It’s been a whirlwind of a month. I keep expecting it to be mid-September already, but it is still only the end of August.
In roughly chronological order:
- Packed up and left Seattle on August 19th, two weeks short of my original plan, so that I could
- Pick up my brother from the airport in San Francisco, because he wanted to visit schools and crash at my place.
- Arrived back in my SF apartment a whole 45 hours before my brother’s arrival.
- Since the subletter in my room was still there through the end of the month, I stayed in the living room – along with my brother – with a car still full of my belongings that I had no room to unpack yet,
- Bringing the population of our 3BR, 1B apartment to 5 people. Cozy, but surprisingly not as chaotic as I feared it would be. My housemates were amazing about dealing with all of these moving pieces, and so warmly welcoming to my brother.
- Spent 3.5 days shuttling my brother back and forth between SF and Berkeley, as well as two trips to Noisebridge and a visit to the (misnamed) Buffalo Paddock to see the bison.
- Climbed. Barbequed with the Programmer. Climbed some more.
- Ate a lot of Mexican food. Drank a lot of Mexican Coke.
It’s finally calmed down around here for me to actually think about the fact that I’ve just returned from spending two-and-a-bit months living in Seattle. To reminisce and reflect on my summer.
There are currently a lot of questions rolling around in my head concerning my Seattle trip, but they are being put gently to the side for the moment while I realign, finish unpacking, and try to bring my life back into some semblance of order. There are also friends to catch up with, a new Citadel location to visit, climbs to climb, and work to finish.
Plus, one of my housemates just got Bananagrams, and the other is racking up all kinds of outdoor climbing gear, so, you know. I’ll be a little busy.
But, no fear! I do plan to write more, soon.
And I love you all.
I’ve been in Seattle for just over a week now, but it already feels like much longer. Choosing to arrive so close to SEAF weekend may not have been the wisest choice, but I did want to make it to the Festival.
Speaking of which, it’s been great to see all the artwork there, and I’ve already bought a few things from the Festival Store. Good thing I still have website clients to support my time in Seattle this summer! I foresee a much lighter wallet in the near future.
One wood sculpture I spotted and fell instantly in love with: $1400. *Sigh*
Otherwise, I’m settling into this new/familiar city rather quickly. I’m finally more or less unpacked and exploring more of Seattle on my own. It is SO nice to have my car with me!
Will try to update here more, and I also should post updates about my pending webcomic soon.
So much to do…
So, I haven’t written anything about Paradise – here, at least. Privately, I’ve typed up over 44 pages in a journal describing my latest trip to Seattle.
I wish I could say my fears over how Paradise would turn out were for naught, and that I had a grand time being kinky out in the sun and making mischief. It ended up being a difficult week, for a number of reasons. Things definitely took a downward turn, for instance, when I woke up my first morning at Paradise with a UTI.
It’s been 22 days now since I asked for, and received, a cutting from Phoenix. When I approached her that Saturday morning, I was feeling lost, powerless, and maybe just a little crazy. It was reminiscent of how I often felt as a teenager. It’s a terrible state of being.
I’ve “blamed” my decision to ask for the cutting on impulsivity and the need for catharsis. With a little more hindsight, I think it would be more accurate to say now that I needed to take back control – of something. I needed to do something drastic that would leave a permanent impression. A reminder.
Just a little over a year ago, I cut my hair seven inches shorter for that same set of reasons. Control. Action. Change.
That’s not to say catharsis didn’t play a role in the process. I did get some level of release during the cutting. The excruciating pain of having my skin cut open, over and over again, gave me permission to grieve in a way that I couldn’t otherwise. It was an outlet for all my baser emotions. I cursed, screamed, cried, and howled. I did not try to moderate the volume of my voice. I did not care that others could see me crying. I let all of my filters go during that hour.
Phoenix told me afterwards that I would continue to feel the effects of the cutting for weeks, that that was only the beginning. The process of release takes a long time. And it’s true. 22 days later, and I still feel the reverberations of that day echoing through me. Although the cutting has long since healed and the skin is no longer sensitive, its presence on my left shoulder is as strong as it was at Paradise. And, though it sometimes makes me sad to remember the circumstances surrounding it, I don’t regret having this flying fish as a constant companion on my back. It seems like a silly sentiment to admit, but I feel that it has grown with me, like a close friend.
It will be interesting to see how that companionship grows, and whether the cutting will persist or fade away completely.
By this time tomorrow I will be in Seattle, ready for the week of kinky outdoor camping that is Paradise Unbound. It promises to be a full, exciting eight days, and I honestly can’t believe it’s almost here. I’ve never been to Paradise, but the combination of a wonderful kink/leather community and camping in the Pacific Northwest is vastly appealing, and that’s not even including the time I will get to spend with Max.
We talked a bit about scheduling over the phone yesterday, and then last night, I dreamt that I missed my flight to Seattle. I went to another area to get on another flight, except I got distracted and missed that one too! This meant I would not be able to get on a plane until the next morning. This put me in a panic, and all I could think about was that I was messing up our schedule.
Traveling always makes me very anxious, and it affects my whole body. As much as I try to plan ahead and make things run as smoothly as possible, my body just reacts immediately when I think about packing and getting to the airport and checking in bags and getting through security and finding my gate. So it’s not surprising that I had that dream.
I’ve actually travelled quite a bit, which of course raises the probability of things that go wrong in airports and on airplanes to happen to me. I have: flown to the wrong airport for a summer program; sat in an airplane at the gate for three hours before getting herded onto another plane when whatever technical issue couldn’t be resolved; missed a connecting flight and been unable to get to my destination until the morning after; had a nine hour layover at an airport due to weather; missed a flight completely due to poor time management; had two swiss army knives and a bottle of leather conditioner confiscated; and left a ticket for a connecting flight in the seat pocket of another plane.
That said (and hopefully I won’t jinx my upcoming flight), I’ve never lost any baggage or valuables like my passport, and I’ve never had much trouble with security. Let’s hope that trend continues!
The desire to be on the move again has me feeling incredibly restless lately. Yesterday Jewel and I went on a long coastal drive along Route 1, talking about our various travels and what we want to do in upcoming years.
I find myself yearning more and more strongly for a different landscape, different lifestyle, different environment. My relationship with San Francisco feels like it’s close to expiring, and I’m starting to feel claustrophobic.
Don’t get me wrong, this city is an amazing place for many reasons. The SF bubble has been a wonderful place to nurture the kink part of my life. For a year, I’ve been able to focus almost solely on exploring my kinky side in a completely safe, encouraging environment. I have met some incredible people, and I’ve been fortunate to call many of them friends.
Yet, yet. I find my mind wandering to the vast western country I passed through on my roadtrip. I think back on Santa Fe, Denver, Aspen, and it makes my heart skip a beat. I think about the possibility of visiting New Zealand and Australia, and wonder if I’d be able to return to the US after such a visit. And then there are the multitudes of opportunities to volunteer, for weeks or for a year, on farms and intentional communities in another country.
How much longer will I be able to stay rooted in one place? Why is it that I cannot be satisfied to settle in place for more than a year? I feel the travel itch in my sitbone, crawling under my skin, making the soles of my feet tingle impatiently.
I’m not sure where my next step will take me. But if I don’t make one, I will go stir-crazy.