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belenen

June 2017

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Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.

belenen: (oneness)
LJI topic 7, "where I'm from": I am from the Internet, from a little city called Livejournal.
icon: "oneness (the characters Keenan and Joan from "Playing By Heart," sitting very close together, both looking off to the side and laughing)"

My country is the internet; my state is the mid-90s to the mid-00s, and my city is Livejournal, though I have lived in other cities for short periods of time, and I visit other cities often.


My experience with the internet began with AOL on Windows 95. I used the internet to download midi files of music I liked, endlessly search for info on my favorite musical artists, and find people to chat eagerly with about music or about God (my two obsessions at the time). I made some pretty intense friendships, one with a white guy in Canada, and one with a black guy somewhere in the Midwest. I didn't seek out guys, I don't think, but there just weren't any girls my age that I could find (and at that point I didn't know that nonbinary people existed). My friendships with those two highly ethical and thoughtful people allowed me to create healthy expectations of male behavior, rather than accepting selfishness and disrespect as 'normal' which would have been the case if I did not have access to the internet.

During the early days of my interaction with the internet, my use was limited to chatting, searching for information, and exploring the Anotherworld MUD. Then at age 20 I took an intro computer course which was utter shit but one of the assignments changed my life: we had to make a simple webpage with the most basic coding. I found this really fun and started teaching myself HTML, building two websites from bare code. I probably spent more than 200 hours on them over the course of the next three years. No one I knew ever cared much about this project, but I loved it so much I didn't need external interest to keep it going. I did get interesting and meaningful responses in the guestbook of my site, particularly about my anti-racist stance. This is where I developed my ethic of content creation and self-education: I shared what I made, and when I wanted to do something I trained myself on how to do it. This was no small feat, because how-to resources were still scanty at the time.


At the same time, Allison (who is now my oldest friendship) introduced me to LiveJournal. I joined first as a way to stay in touch with Allison and it quickly took on an important role in my life. I met new people through add-me communities and through shared-interest communities. This is where I developed my norm for getting to know people: if I thought they were interesting I added them to my friends list and consumed their online content. If the interest was mutual and they added me back, I would respond to their posts and have turn-based conversations. I rarely had any direct interaction at first -- I only commented if they required it before adding them, and most of the time if they required that I just didn't add them.

That is how I would prefer to be able to get to know anyone; indirectly and not in real time but with intensely intimate levels of sharing. It's a strong enough norm for me that I can rarely have a lasting or nourishing connection with someone who doesn't share intimacies indirectly. It's usually too hard for me to sync up in real time, but I need that level of intense sharing to feel nourished and to maintain investment. But I've realized that in most places, getting to know someone indirectly first is considered 'weird' at best and people often refer to it as 'stalking' which I find utterly baffling. I accept that it's taboo and I don't talk about it to out-of-towners, but where I'm from, that's just how you do it! (obviously I don't look at anything that's not set to 'public' because that's creepy)

Also at this intense time of change, I started going to group therapy. Through the group therapy I started learning to be vulnerable with others, and within a few months I dedicated my journal to openness and honesty. It was a difficult project for a long time, because only a few months into my LJ life I started having flashbacks to childhood sexual abuse (sparked by having consensual penetrative sex for the first time). I began going to therapy weekly, and it got worse before it got better.

So for about two years I could not leave my house without someone by my side, and I had no local friends so I rarely went out. The internet saved me: I built real friendships to a depth I never had before. For the first time in my life, people sharing freely with me happened on a daily basis instead of once or twice a year. This was the first time in my life I truly felt like I belonged and like I understood how to interact in a way that would be appreciated. I rapidly dismantled my inner barriers to openness, and what I didn't dismantle was destroyed for me. It became important to me to share my own story in a public way, because I knew I was not the only one dealing with recovery from abuse. That built my immunity to trolling because when people mock you for being an abuse victim, there's not much lower they can go.


In late 2004 I also came across a community celebrating hourglass shapes and when the owner deleted it due to fighting over what counted, I decided to make a better version. I created a body-positive community with the idea of it being for medium people, like I was at the time (size 10) since there were fat positive communities but they had a minimum size requirement. But as people much smaller and larger than me joined, my idea rapidly changed, because the idea of excluding people for being 'too much' or 'not enough' was not okay to me. Within a few months, it was for anyone who self-identified as curvy, regardless of size or gender. This community was like a commune, a gathering of people who I mostly didn't know but who all were working together on the same beautiful project. It was home and work and family all at once; I took it from one person to more than 1,300, and it remained a thriving community for about four years.

That community was where I learned to love myself, and I got to watch lots of others do it too. It also brought me and Hannah together, which was a whole new experience because for the first time I met someone who was better at questioning and being open than I was. Hannah and I would regularly spend 9+ hours talking and sharing: we'd write on LJ and read each others' writing, we'd explore deviantart and share favorite works with each other, and just talk endlessly on gchat.



Deviantart was, for a time, almost as important as LJ to me. It's where I shared my artistic nudes and developed immunity about people expressing disgust toward my body. I also experienced so many people thanking me for sharing and telling me that it helped them to see their own beauty. DeviantArt is the town where I developed myself as a public artist, and I had some celebrity for a short time, but now my style has evolved so much that no one recognizes it as mine when I put up a new piece. It's a place I visit once in a blue moon to look at my old work on the walls, but all the artists I loved there moved away so even the nostalgia is dusty. I can't bring myself to stay long enough to get invested in the art circles there anymore.

Twitter was paramount for about a year in 2011; I kept up daily and interacted often. I was put off by the lack of reciprocity: I was following and interacting with people who never read my tweets and it felt cliquish. I learned a lot from the feminists there, esp the trans and WOC feminists, but it was more like a newspaper than like a social space. In a lot of ways it reminds me of my college experience: no matter how much effort I put in, no one wanted to connect at more than a surface level. Twitter is a city I drive through almost every day but never stop anymore; the roads where people live are confusing and parking is fucking torture, so I just go on through.



I got a facebook initially due to curiosity, kept it because of its value at organizing gathers, and slowly began spending more time there as my local activist network developed. Over the past two years it has become a more real space for me, as people have begun interacting with me more, but it still feels somewhat alien. Facebook feels like the building where I work: I go there often, but always in costume while leaving my more scandalous self at home. Without ever consciously deciding to, I had developed a habit of restricted my sharing on fb because fb culture is so pro-judgement. Once I realized this, I began working to bring more of myself into my facebook life because I don't actually want to make it more difficult to get to know me. Facebook will never be home, but I am making it into a workplace where I can be more of myself.


There were several shakeups here on LJ over the years and I lost friends to vox, wordpress, blogger, dreamwidth, and even facebook, but still I remain here. My LJ friends list is like a neighborhood where every single house is owned by a friend of mine. The idea of moving is absurd and always will be unless most of my friends move away. Even when it was mostly empty for a few years, I stayed in the hopes people would return, and eventually filled up those houses with new friends. Now, I have a small handful of friends who returned but most of my neighborhood is people I have met within the past three years (and I have been on LJ for more than 13 years).

I get so excited when I meet someone who is also from the internet, and even more so when I meet someone from livejournal. I imagine it is how other people feel when they live far from a hometown that they love, and then they meet someone from there. I might not get along with everyone from LJ, but if they have lived here a while, I immediately know we share similar values in a lot of ways. Especially if they love it here as much as I do.


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belenen: (curvygirl -- me (swirl))
photopost: body-positive shoot, photos by Kylei and me (NWS, nudity)
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has marked as possibly inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18. )
sounds: Banks - Brain | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , ,


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belenen: (curvygirl -- me (nude))
fetishizing nudity: only I can give meaning to MY body
I recently overheard a conversation about how being "scantily clad" is a declaration that one wants sex, and it reminded me of being told that my clothing was "provocative" and more recently told that if I go naked in a public place, I am sexually harassing anyone who sees me, by drawing them sans-consent into my sex scene. In response to these ideas: "HELL THE FUCK NO."

The way a person chooses to cover or not cover their body is 1) not a declaration of any kind of desire 2) not inherently centered on the viewer and 3) not sexual in and of itself. People make these faulty and damaging assumptions because in our culture nudity is fetishized: that is, it is assigned sexuality. Thus "showing skin" is erotic: a sexual invitation or "provocation." It's not simply or inherently human to consider nudity erotic: if it were, the nudity fetish wouldn't vary according to culture. This is purely an individual fetish: one taught by culture but owned by each person. It being a common fetish doesn't mean that it is appropriate to assign other people's motives by, or to act on these assumed motives. If a group of people fetishizes tie-wearing, and they hang out with other people who say that tie-wearing is an invitation to choke people, that does not make it appropriate to assume that any person wearing a tie wants to be choked with it. Because people are never all the same; behavior and dress can never tell you anything unless the person who acts/wears explains those actions/clothing. Even if in all the world, there was only one person who ever wore a tie just for the look of it and everyone else wore it as an erotic choking device, you would still need to check with every person because choking a non-consenting person is a horrific act.

If my clothing or lack thereof provokes you, that's your fetish, not my behavior. When I go naked, I am not getting an erotic thrill out of it and I am not signaling a request for sex. I don't care what you think; you may call yourself aroused but you may NOT call me arousing (unless we have decided to have sex and are currently having it). You have the right to look away and the right to ask me to not be around you when I'm naked but you don't have the right to force me to cover my body. I wear clothes because the law will punish me if I don't (and occasionally for practical reasons), but I deeply resent this imposition on my bodily autonomy. Don't you dare assign my clothing (or lack thereof) any intention or meaning; only I get to declare my intentions.

Strange Children
Strange Children
(please click to see full size)


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belenen: (curvygirl -- nude (amazing curves))
Art Sharing #15: Norman Lindsay (traditional media painting & etching)
Norman Lindsay
(1879 - 1969)


I have to admit that my initial interest in Lindsay's works was the curvaceousness of the subjects (when I was practicing loving my body I hunted down images of women that looked somewhat like me in form to help expand what I saw as beautiful). But the more I've looked at zir work the more captivated I've been by the stories being told and even more than that, the expressions of the people. A lot of painters (and photographers!) of nudes have one favorite facial expression and that is what ALL of their models wear. Lindsay's subjects have a wide variety of facial expressions, one of which I've never seen in other work -- wild joy. Not just happiness, but the kind of fierce joy that throws all else to the wind.

There is a lot of sensuality/sexuality in zir work as well, an almost tangible sense of passion/desire -- and it feels genuine. Perhaps it is the facial expressions or maybe it's just the attitude of the pieces, but it's not lusterless sex-for-show which is what most art depicting sexual desire looks like to me. It feels like there is love or at least affection in it. Also, quite a few works look somewhat poly and queer to me (sadly only with females but still). A character will be holding hands with one person and kissing another, or two characters will kiss someone else at the same time. And there are several depictions of two women completely wrapped up in each other (a pleasant departure from the usual invite-the-viewer-to-join depictions of queer love/lust). And YET. Lindsay does not make nudity always sexual -- in some works it's just there.

There's also a fantastic nature to much of zir work, from simple metaphor to actual sphinxes and harpies and fauns, demons and dwarves, Deities and saints. Most of my favorites look like an illustration from a fairytale book that I'd really love to read.

Last but not least, ze seems to create somewhat genderqueer characters -- several who I thought on the first 10 glances were one sex turned out to be the other (or perhaps neither?) when I looked more carefully (when shrinking/cropping for this post).



more obvious nudity & sexuality )
sounds: Phoenix - Girlfriend | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , ,


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belenen: (curvygirl -- nude (amazing curves))
Art Sharing #15: Norman Lindsay (traditional media painting & etching)
Norman Lindsay
(1879 - 1969)


I have to admit that my initial interest in Lindsay's works was the curvaceousness of the subjects (when I was practicing loving my body I hunted down images of women that looked somewhat like me in form to help expand what I saw as beautiful). But the more I've looked at zir work the more captivated I've been by the stories being told and even more than that, the expressions of the people. A lot of painters (and photographers!) of nudes have one favorite facial expression and that is what ALL of their models wear. Lindsay's subjects have a wide variety of facial expressions, one of which I've never seen in other work -- wild joy. Not just happiness, but the kind of fierce joy that throws all else to the wind.

There is a lot of sensuality/sexuality in zir work as well, an almost tangible sense of passion/desire -- and it feels genuine. Perhaps it is the facial expressions or maybe it's just the attitude of the pieces, but it's not lusterless sex-for-show which is what most art depicting sexual desire looks like to me. It feels like there is love or at least affection in it. Also, quite a few works look somewhat poly and queer to me (sadly only with females but still). A character will be holding hands with one person and kissing another, or two characters will kiss someone else at the same time. And there are several depictions of two women completely wrapped up in each other (a pleasant departure from the usual invite-the-viewer-to-join depictions of queer love/lust). And YET. Lindsay does not make nudity always sexual -- in some works it's just there.

There's also a fantastic nature to much of zir work, from simple metaphor to actual sphinxes and harpies and fauns, demons and dwarves, Deities and saints. Most of my favorites look like an illustration from a fairytale book that I'd really love to read.

Last but not least, ze seems to create somewhat genderqueer characters -- several who I thought on the first 10 glances were one sex turned out to be the other (or perhaps neither?) when I looked more carefully (when shrinking/cropping for this post).



more obvious nudity & sexuality )
sounds: Phoenix - Girlfriend | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , ,


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belenen: (curvygirl -- me (nude))
photos: candlelit black-and-white nudes by Hannah
I'm usually not at all a fan of black-and-white photography because I just love color too much, but low light and really strong lines just call for it. ;-)

These are from my trip to visit Hannah in June 2008. We did a completely impromptu (wild hair and everything) candlelit shoot on one of my last days there. This was only a few days after my heart was completely shattered, yet there is still true joy in some of these. I love these because Hannah and I work SO well together artistically and I love zir sense of composition -- I just love how ze captures me. I'm pretty sure Hannah took this whole set -- I know Nick took some of me but I think those were the set before.



30+ photos )
sounds: Damien Rice - Volcano | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , ,


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belenen: (curvygirl -- me (nude))
photos: candlelit black-and-white nudes by Hannah
I'm usually not at all a fan of black-and-white photography because I just love color too much, but low light and really strong lines just call for it. ;-)

These are from my trip to visit Hannah in June 2008. We did a completely impromptu (wild hair and everything) candlelit shoot on one of my last days there. This was only a few days after my heart was completely shattered, yet there is still true joy in some of these. I love these because Hannah and I work SO well together artistically and I love zir sense of composition -- I just love how ze captures me. I'm pretty sure Hannah took this whole set -- I know Nick took some of me but I think those were the set before.



30+ photos )
sounds: Damien Rice - Volcano | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , ,


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belenen: (curvygirl -- art (Zorn fireglow))
Art Sharing #14: Anders Zorn (traditional media painting)
Anders Zorn
(1860 - 1920)


Zorn is a painter after my own heart. Ze's probably most famous for zir portraits -- but it is zir nature nudes that I love so much. They have a softness and a rawness about them, and it feels like ze painted the plants and water with as much care as ze did the humans. The woods and shores feel real and alive, not just convenient backdrops for the models. I love the use of color in zir paintings -- it feels so warm in the indoor settings, and so fresh and breezy in the nature settings. But zir use of line is also really incredible -- ze was a prolific etcher, and the prints from zir etchings capture me almost as much as zir paintings.

I am enchanted by zir work -- I think mostly because ze wanted to capture life as it was, not pretty it up and pose it. I see two sides in zir nudes: the gritty, warm, messy aspect of humanity, captured in the indoor nudes which are usually in a state of preparation or cleansing, and the wild, fresh, pure aspect, captured in the nature nudes which are in a state of exploration or relaxation. I love both ♥



etched and painted nudity, possibly NWS if classical art is too naked? )
sounds: The Bird and the Bee - La La La | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , ,


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belenen: (curvygirl -- art (Zorn fireglow))
Art Sharing #14: Anders Zorn (traditional media painting)
Anders Zorn
(1860 - 1920)


Zorn is a painter after my own heart. Ze's probably most famous for zir portraits -- but it is zir nature nudes that I love so much. They have a softness and a rawness about them, and it feels like ze painted the plants and water with as much care as ze did the humans. The woods and shores feel real and alive, not just convenient backdrops for the models. I love the use of color in zir paintings -- it feels so warm in the indoor settings, and so fresh and breezy in the nature settings. But zir use of line is also really incredible -- ze was a prolific etcher, and the prints from zir etchings capture me almost as much as zir paintings.

I am enchanted by zir work -- I think mostly because ze wanted to capture life as it was, not pretty it up and pose it. I see two sides in zir nudes: the gritty, warm, messy aspect of humanity, captured in the indoor nudes which are usually in a state of preparation or cleansing, and the wild, fresh, pure aspect, captured in the nature nudes which are in a state of exploration or relaxation. I love both ♥



etched and painted nudity, possibly NWS if classical art is too naked? )
sounds: The Bird and the Bee - La La La | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , ,


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belenen: (eccentric)
meme: 25 random things about me.
after Mel, Jasmine, Jenny, Berry, and Namid all tagged me on facebook I figured OKAY FINE YOU ASKED FOR IT. Plus like 6 more of you have done it here! *jumps on bandwagon*

1. The problem with me doing things like this is that I can never manage to be succinct. Interesting, since when I was writing for classes I always fell short of the length requirements, and I couldn't pad it out with fluff... maybe I just can't write less than a paragraph or more than a few pages, heh.

24 more, cut for leeeeeeeeeeeength! )


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belenen: (eccentric)
meme: 25 random things about me.
after Mel, Jasmine, Jenny, Berry, and Namid all tagged me on facebook I figured OKAY FINE YOU ASKED FOR IT. Plus like 6 more of you have done it here! *jumps on bandwagon*

1. The problem with me doing things like this is that I can never manage to be succinct. Interesting, since when I was writing for classes I always fell short of the length requirements, and I couldn't pad it out with fluff... maybe I just can't write less than a paragraph or more than a few pages, heh.

24 more, cut for leeeeeeeeeeeength! )


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belenen: (eccentric)
meme: 25 random things about me.
after Mel, Jasmine, Jenny, Berry, and Namid all tagged me on facebook I figured OKAY FINE YOU ASKED FOR IT. Plus like 6 more of you have done it here! *jumps on bandwagon*

1. The problem with me doing things like this is that I can never manage to be succinct. Interesting, since when I was writing for classes I always fell short of the length requirements, and I couldn't pad it out with fluff... maybe I just can't write less than a paragraph or more than a few pages, heh.

24 more, cut for leeeeeeeeeeeength! )


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belenen: (glass)
Art Sharing #13: Steve Sizelove (sculpture -- glass)
Steve Sizelove
(contemporary)


Steve Sizelove's glass sculptures are absolutely amazing. I'm awed by how ze manages to create such expressive, detailed figures with such a fluid medium. The hands! They can't be more than the size of a dime, yet they're perfect and SO expressive. And I love how ze uses varying body shapes! So many artists seem to pick a favorite (usually the one that's in fashion) and create the same body over and over, but Sizelove seems to appreciate variety. I find zir work even more beautiful when viewed as a whole.

You can see more of zir work at the gallery -- definitely worth looking at, as I've posted only my favorites. ;-)



- - - glass sculpted nudity - - - )


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belenen: (glass)
Art Sharing #13: Steve Sizelove (sculpture -- glass)
Steve Sizelove
(contemporary)


Steve Sizelove's glass sculptures are absolutely amazing. I'm awed by how ze manages to create such expressive, detailed figures with such a fluid medium. The hands! They can't be more than the size of a dime, yet they're perfect and SO expressive. And I love how ze uses varying body shapes! So many artists seem to pick a favorite (usually the one that's in fashion) and create the same body over and over, but Sizelove seems to appreciate variety. I find zir work even more beautiful when viewed as a whole.

You can see more of zir work at the gallery -- definitely worth looking at, as I've posted only my favorites. ;-)



- - - glass sculpted nudity - - - )


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belenen: (revolutionary)
'Lightdance' artistic nudes (self-portraits)
I've been meaning to share this since I took it in early January! It's not my favorite shoot (still getting used to using the timer, and don't have much space!) but I like it a good bit.

nudity )


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belenen: (revolutionary)
'Lightdance' artistic nudes (self-portraits)
I've been meaning to share this since I took it in early January! It's not my favorite shoot (still getting used to using the timer, and don't have much space!) but I like it a good bit.

nudity )


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belenen: (magical)
Art Sharing #10: Michael Whelan (traditional media painting)
Michael Whelan
(contemporary)


I've loved Michael Whelan's art for over a decade... I first saw it on the cover of Tad William's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series. I was blown away by the beauty of the Sithi and hunted down all of the Michael Whelan images I could find. His illustrative work is amazing (partly due to the fact that he always reads the books before painting the cover!) but it's his personal work that inspires me the most. Some of his paintings are so important to me I feel they must be decorating the interior of my heart-home.

One thing that captures me is his use of symbolism. Two of his personal symbols are repeated in various paintings; a red glass heart on a red cord, usually carried by a person, and an orb or bubble with a flame inside. To me, the heart represents the true self (it is often being gazed at by the person) and the flame-bubble represents spirit, or life force. Also, he often illustrates the connection between human and nature, in a wonderfully beautiful way.

Please do check out the gallery -- I'm only featuring the ones that have greatest meaning to me, but there are so many others that I love and are definitely worth looking at.



very mild nudity )


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belenen: (magical)
Art Sharing #10: Michael Whelan (traditional media painting)
Michael Whelan
(contemporary)


I've loved Michael Whelan's art for over a decade... I first saw it on the cover of Tad William's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series. I was blown away by the beauty of the Sithi and hunted down all of the Michael Whelan images I could find. His illustrative work is amazing (partly due to the fact that he always reads the books before painting the cover!) but it's his personal work that inspires me the most. Some of his paintings are so important to me I feel they must be decorating the interior of my heart-home.

One thing that captures me is his use of symbolism. Two of his personal symbols are repeated in various paintings; a red glass heart on a red cord, usually carried by a person, and an orb or bubble with a flame inside. To me, the heart represents the true self (it is often being gazed at by the person) and the flame-bubble represents spirit, or life force. Also, he often illustrates the connection between human and nature, in a wonderfully beautiful way.

Please do check out the gallery -- I'm only featuring the ones that have greatest meaning to me, but there are so many others that I love and are definitely worth looking at.



very mild nudity )


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belenen: (tree joy)
Art Sharing #9: Jack Gescheidt's Treespirit Project (photography)
Jack Gescheidt
(contemporary)


I discovered this nearly a year ago, I think from googling 'tree spirit' -- I'm awed and thrilled by this project. Nudes in nature are the epitome of beauty to me (especially when the nudes are various colors, ages, sexes, sizes and shapes), and wise old trees touch my heart in a way nothing else can. The trees he's found to photograph are... absolutely incredible. I hope to fly into San Francisco and be a part of a shoot either this year or next, to meet these trees if for nothing else.

I would love to create a project like this, with all color (he uses mostly black & white) and more of a variety in races, and a combination of the far-away and close-up shots. *sigh* one day...



nudity, but the people are very small in the photos so maaaybe worksafe? )


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belenen: (tree joy)
Art Sharing #9: Jack Gescheidt's Treespirit Project (photography)
Jack Gescheidt
(contemporary)


I discovered this nearly a year ago, I think from googling 'tree spirit' -- I'm awed and thrilled by this project. Nudes in nature are the epitome of beauty to me (especially when the nudes are various colors, ages, sexes, sizes and shapes), and wise old trees touch my heart in a way nothing else can. The trees he's found to photograph are... absolutely incredible. I hope to fly into San Francisco and be a part of a shoot either this year or next, to meet these trees if for nothing else.

I would love to create a project like this, with all color (he uses mostly black & white) and more of a variety in races, and a combination of the far-away and close-up shots. *sigh* one day...



nudity, but the people are very small in the photos so maaaybe worksafe? )


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belenen: (tree joy)
Art Sharing #9: Jack Gescheidt's Treespirit Project (photography)
Jack Gescheidt


I discovered this nearly a year ago, I think from googling 'tree spirit' -- I'm awed and thrilled by this project. Nudes in nature are the epitome of beauty to me (especially when the nudes are various colors, ages, sexes, sizes and shapes), and wise old trees touch my heart in a way nothing else can. The trees he's found to photograph are... absolutely incredible. I hope to fly into San Francisco and be a part of a shoot either this year or next, to meet these trees if for nothing else.

I would love to create a project like this, with all color (he uses mostly black & white) and more of a variety in races, and a combination of the far-away and close-up shots. *sigh* one day...



nudity, but the people are very small in the photos so maaaybe worksafe? )


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belenen: (curvygirl -- art (Zorn fireglow))
Art Sharing #7: lostmyband & plangdon (traditional media painting)
Jack Morefield & plangdon
(contemporary)


Jack Morefield, on dA as lostmyband, creates amazing portraits and landscapes using clearly-divided lines of color rather than the usual line and shade -- kinda impressionistic, but clearer. I love his work because he seems to paint the energy of a thing rather than simply the form of it. To me, that shows the interconnectedness of all things. ♥ I've only put in three of his works here, but do check out his gallery at the link above -- it's amazing.

As for plangdon, I love the sweet mood, lovely shapes, and soft light with occasional intense color. I didn't get to see much of hir work, but 'New Life' in particular stands out in my mind as a truly fantastic work -- the kind you never get tired of looking at.



NWS for mild nudity )


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belenen: (curvygirl -- art (Zorn fireglow))
Art Sharing #7: lostmyband & plangdon (traditional media painting)
Jack Morefield & plangdon
(contemporary)


Jack Morefield, on dA as lostmyband, creates amazing portraits and landscapes using clearly-divided lines of color rather than the usual line and shade -- kinda impressionistic, but clearer. I love his work because he seems to paint the energy of a thing rather than simply the form of it. To me, that shows the interconnectedness of all things. ♥ I've only put in three of his works here, but do check out his gallery at the link above -- it's amazing.

As for plangdon, I love the sweet mood, lovely shapes, and soft light with occasional intense color. I didn't get to see much of hir work, but 'New Life' in particular stands out in my mind as a truly fantastic work -- the kind you never get tired of looking at.



NWS for mild nudity )


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belenen: (colors of the wind)
Art Sharing #5: Willow Jenkinson (colored pencils & marker)
Willow Jenkinson
(contemporary)


Her medium is colored pencils, fine liner, and permanent marker -- and she does things with it that I never imagined were possible! Seeing her artwork makes me feel as if I am peering into someone's dream; everything is so intense and meaningful. The colors are delicious and the linework bold. She has such a distinctive style! She did some Mucha-style pieces (which I have included in this post) and managed to be clearly Mucha-esque while still being distinctively herself. I love her abstracted hands and the way she blends images so that often you don't notice one aspect until you look closer (such as the raven here or here) Most of all I love her symbolism and her unique deity exploration, especially with Egyptian aspects.

Her art reminds me of the way mine would be if I drew freely.



not work safe -- nudity )


back to top

belenen: (colors of the wind)
Art Sharing #5: Willow Jenkinson (colored pencils & marker)
Willow Jenkinson
(contemporary)


Her medium is colored pencils, fine liner, and permanent marker -- and she does things with it that I never imagined were possible! Seeing her artwork makes me feel as if I am peering into someone's dream; everything is so intense and meaningful. The colors are delicious and the linework bold. She has such a distinctive style! She did some Mucha-style pieces (which I have included in this post) and managed to be clearly Mucha-esque while still being distinctively herself. I love her abstracted hands and the way she blends images so that often you don't notice one aspect until you look closer (such as the raven here or here) Most of all I love her symbolism and her unique deity exploration, especially with Egyptian aspects.

Her art reminds me of the way mine would be if I drew freely.



not work safe -- nudity )


back to top

belenen: (colors of the wind)
Art Sharing #5: Willow Jenkinson (colored pencils & marker)
Willow Jenkinson


Her medium is colored pencils, fine liner, and permanent marker -- and she does things with it that I never imagined were possible! Seeing her artwork makes me feel as if I am peering into someone's dream; everything is so intense and meaningful. The colors are delicious and the linework bold. She has such a distinctive style! She did some Mucha-style pieces (which I have included in this post) and managed to be clearly Mucha-esque while still being distinctively herself. I love her abstracted hands and the way she blends images so that often you don't notice one aspect until you look closer (such as the raven here or here) Most of all I love her symbolism and her unique deity exploration, especially with Egyptian aspects.

Her art reminds me of the way mine would be if I drew freely.



not work safe -- nudity )


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belenen: (curvygirl -- me (nude))
LJ journey to openness & honesty; my love for nudity
I've had my LJ since 2003 -- more than four years now. Over that time I've made an incredible journey thanks to my LJing ways. Not long after I started my LJ I decided that I wanted to be more open and honest, and that I wanted to use my journal as a way to reach that goal. I began to share my thoughts and feelings publicly, which was very difficult at first; but as I shared, I grew closer to my friends and they became more supportive, which made me able to share deeper levels of myself. The rare attack served to strengthen me, because I stood up for myself with the validation of my friends. In 'real' life I became more outgoing and confident, because I had learned that people respond positively to confident vulnerability and earnestness, and that the occasional negative reaction cannot possibly overwhelm all the positive reactions.

The more open and honest I become, the more I value transparency. It extends to every part of my life -- I dislike secrets, do not care for privacy, and cannot stand lies. I don't believe that there is a such thing as TMI because I don't think anything should be taboo to speak of. I do not like hiding in any way -- concealing makeup, figure-altering clothing (or indeed, any clothing at all), keeping quiet when my spirit demands that I speak up, acting strong when I am weak, etc. I want to be on the outside the same as I am on the inside. There have been times when I have been afraid to post something because I worried that my friends list might react negatively; I saw those topics as a challenge, and once I had gathered enough courage I posted them.

My outspokenness has caused issues in my face-to-face relationships, but the only thing that has caused a significant issue here on LJ is my love of nudity. I've lost a handful of friends over it, one which I really miss (the others not so much). I take nude self-portraits and model for art nudes, and I share the images online. I consider nudity natural and pure (though it has been fetishized by society); some do not share my opinion and consider it crass or even wicked. Others are comfortable with the idea of nude modeling, but are made uncomfortable by me posting the images in my journal and using nude icons. I have made the compromise of putting large nude photos under an lj-cut that is labeled with a warning, but I will not give up my nude icons. Icons are a person's image on LJ, and nudity as pure art is a very important part of who I am.

When I realize my actions are making someone uncomfortable, I consider changing. I weigh how important the issue is to me with how much it bothers the other person, and why. If it is not an important part of my being and that person is speaking for themselves, I am happy to change to accommodate a friend. However, if the issue concerns something that I consider a vital part of who I am, I will change it for no one. For instance, I will not lie for someone (except perhaps in a life and death situation). Also, if I consider the person to be speaking for society instead of speaking for themselves, I am not likely to change because I do not care about society. I don't have to worry much about that one because I don't really attract those who tend to speak for society; I attract those who, like me, enjoy having their mindsets upended.


NWS for nudity of course -- a self-portrait from my latest series )


LJ idol topic 10: "Whose LJ is it anyway?" ((if you liked/got something from this, please vote for me))


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belenen: (curvygirl -- me (nude))
LJ journey to openness & honesty; my love for nudity
I've had my LJ since 2003 -- more than four years now. Over that time I've made an incredible journey thanks to my LJing ways. Not long after I started my LJ I decided that I wanted to be more open and honest, and that I wanted to use my journal as a way to reach that goal. I began to share my thoughts and feelings publicly, which was very difficult at first; but as I shared, I grew closer to my friends and they became more supportive, which made me able to share deeper levels of myself. The rare attack served to strengthen me, because I stood up for myself with the validation of my friends. In 'real' life I became more outgoing and confident, because I had learned that people respond positively to confident vulnerability and earnestness, and that the occasional negative reaction cannot possibly overwhelm all the positive reactions.

The more open and honest I become, the more I value transparency. It extends to every part of my life -- I dislike secrets, do not care for privacy, and cannot stand lies. I don't believe that there is a such thing as TMI because I don't think anything should be taboo to speak of. I do not like hiding in any way -- concealing makeup, figure-altering clothing (or indeed, any clothing at all), keeping quiet when my spirit demands that I speak up, acting strong when I am weak, etc. I want to be on the outside the same as I am on the inside. There have been times when I have been afraid to post something because I worried that my friends list might react negatively; I saw those topics as a challenge, and once I had gathered enough courage I posted them.

My outspokenness has caused issues in my face-to-face relationships, but the only thing that has caused a significant issue here on LJ is my love of nudity. I've lost a handful of friends over it, one which I really miss (the others not so much). I take nude self-portraits and model for art nudes, and I share the images online. I consider nudity natural and pure (though it has been fetishized by society); some do not share my opinion and consider it crass or even wicked. Others are comfortable with the idea of nude modeling, but are made uncomfortable by me posting the images in my journal and using nude icons. I have made the compromise of putting large nude photos under an lj-cut that is labeled with a warning, but I will not give up my nude icons. Icons are a person's image on LJ, and nudity as pure art is a very important part of who I am.

When I realize my actions are making someone uncomfortable, I consider changing. I weigh how important the issue is to me with how much it bothers the other person, and why. If it is not an important part of my being and that person is speaking for themselves, I am happy to change to accommodate a friend. However, if the issue concerns something that I consider a vital part of who I am, I will change it for no one. For instance, I will not lie for someone (except perhaps in a life and death situation). Also, if I consider the person to be speaking for society instead of speaking for themselves, I am not likely to change because I do not care about society. I don't have to worry much about that one because I don't really attract those who tend to speak for society; I attract those who, like me, enjoy having their mindsets upended.


NWS for nudity of course -- a self-portrait from my latest series )


LJ idol topic 10: "Whose LJ is it anyway?" ((if you liked/got something from this, please vote for me))


back to top

belenen: (curvygirl -- me (nude))
LJ journey to openness & honesty; my love for nudity
I've had my LJ since 2003 -- more than four years now. Over that time I've made an incredible journey thanks to my LJing ways. Not long after I started my LJ I decided that I wanted to be more open and honest, and that I wanted to use my journal as a way to reach that goal. I began to share my thoughts and feelings publicly, which was very difficult at first; but as I shared, I grew closer to my friends and they became more supportive, which made me able to share deeper levels of myself. The rare attack served to strengthen me, because I stood up for myself with the validation of my friends. In 'real' life I became more outgoing and confident, because I had learned that people respond positively to confident vulnerability and earnestness, and that the occasional negative reaction cannot possibly overwhelm all the positive reactions.

The more open and honest I become, the more I value transparency. It extends to every part of my life -- I dislike secrets, do not care for privacy, and cannot stand lies. I don't believe that there is a such thing as TMI because I don't think anything should be taboo to speak of. I do not like hiding in any way -- concealing makeup, figure-altering clothing (or indeed, any clothing at all), keeping quiet when my spirit demands that I speak up, acting strong when I am weak, etc. I want to be on the outside the same as I am on the inside. There have been times when I have been afraid to post something because I worried that my friends list might react negatively; I saw those topics as a challenge, and once I had gathered enough courage I posted them.

My outspokenness has caused issues in my face-to-face relationships, but the only thing that has caused a significant issue here on LJ is my love of nudity. I've lost a handful of friends over it, one which I really miss (the others not so much). I take nude self-portraits and model for art nudes, and I share the images online. I consider nudity natural and pure (though it has been fetishized by society); some do not share my opinion and consider it crass or even wicked. Others are comfortable with the idea of nude modeling, but are made uncomfortable by me posting the images in my journal and using nude icons. I have made the compromise of putting large nude photos under an lj-cut that is labeled with a warning, but I will not give up my nude icons. Icons are a person's image on LJ, and nudity as pure art is a very important part of who I am.

When I realize my actions are making someone uncomfortable, I consider changing. I weigh how important the issue is to me with how much it bothers the other person, and why. If it is not an important part of my being and that person is speaking for themselves, I am happy to change to accommodate a friend. However, if the issue concerns something that I consider a vital part of who I am, I will change it for no one. For instance, I will not lie for someone (except perhaps in a life and death situation). Also, if I consider the person to be speaking for society instead of speaking for themselves, I am not likely to change because I do not care about society. I don't have to worry much about that one because I don't really attract those who tend to speak for society; I attract those who, like me, enjoy having their mindsets upended.


NWS for nudity of course -- a self-portrait from my latest series )


LJ idol topic 10: "Whose LJ is it anyway?" ((if you liked/got something from this, please vote for me))


back to top

belenen: (dreamy)
dreams (I meet Nea in south GA, go skinnydipping w her friends / I talk to Hannah about DID, help)
I went to south GA, where I spent my early childhood, and met Nea! We went exploring in the woods (bridges through swampy areas, dark like old forests are) and came upon a semi-deserted strip mall. As we walked down the street I noticed a flyer saying Missy Higgins was coming to town in about two weeks, and we excitedly discussed the possibility of Nea coming back to town for the concert (I think I was offering to pay, or knew of a way it wouldn't be too expensive). We moved on from the teeeeeeeeeeeeny town and came upon a lake/pond where about 20 of Nea's friends were (!?!). We all got in the water, me naked of course -- cops came around but I managed to escape notice by putting my arms on top of my (cartoonishly) buoyant breasts and submerging myself. Then the cops left and we all got out of the water and lounged on the bank in a large circle, talking. One of her friends joked about the difference between male and female (something not-body-related), which pissed me off since I don't believe in that shit, but I kept my mouth shut. THEN he made some 'joke' about having sex with her, and I turned to her and said, "You better kick his ass! ... unless he was talking to someone else," because I realized he didn't specify who he was talking to and there were two other girls sitting next to Nea. (this whole dream happened at night, but it must have been a full moon because it was easy to see)

Hannah and I spend lovely time, she leaves and doesn't know why, I talk to her about being disassociative, encourage grieving )


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belenen: (dreamy)
dreams (I meet Nea in south GA, go skinnydipping w her friends / I talk to Hannah about DID, help)
I went to south GA, where I spent my early childhood, and met Nea! We went exploring in the woods (bridges through swampy areas, dark like old forests are) and came upon a semi-deserted strip mall. As we walked down the street I noticed a flyer saying Missy Higgins was coming to town in about two weeks, and we excitedly discussed the possibility of Nea coming back to town for the concert (I think I was offering to pay, or knew of a way it wouldn't be too expensive). We moved on from the teeeeeeeeeeeeny town and came upon a lake/pond where about 20 of Nea's friends were (!?!). We all got in the water, me naked of course -- cops came around but I managed to escape notice by putting my arms on top of my (cartoonishly) buoyant breasts and submerging myself. Then the cops left and we all got out of the water and lounged on the bank in a large circle, talking. One of her friends joked about the difference between male and female (something not-body-related), which pissed me off since I don't believe in that shit, but I kept my mouth shut. THEN he made some 'joke' about having sex with her, and I turned to her and said, "You better kick his ass! ... unless he was talking to someone else," because I realized he didn't specify who he was talking to and there were two other girls sitting next to Nea. (this whole dream happened at night, but it must have been a full moon because it was easy to see)

Hannah and I spend lovely time, she leaves and doesn't know why, I talk to her about being disassociative, encourage grieving )


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belenen: (veneration)
Art Sharing #3: Steven Perry of deviantart (photography)
Steven Perry
(contemporary)


His other photography is great, but Steven's self-portraits just -- render me speechless and staring. I think many of us are afraid to show our complexity, because we feel that one side of us might somehow taint or invalidate the other side, or because we want to belong to a community; Steven faces that fear and laughs in its face. He shares every aspect of himself with utter rawness and honesty, and his photos SHOUT their meaning, flood you with emotion in response. Fear, love, anger, tenderness, depression, joy, self-assurance, self-hate -- showing true emotion is just the beginning. Every photo has a story to tell you and truths to give, both personal and universal.

Steven also explores what it means to live in a male body. Many nude male artists pose to hide the penis, as if it is something inherently more shameful than the rest of the body -- Steven doesn't (and he's gotten a lot of attacking from the community for it but he's not backing down). He doesn't allow himself to be restricted by the expectations most people have of a person living in a male body -- whether that be pose styles, body decorations, or whatever. Possibly more than anyone else, he has taught me what it means to be simply human, regardless of body shape.

These deserve to be seen full-size, & the artist comments he includes are often enlightening, so
I urge you to click to enlarge -- for the nudes, you will have to have a deviantart account and be signed in.



NWS for nudity of course )
sounds: Silversun Pickups: "Well Thought Out Twinkles"
connecting: , , , ,


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belenen: (veneration)
Art Sharing #3: Steven Perry of deviantart (photography)
Steven Perry
(contemporary)


His other photography is great, but Steven's self-portraits just -- render me speechless and staring. I think many of us are afraid to show our complexity, because we feel that one side of us might somehow taint or invalidate the other side, or because we want to belong to a community; Steven faces that fear and laughs in its face. He shares every aspect of himself with utter rawness and honesty, and his photos SHOUT their meaning, flood you with emotion in response. Fear, love, anger, tenderness, depression, joy, self-assurance, self-hate -- showing true emotion is just the beginning. Every photo has a story to tell you and truths to give, both personal and universal.

Steven also explores what it means to live in a male body. Many nude male artists pose to hide the penis, as if it is something inherently more shameful than the rest of the body -- Steven doesn't (and he's gotten a lot of attacking from the community for it but he's not backing down). He doesn't allow himself to be restricted by the expectations most people have of a person living in a male body -- whether that be pose styles, body decorations, or whatever. Possibly more than anyone else, he has taught me what it means to be simply human, regardless of body shape.

These deserve to be seen full-size, & the artist comments he includes are often enlightening, so
I urge you to click to enlarge -- for the nudes, you will have to have a deviantart account and be signed in.



NWS for nudity of course )
sounds: Silversun Pickups: "Well Thought Out Twinkles"
connecting: , , , ,


back to top

belenen: (veneration)
Art Sharing #3: Steven Perry of deviantart (photography)
Steven Perry


His other photography is great, but Steven's self-portraits just -- render me speechless and staring. I think many of us are afraid to show our complexity, because we feel that one side of us might somehow taint or invalidate the other side, or because we want to belong to a community; Steven faces that fear and laughs in its face. He shares every aspect of himself with utter rawness and honesty, and his photos SHOUT their meaning, flood you with emotion in response. Fear, love, anger, tenderness, depression, joy, self-assurance, self-hate -- showing true emotion is just the beginning. Every photo has a story to tell you and truths to give, both personal and universal.

Steven also explores what it means to live in a male body. Many nude male artists pose to hide the penis, as if it is something inherently more shameful than the rest of the body -- Steven doesn't (and he's gotten a lot of attacking from the community for it but he's not backing down). He doesn't allow himself to be restricted by the expectations most people have of a person living in a male body -- whether that be pose styles, body decorations, or whatever. Possibly more than anyone else, he has taught me what it means to be simply human, regardless of body shape.

These deserve to be seen full-size, & the artist comments he includes are often enlightening, so
I urge you to click to enlarge -- for the nudes, you will have to have a deviantart account and be signed in.



NWS for nudity of course )
sounds: Silversun Pickups: "Well Thought Out Twinkles"
connecting: , , , ,


back to top

belenen: (curvygirl -- art (Zorn fireglow))
Art Sharing #2: oro-elui of deviantart (photography)
oro-elui
(contemporary)


This woman is a brilliant photographer, photo-editor, and self-portraitist. I've chosen to feature her this week because she just got her first 'real' camera and most of the photos I am featuring were taken on a camera phone. Admittedly I don't know anything about camera phones and it might be quite nice, but nevertheless it would have many limitations and yet she produced such amazing art with it. I am thrilled to the bones that I get to watch her grow even more as an artist, using her new instrument!

I've featured a still life, an animal shot, earth landscapes, body landscapes, portraits, and nude self-portraits. The most I could narrow it down was 27 images! I am amazed by her range; her landscapes have as much life and meaning as her self-portraits. The concepts, the originality, the ingenuity -- she blows me away almost every time she uploads something new. It's one of my life goals to meet her. ♥

Please understand that you have not truly seen these until you have seen them full-size!
Click to enlarge -- on deviantart she permits the download of the original size.
For the nudes, you will have to have a deviantart account and be signed in.



NWS for nudity of course )


back to top

belenen: (curvygirl -- art (Zorn fireglow))
Art Sharing #2: oro-elui of deviantart (photography)
oro-elui
(contemporary)


This woman is a brilliant photographer, photo-editor, and self-portraitist. I've chosen to feature her this week because she just got her first 'real' camera and most of the photos I am featuring were taken on a camera phone. Admittedly I don't know anything about camera phones and it might be quite nice, but nevertheless it would have many limitations and yet she produced such amazing art with it. I am thrilled to the bones that I get to watch her grow even more as an artist, using her new instrument!

I've featured a still life, an animal shot, earth landscapes, body landscapes, portraits, and nude self-portraits. The most I could narrow it down was 27 images! I am amazed by her range; her landscapes have as much life and meaning as her self-portraits. The concepts, the originality, the ingenuity -- she blows me away almost every time she uploads something new. It's one of my life goals to meet her. ♥

Please understand that you have not truly seen these until you have seen them full-size!
Click to enlarge -- on deviantart she permits the download of the original size.
For the nudes, you will have to have a deviantart account and be signed in.



NWS for nudity of course )


back to top

belenen: (curvygirl -- art (Zorn fireglow))
Art Sharing #2: oro-elui of deviantart (photography)
oro-elui


This woman is a brilliant photographer, photo-editor, and self-portraitist. I've chosen to feature her this week because she just got her first 'real' camera and most of the photos I am featuring were taken on a camera phone. Admittedly I don't know anything about camera phones and it might be quite nice, but nevertheless it would have many limitations and yet she produced such amazing art with it. I am thrilled to the bones that I get to watch her grow even more as an artist, using her new instrument!

I've featured a still life, an animal shot, earth landscapes, body landscapes, portraits, and nude self-portraits. The most I could narrow it down was 27 images! I am amazed by her range; her landscapes have as much life and meaning as her self-portraits. The concepts, the originality, the ingenuity -- she blows me away almost every time she uploads something new. It's one of my life goals to meet her. ♥

Please understand that you have not truly seen these until you have seen them full-size!
Click to enlarge -- on deviantart she permits the download of the original size.
For the nudes, you will have to have a deviantart account and be signed in.



NWS for nudity of course )


back to top

belenen: (connate)
soulfriendship definition -- refined (like precious metal)
Many people understand the concept of 'best friend' as the person who is closer to you than anyone else, or the person whom you love more than anyone else. I have a concept of 'best friends' that I call soulfriendship. It goes a step beyond most 'best friends' relationships in that it is a conscious commitment with specific qualities, and it is not restricted to only one person. It does take a LOT of energy and I can't imagine having very many of them, but I have had two at once so I know it is possible.

Recently one of my soulfriendships ended -- not in the usual way of intimate relationships (fighting and fury), but by recognising that we were not in the right place in our lives to continue such a deep relationship. I think it is a testament to the beauty of soulfriendship that it can end gracefully, without severing the connection. I am still recovering from the loss, but I learned so incredibly much through the experience. I have refined the old definition to this:

  • Love & Affection.
    To me, these are different aspects that go hand in hand. Love is the recognition that the other person has incalculable worth, which can never change -- it is seeing the sacred self in someone, and feeling the bond that connects us all. Affection is a positive feeling that the other person creates in you (and vice versa) by doing/saying positive things for/to you. Love starts the relationship; affection fuels it. (my in-depth post on the topic)
  • Commitment.
    I used to call this aspect 'permanence' but have since realized it is more complex than that. I believe that two healthy people can overcome any obstacle -- but sometimes we are wounded by things we cannot control, and all of our best efforts are not enough. So this aspect I now call 'commitment' -- meaning that both people will do their absolute best to overcome obstacles that keep them from maintaining the soulfriendship. Sometimes one or both will not be able to do enough, but they will try with every resource they have until they can do no more. Also included in this is willingness to forgive; in an intimate relationship you will be hurt, and for commitment to have meaning it has to survive that hurt through forgiveness.
  • Trust.
    I define trust as willing to take the risk of hurting or being hurt. It's a faith that the relationship will survive failings on the part of either person. It's the other half of commitment: the belief that not only are YOU committed, but the other person is also; not only will YOU forgive, but the other person will also.
  • Honesty.
    I define honesty as a refusal to deceive. Honesty is answering any question with the truth (the whole truth, and nothing but the truth), without trying to hide anything. You don't have to phrase things rudely to tell the truth, but even with the gentlest phrasing, the truth may offend or hurt. Still, I believe that the kind of hurt the truth may bring is like the sting of disinfectant on a wound -- it hurts but does not damage, and is ultimately healing.
  • Openness.
    Openness is the other half of honesty; it is the willingness to share truth. To be open is to offer yourself, to place your truth into the hands of those willing to receive instead of waiting for them to ask. We are such complex creatures that no one could ever learn us fully by asking questions -- we have to share of our own volition.
  • Inclusion. (communication and decision-making)
    There's no set time on how much or how often you communicate, but it needs to be frequent enough that both people have a good understanding of what is going on in the other person's life. On the important decisions in your life, include the other person -- they know you so well and care so much that their advice is very valuable. Consider how your decisions affect them; in an intimate relationship, what helps them helps you and vice versa.
  • Desire to Grow.
    This is absolutely necessary in a soulfriendship, though non-committed friendships can do fine without it. In a soulfriendship you are constantly balancing yourself against the other, constantly giving and receiving -- in constant flux. If you do not change, you will end up out of step with the other person, a gap that will only increase with time. If you backtrack you will end out of step even faster -- so the only way to stay connected is for both people to be growing, or changing positively. There are many ways to do this; counseling (I firmly believe that every single person in this broken world needs at least some mentor-type guidance), self-education, art, giving help to others, spiritual exploration... the important thing is that this aspect is never-ceasing. Sometimes you will only have energy for a small amount of growth, and sometimes the best way to grow is through a period of deliberate hibernation (with a limited time span), but it must be a conscious goal for soulfriendship to flourish.
  • Unselfishness.
    I define this as the willingness to sacrifice your time, energy, and other resources in order to help the other person. Going out of your way, doing unpleasant or difficult things for the sake of the other person. It should be balanced between your resources and the other person's need; draining yourself can harm you and the relationship, but every once in a long while, it is necessary to pour yourself out for the other person. Then at another time ze will do the same for you.


myself and my former soulfriend Hannah;
I feel this illustrates soulfriendship perfectly.


LJ idol topic 7: "My Best Friend" ((going with this one! will add voting link thursday))


back to top

belenen: (connate)
soulfriendship definition -- refined (like precious metal)
Many people understand the concept of 'best friend' as the person who is closer to you than anyone else, or the person whom you love more than anyone else. I have a concept of 'best friends' that I call soulfriendship. It goes a step beyond most 'best friends' relationships in that it is a conscious commitment with specific qualities, and it is not restricted to only one person. It does take a LOT of energy and I can't imagine having very many of them, but I have had two at once so I know it is possible.

Recently one of my soulfriendships ended -- not in the usual way of intimate relationships (fighting and fury), but by recognising that we were not in the right place in our lives to continue such a deep relationship. I think it is a testament to the beauty of soulfriendship that it can end gracefully, without severing the connection. I am still recovering from the loss, but I learned so incredibly much through the experience. I have refined the old definition to this:

  • Love & Affection.
    To me, these are different aspects that go hand in hand. Love is the recognition that the other person has incalculable worth, which can never change -- it is seeing the sacred self in someone, and feeling the bond that connects us all. Affection is a positive feeling that the other person creates in you (and vice versa) by doing/saying positive things for/to you. Love starts the relationship; affection fuels it. (my in-depth post on the topic)
  • Commitment.
    I used to call this aspect 'permanence' but have since realized it is more complex than that. I believe that two healthy people can overcome any obstacle -- but sometimes we are wounded by things we cannot control, and all of our best efforts are not enough. So this aspect I now call 'commitment' -- meaning that both people will do their absolute best to overcome obstacles that keep them from maintaining the soulfriendship. Sometimes one or both will not be able to do enough, but they will try with every resource they have until they can do no more. Also included in this is willingness to forgive; in an intimate relationship you will be hurt, and for commitment to have meaning it has to survive that hurt through forgiveness.
  • Trust.
    I define trust as willing to take the risk of hurting or being hurt. It's a faith that the relationship will survive failings on the part of either person. It's the other half of commitment: the belief that not only are YOU committed, but the other person is also; not only will YOU forgive, but the other person will also.
  • Honesty.
    I define honesty as a refusal to deceive. Honesty is answering any question with the truth (the whole truth, and nothing but the truth), without trying to hide anything. You don't have to phrase things rudely to tell the truth, but even with the gentlest phrasing, the truth may offend or hurt. Still, I believe that the kind of hurt the truth may bring is like the sting of disinfectant on a wound -- it hurts but does not damage, and is ultimately healing.
  • Openness.
    Openness is the other half of honesty; it is the willingness to share truth. To be open is to offer yourself, to place your truth into the hands of those willing to receive instead of waiting for them to ask. We are such complex creatures that no one could ever learn us fully by asking questions -- we have to share of our own volition.
  • Inclusion. (communication and decision-making)
    There's no set time on how much or how often you communicate, but it needs to be frequent enough that both people have a good understanding of what is going on in the other person's life. On the important decisions in your life, include the other person -- they know you so well and care so much that their advice is very valuable. Consider how your decisions affect them; in an intimate relationship, what helps them helps you and vice versa.
  • Desire to Grow.
    This is absolutely necessary in a soulfriendship, though non-committed friendships can do fine without it. In a soulfriendship you are constantly balancing yourself against the other, constantly giving and receiving -- in constant flux. If you do not change, you will end up out of step with the other person, a gap that will only increase with time. If you backtrack you will end out of step even faster -- so the only way to stay connected is for both people to be growing, or changing positively. There are many ways to do this; counseling (I firmly believe that every single person in this broken world needs at least some mentor-type guidance), self-education, art, giving help to others, spiritual exploration... the important thing is that this aspect is never-ceasing. Sometimes you will only have energy for a small amount of growth, and sometimes the best way to grow is through a period of deliberate hibernation (with a limited time span), but it must be a conscious goal for soulfriendship to flourish.
  • Unselfishness.
    I define this as the willingness to sacrifice your time, energy, and other resources in order to help the other person. Going out of your way, doing unpleasant or difficult things for the sake of the other person. It should be balanced between your resources and the other person's need; draining yourself can harm you and the relationship, but every once in a long while, it is necessary to pour yourself out for the other person. Then at another time ze will do the same for you.


myself and my former soulfriend Hannah;
I feel this illustrates soulfriendship perfectly.


LJ idol topic 7: "My Best Friend" ((going with this one! will add voting link thursday))


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belenen: (connate)
soulfriendship definition -- refined (like precious metal)
Many people understand the concept of 'best friend' as the person who is closer to you than anyone else, or the person whom you love more than anyone else. I have a concept of 'best friends' that I call soulfriendship. It goes a step beyond most 'best friends' relationships in that it is a conscious commitment with specific qualities, and it is not restricted to only one person. It does take a LOT of energy and I can't imagine having very many of them, but I have had two at once so I know it is possible.

Recently one of my soulfriendships ended -- not in the usual way of intimate relationships (fighting and fury), but by recognising that we were not in the right place in our lives to continue such a deep relationship. I think it is a testament to the beauty of soulfriendship that it can end gracefully, without severing the connection. I am still recovering from the loss, but I learned so incredibly much through the experience. I have refined the old definition to this:

  • Love & Affection.
    To me, these are different aspects that go hand in hand. Love is the recognition that the other person has incalculable worth, which can never change -- it is seeing the sacred self in someone, and feeling the bond that connects us all. Affection is a positive feeling that the other person creates in you (and vice versa) by doing/saying positive things for/to you. Love starts the relationship; affection fuels it. (my in-depth post on the topic)
  • Commitment.
    I used to call this aspect 'permanence' but have since realized it is more complex than that. I believe that two healthy people can overcome any obstacle -- but sometimes we are wounded by things we cannot control, and all of our best efforts are not enough. So this aspect I now call 'commitment' -- meaning that both people will do their absolute best to overcome obstacles that keep them from maintaining the soulfriendship. Sometimes one or both will not be able to do enough, but they will try with every resource they have until they can do no more. Also included in this is willingness to forgive; in an intimate relationship you will be hurt, and for commitment to have meaning it has to survive that hurt through forgiveness.
  • Trust.
    I define trust as willing to take the risk of hurting or being hurt. It's a faith that the relationship will survive failings on the part of either person. It's the other half of commitment: the belief that not only are YOU committed, but the other person is also; not only will YOU forgive, but the other person will also.
  • Honesty.
    I define honesty as a refusal to deceive. Honesty is answering any question with the truth (the whole truth, and nothing but the truth), without trying to hide anything. You don't have to phrase things rudely to tell the truth, but even with the gentlest phrasing, the truth may offend or hurt. Still, I believe that the kind of hurt the truth may bring is like the sting of disinfectant on a wound -- it hurts but does not damage, and is ultimately healing.
  • Openness.
    Openness is the other half of honesty; it is the willingness to share truth. To be open is to offer yourself, to place your truth into the hands of those willing to receive instead of waiting for them to ask. We are such complex creatures that no one could ever learn us fully by asking questions -- we have to share of our own volition.
  • Inclusion. (communication and decision-making)
    There's no set time on how much or how often you communicate, but it needs to be frequent enough that both people have a good understanding of what is going on in the other person's life. On the important decisions in your life, include the other person -- they know you so well and care so much that their advice is very valuable. Consider how your decisions affect them; in an intimate relationship, what helps them helps you and vice versa.
  • Desire to Grow.
    This is absolutely necessary in a soulfriendship, though non-committed friendships can do fine without it. In a soulfriendship you are constantly balancing yourself against the other, constantly giving and receiving -- in constant flux. If you do not change, you will end up out of step with the other person, a gap that will only increase with time. If you backtrack you will end out of step even faster -- so the only way to stay connected is for both people to be growing, or changing positively. There are many ways to do this; counseling (I firmly believe that every single person in this broken world needs at least some mentor-type guidance), self-education, art, giving help to others, spiritual exploration... the important thing is that this aspect is never-ceasing. Sometimes you will only have energy for a small amount of growth, and sometimes the best way to grow is through a period of deliberate hibernation (with a limited time span), but it must be a conscious goal for soulfriendship to flourish.
  • Unselfishness.
    I define this as the willingness to sacrifice your time, energy, and other resources in order to help the other person. Going out of your way, doing unpleasant or difficult things for the sake of the other person. It should be balanced between your resources and the other person's need; draining yourself can harm you and the relationship, but every once in a long while, it is necessary to pour yourself out for the other person. Then at another time ze will do the same for you.


myself and my former soulfriend Hannah;
I feel this illustrates soulfriendship perfectly.


LJ idol topic 7: "My Best Friend" ((going with this one! will add voting link thursday))


back to top

belenen: (honesty)
identity: my self-labels and my definitions of them
Words and actions are like clothing; we can express ourselves with them, but they cannot describe the person we are. They can hint, they can shout, but they cannot sum us up. People are simply too complex, and too much of us exists in a place where no one can see actions or hear words. The only label that has any worth is our self-label: the words we choose to dress ourselves in. And even those have no worth until we explain our own meaning for them.

On that note, here are the words I wear: spiritual, creative, honest, open, compassionate, bisexual, polyamorous, partnered, nuevo-gypsy, Georgian, curvy body-positive, fiercely individualistic, feminist/equalist, genderfree female-bodied person. (in no particular order) And my definitions:

spiritual: I don't adhere to any one religion, but believe in whatever resonates with me. The main belief systems I draw from are ancient Egyptian concepts (including aspects of Kemetic Orthodoxy), Native American animism, Christianity, and Buddhism (I don't know much about it but I really love Hotei). I worship God/dess, and have a relationship with several of hir personalities, of Christian and Kemetic names. Ultimately I believe God/dess is love, that the physical world is a metaphor for the spiritual world, and that we chose to come to earth to learn how to love more. I believe everything is connected, all things have a spirit and a name, and there is no such thing as a coincidence.

creative: I am one who creates. I do my best to create love in myself and others, and to pour myself out in my creations: my writing, photography, modeling, beadweaving, painting, dancing, singing -- whatever way I can. I believe that every act of creation ripples out and changes the world (as does destruction, but that in a negative way). Even if no one ever sees my art, I feel I have changed the world simply by creating it (though I think it has even more power when shared).

honest: I do my best to never lie. I think 'little white lies' are like 'little white maggots' that infest connectedness and ruin it. Even one 'little white maggot' in a bowl of soup is going to make you not want to eat it -- I feel the same way about lies. If you can't trust me on something small, how can you trust me with your heart? also, little white maggotlies are usually born from insecurity in the relationship, or lack of willingness to work out all issues. 'I don't want to offend her' or 'I don't want conflict.' Conflict is the best source of growth. I say brrrrring it oooooooon.

open: I will share myself with my friends without prompting, and I will share myself with strangers upon them showing the interest to know. I think every time one person shares themselves with another, that creates more of a connection and ripples out to affect the whole world. To me, honesty is giving truth when it is asked for (passive), and openness is offering your truth (active).

compassionate: My most intense passion in life is to learn, in order to grow, and to grow, in order to love - more deeply, more freely, more openly. I believe love is my purpose for being. The more I love people, the easier it gets, because I come to understand them more, and when you truly understand a person, it's the easiest and most natural thing in the world to love them. I believe that at core we are all amazing, glorious spirits of incalculable worth. We all have a level of brokenness that keeps our spirits from being able to shine as they were meant to, but every act of love ripples out a wave of healing.

bisexual: ... )
polyamorous: ... )
partnered: ... )
nuevo-gypsy, Georgian: ... )
curvy body-positive: ... )
fiercely individualistic: ... )
feminist/equalist: ... )
nudist: ... )
genderfree female-bodied person: ... )

LJ idol topic 0: introduction/open topic (no voting this round!)


back to top

belenen: (honesty)
identity: my self-labels and my definitions of them
Words and actions are like clothing; we can express ourselves with them, but they cannot describe the person we are. They can hint, they can shout, but they cannot sum us up. People are simply too complex, and too much of us exists in a place where no one can see actions or hear words. The only label that has any worth is our self-label: the words we choose to dress ourselves in. And even those have no worth until we explain our own meaning for them.

On that note, here are the words I wear: spiritual, creative, honest, open, compassionate, bisexual, polyamorous, partnered, nuevo-gypsy, Georgian, curvy body-positive, fiercely individualistic, feminist/equalist, genderfree female-bodied person. (in no particular order) And my definitions:

spiritual: I don't adhere to any one religion, but believe in whatever resonates with me. The main belief systems I draw from are ancient Egyptian concepts (including aspects of Kemetic Orthodoxy), Native American animism, Christianity, and Buddhism (I don't know much about it but I really love Hotei). I worship God/dess, and have a relationship with several of hir personalities, of Christian and Kemetic names. Ultimately I believe God/dess is love, that the physical world is a metaphor for the spiritual world, and that we chose to come to earth to learn how to love more. I believe everything is connected, all things have a spirit and a name, and there is no such thing as a coincidence.

creative: I am one who creates. I do my best to create love in myself and others, and to pour myself out in my creations: my writing, photography, modeling, beadweaving, painting, dancing, singing -- whatever way I can. I believe that every act of creation ripples out and changes the world (as does destruction, but that in a negative way). Even if no one ever sees my art, I feel I have changed the world simply by creating it (though I think it has even more power when shared).

honest: I do my best to never lie. I think 'little white lies' are like 'little white maggots' that infest connectedness and ruin it. Even one 'little white maggot' in a bowl of soup is going to make you not want to eat it -- I feel the same way about lies. If you can't trust me on something small, how can you trust me with your heart? also, little white maggotlies are usually born from insecurity in the relationship, or lack of willingness to work out all issues. 'I don't want to offend her' or 'I don't want conflict.' Conflict is the best source of growth. I say brrrrring it oooooooon.

open: I will share myself with my friends without prompting, and I will share myself with strangers upon them showing the interest to know. I think every time one person shares themselves with another, that creates more of a connection and ripples out to affect the whole world. To me, honesty is giving truth when it is asked for (passive), and openness is offering your truth (active).

compassionate: My most intense passion in life is to learn, in order to grow, and to grow, in order to love - more deeply, more freely, more openly. I believe love is my purpose for being. The more I love people, the easier it gets, because I come to understand them more, and when you truly understand a person, it's the easiest and most natural thing in the world to love them. I believe that at core we are all amazing, glorious spirits of incalculable worth. We all have a level of brokenness that keeps our spirits from being able to shine as they were meant to, but every act of love ripples out a wave of healing.

bisexual: ... )
polyamorous: ... )
partnered: ... )
nuevo-gypsy, Georgian: ... )
curvy body-positive: ... )
fiercely individualistic: ... )
feminist/equalist: ... )
nudist: ... )
genderfree female-bodied person: ... )

LJ idol topic 0: introduction/open topic (no voting this round!)


back to top

belenen: (honesty)
identity: my self-labels and my definitions of them
Words and actions are like clothing; we can express ourselves with them, but they cannot describe the person we are. They can hint, they can shout, but they cannot sum us up. People are simply too complex, and too much of us exists in a place where no one can see actions or hear words. The only label that has any worth is our self-label: the words we choose to dress ourselves in. And even those have no worth until we explain our own meaning for them.

On that note, here are the words I wear: spiritual, creative, honest, open, compassionate, bisexual, polyamorous, partnered, nuevo-gypsy, Georgian, curvy body-positive, fiercely individualistic, feminist/equalist, genderfree female-bodied person. (in no particular order) And my definitions:

spiritual: I don't adhere to any one religion, but believe in whatever resonates with me. The main belief systems I draw from are ancient Egyptian concepts (including aspects of Kemetic Orthodoxy), Native American animism, Christianity, and Buddhism (I don't know much about it but I really love Hotei). I worship God/dess, and have a relationship with several of hir personalities, of Christian and Kemetic names. Ultimately I believe God/dess is love, that the physical world is a metaphor for the spiritual world, and that we chose to come to earth to learn how to love more. I believe everything is connected, all things have a spirit and a name, and there is no such thing as a coincidence.

creative: I am one who creates. I do my best to create love in myself and others, and to pour myself out in my creations: my writing, photography, modeling, beadweaving, painting, dancing, singing -- whatever way I can. I believe that every act of creation ripples out and changes the world (as does destruction, but that in a negative way). Even if no one ever sees my art, I feel I have changed the world simply by creating it (though I think it has even more power when shared).

honest: I do my best to never lie. I think 'little white lies' are like 'little white maggots' that infest connectedness and ruin it. Even one 'little white maggot' in a bowl of soup is going to make you not want to eat it -- I feel the same way about lies. If you can't trust me on something small, how can you trust me with your heart? also, little white maggotlies are usually born from insecurity in the relationship, or lack of willingness to work out all issues. 'I don't want to offend her' or 'I don't want conflict.' Conflict is the best source of growth. I say brrrrring it oooooooon.

open: I will share myself with my friends without prompting, and I will share myself with strangers upon them showing the interest to know. I think every time one person shares themselves with another, that creates more of a connection and ripples out to affect the whole world. To me, honesty is giving truth when it is asked for (passive), and openness is offering your truth (active).

compassionate: My most intense passion in life is to learn, in order to grow, and to grow, in order to love - more deeply, more freely, more openly. I believe love is my purpose for being. The more I love people, the easier it gets, because I come to understand them more, and when you truly understand a person, it's the easiest and most natural thing in the world to love them. I believe that at core we are all amazing, glorious spirits of incalculable worth. We all have a level of brokenness that keeps our spirits from being able to shine as they were meant to, but every act of love ripples out a wave of healing.

bisexual: ... )
polyamorous: ... )
partnered: ... )
nuevo-gypsy, Georgian: ... )
curvy body-positive: ... )
fiercely individualistic: ... )
feminist/equalist: ... )
nudist: ... )
genderfree female-bodied person: ... )

LJ idol topic 0: introduction/open topic (no voting this round!)


back to top

belenen: (analytical)
belversion of the interview meme: answers 12-17
(from this meme -- if you want, feel free to go there and ask me 2 questions)

12. (from [livejournal.com profile] notashamed) If you could have any kind of super power, what would it be and why? This can be anything, not just the typical super powers (flying, etc)
dayum, I dunno! I think it would probably be to see the spirit world with my physical eyes. Then I could see wounds in people's spirits and know better how to help them, and I could see my prayers in action, and I would SEE the effects of my actions and be better able to avoid hurting people, and be more confident in the things that I found to be helpful. I imagine it would be scary a lot of times though...

13. (from [livejournal.com profile] notashamed) If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?
heh, I'd have to say the Bible. If I could only read one thing, I would want it to be something I could learn from no matter how many times I read it, and I have found the Bible to be that way (I've read it cover-to-cover three times, and read certain books (within it) many times). I don't believe the Bible to be infallible -- because for one thing, NOWHERE does the Bible say that! It simply says that it's all good for learning from. And that means learning the WHY behind things, not just the WHAT. For instance, when Paul in the NT says for women to cover their heads in church, that was never intended to be a permanent thing -- it was a concession to the times. It's seen as negative now, but it was progressive for the times because before then, women weren't even allowed in the temple. So yeah, learn from the WHY, not the WHAT. Plus, it's very long, lots to read. ;-)

14. (from [livejournal.com profile] daghdha) What personal needs do you feel you fulfill by showing nude photographs of yourself to others? Would those needs be fulfilled if no one but you saw those photographs? Why or why not?
Hm. I suppose the need to be honest. It's a big part of my life and something I deeply believe in (nudity as purity and beauty as uniqueness), so if I were to keep it secret, that would be dishonest in my opinion. Being honest and open with all people is something very important to me. If someone shows interest (and I believe that they either believe or are open to a belief of nudity as purity & beauty as uniqueness) then I will share. Like Angelina said, "I would like to be open with the public. I would like to not keep secrets or be careful when I talk. I don't want to have to plan things. I want to be outspoken. I want to say my opinions and I hope they're taken in the right way. I don't want to stop being free. And I won't."

15. (from [livejournal.com profile] daghdha) Do you consider sexuality to be something that one is born with or something that can evolve over time depending on how willing the individual is to explore his or her identity as a sexual being?
heh, future post, thoughts on that are still being developed in my head. Daunting topic, since I have a pretty unusual way of seeing that.

16. (from [livejournal.com profile] legein) What's your bedtime routine?
take out contacts, wash face, brush teeth, take off socks and shoes (since I'm pretty much always naked at home), and climb in bed!

17. (from [livejournal.com profile] legein) If you could eliminate two physical objects from existence, what would they be?
a certain book which I will not name because I do not care to talk about it (please respect that), and projectile weapons. I don't say all weapons because there are sometimes reasons for physically harming someone, but I think if you are going to do that, you need to look your victim in the eye, get their blood on you, be stained with their fear, feel the harm you have done, know the reality of it. I think the worst thing projectile weapons have done is made death and violence easy, impersonal, irresponsible.
connecting: , ,


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