-legged on the table, pulled my jacket tighter about me, and focussed my awareness on my breath and body. My nose was cold. My ass was chilled from the table top. My nipples were hard. My Tevas were cutting into my thighs, just above my knees. The breeze was moving a lock of hair on my forehead, tickling the skin. My breath was rhythmic, lulling. I could feel my shirt brushing against my sternum as I breathed. Slower, deeper inhalation. I could feel the breath touching the cradle of my hips, stirring the source of sexual energy. Memory-echo of last night's expansive orgasm. Exhaling it.

The discomforts faded as my awareness shifted. I cast it outward, let myself become a sensory net, let the environmental sensations fill me, center me in a state of mindfulness. Here I am. I know my place in the world. I fill it, and it fills me. I am alone and yet not. I am one with everything I sense. And then the pure awareness, unthinking consciousness, just being. Suspended for a long moment of samadhi bliss. For how long, I do not know. A minute? Twenty minutes? Forever? I cannot express that timelessness in words.

I eased from that state and focussed my mind on the affirmation I had chosen for myself:
My experiences are the consequences of my choices.
Choosing is an act of Creation.
The most important choices I make involve how I see myself, Reality, and my relationship to Reality.
As a conscious act of Creation, I choose to see my life as meaningful and my self as a compassionate, powerful, sensual, and creative spirit.
Let the consequences continue!

As I walked back home, I repeated these phrases to myself, reminding myself of my own powers of creation and my responsibility for the consequences to myself and others. It is an amazing thing, that sense of awareness and empowerment, and the desire to share it with the world. If only everyone could feel this way. I am grateful that the gentle glow of it will remain with me for much of the day.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

CD the Cat

I dreamed.
A maine coon landed on my windowsill.
He was blue in the moonlight.
I recognized the cat as CD, and as soon as I recognized him, he jumped down, shape-shifting to his human form.
He stood by the side of my bed.
"I miss you," I said. "Are you ok?"
He smiled then, but his eyes were a bit sad.
"I'm good," he said in the awful New York accent he sometimes mimicked.
And then he was the big coon cat again, walking along the windowsill.
His foot touched a shaft of moonlight, and he was gone.
I awakened. It was 3:57am.

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