Surrounded by Wonder

May 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

My life is full of magic, and too often I forget to notice.

This weekend I drove into the mountains, greeted fellow dreamers, and dressed myself in soft shining coppers and blues, something out of medieval fantasy. Horns on my head, long ears extending from mine; I became someone else, let the passionate emotional direct side of myself out to play, and stepped into another world.

One full weekend. Live-action roleplay at its worst is just play-acting, “let’s pretend” for grown-ups. At its best it is theater, it is magic, it is transformation: I am immersed in another world, everyone playing their part, and I am drowning in the magnification and characterization of an oft-buried aspect of Self. It is magic when I forget myself and become that character so deeply that I feel the rush of adrenaline, I am shaking in the satyr’s rage without meaning to, I am a hurricane of fury and pain barely kept in check. Let go, and be.

Once the weekend was over, my lover and I let our shadows out to play and dance and struggle. Immersed in a different world altogether, inducing fear even though we both know there’s no real risk of harm, fear on the edge of pain that bubbles up into my throat stretched bare by a hand in my hair, the pull burning at my scalp. Trapped there to flutter in panic, pulse like a living thing held in place by a tightening grip that knows exactly how far to go, when to pause, where to stop, how far to push without harm. And this, too, was magic; two shadows consuming and consumed in a dynamic tension.

This weekend, walking as a satyr brimming with emotion, I sat next to someone I’d met only briefly once before a year ago. He was a satyr too, though I don’t think that’s too far from his normal state – Mediterranean ancestry showing in angular features, curly brown hair, faun-dark eyes, mischief in his movements. There was something very familiar about him, and sitting next to him was comfortable, easy. I was just beginning to think of how he seemed so very familiar when he asked me if I, out of character, had been to these places, worked in those parts of town, something – because to him, I too seemed very familiar, like he’d known me for a long time.

Ah, well! Old friends I’ve never met, truly? Again, without calling for it, without wrapping my will around the tangle of lines in my chest and tugging? Magic. Connections never made this lifetime, only rediscovered.

A dragon lives coiled down the hall from me, dark eyes full of old knowledge and old pain. We share a bond older than our bodies and deeper than flesh, myth and memory braided so tight it’s hard to tell which is which. As if it matters…

I was reading through some writings, my perceptions of other people – poetry and rhythm, texture and imagery – and wondering at the amazing intense people in my life. Dragons walking in human skin, barely disguised, boiling with size and heat. Elves and fae, fitting better in their forms but burning there, consuming, spinning spirit fine as mist through their bodies and back out. Animal-folk with the wild deep in their gaze and feral movement, fur and feathers itching muscle.

And all of this could be mere story, mere archetype, simply myth – but there is no mere about it, for even without fact there is Truth here, mythic truth, mythos, and that is what feeds the soul. That is where the magic is, in the stories we tell and live and breathe.

Headspace When Holding the Leash

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Written in March 2007.

what is this fascination with

collars

wide black leather circling flesh
and bone, and tendon
edged in silver, edged in steel
– or simple chain
thick, heavy
cold but warming
with the quickening of blood
settles with the clink of –
submission offered
power given
control exchanged
in trust
in love
in we.

collared you
and you drop
to silence
downcast eyes
shallow breath
is it imagination, or
is every barest touch
suddenly – so much – more
effective, your nerves
racing, pulse
thumping, breath
shuddering at the skittering
softness of nails (of steel or of
fingers, edges never breaking
but oh always the threat and
that is half the promise of
excitement,
isn’t it?)
and then the touch of
teeth of
air of
skin-on-skin just slightly –

you see, I have control
of you, of me, I
know the ways to make your mind
dance, consumed
in blind heat
until the flash of red (of
teasing nails turning from soft
torment to raking lines, harsh
and smiling)
is not pain at all
but her sister-twin named
ecstasy.

I want to collar you
place this chain about your neck
and tug you – yank you – lead you
by leather and leash
into the place where only
sensation
matters

to you –

but for me…
I am narrowed into this:
your squirming skin
pace of breath
dilated eyes wide and wondering
whimpering plea, tortured moan –
and I the one to decide
whether there is release
or another hour
of up-and-down the rollercoaster
never quite reaching
the
finish – and –

this is why I do this.
I began for you,
and for my own control
for the small satiation of that
fanged, scaled, hungry thing
chained beneath my conscious self…
but I am captivated by more
than the serpent and you.
I separate – detach –
I am distant from my body, but
the snake does not control my hands.
It’s me, moving, with scales beneath the skin,
but insecurity falls away
and worry
and fear
and distraction
until all that is
is me-and-you
(and steel, and leather, but that is part of it)
and I am suddenly supremely confident
I think – I know – that I am
Strong
in will, in body, in mind
and capable –
there is no doubt in me
there is no fear in me…
there cannot be, and so
there is
not
and all my mind
and all my will
is of
you.

This is your gift to me:
your want
your shadow beckoning to mine
and more than that
your trust –
filling me, strengthening me
leading me to look beyond that-which-I-fear-in-me
to settle into this dominant-space of
confidence, strength, will, fearless
I-who-are-in-Control –
of you only by your gift, but importantly –
of me

and I love you
for this and so much else
and value you for it
endlessly.

Headspace at the End of the Leash

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Written in March 2007.

i want you to
collar me
claim me
make me
– yours –
(as i am already, so
I suppose it’s more of a
claiming on
your part)

bind me
to you, to this, to earth
with rope with chain with hands
with will alone

i’ll fight
you know i will
i don’t give up control easy
(it terrifies me
even if it isn’t truly given up
only handed over
illusory
sub in control and all that
but it’s the illusion
that feeds us
and this
isn’t it?)

my thoughts are broken into shards
caught between asking and my pride
i’m sorry for the faltering

but this is so
hard
to
say

I am In Control of Me
and Mine and My Environment
and I Must Be In Control
especially – oh most importantly –
of My Self . . .

all my life
terrified
of loss of control
because I’ve had too little
because I’ve had too much
or clung too tight to the
few controls that are mine
and no other’s
(like emotion kept frigid and locked away because I can control it damnit and
parts of my body like the blade to the skin and
any little scrap of life that is Mine and Mine Alone to hold and
that isn’t as much as I’d like, most days)
and I hate/distrust the things I can’t control
that affect me too much
like the feelings and the little addictions
that refuse to bow to the might of my logic-mind
and the changes that storm through my life without warning
without me being able to do anything about them
because my gods say “you will deal with this
you must let go of this
you shall change for the better”
and open those doors that I don’t want to notice
open those ways that I don’t want to think about
or deal with
and every reminder that I Am Not In Control
sends me grasping tighter to that which I do
have control over
or might have control over
(like emotion locked away to numbness)
and I stretch rigid until I

crack

but

you know all this.
i’ve said it and you’ve
seen it and you’ve
said it and you
know.

. . . did you know I crave to let it go?

the control, i mean

it’s a burden to keep it all together
to be the ruler of my own heart and self
to try so hard to chain everything inside to
my reason and my thoughts and my wish
and then outside
to be the one
that people
keep
coming
to
as if i have the answers
as if i can help
and i suppose i can or do because
they keep coming back
(my akhu said
i control my own destiny
and others see this
and attach their destinies to me
for me to control
give up control to me
and i guess
that sometimes
i don’t have the
heart to say
“no
“no i can’t
“i have enough on my plate with
me, can’t you see
“that the strain is stretching me
“to breaking, why are you
“adding yourself to me
“just because i seem/am/appear/try to be
“in control and
“strong?”)

so this is why.

relieve me from walking myself
collar around my neck, the
end of the leash in my own mouth, it’s
kind of a silly sight, isn’t it?
feathery jackal walking themself
and tugging at the leash every so often
to keep themself from straying off the
well-defined own-defined strict-defined
path.

take the reins from my hands
take my controls
(i might resist, like i said
but only half-heartedly
because i want this
need this
even though all that’s ingrained in me
says i should never ever never give up
control to anyone or anything or
ever)

because when you bind me
to you, to earth, to sky
you gift me with the
freedom of
letting go
that i cannot seem
to give
myself

not without help.

free me
in bindings
of You.

Monster in the Basement

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Written in February 2007.

“Yes, he’s still down there. In the basement, where he belongs.

“We all have one down there, don’t we? Some of us have more than one. I’m not talking about submissives in your private dungeon. I’m talking about the Beast. The creature who can’t be allowed to run the body, because he’d do something stupid or destructive or embarrassing or perhaps even evil. The part of yourself that you’d like to pretend doesn’t exist.

“Perhaps you even managed to convince yourself that he – or she – isn’t there. Perhaps you managed to ignore the banging and clanking going on down there… until they saw through the floor and hijack you, if only for a moment.”

– Raven Kaldera, “Dark Moon Rising”

 

There’s a monster in the basement of my mind, a thing of scales and musty snakeskin; cold blood, narrow eyes, viper fangs.

She smiles with all her teeth, and they drip venom. Her bite burns but does not kill; draws blood but not release. Her hands are tipped in claws, and they are strong. She holds a knife, gleaming with her slit-pupiled brownblackgreygold (red?) eyes – eyes of any color and none – the color of hunger, and lust, and pain.

She is he is she is he. Not male or female, not neuter nor hermaphrodite. She is snake-lady, naga of the shadows, fanged glee, savage sibilance. He is sadist, cold observance, predatory calculation: the surgeon’s cut, the slaver’s whip, the tempter’s whisper.

She is blood’s passion frozen in time; he is steel-eyed cruelty. They are two in one, always scaled, scent of shed skin’s mustiness, blade’s edge and fang’s glimmer.

Sadist, naga, serpent’s kiss. My shadow, my monster.

It is they that twist desire beneath my skin at cries of pain and writhing struggles. Theirs is the perversion of delight in torture scenes – exquisite fictional agony – character angst . . . I indulge them in fiction, my stories and those of others, because I fear what might happen if I don’t.

The sadist broke free once, slithered to the surface with a razor blade in his hand. His aim was my pain – hurt me, hurt those around me to hurt me, touch forbidden fruits. I locked him up again, shut him in shadow and iron, and forgot.

The naga escaped once. Broke free, demanded her due – played with those around me with fiendish glee. Teased, lied, lashed out once and then again, refusing to be caged.

I had to compromise with her. Had to accept her, acknowledge her, so that she’d slip back beneath my skin, my shadow stitched onto my feet. But I forgot again – lost the dry scent of snake, forgot the fangs, starved that part of me –

So she’s separated again, he’s separated again. They got a whiff of release, possibilities; they hiss for more, and I refuse to listen. They wait for more, and I fear to give it to them.

They exist. They are part of me. There is a monster within me and it scares me and I loathe it, but I cannot even call it ugly. . . Snakes have sibilant sinuous fanged beauty, frightening beauty, terrible beauty. Beauty that could too easily consume, venom drawing me into sleep . . .

. . . but there may be a use for this monster after all. They/she/it/he sees one whose monster is kin, the other side of a dark mirror, and my monster is enraptured – entranced – slithers forward with hunger-eyes agleam in firelight – monster calls to monster, pain-hunger to sadist-hunger, and should I stop it?

The snake has gone so long denied, fed a starvation diet of sparse occasional fiction. I fear to become her – I do not like her – I wish to cling to my ideal of healer, diplomat, phoenix.

But I heal as a knife heals, says the serpent, and is not the phoenix also a snake?

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