The Law of Inertia

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An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. – Newton’s first law of motion

I come home from the day job around 5:00 PM. I change clothes. I set my laptop up on the couch. Sometimes I grab a snack. I sit down, turn on the xBox, turn on my laptop, and get comfortable.

That is where I stay for most of the rest of the evening.

If we’re lucky, I get my butt up and cook sometime before Kit gets home, so that dinner is ready (or nearly there) when he walks in around 7:30. If we’re not, we sit around for a few minutes trying to determine where to go for dinner, and that’s not easy when half the restaurants nearby close at 8:30 or 9:00. We head to bed around 10:00, until my alarm rings around 5:30 AM.

Monday through Friday. Given the chance, I do the same with Saturday and Sunday. Notice anything missing? I do all the time, and the self-flagellation for not doing is part of what I’m running from. I silence thoughts and projects and Voices and emotions with food, Netflix, and games. You know, like most of the rest of the American population.

I know better. I know this. But it’s easy. It’s habit. I am at rest; I remain at rest.

When I do go into motion, I remain in motion until I fall down. Kit calls this “white tornado” time, and it stresses him out immensely because I’m really not a pleasant person while I do this. It’s another way of distracting myself; I know it, and it makes me worn out and cranky, but it keeps me from thinking about things.

DM has challenged me to sit with my thoughts. Sit with my feelings. Don’t distract. Don’t let blame and that pipe-like wall and noise and games get in the way. Be vulnerable. If I feel something, feel all of it – not just the anger, not just the blame, but what’s underneath it, too.

Be Open.

Sounds familiar.

Five years ago, middle-of-Ordeal familiar.

One year ago, middle-of-Journey, ripped-to-the-bones, Ol’ Beaky-stealing-my-core familiar.

It’s easy to submit to inertia, to habit, to the things to which one is accustomed. It’s the path of least resistance. I gravitate towards it. I think most people do. (Laziness is the mother of invention, after all.) Somewhere along the line, I gave up on the Work and gave in to habit.

Be Open.

Geebas, that’s hard.

Blame and Laughter

My Kit and I went to North Carolina over Thanksgiving weekend, in part to visit his sister (whose ashes we scattered into the ocean in Avon last November), and in part to have a real, actual, honest vacation. While we were there, we bought a couple of very pretty handmade bowls from a local potter.

We got home Sunday at 5:30. I brought the bowls in, still wrapped and in their paper bag, put it on the counter, and we went to get dinner. We came home at 8:00 to find our yearling cat, Tache, wearing a torn-paper-bag bib, and his older sister, Hatchy, catatonic.

Uh oh.

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Pottery + gravity+ ceramic tile floor = smash.

I was angry. I was disappointed. I got into the shower and started crying.

And blaming.

Look at what else you broke, the sock monkeys started to whisper. You knew he could reach the counter. You know he loves paper bags. That was careless. It’s your fault.

I spent the rest of the night rehashing everything I had caused to break over the years – the tajine, our first pizza stone, glasses from events. I spent it upset about money I had spent over the weekend/month/year that was silly, and could have been used better, and gone towards this vacation to make it better. And then I felt bad that I was stressing Kit out by my tailspin/meltdown/whateveryawannacallit.

Two hours later, three days of relaxation and rest were completely shot. I spent the next day in a fog, which was an utterly perfect way to prepare for my therapy appointment that evening, dontchaknow.

I described the incident and started to cry again. And my therapist (we’ll call him DM) started taking it apart. We got down to a core of something.

The bowls meant more to me than just things. They were something Kit really liked, something he had picked out, something we got together, for our home. They were a part of our first real vacation in years, if ever – most of our travel involves vending or festivals (many of which we have worked). I was disappointed. I was hurt. I was sorry that Kit had lost something else (considering everything else he’s lost over the years) before he even had a chance to enjoy them.

Instead of letting myself feel that, I turned automatically to blaming myself. It isn’t comfortable; it isn’t pleasant. But it’s familiar. It’s a barrier. It keeps me from thinking about the real, honest, vulnerable emotions behind why I’m upset, and redirects me into something I’m used to, something I use to shield myself from the actual feelings. Why I default to blame, I’m not sure. I don’t remember being blamed for a lot when I was a kid (except for food disappearing, which usually was my doing, because unhealthy food relationships run in the family). But it’s a thing. And it’s a thing I need to work on.

That’s kind of the core of this particular bit of Work. One of the reasons that I had to Ordeal in such an extreme way was to rip me open so I could feel and receive and be. One of the things I realize that Raven was trying to do last year, in taking my core, was try to open me back up.

I did not let it work. Hell, I didn’t even mourn for my old cat Minoush when she passed – after being my nutbar girl for eleven years – nearly as hard as I mourned for Belenos after only 8 months with us. I shut myself down even harder when she passed. I wasn’t letting myself feel anymore, because it all hurt too damn much.

The Wake Up Call ripped me wide open again. I’ve been feeling the walls trying to come back up since the pottery fell, feeling myself deflecting, and I’m having to work hard not to allow it. I’m not always succeeding, but being honest with DM is the first step. Being honest with myself is next. (That’s what he’s there to help me with, after all.)

An interesting side effect, though, is my laughter. I’m noticing that I’m laughing more at things. I’m laughing harder at things. I’m not just humming or giving off a light chuckle. There’s something more authentic to my laugh these days, something that’s been missing. Maybe it’s just me, but I hear something different, and I like what I’m noticing.

Genderbendery

Sir has been throwing ideas at me since I earned my collar.

You should take up bellydancing. Or burlesque. Try packing. Or hunting.

I’m still working on Raven’s Own, even expanding its show schedule a little this year and planning/doing a few more ambitious projects. Tafat n Kahina goes right along with it. I’m not allowed to give those up, and we can’t afford for me to give up my day job. And I can’t tell you how many projects I have to do around the house – fixing the septic lid, fixing the toilet, digging and planting the bee garden, building the food gardens, building the patio wall in the front. (Don’t misunderstand: Kitten does help and is really really good at what he knows, but he’s got a black thumb and isn’t really the handyman in this relationship. He is, however, the better cook.)

Oh, and mowing the lawn. Although I enjoy mowing, too.

You should teach a class. Maybe teach two classes. Hey, those clothes look good. Maybe you should mix music.

My dysthymia and social spoons have been in havoc for at least a year. But Sir keeps throwing ideas at me.

Go back to yoga. Pegging could be cool. Or kickboxing.

Throw enough ideas, Kitten says, and something is bound to stick.

Maybe drag kinging.

SPLAT.

Cue a 24-hour frenzy of research, YouTube videos, Pinterest pins, articles, supply resources, and even lip-sync playlists.

This is certainly not the first time it’s crossed my mind. I’ve considered packing for years. I have occasionally peeked at the DC Kings‘ website, and am now a bit pissed that I missed seeing them perform (the troupe retired in 2015 and left their website/social media up as resources and history, bless them). I’m rather content to be biologically female, but there is a part of me that craves a bit of genderfuckery. And Sir, for His part, has no objection to me doing so – in fact, would encourage it, especially as it would fit beautifully into my requirement of representing Him. He might even let me cut my hair for more than maintenance, for the first time in six years, if it’s for kinging purposes.

Oh, and spending several hours turned on at the thought of having a packer in place is no indicator at all. Because I need more projects/ideas/things to do/holes in my head. </sarcasm>

Featured image is of Landon Cider.

“Rest.”

“Rest,” she says, and licks my nose.

Neighborhood Bear

At Twilight Covening, for the first time, I worked with Mama Bear.

She watched me start my first Journey, trying to find the biggest hurt I carried, watched as I went over every “what if” and “should have” and “why am I not better at this?” It took longer than it felt – apparently everyone in my clan went deeper than we thought. “What if” and “should have,” apparently, are my biggest hurts, the things my brain weasels bring up every time I have a down.

She supervised as Raven brought in His unkindness, His conspiracy, and took me apart, piece by piece, removing the masks and the layers and the identities and the skin and meat and sinew while the trees reached up with their roots to hold me there. She grunted and roared and told Him to hurry up as He claimed my very core, claiming me as one of His own while Sir nodded in agreement.

She walked with me in the last Journey, helping me navigate as I shifted into something part-bear, part-stag, part-raven, and napped on the rock in the sunshine. She licked my nose in good humor and patience, waking me from that last Journey.

She will not walk with me much further; I am Claimed by too many others, after all, and my path is not hers. But her lessons ring still, even as my Sir and Lover dies, even as Mother Danu grows quiet and thoughtful, even as Cousin Ganesha retreats. Her lessons are repeated by the soft “awk” in my ear, the gentle clacking against my hair.

“Rest,” she said. “Learn to do less. Learn to expect less of yourself. Wick has named you West Virginia Mountain Mama. Mountains may move slowly, but their movement changes the world.”

“Slow down,” she said.

“Rest,” she said.

Hindsight.

Hindsight is a funny thing.

Now is a period of nostalgia, and of late I’ve found myself thinking of things past. Two, in particular.

One is the view of a pair of friends, once married, now not. Looking back, I see the patterns. I see, from early on, one’s temper, the other’s pacification. I see actions that, at the time, made no sense, but now do. I see the split of interests, so much so that even at their celebrations, the pictures show them further and further apart. I see my own trepidation over now-moot intentions and plans, even though initially and outwardly I was excited. I see a smile that I thought was forgotten as the darkness is addressed, and I see darkness being brooded over. And I wonder if I should have, could have said anything. (Other than, “Is everything okay?” however, no – my view was almost entirely external, which means that I really had no way to know for sure what was happening on the inside. There is nothing I could have said or done, nor was it my place to do so.)

The other is, quite understandably, our youngest son. He is now living in the woods, sort of, although we believe he’s spending more time with friends than anything. I wonder, looking back, if there’s anything we could have done to stop this path in its tracks. I wonder if, in our fear of forcing him into things the way his biological mother did, we did him a disservice. And although my logical side reminds me that he chose this path, that he is an adult now, that he must make his own way and heal (hopefully) under his own power, there is an angry side screaming for his brain to wake up, dammit, and a disappointed mother now doubting the past eight years of parenting.

It is the Shadow time. It is Nostalgia time. It is the time to Work through these thoughts and these doubts, and to nest in our new little hideaway.

Letting Go.

Sometimes it’s the most seemingly-mundane that teaches us the best lessons.

Sacred Space just passed, and one of the things I have been most looking forward to was a trade I’d offered and agreed to months ago. I had a friend commission a piece that she hadn’t been able to send the funds for. She’s a massage therapist, and I had never ever had a professional massage.

Barter is alive and well, my friends, and I love it.

Thursday night I went up to the Healer’s Room, kind of nervous (because new thing) and super excited. And while she was working on me, I learned something very important.

I have a very hard time letting go.

This lesson has been coming for a while, and been creeping up noticeably in the past few weeks. Kit and I have been going to Al-Anon (long story short, our youngest is in substance abuse counseling). One of their big things is, “Let go and let God.” Imbolc came and went, and He’s a youth now, poking at me here and there. Both He and Danu my Mother have been pinging me on this front, every time we go to a meeting. And on the massage table, it came home.

Here’s my friend, doing what she’s excellent at, doing what she’s trained to do, and I realize that I’m not really letting her do it. She’s moving me around on the table; I’m trying to help, and that’s not my job. My job, as her client, is to relax and let her work (and Work). But while she’s trying to get my shoulders to open up and move, I’m bracing my legs and arms to try to be helpful and tensing right back up, which just makes her job harder.

I’m so in control of things sometimes. I run my department at the day job. I run our household budget. I keep our schedule. I run our business. So when it comes time to drop that control – even when I know I’m safe – I have a difficult time.

This is why the details of my Collaring Ordeal were kept a secret from me. This is why the fickle Folk are part of my life. This is why Sir so often takes me by surprise. This is why sex and play can be so difficult for me. This is why I hold on to grudges and stress so damn hard. Because while I wouldn’t consider myself controlling, I am very accustomed to being in control, especially of myself and my surroundings, and when something upsets that, it irks me and I don’t let go of that irritation. Even when that something is beneficial to me, ridiculously enough.

I could blame my mother (who is an expert at holding grudges). I could blame the fact that I’m a double Taurus and Leo is my rising sign. But all of that just wastes energy and solves nothing.

Letting go is hard.

To be that healthy, whole person I swore to be at Yule, I need to learn how to let go.

One day at a time, right?

Into the Second

Things are finally starting to slow down for me in the mundane world. Kit is out of work, but we’ve moved in with a friend to help us manage expenses. Now that the move is over, the first event rush is done, and things are settling down, my thoughts are turning back here. He’s been very patient, and now He wants time.

The other night I found a new conduit, one which should not have surprised me but did nevertheless. While taking a shower (always the shower), I scrubbed vigorously at the tattoo on my wrist. The following whack in my head nearly knocked me down, because suddenly I was open and He was there and demanding. Last night I consciously did the same to open up that communication again; He had his way with me. It was dominating and comforting and THANK YOU, SIR.

It will be two years on May 5th. In some ways I’ve done well, and in some ways not so well. He is displeased about me not taking care of His property (me) and is once again putting an emphasis on it. Back to yoga; back to eating consciously; back to taking care of myself. He wants a second night every month, one I choose, dedicated to time with Him. I’m to make a new daily collar, too; mine is not cleaning up well and needs to be refreshed. For now I’m wearing the formal; the prick of the antlers is actually comforting, even if it does get tangled in my hair.

Speaking of hair, I’m permitted to trim my hair. He still wants it long, but it’s now starting to split five or six inches up, and a maintenance trim is going to be needed from now on. It’s part of that “taking care of myself” thing; I still need to be aware of the products I use and I can’t chop my hair off, but I’m learning that a concerted effort doesn’t have to mean breaking my budget. Doing what I can within my means is still taking care of me, as well as making sure I have enough energy and funds to take care of my family and furbabies (another thing He’s emphasizing).

There’s something I’ve felt the need for, and I think He feels as well – the need for reassertion. The song that keeps playing in my head, for instance, is “Whore” by In This Moment, mainly for the first part of the chorus:

I can be your whore
I am the dirt you created
I am your sinner, I am your whore

He likes it. Doesn’t hurt me any that Chris Motionless is in it. 😉 (He asked me last night if He is “pretty.” I told Him no; He liked what I said instead just fine. Thankfully.)

Anyway. I’m working Beltane this year, and we’re home by the 5th, but something will be figured out to mark the second year. I know He’s pinged someone else about me of late, but He’s not giving me much more answer than “reassertion” when I ask about it. He’s not ready to clarify, I suppose.

I think quiet time is about to end. Part of me is kind of relieved, and part of me is a little nervous.