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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: (Default)
2016 summary: some of the best weeks and worst months of my life.
icon: "confused (photo of a purple diamond-shaped sign with a line leading to four arrows all curving and pointing in different directions)"

I started 2016 with a lot of hope. In January I connected a lot with Kylei, Sande, and Hannah; I had two graduation parties and started making more plans to spend time with people, and I started meditating weekly-ish with Elizabeth. But by the end of January I ended up in a dark crash over how little I felt connected to people. The beginning of February was a little better -- I got to go to Big Trees with some of my favorite people, and Topaz hosted Heather's birthday which was also nourishing and fun. But then I went to a party at Kylei's and had a terrible anxiety crash which ended up leaking into the next day and causing a horrifically painful miscommunication with Topaz. Later that month I went to the activist meet-and-greet for the first time after meaning to go for ages, and met three awesome new people. But just introducing myself made my heart beat painfully hard. At the end of February I asked my psychiatrist to prescribe me anxiety meds and start being medicated for that for the first time.

In March I did a lot of social -- met with four friends as well as with my ex-mother-in-law. I also began a four-week break with Topaz, in an effort to re-set our relationship which had become too central for both of us. In April I had two tinder fails (one flaked and the other I could hardly talk with), made a new friend, hosted a crafty party and a cuddly communion, spent time with Roger and Serenity, and went to Euphoria where I gave a talk on intimacy and made a game with it. (yeah I'd say that the anxiety meds were helping!) In May I spent a lot of time with Serenity and Evelyn, hosted a cuddly communion, spent time with Katie, Allison, Serra, and Indie, and wrote a lot of important posts. In June I spent lots of time with Serenity, presented at APW and SFQP, hung out with Arizona, Sande, Allison, Kylei, Evelyn, and Cass, and had a truth-or-truth videochat with LJ friends, as well as writing a lot of important posts.

In July stuff started getting very stressful -- Topaz went through something really traumatic, Kanika had a medical emergency and I had to take her to the vet, my little sister came in town unexpectedly, and I ran out of money and had to start begging from my bioparents. But also I spent lots of good time with Serenity and had several gathers -- two with my lil sis, also Katie, Allison, Hannah, Kylei, Elliott, Evelyn, Sande, Cass, and even Adi, so that part was positive. But August brought a lot of painful stuff for Topaz, was when I ran out of ADD meds with no access to a doctor, and was the last time I saw Evelyn for months. Roger and Allison were supportive and helpful, and I went to a SONG membership meeting which gave me hope like nothing else except for TBC ever has.

September I got a job at Starbux and finally started getting call backs and interviews for a few of the hundreds of applications I had sent. My awful bioparents also invaded my house and stayed for a month, harassing me about money, rearranging my stuff and throwing some of it away without my permission, invading my bedroom, and being transphobic. October was mostly filled up with my awful bioparents and working at Starbux but at the very end I began doing LJ Idol again. In November things got still worse -- Evelyn officially broke things off with me and Kylei blew up at me and told me we can't be friends. Then later that month Evelyn invited me to a party at their house which ended up being an emotional disaster. I quit Starbux for my new job.

December was a very mixed bag. I started my new job, which was amazing; I got a new psychiatrist and finally got medicated for ADD again; I got to spend time with Arizona, Felix, Felix's people Blaire and Shay, Allison, Jonathan, Heather, Brian, Jessica, and my little sister. But also, my grandmother died and I had to spend time with my awful biofamily, and I was so emotionally drained that I couldn't really enjoy Solstice. It was also a sad reminder of my estrangement from Kylei and Evelyn, because I wanted them at Solstice so much.

detailed events )


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belenen: (tenebrous)
the last few weeks have been loss, more loss, and the opening of old wounds.
icon: "tenebrous (a shadowy orange-light photo of my face, looking down, with an achingly sad expression)"

Within the past two weeks so fucking goddamn much has happened.
Papaw (Topaz' grandparent, an incredibly sweet and gentle person) died and not only was I really sad for the loss and how intense it is for all who were close to him, but I was reminded of how kind he was to me and how little of that kindness I got to experience. I felt so glad to have known him and be loved by him, because he did make me feel loved. We couldn't have said more than a hundred words to each other -- fewer than 40 if you don't count greetings and farewells. But he was always genuinely happy to see me and I never felt like he wished I was different in some way. And I love Topaz like he loved Topaz' grandmother, and they are so alike. They would enthuse together and Papaw and I would glance at each other and smile, knowing we were feeling the same thing. In another life we would have sat on a porch and smoked cigars together. We just clicked, in a very intuitive way. At the funeral the first hymn they chose was The Old Rugged Cross which was my favorite hymn as a kid, and that made me feel so connected to him and I cried as I sang along. People got up and spoke about how many memories they had of him and how steadily loving, thoughtful, and creative he was.


And I was reminded that I have no memories of the grandmother who died before I was born or the grandfather who died when I was 5, and only three memories of the one who died when I was 18, and they're all bad.

In the strongest memory, I'm about six years old and he's shouting furiously at me for touching his chair (which his other grandkids were allowed to sit in, but I was not permitted to touch). That one I remember clearly because I didn't know I wasn't supposed to touch it and I was terrified to be attacked for something I didn't know was 'wrong' and no one defended me except my mother (who he treated like garbage), and her tentatively because she was scared too. My dad was silent, my grandmother was silent. I cried, and I hardly ever cried as a child. In another, he's yelling at my grandmother because the A/C isn't up high enough. That one only stuck in my mind because my grandmother sassed him about his 'hot air' as she obeyed: one of only two good memories I have of her. And the last isn't so much a memory as a muddle of impressions of him acting so pious it made me sick after his stroke, when he started to fear death. It was all so fake and guilt-driven. My grandmother was someone I didn't really know and who definitely never knew me, nor did she want to. Being around her was like being around a pastel, rose-outlined blinking light-up sign that reads "are you acceptable yet?" She died in December and everyone else at the funeral sobbed about how accepting and supportive she was and I felt like I was at the wrong person's service.


So standing there at Papaw's funeral, realizing that the one person who felt like an accepting, loving grandparent to me was gone forever, and that I didn't even have a history to reflect on, brought up all this repressed pain about my terrible biofamily. And also guilt because who am I to mourn when people who have loved him all their lives are there? And what a terrible support to Topaz, focusing on my own shit while they're hurting. Ugh. Lots of mixed-up guts.

The two days before the funeral I was in a wedding for one of my best friends which involved a really intense two-full-day project of interacting with strangers and once-removeds who have Very Specific Ideas of What Is Proper (fortunately I really liked the other brides-minions, as my sweet friend called us rather than misgender me). That was also a whirlbang of emotions because it made me think about my own wedding so many years ago.


Slight scroogy tangent: I'm generally of the opinion that it's better to not get married since the institution of marriage is both rooted in patriarchy and a very powerful force for role-enforcing which can wreck the noblest of egalitarian intentions, but

I think Allison and Jonathan do have the makings of a lifelong healthy, mutually nourishing connection and I think they will manage to maintain their selfhoods despite the influence of marriage, so I can support them in this choice.

Jonathan loves Allison in a way that I have rarely seen a person love another, and I so deeply appreciate for Allison. He doesn't want to change Allison at all, and he beams at her when she enthuses over things, when she's loud and silly and flails for longer than is socially acceptable. He never looks embarrassed or like he's trying to tone her down. Never. Which, as a loud, silly, flailing person myself, makes me feel respected by proxy and so relieved that I can trust Jonathan not to mistreat Allison.

The thing I really didn't expect and that hit me hard was that their families are treating this marriage as a merge and creation of a new shared family, which is so rare and so precious. The side effect of seeing how truly Allison is accepted and valued by family and friends and spouse and how the families are taking their metamour relationships seriously reminded me of how much my spouse and family tried to change and silence me and how they never even saw me, much less appreciated the parts of me that are not socially acceptable. It was tolerated at best if they couldn't manage to ignore it or snuff it out. And I know Allison's family is not perfect! But they really do try to understand her, and they keep on trying until they get it at least partly. Allison walked down the aisle to the Star Wars intro music, and Allison's mom thought that was terrible at first but came around to it. And I like that even with a knee-jerk negative reaction, she still tries to understand.

I wouldn't have missed it for the world though, family issues or no. Being able to witness and be part of Allison and Jonathan committing to each other was beautiful and sacred to me and I was so honored to be included.

This week my landlord told me I have to get out of my house by the end of the month, and then he took it back but I definitely am not safe here so I still have to get out as soon as possible.


Last week after allll the things, I ran out of energy and I realized that I don't have any to spare right now, and that it had been at least three weeks since Evelyn and I had an interaction that was nourishing to me. I've been feeling a lot of stress trying to maintain contact because they've been vague and brusque in responses which says to me that they don't want to be talking to me (because their natural cadence is verbose and specific). But then they tell me that it's not that they don't want to talk to me, and I have to discount my own senses and logic to believe them. I can only do this for so long before it starts to wear on my relationship with myself.

They're struggling to claim their own right to self-care, which I can very much empathize with but I find it really difficult to maintain my own self-care in such a situation because all I want to do is Be the Rescuer but that is so bad for everyone involved. So basically I need them to take care of themself at least SOME else I get filled with anxious urges I then have to spend a lot of energy fighting.

They had set a goal a couple of weeks ago to have at least one hour to themself every day, but they hadn't kept up with it. They spend literally every waking hour devoted to work or another person (not by request, but from their own impulse) and this wears them out to an extreme measure, by any standards. So I told them that until they manage to have a habit of at least a small daily amount of self-care, I need to be more cautious in my investment, which I will do by not initiating conversations or plans. I told them that I'm still open to seeing them and I'm happy to respond to whatever texts/emails they might send, but that essentially I wasn't going to devote initiatory energy to them right now. I tried to put it as gently and kindly as I could, but I think it might still have read to them as "you're not good enough and I hate you, get out" because they seem to see boundary-setting for self-care as a violent act, which is part of why it is so hard for them to do.

So, since they haven't responded at all, I don't know if they are angry, or sad, or just not bothering, or what. I texted once after sending the email to ask if they would at least send me two words to let me know if they had read it or not, but they either didn't get the text (their phone has been losing random chunks of my texts) or even that was too much. I don't want to break my intention by texting again so I'll just assume they read it and didn't feel able to respond.


Feeling the connection with Evelyn crumble slowly over the past few weeks was really disheartening because I thought things were changing, and I think I had good reason to think that. They made significant progress but they just slid back as far as they went forward. They didn't dig in and stay put. And I feel loss and I fear how long this will last -- is this another Aurilion? They show up in my life for a brief beautiful period and then vanish entirely for months or years? They told me they wouldn't leave, and I believed them. But so did Aurilion promise, every time they came back. So.

Oh also yesterday was the 7-year anniversary of my divorce.


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belenen: (dreamy)
dreams (lots w ex-in-laws & bodies of water & sex & escape & dealing w evil people)
icon: "dreamy (a painting by pupasoul of a human figure in a cage, holding a hand out from which radiates light and squiggly sparkly vines of energy)"

15-12-22: wanting to connect w ex-spouse )

15-12-23: hannah came to visit: we are chased, rescued by small boy )

16-1-8: dating two people, cuddling in church )

16-1-9: ex-in-laws give great gifts then punch me in the crotch, later I deal with an attacker who is impossible to kill )

16-1-10: ex-mum-in-law very happy to see me, then deal w roaches )


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belenen: (disassociative)
dream about familial exclusion / triggered about fam-by-love / craving touch
icon: "disassociative (a digital painting of a stylized person in profile with wide open screaming mouth and arms up with palms spread wide. Head and hands flow into strands like blood vessels)"

I dreamed last night that I happened to go to my ex-spouse's family's old house, and they were all there hanging out and playing, and my biofamily (aunts and cousins) were there too. And they were like "what are you doing here?" with surprise but not even embarrassed that they had left me out and I knew. If they had any emotions about it, it was slight annoyance that I was there. I hadn't consciously been thinking about family but apparently knowing that I was going to be hanging out with Topaz' family today was bringing stuff up already.

Then while we were there today there was a moment where I felt abandoned and it triggered old feelings (of being abandoned, ignored, and lied to) which apparently haven't lost their power? Must I go through this every time I am around someone's biofamily? I'm so tired of it. But I feel like I'm always on probation and always will be, because I can't be enough of myself to even tell if they would accept me if they actually knew me. So... forever uncertain, constantly on edge.

Sydney was there and they had some really good talks with Topaz and me. I wish they lived closer so that I could spend more time with them.

Today was just really hard. I'm craving touch but have a hard time asking for it because if I ask without being able to handle a 'no' that's pressurey and gross, but there are only so many 'no's I can handle per period of time. So if I ask and get a no, it takes a while before I can ask again. And I associate having to ask for touch with being unloved, so it's this tangled mess -- I feel the need for reassurance that I am loved if gifted touch doesn't just happen.

Because when I love someone I crave touching them, so even though I logically understand that that isn't true for everyone, I don't emotionally understand it. Lots of people feel a strong urge to pet a kitten or puppy when they are nearby - I feel this about humans I love. It can be physically difficult for me to hold back (if we are in public and they aren't comfortable with PDA for instance).


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belenen: (tenebrous)
my relationships are not treated as valid / biofamily doesn't want to know me/ I have never belonged
Last night I brought up the idea to Topaz of having our parents meet and ze seemed hesitant about it. This upset me because it brought up feelings of invalidation. If we were engaged and one of us was assigned male, our parents would want to meet and expect to build a relationship because of the assumption that the kin of kin is important. But the fact is that because we won't be getting married and our commitment is to long-term friendship not romance and cohabitation, zir parents probably just don't see me as family (not to the level of their other kids' partners). And because ze's not male, my parents probably don't want anything to do with us as a couple much less kin-once-removed. I hate this so much. My relationships are more meaningful than most, because they're based on honesty, openness, constant respect, learning, compassion, and growth, yet I don't get treated as if they're even valid.  I shouldn't have to do them the same way as everyone else. And I HATE that friendship is so devalued. Sure, most friendships are not committed and intense, but when they are they should be given the same treatment as if they were romantic. A best friend should be treated like a spouse. If you consider me kin, you should invest in MY kin.

And that also got me thinking about the fact that my biofamily does not want to know me: they just want to see the parts of me that conform to their desires. They never wanted to know me: even when I was a child, the only thing they wanted to know about my life was if I was obeying and if I was performing in 'successful' ways (grades, scores). Now they've stopped trying to make me obey but those two things are still all they care about. I haven't said this to them and I feel I need to, but I can't do it in person because I will just cry, so I have to write a letter.

I have only felt like I belonged in some moments when I lived with the Wynnes (and I feel sure they wouldn't want me now because I was so much more normative then), and when I go to TBC. I have never felt belonging with biofamily because they never cared about who I really was. I yearned so much to belong with my ex-in-laws but I was never more than an accessory, first to Rebecca and then to Ben, nonexistent after divorce. I wanted to belong with Serendipity but there were expectations I couldn't meet and values I couldn't resonate with. I wanted to feel at home with burners but there are so many privilege-denying people in that world that it's super hostile and alienating to me. Ditto to every organized spiritual group I've known. I wanted to feel at home with queers but they're so fuckin urban-cliquey.  I feel at home with the people I draw to me but it is not belonging because it is not a unit: if I stopped holding it together it would cease to exist. I still ache to belong. I want to feel safe and kin in a circle that lives on its own because everyone in it maintains it. I feel I will never experience that and it hurts worse than any breakup.
sounds: Bartholomäus Traubeck - Quercus (Oak) | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (christmassy)
Solstice with my tribe, Aurilion's visit, Topaz' family Christmas
Solstice was amazing -- definitely the best of my life. Topaz, Aurilion, Abby, Heather (& Brian), Kylei, Camellia, Jude, Roger, Allison (& Whitney), Locke, and myself made 13, perfect, delighted me. I was really happy to have everyone there and really happy to give presents. I got SO excited watching people open them, it was ridic, also Topaz flew across the room to hug me at one present and Abby got reality-broken by one so I felt extremely accomplished, and I felt reflected happiness from everyone I got/made gifts for so that was wonderful. And I made superfood pasta sauce and lots of people loved it <3 It made me feel so good to be able to feed people, I wish I could do that more often but it's expensive so I can't.

I still can't believe that Aurilion came to visit! we talked so much and mended all this old stuff, untangled all these old questions and assumptions. One thing was that near the end of our romantic relationship, there were a few months where we talked for like 2 hours almost every day and neither of us were happy about it but we didn't say so. I felt like an unpaid therapist and Aurilion felt like ze was giving all this openness and I wasn't giving any back. It's sort of astonishing and embarrassing to look back and see how easily that could have been resolved if I had just been blunt (I remember trying to express what I wanted but tiptoeing so much it didn't get through). Also it made me realize that somewhere along the way I lost the habit of openness. I stopped looking into myself to find things to share. I think maybe it happened last year (2012) because I feel like I spent that entire year silent, and mourning that no one sought me. I feel loved when people ask me interesting and prying questions in a way that shows they are looking at my thought process and I feel unloved when I share and get little to no response, or the person redirects the conversation to their own experience/thoughts. To avoid feeling unloved I stopped sharing. And I realized this but it's hard to change conversational habits alone. It was really fascinating and lovely to see how, once I realized that the voluble flow of words from Aurilion came with the expectation that I would share in the same way (instead of, as I thought, the expectation that I would just listen and engage with zir shares), I could reflect on my experiences and find interesting things to share. I still want people to ask me questions, but I also want to practice unprompted sharing again, and just be conscious of when it is not nourishing to do so, so that I don't get drained.

I really enjoyed the time I spent with Aurilion and it happened at a perfect time but I really hope that ze can visit again at a time that isn't so full of other things because I'd like to enter into the connection more. There was so much going on this time. But the biggest block to zir visiting has been overcome so hopefully there will be a smaller lag this time ;-) I really loved seeing zir interact with the people I love and they all enjoyed each others' company a lot too.

Also, Aurilion and I kissed a few times, and when I talked with Topaz about it ze reacted without worry or even surprise (the first time had surprised me as I had absolutely no expectations of what would happen!). I feel more confident that we can move forward together now, and I feel less stressed about the shift into me being more poly again. Also Topaz and I have been having the most amazing sex ever and I feel excited and fulfilled.

Also Topaz' parents spoiled me ridiculously much with Christmas presents; I cried. I have never been so thoughtfully treated at the holidays. My parents got me stuff I didn't want most of the time, stuff that said they didn't know me at all (M kept getting me perfume, which I hate, and FLORAL perfume at that! UGH, like a slap in the face. And I got no presents once I 'betrayed' the family by forcing them to do something about the abuse in it). My in-laws made me feel like an outsider (they have an only-blood-is-real-family kind of mindset). I spent so many years wanting to feel included and seen, and though I certainly got that from my tribe, I never got it from 'family' but Topaz' family treats me like I belong. The biggest thing was that it felt genuine, not just a 'well you're here so we gotta get you something so it doesn't seem like a snub.' They acted like it was no big deal and I think to them it really wasn't, they just included me without thinking hard about it, but it was a big damn deal to me. I wrote them a card and sent it in the mail.
sounds: Au Revoir Simone - The Lucky One | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (giving)
M's visit so far / seeing my aunt, grandma, cousins for the first time in years / feeling accepted
So when M walked in to my house, ze laughed. I hastened to assure zir that the drawings on the walls were chalk and would come right off and ze said something to the effect of "it's your house, it's up to you." Ze also admired my curtaining-off of the kitchen (to keep kitchen heat out of the rest of the house) and said that ze liked that I had made the place my own. I thought ze would pick at things I had done [chalking the walls, hanging a rainbow flag in the entryway, building the garden in the front yard in a terrace, putting their knicknacks & such in the master bedroom] or not done [cleaned things the old tenants left messy, mowed the yard] but ze hasn't done any of that. Instead ze mowed the yard, wiped off the old broken hose (which I wanted to use it for an art project but didn't want to touch because I was worried it had been in poison ivy), and spent a lot of time talking to me. It's been exhausting because it's a lot of interaction and a lot of listening without much that nourishes me in it, but it has been worth it. I've also realized that asking questions that encourage people to share themselves is a skill, one that I'm really good at but most people just aren't (including my therapist!). I don't think that M is trying to just share without listening, but ze doesn't create the space for me to share or invite me to. I think ze would like me to, but I don't feel safe doing that yet. I'd first have to feel like ze can accept me being queer, and that requires a frank conversation which requires M doing the homework of reading this first: http://www.soulforce.org/resources/what-the-bible-says-and-doesnt-say-about-homosexuality/ because I do not want to get caught up in an argument of bad doctrine. I know that M knows that I'm not straight or monogamous but I'm pretty sure ze's in denial about it, which casts a pall over everything.

We went over to my aunt's house tonight and I saw my cousins who have each grown about a foot since I saw them last (it's been years) and my aunt and grandmother. I am not sure what I was expecting but they were all nice to me and seemed happy to see me and have me around, and I didn't feel any judgement from them. I think I was expecting them to be politely distant and treat me like I didn't belong (... damn. My ex-partner's family really messed with my expectations). I don't think they (biofamily) ever actually treated me like that -- I have one vague memory of feeling like that but it could have been about something other than me. My aunt and cousin E and grandmother went and looked at my car and exclaimed approvingly about it (even after seeing the bumper stickers, heh). I told my aunt and cousin E about my crafty parties and asked if they would like to come and they said yes and seemed interested. And when I talked I could feel people listening -- not just hearing, but taking in and considering. That felt really good. I haven't felt that from that many people (outside of intimacy practice) in a very long time. And my grandmother asked if I still drew, which I didn't even remember zir knowing about, and when I talked about the art I do, they seemed interested. And my aunt asked if I had a facebook, to which I said yes and gave my name (with some trepidation) -- ze was surprised and asked questions about it but it was just genuine curiosity as far as I could tell. And then ze read the whole long note I have on facebook about why I chose my name, and remarked that ze also felt a lot of connection with Ireland (which is related to why I chose my last name). I felt really listened to and accepted in that response.

I'm feeling pretty nervous about the idea of opening up more to relatives but so far it has been only good, so we'll see how it goes.
connecting: ,


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belenen: (plant magic)
important events in 2009 / tangled joy and pain, vibrant growth
"Curl and Tangle, Color and Thorn" by me:



This is a photo I took on a trip with Ben to Big Trees in November. It expresses the entire year to me -- the sharp pains and vibrant joys, and most of all the crazy tangled unforseeability of it. And the focus too -- not seeing far behind or much ahead. Oh, what a wild ride.

I dedicated 2009 to risk-taking (since the focus of 2008 became faith-building instead) and I feel that I fully met that goal. I practiced living in the moment, doing things because they feel right without concern for how they might turn sour; being with Viv, going to San Francisco, deciding to end my partnership with [ex], beginning a relationship with Ben, moving in with Ash, hanging out with people I didn't know well and didn't feel miraculously connected to, couchsurfing, driving a rental car. Those are all things I wouldn't have done a year ago out of a habit of thinking "but what if bad stuff happens."

This year brought me the greatest disappointment and the greatest joy I've ever experienced. It's been such a blend, every joy right next to suffering (and vice versa). This is the first year I have had local friends since I was 20, and the first time in my life I've had a sense of community, an actual CIRCLE of people whom I love and feel that I belong with. It used to be so rare that I spent time with friends that every single time was intensely noteworthy and now it has become NORMAL to me! I feel immensely rich. I get hugs at least every single week -- after YEARS of feeling like a leper because no one touched me. I speak and people listen and care and respond -- after years of having no one to talk with in person (well, no one who cared about the same things or was very interested in my thoughts). I am so profoundly grateful. Thank you Deity, thank you universe, thank you localtribe, thank you everyone and everything!

important events in 2009 )


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belenen: (Default)
important events in 2009 / tangled joy and pain, vibrant growth
"Curl and Tangle, Color and Thorn" by me:



This is a photo I took on a trip with Ben to Big Trees in November. It expresses the entire year to me -- the sharp pains and vibrant joys, and most of all the crazy tangled unforseeability of it. And the focus too -- not seeing far behind or much ahead. Oh, what a wild ride.

I dedicated 2009 to risk-taking (since the focus of 2008 became faith-building instead) and I feel that I fully met that goal. I practiced living in the moment, doing things because they feel right without concern for how they might turn sour; being with Viv, going to San Francisco, deciding to end my partnership with [ex], beginning a relationship with Ben, moving in with Ash, hanging out with people I didn't know well and didn't feel miraculously connected to, couchsurfing, driving a rental car. Those are all things I wouldn't have done a year ago out of a habit of thinking "but what if bad stuff happens."

This year brought me the greatest disappointment and the greatest joy I've ever experienced. It's been such a blend, every joy right next to suffering (and vice versa). This is the first year I have had local friends since I was 20, and the first time in my life I've had a sense of community, an actual CIRCLE of people whom I love and feel that I belong with. It used to be so rare that I spent time with friends that every single time was intensely noteworthy and now it has become NORMAL to me! I feel immensely rich. I get hugs at least every single week -- after YEARS of feeling like a leper because no one touched me. I speak and people listen and care and respond -- after years of having no one to talk with in person (well, no one who cared about the same things or was very interested in my thoughts). I am so profoundly grateful. Thank you Deity, thank you universe, thank you localtribe, thank you everyone and everything!

important events in 2009 )


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belenen: (interconnectedness)
characters in the story of my life: present and past
These are the characters in the story of my life:
from 2009 )


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belenen: (interconnectedness)
characters in the story of my life: present and past
These are the characters in the story of my life:

most mentioned:
Ace (lil sis) aka [livejournal.com profile] girlslovegirls7 -- younger sister, deep friend, soul-kin.
Ben aka [livejournal.com profile] justben -- lover, deep friend, heart-kin, soul-kin.
Ash aka [livejournal.com profile] theroamer -- deep friend, flatmate.
Hannah aka [livejournal.com profile] shioneh -- deep friend, spirit-kin.
Nea aka [livejournal.com profile] acid_burns -- deep friend, soul-kin.
S -- close friend.

localtribe:
Shel aka [livejournal.com profile] aerialmelodies
Sara aka [livejournal.com profile] theindiequeen
Kristen aka [livejournal.com profile] gods_ornament
(under the general tag: Anna, Kat K, Chase, Anita, Saleena, Nicole, Brigit, Greta, Brandon, Sakka, Josh, Paul, Ryan, Nikki, Wolf, Tali, Scarlett)

often mentioned but not currently part of my life:
B, my ex-partner -- ex-partner, ex-lover, heart-kin.
Aurilion -- ex-lover, heart-kin.
Viv -- ex-friend/love, spirit-kin.
ex-partner's family -- my ex's family
biofamily -- my biological family

those I rarely talk/write about lately, but who had/have a big impact on my life:
Kate aka [livejournal.com profile] clown_frog -- deep friend, heart-kin.
Nick aka [livejournal.com profile] aquilian -- friend, spirit-kin, heart-kin.
Kat aka [livejournal.com profile] kmiotutsie -- good friend, soul-kin.
SabR aka [livejournal.com profile] sabr -- good friend.
Anika aka [livejournal.com profile] cunningbunny -- friend.
Paula & Spencer -- spiritual parents.
Gabe -- spiritual sibling.
elya -- sister-in-law, friend.
Ava aka [livejournal.com profile] mourningdoveava -- friend, spirit-kin.
Meliae aka [livejournal.com profile] earthy_goddess -- friend.
Rebecca -- sister-in-law, friend.
Kaylene -- friend.
Allison -- friend.





most mentioned: )
localtribe: )
people I talk/write about who are not active parts of my life )
people I rarely talk/write about lately, but who had/have a big impact on my life )


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belenen: (iconoclast)
introducing myself as James / reactions to my new name / new journal title & subtitle
Yesterday I introduced myself as James for the first time and it felt so right! I was a little nervous about it because I tend to stumble over my own name when introducing myself because I'm never sure which name to use, but this time it just came right out with no hesitation. (but then I got overexcited when introducing myself to a second person and completely missed zir name *embarrassment*) The best part was later when the first person referred to me first as "she" and then corrected zirself by saying "he." Neither are my ideal, of course, but in my opinion the pronouns one uses refer to the speaker's ideas of gender and don't actually say anything about the person to whom they are referring, so I just smiled to myself. But it was so awesome because it showed that ze wasn't simply assuming that I identified/agreed with the gender I've been assigned. Which is exactly what I was hoping for!

What is odd to me is that this doesn't feel revolutionary to me (because James is such a 'normal' name), but people are reacting pretty strongly to it. Well, a few people. the bad & the good )

With this shift, it felt like the right time to change my journal title and subtitle. The old title/subtitle was "Biting the Sun -- only in the burning do I taste that sweetest nectar." (explained here) I feel I'm opening a new chapter; I've bitten the sun, been burned and nourished, and now I'm transforming. My new title/subtitle is "walking on the wings of the wind -- hope lets me fall and catches me again." The title refers to one of my favorite scriptures, Psalm 104:3. Using a bit of scripture is significant because I've been so disgusted with Christianity for years now, but I'm starting to feel like it's not entirely hopeless, and rediscovering my love for certain elements within it. There is a true equalist movement happening in Christianity and I'm wondering if there might be a way for me to help people who are like my old self; yearning for the truth, but unable to find it among all the church's dogma. And the subtitle refers to the pattern I'm embracing right now -- falling and flying, resting only in hope. I'm not looking for security, stability, safety; those are things one only finds on the ground and right now I want to live in the sky.
sounds: Enigma - Sitting on the Moon | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , ,


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belenen: (iconoclast)
introducing myself as James / reactions to my new name / new journal title & subtitle
Yesterday I introduced myself as James for the first time and it felt so right! I was a little nervous about it because I tend to stumble over my own name when introducing myself because I'm never sure which name to use, but this time it just came right out with no hesitation. (but then I got overexcited when introducing myself to a second person and completely missed zir name *embarrassment*) The best part was later when the first person referred to me first as "she" and then corrected zirself by saying "he." Neither are my ideal, of course, but in my opinion the pronouns one uses refer to the speaker's ideas of gender and don't actually say anything about the person to whom they are referring, so I just smiled to myself. But it was so awesome because it showed that ze wasn't simply assuming that I identified/agreed with the gender I've been assigned. Which is exactly what I was hoping for!

What is odd to me is that this doesn't feel revolutionary to me (because James is such a 'normal' name), but people are reacting pretty strongly to it. Well, a few people. the bad & the good )

With this shift, it felt like the right time to change my journal title and subtitle. The old title/subtitle was "Biting the Sun -- only in the burning do I taste that sweetest nectar." (explained here) I feel I'm opening a new chapter; I've bitten the sun, been burned and nourished, and now I'm transforming. My new title/subtitle is "walking on the wings of the wind -- hope lets me fall and catches me again." The title refers to one of my favorite scriptures, Psalm 104:3. Using a bit of scripture is significant because I've been so disgusted with Christianity for years now, but I'm starting to feel like it's not entirely hopeless, and rediscovering my love for certain elements within it. There is a true equalist movement happening in Christianity and I'm wondering if there might be a way for me to help people who are like my old self; yearning for the truth, but unable to find it among all the church's dogma. And the subtitle refers to the pattern I'm embracing right now -- falling and flying, resting only in hope. I'm not looking for security, stability, safety; those are things one only finds on the ground and right now I want to live in the sky.
sounds: Enigma - Sitting on the Moon | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , ,


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belenen: (impish)
photopost! Ash & me, Viv & me at Alex's birthday party, lil sis & Ash, Ben's birthday dinner, Ariana
catching up on photosharing... these are all from before I went to San Francisco.



two of Ash & me! )



August 14th -- Viv and I went out to coffee before meeting up with Viv's friends Alex & Stian for Alex's birthday celebration. )



August 16th -- out with Ash & lil sis & Viv at justben's birthday dinner! )



August 17th -- seeing Other Lives and Bat For Lashes with Viv )



Aug 30th -- Rebecca's baby shower )
sounds: Au Revoir Simone - Another Likely Story | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , , , , , ,


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belenen: (impish)
photopost! Ash & me, Viv & me at Alex's birthday party, lil sis & Ash, Ben's birthday dinner, Ariana
catching up on photosharing... these are all from before I went to San Francisco.



two of Ash & me! )



August 14th -- Viv and I went out to coffee before meeting up with Viv's friends Alex & Stian for Alex's birthday celebration. )



August 16th -- out with Ash & lil sis & Viv at justben's birthday dinner! )



August 17th -- seeing Other Lives and Bat For Lashes with Viv )



Aug 30th -- Rebecca's baby shower )
sounds: Au Revoir Simone - Another Likely Story | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , , , , , ,


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belenen: (interconnectedness)
Ash's wedding & afterparty at Amicalola Falls ♥
Sunday I went to Ash's wedding! It turned out to be a lovely day; witnessed an inspiring ceremony, spent charming time with Anna ([livejournal.com profile] camilleyun) for the first time in person (after knowing zir for many years online), visited GORGEOUS river & woods, and had many interesting conversations. I rode with elya (my partner's twin) and Miss K (my partner's parent) on the way to the falls after the ceremony and we had a fascinating conversation about how we define our morals and what our core values are (which is something I want to post on! feel free to guess my top 5 values :D). Then at the falls Anna and I sat in the shade (because I came completely unprepared for water or sun or slippery rocks) and talked about the nature of communication and connection. It was a really encouraging conversation and I felt really at home with Anna; I look forward to meeting up again ♥ Eventually those attempting to heat the grill admitted defeat and we headed back to Ash's to FINALLY have some food. There, Wolf and I had a really fascinating conversation about intellectual and spiritual responsibility and our slightly-different-but-still-agreeing views on the use of 'force' (manipulation, authoritative behavior), and then Ash and Stuart and Wolf discussed the balance of marriage (and I piped in every now and then). It was really great to spend more time with Nikki and Wolf, especially Wolf because I realized that while zir language can be very gendered, ze doesn't actually believe in most of the sexist concepts that zir language would seem to imply (I'm not talking about rude stuff -- I'm talking about phrases like "guy talk" or "you know women and shoes"). So while it still makes me twitch a bit, it doesn't bother me like it would otherwise. And when I say something contradictory in response ze doesn't get defensive or annoyed, so I don't feel like I need to bite my tongue all the time. And I just really enjoy zir company! Ze's one of the most warm and open-minded (yet stubborn! a rare combo which I enjoy :D) people I've ever met.

The whole group just had such a great dynamic! Next time I want to add in Viv, Sara, Shel, Ryan, Kat K, and maybe one or two others -- I actually have local people who I'd call FRIENDS. How fucking insanely fantastic is that???



many photos! )
sounds: Butterfly Boucher - Gun for a tongue | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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belenen: (interconnectedness)
Ash's wedding & afterparty at Amicalola Falls ♥
Sunday I went to Ash's wedding! It turned out to be a lovely day; witnessed an inspiring ceremony, spent charming time with Anna ([livejournal.com profile] camilleyun) for the first time in person (after knowing zir for many years online), visited GORGEOUS river & woods, and had many interesting conversations. I rode with elya (my partner's twin) and Miss K (my partner's parent) on the way to the falls after the ceremony and we had a fascinating conversation about how we define our morals and what our core values are (which is something I want to post on! feel free to guess my top 5 values :D). Then at the falls Anna and I sat in the shade (because I came completely unprepared for water or sun or slippery rocks) and talked about the nature of communication and connection. It was a really encouraging conversation and I felt really at home with Anna; I look forward to meeting up again ♥ Eventually those attempting to heat the grill admitted defeat and we headed back to Ash's to FINALLY have some food. There, Wolf and I had a really fascinating conversation about intellectual and spiritual responsibility and our slightly-different-but-still-agreeing views on the use of 'force' (manipulation, authoritative behavior), and then Ash and Stuart and Wolf discussed the balance of marriage (and I piped in every now and then). It was really great to spend more time with Nikki and Wolf, especially Wolf because I realized that while zir language can be very gendered, ze doesn't actually believe in most of the sexist concepts that zir language would seem to imply (I'm not talking about rude stuff -- I'm talking about phrases like "guy talk" or "you know women and shoes"). So while it still makes me twitch a bit, it doesn't bother me like it would otherwise. And when I say something contradictory in response ze doesn't get defensive or annoyed, so I don't feel like I need to bite my tongue all the time. And I just really enjoy zir company! Ze's one of the most warm and open-minded (yet stubborn! a rare combo which I enjoy :D) people I've ever met.

The whole group just had such a great dynamic! Next time I want to add in Viv, Sara, Shel, Ryan, Kat K, and maybe one or two others -- I actually have local people who I'd call FRIENDS. How fucking insanely fantastic is that???



many photos! )
sounds: Butterfly Boucher - Gun for a tongue | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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belenen: (artless)
random things about my teen years
When I was 13, I started getting breasts and was very embarrassed because they were so 'poky' -- I thought it looked like I was wearing funnels in my bra. I stayed embarrassed until three years later when I read an art book and discovered that conical breasts were fashionable.

When I was 14, I was so starved for approval that when my crush told me "If you got contacts and braces, you could be really pretty" I was so flattered that I wrote it in my journal as one of my favorite things anyone ever said to me.

When I was 15, I became best friends with Rebecca and made a pact with zir -- if I ever hurt/upset zir in any way, ze had to tell me immediately, and vice versa, so that resentment would never come between us. The wisdom of this still blows my mind.

When I was about 16, I was talking to [my partner]'s mom, expressing how hurt and upset I was that my then-friend wouldn't open up to me. Ze said, "You're never going to get what you want," which made me furious. I still feel triumphant when I think about how I totally proved zir wrong. *evil giggle/blush*

17, 18, 19 )

Tell me something random about each of your teen years!


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belenen: (artless)
random things about my teen years
When I was 13, I started getting breasts and was very embarrassed because they were so 'poky' -- I thought it looked like I was wearing funnels in my bra. I stayed embarrassed until three years later when I read an art book and discovered that conical breasts were fashionable.

When I was 14, I was so starved for approval that when my crush told me "If you got contacts and braces, you could be really pretty" I was so flattered that I wrote it in my journal as one of my favorite things anyone ever said to me.

When I was 15, I became best friends with Rebecca and made a pact with zir -- if I ever hurt/upset zir in any way, ze had to tell me immediately, and vice versa, so that resentment would never come between us. The wisdom of this still blows my mind.

When I was about 16, I was talking to [my partner]'s mom, expressing how hurt and upset I was that my then-friend wouldn't open up to me. Ze said, "You're never going to get what you want," which made me furious. I still feel triumphant when I think about how I totally proved zir wrong. *evil giggle/blush*

17, 18, 19 )

Tell me something random about each of your teen years!


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belenen: (wild)
important events in 2008 / glowing in brilliant expansion
"Phoenix" by Richard Powers:



After 2007, a year I called "waiting in dim light," 2008 was a year of incredible exploration and growth! Like the phoenix dying, I suffered through the beginning of the year, and like the phoenix reborn, in a short time my life just EXPLODED into a firework display of astoundingly intense experiences. Looking over this year in order to write it up, I realized that just the bare summaries of everything make for a intense read. In fact, I can hardly believe that all this happened in the same year.

I intended to make this year the year of risk-taking, the year in which I sought to build my physical fearlessness. Instead, it was the year of faith-building, and I built my spiritual fearlessness, which I hadn't even realized was something I could grow in. Through my relationship/connection with Aurilion, my oh-so-brief triads with Aurilion & Hannah and then Hannah & Nick (both of which lasted a day), reading The Secret Life of Plants, A Door Into Ocean, Talks With Trees, and several Michael Roads books, experiencing connection with myself, with trees, and with people in a way far deeper than ever before, learning to believe in myself... there is far too much to sum up, even. It's like the entire universe conspired to bring my spirituality from tentative theory into wild bold practice! and whyyyyy might that be? read this -- "Thank you God/dess for so many wonderful gifts this year! It has been the best of my life so far! So much growth and love and newness ♥ I know you more in all your forms. Thank you for visiting me in my dreams and sending me myriad encouraging messages. Thank you for telling me some of your Names. Thank you for enlightening me and guiding me, and most of all for showing me so much love!" all of that happened. I got chills when I re-read it, writing this. And I wrote it originally in an almost-silly frame of mind, trying to come up with the most effusive stuff -- but writing it opened up the door for all that to flood into my life. and. it. did. I rather blushingly included finding a girlfriend/having new lovers, without having even the slightest possibilities in mind, and -- it happened! Yet another astoundingly faith-building happening, on top of all the others. And yet I feel like I've just begun believing. I don't yet know what my goal for 2009 will be but I know I'll be writing another gratitude-in-advance letter!

in 2007's summary I said "I want to come out of [2008] feeling like I have a handful of jewels, not just three or four." haha! Now I laugh at how puny a handful is compared to the arms-full-and-running-over that it turned out to be.

important events in 2008, tenses go a bit haywire, sorry )


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belenen: (wild)
important events in 2008 / glowing in brilliant expansion
"Phoenix" by Richard Powers:



After 2007, a year I called "waiting in dim light," 2008 was a year of incredible exploration and growth! Like the phoenix dying, I suffered through the beginning of the year, and like the phoenix reborn, in a short time my life just EXPLODED into a firework display of astoundingly intense experiences. Looking over this year in order to write it up, I realized that just the bare summaries of everything make for a intense read. In fact, I can hardly believe that all this happened in the same year.

I intended to make this year the year of risk-taking, the year in which I sought to build my physical fearlessness. Instead, it was the year of faith-building, and I built my spiritual fearlessness, which I hadn't even realized was something I could grow in. Through my relationship/connection with Aurilion, my oh-so-brief triads with Aurilion & Hannah and then Hannah & Nick (both of which lasted a day), reading The Secret Life of Plants, A Door Into Ocean, Talks With Trees, and several Michael Roads books, experiencing connection with myself, with trees, and with people in a way far deeper than ever before, learning to believe in myself... there is far too much to sum up, even. It's like the entire universe conspired to bring my spirituality from tentative theory into wild bold practice! and whyyyyy might that be? read this -- "Thank you God/dess for so many wonderful gifts this year! It has been the best of my life so far! So much growth and love and newness ♥ I know you more in all your forms. Thank you for visiting me in my dreams and sending me myriad encouraging messages. Thank you for telling me some of your Names. Thank you for enlightening me and guiding me, and most of all for showing me so much love!" all of that happened. I got chills when I re-read it, writing this. And I wrote it originally in an almost-silly frame of mind, trying to come up with the most effusive stuff -- but writing it opened up the door for all that to flood into my life. and. it. did. I rather blushingly included finding a girlfriend/having new lovers, without having even the slightest possibilities in mind, and -- it happened! Yet another astoundingly faith-building happening, on top of all the others. And yet I feel like I've just begun believing. I don't yet know what my goal for 2009 will be but I know I'll be writing another gratitude-in-advance letter!

in 2007's summary I said "I want to come out of [2008] feeling like I have a handful of jewels, not just three or four." haha! Now I laugh at how puny a handful is compared to the arms-full-and-running-over that it turned out to be.

important events in 2008, tenses go a bit haywire, sorry )


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belenen: photo of me with violet hair looking down, with a water-reflection overlay (ethereal)
etheric & mind connections online & in person / D and K are spirit-kin to me
When I connect with someone online, it's initially because of a mind connection; we have similar beliefs or interests. Later I might find that I have an etheric (soul and/or heart and/or spirit) connection. In person it is the exact opposite -- my first impression is whether or not we have an etheric connection, and I learn the person's beliefs later (or often not at all, as most people don't share so easily).

If I have a mind connection with someone and later discover that we don't have an etheric connection, it might be a little bit disappointing but it's not a big deal because we still can connect through shared beliefs/interests/views. However meeting someone I have an etheric connection with and discovering that we have absolutely nothing in common mind-wise -- to the point where we can't really have casual conversation -- is VERY painful. In a better world that wouldn't be a problem because we would just spend silent time together and let our etheric selves connect while our minds were relaxed, but most people would find that exceedingly odd and uncomfortable.

For Thanksgiving, Nim's family came in town, and we had dinner over at zir parents house. Nim's cousin K and zir spouse D were there and I realized all over again that I have a VERY strong spirit-connection with D. I had completely forgotten, but last time ze came to visit I felt it, and this time I felt it again (stronger, because I am more aware/sensitive). I also have a spirit-connection with K, not quite as strong but still there. And it just hurts. ... )

It really shook me up to see them again, and afterward I had this achingly sad and beautiful dream (about a person who looked like J. Marsters but with ice blue eyes (wtf? in my dream-metaphors that is usually a sign of evil) that had vertical pupils). I feel like I am missing someone that I know but haven't yet met in this life. Or maybe I'm just missing all the violet spirits I know who are not part of my life... or both.
sounds: Sounds From the Ground - As The Day Goes By (Featuring Tanya Tagaq Gillis) | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , ,


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belenen: photo of me with violet hair looking down, with a water-reflection overlay (ethereal)
etheric & mind connections online & in person / D and K are spirit-kin to me
When I connect with someone online, it's initially because of a mind connection; we have similar beliefs or interests. Later I might find that I have an etheric (soul and/or heart and/or spirit) connection. In person it is the exact opposite -- my first impression is whether or not we have an etheric connection, and I learn the person's beliefs later (or often not at all, as most people don't share so easily).

If I have a mind connection with someone and later discover that we don't have an etheric connection, it might be a little bit disappointing but it's not a big deal because we still can connect through shared beliefs/interests/views. However meeting someone I have an etheric connection with and discovering that we have absolutely nothing in common mind-wise -- to the point where we can't really have casual conversation -- is VERY painful. In a better world that wouldn't be a problem because we would just spend silent time together and let our etheric selves connect while our minds were relaxed, but most people would find that exceedingly odd and uncomfortable.

For Thanksgiving, Nim's family came in town, and we had dinner over at zir parents house. Nim's cousin K and zir spouse D were there and I realized all over again that I have a VERY strong spirit-connection with D. I had completely forgotten, but last time ze came to visit I felt it, and this time I felt it again (stronger, because I am more aware/sensitive). I also have a spirit-connection with K, not quite as strong but still there. And it just hurts. ... )

It really shook me up to see them again, and afterward I had this achingly sad and beautiful dream (about a person who looked like J. Marsters but with ice blue eyes (wtf? in my dream-metaphors that is usually a sign of evil) that had vertical pupils). I feel like I am missing someone that I know but haven't yet met in this life. Or maybe I'm just missing all the violet spirits I know who are not part of my life... or both.
sounds: Sounds From the Ground - As The Day Goes By (Featuring Tanya Tagaq Gillis) | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , ,


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belenen: (voltaic)
conversation with Sam -- bias in science, how best to respect people, arguments
conversation with Sam on bias in science, etc. )

This led to a discussion of sexism/equalism/anti-exclusionism -- what an explosive topic. We must have discussed it for at least an hour. I believe that the only way to truly respect people is to treat everyone the same (until you get to know them, then obviously tailor your behavior to who they are). Sam feels that it is not necessary to treat everyone the same in order to respect them; ze feels that it is okay to have different default treatments for different people, such as opening the door only for women. I feel that it is best to examine one's motives. If I open the door only for one sex, why am I doing this? is it because I am blindly following a path laid out for me by my culture? is it perhaps a habit which enforces beliefs that society holds about the relationships between the sexes? is it because I have carefully thought it over and found a good reason to give this respect only to one sex? I think the latter is theoretically possible but I cannot think of a good reason to behave more (or less) kindly to a person because of their body shape. Especially considering that I may be mistaken as to what their body shape is -- not everyone fits neatly into one category or another.

Then we branched off into exclusionism as it relates to race. Sam believes it is only wrong to assume negatives about a person -- to assume positives is okay. I think that assumptions about a person based on outward appearance lead to setting up boundaries between people. For instance, if I assume that all people who are elderly are enlightened because they have seen so much, this is a flattering assumption but it creates a boundary. To assume is to create a generic picture of someone; when you see that generic picture, you have a much harder time seeing them as they truly are than you would if you left the canvas blank and allowed them to paint from scratch rather than editing what you have made. I believe that in order to respect a person, one has to see them as they truly are. Love needs respect which needs understanding -- assumptions hinder understanding.

At the very end I made sure to explain that I spoke forcefully because I believed in what I had to say, not out of trying to force agreement. Sam admitted that ze was trying to change MY mind which I found hilarious. :D (my partner told zir that I do change my mind, but only when given new ideas/information/interpretations. Ze described how I react to that, and imitated my facial expressions, heh.) And I realized that I used to try to change people's minds when arguing opinion, and now that is hardly ever my goal (I would say never but I don't check my arguing-motives often enough to say). Instead, I want to explain my point of view in such a way that the other person can understand why I believe the way I do, and then they can agree or disagree. I think that a person never gains truth by having it forced on them, so all I do is share my truth and invite a person to explore for themselves. I don't see truth as some objective thing that can be found -- I think that in order to have the whole truth one would have to fully understand every person and every creature and every thing at once (I believe that after we die we will know fully, even as we are fully known). All we can do is find a facet of the truth that resonates with us, and then share it to inspire others to find their own.

It was SUCH a fun conversation! I love speaking to someone who respectfully disagrees because it gives me the opportunity to hone my own views to a shining point. Few things annoy me more than feeling that the other person isn't listening when arguing with me, but I felt that Sam listened and responded in a curious way, attempting to understand, and never summarily dismissed anything I said. (unlike M, who I argued with the other day, heh -- when I made a really good point ze dropped the topic and said "well we just disagree." PAH. fuck that shit.) I think eventually and slowly Sam and I might become good friends.


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belenen: (voltaic)
conversation with Sam -- bias in science, how best to respect people, arguments
conversation with Sam on bias in science, etc. )

This led to a discussion of sexism/equalism/anti-exclusionism -- what an explosive topic. We must have discussed it for at least an hour. I believe that the only way to truly respect people is to treat everyone the same (until you get to know them, then obviously tailor your behavior to who they are). Sam feels that it is not necessary to treat everyone the same in order to respect them; ze feels that it is okay to have different default treatments for different people, such as opening the door only for women. I feel that it is best to examine one's motives. If I open the door only for one sex, why am I doing this? is it because I am blindly following a path laid out for me by my culture? is it perhaps a habit which enforces beliefs that society holds about the relationships between the sexes? is it because I have carefully thought it over and found a good reason to give this respect only to one sex? I think the latter is theoretically possible but I cannot think of a good reason to behave more (or less) kindly to a person because of their body shape. Especially considering that I may be mistaken as to what their body shape is -- not everyone fits neatly into one category or another.

Then we branched off into exclusionism as it relates to race. Sam believes it is only wrong to assume negatives about a person -- to assume positives is okay. I think that assumptions about a person based on outward appearance lead to setting up boundaries between people. For instance, if I assume that all people who are elderly are enlightened because they have seen so much, this is a flattering assumption but it creates a boundary. To assume is to create a generic picture of someone; when you see that generic picture, you have a much harder time seeing them as they truly are than you would if you left the canvas blank and allowed them to paint from scratch rather than editing what you have made. I believe that in order to respect a person, one has to see them as they truly are. Love needs respect which needs understanding -- assumptions hinder understanding.

At the very end I made sure to explain that I spoke forcefully because I believed in what I had to say, not out of trying to force agreement. Sam admitted that ze was trying to change MY mind which I found hilarious. :D (my partner told zir that I do change my mind, but only when given new ideas/information/interpretations. Ze described how I react to that, and imitated my facial expressions, heh.) And I realized that I used to try to change people's minds when arguing opinion, and now that is hardly ever my goal (I would say never but I don't check my arguing-motives often enough to say). Instead, I want to explain my point of view in such a way that the other person can understand why I believe the way I do, and then they can agree or disagree. I think that a person never gains truth by having it forced on them, so all I do is share my truth and invite a person to explore for themselves. I don't see truth as some objective thing that can be found -- I think that in order to have the whole truth one would have to fully understand every person and every creature and every thing at once (I believe that after we die we will know fully, even as we are fully known). All we can do is find a facet of the truth that resonates with us, and then share it to inspire others to find their own.

It was SUCH a fun conversation! I love speaking to someone who respectfully disagrees because it gives me the opportunity to hone my own views to a shining point. Few things annoy me more than feeling that the other person isn't listening when arguing with me, but I felt that Sam listened and responded in a curious way, attempting to understand, and never summarily dismissed anything I said. (unlike M, who I argued with the other day, heh -- when I made a really good point ze dropped the topic and said "well we just disagree." PAH. fuck that shit.) I think eventually and slowly Sam and I might become good friends.


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belenen: (powerful)
discussing genderfree language / I no longer use gender-specific terms at all / realizations so far
Switching to gender-neutral pronouns has been difficult, but has been really incredible. Unfortunately it has had the side effect of making me even more aware of when people speak in gendered ways -- "oh yeah, he's a guy, got a one-track mind" "dressing girly" etc. (note: the pronouns don't bother me from other people's mouths, except in reference to me -- just the gender assumptions) Even though usually it is done in affectionate ways, it bothers the hell out of me. I feel like saying "no! that is a HUMAN quality" every time but I don't. I think it is my silence that bothers me. It's just such a complicated subject and people get SO UPSET about it. I don't mind challenging/irritating people but I do mind being misunderstood, and I feel like it is so easily misunderstood. So if I don't feel like devoting a large chunk of time and energy to a weighty discussion, I just keep quiet.

but my wonderful partner decided to 'out' me as genderfree to zir sibling )

An interesting thing I have noticed is that when speaking of people I do not respect, I have a hard time referring to them by gender-neutral terms. For me, calling a person 'ze' or 'zir' is a recognition of the spirit within, the purest self with no societal affectations. So I have to wrestle myself when it comes to those who have buried their trueselves under piles of societal affectations (my bioparent 'M' for instance!). And people I respect and admire more than usual are the easiest for me to refer to in gender-neutral terms (though I still slip up a lot) -- when it comes to my partner it actually feels more accurate to refer to zir as 'ze', even though ze is not much of a gender-transgressor, outwardly. (incidentally, ze has agreed to help me by reminding me when I slip up if ze catches it! that makes me so happy!)

On first undertaking this, I was planning to abide by others' wishes if they specifically asked to be referred to a certain way. I've since changed my mind on that -- I am not going to use gender-specific pronouns for any reason. I see how it could be disrespectful to refer to someone in a way they do not like, so if a person doesn't like to be referred to as ze/zir, I will try to avoid that. Referring to someone only by name seems to ME as if it would be most respectful and acknowledging of their individuality and identity (though hella more difficult!). So far I've been lucky in that respect. Only one of my friends has requested gender-specific pronouns, and I've agreed not to use pronouns at all with that person (instead referring only by name, and by doing this sort of round-about in this sentence, heh). With strangers, I've also been using names and round-about to avoid confusion if I didn't want to get into the explanation (I'm hoping to get more comfortable with that once I stop slipping up all the time).

A lot of people seem to feel that to change my language is to force my belief upon others; I vehemently disagree. I consider it freedom of speech for me to express myself however I feel is best. The only way I could force my belief on others would be for me to insist that they use my language when speaking with me* -- which is why I ask people to refer to me in a gender-neutral way, but I'm fine if they don't. People are still free to identify however they want, and use whatever language they want; but the words in my mouth and mind are MINE and changing them does not force anything upon anyone. I am expressing myself in such a way because that is how I see -- and if I were to use gender-specific pronouns, I feel that would be hypocritical of me. I would be thinking/believing one thing and saying another -- I would be lying. (I recognise that this is not true for all people but it is true for me) I would feel that I was pretending to agree that the other person is a gender, when I don't believe gender exists. To me, it would be more disrespectful for me to outwardly agree when inwardly I do not, than it would be for me to disagree in language as well as mindset.

in my head and in my heart, I do not believe in gender, and if my language does not reflect that, it lies )

*there is one aspect of language that I do force my belief on others -- I will break off relationships over casual or 'humorous' use of the word 'rape' (after discussing it with zir, if ze is important to me). Though I still don't see that as 'forcing' -- I see it as a boundary that is necessary for me.


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belenen: (powerful)
discussing genderfree language / I no longer use gender-specific terms at all / realizations so far
Switching to gender-neutral pronouns has been difficult, but has been really incredible. Unfortunately it has had the side effect of making me even more aware of when people speak in gendered ways -- "oh yeah, he's a guy, got a one-track mind" "dressing girly" etc. (note: the pronouns don't bother me from other people's mouths, except in reference to me -- just the gender assumptions) Even though usually it is done in affectionate ways, it bothers the hell out of me. I feel like saying "no! that is a HUMAN quality" every time but I don't. I think it is my silence that bothers me. It's just such a complicated subject and people get SO UPSET about it. I don't mind challenging/irritating people but I do mind being misunderstood, and I feel like it is so easily misunderstood. So if I don't feel like devoting a large chunk of time and energy to a weighty discussion, I just keep quiet.

but my wonderful partner decided to 'out' me as genderfree to zir sibling )

An interesting thing I have noticed is that when speaking of people I do not respect, I have a hard time referring to them by gender-neutral terms. For me, calling a person 'ze' or 'zir' is a recognition of the spirit within, the purest self with no societal affectations. So I have to wrestle myself when it comes to those who have buried their trueselves under piles of societal affectations (my bioparent 'M' for instance!). And people I respect and admire more than usual are the easiest for me to refer to in gender-neutral terms (though I still slip up a lot) -- when it comes to my partner it actually feels more accurate to refer to zir as 'ze', even though ze is not much of a gender-transgressor, outwardly. (incidentally, ze has agreed to help me by reminding me when I slip up if ze catches it! that makes me so happy!)

On first undertaking this, I was planning to abide by others' wishes if they specifically asked to be referred to a certain way. I've since changed my mind on that -- I am not going to use gender-specific pronouns for any reason. I see how it could be disrespectful to refer to someone in a way they do not like, so if a person doesn't like to be referred to as ze/zir, I will try to avoid that. Referring to someone only by name seems to ME as if it would be most respectful and acknowledging of their individuality and identity (though hella more difficult!). So far I've been lucky in that respect. Only one of my friends has requested gender-specific pronouns, and I've agreed not to use pronouns at all with that person (instead referring only by name, and by doing this sort of round-about in this sentence, heh). With strangers, I've also been using names and round-about to avoid confusion if I didn't want to get into the explanation (I'm hoping to get more comfortable with that once I stop slipping up all the time).

A lot of people seem to feel that to change my language is to force my belief upon others; I vehemently disagree. I consider it freedom of speech for me to express myself however I feel is best. The only way I could force my belief on others would be for me to insist that they use my language when speaking with me* -- which is why I ask people to refer to me in a gender-neutral way, but I'm fine if they don't. People are still free to identify however they want, and use whatever language they want; but the words in my mouth and mind are MINE and changing them does not force anything upon anyone. I am expressing myself in such a way because that is how I see -- and if I were to use gender-specific pronouns, I feel that would be hypocritical of me. I would be thinking/believing one thing and saying another -- I would be lying. (I recognise that this is not true for all people but it is true for me) I would feel that I was pretending to agree that the other person is a gender, when I don't believe gender exists. To me, it would be more disrespectful for me to outwardly agree when inwardly I do not, than it would be for me to disagree in language as well as mindset.

in my head and in my heart, I do not believe in gender, and if my language does not reflect that, it lies )

*there is one aspect of language that I do force my belief on others -- I will break off relationships over casual or 'humorous' use of the word 'rape' (after discussing it with zir, if ze is important to me). Though I still don't see that as 'forcing' -- I see it as a boundary that is necessary for me.


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belenen: (kissy)
characters in the story of my life: present and past (updated at last!)
These are the characters in the story of my life:

from 2008 )


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belenen: (kissy)
characters in the story of my life: present and past (updated at last!)
These are the characters in the story of my life:

(NEEDS UPDATING)


my partner aka [livejournal.com profile] frenetik -- partner, soulfriend, lover, heart-kin.
Aurilion aka [livejournal.com profile] aurilion -- lover, heart-kin.
lil sis -- younger sister, soul-kin.
Kate aka [livejournal.com profile] clown_frog -- deep friend.
Kat aka [livejournal.com profile] kmiotutsie -- deep friend, soul-kin.
Nea aka [livejournal.com profile] acid_burns -- deep friend, soul-kin.
Hannah aka [livejournal.com profile] shioneh -- friend, spirit-kin.
Nick aka [livejournal.com profile] aquilian -- friend, spirit-kin.
Ava aka [livejournal.com profile] mourningdoveava -- friend, spirit-kin.
Meliae aka [livejournal.com profile] earthy_goddess -- friend.
Paula & Spencer -- mentors
Gabe -- spiritual brother
SabR aka [livejournal.com profile] sabr -- good friend
Kazi aka [livejournal.com profile] malignlibra -- friend
elya -- sister-in-law, friend
Rebecca -- sister-in-law, friend
my partner's family -- my family-in-law
biofamily -- my biological family

photos, descriptions, and history )


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belenen: (curious)
hopeful / Christmas / fantastic day; meet Amber, see Enchanted, hug from Thiago, long talk with Ava!
Hello beautiful beautiful people! *hugs whole flist*

I feel like I hit rock bottom and pushed off, and now I'm finally rising towards the surface. It feels really wonderful to be looking up instead of helplessly staring at my feet as I sink further and further. It wasn't anything I did; it was the love given to me by so many people, in so many ways. Megan especially -- she kept reaching out even though I was late and little in my responses. Thank you lovey ♥ You've been such a positive force in my life!

My Christmas was less than sparkly overall ... ) One very sparkly point was the dream I had while sleeping my cramps away. It was my Christmas present from God/dess; the vivid, spiritually-real kind. ♥ It gave me so much hope and joy -- I'll post it after this. Now if I could only interpret it!

Two days after Christmas I had a fantastic day. I dropped my partner at work so I could have the car, and went to meet a new friend (who found me on craigslist) at a coffeehouse. Amber is bouncy and outgoing -- I think we're going to get along famously. We talked for a good long while and it felt so comfortable! I've met several new people in the past few months, some of whom I got along really well with but none with whom I felt soo comfortable. I really like to be around people who have a higher energy than me -- I love all types, of course, but when I have no higher-energy people in my life I really miss it.

Later that day I wrestled my partner into going to see Enchanted with me in the theatre (he thinks only action movies should be seen on the big screen *pah*) and we LOVED it! My partner actually laughed out loud which he hardly ever does -- he usually laughs in this 'heh heh' kind of way, not 'ha ha ha!' I love his laugh ;-) The beginning is almost painfully ironic, mocking the syrupy-sweetness of the 'classic' disney films. There's also some subtler feminist irony which I REALLY loved, and one incredible curvy-positive moment that almost made me cry. See it!

Then as we were leaving my partner spotted his old friend Thiago, whom we haven't seen in AGES! It was so incredibly meant to be -- if we had left a little earlier or a little later we would have missed him. Thiago is this absolutely amazing guy; I can't put into words what it is about him, as I don't even know him that well, but I really love him. He's one of the most respectful people I have ever met -- he has a deep respect for every person as themselves, and that just radiates from him. You know he would respect a prostitute, a politician, a pastor, or a child equally (or at least, I feel so) -- and he's one of the very few guys I've met who gives me the impression that he respects women as much as men. When we walked up to him he was with several other people, and he put out his hand as my partner walked over to greet another guy (my partner didn't notice his hand out) -- I laughed and said "I'll shake your hand!" and put my hand in his, and he turned to me and gave me a hug. I was just beaming -- this guy feels like a spiritual brother to me. Just before we left Thiago hugged me again, and I must have just been glowing with happiness. He was so genuine! Genuine physical affection is absolutely the most wonderful thing to me -- those two hugs meant SO much. ♥ ♥ ♥

And this amazing day wasn't over (it lasted over 25 hours :D)! After my partner went to bed, I got on gtalk in the mood to chat for the first time in AGES (usually I just pop in long enough to check my email) and had the most AMAZING conversation with [livejournal.com profile] mourningdoveava! I friended him in August and we've had quite a few commentations, but never a real-time conversation before. We talked for over SEVEN HOURS overall, about so many things, and it felt like such a short time! We're so alike it's insane. No, really! I thought Hannah and I were alike, but I think Ava and I have even MORE in common! It blows my mind to the point where I have a hard time believing he's real. *pinches him*

I'm using my super-extremely-very-uper-duper awesome new icon right now despite it's irrelevance because I am totally in love with it. Yay self-adoration! :D I have more to say *overflows* but I will put it in other posts! I am so... fertile right now! yum, rain. :D


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belenen: (curious)
hopeful / Christmas / fantastic day; meet Amber, see Enchanted, hug from Thiago, long talk with Ava!
Hello beautiful beautiful people! *hugs whole flist*

I feel like I hit rock bottom and pushed off, and now I'm finally rising towards the surface. It feels really wonderful to be looking up instead of helplessly staring at my feet as I sink further and further. It wasn't anything I did; it was the love given to me by so many people, in so many ways. Megan especially -- she kept reaching out even though I was late and little in my responses. Thank you lovey ♥ You've been such a positive force in my life!

My Christmas was less than sparkly overall ... ) One very sparkly point was the dream I had while sleeping my cramps away. It was my Christmas present from God/dess; the vivid, spiritually-real kind. ♥ It gave me so much hope and joy -- I'll post it after this. Now if I could only interpret it!

Two days after Christmas I had a fantastic day. I dropped my partner at work so I could have the car, and went to meet a new friend (who found me on craigslist) at a coffeehouse. Amber is bouncy and outgoing -- I think we're going to get along famously. We talked for a good long while and it felt so comfortable! I've met several new people in the past few months, some of whom I got along really well with but none with whom I felt soo comfortable. I really like to be around people who have a higher energy than me -- I love all types, of course, but when I have no higher-energy people in my life I really miss it.

Later that day I wrestled my partner into going to see Enchanted with me in the theatre (he thinks only action movies should be seen on the big screen *pah*) and we LOVED it! My partner actually laughed out loud which he hardly ever does -- he usually laughs in this 'heh heh' kind of way, not 'ha ha ha!' I love his laugh ;-) The beginning is almost painfully ironic, mocking the syrupy-sweetness of the 'classic' disney films. There's also some subtler feminist irony which I REALLY loved, and one incredible curvy-positive moment that almost made me cry. See it!

Then as we were leaving my partner spotted his old friend Thiago, whom we haven't seen in AGES! It was so incredibly meant to be -- if we had left a little earlier or a little later we would have missed him. Thiago is this absolutely amazing guy; I can't put into words what it is about him, as I don't even know him that well, but I really love him. He's one of the most respectful people I have ever met -- he has a deep respect for every person as themselves, and that just radiates from him. You know he would respect a prostitute, a politician, a pastor, or a child equally (or at least, I feel so) -- and he's one of the very few guys I've met who gives me the impression that he respects women as much as men. When we walked up to him he was with several other people, and he put out his hand as my partner walked over to greet another guy (my partner didn't notice his hand out) -- I laughed and said "I'll shake your hand!" and put my hand in his, and he turned to me and gave me a hug. I was just beaming -- this guy feels like a spiritual brother to me. Just before we left Thiago hugged me again, and I must have just been glowing with happiness. He was so genuine! Genuine physical affection is absolutely the most wonderful thing to me -- those two hugs meant SO much. ♥ ♥ ♥

And this amazing day wasn't over (it lasted over 25 hours :D)! After my partner went to bed, I got on gtalk in the mood to chat for the first time in AGES (usually I just pop in long enough to check my email) and had the most AMAZING conversation with [livejournal.com profile] mourningdoveava! I friended him in August and we've had quite a few commentations, but never a real-time conversation before. We talked for over SEVEN HOURS overall, about so many things, and it felt like such a short time! We're so alike it's insane. No, really! I thought Hannah and I were alike, but I think Ava and I have even MORE in common! It blows my mind to the point where I have a hard time believing he's real. *pinches him*

I'm using my super-extremely-very-uper-duper awesome new icon right now despite it's irrelevance because I am totally in love with it. Yay self-adoration! :D I have more to say *overflows* but I will put it in other posts! I am so... fertile right now! yum, rain. :D


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belenen: (hypnotiq)
uncorking the bottle after my unintentional hiatus
I have so much to say... Meliae called me Wednesday and I must have talked nonstop for at least half an hour just summarizing all that has gone on! To uncork the bottle:

- my camera broke! :-( Halfway through the visit, it stopped going into shooting mode, and I left it alone for a while before replacing the batteries (it did that before on low battery), and when I finally put new batteries in it still didn't work. I've been without a camera for like three weeks now and it's really depressing. :-( For a long while now I've been carrying it everywhere, it's become a big part of my life and now it's gone... It's 3.5 years old, so it was its time I guess, but that doesn't make me feel better. Rest in peace, Spyder.
- Hannah's visit was by turns beautiful, horrible, exciting, dull, healing, & painful. She left early for several reasons, mainly because we just didn't have the energy to balance against each other for another 2 weeks. The visit was really draining, but really important, and very necessary. I have a loooooot to write about that, don't want to get started right now.
- Meeting Nick was awesome! I want to make a post about it so I'll save details for later.
- my partner and I have been working on our relationship, with huge steps forward... also deserves a post of its own!
- My parents have invited my partner and I to go on vacation with them and lil sis at the end of August and we've accepted. o.0
- I'm worried that I'm being frozen out by some friends who are really important to me, and I've been too wimpy so far to confront the issue.
- I'm sooooo disappointed that Meliae can only visit for 3 days. I had it in my head that she was going to stay a week (don't assume, Bel!) and now I'm sad... but still very happy that I get to meet her soon.
- Last Saturday I went to church for the first time in over a year! It was fantastic and I've been looking for churches to try. I went looking for GLBT inclusive ones and they all seemed too conservative -- wtf? it was like they thought they had to make up for their 'progressiveness' by having bland (to my taste) worship, wearing fancy clothes and having traditional-style preaching. But I found a few that seemed interesting enough to try.
- I spent ages today catching up on approving members to the curvygirls comm! finally caught up. I've been such a bad mod for the past month.

Hopefully I will be getting back into LJ f'real now. I didn't have time to do more than skim during the visit, so please give me links to any recent posts of yours that you think I'd find especially interesting or that you want my input on!


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belenen: (hypnotiq)
uncorking the bottle after my unintentional hiatus
I have so much to say... Meliae called me Wednesday and I must have talked nonstop for at least half an hour just summarizing all that has gone on! To uncork the bottle:

- my camera broke! :-( Halfway through the visit, it stopped going into shooting mode, and I left it alone for a while before replacing the batteries (it did that before on low battery), and when I finally put new batteries in it still didn't work. I've been without a camera for like three weeks now and it's really depressing. :-( For a long while now I've been carrying it everywhere, it's become a big part of my life and now it's gone... It's 3.5 years old, so it was its time I guess, but that doesn't make me feel better. Rest in peace, Spyder.
- Hannah's visit was by turns beautiful, horrible, exciting, dull, healing, & painful. She left early for several reasons, mainly because we just didn't have the energy to balance against each other for another 2 weeks. The visit was really draining, but really important, and very necessary. I have a loooooot to write about that, don't want to get started right now.
- Meeting Nick was awesome! I want to make a post about it so I'll save details for later.
- my partner and I have been working on our relationship, with huge steps forward... also deserves a post of its own!
- My parents have invited my partner and I to go on vacation with them and lil sis at the end of August and we've accepted. o.0
- I'm worried that I'm being frozen out by some friends who are really important to me, and I've been too wimpy so far to confront the issue.
- I'm sooooo disappointed that Meliae can only visit for 3 days. I had it in my head that she was going to stay a week (don't assume, Bel!) and now I'm sad... but still very happy that I get to meet her soon.
- Last Saturday I went to church for the first time in over a year! It was fantastic and I've been looking for churches to try. I went looking for GLBT inclusive ones and they all seemed too conservative -- wtf? it was like they thought they had to make up for their 'progressiveness' by having bland (to my taste) worship, wearing fancy clothes and having traditional-style preaching. But I found a few that seemed interesting enough to try.
- I spent ages today catching up on approving members to the curvygirls comm! finally caught up. I've been such a bad mod for the past month.

Hopefully I will be getting back into LJ f'real now. I didn't have time to do more than skim during the visit, so please give me links to any recent posts of yours that you think I'd find especially interesting or that you want my input on!


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belenen: (bel bites happy apple hannah)
Hannah's visit: July 30th, 2006 -- we visit my partner's family, go to the fair!
I got to talk with Hannah today, huge relief, because I had been so worried that she didn't believe her 2007 visit was going to happen, but she does, and we are going to MAKE THIS WORK and I also found cheaper tickets *whew* and and and I am filled with magic and glitter memories! so I went looking through the photos of last years visit, and I'm so filled with love and joy. Can it be? I am the luckiest girl in the world, to have found this beautiful person. ♥ She is my spirit-twin, she matches me so very well, understands me so perfectly. eeee she makes me so happy! We're coming up on our second anniversary of friendship (can it be so young?) and 15 months of soulfriendship today ♥

These photos are from the 4th day of Hannah's first visit! :D We went to my partner's parent's house as has been my habit for years. I can't think of a close friend (whom I've met in person) that hasn't met them. Before I dated my partner, his sister Rebecca and I were inseparable -- his family have been a big part of my life since I was 15. Less now than before, but that's to be expected I suppose, since I no longer have a need to be parented. Still, I take my friends to meet them because they're awesome and so are my friends. :D Unfortunately Mr. Ben and Miss Kathleen were off having a date weekend (necessary when you have so many kids!), so they didn't get to meet her but elya, Natty, and JJ did. Hannah said the atmosphere of their house was so warm and welcoming. :D

Hannah and I hang out with my partner's family )

Then we went to the FAIR!!! (in my tiny town, crazy!) which we had miraculously noticed on the very last day they were in town, and decided to go to! I had never been to a fair before (seriously!) so it was especially exciting for me. :D ohhh I loved it! I was soooo thrilled and amazed that God/dess had arranged it for us :D



Hannah and I go to the FAIR )

more magic to come, my friends :D


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belenen: (bel bites happy apple hannah)
Hannah's visit: July 30th, 2006 -- we visit my partner's family, go to the fair!
I got to talk with Hannah today, huge relief, because I had been so worried that she didn't believe her 2007 visit was going to happen, but she does, and we are going to MAKE THIS WORK and I also found cheaper tickets *whew* and and and I am filled with magic and glitter memories! so I went looking through the photos of last years visit, and I'm so filled with love and joy. Can it be? I am the luckiest girl in the world, to have found this beautiful person. ♥ She is my spirit-twin, she matches me so very well, understands me so perfectly. eeee she makes me so happy! We're coming up on our second anniversary of friendship (can it be so young?) and 15 months of soulfriendship today ♥

These photos are from the 4th day of Hannah's first visit! :D We went to my partner's parent's house as has been my habit for years. I can't think of a close friend (whom I've met in person) that hasn't met them. Before I dated my partner, his sister Rebecca and I were inseparable -- his family have been a big part of my life since I was 15. Less now than before, but that's to be expected I suppose, since I no longer have a need to be parented. Still, I take my friends to meet them because they're awesome and so are my friends. :D Unfortunately Mr. Ben and Miss Kathleen were off having a date weekend (necessary when you have so many kids!), so they didn't get to meet her but elya, Natty, and JJ did. Hannah said the atmosphere of their house was so warm and welcoming. :D

Hannah and I hang out with my partner's family )

Then we went to the FAIR!!! (in my tiny town, crazy!) which we had miraculously noticed on the very last day they were in town, and decided to go to! I had never been to a fair before (seriously!) so it was especially exciting for me. :D ohhh I loved it! I was soooo thrilled and amazed that God/dess had arranged it for us :D



Hannah and I go to the FAIR )

more magic to come, my friends :D


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belenen: (glass)
photo-tour of my bedroom / b-day presents from Kate and Firekat!
A few weeks ago I rearranged our bedroom, turning it from a place I hated to a place I love! Ben is much happier too -- now it feels like we have two rooms instead of only the living room. I created a photo-tour of my bedroom, because a video would require clothing due to the mirrors. And this is easier!

photo-tour of my bedroom )


And now I shriek with joy because OMG PRESENTS!!!! From Kate ([livejournal.com profile] clown_frog) and Firekat ([livejournal.com profile] kmiotutsie)!!! Kate sent me a glitter bar (YAY!!!! glitter-wearing is so magical ♥), giant purple bath-fizzy ball, HENNA kit (can't wait to try it!), a bunch of stick-on wooden ladybugs (ladybugs always remind me of my childhood, I remember seeing a family of them in the bark of a tree and being absolutely delighted), cinnamon votives (that REALLY SMELL LIKE CINNAMON OMG, and strong too!!! I am going to use them in my sanctuary ♥ ♥ ♥), and best of all, a clear violet glass perfume vial. It is so incredibly delicate and wonder-of-all-wonders, made it here perfectly intact! All the way from Scotland! And that is magic from God/dess if I have ever seen it.

the delicate violet-tinted vial! )


And from Firekat!!! A Mercedes Lackey book (a staple of fantasy reading, whom I've never tried!), Inga Muscio's Cunt (borrowed and read most of it, now yay I can finish it! plus who wouldn't want Cunt on her shelf?), a GORGEOUS mini-journal with handmade paper and a vivid-violet & burgandy cover, three lovely deep purple agate slices, and... a violet and emerald translucent glass gazing ball!!! also completely undamaged! I am soooooo loved!!! Firekat said she prayed that it would get here safely, and it's perfect. ♥ I'm awed!

the violet & emerald glass ball! )


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belenen: (glass)
photo-tour of my bedroom / b-day presents from Kate and Firekat!
A few weeks ago I rearranged our bedroom, turning it from a place I hated to a place I love! Ben is much happier too -- now it feels like we have two rooms instead of only the living room. I created a photo-tour of my bedroom, because a video would require clothing due to the mirrors. And this is easier!

photo-tour of my bedroom )


And now I shriek with joy because OMG PRESENTS!!!! From Kate ([livejournal.com profile] clown_frog) and Firekat ([livejournal.com profile] kmiotutsie)!!! Kate sent me a glitter bar (YAY!!!! glitter-wearing is so magical ♥), giant purple bath-fizzy ball, HENNA kit (can't wait to try it!), a bunch of stick-on wooden ladybugs (ladybugs always remind me of my childhood, I remember seeing a family of them in the bark of a tree and being absolutely delighted), cinnamon votives (that REALLY SMELL LIKE CINNAMON OMG, and strong too!!! I am going to use them in my sanctuary ♥ ♥ ♥), and best of all, a clear violet glass perfume vial. It is so incredibly delicate and wonder-of-all-wonders, made it here perfectly intact! All the way from Scotland! And that is magic from God/dess if I have ever seen it.

the delicate violet-tinted vial! )


And from Firekat!!! A Mercedes Lackey book (a staple of fantasy reading, whom I've never tried!), Inga Muscio's Cunt (borrowed and read most of it, now yay I can finish it! plus who wouldn't want Cunt on her shelf?), a GORGEOUS mini-journal with handmade paper and a vivid-violet & burgandy cover, three lovely deep purple agate slices, and... a violet and emerald translucent glass gazing ball!!! also completely undamaged! I am soooooo loved!!! Firekat said she prayed that it would get here safely, and it's perfect. ♥ I'm awed!

the violet & emerald glass ball! )


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belenen: (exuviate)
important events in 2006 / inner and outer metamorphoses

Wild Woman by Willow Arlenea


My totem animal, the dragonfly, lives as a nymph for a while, shedding her skin many times to emerge as a more developed creature, and only with the final shedding does she have wings. I feel that I have metamorphosed several times this year, and with this last shedding of my skin I have realized that I now have wings! I have reached completeness, developed all that I need to fly. I will continue growing in a new way, learning to use what I have. This is exciting and scary because there is no more waiting around to be ready; I have arrived.

important events in 2006 )

I feel like some of my metamorphoses have been inner and chosen, but the majority of them were external. My ties with this area have been severed again and again: Rebecca moved, my church wounded me and I haven't really attempted to fix it, Allison cut ties with me, my mimosa tree died, Kristen and I both changed and now we strongly differ on important issues, and Ashley broke up with me. I still love the land with all my heart -- Georgia is in my blood and always will be -- but I have no place that really feels mine since my mimosa died. Emerald is still there but the crook of her trunk is not enough space for me to take root. I feel that I am being prepared for a new way of life, perhaps a move. I welcome it with open arms! and pray that it will be near to one of the glorious friends who fill my life with light. ♥
...Said The Sun to the Shine by Earthsuit...
Said the Sun to the Shine
Come shadow, what you find?
Said the Sun to the Shine
You and I forever bind


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belenen: (exuviate)
important events in 2006 / inner and outer metamorphoses

Wild Woman by Willow Arlenea


My totem animal, the dragonfly, lives as a nymph for a while, shedding her skin many times to emerge as a more developed creature, and only with the final shedding does she have wings. I feel that I have metamorphosed several times this year, and with this last shedding of my skin I have realized that I now have wings! I have reached completeness, developed all that I need to fly. I will continue growing in a new way, learning to use what I have. This is exciting and scary because there is no more waiting around to be ready; I have arrived.

important events in 2006 )

I feel like some of my metamorphoses have been inner and chosen, but the majority of them were external. My ties with this area have been severed again and again: Rebecca moved, my church wounded me and I haven't really attempted to fix it, Allison cut ties with me, my mimosa tree died, Kristen and I both changed and now we strongly differ on important issues, and Ashley broke up with me. I still love the land with all my heart -- Georgia is in my blood and always will be -- but I have no place that really feels mine since my mimosa died. Emerald is still there but the crook of her trunk is not enough space for me to take root. I feel that I am being prepared for a new way of life, perhaps a move. I welcome it with open arms! and pray that it will be near to one of the glorious friends who fill my life with light. ♥
...Said The Sun to the Shine by Earthsuit...
Said the Sun to the Shine
Come shadow, what you find?
Said the Sun to the Shine
You and I forever bind


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belenen: (bluestocking)
christmas presents! miracles and used books
Christmas 2006
more magic ♥
magic! ♥

more photos )


and my loot! XD I am still so thrilled about this ♥ ♥ ♥ Oh what the hell, I'll "show not tell":

my miraculous presents! )

why miraculous? because Miss K gave me (and my partner) credit at a used book store as a present, and we went there day after Christmas and they had the LAST THREE Torey Hayden books, the only ones I didn't have!!!!!!!! 'coincidences' like this are why it's easy for me to believe in God/dess and the power of the unseen. just holy wonder, seriously. I exclaimed over the miracle and my partner was all 'yeah that's great' but Miss K agreed with me as I gushed over how fabulous her present was. Miracles don't have to save someone's life, sometimes they're just God/dess's way of showing you love.

more presents! )

I love love love used books. If they cost the same I'd still prefer a used book over a new one. Used ones have a history, and if they're a powerful book then they have absorbed the emotion of another reader, which heightens my own emotion in reading it. I feel like I am experiencing the book along with the former reader. And if they're old in addition to being used, they have that old book smell that is an emotional aphrodisiac to any bibliophile. The only way I ever buy a new book is if I can't find a used copy or I need it in a tearing hurry. Or if I'm getting it as a present for someone who doesn't feel the same way about used books, heh.


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belenen: (bluestocking)
christmas presents! miracles and used books
Christmas 2006
more magic ♥
magic! ♥

more photos )


and my loot! XD I am still so thrilled about this ♥ ♥ ♥ Oh what the hell, I'll "show not tell":

my miraculous presents! )

why miraculous? because Miss K gave me (and my partner) credit at a used book store as a present, and we went there day after Christmas and they had the LAST THREE Torey Hayden books, the only ones I didn't have!!!!!!!! 'coincidences' like this are why it's easy for me to believe in God/dess and the power of the unseen. just holy wonder, seriously. I exclaimed over the miracle and my partner was all 'yeah that's great' but Miss K agreed with me as I gushed over how fabulous her present was. Miracles don't have to save someone's life, sometimes they're just God/dess's way of showing you love.

more presents! )

I love love love used books. If they cost the same I'd still prefer a used book over a new one. Used ones have a history, and if they're a powerful book then they have absorbed the emotion of another reader, which heightens my own emotion in reading it. I feel like I am experiencing the book along with the former reader. And if they're old in addition to being used, they have that old book smell that is an emotional aphrodisiac to any bibliophile. The only way I ever buy a new book is if I can't find a used copy or I need it in a tearing hurry. Or if I'm getting it as a present for someone who doesn't feel the same way about used books, heh.


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belenen: (dreamy)
dream (ashley grabs, mike comforts / girl in quicksand / ben's family try to be nomads)
I don't remember the order these were in...

I was in a strange steel & glass building, and I was naked (which is normal for me so might not have the usual connotation). I was upset about something, staring outside into the dark (it was night). Ashley saw me, came up behind me and grabbed me, one hand on my side and the other on my breast, and started rubbing and squeezing me. I was freaked out and yelped, "what are you doing? Stop that!" but she said, "No, you need comfort so I am going to do this" and I said, "That doesn't help, stop!" but she would not listen -- she seemed angry and held on to me despite my frantic tries to get away. She said something like, "Since this is the way you want it, this is the way you're going to get it." Finally we were locked at a standstill where she couldn't rub me but I couldn't get away, and Mike (Ashley's boyfriend (I think)) came up to us. He reached out and ran his hand over my hair, and we were both shocked, Ashley let go and stepped back, and I just looked at him, completely astonished by his compassion and tenderness. Then he ran his hand over my hair again and I grabbed the front of his shirt with my hands and buried my face in his chest and cried so hard I woke myself up.

another scene... I was in the woods with some girl, slim but not resembling anyone I know, and we were in danger, we were escaping something. She fell into a hole and landed on a ledge not too far below the forest floor, but next to her the hole got hundreds of miles deep. So I tried to carefully get myself to where I could reach her without falling in or having us both fall. When I finally grabbed her hand I realized she had been in quicksand and it had sucked half of her down, and she hadn't said anything, maybe because she thought it would unnerve me and make me fall. But I was able to pull her out, and pull us both back up to the forest floor.

In the last one I was with Ben's family & we were all outside around a campfire at night, far away from civilization. Dana was there also, but other than that it was just the family... as I watched them interact and set up, I thought to myself that they would never be good nomads because they wouldn't be able to fit more than 2 to 3 hours of travel in per day, with the way that they linger. (there were wagons and horses, I think this was supposedly back in time) I don't really know what that meant. I ended up having conversation with Rebecca and Dana, and Dana showed Rebecca some of her tools (she was a fortuneteller of some sort). I expected Rebecca to react with shock and horror but she reacted with interest, poring through them and playing with them. One was a tube of some kind of magical tea or something, and I poured it into hot water and drank it, tiny bits at a time. The rest of the dream is fuzzy, but I remember preparing tea for a lot of people, using normal-sized mugs to teeny mugs, and being so disappointed that no one bothered with the teeny mugs, they wanted the large ones instead.

(I'll probably keep screening comments on all posts that mention ashley or lily until the matter is resolved.)


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belenen: (dreamy)
dream (ashley grabs, mike comforts / girl in quicksand / ben's family try to be nomads)
I don't remember the order these were in...

I was in a strange steel & glass building, and I was naked (which is normal for me so might not have the usual connotation). I was upset about something, staring outside into the dark (it was night). Ashley saw me, came up behind me and grabbed me, one hand on my side and the other on my breast, and started rubbing and squeezing me. I was freaked out and yelped, "what are you doing? Stop that!" but she said, "No, you need comfort so I am going to do this" and I said, "That doesn't help, stop!" but she would not listen -- she seemed angry and held on to me despite my frantic tries to get away. She said something like, "Since this is the way you want it, this is the way you're going to get it." Finally we were locked at a standstill where she couldn't rub me but I couldn't get away, and Mike (Ashley's boyfriend (I think)) came up to us. He reached out and ran his hand over my hair, and we were both shocked, Ashley let go and stepped back, and I just looked at him, completely astonished by his compassion and tenderness. Then he ran his hand over my hair again and I grabbed the front of his shirt with my hands and buried my face in his chest and cried so hard I woke myself up.

another scene... I was in the woods with some girl, slim but not resembling anyone I know, and we were in danger, we were escaping something. She fell into a hole and landed on a ledge not too far below the forest floor, but next to her the hole got hundreds of miles deep. So I tried to carefully get myself to where I could reach her without falling in or having us both fall. When I finally grabbed her hand I realized she had been in quicksand and it had sucked half of her down, and she hadn't said anything, maybe because she thought it would unnerve me and make me fall. But I was able to pull her out, and pull us both back up to the forest floor.

In the last one I was with Ben's family & we were all outside around a campfire at night, far away from civilization. Dana was there also, but other than that it was just the family... as I watched them interact and set up, I thought to myself that they would never be good nomads because they wouldn't be able to fit more than 2 to 3 hours of travel in per day, with the way that they linger. (there were wagons and horses, I think this was supposedly back in time) I don't really know what that meant. I ended up having conversation with Rebecca and Dana, and Dana showed Rebecca some of her tools (she was a fortuneteller of some sort). I expected Rebecca to react with shock and horror but she reacted with interest, poring through them and playing with them. One was a tube of some kind of magical tea or something, and I poured it into hot water and drank it, tiny bits at a time. The rest of the dream is fuzzy, but I remember preparing tea for a lot of people, using normal-sized mugs to teeny mugs, and being so disappointed that no one bothered with the teeny mugs, they wanted the large ones instead.

(I'll probably keep screening comments on all posts that mention ashley or lily until the matter is resolved.)


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belenen: (mysterious)
thoughts on Rebecca
at least the phone works! I do sincerely thank God for that; Ben and I are both so stressed, him mostly for logical reasons and me mostly for emotional reasons.

Thank you, loves, thank you SO MUCH, those responded to that last post and thank you to those who didn't respond but managed to wade through the whole loooooong thing. I desperately needed that encouragement and just love.

I did have a talk with Rebecca on Saturday but it didn't go as I had hoped. She basically said that she wanted to be friends again, but had no idea how much she was willing/able to offer as far as time and emotional investment. She is of the opinion that relationships should just 'happen' which is something I strongly disagree with as I believe in living in continual, conscious awareness of choice. I don't think that everything needs to be laid out beforehand but I do think that two people should enter a relationship with very similar goals or it won't work. For instance, if one wants a deep, close friendship and the other wants a fun acquaintance, both are going to be disappointed. But back to the point -- she didn't know what she wanted, but she knew she couldn't make any sort of committment or goal right now. She said she wouldn't start an LJ and probably wouldn't email, but might write, miiiiiiiight call. (all of which reminded me of the last time we tried a long-distance relationship) So I ended up telling her that I was just going to let her make the next move, hugged her, and left. It was somewhat painful, because I had strange hopes that I remember living with when we were friends. Wondering if she cared as much as I did, if she thought about me like I thought about her, if she even really desired to be my friend or just went along with the flow of things. In the end, I do not understand what draws me to her, because I don't even know her. (that bothers me so much) I do know that I am not willing to ever again invest in a relationship unless I know that the other person is offering me the same thing I'm offering them. There are too many amazing people in this world, too many people who will be delighted to receive my energy and will give it back joyfully and equally.

She has such an incredible spirit that it blinds me completely to everything else about her -- such as her actual thoughts and motives and passions and philosophies on life. She's really the only person whom I simply cannot understand. Maybe that's why I am so drawn to her -- curiosity. I think it's deeper than that though. If I could show her spirit to you you would be awed, even the most cynical one reading this. And I was so hopeful on Friday because she seemed so much more open than she ever has been -- she didn't seem that way on Saturday though. I just wish I could know what she's like, and how much of herself she would share with me. I have no idea why my heart has flung the doors wide open for her, when I don't feel like I have extra energy for a new friendship, but it ain't listenin' to reason.
connecting: ,


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