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belenen: (Default)
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: (curious)
quick question
icon: "curious (my face, looking straight forward with one eyebrow up and a sideways smile, head tilted down a little)"

[Poll #2061628]


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belenen: (garrulous)
tweets & fb posts, November 2016
it is very long )


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belenen: (progressing)
important events in 2015 / learning and growing in the midst of spiraling anxiety and loneliness
icon: "progressing (a deeply, vividly green forest of thick vines and trees, with a tunnel running through where unused train tracks lay)"

2015
abstract fractal entitled Shriek
"Shriek"

An abstract fractal in christmas green, coral orange, and bright rose red with accents of fuchsia, peach, and capri blue on a black background. At the top in the center is what looks like a snarling cat or hissing cobra, in profile facing left. Just underneath is another could-be face, this one like a dog, facing right and sniffing the 'air' of colored light, which you can see swirling into the dog's nose. In front of the dog's face is a bowing-out bubble of swirling blurry colors. Above that bubble behind the cat/cobra's head is a fragmented reflection that could be of the cat/cobra or the dog or both. In front of the cat/cobra's face is a misshapen cone of green light, with some flecks of other colors: it looks as if the cat/cobra is exhaling this and it is pouring down over the back of the dog's head. Neither creature has a body.

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January
1-4 -- visiting biofam: racism, discussing sexual abuse history, misgendering, prompting family to grow
2 -- visiting Anika: having deep talks w Anika & energy work
* Unethical behavior: loopholes out of agreements, poking people's sore spots *
4 -- ritual for Nuit and Renenutet, Topaz keeps me company
7 -- I make a friending meme
-- trying to develop closeness with Anika
11 -- have a somewhat-disastrous crafty party where a new attendee says things that are very problematic and hurtful to Allison
17 -- I decide to require require gender-neutral pronouns in reference to me
18 -- ritual with LilyWolf for connections
24 -- met up with Cass and had our first meaningful one-on-one conversation
* 5-step educate or eliminate / when I realize I'm wrong / reducing privilege effects *
-- hung out with Heather at least once a week

February
2 -- Kei-won-tia has a major crisis, I find out through Abby, try to get in touch w KWT but can't.
4 -- meet Jezza for one-on-one conversation
6 -- have a great birthday night with Topaz, Kylei, Sydney, Heather, and Lilywolf; Allison, Nick, and Hannah drop in. I set up a photo-booth of sorts with weird colorful lighting and take some photos of people.
7 -- went to Heritage Park with Sydney & Topaz
9 -- met Kayla for dinner and conversation
* forms of intimacy and societal assumptions made: there is no highest form of intimacy *
11 -- my grandmother is in the hospital; I see my aunt and cousins for the first time in years
12 -- have intense conversation w Anika and Kei-won-tia about openness and intimacy and assumptions
* overwhelmed and ineffectual / cowardly and shit at making friends *
14 -- I get up in front of a huge number of people and speak a short poem about trans erasure.
** the intersection of openness, intimacy, and privacy as it relates to me **
20-24 -- Topaz and I go to the last Xenacon, which is worth it but emotionally very difficult because I can't bring myself to talk to anyone and I'm allergic to the air.
27 -- Heather casts runes for me on my next romantic relationship: I get 'wait wait wait'
28 -- art swap at Jezza's: my sorta-kinda first show of my fractals.
-- conflict with Kei-won-tia continues throughout the month, ends in them telling me they need to be able to lie to their friends.

March
7 -- I experience my first kirtan, with Heather.
* helping people figure out their desires without taking responsibility for their self-awareness *
11 -- march for Anthony Hill (with Jaime & Lilywolf)
13 -- meet Lisa in person for the first time! we hang out for the day.
15 -- mostly-online crafty party with Topaz, Jaime, Paige, Heather, Leah, Anika, Jezza, and Lilywolf.
** what nourishes me in friendship: self-care/growth/awareness, shared passion/enthusiasm, creating together, spiritual working together, asking me meaningful specific questions, cuddles/focused touch, gifts of effort **
28 -- Anika visits, Topaz and I take them to the Cherry Blossom Festival
** PSA: use of ableist slurs will cause me to unfriend you **
31 -- I pick up Anika from KWT's and take them to Big Trees and to my favorite metaphysical shop

April
2 -- do magic ritual with Anika, Topaz picks us up after
3 -- drinking and playing red dragon inn w Anika, Heather, Topaz, Kylei.
4-5 -- KWT is supposed to spend time w Anika but doesn't... lots of complex shit between Anika and KWT. KWT is supposed to take them to the airport but I do it instead.
9 -- crafty party: Lily & Fey & Alisha in-person, Anika & Paige & Allison online
** slurs are still very harmful when they are aimed at a situation/action/thing instead of a person **
** emotional/artistic work is still work / types of cuddles: giving, receiving, sharing, passive **
** essential qualities to be a good cuddler: good at consent, emotionally present & aware, not in need **
-- school stress
-- made a set of reflection beads
-- applied to be a professional cuddler: they wanted to exploit their workers, no thanks.

May
-- exhausted
4 -- sweet nourishing time w Kylei
* my eating habits: what I don't eat at all, what I generally avoid, favorite meals & ingredients *
* realization: I need group intimacy as well as one-on-one *
13 -- meet Rachel in Atlanta for lunch
15 -- sleepover w Odd Squad and truth-or-truth w Nicky & Aubrey via ghangouts
17 -- first zikr w Kaleemi Khanqah Atlanta
20 -- start work at my uni
* 4 levels of friendship: fun, support, learning, mutual accountability *
26 -- truth-or-truth gchat w Aubrey, Vola, Elizabeth, Jaime
** on the 'rudeness' of canceling/lateness caused by chronic pain/fatigue/anxiety/depression and/or ADD **
** energy work: 1st efforts, shielding / a funnel not a source / avoiding manipulation **

June
-- stressssssss
1 -- TransParence gather at my house: Jaime, Jazz, Jude, Hope, Serah, Allison, Michelle
4-10 -- Elizabeth visits! we do alllllll the things
5 -- shopping & Kirtan at SEWA w Elizabeth
6 -- Etowah Mounds w Elizabeth & Jaime, then chill game night w Elizabeth, Heather, Jaime, Topaz, Allison, Jonathan
7 -- Big Trees w Elizabeth & Topaz, then Cracker Barrel for dinner & Breakfast on Pluto with dessert.
8 -- to Margaret Mitchell house and Marietta square with Elizabeth.
9 -- to carlos museum then revolution doughnuts with Elizabeth, then Topaz makes us dinner.
10 -- take Elizabeth to airport.
13 -- intense videochat w Anika about the lack of balanced investment in our relationship
-- scattered ???
** why I identify as demisexual / what makes sex worth the effort / sexual vs sensual touch / kissing **

July
-- very stressed, can't seem to do much
-- Heather is out of town the whole month
12 -- host cuddly communion #1 w Serah, Alison, Hope, Evelyn, Cass, Heather D, and Joey.
-- elsewise, nothing but work & rest & topaz & writing
** rant: friendships are important / my levels of relationship for everyone **
* what makes me fall in love & how it feels when I am in love *
*** on saving kids from 'broken hearts' & teaching kids about consent / red flags for bad-at-consent ***
* on changing the amount of fat on your body: cortisol, blood sugar, stress, food as fat/carb/protein *
** 4 elements needed for me to feel sexual attraction: consent, bodily respect, awareness, generosity **
* depression is not a cramp, it's a broken bone: a 'mild' situation has intense effects when depressed *

August
* Open letter to self-proclaimed reasonable white dudes *
13 -- see Arizona, we have very connected time
16 -- host an OPALS meeting which is just me and Johan, also have an amazing talk w Evelyn at Cool Beans
20 -- emotionally falling apart
* too many variations to out myself in a sentence / wordweaving & thought remodeling are central to me *
23-29 -- time at the beach w biofam
30 -- OPALS meeting w me, Saleena, Alison, and Serah

September
-- dealing with name change paperwork, lots of trips to courthouse and notary
-- exhausted and overwhelmed, lonely
-- topaz' family has health troubles
-- run out of hope for being close friends with Evelyn
* lonely in any crowd / spirit-to-spirit contact / conflict is a tool of intimacy *
23 -- feeling terribly unwanted
27 -- OPALS meeting w just me & Garnet
-- make chant booklet for my reflection beads

October
1 -- worst I felt in a year, unwanted, useless
15 -- present about appropriation at Sex Down South, no energy to go the other days
* how I manage my neuro-atypicality in relation to others *
31 -- walked Springer Mountain w Topaz, then had a bonfire at their place w Topaz, Heather, Brian, Cass, Kelsey, and Elliott
-- spending more time w Topaz' family
-- reading The History of White People

November
** an analogy to explain why the privileged are responsible for ending oppression: the racist babysitter **
*** after learning more about microbes, I no longer believe in an afterlife ***
** people demonize spanking because of classism / how corporeal punishment damaged me **
** trust: what builds it and what burns it, for me **
* the art of hugs *
** if you mourn only for the deaths of white people, your empathy is broken. and racist. **
16 -- cry for hours
17 -- see bell hooks & gloria stienem
19-22 TBC w Topaz
27 -- name change denied
-- investing more in getting to know Cass

December
-- loads of work on final papers, getting minors made official, getting my name sorted
* 5 qualities needed to practice polyamory: awareness, norm-breaking, security, energy, connection *
6 -- great connected time w Cass
15 -- graduation
** my ADD-PI: stimming and prosopagnosia (difficulty recognising faces) **
* creating your own moral code: a ritual for finding your core values & strengthening focus on them *
* ritual tool: reflection beads for my core values, desires, gratitudes, people, deities, & nature kin *
19 -- Solstice gather! Kat, Summer, Abby, Topaz, Kylei, Heather, Sydney, Jaime, Allison, & Jonathan came and Cass vidchatted in due to being sick
22 -- Arizona visited with me for a little while at my house
23 -- breakup w Anika
24 -- Gabe reveals their transphobia
25 -- Xmas at Topaz' family, exhausting, realize how much worse my family is
26 -- time w Abby in the morning, walking in nature and then cuddling at my house, then intense time w Abby & Topaz at Topaz'
27 -- breakfast, coffee, cuddles w Topaz & Abby
28 -- terrible crash of a morning, bad for Abby, bad for me, bad for Topaz. endless crying.
29 -- awful day, more endless crying. reach out to Allison for the first time, feel glad that that feels okay to do.
** prosopagnosia and memory as it relates to taking photos and believing in love **
30 -- recovering some
31 -- connected time w topaz



2015 started off in an intense but growthful way for me, as I had my first ever real conversation with my biosib S, visited Anika and had deep talks with them. I also did a ritual for deities (something I had never done before), and another ritual for connection, connected in new ways with Allison and Cass, and spent a lot of time with Heather. Then Kei-won-tia had a major crisis and I was very worried about them but didn't really get to talk to them until two weeks later. They got very upset with me for talking about my worries to Heather, and there was a whole huge mess which finally ended when they said that they need to be able to lie to their friends. During the same month as the KWT conflict, I had a bunch of other really intense experiences -- Xenacon, my first art show (sorta), speaking about trans erasure in front of loads of people, gma in hospital, interacting with family I hadn't seen in years.

March was more nourishing and less draining, with my first kirtan, my first protest march, and my first time taking Anika to Big Trees. April turned sour with a huge conflict between KWT and Anika, and otherwise intense school stress. In May I had some good connected time with friends and experienced my first zikr, but overall I was exhausted. Lilywolf moved out which was sad and relieving and stressful, and I started working at my university as a student assistant. June started out with a bang, a trans-connection party followed by a wonderful visit from Elizabeth (which included my first visit to a Sikh service), and then became scattered and lost under stress, mostly shared/reflected stress from how awful Topaz' job is, I think. In July I hosted a 'cuddly communion' which was wonderful but otherwise that entire month was empty of nourishment. In August I had some connected times with friends, and spent 6 days with my biofamily which is both good and exhausting; August marked the first of monthly breakdowns, though I don't notice this pattern until later. In September Topaz' family started having health troubles, and I dealt with the laborious process of applying to change my name.

October I felt the worst I have felt in a year, managed to present at Sex Down South but felt so socially anxious I couldn't talk to anyone and couldn't participate in the conference; I went home crying. I started spending more time with Topaz' family (which is nourishing in some ways but a lot of added stress) because they all seemed to be feeling the need for more company with each other due to the health worries. I started actively building a friendship with Cass around this time. In November I was massively stressed and overwhelmed, but seeing bell hooks and getting to attend TBC gave me enough energy that I was able to give three talks and speak on a panel, and handle some very difficult emotional conversations and realizations with Topaz. But November ended with me finding out that my name change was denied, which is massively crushing. December started with me finishing my 2 huge final papers and giving a presentation for school, doing a shitton of paperwork and hoop-jumping to get my minors made official and my name read correctly at the ceremony, then finally graduating (where my biofamily mostly flaked out and I realized that my dad was planning for a graduation present for my cousin but didn't even congratulate me). I only had three days to recover before Solstice, which was the best ever though hugely energy-consuming. Then I had an intense conflict with Cass, then Arizona visited me briefly which made me miss them a lot, then Anika broke up our friendship by attacking me, then Gabe (my emotionally-adopted little brother) revealed that they're transphobic by choice not by ignorance, then I spent Xmas with Topaz' family which made me realize how bad my biofamily is, then I spent an intense morning with Abby and an intense evening with Abby and Topaz, and finally I had a massive terrible crash that negatively affected both Abby and Topaz and lasted almost through the end of the year. Honestly, reading over December I'm amazed that I made it through without falling apart much more. That was so much, way too much.

Looking back over this, I feel like losing KWT set off a sharp increase in my social anxiety because when we initially became friends, it was built on mutually valuing intimacy and openness -- I actually felt that KWT was better at being open than I was, that they were more willing to take risks in sharing. To have them do such a complete turnaround and say that they value lies in friendship and they want to control who knows what about them was so shocking and confusing that it made me feel like I can't know people, I can't believe them, and I can't find ones that I can genuinely connect with. A similar thing happened with Anika -- I can’t explain because it would be a breach of their privacy but even though it wasn’t the same on the surface, it felt very VERY similar. That followed by the OPALS meetings falling by the wayside and getting very hopeful about a new friend only to have that vanish -- by the time I got through September I was feeling so deeply sad about friendships that despite my repressing, I was having at least one multi-hour crying jag a month about it.

So overall, 2015 brought me a huge increase in social anxiety although the relationships that I currently have are mostly at all-time highs and are overall very nourishing. I think I learned a lot through my black feminisms class in the spring, my internship, my whiteness class in the fall, and TBC, and I made a lot of progress in designing my spiritual practice, but I feel like my interpersonal life stalled out in most ways, and I lost myself as far as my social self goes. This year I will regain my social self.


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belenen: (Renenutet)
my most powerful spiritual experiences & how some have shifted in meaning
icon: "Renenutet (a relief carving of Renenutet, represented as a winged cobra, overlaid with a fractal coloring)"

what are your most powerful spiritual experiences? if you've transitioned to a different religion/spiritual philosophy, did you recontextualize the experience in any way? did the power or depth of an experience diminish at all due to a transition? if so, why? (from here)

My most powerful spiritual experiences: when I felt a strong warning, "no," as I was walking through a river and was about to step in a spot, but I dismissed it as not real and stepped anyway and nearly sliced my toe off on broken glass and had to go to the hospital and get like 28 stitches (age 9); when trees have spoken to me (it happened twice where it was strong enough that I felt no doubt); when interacting with los Niños Santos; when I realized that an afterlife didn't make sense to me anymore and stopped believing in it; when I had a dream-that-felt-more-real-than-waking about having sex underground with Geb; when I felt someone energetically draining me through my lover and did energy work deliberately for the first time out of desperation; when I help someone find a name that is true for them; when I have had sex in ways that involve more spiritual/energetic interactions than physical ones; when singing and dancing in church, particularly once when I felt Jesus' presence so intensely that I didn't doubt it; one time when a prophet gave me a message from Godde saying "I believe in you" which both felt very validating and turned my perception of deity on its ear; once when I felt the presence of Aphrodite while interacting with a lover who I perceived as a priestess/incarnation of them; when I felt perfect unity of consciousness with a lover to the point where I wasn't sure which limb was mine, and we spoke the same words at the same time; when I have sensed the emotions of my spirit-kin over great distance of mind and body; when I felt/saw the heartbeat of the forest; when I have dreams about people who are important to me that I meet, later; when I felt in great despair and then found a green-blue piece of sea glass (I had never found any before despite careful searching); I'm sure there are others.

Some of my experiences have been recontextualized. I used to attribute everything spiritual to a singular god, but now I don't attribute things to deity unless I feel a specific presence. For instance, finding the sea glass I would have taken as comfort from god, whereas now I take it as me desperately seeking a sign of hope and drawing it to me and me to it with the force of my longing. This doesn't make it less meaningful to me, it makes it more meaningful. Rather than relying on something external, I rely on myself. I don't need attention from a particular being to be able to have magic.


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belenen: (Renenutet)
creating your own moral code: a ritual for finding your core values & strengthing focus on them
icon: "Renenutet (a relief carving of Renenutet, represented as a winged cobra, overlaid with a fractal coloring)"

Disclaimer: I'm gonna phrase things emphatically but I do not feel that this is the best route for everyone or that everyone should do this. Take what works for you, leave what doesn't.

The first step is to consider your emotional reactions in order to find your core values. A core value will infuriate you when someone else violates it, and cause you to feel great distress when you violate it. If you get angry when someone else fails to signal in a lane change, but you don't feel equally bad if you fail to signal, that is not a core value violation it's just an inconvenience. You can start with a list of things that infuriate or disgust you to see done, and then cross off anything that you wouldn't be deeply stricken with remorse if you did it. Include things you think are obvious, such as killing or torturing.

Once you have this list, go through and check for things that aren't values, but you have accepted as values because you were told over and over that there is a right and a wrong answer. You can tell these because violating these things usually causes no real harm - for instance, putting the toilet paper roll on where it rolls off the top rather than the bottom. These things that seem like values can also simply be leftovers from coercive education convincing you that it is wrong to mix up "your" and "you're" when in reality it's just not abiding by unnecessary dogma. However, you may simply have some problematic values. If you feel it is morally wrong to use grammar that violates the rules, then that could be one of your core values- it's just that your value shows you are an elitist. I would not recommend trying to strengthen such a value.

Next look for common themes. If your list includes shoving animals, grab-handling children, and hugging people without asking, there is a theme there of respecting bodily autonomy which is very important to you. Try to group your list into 8-13 themes, and then define these so that everything on your list is included. So, in this example, I would define the value for these three things as 'respect' meaning 'considering each being to be the only valid authority on how their body should be treated and requesting permission prior to any touch' and I could add to that definition if I saw other violations of respect on my list, such as pressuring people into activities or ignoring what they want. I might add "...and being careful not to infringe on their will."

The above part I did almost two years ago, and the below part I did a few months ago, then attached them in a booklet a few weeks ago. This has been a very long project!

Next, come up with a sentence or paragraph that describes the relationship you want with your value. Here's my template (if you want to use/modify my template for your own values that is fine with me; just don't copy my own specific values phrasing that I wrote on my cards).

In the name of [value], I contemplate [important things about that value]. I seek to [do an action that expresses this value] and [another action that expresses this value]. I question [aspect that contradicts this value] and check [something that helps me determine how close I am to my aim]. I seek [value], I create [value], I embody [value].

THAT was a really REALLY cool exercise for me. I feel like I gained a lot of clarity on my values by doing it. For instance, I realized that consumption is often the opposite of creativity for me, and to maintain my core value of creativity I need to be sure that I am not consuming too much of things that reduce my creativity (such as shows that don't make me think).



[general image description: all of these photos show a long rectangle of handmade paper, white with bits of greenish brown stems scattered throughout. The papers have been perforated with a needle along the short left side and are attached as a booklet with thick waxed thread. At the top of each page in shimmery vivid violet ink is a set of symbols: magical lettering which I created for ceremonial use. The main section is in shimmery spring green ink, and then the last three phrases are in shimmery bright scarlet ink.]

justice value card

In the name of justice, I contemplate all forms of oppression and hierarchy. I seek to uproot oppressive ideology and dismantle oppressive structures. I question my behaviors and check my assumptions. // I seek justice // I create justice // I embody justice.

growth value card

In the name of growth, I contemplate my progress and seek to develop any mediocre skills and to cut out habits that prevent my becoming a more productive person. I question my habits and practice my skills. // I seek growth // I create growth // I embody growth.

creativity value card

In the name of creativity I contemplate my consumption and expression, and seek to create and share more than I consume. I question if what I consume will help me create, and I check for a balance. // I seek creativity // I create creativity // I embody creativity.

connection value card

In the name of connection, I contemplate my place in the web of life, and seek to empathize with those near and far and to nourish my connections with all beings. I question my first impressions and follow my yearnings. // I seek connection // I create connection // I embody connection.

curiosity value card

In the name of curiosity, I contemplate my recent sources of learning and seek to discover new knowledge and understanding. I question everything and check for new perspectives. // I seek curiosity // I create curiosity // I embody curiosity.

openness value card

In the name of openness, I contemplate my sharing and seek to be vulnerable and offer sharing which will allow me to be known. I question my reticence and check for the edge of my comfort zone. // I seek openness // I create openness // I embody openness.

honesty value card

In the name of honesty, I contemplate deception and confusion, and seek ways to express and explain that honor truth. I question my hiding and check for clarity. // I seek honesty // I create honesty // I embody action in honesty.

action value card

In the name of action, I contemplate my risks and opportunities, and seek to take action in whatever ways I find. I question my stagnation and check for more chances. // I seek action // I create action // I embody action.

reverence value card

In the name of reverence, I contemplate the magnificent importance of all objects. I seek to honor objects in all my uses and to recognize their magic. I question my casual interactions and check my stewardship. // I seek reverence // I create reverence // I embody reverence.

respect value card

In the name of respect, I contemplate consent and autonomy. I seek to avoid exerting unasked control over others and to avoid causing damage to others. I question my influence and check my effects. // I seek respect // I create respect // I embody respect.

thoroughness value card

In the name of thoroughness, I contemplate my recent projects and seek to do all I do to the best of my ability. I question my methods and check my work. I seek thoroughness, I create thoroughness, I embody thoroughness.


So then, after all this I recommend writing, printing, or recording them in a way you can keep with you. Try to read or listen to them daily with full attention, thinking about how they apply to your life right now.


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belenen: (tenebrous)
dream (wait for food, get denied) / name change poverty waiver denied
icon: "tenebrous (a shadowy orange-light photo of my face, looking down, with an achingly sad expression)"

apparently my bad dreams are coming true. Last night I dreamed I was at the beach with Topaz, and we went to a food truck. Topaz went to do something else and I waited in line, patiently, even though there was no one ahead of me and they didn't call me to the front. I waited for half an hour. Then they announced that it was 6pm and they weren't serving any more, looking to the side of me as if I wasn't there. I started crying and woke myself up with it.

Then today I check the mail and I have received a response to my name change with pauper's affidavit attached. They denied it. No reason, just "no." The cost for a name change is more than a third of what I make in a month. I do not have even an extra $20 much less an extra $200+. I think they denied me because they knew they could get away with it and they don't want to help people who can't pay, just on principle.

I feel so fucking hopeless. I made two trips to court and two trips to the notary to get this done. It was one of the hardest things I have done in at least two years. I can't even explain how difficult it was to do. I have a huge amount of fear around filling out any paperwork that says 'make a mistake and we throw you in jail' even if I am being really careful and don't think logically that that would happen. Driving to places is hard because every time I drive I am hyper aware that my car could break down, and because gas costs money which I don't have enough of. Dealing with paperwork is hard because I fear trapping myself somehow. Talking to people who are involved in the legal system is hard because I hate it and being around them feels like wading through a pool of sleeping piranhas.

All that work, and stress, and pushing against overwhelming fear, for nothing.


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belenen: (Renenutet)
Ritual for Nuit and Renenutet/ spiritual properties of stones
icon: "Renenutet (a relief carving of Renenutet, represented as a winged cobra, overlaid with a fractal coloring)"

Sunday I did a ritual for Nuit and Renenutet, the first real ritual I have done for a deity in many years. I lit candles and incense, then wrote prayers while topaz played guitar. While writing to Nuit I held lapis lazuli and held amethyst while writing to Renenutet. Nuit I already knew to be associated with lapis, but for Renenutet I pulled a stone from a bowl of stones I had gotten for solstice, and it happened to be amethyst. That makes a weird kind of sense to me, as I associate amethyst with naming somehow. After I wrote the prayers I read them out loud and then reflected on the intended recipient while holding their stone. I felt incredibly awkward reading out loud, and had a hard time focusing on the words, but I felt satisfied afterwards.

I didn't really put any stock in stones having metaphysical qualities until this past Solstice. My belief system is composed only of things that I have experienced, for the most part, and I'd never felt effects from a stone. But after I chose stones based on intuitional feeling and then people pulled the one's I thought were right for them, especially after I pulled snowflake obsidian and then realized that it was the only stone I had that was for stress, I began to feel meaning there. Then when I was visiting biofamily and I could FEEL a difference immediately when I wasn't holding the yellow obsidian, I was convinced. I'm a bit perplexed that I have never had such experiences before but I am glad to have had them now. Curious about how it might affect my future and my spirituality in general.


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belenen: (gender abolitionist)
removing references to gender/sex from my everyday speech: "ze" and "they"
Four years ago I started training myself to think and speak without reference to gender or sex. When reflecting on how to do this, I decided to use ze/zir/zirself in place of him/her/etc for a few reasons. 1) I liked the fact that it used a little-used letter of the alphabet (I've always personified letters and numbers and both favorited and felt bad for the ones who didn't get spoken/written often); 2) I wanted to use gender-neutral pronouns that would stand out, to start conversations about gender; and 3) I disliked the grammatical confusion of "they." Number 1 is still true but otherwise I've changed my views a bit.

With regards to using gender-neutral pronouns in general, it's easy if most of the people I talk to are keen on doing the same, but if I am talking to someone who uses gendered pronouns I will "echo" -- for instance, I say "Kylei went to the store" and someone says, "did he write a list?" I'll respond with "no, he's not quite that organized," even though if I am rambling about Kylei I almost never use gendered pronouns. I can stop myself if I am very careful, or if I have had little contact with gender-specific-speakers for the past few days, but the echoing is MUCH harder to stop than general references.

Anyway, I now have a "front name" which starts gender conversations much more often than pronoun use would, so that reason for "ze" is gone. Also, unobtrusively removing gender references and not 'correcting' people's assumptions often leads to them being surprised when they realize their assumption was off, and I feel like that moment of surprise is pretty much the most useful stereotype-breaker. I don't think the actual conversation about gender-neutral pronouns is that helpful.

More importantly, people tend to interpret "ze" not as a lack of reference to gender but as a reference to a third kind of gender, and so feel that if I refer to them as "ze" I am assigning them a gender. I can explain my intent, but not to everyone, and when I refer to trans people I worry that my hearers are assuming I'm "othering" them, putting them in a different category from cis people. Even though it is absolutely not my intent, and not the meaning of the word, the idea that I might be perceived as approving a cissexist attitude is very worrisome to me. I try to compensate by outing myself and critiquing cissexism whenever I have the chance, but I'd rather just not risk it. "They" does not have that othering connotation. Cis people use it to refer to cis people whenever they don't want to refer to gender or when they don't know it. I still dislike the grammatical awkwardness of "they" but as someone on my twitter list pointed out, choosing grammar over people is problematic: so I have decided to try and change.

In my journal and in papers I will retain "ze": in my journal my reasons are listed plainly and in papers I do not want to get marks taken off for bad grammar (and I still am unsatisfied at the idea that a singular "they" should be treated as a plural "they" with regard to verbs). In casual conversation (such as other internet spaces and in-person conversations) I will try to use "they." I know I will fail along the way and my language may be stilted sometimes but I know I'm capable, eventually, and I'll get there.

Dance for Your Reflection
Dance for Your Reflection


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belenen: (progressing)
important events in 2011 / becoming an effective catalyst for the change I want to see in the world


2011 was a whirlwind of growth and renewal; looking back, I cannot believe how much I've changed and how much my life has changed. I feel like I wouldn't even recognize my year-ago self. And yet so much has changed since the turn of the year... exponential change. I'm so much more fierce, nourished, confident, and aware than last year. I've created the sources for art, creativity, and intimacy that I want; I've found avenues for developing change; I've started stripping away the fear that blocked me from being a catalyst for equality.

In 2011 I gained a much deeper understanding of oppression, both historically and in its current manifestations; Kyle and I went through so many shifts, deepening our relationship and creating positive ways of managing conflict; Kyle became a feminist/equalist; I met lots of important new people; Kyle and I started doing energy work regularly on ourselves and each other; I was in continuous growth and needed rest which I didn't know how to take, so throughout the year I had several depressions and learned how to notice when I needed rest; I started hosting crafty parties! and now have a source of amazing creation in my life ♥; I met the Angel Oak, participated in a TreeSpirit shoot, and had so many incredible magical experiences with Kyle in Charleston; I realized my intersexedness in a profound way and began living it, though not sharing the details of meaning with folk (and it's still too scary to write about though I hope that will change soon); I experienced my first burn, Euphoria, and loved it -- then experienced my second, Alchemy, and did not like it; Aurilion and I had several bursts of intense connection; I fell in love with Abby and we started dating, quickly moving into a time-committed relationship; Arizona and I started dating again; Kyle and Adi started dating; I became part of the formation of a queer group on campus; I sortakinda dated Eanox for a short time; I had my first successful anti-oppression experience and felt thrilled with the possibilities of further action; I went to Transcending Boundaries with Kyle; I started forming tribe (a truly interconnected group of people all of whom were building connection with each other).

important events in 2011 )


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belenen: (progressing)
important events in 2011 / becoming an effective catalyst for the change I want to see in the world


2011 was a whirlwind of growth and renewal; looking back, I cannot believe how much I've changed and how much my life has changed. I feel like I wouldn't even recognize my year-ago self. And yet so much has changed since the turn of the year... exponential change. I'm so much more fierce, nourished, confident, and aware than last year. I've created the sources for art, creativity, and intimacy that I want; I've found avenues for developing change; I've started stripping away the fear that blocked me from being a catalyst for equality.

In 2011 I gained a much deeper understanding of oppression, both historically and in its current manifestations; Kyle and I went through so many shifts, deepening our relationship and creating positive ways of managing conflict; Kyle became a feminist/equalist; I met lots of important new people; Kyle and I started doing energy work regularly on ourselves and each other; I was in continuous growth and needed rest which I didn't know how to take, so throughout the year I had several depressions and learned how to notice when I needed rest; I started hosting crafty parties! and now have a source of amazing creation in my life ♥; I met the Angel Oak, participated in a TreeSpirit shoot, and had so many incredible magical experiences with Kyle in Charleston; I realized my intersexedness in a profound way and began living it, though not sharing the details of meaning with folk (and it's still too scary to write about though I hope that will change soon); I experienced my first burn, Euphoria, and loved it -- then experienced my second, Alchemy, and did not like it; Aurilion and I had several bursts of intense connection; I fell in love with Abby and we started dating, quickly moving into a time-committed relationship; Arizona and I started dating again; Kyle and Adi started dating; I became part of the formation of a queer group on campus; I sortakinda dated Eanox for a short time; I had my first successful anti-oppression experience and felt thrilled with the possibilities of further action; I went to Transcending Boundaries with Kyle; I started forming tribe (a truly interconnected group of people all of whom were building connection with each other).

important events in 2011 )


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belenen: (ecstatic)
important events in 2010 / overwhelming change, desire, and passion wrapped in community
a drawing titled "Adolescence" by Norman Lindsay
& a fractal titled "Conception" by sideoutman:



2010 was such a huge year that I'm intimidated by the idea of trying to sum it up, but combining "Conception" and "Adolescence" is a good start. The fractal is expressive of a coiled, freshly-created energy and purpose, which I certainly conceived in 2010. The drawing (oh Norman Lindsay I love you <3) is full of exploration and communication and relating. I see myself in quite a few of the characters, and the harpies and sphinxes with their worshipful open faces speak to me of turning lack and mystery into love and knowledge. The horned characters make me especially happy, as the presence of Pan in my life this year has been quiet but oh-so-profound.

Last January I declared 2010 the year of passion, and oh GOD/DESS yes it was! both good and bad kinds. It started off with a BANG -- hate (which I hadn't felt in years) and fury (over the ex-partner), followed by a few months of stress and worry (mostly over finances), then a few days of delirious happiness (in an almost-triad with strong energetic exchange), then depression and anger (break-up pain and mistreatment), then an explosion of sheer joy (Arizona!) which increased (Serendipity!) and increased (Chip!) and increased (Kyle!) for two months, then contentment and productivity (living & working with Serendipity), then stress and shifting (school again! culture shock, not dating justben actively), then horrible pain (herpes AGH), then exploring/adventuring inspired by Kyle (meeting more people, going new places, having more sexperiences), then an emotional breakdown as I finally reach my coping limit (so much change! so much intensity!), then my first burn-type event!, then breaking up with Arizona, then lots of intoxication with dancing and kissing, and lots of friendship exploration (mostly in Kyle's social group).

Or, most everything I expressed gratitude for at the beginning of the year. It was DEFINITELY "filled with all the love and sex and joy and passion and boldness" that I could handle -- and I was able to handle more than I thought possible. And I certainly met more people with whom I connect deeply, and learned more about sex and the role it is to play in my life. And for the first time, I've experienced being satisfied by the amount of loving touch I get, and for the first time since the Wynnes I've felt fully understood and appreciated and accepted and desired. And I've become more comfortable sharing my art (I did photoshoots! with people I didn't know well at the time!) and became healthier. The only thing that I feel didn't increase is my understanding of my spiritual connection with nature and having my lil sis live with/near me, so those move to my 2011 presumptuous thanks :D

important events in 2010 )


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belenen: (ecstatic)
important events in 2010 / overwhelming change, desire, and passion wrapped in community
a drawing titled "Adolescence" by Norman Lindsay
& a fractal titled "Conception" by sideoutman:



2010 was such a huge year that I'm intimidated by the idea of trying to sum it up, but combining "Conception" and "Adolescence" is a good start. The fractal is expressive of a coiled, freshly-created energy and purpose, which I certainly conceived in 2010. The drawing (oh Norman Lindsay I love you <3) is full of exploration and communication and relating. I see myself in quite a few of the characters, and the harpies and sphinxes with their worshipful open faces speak to me of turning lack and mystery into love and knowledge. The horned characters make me especially happy, as the presence of Pan in my life this year has been quiet but oh-so-profound.

Last January I declared 2010 the year of passion, and oh GOD/DESS yes it was! both good and bad kinds. It started off with a BANG -- hate (which I hadn't felt in years) and fury (over the ex-partner), followed by a few months of stress and worry (mostly over finances), then a few days of delirious happiness (in an almost-triad with strong energetic exchange), then depression and anger (break-up pain and mistreatment), then an explosion of sheer joy (Arizona!) which increased (Serendipity!) and increased (Chip!) and increased (Kyle!) for two months, then contentment and productivity (living & working with Serendipity), then stress and shifting (school again! culture shock, not dating justben actively), then horrible pain (herpes AGH), then exploring/adventuring inspired by Kyle (meeting more people, going new places, having more sexperiences), then an emotional breakdown as I finally reach my coping limit (so much change! so much intensity!), then my first burn-type event!, then breaking up with Arizona, then lots of intoxication with dancing and kissing, and lots of friendship exploration (mostly in Kyle's social group).

Or, most everything I expressed gratitude for at the beginning of the year. It was DEFINITELY "filled with all the love and sex and joy and passion and boldness" that I could handle -- and I was able to handle more than I thought possible. And I certainly met more people with whom I connect deeply, and learned more about sex and the role it is to play in my life. And for the first time, I've experienced being satisfied by the amount of loving touch I get, and for the first time since the Wynnes I've felt fully understood and appreciated and accepted and desired. And I've become more comfortable sharing my art (I did photoshoots! with people I didn't know well at the time!) and became healthier. The only thing that I feel didn't increase is my understanding of my spiritual connection with nature and having my lil sis live with/near me, so those move to my 2011 presumptuous thanks :D

important events in 2010 )


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belenen: (dreamy)
dream (finding secret compartment with glasses in bioparents' GA house)
I was in my old room -- the unfinished one in the basement -- fixing the blinds to the sliding glass door when I found a strange compartment in the ceiling which opened with two screws (into which I stuck my car keys). I very excitedly opened it and started to look through, ....... )

I dream so often of this old house... I really should tag it.
sounds: Flunk - Indian Rope Trick | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , ,


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belenen: (dreamy)
dream (finding secret compartment with glasses in bioparents' GA house)
I was in my old room -- the unfinished one in the basement -- fixing the blinds to the sliding glass door when I found a strange compartment in the ceiling which opened with two screws (into which I stuck my car keys). I very excitedly opened it and started to look through, ....... )

I dream so often of this old house... I really should tag it.
sounds: Flunk - Indian Rope Trick | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , ,


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belenen: (oneness)
thought-intimacy: when you seek to learn my thoughts, I feel loved & close to you / Bel & James
A lot has happened in the past week but before I make a giant storytelling reminder-of-thrills post, I want to explore a bit of something that has been on my mind lately. I've mentioned that people who read my journal are invited to call me Bel if they please and others should call me by my 'front name,' James. (I make exceptions sometimes for clarity's sake but it always bugs me to do so) That was a distinction I made because it felt right but I've only just come to realize why it was right*, and in the process also realize why LJ is so important to me.

For me, the open/honest sharing of thoughts is the ultimate intimacy. If you let me see yours, I feel deeply honored and very close to you -- I feel like you trust me and are giving me the opportunity to know/love you (which feels to me like the greatest gift one can give). And if you seek out mine, I feel deeply valued and loved. So livejournal is a tool for something that almost never happens in face-to-face interactions. Most of you, even, would feel quite awkward if confronted with "what are you thinking?" in a face-to-face interaction but here, you share it with me. And even more so, most people would hesitate to ask me my thoughts, but when I offer them freely you can trust that I do want to share them. And just knowing that you read what I share (whether you comment or not) makes me feel understood and incredibly valued by you.

For me, how much I love a person is directly proportional to how much I think about them. If I love you, I think on your words and your movements and every little thing I know about you. If I love you very much, I think about you all the time and constantly check your online homespaces to see if you have shared something (though it's less if you don't share often). Because this is such an automatic consequence of love for me, I interpret it as love from others as well.

And the highest expression of this... )

*"Bel" has been used mostly by those who have sought my thoughts and shared theirs with me -- while it started as just an expression of affection, it now stands as a reminder that those who call me that have thought-intimacy with me. When those who do not have that intimacy with me use it, it feels like a stranger calling me their lover -- wrong because it is untrue. (the only exceptions to that are with people who feel like kin without them reading my LJ -- it happens very rarely but it has happened) I experimented with introducing myself as Bel last year and as a result, had lots of strangers calling me Bel. It felt so wrong that I started disassociating with the name and it was making me uncomfortable until recently, when Anita and Chip called me by it and I began to feel the truth of it again. And G (the toddler) called me Bel when adults were calling me Bel and James pretty equally, and that made me feel the truth of it too (that kid sees things to an almost intimidating level). I really can't express the sense of relief I feel at having my name feel true again.
sounds: Owl City - If My Heart Was a House | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: ,


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belenen: (oneness)
thought-intimacy: when you seek to learn my thoughts, I feel loved & close to you / Bel & James
A lot has happened in the past week but before I make a giant storytelling reminder-of-thrills post, I want to explore a bit of something that has been on my mind lately. I've mentioned that people who read my journal are invited to call me Bel if they please and others should call me by my 'front name,' James. (I make exceptions sometimes for clarity's sake but it always bugs me to do so) That was a distinction I made because it felt right but I've only just come to realize why it was right*, and in the process also realize why LJ is so important to me.

For me, the open/honest sharing of thoughts is the ultimate intimacy. If you let me see yours, I feel deeply honored and very close to you -- I feel like you trust me and are giving me the opportunity to know/love you (which feels to me like the greatest gift one can give). And if you seek out mine, I feel deeply valued and loved. So livejournal is a tool for something that almost never happens in face-to-face interactions. Most of you, even, would feel quite awkward if confronted with "what are you thinking?" in a face-to-face interaction but here, you share it with me. And even more so, most people would hesitate to ask me my thoughts, but when I offer them freely you can trust that I do want to share them. And just knowing that you read what I share (whether you comment or not) makes me feel understood and incredibly valued by you.

For me, how much I love a person is directly proportional to how much I think about them. If I love you, I think on your words and your movements and every little thing I know about you. If I love you very much, I think about you all the time and constantly check your online homespaces to see if you have shared something (though it's less if you don't share often). Because this is such an automatic consequence of love for me, I interpret it as love from others as well.

And the highest expression of this... )

*"Bel" has been used mostly by those who have sought my thoughts and shared theirs with me -- while it started as just an expression of affection, it now stands as a reminder that those who call me that have thought-intimacy with me. When those who do not have that intimacy with me use it, it feels like a stranger calling me their lover -- wrong because it is untrue. (the only exceptions to that are with people who feel like kin without them reading my LJ -- it happens very rarely but it has happened) I experimented with introducing myself as Bel last year and as a result, had lots of strangers calling me Bel. It felt so wrong that I started disassociating with the name and it was making me uncomfortable until recently, when Anita and Chip called me by it and I began to feel the truth of it again. And G (the toddler) called me Bel when adults were calling me Bel and James pretty equally, and that made me feel the truth of it too (that kid sees things to an almost intimidating level). I really can't express the sense of relief I feel at having my name feel true again.
sounds: Owl City - If My Heart Was a House | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: ,


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belenen: (genderfree)
I'm in love with me / also in love w/ all people / reactions to my name at work / explaining my name
I honestly feel a little sad sometimes because I can't imagine anyone ever falling as in love with me as I am. I find myself so damn adorable. I'll start dancing in the silliest way or singing something completely ridiculous like "and now it's time for soup, oh nicey-nice soup, you're food to be eaten, it's good" (half stolen, if you recognize it you get 88 awesome points; I so relate to that character) and then hear myself and am totally charmed and giggle at myself for a full minute. And I re-read my own LJ and think it's the most beautiful thing ever (content and design), and look at photos I've taken and feel awe, and admire the way I find ingenious ways to make things more useful or more beautiful. And every time I see myself in the mirror I check myself out and smirk lustily and often exclaim "oh my God, I'm so fucking hot!" complete with running my hands over my outline. But then, I'm good at falling in love. It's my Talent :D I notice things that are unique about a person and am utterly charmed by them, especially the littlest things like the way a person pushes back zir hair or specific phrases ze likes to say or how ze behaves 'at rest' or the way ze moves zir mouth when ze talks. I do this with all people, including those I'm not even close to (it's just way amped up with those people because I watch them greedily, in recognition that every moment of their presence is an honor). I really and truly (Nea's phrase, hee) believe that everyone is incredible and if you can just see them fully, you can't help but be in love. I suppose it makes sense then that I am the one who loves me the most, because I know myself the most. ;-) Oh well, y'all can just love me second best *giggles* If I have one person to know/love me most, I think I want it to be the one I have to spend every moment with :D GOD I LOVE ME.

I really love people so much. It's odd to think about because I HATE social structure and am disgusted by most of the things the general population believes -- but as individuals I still love people. How I can manage to be so jaded and angry and yet hopeful and adoring at the same time is a little baffling to me. I get so angry about social things and yet people individually doing the same damn things makes me laugh and shake my head. I suppose on the individual level what stands out most to me is how trapped and confined people are (which inspires empathy), but when looking at society as a whole what stands out to me is how cruel and oppressive people are (which evokes anger).

reactions to my name, and finally finding a short way to explain it! )
sounds: Elsiane - Hybrid | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , ,


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belenen: (Default)
I'm in love with me / also in love w/ all people / reactions to my name at work / explaining my name
I honestly feel a little sad sometimes because I can't imagine anyone ever falling as in love with me as I am. I find myself so damn adorable. I'll start dancing in the silliest way or singing something completely ridiculous like "and now it's time for soup, oh nicey-nice soup, you're food to be eaten, it's good" (half stolen, if you recognize it you get 88 awesome points; I so relate to that character) and then hear myself and am totally charmed and giggle at myself for a full minute. And I re-read my own LJ and think it's the most beautiful thing ever (content and design), and look at photos I've taken and feel awe, and admire the way I find ingenious ways to make things more useful or more beautiful. And every time I see myself in the mirror I check myself out and smirk lustily and often exclaim "oh my God, I'm so fucking hot!" complete with running my hands over my outline. But then, I'm good at falling in love. It's my Talent :D I notice things that are unique about a person and am utterly charmed by them, especially the littlest things like the way a person pushes back zir hair or specific phrases ze likes to say or how ze behaves 'at rest' or the way ze moves zir mouth when ze talks. I do this with all people, including those I'm not even close to (it's just way amped up with those people because I watch them greedily, in recognition that every moment of their presence is an honor). I really and truly (Nea's phrase, hee) believe that everyone is incredible and if you can just see them fully, you can't help but be in love. I suppose it makes sense then that I am the one who loves me the most, because I know myself the most. ;-) Oh well, y'all can just love me second best *giggles* If I have one person to know/love me most, I think I want it to be the one I have to spend every moment with :D GOD I LOVE ME.

I really love people so much. It's odd to think about because I HATE social structure and am disgusted by most of the things the general population believes -- but as individuals I still love people. How I can manage to be so jaded and angry and yet hopeful and adoring at the same time is a little baffling to me. I get so angry about social things and yet people individually doing the same damn things makes me laugh and shake my head. I suppose on the individual level what stands out most to me is how trapped and confined people are (which inspires empathy), but when looking at society as a whole what stands out to me is how cruel and oppressive people are (which evokes anger).

reactions to my name, and finally finding a short way to explain it! )
sounds: Elsiane - Hybrid | Powered by Last.fm
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: (exuviate)
moved in with Ash / not going on Equality Ride 2010 / name / intense emotional & spiritual changes
My life's been an explosion of change the past week; I moved out of my ex's place and in with Ash -- it had been sort of a vague possibility and all of a sudden it just happened. I'm still sort of reeling from that -- I think I was ready to move but at the same time, I had lived in that apartment for FIVE YEARS almost to the day, which is a very long time to me. It feels like a rebirth. I've gotten almost all settled (my altar isn't set up yet because I need a tall person's help to hang the curtain) and I feel rather in awe of my space. It's such a relief to have a space I can go that is entirely mine, where I can decorate however I want and do whatever I want without worrying about how it affects someone else. I hadn't realized just how much I edited out of concern for my ex -- I did it freely and don't regret it, but oh I'm enjoying just being free. And it's lovely to have Ash as my flatmate! I had anticipated it being more of an adjustment but it's been so comfortable to share space with zir, as if we'd already been doing it for ages.

I found out that I'm not going on the equality ride next spring, which is a huge disappointment to say the least. I'd really felt like this was the perfect time for it, but I suppose it wasn't because it's not happening. I would be more crushed but I'm choosing to have faith that it's not happening because there's something better for me. I'm feeling a little shakier about having moved further north because I'd put off moving to Atlanta mostly because I was planning on moving after the equality ride anyway. But then, the timing of my unplanned move and the rejection news makes me think it was meant to happen this way. And I feel like living with Ash is really important right now, though I couldn't say exactly why -- it just feels right. So I've started looking for a job in the area and should hopefully hear back from some people within the week. It's really bothering me to have to use my legal name but it would probably make a serious tangle to change it before the divorce so oh well.

Speaking of which, I've been thinking about asking everyone to call me James for a while, even those who do know me well... ambivalence )

And even moving, officially separating from my ex, shifting plans for life -- these things are petty compared to the emotional and spiritual changes going on with me right now. This connection I have with Ben feels like it's altering me radically and it's got me constantly spinning -- I feel like I'm in a transdimensional whirlwind and I have no idea where I'm going to end up or what I'm going to be when I get there. I've felt deeply moved by connections before, even like I was metamorphosing, but never like I was shifting so fast I couldn't mark the stages. I'm just letting it shift me, watching with my eyes as wide as they'll go, living this alchemy as fully as I can. And oh, so thrillingly ecstatically loving it.

So I run out but not away
shooting off sparks into the dark, out in the street
‘cause one day I am going to bloom
patient and proud
with fish in my mouth
and eyes in my wings
What kind of creature shall I be?

Midsummer Night's Dream -- Noe Venable


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belenen: (exuviate)
moved in with Ash / not going on Equality Ride 2010 / name / intense emotional & spiritual changes
My life's been an explosion of change the past week; I moved out of my ex's place and in with Ash -- it had been sort of a vague possibility and all of a sudden it just happened. I'm still sort of reeling from that -- I think I was ready to move but at the same time, I had lived in that apartment for FIVE YEARS almost to the day, which is a very long time to me. It feels like a rebirth. I've gotten almost all settled (my altar isn't set up yet because I need a tall person's help to hang the curtain) and I feel rather in awe of my space. It's such a relief to have a space I can go that is entirely mine, where I can decorate however I want and do whatever I want without worrying about how it affects someone else. I hadn't realized just how much I edited out of concern for my ex -- I did it freely and don't regret it, but oh I'm enjoying just being free. And it's lovely to have Ash as my flatmate! I had anticipated it being more of an adjustment but it's been so comfortable to share space with zir, as if we'd already been doing it for ages.

I found out that I'm not going on the equality ride next spring, which is a huge disappointment to say the least. I'd really felt like this was the perfect time for it, but I suppose it wasn't because it's not happening. I would be more crushed but I'm choosing to have faith that it's not happening because there's something better for me. I'm feeling a little shakier about having moved further north because I'd put off moving to Atlanta mostly because I was planning on moving after the equality ride anyway. But then, the timing of my unplanned move and the rejection news makes me think it was meant to happen this way. And I feel like living with Ash is really important right now, though I couldn't say exactly why -- it just feels right. So I've started looking for a job in the area and should hopefully hear back from some people within the week. It's really bothering me to have to use my legal name but it would probably make a serious tangle to change it before the divorce so oh well.

Speaking of which, I've been thinking about asking everyone to call me James for a while, even those who do know me well... ambivalence )

And even moving, officially separating from my ex, shifting plans for life -- these things are petty compared to the emotional and spiritual changes going on with me right now. This connection I have with Ben feels like it's altering me radically and it's got me constantly spinning -- I feel like I'm in a transdimensional whirlwind and I have no idea where I'm going to end up or what I'm going to be when I get there. I've felt deeply moved by connections before, even like I was metamorphosing, but never like I was shifting so fast I couldn't mark the stages. I'm just letting it shift me, watching with my eyes as wide as they'll go, living this alchemy as fully as I can. And oh, so thrillingly ecstatically loving it.

So I run out but not away
shooting off sparks into the dark, out in the street
‘cause one day I am going to bloom
patient and proud
with fish in my mouth
and eyes in my wings
What kind of creature shall I be?

Midsummer Night's Dream -- Noe Venable


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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: (confused)
poll: name
am back from California with lots to tell and photos to share, but first something to ask:

[Poll #1457295]

I know you all hate to try and define someone else, but I have some ideas in mind and I'm looking for a sign so if several of you choose one of the names in my head, that will be fantastically helpful. And if there are no repeats, that'll be a helpful hint too. If you think of several, pick one for the poll but please do list the others in a comment!
sounds: The Postal Service - Nothing Better | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: ,


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belenen: (confused)
poll: name
am back from California with lots to tell and photos to share, but first something to ask:

[Poll #1457295]

I know you all hate to try and define someone else, but I have some ideas in mind and I'm looking for a sign so if several of you choose one of the names in my head, that will be fantastically helpful. And if there are no repeats, that'll be a helpful hint too. If you think of several, pick one for the poll but please do list the others in a comment!
sounds: The Postal Service - Nothing Better | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: ,


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belenen: (dreamy)
dream (Aurilion name discussion / basketball w Zach Braff / dish-buying w Anika / ways of mermaids)
dream about aurilion )

Then there was something about a road trip with my partner's family (which, ironically, I have not been invited along on since I got together with my partner). I ended up playing basketball with a bunch of male people I used to know as a teenager and one whom I didn't -- Zach Braff, who was 6'5" and very good at basketball (which completely shattered my world view, heh). I was wearing this little denim miniskirt (which I had indeed worn to play basketball one time when my then-crush/now-partner's family came over to my biofamily's house for lunch) and kept falling over (the skirt wasn't tripping me up but something was wrong with my balance and I just couldn't stay upright -- I wasn't wearing high heels but my balance was altered as if I were). Then I discovered that the ball had deflated and one of the people I was playing with blamed me and very rudely demanded that I go get it pumped up again. I was offended (because I was already planning to do that even though it was NOT my fault -- they had been playing with it deflated the whole time even though that meant they couldn't dribble) and hurt, and said, "You didn't have to be so rude about it!" (in an assertive way, not petulantly) and went off to find the proper equipment.

While looking, I got lost in this maze of a house which was all windows -- even on the inside walls (though those were curtained or translucent so they couldn't be seen through) and someone was talking about how it was a Georgian style (like the state, not the king or country). It had been made into a school, so I went to the principal's office to call around and find where the sports supply room was. Anika was in there on the phone with zir partner and I said something to zir and then 'remembered' that we had gone shopping for dishes (wtf?) and I had borrowed money which I had forgotten to pay back (wtf? borrowing money is like a red blinking light in my brain -- I can't forget!).

Then somehow I was in the ocean, learning about the ways of mermaids how they can switch back and forth between tail & gills / legs & lungs )
connecting: , ,


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belenen: (dreamy)
dream (Aurilion name discussion / basketball w Zach Braff / dish-buying w Anika / ways of mermaids)
dream about aurilion )

Then there was something about a road trip with my partner's family (which, ironically, I have not been invited along on since I got together with my partner). I ended up playing basketball with a bunch of male people I used to know as a teenager and one whom I didn't -- Zach Braff, who was 6'5" and very good at basketball (which completely shattered my world view, heh). I was wearing this little denim miniskirt (which I had indeed worn to play basketball one time when my then-crush/now-partner's family came over to my biofamily's house for lunch) and kept falling over (the skirt wasn't tripping me up but something was wrong with my balance and I just couldn't stay upright -- I wasn't wearing high heels but my balance was altered as if I were). Then I discovered that the ball had deflated and one of the people I was playing with blamed me and very rudely demanded that I go get it pumped up again. I was offended (because I was already planning to do that even though it was NOT my fault -- they had been playing with it deflated the whole time even though that meant they couldn't dribble) and hurt, and said, "You didn't have to be so rude about it!" (in an assertive way, not petulantly) and went off to find the proper equipment.

While looking, I got lost in this maze of a house which was all windows -- even on the inside walls (though those were curtained or translucent so they couldn't be seen through) and someone was talking about how it was a Georgian style (like the state, not the king or country). It had been made into a school, so I went to the principal's office to call around and find where the sports supply room was. Anika was in there on the phone with zir partner and I said something to zir and then 'remembered' that we had gone shopping for dishes (wtf?) and I had borrowed money which I had forgotten to pay back (wtf? borrowing money is like a red blinking light in my brain -- I can't forget!).

Then somehow I was in the ocean, learning about the ways of mermaids how they can switch back and forth between tail & gills / legs & lungs )
connecting: , ,


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belenen: (progressing)
A Door Into Ocean -- Sharer Selfnames / my selfnames and yours
I just finished reading A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski, and I am awed. I've never had a fiction novel change me so deeply -- and in more than one way, at that! It gave me a new view of unity, something so subtle I don't quite know how to put it into words... Things I already knew but didn't know. I really cannot capture it myself -- you'd have to read it and feel it for yourself. If you feel a strong kinship to me I know it will touch you just as deeply (and it's been around a long time so it's not hard to find for super-cheap at a used book store or on Amazon).

I found a concept in the novel that has been reflected in my own life -- the Selfname. To claim adulthood, a Sharer chooses a Selfname, a descriptive term which is sometimes attached to their given name and sometimes used alone. Names such as "Impatient One" "Inconsiderate One" "Intemperate One" or "Lazy One." At first I was put off by this seeming self-effacement, but as I learned more I realized the purpose of this. A Sharer chooses a name and spends the rest of zir life renouncing it -- allowing everyone who knows zir to hold zir accountable for this, to remind zir and to help zir keep focus. This not only requires deep self-knowledge and humility but it means that your growth is shared by everyone around -- that it's almost a group project! the amount of openness, honesty, and utter vulnerability in that just floors me. And when a Sharer outgrows a Selfname, ze chooses another. (an interesting aspect of this is that in Sharer language, all actions are shared -- therefore, to be "the inconsiderate" is the same as to be "the unconsidered" because a more accurate translation would be "one who shares lack of consideration"... another of those mindbending concepts)

I've had several Selfnames. the progression of my Selfnames )

If you were to take a Selfname, what would it be? and please explain, if you can. All comments screened and will stay screened, of course.


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belenen: (progressing)
A Door Into Ocean -- Sharer Selfnames / my selfnames and yours
I just finished reading A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski, and I am awed. I've never had a fiction novel change me so deeply -- and in more than one way, at that! It gave me a new view of unity, something so subtle I don't quite know how to put it into words... Things I already knew but didn't know. I really cannot capture it myself -- you'd have to read it and feel it for yourself. If you feel a strong kinship to me I know it will touch you just as deeply (and it's been around a long time so it's not hard to find for super-cheap at a used book store or on Amazon).

I found a concept in the novel that has been reflected in my own life -- the Selfname. To claim adulthood, a Sharer chooses a Selfname, a descriptive term which is sometimes attached to their given name and sometimes used alone. Names such as "Impatient One" "Inconsiderate One" "Intemperate One" or "Lazy One." At first I was put off by this seeming self-effacement, but as I learned more I realized the purpose of this. A Sharer chooses a name and spends the rest of zir life renouncing it -- allowing everyone who knows zir to hold zir accountable for this, to remind zir and to help zir keep focus. This not only requires deep self-knowledge and humility but it means that your growth is shared by everyone around -- that it's almost a group project! the amount of openness, honesty, and utter vulnerability in that just floors me. And when a Sharer outgrows a Selfname, ze chooses another. (an interesting aspect of this is that in Sharer language, all actions are shared -- therefore, to be "the inconsiderate" is the same as to be "the unconsidered" because a more accurate translation would be "one who shares lack of consideration"... another of those mindbending concepts)

I've had several Selfnames. the progression of my Selfnames )

If you were to take a Selfname, what would it be? and please explain, if you can. All comments screened and will stay screened, of course.


back to top

belenen: (progressing)
A Door Into Ocean -- Sharer Selfnames / my selfnames and yours
I just finished reading A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski, and I am awed. I've never had a fiction novel change me so deeply -- and in more than one way, at that! It gave me a new view of unity, something so subtle I don't quite know how to put it into words... Things I already knew but didn't know. I really cannot capture it myself -- you'd have to read it and feel it for yourself. If you feel a strong kinship to me I know it will touch you just as deeply (and it's been around a long time so it's not hard to find for super-cheap at a used book store or on Amazon).

I found a concept in the novel that has been reflected in my own life -- the Selfname. To claim adulthood, a Sharer chooses a Selfname, a descriptive term which is sometimes attached to their given name and sometimes used alone. Names such as "Impatient One" "Inconsiderate One" "Intemperate One" or "Lazy One." At first I was put off by this seeming self-effacement, but as I learned more I realized the purpose of this. A Sharer chooses a name and spends the rest of zir life renouncing it -- allowing everyone who knows zir to hold zir accountable for this, to remind zir and to help zir keep focus. This not only requires deep self-knowledge and humility but it means that your growth is shared by everyone around -- that it's almost a group project! the amount of openness, honesty, and utter vulnerability in that just floors me. And when a Sharer outgrows a Selfname, ze chooses another. (an interesting aspect of this is that in Sharer language, all actions are shared -- therefore, to be "the inconsiderate" is the same as to be "the unconsidered" because a more accurate translation would be "one who shares lack of consideration"... another of those mindbending concepts)

I've had several Selfnames. the progression of my Selfnames )

If you were to take a Selfname, what would it be? and please explain, if you can. All comments screened and will stay screened, of course.


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belenen: (voltaic)
John Mayer's "Clarity" / revelations / savoring each moment / Biting the Sun / permanence, redefined
- John Mayer: Clarity -  )


I came across John Mayer's "Clarity" on my last.fm radio and I have been listening to it over and over. It fits my life perfectly at the moment, especially the seemingly unrelated title. Clarity. yes!

It has been nearly six weeks since I began falling in love with Aurilion (Lily, who has grown into zir true name) and Hannah. It's really amazing. I've been experiencing so many deep revelations, and above all, so much clarity! For a while it seemed every single post I made was some monumental exploration and expression, to the point where I got a little overwhelmed by it. Polyamory, gender, spirit-heart-soul-mind-body, deciding to change to gender-neutral pronouns, the story of Aurilion and I and Hannah and I, the stories people carry in them, characters in the story of my life, my tribe -- all in one month! And all of those posts were a big deal for me. I mean, most of what I post about is important to me, but each of these were... pivotal moments (I'm spinning! ;-)). And that's maybe half of what has been really happening within. *deep sigh*

At the beginning there was such a heady rush! So thrilling! and now it is deeper, more intense, so much more REAL, as Aurilion keeps saying. Like a delicious meal when you are very hungry -- the first bite is the most flavorful, but the real enjoyment sets in when the pang in your belly has eased and you slow to savor everything. (for me anyway) I think I fall in love fast and slow... the shields of my heart drop immediately but forming the cords that entwine with other hearts is a slow process. And oh, so lush, like a dance. I enjoy every twist and oh, the blending! *shivers*

I have changed my journal title and subtitle. the old title/subtitle ) My new title/subtitle is "Biting the Sun -- only in the burning do I taste that sweetest nectar." This refers to a proverb in my favorite book, Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee -- don't bite the sun, Traveler, you will burn your mouth. The unnamed narrator does 'bite at the sun,' stepping out of the bounds of zir society. The subtitle is a reminder to myself that only in crossing boundaries (self- or other- imposed) do I ever experience that which is truly extraordinary. Risk of pain surrounds all that which is sweetest, and to truly embrace those things I must also embrace that risk. this is the year of risk-taking!

When I fall in love with someone, I have always fixated on whether or not they will love me and be there for me forever. This time, I'm beginning something new with two people I have already loved and lost once; I know it is possible that they will cease to be part of my life. But I feel fully aware that the connection remains even if the relationship is not active, and that every moment spent in active relationship is priceless. If it ends, I will feel a dreadful loss, but more than that loss I will feel the gift of what was, and the surety that we will be reunited (even if not in this life). I don't feel worry or fear! I feel that I am drinking in every moment with utter gratitude.

and I will wait to find
if this will last forever


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belenen: (voltaic)
John Mayer's "Clarity" / revelations / savoring each moment / Biting the Sun / permanence, redefined
- John Mayer: Clarity -  )


I came across John Mayer's "Clarity" on my last.fm radio and I have been listening to it over and over. It fits my life perfectly at the moment, especially the seemingly unrelated title. Clarity. yes!

It has been nearly six weeks since I began falling in love with Aurilion (Lily, who has grown into zir true name) and Hannah. It's really amazing. I've been experiencing so many deep revelations, and above all, so much clarity! For a while it seemed every single post I made was some monumental exploration and expression, to the point where I got a little overwhelmed by it. Polyamory, gender, spirit-heart-soul-mind-body, deciding to change to gender-neutral pronouns, the story of Aurilion and I and Hannah and I, the stories people carry in them, characters in the story of my life, my tribe -- all in one month! And all of those posts were a big deal for me. I mean, most of what I post about is important to me, but each of these were... pivotal moments (I'm spinning! ;-)). And that's maybe half of what has been really happening within. *deep sigh*

At the beginning there was such a heady rush! So thrilling! and now it is deeper, more intense, so much more REAL, as Aurilion keeps saying. Like a delicious meal when you are very hungry -- the first bite is the most flavorful, but the real enjoyment sets in when the pang in your belly has eased and you slow to savor everything. (for me anyway) I think I fall in love fast and slow... the shields of my heart drop immediately but forming the cords that entwine with other hearts is a slow process. And oh, so lush, like a dance. I enjoy every twist and oh, the blending! *shivers*

I have changed my journal title and subtitle. the old title/subtitle ) My new title/subtitle is "Biting the Sun -- only in the burning do I taste that sweetest nectar." This refers to a proverb in my favorite book, Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee -- don't bite the sun, Traveler, you will burn your mouth. The unnamed narrator does 'bite at the sun,' stepping out of the bounds of zir society. The subtitle is a reminder to myself that only in crossing boundaries (self- or other- imposed) do I ever experience that which is truly extraordinary. Risk of pain surrounds all that which is sweetest, and to truly embrace those things I must also embrace that risk. this is the year of risk-taking!

When I fall in love with someone, I have always fixated on whether or not they will love me and be there for me forever. This time, I'm beginning something new with two people I have already loved and lost once; I know it is possible that they will cease to be part of my life. But I feel fully aware that the connection remains even if the relationship is not active, and that every moment spent in active relationship is priceless. If it ends, I will feel a dreadful loss, but more than that loss I will feel the gift of what was, and the surety that we will be reunited (even if not in this life). I don't feel worry or fear! I feel that I am drinking in every moment with utter gratitude.

and I will wait to find
if this will last forever


back to top

belenen: (voltaic)
John Mayer's "Clarity" / revelations / savoring each moment / Biting the Sun / permanence, redefined
- John Mayer: Clarity -  )


I came across John Mayer's "Clarity" on my last.fm radio and I have been listening to it over and over. It fits my life perfectly at the moment, especially the seemingly unrelated title. Clarity. yes!

It has been nearly six weeks since I began falling in love with Aurilion (Lily, who has grown into zir true name) and Hannah. It's really amazing. I've been experiencing so many deep revelations, and above all, so much clarity! For a while it seemed every single post I made was some monumental exploration and expression, to the point where I got a little overwhelmed by it. Polyamory, gender, spirit-heart-soul-mind-body, deciding to change to gender-neutral pronouns, the story of Aurilion and I and Hannah and I, the stories people carry in them, characters in the story of my life, my tribe -- all in one month! And all of those posts were a big deal for me. I mean, most of what I post about is important to me, but each of these were... pivotal moments (I'm spinning! ;-)). And that's maybe half of what has been really happening within. *deep sigh*

At the beginning there was such a heady rush! So thrilling! and now it is deeper, more intense, so much more REAL, as Aurilion keeps saying. Like a delicious meal when you are very hungry -- the first bite is the most flavorful, but the real enjoyment sets in when the pang in your belly has eased and you slow to savor everything. (for me anyway) I think I fall in love fast and slow... the shields of my heart drop immediately but forming the cords that entwine with other hearts is a slow process. And oh, so lush, like a dance. I enjoy every twist and oh, the blending! *shivers*

I have changed my journal title and subtitle. the old title/subtitle ) My new title/subtitle is "Biting the Sun -- only in the burning do I taste that sweetest nectar." This refers to a proverb in my favorite book, Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee -- don't bite the sun, Traveler, you will burn your mouth. The unnamed narrator does 'bite at the sun,' stepping out of the bounds of zir society. The subtitle is a reminder to myself that only in crossing boundaries (self- or other- imposed) do I ever experience that which is truly extraordinary. Risk of pain surrounds all that which is sweetest, and to truly embrace those things I must also embrace that risk. this is the year of risk-taking!

When I fall in love with someone, I have always fixated on whether or not they will love me and be there for me forever. This time, I'm beginning something new with two people I have already loved and lost once; I know it is possible that they will cease to be part of my life. But I feel fully aware that the connection remains even if the relationship is not active, and that every moment spent in active relationship is priceless. If it ends, I will feel a dreadful loss, but more than that loss I will feel the gift of what was, and the surety that we will be reunited (even if not in this life). I don't feel worry or fear! I feel that I am drinking in every moment with utter gratitude.

and I will wait to find
if this will last forever


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belenen: (hypnotiq)
financial stress / affirmative action / ashleylily stuff
Life has been stressssss-FUL lately. Mainly financial stuff... Ben and I were counting on him being promoted into management now, and it didn't happen. Two less-qualified people were promoted over him, a black man and a white woman, and he feels sure it was because of political reasons (race/sex quotas). (He knows the two people: their history, temperament, and qualifications) He spoke with his manager and his manager gave the impression that he agreed. Ben was pretty irritated about it... but I feel that sometimes injustice is the only way to make up for injustice. I would probably be more upset if it was ME who got left behind, because I'd feel hurt that my managers didn't make it happen for me, but as it is, I'm okay with it. I am definitely feeling the pinch of this, and it's not right -- but I feel it is necessary. This one time, those two people may have been favored, but usually, they will have to deal with a hell of a lot more oppression and discrimination than Ben (and myself, as his dependent) will. It shouldn't have happened, especially not to Ben because he was absolutely the best person for the position, but if it tips the scales a little bit more toward equality, I think it's a necessary wrong. Dunno how long my stance on that would hold if it happened over and over though, heh.

I am upset over not having money though. I have a veryvery late birthday present for 'Kenzie that has been sitting here and I haven't had the money to send it off, and then Hannah, Kate, Meliae's birthdays went by and I couldn't get anything :-( And then there is the stress of bills hanging over our heads, and the car desperately needs repair... and I need to spend time with Hannah, not want, NEED. I'm not willing to go back to Wal-Mart, and with sharing one car that we can't drive any more than absolutely necessary, getting a job elsewhere is not realistic. We're hoping that Ben gets this other position that just opened up, but he hasn't been interviewed yet so that is up in the air. He said he'd enjoy that one a lot more than the other so we're reeeeeeeeeeally hoping... otherwise we have to scrape by until April when the next management opening comes up. So please pray or send positive energy his way about that, it would make our lives so incredibly much better.

The financial stuff has the effect of leaving me housebound, which is a rather depressing thing for me, especially since I REALLY want to spend time with SabR and Kazi... but I've had positivity come into my life in the form of my friends. Last week my monitor turned very greenish (thank you Murphy), and I told Kazi about it, who told Brian, who drove allllll the way over to give me his extra monitor AND look at my car. I was so happy that he went out of his way for me like that. AND I got my birthday present from Kate!!! I will save describing it for when I have photos but lemme tell you, I am just THRILLED!!!

ashley/lily stuff )


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belenen: (hypnotiq)
financial stress / affirmative action / ashleylily stuff
Life has been stressssss-FUL lately. Mainly financial stuff... Ben and I were counting on him being promoted into management now, and it didn't happen. Two less-qualified people were promoted over him, a black man and a white woman, and he feels sure it was because of political reasons (race/sex quotas). (He knows the two people: their history, temperament, and qualifications) He spoke with his manager and his manager gave the impression that he agreed. Ben was pretty irritated about it... but I feel that sometimes injustice is the only way to make up for injustice. I would probably be more upset if it was ME who got left behind, because I'd feel hurt that my managers didn't make it happen for me, but as it is, I'm okay with it. I am definitely feeling the pinch of this, and it's not right -- but I feel it is necessary. This one time, those two people may have been favored, but usually, they will have to deal with a hell of a lot more oppression and discrimination than Ben (and myself, as his dependent) will. It shouldn't have happened, especially not to Ben because he was absolutely the best person for the position, but if it tips the scales a little bit more toward equality, I think it's a necessary wrong. Dunno how long my stance on that would hold if it happened over and over though, heh.

I am upset over not having money though. I have a veryvery late birthday present for 'Kenzie that has been sitting here and I haven't had the money to send it off, and then Hannah, Kate, Meliae's birthdays went by and I couldn't get anything :-( And then there is the stress of bills hanging over our heads, and the car desperately needs repair... and I need to spend time with Hannah, not want, NEED. I'm not willing to go back to Wal-Mart, and with sharing one car that we can't drive any more than absolutely necessary, getting a job elsewhere is not realistic. We're hoping that Ben gets this other position that just opened up, but he hasn't been interviewed yet so that is up in the air. He said he'd enjoy that one a lot more than the other so we're reeeeeeeeeeally hoping... otherwise we have to scrape by until April when the next management opening comes up. So please pray or send positive energy his way about that, it would make our lives so incredibly much better.

The financial stuff has the effect of leaving me housebound, which is a rather depressing thing for me, especially since I REALLY want to spend time with SabR and Kazi... but I've had positivity come into my life in the form of my friends. Last week my monitor turned very greenish (thank you Murphy), and I told Kazi about it, who told Brian, who drove allllll the way over to give me his extra monitor AND look at my car. I was so happy that he went out of his way for me like that. AND I got my birthday present from Kate!!! I will save describing it for when I have photos but lemme tell you, I am just THRILLED!!!

ashley/lily stuff )


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belenen: (hypnotiq)
financial stress / affirmative action / ashleylily stuff
Life has been stressssss-FUL lately. Mainly financial stuff... Ben and I were counting on him being promoted into management now, and it didn't happen. Two less-qualified people were promoted over him, a black man and a white woman, and he feels sure it was because of political reasons (race/sex quotas). (He knows the two people: their history, temperament, and qualifications) He spoke with his manager and his manager gave the impression that he agreed. Ben was pretty irritated about it... but I feel that sometimes injustice is the only way to make up for injustice. I would probably be more upset if it was ME who got left behind, because I'd feel hurt that my managers didn't make it happen for me, but as it is, I'm okay with it. I am definitely feeling the pinch of this, and it's not right -- but I feel it is necessary. This one time, those two people may have been favored, but usually, they will have to deal with a hell of a lot more oppression and discrimination than Ben (and myself, as his dependent) will. It shouldn't have happened, especially not to Ben because he was absolutely the best person for the position, but if it tips the scales a little bit more toward equality, I think it's a necessary wrong. Dunno how long my stance on that would hold if it happened over and over though, heh.

I am upset over not having money though. I have a veryvery late birthday present for 'Kenzie that has been sitting here and I haven't had the money to send it off, and then Hannah, Kate, Meliae's birthdays went by and I couldn't get anything :-( And then there is the stress of bills hanging over our heads, and the car desperately needs repair... and I need to spend time with Hannah, not want, NEED. I'm not willing to go back to Wal-Mart, and with sharing one car that we can't drive any more than absolutely necessary, getting a job elsewhere is not realistic. We're hoping that Ben gets this other position that just opened up, but he hasn't been interviewed yet so that is up in the air. He said he'd enjoy that one a lot more than the other so we're reeeeeeeeeeally hoping... otherwise we have to scrape by until April when the next management opening comes up. So please pray or send positive energy his way about that, it would make our lives so incredibly much better.

The financial stuff has the effect of leaving me housebound, which is a rather depressing thing for me, especially since I REALLY want to spend time with SabR and Kazi... but I've had positivity come into my life in the form of my friends. Last week my monitor turned very greenish (thank you Murphy), and I told Kazi about it, who told Brian, who drove allllll the way over to give me his extra monitor AND look at my car. I was so happy that he went out of his way for me like that. AND I got my birthday present from Kate!!! I will save describing it for when I have photos but lemme tell you, I am just THRILLED!!!

ashley/lily stuff )


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belenen: (progressing)
I sent this to Anika yesterday...
I sent this to Anika yesterday )
connecting: ,


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belenen: (hypnotiq)
eeeee tomorrow photoshoot! / nicknames
eeeeee! I'm so nervous and excited. Tomorrow I have a photoshoot with this photographer (link is NWS)! And [livejournal.com profile] alariya is driving me there and acting as my chaperone. ;-)

*twitches* I need to be in bed and asleep in an hour, and I still have to wash my hair. Which is no longer such a huge project but OH MY GOSH I'M NERVOUS!!! I can't think. Now that I've gotten down to it and it's in less than 24 hours I am just JITTERY. And yay to M-Kat and Aubrey (sorry I didn't call you back, I couldn't find the phone when it was ringing and then I forgot until now when I am too crazy) for posting those awesome memes and I can't wait to do them but I can't do them now because they'd be interrupted by utter stupidity.

Also, I nickname my favorites (or use a nickname that is very important to them, or that is rarely used by others) and I have been TRYING to think of something for Hannah, it's driving me crazy. *thinks like a wild philosopher*

And OMG I ADORE it when someone is writing me a letter or email and they sign it by the nickname I call them, it makes me feel like they trust me and believe in my love for them. ♥ ♥ ♥

*dances off crazily*
feelings: nervous
connecting: ,


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belenen: (hypnotiq)
eeeee tomorrow photoshoot! / nicknames
eeeeee! I'm so nervous and excited. Tomorrow I have a photoshoot with this photographer (link is NWS)! And [livejournal.com profile] alariya is driving me there and acting as my chaperone. ;-)

*twitches* I need to be in bed and asleep in an hour, and I still have to wash my hair. Which is no longer such a huge project but OH MY GOSH I'M NERVOUS!!! I can't think. Now that I've gotten down to it and it's in less than 24 hours I am just JITTERY. And yay to M-Kat and Aubrey (sorry I didn't call you back, I couldn't find the phone when it was ringing and then I forgot until now when I am too crazy) for posting those awesome memes and I can't wait to do them but I can't do them now because they'd be interrupted by utter stupidity.

Also, I nickname my favorites (or use a nickname that is very important to them, or that is rarely used by others) and I have been TRYING to think of something for Hannah, it's driving me crazy. *thinks like a wild philosopher*

And OMG I ADORE it when someone is writing me a letter or email and they sign it by the nickname I call them, it makes me feel like they trust me and believe in my love for them. ♥ ♥ ♥

*dances off crazily*
feelings: nervous
connecting: ,


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belenen: (hypnotiq)
eeeee tomorrow photoshoot! / nicknames
eeeeee! I'm so nervous and excited. Tomorrow I have a photoshoot with this photographer (link is NWS)! And [livejournal.com profile] alariya is driving me there and acting as my chaperone. ;-)

*twitches* I need to be in bed and asleep in an hour, and I still have to wash my hair. Which is no longer such a huge project but OH MY GOSH I'M NERVOUS!!! I can't think. Now that I've gotten down to it and it's in less than 24 hours I am just JITTERY. And yay to M-Kat and Aubrey (sorry I didn't call you back, I couldn't find the phone when it was ringing and then I forgot until now when I am too crazy) for posting those awesome memes and I can't wait to do them but I can't do them now because they'd be interrupted by utter stupidity.

Also, I nickname my favorites (or use a nickname that is very important to them, or that is rarely used by others) and I have been TRYING to think of something for Hannah, it's driving me crazy. *thinks like a wild philosopher*

And OMG I ADORE it when someone is writing me a letter or email and they sign it by the nickname I call them, it makes me feel like they trust me and believe in my love for them. ♥ ♥ ♥

*dances off crazily*
feelings: nervous
connecting: ,


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belenen: photo of me with violet hair looking down, with a water-reflection overlay (ethereal)
name -- Krista? / polly gave me the 30th off!
When filling out my info at orientation, I first wrote "Kristen" in the blank that said "Name you are called." But it just wasn't right, and I couldn't stop staring at it. Finally I wrote an "a" over the "en," making it "Krista," and made my name badges say the same thing. I didn't know why, I just needed to... So I'm trying on "Krista" to see if it fits. I thought my name would come to me in a flash of clarity, not a random whim -- but time will tell. Right now it just feels weird. Which do you think suits me better -- Kristen or Krista? I like the openness of "Krista," as well as the fact that I've never met one.

"Bel" will be a name that only those who read my journal are allowed to call me. To me it represents an understanding which can only be found through reading my journal.

Oh, good news! Polly doesn't hate me! She switched my schedule so that I have the 30th off, and I already have the 1st off, so YAY I get to spend time with Anika and Alariya! (which, by the way, is pronounced ah-LAH-ree-ya, with a rolled R. Not al-AIR-ee-uh)

And I realized that I had gotten very upset with God over that, almost in tears because he 'just wasn't giving me a break,' and I pleaded with him to make Polly give me that day off, not thinking that he would. But Polly didn't even quibble at all, she immediately said she'd work it out and was very friendly about it. So -- thanks, God, and I'm sorry that I'm not being more grateful, and I'm sorry I didn't trust you to help me. Thank you for helping me anyway, and I hope I can learn to trust you more.
sounds: Flunk: "Six-Seven Times"
connecting: , , ,


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belenen: (analytical)
I need a new name. I don't know how to introduce myself anymore.
I honestly cannot identify with my birth name at all anymore. I still think it's pretty, but it's so very un-me. Look at this thing:

what my birth name means )

It's the most uncomfortable feeling, not knowing your own name. And poor Ben can only call me endearments.

I will be SO. very. happy. when I finally find it. It feels like a key to my soul. How can I get my inner self to respond if I can't even call her name?


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belenen: (analytical)
I need a new name. I don't know how to introduce myself anymore.
I honestly cannot identify with my birth name at all anymore. I still think it's pretty, but it's so very un-me. Look at this thing:

what my birth name means )

It's the most uncomfortable feeling, not knowing your own name. And poor Ben can only call me endearments.

I will be SO. very. happy. when I finally find it. It feels like a key to my soul. How can I get my inner self to respond if I can't even call her name?
connecting: ,


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