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.

WANT.

A dear, lovely friend of mine has been sharing some images with me. The speaker on these images is a recently-popularized semi-complicated comic book character based on a very complicated Deity. This is a Deity I have no interest in inviting, and I have no interest in debating the character versus the Deity, either. It is as simple as this: I find the actor sexy; the idea is hot; the context of the words are especially hot. (I do love my porn in writing.)

“Layer by layer, I will strip you of your inhibitions. I will give you the freedom you deny yourself. I will set myself upon you and awaken all that lies beneath.”

“You aren’t going to come until I tell you to, is that understood?”

“I needn’t touch you to give you release. But if you behave, I will.”

Ah, my frightened fawn, I the hunter, have captured you, my sweet prey. Now I’ll have my way with you.

Some of it is total psuedo-romantic bullshit a bit flowery. But behind so many of them is this undercurrent of ownership. Of being used, and used well. Of being beneath the boot, the will, the hand of One Who Owns.

And it makes me miss Sir terribly.

There is a desperate want being built up by these phrases, a need that I have never felt. Sir has asserted His dominance before, more than once, and I willingly submitted to His collar. Yet I have never needed that dominance. His presence, yes; His love, absolutely. This is first time, after a quiet summer and chaotic winter, that I have needed to feel owned and used and – to be completely honest – taken care of. There’s a need to yield, to give up all power, and He is the only One to whom I will ever do so. I can think of many reasons why this is, but those are details for another day.

While my Lover is back on March 20th (vernal equinox), there is something supremely powerful about Him after Beltane, when He most asserts His dominance. I’m aching for that assertion, and part of me aches for a physical manifestation of it. That will be a while longer, because it’s would be a complex undertaking, but Sir being back will definitely be a relief.

Meanwhile, I’ll just go read some more fun snippets and maybe write something…

A Fable

It was the night of the Visioning Ritual, and she was nervous. The water spirit before her clan was speaking about burdens, both her burden and the burden of the participants, and in her hurry to be ready, she was not paying full attention.

Taking her place in line, she took a sharp rock from the basket. Her burdens – rough and sharp and demanding. She clung to it as they moved down the path, made unfamiliar by the dark. Her clan was lined up on the shore of the lake, and instructed to throw their burdens into the water. She reached back and hurled with all her might, and felt a great weight lift from her shoulders.

Suddenly, there was a nudge from her left; a large stone was being passed to her, and she took it in confusion. She hadn’t heard anything about this, and she didn’t know what to do with this sudden weight. In her confusion, she held on to the stone. It was much larger than the one she had just thrown, but not terribly heavy.

The clan was instructed to cover their eyes, and she felt her hand guided to a rope. She hefted the stone to her other side, cradling it while the clan was pulled along by the rope, falling into step with her fellows.

Step, step, step, step… she barely noticed the ache building in her arm as she marched in darkness, feeling her clan around her. They were stopped, separated, instructed to remove their blindfolds, and shown to the next doorway in the path, one by one.

Now she was alone. Now and then she would catch up with a member of her clan; sometimes she would encounter another spirit with instruction; at times she would find the member of another clan on the path. She shifted the stone in her grasp now and again, first to one arm, then the other, then both. The night was warmer than expected; she stopped once, setting the stone down while she removed a layer, fastening it to her waist before picking the stone back up and resuming her path.

Roots jutted out from the ground to stub her toes; rocks rose up beneath her feet, some steady, some slippery. The stone in her arms seemed to be growing heavier, her arms aching to hold it while steadying herself on the steep, rough path ahead. She tried to concentrate on the path, but the growing weight was distracting.

She reached another spirit, who held out another basket. “Take a stone,” she was instructed. It was the same size as the first, smoother by far but still holding edges that bit into her fingers. “Your burdens returned,” she was told, “smoothed for their time in the water, but not gone. You still must face them.”

The path continued ahead, but now she was upset. None of the spirits she had met that night had addressed the large stone she still carried. No word, no deed had given her any hint of what to do with it. Now she was carrying two stones, and she was getting warmer still.

Again she stopped, to think and catch her breath. As she pulled off another layer, she felt her arms scream with the weight they had carried for who knew how long, felt the new stone in her pocket. “Why am I carrying this rock?” she asked herself.

She couldn’t answer. With one last look at it, she left it on the ledge, continuing on with only her own small rock secure in her pocket.

The next day, she told the story to her clan. The leaders exclaimed, “You stole the water spirit’s burden!”

“I seem to do that a lot,” she replied. “I take on the burdens of others – even when they do not ask – and never ask myself why. Last night I asked myself, ‘Why am I carrying this rock?’ When I couldn’t answer, I put the rock down.”

So… why are you carrying that rock?

True story. This occurred during my second Twilight Covening; I was the one who stole the water spirit’s burden. I found out later that I was not alone – I found at least one other person who carried the larger stone through the entire ritual. It is now a source of much humor among my friends, who (rightly) laughed out loud when I told them the story. It is also a fantastic metaphor for taking on burdens that are not ours to bear, and we now ask each other: Why am I carrying this rock?