Monday, November 27, 2017

The Light Shines in the Darkness #Hope #Kindness

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

This is one of my favorite Bible verses [surprise! I'm quite familiar with and am very fond of much, if not all of the Bible.]

And yes, darkness and shadow is necessary for rest, for seed germination, and many other things. If the Earth didn't turn on its axis, if it was sunlight 24/7, life as we know it wouldn't exist.

Queen Califia's Magickal Circle in Escondido; photo by Beverly Diehl

However, for this particular pondering of dark and darkness, I am looking at the mood and trauma of people I know and love, as well as others I have never met, will probably never meet.

These are dark times, spiritually, financially, emotionally, for many people right now. Some people are experiencing frightening medical conditions for themselves, and their loved ones. It's dark as in we as a people can't seem to find our way, dark as in the dark night of the soul, dark as being scary, and painful.

It seems that every time we turn around there is someone talking about #MeToo or #ChurchToo or some other way they have been degraded as a human being for being a woman. Or LGBTQ+. Added to this the people I know who are in daily fear of their lives being taken because they are POC (People of Color), and the unstable person in the White House with his Twittering fingertips on the nuclear button.

It's a difficult time, and I am not alone in experiencing nightmares, PTSD moments, anger, frustration, fear...

And yet. What I am seeing with the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movement is people being brave enough to share their stories of abuse, knowing at long last they will be believed. I am hearing #NotAllMen pulling the #NotAllMen card; some men acknowledging that they may have sexually assaulted women and others, and being willing to take responsibility, and make reparations. It's a hopeful first step.

I am seeing my loved ones, and others, treating one another with kindness and gentleness. I participated in an intimate exchange among friends this past weekend where some amazing things went down. I witnessed vulnerability, curiosity, patience, generosity, care and loving kindness so deep it almost made me weep.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has NOT overcome it. 

Has not, will not, CAN not, as long as we do our best to treat one another with care and tenderness during this challenging time.

Doesn't mean we can't #resist, however that works for us. Doesn't mean we can't make calls to our elected officials and push back against the current regime and its abuses of power. Doesn't mean we can't occasionally step back from the fray and practice self-care, because we have to be in this for the long haul.

It means that "they" don't win. It means they cannot MAKE us hate, and fear, and turn on one another. It means every day I look at this quote by Anne Frank that hangs in my bathroom (don't judge!):

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

Let's all shine on.
Your thoughts?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Leading Edge Love with Sumati Sparks #OnTheRadio

Pleased and honored to announce I'll be appearing on the Leading Edge Love blog radio program of Sumati Sparks, The Open Relationship Coach, on Tuesday, Nov 21, at 6 pm Pacific time. Mark your calendars now, so you can call in!! (657.383.1132) You can also listen to it live, or on the web, later.

I've been listening to past programs at SumatiSparks and they are terrific.

The conversation will flow in various directions (if you know me, you know how difficult it is to shut me up!), but here's the general idea of what we'll be discussing:

How do you cope with a breast cancer diagnosis while fresh into your exploration of solo polyamory? How do you ask for and accept help as needed, keep yourself and your partners happy (Hint: boundary work!), and cope with a changing body that you were struggling to love in the first place? How important is the support of community during these times? We'll discuss these - and YOUR questions, if you call 'em in.

And in other news...

I did my first Goodreads giveaway, and like my first Facebook party, it did not kill me.  Yay for that! Just sent off the signed copies of Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n Roll, and a Tiara to my three winners.

After I got the word from Goodreads that they would let me do a giveaway, I panicked. What if I only had, like, 10 sign-ups, how humiliating would that be?

Well, I had over 600!! While I am sure that J.K. Rowling is not shaking in her shoes, this made me happy. And my copies are off to the lucky winners.

And in other, other news... I am trying to clear my procrastination crap backlog. Like this wonderful goal planner, that I spent beaucoup bucks on at the end of 2016, because 2017 was going to be all shiny and productive and organized...

Well, that didn't happen. But luckily, the goal planner inside content isn't tied to any particular calendar year, so I am repurposing it to 2018.

And while hanging out with and catching up with my friend, the Amazing Karen, I also caught up on my MENDING. Yes, I am one of these cheap AF frugal types who will actually mend a separated seam in a sweater or skirt, or reattach the handle of a perfectly good canvas grocery bag that has come unattached.

Also, Karen and I were drinking really, really good champagne. In case you were wondering, excellent champagne makes even the horribly dull household tasks like mending a little more sparkly.

And it was pink, of course.

CW: some ranting about sexual abuse to follow

In the midst of all this catching up with tasks and friends, lots of news broke about people (mostly men) who sexually assault others (women, teen boys others), Senate candidates who used to mack on young teens, and other unsavory characters.

It's not an easy time, if you are a rape sur-thriver, or love someone who is. So many heartbreaking, triggering #MeToo stories.

It's a difficult time. Please tell those sharing their stories:

#MeToo (if you feel safe sharing your stories.

Do NOT tell them:
You were lucky; I know people who were assaulted much worse.
Well, false accusations are a thing too (which is true, though they only make up a fraction of reports, and they deserve their own conversation - AT ANOTHER TIME). Can abuse victims not have the undivided attention and sympathy for, I dunno, a week, maybe even a day or two, before we once again derail and focus on how cis het men are REALLY the victims? (Apparently not.)

In the midst of this, an older article I'd overlooked came floating up into my news stream, like a turd in a backed-up toilet. John Grisham, you can go die in a fire. The consumers of child porn - the few who are actually arrested and jailed - are neither overcrowding our jails, nor is it a problem if they were. They are NOT innocent victims; they are the reason children are molested AND filmed.

What I do find encouraging is that, for however long, we are finally talking about and seemingly, becoming aware of the vast number of women, men, and children, who've suffered at the hands of entitled people (mostly if not entirely men). Will this be a turning point? Will the election results of November 2017, where a transgender woman unseated the homophobic bigot who wrote Virginia's bathroom bill, where people of color and different sexual orientations and gender identities unseated incumbents across the United States, be the beginning of the end of hate?

Stay tuned. To this blog, and keep #resisting

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fangirling on my Photographer #NickHolmes

Recently I "met" Sarah Stevenson, another fan of the photography work of Nick Holmes. I'm a little jealous of this great clip, becauseI wanted to videotape an interview with him. But I never got around to it and the pussies would probably have been jumping all over him anyway.

My pussies, Creativity and Motivation - what were you thinking?

A Conversation with...Nick Holmes from Sarah G. Stevenson on Vimeo.

In the clip above, Nick reads a little from his wonderfully sensual book of poetry, Time Spent Falling.  Confession: I'd always wanted to re-enact that scene from Bull Durham, where Annie Savoy has tied an almost naked Ebby to the bed... and then reads poetry to him while he writhes in frustrated anticipation. And pleasure.

I can stand to improve both my rope-tying game, and my reading aloud skills, but...

Let's just say this book lends itself quite well to doing this as a scene.

So, in Nick's other work... My Kicking Cancer's Ass memoir, I am so pleased to be sharing his empowering, life-changing work with the world. It's getting some positive reviews, which is exciting, (Note: I would ALWAYS love more reviews) and I'm doing a Goodreads Giveaway of the paperback that ends tomorrow, November 8. Get in while you can!

If you'd rather buy a copy, I ain't gonna say no to that, either.

I am really happy to be supported, not just by lovers, family and friends during my cancer journey, but now, during this really vulnerable time of exposing myself to the world via this book. In a way, my boob pictures are the least revealing part of the thing.
Photo by Nick Holmes. Of course.
Anywho, Nick - and Sarah - have another collaboration they're doing together, and it looks wonderful. It's a project called We Will Rise:
We Will Rise is a forthcoming book and growing movement of women offering stories of hope for our daughters. Through stories, photography, and film, we're ushering in a better future through the ways we raise our girls. 
You can Like the project and sign up for the newsletter on Facebook.

I must to admit to being jealous, again. I wasn't lucky enough to have a daughter, though I have a terrific son. And I will never have more photographs of me and my mother than the few already in existence. But I am quite enthusiastic about this project and wholeheartedly agree that the way we raise our daughters in this world, can make a world of difference.

Are you raising a daughter?
Have you been photographed by Nick?
Have you read Time Spent Falling?
Leave any thoughts or comments, below.