Today is the five year anniversary of my first date with Jeff, and the two-and-a-half year anniversary of our wedding. (Which means that, from this day forward, we'll have been married longer than we dated. Weird!) Recently I was looking back through old journal entries, when I found this poem that I wrote back in March 2010, one year after we'd met. As the French say, Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose... Happy anniversary, love!
In Praise of Boring Sex
I wasn't exactly having any raging hot sex in my mid-twenties. What intimacy there was to be snatched between caffeine-addled swing shifts was difficult and desperate, and always over too soon. Why should love be so hard? The world seemed full of impervious surfaces -- concrete, steel and glass -- against which there was nothing to do but rip myself ruthlessly open to the possibility of contact. To make the foolhardy choice to stay soft and tattered; to refuse to be ground smooth into something polished, invulnerable, inhuman. To choose, each time, to throw myself once more into the harsh, cold waters where the restless waves broke against the rocks. Which might be why, these days, I am still so often surprised by the utter heart-wrenching gentleness of quiet, boring sex. It is a blessing I am still getting used to.
A Bureaucracy of Poets
Have you ever heard of a murder of crows? I strongly believe that the mass noun term for poets should be bureaucracy. Singly, poets have this reputation for being sensitive, articulate, deeply strange and haunted — not to say enlightened — creatures who drift through life with the veils lifted and the doors of perception open. Don't be fooled.
7 Ways to Enjoy a Sex-Free Beltane
A Pagan friend of mine mentioned recently that Beltane isn't really a holiday they celebrate; being single and not all that interested in sex, they don't connect with a lot of the symbolism associated with the holiday. I can totally relate. Surely, Beltane isn't just a holiday for horny lovers. As part of the ever-spiraling dance of the seasons, there are a lot of blessings that this time of year brings that can be enjoyed by those of us who are chaste, single, or otherwise just not that interested in turning everything into a metaphor for girl-parts and boy-parts. So in the spirit of the season, here are seven things to love about a sex-free Beltane!
The Joyful Wound: Blended Families and Disneyland Dads
Being a stepmom is like having to learn how to be bravely and joyfully wounded. How to be fiercely protective and graceful in your impotence all at the same time. It's having to be honest about your wounds, to learn how to teach by example what it's like to bear them courageously and lovingly — while at the same time fighting like hell to make sure the kids don't grow up with any deep wounds of their own, if you can possibly spare them. It's also learning to accept that they might grow up with wounds anyway, and they might think you're full of shit no matter what explanations you give them for the choices you made... if you're lucky enough to get them to listen at all. It's knowing that they might even be right, and you're making all the wrong choices. But you suck it up and have a little trust and try to practice some preemptive self-forgiveness.
Biophilia: On Love and Nature
Our relationship with nature gives rise to a paradox, in the same way that love creates a paradox. The paradox of love closely parallels the on-going struggle we have with the question of whether we are a part of nature, or separate from it. When we think of nature as our beloved, we discover that the answer is in fact: both. To be a nature-lover is to recognize this paradox: when we love nature, we see that our love both unites us with and differentiates us from what we love. In this way our love of nature affirms the most basic truth of our experience as self-aware creatures: that we are both a part of and apart from the world around us, that we are both whole individuals ourselves, and united in a whole that transcends our individuality.
The Ponds, by Mary Oliver
In a moment of sad synchronicity, only a few hours after I posted this I found out that Mary Oliver is seriously ill. Writers and poets are sharing their stories about how her work has influenced them, and sending their blessings and prayers. I know many Druids and Pagans are also familiar with her work and have been touched by her vision and love of nature. Please take a few moments today to express your love and gratitude for an amazing woman, and consider sharing your story with her by sending her an open letter. In honor of our first Valentine's Day as husband and wife, I wanted to share the poem that Jeff and I had read at our wedding, "The Ponds," by Mary Oliver.
Lunar Union: A Poem
I expect an eclipse of moon to be a kind of dilation, corona blaze of blue iris flaring out from the pupil- depths of midnight sky cast, in its center, suddenly to shadow by coy sunlight. I expect a god, his gaze past the austerity of bare trees, sharp eyelashes against the pale cheek of hill, and the thrill...
Share Your Love Story! » Win The Scribing Ibis
When my partner Jeff Lilly and I were first falling in love, I wrote a story called "Yewberry." Not on purpose. It just sort of happened one afternoon, after I'd been trudging through the ice-and-mud-thawing, bare-limbed woods of late February, my heart thrilling to the stirrings of warm-fuzzy romantic bliss for the first time in a long time. But never mind about that! You want to know about the contest, and how you can enter to win your very own copy of The Scribing Ibis. Don't worry, it's easy: Share your own love story. Keep reading to find out how you can enter and win!
Ecstasy of Beltaine: Reflections on Love and Transgression
The significance of Beltaine reaches beyond merely being an agricultural festival focused on fertility and fecundity in service to the community, with romance acting as a bit of grease we can indulge in now and then to keep the Wheel turning. The holy day at the height of spring is also a day of ecstasy in the original sense, a day on which the attraction of life-force can pull us beyond ourselves and into communion with a larger Mystery, beyond tensions that might keep us too rigidly locked into unhealthy or hampering community bonds once they have outlasted their benefit. Along with Samhain, the other hinge of the year, Beltaine serves as a liminal time, a time of thresholds and permeable boundaries. The great ecstatic mysteries of sex and death dominate both these holy days.