A Rock Feels No Pain

In despero , obscurum ; In Diligo , Lux lucis. (In despair, darkness; In Love, Light). -Me

PostSecret # 3

If you have been reading this blog for long, or if you’ve gone back and read the past, you may have noticed that the PostSecret project has a rather special spot in my heart. I wrote in a couple places about this- for sure here:. For those who may not know, PostSecret is a community art project that a man named Frank Warren started. He’s invited people to send him, anonymously, postcards with a secret on them; he then posts some to the PostSecret website; puts some in traveling exhibitions; and puts still others in books.

Anyway… I had enjoyed the website, and knew of the book, and remembered on that bright(dark) hot(freezing) day in 2006, that on the website a person had written to thank Frank, for the 1-800-suicide reference that occurred in the book. On that day, I was so messed up in my head, I didn’t remember the number; but I did remember that it was there and when I made my way to a bookstore, just to look at the book, there it was.

I called that number, that day- and never really said a word. The woman that answered was pleasant, but I couldn’t speak. I do know that I babbled something about needing to go, and called Lynn; from there, I worked along the paths of trying to get my head right, which I sortof kindof maybe think I may have made a little progress toward in the last three years. (3 years, 2 months, 3 weeks, and some odd-hours, if you’re counting, but who’s counting?)

But, I never forgot the fact that Frank Warren had a friend, who committed suicide, and however many years later, he opted to include this number in his book, and on the website; perhaps so some screwed up nut would be able to make use of it?

That memory stayed with me- to the point that when I read that Frank would be visiting a college near my work, one night, I made my plans and made my way to see him. I took a moment then, to meet and thank him, directly, as best I could, for saving my life even though he didn’t know he had.

Later, Frank was speaking in New York, at a big Barnes and Noble bookstore there. I took the opportunity then, too, to head down and hear him speak. This time, Lynn came with me, and when Frank had signed my copies of the new books, she looked at him, and said something about thank you and he’d saved my life, and that she’s grateful for his project, his books, and his whatever. I didn’t hear it all, as I’d gotten a bit emotional during the presentation when people can choose to stand, and share a secret right then and there; and let me tell you, some powerful things can happen, in a roomful of strangers.

So, why is this all in my head?

Because (yes, you got it!) tonight, I went once again to a PostSecret event. This one with my eldest son, who had obtained tickets at his university, and since I was going to be picking him up to come home for the weekend- well, he knows I love PostSecret, that I have the four books currently released in a place of honor on a shelf within easy reach, that I’d been to a couple prior events, that I love perusing the secrets each Sunday on line, so he thought he should see if I wanted to go again.

I did.

We did.

Wow. Again wow. I didn’t speak to Frank this time, I didn’t feel a need to, for I’d expressed my gratitude to him and Hopeline (the 1800 number foundation) before. But, as I listened to him speak, and listened to the brave people that shared a secret or a thought with us, I think I recognized why I felt that I needed to be there once again.

It’s to remember. To remember, in gratitude and with joy and with tears and laughter, to remember that I am not alone, nor are you. We share this journey together, in our common humanity, seeking and trying and stumbling and falling, together we connect with people all over the world. Separately, yet somehow still together, we seek God, we seek Love, we seek a partner, friend, lover, family; we have different secrets, different perspectives, different lives- but, if we choose to, we can reach out in whatever way, and find that we’re not rocks; we’re not islands; and that it’s okay to feel pain, and even to cry once in a while.

So, as we left the school, my boy-that-is-now-a-senior-and-I’m-around-to-see-it, as we left and drove home, we sang at the top of our lungs, together. Badly, I’m sure, but with enthusiasm and silliness and pounding the beat on the dash and the wheel, laughing and dumb jokes, and talking about what we’d heard together, I thought of this.

This time, Frank and PostSecret and umpteen hundred university students taught me to remember this:

We are only as alone as we choose to be.

Go visit Frank and PostSecret sometime. I know you’re as welcome there as I am, and the 270,607,242 others that are sharing on our way.

Advertisements

Filed under: depression, emotions, frank warren, learning, life, postsecret, , , , , ,

Not My, but Thy

(This is really long, and rather wandering, but I needed to write it, and post it- so my apologies in advance)

I’m jumping back again, back to the fall of 2006. This would be post suicide-by-truck-into-bridge-averted-by-some-other-powers-hands-on-mine-that-saved-my-pretty-useless-carcass-for-some-reason (at the time) unknown-to-me timing. This would be post drop-the-kid-off-for-his-first-year-at-the-university timing. Post (or during?) the find-out-about-things-in-our-relationship-that-are-not-so-good-to-find-out-about timing. Anyone following that? No? Me either, but that’s okay.

The important parts, of the whole time period then, are varied- it’s sufficient for some of it, to simply note that a whole lot of garbage has been worked through, sorted, thrown away and is gone. A lot of ripping out of the deadwood, to leave behind what is real, and true, and valuable, in my relationship with Lynn. Of course, there is the minor detail that I’m still alive and around to care about this stuff, which along with our caring about one another again, is an ongoing process, as well as an ongoing commitment.

But something very very interesting happened, in the midst of all of the yuk. There was a time, a moment when my heart was breaking, when I honestly couldn’t have given odds that I would ever be whole enough to care about anything. But, once again, I was feeling those warm hands, that so soft voice- and because of that, I did something I hadn’t done in years.

I left my house, and went to church. Not on Sunday, not for a service, but just because I needed to be there.

I went to the church we’d found back in 1999, when we moved to this teeny village. The white clapboard little country church, where we’d found a spiritual home. Granted, I’d spent intervening years actively avoiding it, granted that during that time I couldn’t have, (or rather, wouldn’t have) acknowledged that God existed, much less cared- that didn’t matter. I knew, in the same way that I’d felt those warm hands on mine two months before, that I needed to get my ass to church.

I prayed there, sincerely, and for the first time in a long long time, I prayed the one prayer that I believe God likes to hear more than any other. Pretty much, I said, “Show me what YOUR will is here, show me where I need to be going, because I don’t know; I need you to show me what path YOU want me on. If that means I lose my marriage, my life, my place in this world, so be it.” YOU know- the whole, “Not my will, but Thy will be done” praying.

And, much to the chagrin of the part of me that had been running from it, for so long, so thoroughly, He did what will always be done, if we can but listen, if we can only see. He told me. He showed me. He made it very very plain to me, that despite all of my best efforts, He was there and waiting, patiently, for me to wake up. He made it plain, that my first job now, was to get my house in order. Then, he wanted to talk to me some more. (Know how it was, when your dad or mom would say “I want to talk to you?” Yeah, that’s the tone, right there).

At that point, there was still a lot of work to be done, of course. A ton of work, a lot of tears, and anger and frustration and ready to quit. A lot of learning, and relearning, and all the work of restoring trust, and rediscovering one another, and relearning about one another. (No, I’m not talking ’bout marriage here, although that was true, too- no, I meant between myself and God).

That growth is ongoing, of course, and will be forever. I started by making the simple changes I needed to, in order to make the opportunities for communication to happen. I started getting to church, and becoming more actively involved there. I began to make time to pray, and study, and think, again. I spent time reflecting on things that I’d heard, and known-but-denied, and acknowledging that sometimes, other people might know us better than we know ourselves.

And so, eventually, I took an opportunity to explore some things at the Seminary in New York; I jumped into some things at church that I’d never done before, and they were amazing. I started teaching the high school classes, as I’d done years before. I started working with various groups, and these days, I’ve found myself on the vestry- whodda thunk THAT, five years ago?

I’ve struggled, and still do- and probably will, forever, with wanting things that aren’t good for me, aren’t what God wants for me; and, no doubt, I will succumb to those temptations, and beat myself up for it, for not being stronger, or better, or whatever.

But, I’ve learned something that I can cling too, that I grasp, that I hold dear to my heart, and that I thank God for each and every day, each and every time I pray. I’ve learned that I am much happier, much more complete, much more than I used to be- if I remember to pray “Thy will”.

There is a whole range of things I can think of, and point to, and reflect on, that let me know that I am finally heading where I’m supposed to be, that at least I’m at the beginning of the right road for me to take. I’m not going to try to catalog them all, I’ll spare you that.

But, one of the steps that I took last week, is a huge one. A letter was sent to a carefully, prayerfully chosen group of eight people of our parish. This letter is the biggest thing I’ve ever tackled, and the most important thing of all, in so many ways- so, I’m placing it here, as well as in my heart and the hearts of the ones that received it in the mail.


To: ***
From: Father ***
Date: Ash Wednesday – 2009
Re: Discernment Committee – David ***

Dear Friends –

I write to ask your help in serving on a discernment committee for David ***. David has a strong sense of calling to serve in ordained ministry in the church, and has over the past two years begun the work of testing that calling by taking some classes at General Seminary and by substantially increasing his involvement in various church ministries here at Christ Church. The time has come to assemble a parish level discernment committee on his behalf.

The work of a discernment committee varies with the candidate they seek to serve, but always involves hearing the story of the candidate’s life and sense of calling, and helping the candidate reflect on their experiences of both church ministry and ministry in the wider world. Discernment committee work is typically prayerful, deep and nourishing for all involved. This committee will meet to assist and support David until he either moves beyond the parish level in the “process” of formation for priestly ordination, or until he is clear his vocational calling lies in another arena.

If you agree to serve on this committee, you can expect to meet about once every six weeks, usually on a Sunday afternoon. Past discernment committees have typically shared a simple lunch together after church, meeting for about an hour and a half. We will convene for our first meeting of the group at some time early in the Easter season.

You are receiving this invitation for very specific reasons. I trust you will honestly and prayerfully consider serving with this group. Your presence would be a blessing to us all, and David in particular.

I will call soon to answer any questions and see if you’ll be joining us. Thanks in advance for your kind consideration.

Faithfully Yours –

Father ***

Obviously, I don’t know for sure where this will lead. I think I do, and so do many others- but the point is to help discern that. But that’s okay, right? Cuz I get to say, “THY will…”

Filed under: depression, emotions, God, learning, love, lynn, marriage, suicide, , , , , , , , ,

Count your Blessings

Yesterday, I stopped taking the pain and nerve medications. I decided, after thinking about it for a while, and from what the primary Doctor’s reaction was, to the prescriptions that the physiatrist had given me (Basically, “Oh. Are they any help at all?” Which, isn’t clear so much as his tone, which was very clearly indicating that he wondered why she bothered).

It made Lynn mad, but I haven’t been getting any better by taking them, and they’re bugging me with side effects that I didn’t like, so I figured that if I stop taking them and nothing changes, then nothing has been lost. If I stop taking them, and I hurt more or the numbness gets worse, well then it’s easy enough to start taking them again. So today was the second full day without them, the first work day and all I’ve noticed is a bit of extra soreness in my neck. The numbness hasn’t increased or decreased, my range of motion is the same, so I’m not really sure that the drugs had any effect at all, except to make the doc feel that she was doing something.

That’s probably unfair, I’m sure she is doing her best, but it’s frustrating to have no change for not taking them.

So, the next thing is to find the anesthesiologist, and setup to have an epidural and more physical therapy. From there, who knows?

I was speaking at work today, about stress and how we deal with it, and shared my worries about the arm, and what if it doesn’t get better? What if this is what it is, and all the limitations that it puts on me.

BUT, this class is partially based on how we deal with stress, and how to manage worry so that it doesn’t consume you.

So I also shared something that I was trying to put into practice, one of Dale Carnegies’ principles:

“Count your blessings, not your troubles.”

Simple words, but very powerful:

I can pray, I can work, I can type, I can read, I can hug. I can cuddle. I can take photographs, I can walk. I have the kids, I have friends, I have Lynn.

The list can go on, and on, and when I really look at it, and think about it, well, my troubles are really not anything much. So, I’m trying my best to remember to count those blessings, and let the troubles fall where they may.

Filed under: arm, arthritis, blessings, depression, learning, limits, pain, pray, relationship

Holy Big City Playtime Batman

Or, something like that. Yesterday, was an absolutely wild day, a wonderful sexy hot exciting adventurous exhibitionist fool-around-in-public awesome day.

Oh, did I mention that I had a great day yesterday? Why? Let me tell you.

I went to work very early as we had an application that was being upgraded, and since the systems that it runs on are my responsibility, I had to be there in case of problems. Because I was at my desk at 6:45, I went to lunch relatively early. I chose to go to the library, where there is a free hotspot, and spent a few moments on IM with Lynn.

The upshot of the conversation, is that we decided to head into New York City for dinner, some shopping, some people-watching and some playtime. Oh, boy, did we ever!

Lynn drove to my office, and picked me up and we proceeded to the train together. She had put on a beautiful top, it’s a black tank-top thing, with an over-shirt in red flowers, very light fabric, very sexy but modest. We caught the 4:33 train, changed to the PATH across the Hudson, and disembarked at the Christopher Street station, and began walking the village.

We were wandering, looking for Babeland. We’d both been captured, figuratively speaking, by this from AAG’s blog, and had determined that we should go and get a treat- perhaps not the identical model, but something fun to play with and explore. Well, I wasn’t so sure we needed that model, but lately we’ve been having a lot of backside fun, and I have wanted something a little bit bigger than what we have.

We spent a long time in the store, wandering around and talking and looking, and we did indeed end up purchasing the njoy Fun Wand. Carrying that in a shopping bag, in its satin-lined box as we went to eat wonderful, spicy Indian food was a turn-on just by itself. Glancing down to where I’d stashed it against the wall, the bright yellow-orange color attracting my eyes, was enough to make my breath change now and then. Having Lynn reach under the tablecloth and make sure that I was “awake”, was, of course, a big help toward keeping me aroused.

After dinner, as I waited for the check, Lynn excused herself and went to the restroom. Nothing unusual in that, of course, but when she walked out and crossed the restaurant towards me, head high and shoulders back proudly, it was amazing- she’d cut the over-shirt and underneath shirt apart, and was wearing only the overshirt. Now, I don’t know exactly how to explain this, but the overshirt is very sheer on the white parts, very frilly around the collar, and is designed to only tie in the front, just under the breast.

What this meant, is that the shirt was showing cleavage down to *there*, with the tops of her wonderful breasts showing, and even to the closure of the black bra she was wearing. Then below, of course, just the flashes of skin as the shirt’s lower portion swished back and forth, teasing glimpses of skin, just enough to make one wish it would open and stay open. And this is from a woman who, a couple of years ago (maybe as recently as 18 months or so), would hardly wear a blouse that didn’t have a crew-neck equivalent neckline.

We walked, hand in hand sometimes, just side by side other times, looking into the store windows, watching the eyes of the people that would pass us in the other direction, seeing which ones were glancing, who was noticing. Being New York, of course, many didn’t even bat an eye- there were a lot of women who were wearing things just as low-cut, but for me, it was a wonderful turn-on just because it was Lynn. We stopped for ice cream cones, and Lynn made no attempt to hide herself, or stop anyone that cared to look to have a nice view of her sexy bra and breasts.

We found the PATH station, picked up MetroNorth, and got on our train- and that’s when the fun escalated. Lynn sat next to me, uncaring about the people around us, and promptly opened my pants and started stroking me, and laying her head in my lap, between station stops, gave me a mobile blowjob. Amazing, such an incredibly hot, such an incredibly arousing experience. We’d whisper to one another, shall we save it, or make a mess here? What a rush, a thrill, the only thing blocking a full view was Lynn’s position as she “rested” against me, and a sweatshirt she draped over my lap as a “pillow”.

We opted to save, and when we arrived at our stop, went and got in her car to go get mine. On the way to her car, we had to make a short detour, for a totally unnecessary ride up and down the elevator. (Except, she wanted to suck me some more, which really does make it necessary, I guess, right?)

We had to drive home separately, but that was okay too, because she promptly called me on my cellphone and described in detail the continuation of what she would do with her tongue and mouth as I drove, if only we weren’t in two vehicles. Is there anything more exciting than hearing what a hot, sexy exciting woman is planning to do to you? To hear that you’re wanted, and that she finds you exciting and sexy and desirable, is about the sexiest thing around.

Long post, but wait- we’re not even in the bedroom yet!

Sooo, we got home, and made sure all the kids were tucked in properly (thank God for kids that are old enough to leave alone, everyone should have a 19 year-old!), and made it to the bedroom.

Locking the door as she came in, she turned and posed for a bunch of pictures of her in that sweet, sweet sexy outfit. She flashed the shirt, opening it and showing off, teasing, and slowly taking off her capris and dropping the shirt to the ground, then slipping out of her sexy black bra, joining me on the bed and immediately resuming her activities on my cock.

Then, it was time to test out the toy.

Oh. My. God.

If butt-play is something you like, you *need* this toy. It holds heat, from hot water, can be chilled, either in the fridge or cold water, and it’s just hefty enough to be very, very different from the cheapo plastic plug we have.

Feeling the steel slipping inside me, stretching and spreading, first one, then two, then three bulges, filling and spreading and holy cow, it’s on my prostate, I think I’m going to lose it already!!!!

Didn’t, but oh wow, it felt amazing. Feeling it deep inside, moving around gently, as Lynn played and stroked and licked and sucked me some more, was divine; when I was unable to stand it any longer, she spun it around inside me, so the outer curve was out of the way, and then slipped onto me and started riding me, bouncing on me, my hands all over her and kissing her, and feeling that warm velvety wet smoothness enveloping me, as the steel shifted in me with every little movement, every clench of my butt driving the tip onto my prostate.

It was absolutely fabulous. She came, I came, and we collapsed next to each other for a moment- and then, she started pulling it out. Wow, what a feeling, as each of the protrusions slipped through my sphincter, jeez. I thought we were done, but no, in it went again, and out once more, just because she could.

I turned her over, and started playing and kissing and licking her, because she was so irresistibly hot, when I decided it was her turn. Hot water, soap and disinfectant, and some new lube, and it was her turn. God, what an incredibly hot feeling, slipping the wand into her, watching it slide deeper, watching her face and nipples react, seeing her so wet and swollen from our sex.

She wanted more, more, more, so I grabbed her other favorite, the lovely hand-blown glass dildo, acquired during our first NYC adult shopping adventure, and slipped it deep into her pussy. I could see the njoy move around as the dildo pressed against it internally. Is there
anything that *looks* sexier than a truly aroused woman? I don’t think so, either. She was so hot, so ready, it was fantastically exciting just to watch her, to gaze at her. One day, I’ll figure out how to capture that with my camera, when I can grow a few more hands.

All day today, I could hardly concentrate, I kept having flashes and images, memories of last night were intruding everywhere I would go. I think I’m hooked, and I don’t want to be cured!

Filed under: anal, experimenting, learning, relationship, sex

Energy

Is it normal, what I feel these days? I keep asking myself, I keep searching places on the ‘net that I hang out in, I keep praying: “Is it normal to have all this jumble of feelings, all mixed and churned? How much of the spinning in my head and heart is typical, and how much is me being all screwy?”

No easy answers are forthcoming, unfortunately. I haven’t found any method that tunes in a signal with the correct answers, like a radio dial. In fact, I’m sometimes not sure if I’m tuning the radio when I should be switching on the T.V., or even if the answers will be sent via smoke-signal.

I know that some of my feelings are driving me crazy, wishing I could get away from them, tuck them into a box and put them out for the garbage to pick up. I have, however, re-learned that this is not the way to deal with emotions, that if I do that they will fester and the black thing will come back and reassert its hold on my heart. So instead, I’ve been allowing them to breathe, experiencing them and allowing them to tell me whatever lesson they have to teach, as best I can.

Sometimes, it’s not fun. Realizing that my life, my work and my hopes and dreams don’t correspond, allowing myself to admit that what I do everyday is no longer fulfilling, challenging or fun, wasn’t easy. I didn’t know myself how caught up I was in the “Work becomes your identity” thing, until I really allowed myself to see that this isn’t what I like to do, anymore.

One of the best tools that I’ve taken away from the class I’m in, is a discernment tool: “Follow the energy.” It’s a deceptively simple thing, really, it simply means that if you spend your days doing activities that leave you drained, emotionally exhausted and mentally depleted, you may not be doing what you should be doing. Conversely, if you find activities that energize you, and leave you feeling like you’re ready for more, it’s a good sign that that’s where you should be focusing.

So, when do I feel drained, and when energized? That’s the conflicts in my head and heart, I guess. I feel drained at work, I feel drained when the ugly jealous feelings rear up, and I think about it too much. I feel drained when I wonder where we’re going, and if we’re progressing, and if I allow the suspicious ickies to stick around.

I feel energized when I am studying, when I’m praying. I feel energized when I write, and I feel energized when I’m loving Lynn and she me, when we’re tuned into each other well. I feel energized when we talk, and can share thoughts, and when I can touch her and love her, and make love to her too.

I feel energized with the kids, when I go to church, when I talk with my classmates.

I felt tremendous energy talking to our Rector, on Wednesday. I’m still absorbing that talk, I’ll be writing about that soon though, I can feel that coming.

So, God and Lynn and Sex=Good. Computers and being a drone and jealous= Bad.
Simple, huh?

Filed under: depression, God, learning, relationship, studying

Things Learned

Knowing someone, and learning more about them, and myself, and it never stops. I’ve been thinking over the last couple of days of what learning and new knowledge I’ve gained over the course of the past five months. Interestingly, Lynn made a comment tonight about how “You know everything about me already, there’s nothing interesting to tell you anymore.”

How wrong she is, in that respect. Right on top of my list of new-found knowledge, is so much about her and by extension about myself, that it’s amazing to me. Amazing, thrilling, exciting and scary, all at once. Some of the things that I’ve learned are wonderful, and some are not-so-good, but in the abstract, all the knowledge gained is valuable to me.

I’ve learned that depression is deadly. My line had always been, do anything rather than kill yourself, why didn’t they try “X” first? (Often, X= move to Australia, walk across the country, but it can be anything). I’ve learned that it’s not so simple, that even with whatever self-awareness I’d had throughout my life, the despair and darkness is very, very real, and very, very cold.

–Never give up!

I’ve learned that some things are far too important to take for granted, that even as you’re cruising along, things can start to slide away from you gradually, until the new situation becomes the new norm, and it may not be what you want. Allowing myself to assume that less talk, less cuddling, less time together, hell even less sex, is just something that comes as the years go by put our entire marriage and relationship in jeopardy. Combine that with a series of circumstances that deepen my depression, and likely Lynn’s too, and you may find that you’re fighting hard to get it back.

–Never, ever take for granted!

I’ve learned that I can’t run from God, no matter how I may think I want to. He’s real, He’s here, and He’s still listening to prayers- and, even though the message may be uncomfortable, or unwelcome, He’s responding to them. As is often said, the answer may not be what we’d like, or “yes”, but He does indeed answer.

–Can’t escape the message forever!

I’ve learned that Lynn is much more sexual than she’d allowed herself to acknowledge for many years, and certainly far more than she’d allowed me to know. For as long as I’ve known her, (Which, contrary to popular belief, hasn’t been forever- merely since the dawn of time!), it’s been fun but not a major thing. This, in turn, has led me to know that I, too, have been denying a lot of things that I wouldn’t bring up, because of concerns with how it would be received.

–Share, the worst that might happen is “no”!

I’ve learned what it’s like to be jealous, to be consumed with rage and anger and hurt. I know what it feels like to be run over by a truck, emotionally, and then dragged onto a roller-coaster of highs and lows. Slowly, I’m learning how to cope with that, and if the jealousy is horrible, the insights into myself, are good.

I’ve learned distrust as well, and with the jealousy, I hate knowing about this one. I am working as hard as I know how to un-learn this, or at least learn to deal with it constructively. The flares are much better than they were, every day is better than the last. Each time they pass faster, and aren’t as intense, so I’m even learning how to look at more than just the negative side of everything.

I’ve learned about forgiveness. The peaceful release of tension and angst, when the realization strikes that the all-consuming obsession and the resentment is gone, and the even more striking feeling when that is communicated, is a gift that I treasure. The infamous “they” that say “forgiveness is good for the soul,” are one hundred percent correct.

I’ve learned that even an old boring man can still learn, still get excited about new things, new ideas and things to try, and I’m loving it. So, I’m going to make it a point to continue to be open to new thoughts, new music, new hobbies and even new dreams- after all, I’m not dead yet!

Filed under: depression, learning, relationship

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4 other followers

Ancient History