happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)
It’s nearly six years to the day since I got on a jet plane and flew away from the wreckage of my attempted PhD.

Quitting my PhD was the second best decision of my life (the best was marrying [personal profile] such_heights) and has brought me so much joy, happiness, and personal fulfilment.

I think a lot, on and off, about whether there’s anything that could have helped me quit it sooner. I suspect probably not, to be honest — all anyone could do was what they did do, which was love me, support me, and welcome me back with open arms when I did finally come home.

But for my past self, the one who got on that plane weighed down with ambivalence, here are a few things I’m glad you’ll learn:


Thoughts for a quitter )

QotD

Jun. 25th, 2017 05:24 am[personal profile] dglenn
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)

"Ice cream is the perfect buffer, because you can do things in a somewhat lighthearted way. Plus, people have an emotional response to ice cream; it's more than just food. So I think when you combine caring, and eating wonderful food, it's a very powerful combination." -- Jerry Greenfield

[Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating! And unrelatedly, distant greetings to all my friends gathered in NYS for ice cream and camaraderie this weekend -- hoping next year I can manage to make it up there myself again, after too many years absence.]

dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
Butterfly Effect
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 1 (complete)
word count (story only): 1559


:: This story follows “Detours and Obstacles,” (part one, part two, and part three) and definitely throws a spanner into the works. ::


:: Pay Special Attention: I do NOT write unhappy endings, I assure everyone! ::




“All right,” Joshua declared as he turned on the signal and pulled to the side of a narrow, two-lane highway that seemed to bounce up and down, like a rippling ribbon frozen by a high-speed camera. “All right, it's time for me to take a nap. Cash, if you'd like help balancing on the way to the front passenger seat, G, you're driving.”

“I'm what?” G croaked.

“Student driver,” his dad informed him, pointing to add emphasis. Then he pointed to Cash, who already had the lift in motion. “Licensed driver, whose only job is to get control of the vehicle if you panic. So, don't panic.”

Joshua set the parking brake and shut off the engine, and hugged his son as they crossed paths on the side of the road. When he returned, he secured the wheels with a moving strap. As he slipped behind it to the vinyl accordion door next to the tiny kitchen area, he told Kais, “I'll wake up in an hour. Don't worry, G's a better driver than he thinks he is.”
Read more... )
elf: Silhoette of autumn scene; one glitch sitting on a park bench, another leaping in the air (Glitch - Autumn Day)
This gets interesting, because "reminds me of summertime" often has nothing to do with the contents of the song. I spent a good portion of my preteen and early teen summers in Arkansas, so there are a swarm of country & bluegrass songs that I think of as "summery" because that's when I heard them. But those aren't the only ones I think of as "summertime" songs.

Cotton Jenny | I'm Gonna Hire a Wino | Out of the Frying Pan (And into the Fire) | Delta Dawn | Lady Takes the Cowboy Every Time | Cruel Summer | Stay Young | Good Vibrations | Nobody | Boys of Summer

And one I associate with summer both because of how I first heard it and the contents )Meme list

Posted by Karl E. H. Seigfried

The Troth held its 30th annual Trothmoot at Crowder State Park in Missouri from Thursday, June 1 through Sunday, June 4. To provide members in different regions equal opportunity to attend, the international Ásatrú and Heathen organization rotates the location of the gathering between western, midwestern, and eastern regions. This year, attendees arrived from 13 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, with Illinois and Washington making the strongest showings.

On Thursday afternoon, attendees performed a blót to the god Tyr. The central ritual of Heathenry, blót is focused on the making of offerings to gods, goddesses, land spirits, and other figures. To open Trothmoot, participants honored the god described as presiding over community gatherings in the organization’s monumental text Our Troth, Volume One: History and Lore:

Tyr simply established a framework for managing the struggles and conflicts inherent in any community such that the community, rather than being torn apart, emerged stronger. To call Tyr, therefore, a god of right, after the German Recht, would come nearer to the truth, although perhaps the most accurate term would be Þing-god, after the institution with which Tyr was most closely identified in later Heathen times.

The Troth flag flies over Trothmoot [Lisa Cowley Morgenstern].

Robert L. Schreiwer, beginning his second year as Troth steer (roughly equivalent to chairperson of board of directors), led both the blót and a ceremonial “land-taking.” He explains the significance of the rituals:

We followed the Troth’s traditions of honoring Tyr in blót and asking for his aid in maintaining the fellowship and frith [“peace”] of our community. Traditionally, we use a spear and a glove both as his hallowing tools and to represent the establishment of the frithstead and of a vé [“shrine”] to Tyr. We located the shrine by a flagpole and raised the Troth banner as an announcement of the taking of the land by the Troth.

We then walk the entire premises that we will utilize for our business meetings, rituals, workshops, and fellowship and honor the land wights in each of the cardinal directions, moving in a clockwise circle. This year we also stopped and hailed other deities along the route, particularly when we came across plants that bear an association with one in particular. For example, we hailed Thor at an oak tree and Holle at an elderberry bush.

On Sunday, we walked the same route counterclockwise, honored Tyr and other deities in a closing rite, disassembled the shrine, and took down the banner.

In one of the buildings of the campsite, members also set up individual shrines to Odin, Frigg, Holle, the Matronae, and several others.

Thursday night featured a presentation on “Speakers to the Dead” by Allvildr in fägra, author of Sheathenry, Volume I: Ritual Practices of Modern Heathen Women. When I asked her to explain her work, she said,

Whether they study their genealogy, construct ancestor shrines where they give offerings, follow a predecessor’s career path, or visit the graves of their forebears to commune with the dead, Heathen women endeavor to create or continue relationships with their relatives who have gone to the afterlife.

This presentation utilized the voice recordings of many of the women I interviewed for my book in order for the audience to hear how various Heathen women honor their ancestors in their own voices.

Ben Waggoner, the organization’s shope (publications director), discussed the “Germanic Night Sky” late Thursday night. He explained names of specific stars and constellations in various Northern European societies and stated that “the shope will someday publish [his research] as a book, once he gets everything else out of the way, which is not likely to happen soon, so don’t hold your breath.” A lot of people — Heathen and not — are interested in learning more about Germanic star lore, so hopefully he will be able to publish some form of his work sooner rather than later.

Waggoner also presented an introduction to Old Norse language on Friday morning, preceded by Schreiwer’s introduction to Urglaawe, which the Troth steer defines — in his Dictionary of Urglaawe Terminology, written with Ammerili Eckhart — as “a Heathen path that is derived from the living, pre-Christian traditions of the Deitsch [Pennsylvania German] nation.”

During the rede (board) meeting on Thursday night and during the general business meeting on Saturday morning, several officers swore new or renewed oaths regarding their official roles. Last fall, the Troth amended the oath taken by all titled representatives so that it would to be more closely “aligned with the Troth’s mission and stated positions.” Reaffirming the organization’s commitment to inclusive Heathenry, the new passage in the relatively length oath reads:

With the Troth I stand against any use of Germanic religion and culture to advance causes of racism, sexism, homophobia, white supremacy, ableism, or any other form of prejudice.

Rede members renew oaths: Amanda T. Leigh-Hawkins, Lagaria Farmer, John T. Mainer, Robert L. Schreiwer [Lisa Cowley Morgenstern].

Lonnie Scott — the Troth’s Illinois steward, a member of Thor’s Oak Kindred in Chicago, and now a member of the Rede — was one of those who publicly made the oath. He explains the personal significance of the act:

I didn’t know if I won a seat on the High Rede until the first evening of Trothmoot. I felt the weight of history associated with those who’ve held this office and the organization itself. It was a welcome feeling. I knew I would take my oath of office, and since I had only made a written oath as Steward, I knew I would speak my oath for that as well.

I stood in the Hall surrounded by members of the Troth as I grabbed the Troth oath ring. The High Steward and the Steer held the Ring as well. Each took a turn repeating the Troth’s officer oath that I spoke in return. That moment is one of the proudest achievements of my life that I shall never forget.

On Friday night, Winifred Hodge-Rose led a walk through a large maze that was constructed to represent the journey to Mimir’s Well of Wisdom at its center. Jamie Juliansdatter describes the experience of walking the maze:

Intentionally moving into the maze was an unexpected gift. It was both a shared experience in community and an individual journey that was perfectly orchestrated by Winfred Hodge-Rose and kindred members.

Participating in the maze (and Trothmoot) gave me permission I rarely give myself in the midst of so many mundane commitments – the permission to slow way down, enter into sacred space according to my own rhythm, and listen deeply for much needed wisdom.

The maze was an opportunity to connect and reflect, as well as a reminder that I need these experiences much more often than I get.

Late the same night, Diana L. Paxson led a ritual of “Spae (Oracular Seiðr),” which she calls “Germanic oracular practice” on her website, Seeing for the People: High Seat Seið and the Core Oracular Method. Trothmoot programmer Lorrie Wood describes Friday’s rite:

Every year on Friday night of Trothmoot, Diana reaches out to the local and regional Heathen community, and asks them to help her put on her oracular ritual. Here, attendees of the moot are encouraged to bring their most important questions, and the seers answer them.

Without tools, but as the result of talent, skill, and training, answers are direct and immediate, although there’s often Heathen imagery involved in an answer. Sometimes a question is asked directly of an ancestor or a god, and the seer will get their point of view of the answer, if possible.

Throughout the day on Saturday, Rosten (Dean Michael Rose) led a forge demonstration and helped interested people make Thor’s hammers and other objects of pewter. He reflects on his work:

So far as I can remember, I have nearly always showed up to Trothmoot with a forge. It is an activity that many find interesting, and some are even eager to give it a try! Usually there are a few that leave the gathering with a new skill.

In this line of work, one learns quite a bit as creations “whoosh up” in a communal setting. I brought a variety of tools and a few ideas but left it to the folk to actualize their ideas. I had not done much with the white metal before, but we all had fun, and a number of interesting works resulted. I left with more ideas than I came with.

This moot was different in that I did very little forging. However, a couple of members were busy at the fire, so the opportunity was theirs for the taking! It was a friendly crowd, so I was able to be a bit more relaxed leaving tools lying around.

Paxson led a blót to the goddess Idunn on Saturday afternoon. Attendees had been asked to bring water from their home regions to add to a bowl of “the waters of the world.” When each person or group’s turn came, they walked forward, explained where they had collected the water – stream, lake, well – and added it to the bowl. Schreiwer added water preserved from the Idunna blót of last year’s Trothmoot, and Paxson poured the water on the roots of the oak tree that stood over the main meeting area.

Diana L. Paxson prepares to pour the waters of the world on the roots of the oak tree [Karl E. H. Seigfried].

When the blót had been completed, Rede member and Communications Officer John T. Mainer officiated at the wedding of Kentucky steward Amy Kincheloe and Ethan Dunbar in a beautiful ceremony surrounded by trees in the campground’s amphitheater. The married couple has decided to combine their last names into a new family surname of Dunloe.

After the final feast prepared by Tanya Peterson and her staff of volunteers, the entire group met for the grand sumbel. In A Practical Heathen’s Guide to Asatru, former Troth steer Patricia M. Lafayllve defines sumbel as “a ritualized drinking ceremony which is meant to strengthen bonds within a community.” Two large drinking horns — providing a choice of mead or apple juice — were passed around the assembled participants. In the first round, each member hailed a god or goddess by giving a short or long speech and drinking from the horn. In the second round, ancestors or other departed individuals were hailed. The third round was open to whatever the participants chose to address.

Robert L. Schreiwer (center) opens the grand sumbel, with Lisa Cowley Morgenstern (left) and Lagaria Farmer (right) [Karl E. H. Seigfried].

Trothmoots have notoriously had defining conflicts. This year was no exception. During the sumbel, one longtime member gave a passionate and heartfelt speech in strong opposition to current organization rules on oaths made during the rite, insisting that oaths should be allowed in front of the assembly without being first discussed with the Rede. He was opposed by the fiercely determined guest of another Troth member, who asserted that witnessing oaths made by those outside of one’s own worship group would necessarily have a negative effect on the individual, and who insisted on walking out of the building to avoid hearing any oaths made. Schreiwer, possessed of an impressive ability to lower tempers while hearing all sides, was roundly applauded for his quick-witted resolution of the conflict. In relation to past blowups at Trothmoot, this was relatively painless.

Several attendees told me that attendance was noticeably down from previous years. In 2016, there were nearly two dozen more participants, and some earlier Trothmoots have had nearly three times as many attendees. Given that there has been a steady increase of new memberships in the organization, Wood suggests that the lower numbers this year may be due to a lack of current members in the midwestern region. She says that this year’s location was deliberately chosen to build a stronger presence in the area: “Trothmoot hasn’t been held in the Midwest since 2010, but as a committee we felt it imperative to hold the moot there to help grow our membership in that part of the country.”

Members of the Trothmoot planning committee are already looking at locations near Baltimore, Nashville, and Philadelphia as possible sites for next year’s event. There was a feeling among some members that, after many years of Trothmoots held at campgrounds, it might be nice to finally meet somewhere with a swimming pool and air conditioning.

* * *

The views and opinions expressed by our diverse panel of columnists and guest writers represent the many diverging perspectives held within the global Pagan, Heathen and polytheist communities, but do not necessarily reflect the views of The Wild Hunt Inc. or its management.

Saturday Yardening

Jun. 24th, 2017 02:27 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Today is beautiful, cool and breezy.  I took some pictures.  We are planning a Midsummer ritual later today so I don't know if I'll get much else done.

QotD

Jun. 24th, 2017 05:24 am[personal profile] dglenn
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)

"We're at a party at a Chuck e Cheese. This place is like something you'd subject a Panamanian dictator to. Why does it exist?" -- Zinnia Jones, 2017-06-03

Super-Queers

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:38 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] bairnsidhe has been writing a setting called Super-Queers.  Check out "Questions" and "Under the Hood."  If you like Polychrome Heroics, you'll probably love this.
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
Detours and Obstacles
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 3 of 3
word count (story only): 1683


:: This story follows immediately on the heels of Speed Bump!” and continues the theme of unexpected events and unexpected reactions. I do apologize; I usually plan better than this! Enjoy the last part of the story! ::


back to part two
:: Thanks for reading! ::




“We're going to Its Your Body Shop,” G began, shrugging diffidently, as only a teen could.

“In Humboldt?” the young woman blurted. Her fingers clenched, revealing large, white knuckles beneath her golden skin. “Like, really?”

“Yeah,” G brightened. “It would make the whole thing more fun if I knew somebody wading through things at the same time. I mean, my friends are great, but the only person who came close to understanding was almost literally run out of town by her family's reaction.” The teen pointed out the tinted side window on the van. “Dad, the tow truck's almost here.”

“Already?” Joshua frowned, then smoothed it away. He wasn't trying to overly influence the young woman, and she had every right to back out because of the emotional upset of the day.
Read more... )

Fireflies!

Jun. 23rd, 2017 09:05 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Tonight is moist and mild.  There are fireflies everywhere!  :D  Also some fireworks to the west of us.

(no subject)

Jun. 23rd, 2017 08:51 pm[personal profile] halley posting in [community profile] lj_refugees
halley: (Default)

I hope it's alright for me to post this here.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The June 6, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl made its $200 goal, so you get a free epic. Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll. I'll keep it open until at least Saturday midday. If there's a clear answer then, I'll close it. Otherwise I may leave it open longer.

These are the eligible epics.

"So Closely Allied"
Twins Phoebe and Floyd have an unusual connection and superpowers enhanced through touch.
164 lines, $82

"As We Have Created It"
Not all dragons are necessarily monsters.
84 lines, $42


Poll #18523 Free Epic for June 6, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 16


Which of these should be the free epic?

View Answers

"So Closely Allied"
6 (37.5%)

"As We Have Created It"
10 (62.5%)

Posted by Manny Tejeda-Moreno

Welcome to the other side of the solstice: light is waning but abundant, still at its strongest and letting us stare deep and long into the world and into ourselves. This solstice is the triumph of life to its fullest, heralding the certainty of harvest in a moment of lavish light.

In my family’s traditions, midsummer meant a bonfire: the Bonfires of St. John. But not just a fire anywhere, a bonfire at the beach. Family members would make an ajiaco, a stew of root vegetables, plantains, corn on the cob and pumpkin that is cooked with tasajo, a Latin beef jerky. The ajiaco is a rich dish eaten with rice or bread but always sprinkled with lime juice at the last moment. The dish was reserved for big dinners and it accentuated the confluence of African, European and Indigenous cultures. We were taught that eating ajiaco connected us to the summer — the warmth of the world — and to our ancestors.

While I was growing up in Florida, we only celebrated one afternoon and evening but I was constantly told stories that the festival was supposed to last five days, creating a carnival-like atmosphere. It included costumes, dancing, parades, pageantry, a presentation of bulls, and the usual recounting of stories. Finally, on the fifth day — the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul — everyone would go to the giant straw and wood “doll” that had been built in one of the town plazas and burn it down, ending the festival celebrations With the burning of the doll, went all the negative energy in the town.

By the way, this is all totally not Pagan just, you know, traditions from the “Old Country.”

For us in Florida, though, when celebrating midsummer, there were three things you were supposed to do over the course of the day and into the night besides eat the ajiaco. The first of these was to jump over a small fire at least once. A small burning log was separated from the fires for us to jump over for the kids. The second thing was to bring herbs like basil, rosemary and oregano to wash in the surf. They were then bundled together and hung to dry at home, forming little salt crystals all over them. They were to be used during the next few days for both culinary and spiritual purposes.  The third thing we were supposed to do is to stand with your back to the ocean and fall backwards into it seven times.

Let me just note one more time that this is all totally not Pagan. They’re just fun traditions, you know, from the “Old Country.”

The Blue Hole at Ichetucknee Springs [S. Ciotti].

The last of these tasks has always stuck with me: falling backwards into the ocean. Now, just to be clear, I don’t recommend this without looking first, especially where I live.  Every Floridian knows not to go into any body of water — no matter how small — without a thorough inspection. Florida is constantly trying to kill you. No need to help it along.

But the act of entering water is spiritual, and falling backwards into it is both an act or trust as well as respect. While midsummer often focuses on bonfires, gardens and hikes — the stuff of the fire and earth — this is also the time of the year when many of us immerse ourselves in the waters of the world. We return to ocean, to beaches, to rivers and lakes, and creeks. It is a time when we need water the most. The heat of the summer demands we drink more to stay safe; and bathing in it cools us from heat.  This is a time of year that brings an opportunity to reconnect with the one substance that seems to be required for all life; the essence of the summer solstice.  There is no “us” without water, and in a very real way, we are water; we must return to it. As a shaman told me decades ago, “They like to tell us we are dust, but the truth is, we are water.”  We all go back to the water.

Despite its necessity for our survival and our spirit as a species, we seem to take every opportunity to collectively and consistently abuse  and ignore water. We do not revere it because it is common. In fact, we waste it will little regard. We pollute it specifically because of its abundance; we try to control it because of its utility.

Water exposes our human obsession with control.  We hear the echoes of our controlling nature in how we speak of water. We try to isolate it, keeping it away from us but allowing it to approach only on our terms, to what we choose: energy, art, or tea . We describe it as dangerous and irrepressible, and it is.

Offshore on the Atlantic Ocean [M. Tejeda-Moreno].

Its danger to us is not about its properties; it’s about our abuse of the world around us. Floods are not dangerous if we stop demanding to live where water belongs. The same is true for storm surges, even flash floods. In that sense, it is us prescribing to the planet where and how we will live that causes the damage.

Water floats our human gifts and aspirations. We learn to use water for communication and navigation. We sail for discovery and understanding, and use water to craft the world around us. Our buildings are possible because of water. Harnessing electricity became possible because of water.

Likewise, water drowns us in our human failures. The water crisis of Flint, Michigan exposes the environmental racism that plagues our civilization. It is through water that we witness how power, politics, and money continue to subordinate and even sacrifice communities of color. Our colonization was first made possible because of water. We also witness, in places like Fiji, how some of the purest waters on the planet are commodified to favor a hegemonic class. We see that social privilege in the most egregious wastes of water, lawns and golf courses; two spaces that exist only to mark class status.

As a species, we have been very busy destroying our water resources. We have decimated the Aral Sea, and we’ve been busy pressuring the North American Great Lakes ecosystems with urban and agricultural runoff. There are fewer and fewer unadulterated bodies of freshwater on every continent from streams, to rivers to lakes. It will come with a cost to our collective security and survival.

I’m reminded of a pataki about Orisha Olokun, the Orisha of the abyss. S/he is an androgynous Orisha separate from the better-known Yemaya of Yoruba religion, the Orisha of ocean surfaces and patron of the Ogun River in Nigeria. Orisha Yemaya is the mother of all, and she is present in the calm of the sea. But it is Olokun that is the power of the ocean and the rage of the maelstrom. Olokun is the water of life and the wellspring of all riches. S/he is the place where no one — not even fish — can go. The pataki is about two of his/her servants, one humble and the other arrogant. When Olokun asked the servants what they wished for, the humble servant said, “only to serve,” and so the servant was brought into the depths to learn Olokun’s secret wisdom and live in his/her riches. The other servant said he want only to live away from Olokun, and so Olokun cast him onto the land where he would only witness the famine and suffering of humankind, denied the greatness of waters. That servant cries endlessly to this day.

I think summer reminds us of that bargain. While the solstice brings the blessings of the sun, reentering Earth’s waters gives us a moment to reflect on Olokun’s choice.  Honoring water can offer us security, health and abundance; but disgracing it offers only the fate of the arrogant servant.

* * *

The views and opinions expressed by our diverse panel of columnists and guest writers represent the many diverging perspectives held within the global Pagan, Heathen and polytheist communities, but do not necessarily reflect the views of The Wild Hunt Inc. or its management.
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)
Interlude: Shahin 2
by Lyn Thorne-Alder




read on...
aldersprig: (lock and key)
First: M/m Keeper/Kept
Previous: Be Yourself


This chapter features a lot of description that wanders around the edges of sex without describing penetration or intercourse.
.

Read more... )

Want More?
the_future_modernes: (Default)
falling down in anime all the time?  Also I am SICK of the dead woman love interest trope in all of media. I would honestly like to ban that shit for the next 540 years.

Also, was trying to watch Star Trek Beyond and why is Kirk so fucking TERRIBLE at negotiation? Is he or is he not supposed to have been tops in all his subjects? So why was he so sarcastic and impatient and lacking in empathy? Why was the entire negotiation scene played for jokes? Star Trek is SUPPOSED to be about diplomacy  as well as fighting, these motherfuckers can only focus on action? Frankly I wouldn't want to live anywhere near the Federation, they are clearly the same shitheads that militaries today are. Which was not quite the intention of the original. This medicore ass, fratboy ass white imperialistic ass fuckwittery tho. Its so frustrating when the fanfic IS SO MUCH BETTER than the shit these so called professionals GET PAID FOR.

Finally watching Cowboy Bebop. SO GOOD. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the architecture of the world, the gates are BADASS and the diversity of the characters?! There are darskinned folk up in there! And I love the fact that they are having adventures but it aint about war. I am so SICK of war. I feel like describing war as action adventure is erasure. War isn't adventure. Not by a long shot.
One thing about it that I didnt like was the story line about terrorist environmentalists. Made me annoyed because I feel like I keep seeing movies in which environmentalists are set up as cuckoo terrorists who go too far. Considering teh fact that coporations and their captive govts are responsible for the current destruction of the planet for human habitation ... says a lot about the ideologies of the ruling class. More environmentalists as heroes I say. And more corporations as the destructive moneygrubbing villians that they are. Speaking of, I need several articles that look into the specifics of corporate welfare.  The drumbeat of lazy mooching poor continues unabated while corporations make billions more than in tax dollars the poor ever manage to but have their misdeeds cozily hidden by our fourth estate. Then again corporations own the fourth estate.  Apparently folk are going to have to learn up close and personal AGAIN that monopolies are bad for us. Hoo-fucking-ray. 

I would like to seee a movie in which a James Bond type or platoon of them come in to fuck up a government in a POC majority country and the heroes are the security forces of said countries  who repel the invaders and embarass the shit out of the colonizing country.  Actually I would like to see several movies about this.

I need to write more. I am brimming with ideas but the resilency to sit down and write is lacking. Because I keep getting hung up on the fact that what sounds great in my head doesnt come out as such on paper. *sigh*
theferrett: (Meazel)

I was told the other day how true polyamory didn’t have rules. You just got to fuck whoever you wanted, and nobody could stop you or it wasn’t polyamory.

Okay.

Let’s break that down.

Because people forget rules weren’t inflicted on people wholesale by malicious bureaucrats. Rules are like pearls, which are beautiful to us but an irritant to an oyster. Oysters create pearls because they can’t get a piece of sand out of their tendermeats and layer it in nacre until they have a ball of Stuff stuck in their craw. That’s not great for the oyster, but it’s better than having sand ripping up their insides.

And like a pearl, every rule started with some Problem that was causing distress, and people decided to wrap a Rule around it – because as annoying as that Rule was, it was better than the initial Problem.

Now rules, as I’ve noted, are the failure state of polyamory. You’d be better served by utilizing expectations, which aren’t quite as brittle and lead to better understanding. But rules and expectations both are solutions to the same ultimate problem:

You’re hurting someone you love.

They feel abandoned when you don’t text them at the end of the night. They feel threatened when you cancel dates on them to go out with New Person. They feel exasperated when they’re spending their dates with you as a pseudo-relationship counsellor, picking apart the reasons you’re fighting with your other partner all the time.

But hey. You have no limits. So even if your partner’s cat just died and they’re desperate to not be alone tonight, fuck that! You had a date. And you’re not cancelling that because NO LIMITS!

What’s that?

That’d be cruel? You wouldn’t leave your partner alone during a time of need?

Well, I guess you have limits.

“That’s different!” you cry. “That’s what I wanted to do! I chose to do that of my own volition, not because of some stupid rules!”

Here’s the secret to rules, my friend:

Everyone chooses them.

There’s no legal contract for any poly relationship saying, “I have to stay with this person.” There may be consequences, divorce laws being punitive and all, but there’s consequences for any bad decision. You treat them badly enough that they refuse to talk to you, you don’t get the hot sex or the emotional support. If you’re really a shithead, you may lose friends over the breakup. There is no consequence-free decision.

As such, people may bitch about rules, but ultimately they chose to stay with the person who enacted them. Why? Because the irritant of the rules is better than losing that person entirely – or better than the less-critical problem of “I love them, so I don’t want to make them feel bad.”

You’re not better because you made a decision on the fly to alter your behavior to be with someone. That’s how relationships work. You negotiate, you compromise, you figure out where your elbow hits someone’s eye.

And in a lot of cases, you don’t do something that would bring you magnificent satisfaction because you know it would hurt someone. Unsafe sex. Taking someone else to the concert you promised you’d take them to. Disappearing for a two-week vacation with a new sweetie without letting them know where you’re going.

All those are limits.

“They’re self-imposed limits!” you cry – but now you’re changing the argument. Because polyamory was supposed to have no limits, man. Total and utter William Wallace-style FREEEEEEDOM!

…except that compassionate human beings, when given the choice to do whatever they want, will often choose not to do things that injure the people they love.

True freedom involves the ability to self-limit.

And so “Polyamory has no limits” often is a synonym for “I am a sociopath who is only out for my own satisfaction, and anyone who inconveniences me in any way will be shunted aside. I don’t give a fuck about you as long as I get mine.” It’s not so much an ethos as a warning sign that this person is not someone you want to date unless your Venn diagram of what you desire overlaps theirs perfectly.

And yes. It’s perfectly logical to stop dating someone whose feelings are so sensitive you can’t avoid bruising them; I’ve done it myself. But that’s not “I have no limits” so much as “Our limits were irreconcilable.” There’s nothing wrong with a hedonistic relationship based on pleasure, either, so long as everyone involved chose it honestly. It’s possible to have a relationship with such low limits that you never brush against them.

But I generally find that the people who bristle at any idea of limitations are the people who bristle at the idea of other people having needs. They want no limitations because really, anything that obstructs their satisfaction is an enemy to be destroyed.

Date these people at your peril.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

April 2016

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