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Join me in Love

Hurtling Towards Lovers Grove

Published by hartmans on 2015-08-03
I'm approaching the one-year mark for this blog. I'm proud to have been writing consistently here for a year, and I'm proud of stretching my skill as writer, priest and messenger through the work I've done here. I've challenged myself and those who would listen, and I think it's been worthwhile.
Yet, I'm sad thinking about how much I wished to write over the last month and how none of it came about. I'm not surprised: next week is the Lovers Grove founding. Any elevation or right of passage involves a lot to process and that's been taking up a lot of time. I also spent effort working on the ritual and my part in it. I curated the material about Lovers Grove into a short explanation of what we're trying to accomplish with links to the blog posts exploring our more detailed thinking. Hitting save on that page was hard:the scope of what we're trying for and the openness demanded hit me all at once. Yet, I find myself firmly committed to trying to build that world, and so I did hit save and put it all in one place. I also composed Sam's Vow as Sacred Messenger. So a lot happened.
Some interesting things related to diversity, harassment, compassion and communities' affect on their participants happened while attending IETF this July. I look forward to exploring that and will at least link to blog posts on that here.

The Unexpected Challenge

When I approached my dedication to Venus, I was surprised to find how important the fan fiction story Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality was in processing my transition. Through that story, I explored and reconciled my aspects as engineer/rationalist and as spirit worker. It was very valuable to work through a clearly articulated vision of the rational world (something I might have once said defined my interface with reality) and discover the key disagreements with that vision that allow me to grow beyond that model. It was wonderful to be able to see how I had evolved rather than simply rejecting important parts of myself.
This transition is no different and processing the unexpected has taken up all the time I've had for writing.

Erotica

It all started Friday morning at the IETF: I was unbelievably horny and had an intense erotic dream. I remembered more of it than usual. It was similar in some ways to some of the dreams that first brought me to Venus.
I decided to try and fictionalize it; I didn't have a lot better to do after my last meeting. This is the second erotic story I've ever written.
Things took on a life of their own. A few thousand words in, I stopped to ask what I ever planned to do with the story.
One of the things I've wanted to explore is make believe and fantasy work. As a kid, I had my own make believe worlds to challenge my mind and explore concepts. Over the years I've drifted away from that and missed the experience. I still have make believe within my own mind with my sexual explorations. As a sacred lover I want to be more comfortable with roll-play and exploration of fantasy.
However for myself, I've only been able to share fantasies with two lovers to any significant degree.
I realized that I was writing down a complete exploration of a detailed fantasy. What would I do with the words? The fear was palpable. What if people think I'm sick and twisted because of my interests? On one hand I am afraid of opening my soul and having my inner fantasies known by the world. On the other hand, I'm afraid of being misknown: I am not my dreams, and I am definitely not my dreams adjusted for fictional consistency and filled out to explore how sexuality might be approached.
There is significant shame. Dare I actually think these things? At multiple points I've found myself struggling wondering whether I hadn't better change the story to avoid bringing up certain things or struggling with whether I should decline to be true to the story I'm trying to tell in hopes of writing a story people might rather read. I thought I got past this piddle the last time I explored the taboo.
I also felt some shame that I was spending effort on an erotic story rather than doing something important so close to the ritual. Finally, I found myself thinking about the story in the context of the ritual. I realized that like the earlier exploration of the taboo, the very power of the experience forms a magical lever. Here, I have the power to choose who I will be. Can I help guide people in exploring their needs and desires when I am unable to be open about mine? Can I ask people to live without shame if I decline to be open out of shame myself?
Also, I find that I've managed to explore (and I think convey) concepts about shame, humiliation, and the importance of context much more effectively than I'm able in prose. So, I think both the experience and the content may be a valuable contribution to the work of the grove.
So, I find myself writing for one of my challenges, and likely to share the results eventually. I've run a couple of chapters by two friends.

The Writing Experience

This has been a wonderful challenge and joy as a writer. I've written over 10,000 words in a week on top of being relatively productive at work and finishing off the last few details assigned to me for the ritual. I am finding myself challenged to better refine my command of language. I'm finding that I am able to open to the characters and get into their heads in a way that I was afraid I'd find difficult in exploring fantasies. It's a joy to dust off skills that I haven't really explored since high-school and find that with little effort I can grow beyond where I've been previously.
Venus and Hermes have both offered their support. Venus has such poise to face panic and doubt and show the little things that help us find the strength to guide our own transformation.
We shall see what the rest of the week brings. Please send your thoughts and support as we approach the founding.

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