Friday, March 12, 2010

Dark Odyssey: Winter Fire'10 Personal Review Part 3

And so finally we arrive at the final part of my DO:WF review series, the personal part. The part where I share my freak-out of Sunday afternoon and the unanticipated and surprising solution. It had been building for a while, and Sunday morning kicked it into high gear.

I have thought to write a workbook to help people inquire into, and navigate entry into, the styles of intimate relationship that truly resonate with them. When I learned of the workbook that Barbara Carrellas is writing, my inner demon, the nasty little voice, said, "See, she's already doing it, and she's doing it better than you could. Nobody needs you. You're don't have anything to offer that can't be found through someone else who's doing it better..." and yack, yack, yack. I sold some more books, but not nearly as many as I'd hoped, and it said, "What did you think you were doing? You're never going to sell enough copies to recoup the costs of making it. It's just one more example of one of your big ideas that fail..." and blah, blah, blah.

Intellectually, I know that all of this is not true. I do have a particular style that speaks to a group of people, I do have something unique to offer, and I have faith that people who read my book will start talking about my book, which will encourage others to buy it, and so on, and so on exponentially. But when standing at the base of a very big hill, it's hard to imagine the view from the top, and by the late afternoon, I was starting to feel the impact of listening to that snarky little voice. I threw myself onto the bed, sharing my concerns with Q, and the more I spoke them, the more they grew, and the more scared I got, culminating in a hysterical fit of sobbing. To make it even worse, I'll add one more concern to the pile: Money. Okay, now do you get the state I was in?

I understand the new-thought belief that our words create our experience of the world, our reality if you will, and that we should therefore only speak our best hopes and desires. At the same time, what we resist persists, eh? I have found that I often resist what I don't share - I need to acknowledge my fear and concerns to get them out of my head, if only to hear that they are usually based in the past or the future, or both, and create something that inspires me to keep going in the present.

But this time was different. I'd been spending the weekend looking for what I need, and networking, selling books, sharing my vision, videotaping, and Being someone who intends to be a world leader. I was EXHAUSTED! And out of that exhaustion I saw what I needed - Zero Responsibility. I put a lot of pressure on myself every day, and knowing this makes no difference. I needed a chance to stop being responsible, and, in fact, to have no responsibilities whatsoever for a period of time. I longed for the days before "work," before homework even, when everything was play, and everyone was new, and the world was mostly fun and expression.

And so, as Q suggested, I'd be seven. Seven years old doesn't care about work, or being perfect, or whether she's making the difference she feels called to make in the world. Seven doesn't care about her libido, how to navigate polyamory, or how she's going to pay for her wedding. Seven doesn't care about innaccurate property tax assessments, destructive tenants, or book sales. Seven just wants to have fun and be loved.

So I donned a black skirt, a cap-sleeved, Asian floral print blouse that has black straps clipped to any number of small D-rings (so you could yank me back if I started running away), threw my hair into pig-tails, and added my tennies with my favorite "Life is Good" socks. It was a look, to be sure. And then I took on the character - high-energy, a bit clumsy, physically loose (in the way that young children throw their bodies around), enthusiastic and demonstrative - et voila... Missy.

We headed off to the restaurant, encountering my friend Paul at the bank of elevators, so I raced up to him, stuck my leg into the air awkwardly, pointed at my ankle and said, "My socks have dogs catching frisbees! See?" It was a hit, and became my introductory line through most of the evening.

It was a challenge at the restaurant, balancing being seven with respecting the other diners and the wait staff. I couldn't let myself be fully seven or I might have made a scene, and I am big about consent. The other patrons had not agreed to be a part of our little scene, so I kept Missy under control, content to slouch and sigh and glance around distractedly, to hum while I chewed and smacked my food a little, and to make faces at the mushrooms on my plate - yuck! I think our server had caught on by the end of the meal, as her approach to me altered from Adult:Adult to Adult:Child. It was very cool to experience. (Note: this was in the hotel restaurant, so they'd been serving a whole crew of leather-clad, cross-dressing, corset-wearing perverts all weekend.)

Then we went on to the Dungeon, where "Daddy" had a play date with a masochist. It took a while to find a space and get ready, and I got to be bored (which I NEVER am in real life), and play with a piece of rabbit fur, that I'd tucked in a small handbag I could swing around, and a stuffed alligator codpiece. They chased each other, the rabbit got eaten, then scolded the alligator... it was awesome. Eventually, I tired of playing and ran over to greet the people I knew who entered the room. Stormy finally took me under her wing, thank goodness, as "Missy" really had no interest in watching "Daddy" spank the other lady, and we watched some really pretty suspension rope bondage take place.

When "Daddy" was finally done, we snuggled on one of the sofas for several minutes, punctuated by visits with Ryan and Sean, who yanked me around by my straps while I giggled madly, and Paul, who gave me a piggyback ride up and down the corridor, again to a chorus of giggles. I climbed back into Daddy's lap, and soon after declared myself done. I'd had enough, and I was done! There was a pole to dance on! And the Sex-O-Rama to go play in! And then Ryan agreed to teach Q about using pressure points for sadistic control, using me as the demo-bottom, of course. (A double dose of Ouch!)

Reflecting on the experience, it was exactly what I needed, and something I may need monthly if I keep pushing myself at this pace. I could notice what Makael was thinking/feeling about being in public, or about Q playing with someone else, without allowing myself to engage in further examination of it. I didn't have to look good, or be strong, or capable, or a good listener, or sexy or graceful, or to figure it all out, I could just be Missy. I could be silly, sloppy, floppy, snuggly, awkward, carefree and needy with no explanation or justification. For Q it was a particular challenge, because he had no previous experience with being The Adult who's responsible for a young child, and he too wants to do it again. It gave him control, which is something he definitely wants, in a way that I could give it without my Strong and Capable being threatened.

I am totally certain and clear that my new opening from the weekend was a direct result of 1) approaching the entire event from a space of curiosity, and intentionally seeking my needs, 2) Julian Wolf's Role Playing class, 3) Barbara Carrellas' class on identifying our values & needs. The conversations we had, things we heard and saw, and other classes we took also played their role in creating a safe space for exploration, for which I again thank Karrie and Greg, Tristan & Colten, the organizers, for bringing this into being and continuing to provide such opportunities for our communities.

Until next year!

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

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