The Liberation of Loss

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It’s wild to remember a time not too long ago, when I used to write every day, because I had nothing else going on, and it was a structure that I clung to for sanity and salvation.  That was twenty twelve.  Now it’s twenty seventeen, and I have to breathe fire and wield exotic weapons to claim this modest sliver of sacred space for words to flow from my heart into your mind and Beyond.  There are so many consuming demands constantly leaping at my throat.  And when I finally touch down on the page, I doubt my mind and the content of my life…. the world as it lives inside me feels like primordial soup, so far from coherency and definition.  Maybe it always will… I keep waiting for a day to dawn where my Self is a bold, articulated form, emerging from said ocean of soup.  The Self of my wildest dreams– activated, aligned Priestess.  Fearless leader and lover of a new world.

But meanwhile I cocoon in my little house in the woods, making literal soup.  Not an ocean of soup…. but an impressively substantial, woman-made lake of soup.  Yesterday’s soup turned out mediocre (the flavors wouldn’t blend into a smooth, alchemical romance, and no matter how long I cooked the chickpeas, they refused to become perfectly tender…) and as a result, I went to bed wondering if I was depressed.  Actually, I woke up wondering if I’m depressed too…

But nah… I vote no.  I think it’s just impatience… mingling with the small creative failure of offering sub-par soup.  Nothing a deep breath can’t alleviate.

And now for one more semi-frivolous “aside”, before I dive into the meat and potatoes of my soul and life:  At the urging of a few of my “fans”, I submitted my last blog entry (“The Death of my Ma”) to Elephant Journal.  I was pretty certain there was no way they’d be able to resist this offering of poetically woven depth and raw, naked sharing.  But they did.  Because it was “too autobiographical”.  They said that they are a publication “by the community, for the community” and only accept pieces spoken in the language of “us” and “we”.

To that semantical nonsense, I can only reply “Get fucking real, Elephant Journal”.  Isn’t it obvious that my story, my unrelenting commitment to nakedness is FOR YOU?  Even a halfwitted moron has the intelligence to read my heart-stained words and touch something intimate and essential within their own life and depths.  Sigh… I guess that wasn’t my venue.  Because I will not compromise my voice.

And now for the main course.  Today it is three weeks since my Ma’s exit from this fabulously rigorous earth drama.  I’m not sure if that’s a looooong time…. or short.  I bet you would say it is short.  But consider that we talked EVERY DAY.  So three weeks without her actually feels like wandering an infinite loop of barren existence.  Actually, I was being dramatic.  The past three weeks have been anything but barren.  But God, I miss her… and in that gaping dimension of her physical absence, I am wandering said infinite loop.  But thankfully, I am a multidimensional bitch.  And I’m actually delighted to announce that losing my Ma is nothing like I imagined it wold be.

I feel simultaneous shame and elation to admit that there is a part of me that is relieved that she has moved on.  Because… I am an outrageous creature… And as much as I endeavored to full throttle BE myself… I held back on her account.  Or maybe on MY account…. Because I didn’t want to make too many waves in our relationship.  A few waves, yes.  But I tried to be in control of the quantity and size of the waves.  And honestly, that was a subtly draining endeavor.  As she lay on her deathbed, I exclaimed to her, “Now I can write whatever I want in my blog!”  She smiled and acknowledged this to be true.  There was always a sober and moralistic Jiminy Cricket perched on my shoulder, hissing in my ear that I oughtn’t say this or that… because it would offend my Mama.  Who knows, maybe he’s still there.  But if he dares to pipe in now, he’d better be prepared to have his adorable cricket guts squashed out!!!

Do you want to know the truth of me?  I am a wild and timeless tantric Priestess.  A sexual healer.  My path to and through and with and for God is through the my heavenly body and deeeep into this dense and wondrous world of form.  I always felt the need to hide my sexuality from my mom.  Sexuality was something she never addressed with me.  She never talked to me about the blood that flowed from my womb… the sacred power of desire…. the beauty and holiness of my pussy.  I suppose this is because HER mother never addressed it with HER.  And I suppose this is a result of our line of ancestral wounding.  And the collective suppression of the Divine Feminine.  But it aches me to carry this wound.  I am here to bring the wound of my lineage to the Light for ultimate transmutation and healing.  I am here to reunite sex and God.  For the healing of this planet.

At a personality level, this statement probably would have made my Mama squirm.  But at a soul level, she is ALL FOR IT.  My powerful ownership of my sexuality as whole and HOLY is a healing for her and her mother and all mothers and grandmothers and daughters backward and forward in time.   

I don’t know exactly HOW to execute this essential alchemy.  It is far beyond “me”.  But I do know that the entry point is honesty.  Honesty about who I am and what I know deep down in my soul.  My path of healing is to integrate and embody the divine wisdom that lives in my soul.  My body still carries the wounding of my ancestors… to some degree… though I have already healed a lot.  But there is more.  I still feel a gap between what I know inside, and what I embody.  It is my destiny to live as the unimpeded, ecstatic radiance of LOVE.   And if you think that sounds outrageous…. IT IS!!!

…But WE (eat your heart out, Elephant Journal!!!) are the Second Coming.

And our time has come.

Blessed BE.

What I love about being female…

Last night I got a text from my beautiful friend Claire. She posed this question:

What do I love about being female?…

Wow. What a great question. And as I sit in it, and allow the whispery impressions, feelings, and lurking truths to rise and reveal, I must admit that I am present to a jumbled cocktail of complexity from which I must tease forth the element of that which I love…

Amidst the tangle, are self-judgement and comparison and striving (to be an even BETTER, more fully expressed and powerful rendition of my femininity…). I have this feeling of reaching in and wanting to reach in further and further and embrace my boundlessness, my own unique portal into the infinite Mystery.

I just needed to give voice to that. Because it was standing guard at the gate beyond which are the dancing gales of all that I love about this experience of femininity. Perhaps I will circle back and address that stuff later… or not. But for now, I wish to dive in and experience that which I love about this lucid dream of being woman.

The first thing that comes to mind… although I’m not talking about the mind in my HEAD… Is being PENETRATED. The dance of the masculine and feminine. Mmm yeah. When I feel into my woman-ness, it is in relation to other-ness; to man-ness! I love experiencing myself as woman in contrast to strong male energy. Just thinking about it, about the big, strong man whom I love… and my pussy sings with ache, my heart melts and my body flutters. Being in the presence of my man calls forth the depths and power of the woman that I am.

But there goes my mind, judging now. Like, Athena, does that make you codependent? What about just being a whole and complete woman unto yourself? What about being a woman among women? Yeah, sure… all that is cool too. Really. And certainly an imperative facet of this human journey… but…

I’m just telling you what turns me ON the most. And it’s not just men in general… it’s MY MAN. It’s the experience of polarity… combined with deep friendship… combined with the mutually tended container of trust, transparency, respect, sharing. It is the opportunity to open, and open and open. And to discover hidden resistances to opening and allow them to dissolve in the light of awareness and love.

I love the innate longing within me to MERGE. To experience the oneness within twoness. To be closer with another human being than humanly possible. And that is really the desire to know God. To be God. We ARE that. We are God… But to finally have a full, cellular remembrance of this eternal Truth through communion with another… I love that.

But how is this a feminine experience? I mean don’t men have the same longing to touch that core of cosmic intimacy with a partner? I’d say yes! But the masculine is an inverse expression of this urge… which I can’t honestly write about… because I am not a man at this time (though I believe I have been… plenty of times…) The feminine is the innate longing to be penetrated, while the masculine naturally penetrates. I relish in this sacred receptivity and dark, mysterious unfolding.

And that is just the beginning. I began there, because it was the immediate response of my body and heart. This beautiful, awakened yearning, singing from everywhere that I know myself to be. But the beautiful experience of femininity unfolds from that potent core of desire…

I also love the deep, innate ache to give birth, to give life, to be a mother. This too lives through my body and the depths of my heart. So immediate and instinctual. And within this implicit longing, is a knowing that woven into the mystery of birth, is the pure power of Creation. The essence of the mystery of the manifest. As a woman, I am able to be intimate with Source in a way that a man cannot. God, I yearn to be impregnated, to give birth, and to allow the experience of motherhood grow and transform my capacity to be fully given as a vessel for divine love.

The feminine is also the ambassador for beauty, for compassion, for love, for intuition. I love the grace that it is to be alive in service to these essential facets of life as we know it. What would this being human BE, without sacred servants of beauty, compassion and love? An impossible question, really. But the essence of it, is that it is a divine privilege to amplify beauty and to offer my boundless heart of compassion to this world; to grow in the practice of honoring and trusting my intuition, and watching this heal my life.

And now I sweep my mind for the unexpressed remnants of this inquiry… And what remains to be acknowledged, is…. well… I’m seeing an image of verdant springtime erupting from beneath a stern, cold world of concrete. There is so much talk about the re-emergence of the divine feminine. And as a result, it tends to sound cliche. But it’s true, that as a result of social programming, I have had to sweat and bleed and cry quite a bit, to remember how to be a woman from WITHIN, rather than from without. There is NO POWER in the experience of being a woman from without; from comparison, and imitation, and massive pile of crippling shoulds, imposed by a world of brittle, mindless striving. The power of woman, of the feminine comes from BEING, from going within and opening to Source. From being willing to shamelessly inhabit and trust this body, the energy and intuition that flows through it.

How much of my life have I wasted looking in mirrors and harshly assessing my reflection? …COMPARING myself, my body, my life, my desires to others’… Learning what is SUPPOSED to be sexy, erotic, desirable through the media, through high-budget hollywood trash… and porn… through an objectified and soul-less lens, rather than learning and practicing faith in my own experience of soulful, nutrient-dense pleasure.

What is sexy is the truth, the immediacy, the rawness of ME. And I am still discovering and revealing this mystery called “me”. I always will be. Until the river that I AM flows back to the Ocean.

Those are a few of Athena Grace’s thoughts on what I love about being female…

Blessed BE.

PS~ This is such a deep question. And a very important one, at this time. I invite you to explore it for yourself… And I would LOVE it if you would share any thoughts on this topic as a comment! SPEAK YOUR HEART! Share your mind.

As I Am

Welcome to the land of barking dogs, freshly set suns and dark, moons. I feel wriggly in my own skin right now. I am yearning to be held by my lover. Not any lover in particular… it’s just that feeling like there’s way too much empty space around me and I want to be in the sexy, musky arms, pressed against the delicious masculinity of one who knows me as well as one can know another. How well is that, anyway? Personally, I still feel like I have a LOT to learn in that regard. Looking back on the major intimacies of my life, I see that I have been quite wrapped up in who I want them to be for MEEEEEE. Immature, I know. Shrug. I’m learning. Someday I pray to ripen into the kind of lover who delights in the CONTINUOUS, generous discovery and unselfish support of my beloved’s perpetual becoming. I guess that’s part of the reason why I’ve condemned myself to sitting here tonight at my ghetto-funky black particle board desk alone and feeling all of this. So that I can be sliced deep by this aloneness. Sliced deep and bleeding with yearning. I can almost feel those masculine arms, wrapping around me. I can almost smell his skin, feel his body’s heat and my own body’s molten, rapturous response.

But tonight, I will settle for nothing less than God. Shane told me that he believes that it is possible to fall in love with God as tangibly, completely and passionately as one can fall in love with a person… only better, of course, cuz c’mon, it’s GOD after all. Sigh… I want that. I guess I believe it too… I’d just forgotten for a slew of moments. But Yoganada was madly in love with God. It’s obvious in so much of his prayerful poetry and writings. Oh and of course the Sufi Mystic posse… You KNOW they were a particularly God drunk bunch. (Ha! The God Drunk Bunch! That would make a good title for something…) Saint Theresa is another one of my roll models of the human capacity to drown in divine love.

I sorta wish an angel would materialize before me right now and bludgeon my hungry thirsty naïve heart with one of his divine, ecstatic arrows. Though Saint Theresa didn’t seem to really enjoy the experience. It was ecstasy to the point of pain and it wasn’t just no “holy instant”… it kept right on stinging and singing a song of sobering, shattered immediacy. Do I really want that????

Probably not… but I want something. It’s the new moon today, and I’ve felt especially internal and introspective. I yearn to come into a deep, unwavering, overt alignment with my Almighty BFF. In fact, I feel frustrated, because it pains me to watch all these cacophonous shards of little me clanging and shrieking around in here. Vying for their turn to steer the ship that is my life, my speech, my thoughts, actions, choices, dreams.

The lessons in A Course in Miracles recently have been encouraging me to listen so deeply and let the voice of God beam on this world through the vessel that is me. I want that. I want that so bad… just not bad enough to come to a complete, silent halt and wait until I am moved. Not enough to withstand boredom and confront head on, the fear of being “nobody”. So I keep pushing ahead. Trying every day to “be somebody”. Somebody lovable and worthy and entertained. And the most repulsive of all, somebody “spiritual”. Adyashanti, one of my fave-rave spiritual teachers (adyashanti.org), talks about what a joke all the pretense of being a “spiritual person” is. Think about the popular bullshit consensus most of us buy into in terms of what makes a person “spiritual”… blagllgghhek. Being a “spiritual person” is as trendy as body piercing, having a therapist, Peet’s Coffee or diesel jeans.

I guess the closest I can come to God at this point on my path is to have great compassion and forgiveness for all of these disparate, unconscious, needy, unflattering, selfish parts of myself. Here I am again, treading the illusory road of all or nothing. Imagine that… And that’s just not an accurate representation of what’s here now. Here and now, there is a baby gecko suctioned to the outside of my window. He’s about two inches long. One inch of body and one inch of tail. So cute. I imagine I’ll never tire of geckos. I find myself perpetually swooning in adoration of the tiny mystical creatures. I love their chirping songs too. I find it deeply, strangely comforting. Yes. Geckos are excellent company.

So, here I am tonight. Showing up on the page just as I am, imperfect, honest and yearning. Self critical too, I suppose. And that’s just gonna have to be enough for now.

I want to address the topic of sexuality again. Because every time I share my sexuality here in Athena Graceland, I have a split experience of it. On one hand, I feel strong and beautiful, because I am being true to myself by sharing the parts of me that rise to my surface with the most energy, weight and eagerness. I am deeply fascinated and enchanted with my sexuality… and I feel that there is so much that wants to be healed by moving from the condemnation of secrecy, taboo and shame into the light of authenticity, exploration, forgiveness, and [gasp] play! And yet, every time I write on this topic, afterwards, I second guess my transparency. I feel afraid that you will think I am somehow cheapening myself by talking so freely about a very intimate subject that most “respectable women” keep to themselves. But even as I write that, the rebel in me is spitting and snorting. I will not hide myself in order to make you feel more comfortable. Sometimes the truth makes you squirm. That’s just the way it is.

And I’m turned on. And I’m trying to figure out how to live in this beautiful, intense and wholly holy state. What does it mean to be so turned on? What do I do with it? It is raw creative energy. It is embodied divine yearning. It is feminine power. And it is raging inside of me, demanding to be voiced, embraced, revered and channeled. Ahhhh, I feel much better… I needed to get untangled from that one. Though I still could use a good old fashioned holy fuck. Grin. (A grin complete with gleaming tooth…) But… in this sexual initiation I am walking through, old fashioned holy fucks are not on the menu right now… I am to ignite and burn alive, dedicating my yearning to the All Pervading Holy Fucker. (Wow, I am really going for it tonight. Either you’ll LOVE me or LEAVE me for sure!!!)

Amen.

PS~ Just for the record, I totally love, accept and forgive myself for being so perfectly imperfect. For being here, in this amnesiac, in between land on this ever quirky human journey.

Romance and Heartbreak on the Shores of Athena GraceLand

It’s raining, it’s pouring, Athena Grace has been ignoring her blog… And now she doesn’t know where in the spiral galaxy that dances her alive to start!  I have swum through so much since we last slow danced, cheek to cheek, you and me and this dreamy stream of alphabet.

I’ll start with the perfect pink slice of salmon sashimi melting in my mouth like oceanic butter.  Like the slowest sex in my mouth.  Many moments have I relived the beautiful piece of fish merging with my eager mouth in the dimly lit, upstairs section of the sushi restaurant in downtown Hanalei.  I prayed to be paid twenty dollars for a poem… (since right now, I am living “poem to poem”.)  I prayed to be taken out to dinner and well fed (fish).  I prayed for thoroughly satisfying, top-notch company.  I did not pray to merge with a man who had just broken up with his fiancé and come to Kauai alone, rather than honeymooning in Mexico… at least I didn’t THINK I did.  But I offered him a poem.  He accepted and spilled enough messy guts to feed an army of wild dogs who find figurative entrails to be a delicacy.

He handed me a twenty and asked me to dinner at the place of my choice.  Despite his current state of floundering in the center of a great mess, I felt his core of power and goodness and assessed him to be capable of the quality company that a deep sea diving mermaid such as myself requires.  What can I say?  It turns out that he is a fellow Capricorn and we climbed mountains together and dove deep with the aid of our fishy, sea goat tails.  He was no pussy when it came to eye contact, either.  Between unfurling, multidimensional personal mythologies, we found each other’s eyes and floated serenely on the ocean of light that lives within and without them.  I was taken by surprise when waves of sensuous, sumptuous turn-on washed over me as we joined in breath, in heart, in mind from across the high table strewn with utterly delicious fish and seaweed salad.  I hadn’t felt turned on by anyone since I’d been here and I was starting to worry that I never would again.

Athena Grace!  You’ve only been here three weeks, silly girl-woman!  I know, I know… but still I wondered where in God’s vast Ocean my turn-on had swum to.  And when my body flushed with frivolous, dancing lust, I surrendered to it like a bold gust of tropical wind, letting it sweep invisibly through me, awakening my senses, tickling its way through all of me, wanting nothing save the pure, immediate poetry of the experience.

Wow, it is really raining.  I am at the bakery, sitting at a table under highly functional umbrella, thank goodness.  At first, I imagined that the storm would pass in mere moments, as most of them do… but it’s not passing.  The entire sky is thick and silver, as though I am profoundly lost in the jolly infinitude of Santa Clause’s very own beard.  I wonder if I’ll have to park under this umbrella for the rest of my life.  I’ll be okay, because I have a cliff bar and the bag of sunflower seeds I just bought… plus all of the water I could possibly drink splashing gaily down from omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Santa Clause.  Heck, I’ll just throw caution to the wolves and sharks and stay here under this umbrella until I reach enlightenment!  What better do I have to do?  Fall in lust with wounded, tumultuous Capricorn men?

Yeah, so we lingered and spoke of forgiveness and our respective life experiences, pausing to dance in one another’s eyes or splash in the inexplicable electricity born of chemistry.  He has been a spiritual seeker for many years.  A monk even.  He has a six year old son.  Like me, he has taken a very scenic route Home to the land of Honeyed Love.  Though, while my alma mater (and galactic institution of Higher education) is the School of Mostly Soft Knocks, I gathered that the knocks on his door of Realization have been a few shades harder.  Not excruciatingly hard, mind you… Just not pink, girlie, Shirley Temple, Care Bear knocks like I prefer.  More like He-man and Skeletor sparring violently in the midst of angry inferno nightmare knocks.

It was definitely past my bedtime when he finally dropped me off at home.  But how quickly I forgot that once we started making out!  Imagine that.  I hadn’t expected it.  And it wasn’t a make-out session designed to get anywhere, other than right there in the front seat of his borrowed, burly, burgundy Bronco.  Because of this, every touch was both whole and holy.  My body was electric, my body was oceanic, my body was late afternoon sunlight on laughing, wind-swept Hanalei Bay.  We let the waves break over us and reality was distilled to touch and breath and the nectar of drunken lust.  He told me he would love to make love with me, gazing in my eyes and luxuriating in the totality of our communion.  I agreed that that would be beautiful… AND (incase you haven’t noticed, “and” is the new “but”…) AND… I was not in a space to be impulsive like that.  But I was happy to luxuriate in the decadent idea.  If nothing more than for ecstatic shits and giggles…

We parted ways and I stumbled wet and wild into bed.  I barely slept, dreaming of sex and the cheap imitation of Divine Love.  By morning, I was convinced that it would be harmless and adventuresome to have an erotic fling with this wounded, profound man, whom I felt so completely seen and understood by.   Slowly, as the day crept by, I had built an entire world of fantasy and hope the precious commodity of human touch… intermittently flinching at how fast I had created attachment where there had once been nothing but delicious, sacred spaciousness.  I prayed to God to let go… but something in me preferred to hold on.

We met at Hanalei Bay in the early evening.  He informed me soberly that he had found his wits and was more interested in using his remaining five days on the island to heal than to binge.  Now naturally, this was the RIGHT choice, no matter WHO you ask… Naturally.  Yet that didn’t matter to my own fragile, white dove of a heart, which immediately shattered into a mess of sharp, splintered feathers and bled relentlessly.  I witnessed this with strange spaciousness.  Plus I was exhausted from the lack of sleep the previous night.  He made sure to clarify that he was not running away from me in any way, only toward his own strength.  Good boy.  Sigh…

I hitchhiked home with a sweet old man named Freidmann whose eyes were perpetual smiles.  Because of the perfume of gentleness and time-tended understanding that exuded from him, I let my heart quiver and spill, right there in the cab of his truck.  Yes I cried.  And his eyes kept right on smiling.  I crashed out by 8pm, sleeping for an unprecedented ten hours!

This man… whom I did NOT pray for… He was indeed a teacher and a gift.  He broke me open to a new level of awareness.  Awareness of my own need for space to grieve and heal.  Now I can see the value in remaining insular for a while.  A generous while.  Now is not the time to merge.  Now is the time to draw deeply into myself and make a strong fortress Here.  Even the most enlightened sex is cheap candy that I do NOT fancy right now.  That said, I had a wonderful time with him and if I had it all to do over again, I would play it just the same.  I give thanks for this small but filling slice of a romantic chapter in the sacred book of Athena Grace.

Amen.

An Ugly Confession & A Brief History of My Sexual Evolution

Yup.  I’m right on schedule!  Today’s another broken open day.  It was tricky though… and crept up on me when I wasn’t looking.  I’m at the Kilauea Bakery, sitting outside (so that the breeze can caress me as it likes) staring into space trying to retrace the moment that my world pitched on its head.  I think it was while I was on the internet this morning, trying to figure out flights to Maui in preparation for my impending yoga therapy training.  Doing stuff online is a pretty surefire way to douse my parade, monsoon-fire hose style.  Besides email and blogging, I find all things cyber an unwieldy pain in the butt.  It takes me so much time and energy to navigate websites and all that type of junk.  I miss having a man to do that stuff for me while I dance around and express my flowing femininity.  My housemate Heidi said she encountered that issue when she broke up with her fiancé and moved here less than a year ago… and she thought it was awesome and liberating to claim her independence.

But you know what I have to say to THAT?  No thank you.  I don’t have anything to prove to anyone by over developing my masculine side.  That’s why God invented masculine types… to handle masculine shit.  I am NOT from the school of heavy-handed women’s lib… I don’t need to prove myself by learning to use a screwdriver.  (Although I DID hack open my coconut with Brad’s rusty, dull machete yesterday.  And it WAS a pretty cathartic experience.  I think it could even be considered cardiovascular activity… But I sure did make a mess of my coconut in the process of hacking and hacking and hacking… Tons of hairy pulp got into the meat and it was an arduous mess to sort out in the end.  Though it was a savory enough experience, I would have been just as happy to have my hairy, musk-scented, muscle-bound champion split it with one determined, samurai slice… and then I would swoon over him and make him feel like the most useful, necessary and sexy speck of fleshy space dust.)

Sigh… Life without a man.  I hate to admit this… but I have to… because my blog is a place where I strive to tell the truth.  This truth hurts.  Yesterday Mykael texted me that he missed me so much, his spirit felt numb.  I cried when I read it.  I even want to cry now as I think about that.  It just sounds so painful… and somehow I feel responsible for his crippling numbness.  But truth be told, I am more present to missing the things he did for me (like giving me snuggs at night, handling computer issues, fixing ANYthing, loving my cat so well, letting me use his car…), than HIM.  God, I hope he doesn’t read this!  I am going to tell him not to.  I feel SO ashamed to admit that. But this is something that has been blowing through my mind lately as I take stock and regroup and shift gears… and I’m trying to understand WHY I feel this way.  What I’ve come up with, is that I often felt disappointed by him… so a lot of my experience of the relationship was stained with that disappointment and frustration.  And when I expressed my disappointment and my needs, it often times led to a fight.  Which got exhausting fast.  Plus, we didn’t really do tons of stuff together… just rock climbing (Which I am SOOOO thankful for.  Rock climbing changed me.  It has helped me become intimate with my strength and power.  And Mykael is an amazing teacher.)… everything else I loved, I did alone.  He was like a boot camp trainer for my impending life as a single woman.  Now I am a professional at going to church alone, going to the farmer’s market alone, cooking alone…

I wonder if disappointment is in my blood… inevitable, inescapable… Would I experience it with ANY man?  Am I just condemned to searing myself in the pain of perpetually seeing what is missing?  Gulp.  I hope not.  But for now it doesn’t matter, because I am single.  And just for the record, I am committed to being single for a whole YEAR.  A whole epic, bleeding, heroic year.  Sigh.

Does that mean no sex?  I wonder… I’m not sure.  For now it does.  This terrified me at first… Because my sexuality, I have come to realize, is not something that I fully trust.  Lemme tell you what I mean by that…

My sexual, sensual self has been of the late blooming variety.  (Like the rest of me, I guess…)  I was always a very sensual being.  But it’s not a topic that my mom ever addressed with me.  (No hard feelings, mom, I promise.)  I imagine that’s because HER mom was never open with her.  It was a topic that always felt SECRETIVE and shameful on some level.  But I was always very curious. (In fact DIG THIS~ two of my childhood friends had The Joy of Sex on their parents’ book shelf at home.  And I convinced *both* of them to sneak and read it when we were home alone… AND BOTH TIMES we were caught in the act and then the forbidden text not so mysteriously disappeared off the shelf and I was cast back into sexual darkness and ignorance.  Can you believe THAT?!?!?) Oh, and throw into the mix that as a teenager, I had horrible acne and a proclivity to binge on food.  My body was NOT a heavenly oasis.  It was a source of pain and shame.  Needless to say, I let way too many men into my Secret Garden who did not disserve to be there.  And I was frustratingly numb and unfulfilled.

(I know this is intimate information… but you know WHAT?!  Fuck secrecy.  I am a REAL woman and this is the path I have walked.  And there is strength and power in the truth.  This is why I share myself.  Because we all have stories, journeys, evolutions.  And sharing them illuminates the Whole.  May you find a piece of your blessed self in my vulnerable sharing.  There is no use hiding out in the shadowy swamps of shame.  Or is there?  Should I just slink back into my groaning, smelly corner before it’s too late?  Oh, Love, I think the clock struck too late long ago… So speak on, Sister Divine…)

I certainly didn’t feel like an embodiment of the Goddess as I stumbled clumsily through my twenties.  No, I felt more imprisoned, condemned by the cruel trap of embodiment.  I slept with a lot of men… searching for something.  Something beautiful and good and real.  Then along came Eric when I was twenty three.  I found *much* that was beautiful and good and real in him, in our USness… but not my sexually awakened self… which is one of the reasons I left him.  I was terrified to get married to someone that didn’t bone me immaculate.  Did that mean I would NEVER get boned immaculate in my whole ass dragging life???  No thank you.

I left Eric for Mykael when I was twenty eight.  And blessed BE, we had a good share of hot, satisfying love making… and I found part of the Something that I was yearning for.  Part of it… But something I noticed during my time with Mykael… is that I was afraid of not having sex for more than a few days.  Afraid that my turn-on would just pick up and fly far away when I had my head turned.  This precious, fledgling facet of my womanhood.  I did not know how to trust it…After all, it had been gone for so long.  When I am turned on, I feel powerful.  I feel ALIVE.  I feel God.  I feel dangerous and beautiful.  I don’t want that to go away.
But nor do I want to be ruled by it.  I thought that if I was turned on, it meant that I HAD to have sex!  Quick!  Hurry!  Before it goes away again…  Not so healthy.  It doesn’t leave much room for my partner’s desires and needs to exist… Now, as a single woman… I am embarking on a new leg of my sexual journey.  It involves surrender.  Surrender to the cycles of my desire.  Surrender to my turn-on and my yearning.  It is time to practice just being with what is… without a need to DO anything.  Frown.  Sounds boring.  Hahahah.  I just laughed out loud!  What a welcome relief to this heavy-hearted goddess.  But it kinda does sound boring.  I’ll at least abstain for a couple of months… and then petition the universe for a tantric research partner.  Oh, that Athena Grace, LMNOP!  She’s a woman with a PLAN.  Wish me luck.

Wow.  I feel naked right now.  Eeeeek.  So vulnerable.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Amen.

Outsider Looking In

Tyler, the twenty something year old ex-professional skateboarding champion who lives across the hall from my mom is playing his harmonium as if it were an organ right now.  I feel like I’m in Grace Cathedral, being bathed in benevolently crashing sonic waves.  And the crickets are offering the back-up with their shrill steady sacred syllable.  It’s the perfect cap to the day I’ve had.  Inhale.  Exxxxxhale.  The day I’ve had.

Loneliness crept in today.  Too bad you aren’t aware of the long pause that followed that last sentence.  You will just read these words in one quick, rough tumble helping and then move on with your snack-sized dream of a life.  But here I am, mining my depths so that I can make some good old fashioned intellectual order out of it all.  And I must admit that I did pause to pick my nose, too.  Nose picking… It’s such a soothing and rewarding activity.  A meditative engagement with overt, measurable results.  Sometimes I need that in the midst of wading through all this arduous esotericism.

What can I say about this lonely feeling?  Well… I guess the reality that I just closed up shop on my whole honkin’ construct of a life… and I have nothing to go “home” to… suddenly crept in like wet chills that seep not only through clothing, but clear through skin, bones and souls.  I often think of Michael Franti’s lyrics, “to be surrounded by a million other people, but feeling lonely like a tree in the desert, dried up like the skin of a lizard…”  I find myself feeling that way from time to time… and come on, admit it, so do you… or else the song would not be so popular.  (If you haven’t heard it before, just take my word for it.  It’s popular.)  So here at the ashram, I am certainly surrounded by a million other people.  And yet… everyone seems to be always on the go… and somehow it doesn’t seem appropriate to express my inner most feelings to anyone (not even my mom).  Except YOU, here in Athena GraceLand.  Thank god for this blog.  I’m so acclimatized to a life where I have SOMEone to intimately share with.  But here at Ananada, I feel like an outsider in this fast paced world of ceaseless service, wholesome recreation and bland music.

I still don’t know if the egg came first, or the feathery, squawking layer… But somehow ashram life really got under my skin today.  Was it because I was feeling lonely and emotionally rough around the edges… or was my emotional state exacerbated by all the dogmatic wholesomeness?   Shhhhrug.  Listen, I think its all dandy, really… But today the culture was feeling way too clean for the likes of this dirty soul traveler.  I kept looking around at all the women and thinking that they could all use a good lay.  Sorry mom.  I’m afraid you might find this offensive, but it’s so true for me.  A little sexiness goes a long way on the path to Heaven’s Hot and Heavy Bedroom in the Sky.

I’m not the type of chick who chooses one single path.  (The other day my mom was all thrilled about the possibility of arranging me a ceremony to choose Yogananda as my official lord, savior and sponsor… and though he pretty much IS, I politely declined because I am more of a polyamorist when it comes to gurus in the sky with diamonds.  What would I say to Jesus or Amma, Saint Theresa, Hafiz, Rumi or Krishna when they found out that I had religiously committed to Yogananda?!?!)  So alas, I have stood, passive and observant at the quivering edge of many communities, ways, ideologies, dogmas and flocks of seekers.  And trust me, God not only abides, but dances His All Pervading Ecstatic Ass off in all of them.

A couple of years back, I got coaching on a regular basis from the woman who spearheads OneTaste, the community which embraces orgasm as the nucleus of their spiritual path.  Talk about contrast!  Phew!  That place was raw wilderness compared to Ananda.  At OneTaste, emotional authenticity was feverishly flying left and right.  At Ananda, the collective agreement seems to be that of Polyanna tongue holding and eternally smiling congeniality.  At OneTaste, the women were always flushed and freshly fucked.  Here at Ananda, I imagine most of the pussies are wrought with cobwebs and dust bunnies.  And you know the most amazing part of this… is that everyone is essentially thirsting for the same thing.  Both of these communities are extreme cases.

Athena, what’s your point?  I dunno.  Just that the God I subscribe to is a bit more of a flaming, drunken rebel than the God around here who wears high wasted jeans and penny loafers without socks and get twelve dollar haircuts from Super Cuts.  God bless ‘Im.

Today was Sunday service.  The essence was beautiful.  Trust me, I cried… like I almost always do when my Thirst of God is provoked to the surface.  But boy was it a contrast to my East Bay Church of Religious Science… where everyone dances and claps and calls out spontaneous, popcorn style affirmative praise.  Honestly, I think that it helps that there’s a large contingency of black churchgoers at East Bay.  It seems to me like the black folks know how to let their hair down and praise the Lawd with a capital Celebrate… and that’s more my vibe.  The choir today stood uncannily still as they spilled with sacred song.  But I don’t want to sound critical.  Because I am a sucker for God-Lovers of all shapes, sizes and flavors of song.

For some reason, I felt more inhibited about crying in this church today.  Was it because I was sitting next to my mom?  Maybe.  Or maybe because we were all packed in so close to one another.  Or maybe it was sheerly energetic.  But by the end, I was ready to run into the piney forest and spill salt water all over the hard, dirt path.  Especially when they left us with the final thought, “Go forth in joy today.”  With my hands folded in prayer and my head bowed, the tears came with more severity upon hearing that, since it felt to be so far from my present experience.  Which made me feel for a moment like I was doing something wrong by crying…I prayed to God to help me go forth in joy… then I realized that I am the ever-joyful witness, no matter WHAT emotional climates I slide through.  I tasted joy within my heart-ache.  As my mom and I walked out into the modest heat of the afternoon, I saw a hummingbird zoom right up to the sloshing top of a three-tiered fountain and take unabashed sips from the clear, singing waters!  Guess what hummingbird medicine is?!  JOY!  The moment was sheer poetry and unadulterated Grace.  I knew that God had heard my prayer and joy was as good as mine.

Though Her Holiness did challenge me to a high-rolling game of hide and seek first.  After lunch, I fell into bed with a heavy heart and a noisy head and dreamed of complicated relationships and white lies.  I woke up an hour and a half later repeating in my sleep the mantra that Amma gave me once upon a time.  (I don’t remember ever repeating my mantra in my dreams before!)  When I woke up it was time to start dinner.  It was my mom’s night to cook, and I had been very excited to help her… once upon a time…  I started hacking at the jicama with a heart unbearably saturated with ache… but by the time the soup and salad were ripe for imbibery, I WAS the hummingbird liberally sipping from the singing stream of holy water.  Cooking.  I always find peace and liberation in the kitchen.  Thank God…

Thank you God, for another perfect day.

Amen.

A Fight That Will Live in [Ecstatic] Infamy

What would you do if your doorbell rang, and you surreptitiously peered out the peep hole to find a couple you’d met just briefly, once before, who lived down the block from you, standing on your front porch, hot and heavily engaged in face slapping match?  Well, thankfully, our neighbors were not home yesterday evening, so they were not faced with that imposing conundrum.  Why were Mykael and I standing on our neighbors’ porch taking turns slapping each other’s faces last night?  Well, it all started with our chicken sitting adventure last month.  Member?  We offered those hip, twittering Oakland chicks popsicles as they passed our house, and one of them (the one who looks just like Popeye’s leading lady) turned out to be our neighbors, and she generously invited us to come gather their eggs while they were away for three days…

Last night, Mykael proposed that we pay them a surprise visit, since we hadn’t made contact since they had been home (which must have been a month ago already!).  Good idea, Sweetie… So after dinner, we set sail down the block.  The “trouble” started when Mykael said, “I don’t have keys, do you?”

“We don’t need keys, we’re just going down the block.  Let’s leave the door open.”  I said in a voice undercut with a barely perceptible trace of aggression.  You see, it was not the first time we had encountered this specific strain of combat.  I am a lot more liberal when it comes to taking precautions to ensure the security of physical belongings.  To me, obsessively locking doors equates to living in unnecessary fear.  Now Mykael would probably assert that by using the word “obsessively”, I am linguistically manipulating the picture of what shook down.  Duh.  I am.  Because I think I am right, and to me, it does seem obsessive to lock the door just to skip and fritter down the block for an innocent smatter of minutes to pay a visit to the neighbors.  As above, so below, as far as I’m concerned, meaning if you fear it, you invite it, while if you are truly at ease, then all will be well.

Mykael made his way back inside to fetch his set of keys.  I didn’t like this, and begged him to pause and “talk it out” with me, before making a choice.  I called out to him, but he did not heed my requests, which increasingly become wrought with more and more heat and intensity.  By the time he was standing in the doorway, I was begging with everything I had, that he come back and talk to me, before he take any action.  Nope.  He was resolved.  And I felt POWERLESS.  No, make that powerless cubed… at least.  He humored me, and stood in the threshold, looking at me through the invisible though indestructible wall that now stood between us.  I can’t see myself, since I live inside me, but if I could, I imagine I had steam spouting out my ears and flames on my breath.  Man, do I hate feeling so powerless, out of control, and at his stupid mercy.

So, he locked the door.  We walked the half block to our neighbors’ house and all the while, I was expressing my freshly turned over pain, desperately trying to regain some semblance of control or power.  I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure I spoke a gratuitous slew of careless, poisoned words in jagged tones, designed to slash him in all the invisible places that COUNT.  Once on the porch, we exchanged a couple more rounds of verbal sparring, and then I rang the doorbell.  I rang the doorbell as yet another attempt to be “on top”.  Ringing the doorbell meant I was in control, right?  Because then he can’t get too many slicing words in before the neighbors come to the door and we are forced to feign some semblance of congeniality.

Unfortunately, ringing the doorbell didn’t shut us up.  We went back and fourth a few more times… which wasn’t really scratching the livid itch for me, so I gave his face a playful though startling slap.  Like lightening, he rebounded.  Naturally, I took another swipe.  Then he did, then I did.  I think we were both a bit surprised at the other’s audacity, not to mention our own.  It was weird… there was this undercurrent of humor.  Part of me wanted to spill out in a deluge of laughter, while another, more commanding facet was single mindedly thirsting for blood (and maybe a side of tears… and heck toss in some sweat, while yer at it!)  In my own personal rulebook, laughing during a fight lobs off major points.  Because then your opponent knows that you are not SERIOUS and come on… fights are SERIOUS.

After a few rounds of slappage, my face was starting to burn.  (Don’t call the authorities, please, we were only slapping at 50% velocity)  At this point, Mykael began to dodge my hand.  Okay, I can play that game.  I dodged his.  That added some spice to our otherwise bland fiesta.  By now, it was clear that our neighbors were not home.  Still standing on their porch, we reverted to talk-fighting again for a few modest exchanges.  Both of us were impermeable.  Writhing in emotional pain, I stormed off the porch, then let him walk ahead of me five paces.  At home, he unlocked the door and the argument continued in the kitchen.

We kept throwing our weight at the other, desperate to be heard and understood.  Which required that ONE of us let go.  No such luck.  (I know it’s not luck… it’s… generosity and surrender that are required at times like these)  God, when I don’t feel heard, when I feel out of control… I become a demon.  No holds barred.  At one point, I remember him wrapping his arms around me and holding me in a tight death grip… in some semblance of hope to calm me down.  But guess what?  NO WAY did that calm me.  It actually had the opposite effect, since it brought me right back to the physical sensation of feeling powerless and out of control.

My whole body, especially my belly, felt tight and aflame.  But with each round of sparring, the intensity faded a smidgeon of a hair.  (You’d only notice if you viewed the spat under a microscope, though.)  Finally, I told him to leave me the fuck alone.  I had this brilliant plan brewing to sulk all night by myself and continue to fester in the hurt.  I might even wander to the rose garden, just so on the outside, it would seem like I was having a great time and I didn’t need him anyway.  Or maybe it was so that I could find some solace in the luminous, sweet blooms and the echoing songs of evening birds.  “Is that really what you want?” he asked me, with bristled fur.

Touche!  He’s good!  Clearly, that’s NOT what I really wanted.  I really wanted Love to be restored.  But I didn’t want to admit that.  I wasn’t about to back down.  Not in the face of all the rage that was surging through my body.  So I said yes, that’s what I wanted.  He was slowly calming down.  “Is that REALLY what you want?” he demanded.  Suddenly, there was an overt fork in the road.  He knocked the ball square into my court, and how I swung (or relinquished swinging altogether) would determine the fate of the rest of our evening.  Would I choose the high road of the Saint in training, or the LOW road of the wounded, impulsive child?

At this point, he began to move slowly toward me, closing the physical distance between us.  This felt wonderful… but… I still didn’t want to let on that I was opening in spite of myself.  I suggested that he go get in the shower, and I take some time in my bedroom alone and THEN we come back together after some of our respective steam had a chance to dissipate.  NOPE.  He wanted to get to the bottom first.  So we argued about that for a while, my stance being that it was a waste of our energy to do so, because we were basically repeating ourselves, both still mildly desperate to be heard, felt and understood.

As we continued exhausting ourselves in our respective egoic wheels, (softened thought they were), he began to kiss my face gently all over.  This did it for me.  I stabbed the ground of my territory with a flag of surrender, and relaxed my body into his embrace as he continued to kiss me softly.  A man that can stand up to me with such an expert combination of force and generosity is worth surrendering to.  I felt amazed, relieved and more attracted to him than ever.

MOM~ WARNING.  I’m gonna talk about sex now.  Enter at your own risk!

“I think you should suck my dick now.” He stated bluntly.  It was obvious to me that I should.  (I’d been horny all day anyway)  It was hot… right there in the kitchen.  Then he bent me over the counter and *&%#$@*%ed me hard, before hitting the shower. (IS that all I’d really wanted in the first place???) Later, we made such beautiful, epic love and I felt felter than I knew was possible.

Relationships…

Not only that, but my space bar went on strike during the execution of this blog entry… and my white, though shadow stained knight came to the rescue and fixed the problem without even breaking a sweat!  I think I’ll keep ‘im.

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