Archive for May, 2010
I feel profoundly delighted to have just discovered at ¡Qué sinvergüenza!, the latest stop on the virtual book tour for Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, a breathtakingly flattering mention of my story in the book.
Lila at ¡Qué sinvergüenza! excerpts from my story “Power over Power” and prefaces it with this statement: “The best kind of books, I find, are books that explain you to yourself, better than you ever could.”
Truly, there is hardly anything that could be said about something I’ve written that I would find more flattering. (She is speaking of the whole book, of course, but uses my story to illustrate an example.)
Thank you so much to Lila, and remember, the Please, Sir virtual book tour continues through the end of May!
“All I really know is what I see, and everybody sees it differently, I wish someone could open up my heart and look inside of me, but I’m the only one who holds the key…”
-REO Speedwagon “The Key”
I have a post up today at F-Stop: Expose the Naked I, the blog project of Neve Black, Donna George Storey, and Shanna Germain. If you’re not familiar with F-Stop and/or are interested in contributing, I encourage you to check out the site’s statement of intention.
Thank you Donna, Shanna, and Neve for hosting me.
“I try to climb your steps, I try to chase you down, I try to see how low I can get down to the ground, I try to earn my way, I try to tame this mind, you better believe that I have tried to beat this…”
-Lifehouse “Sick Cycle Carousel”
As I listened to her voice and saw amidst her hesitation a hint of arousal, I started to get hard. This had turned her on. There was no question. She wouldn’t be so shy about relating it now if she hadn’t felt turned on by the letter.
-from “The Plant on the Mantel”
A few months ago my breathworker invoked the notion of the proposed three fundamental aspects of life (according to Hindu tradition, I think) of Creation, Maintenance, and Destruction. Upon hearing it, I immediately felt a sense of my historical relationship to each.
Creation, I knew immediately, had often been hindered in me by the harshness of perfectionism. While having felt oriented to creating sometimes, I knew the scathing internal demand of never messing up or making a mistake or doing something not the “right” way had held me back sometimes from even starting, much less finishing, something creatively. This aspect of the three struck me as the “medium” historical orientation in me.
I have been terrible—terrible—at destruction. That itself was not new to my recognizance, but this triadic context was, so it was an interesting new way to view it. Letting go, on multiple levels and in numerous ways, has tended to feel somewhere from foreign to panic-inducing to me. The idea of consciously allowing something to be destroyed or to destroy it as a part of natural flow has often seemed so unimaginable to me it felt funny to even type that.
It was instantaneously obvious to me that the aspect to which I have felt most heavily oriented is maintenance. Once I have felt familiar with something, known how to do it, and thus something in me has felt satisfied that it may perform as close to perfectly as possible, or at least make relatively fewer mistakes, it has seemed to feel most comfortable.
A few weeks ago I had the incredible opportunity to attend a personal gathering with Adyashanti. I first heard of Adyashanti last summer when the facilitators of the ongoing Inner Work group of which am a part recommended his book The End of Your World. I read The End of Your World last September, at which time it took its place as the second most important book I feel I have experienced in my adult lifetime.
At the event, prior to Adya’s appearance, I was sitting and waiting in silence, as we had been requested to hold upon entering the meeting room. I didn’t feel consciously nervous about anything, but I noticed a tense feeling in my chest. I wondered what I felt tense about.
I kept breathing consciously, focusing only vaguely on the question, and suddenly an awareness flashed through me. It was immediate, lasting only a second, and it was not a suspicion, or a thought, or a figuring something out. It was a seeing—an instantaneous, embodied realization.
My lungs automatically tense upon exhale.
Automatically. Not when I feel a certain way. Not when I feel nervous. Not when I’m experiencing anxiety, or focused on something particular. Simply upon exhale. My lungs tense automatically in the very face of exhale.
And there it is. The most fundamental of letting go.
This feels like a very intimate realization about my body. While in a way it does not surprise me at all, seeing on what a core level this pattern has been ingrained and manifested in me was(/is) stunning. Somehow my lungs/body learned that the fundamental act of exhale, of release, was scary and threatening and that I needed to “protect” myself from it and tense against it. So much so that this physical pattern developed that has likely been in action for decades.
The metaphorical reflections and extrapolations I see of this in my life are innumerable, so much so that it almost seems it would be easier to look at times when this has not been evident. Recently my acupuncturist and I were talking about the element in traditional Five-Element Acupuncture that seems most prominent in me (the main corresponding organ of which happens to be the lungs), and she described this element’s tendency to “hoard,” to hold on to things—which in turn makes it difficult for new things to come in. There simply isn’t room. To recall the triadic aspect of “destruction,” this, as I understand it, would be its basic purpose: to clear out/destroy what no longer serves. To never destroy or release anything interrupts the flow of life and the Universe. Destruction allows room for creation, offering the opportunity for maintenance…and so on.
Ultimately, I feel enormous, deep gratitude for the exquisite opportunity to have seen something so profound and intimate about myself/my body. So much so that really it feels indescribable.
I am scheduled to appear at F-Stop: Expose the Naked I (the blog founded by Neve Black, Shanna Germain, and Donna George Storey) this coming Sunday. I know what I plan to write about (or at least what has come forth so far), and I have attributed the nervousness I have been feeling about it to the feeling of wanting to impart what I’m saying exactly right…to do it justice, perhaps? I have felt some resistance to working on it for the reasons described around “creation” above. And, of course, when it comes time to finish it, which does seem to me a form of letting go, I may see challenge in that as well. I suspect the unconscious in me has most often felt most comfortable at the “maintenance” stage of writing, this middle/”working on it” phase allowing some relaxation of the vicious standard of perfection—if there is no finished product, there is nothing that has to be “perfect.”
The “maintenance” stage is where my piece for F-Stop is right now. This (somewhat rambling, I suppose) exposition may be serving as a precursor to the openness and clarity writing it feels like it is going to take from me.
“Take a deep breath” has been a mantra of mine for some time. No matter what I am doing, it is where I begin and to where I return.
And so, breathing consciously, I go.
“There’s no one else to make the moves that you can do…your every breath becomes another world…take a breath, take a deep breath now…”
-David Gilmour “Take a Breath”
The complete lineup may be found on the Please, Sir blog here. As is evident from it, today’s host is the fabulous Erobintica! She has some questions, so visit her post to see what they are and join the conversation.
Please, Sir is out now in both print and Kindle formats. The introduction and table of contents may be found here on the Please, Sir blog (where my interview as an author in the book also appears), and the book has been reviewed this month at Erotica Revealed. And, if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the hot Please, Sir book trailer here!
“Push the limit, are you with it, baby don’t be afraid, I’m gonna hurt you real good baby; let’s go, it’s my show, baby do what I say…close your eyes, not your mind, let me into your soul…”
-Adam Lambert “For Your Entertainment” (a song from which I know I already used a different quote, but it seems so perfect for this theme I can’t resist using it more)