Really?

I book-clubbed tonight… on a book about God. Actually, on a book about Jesus.

I have never done that before.

I had never really wanted to do that before, though, because I’m not sure I have ever really had friends who are comfortable enough in themselves to be able to see and speak honestly about all of it and their own lives and experiences. So, it is cool that I have a friend like that, that we are both like that these days.

And I enjoyed the book-clubbing… cheesy as the questions may have been… and un-relatable as the author’s experience may be for me (and my friend)… But it was nice to talk about such things and in such a way. I am satisfied from it. Like a few sips of sparkling, cool beverage on a warm day. Satisfied. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2020

Whew!

Man, was today a lot(!!!).

We hiked and frisbee-ed, and I photo-ed while they bouldered and swam.

There was intense thinking, visceral activity, and choo-choo breathing, along with a combination of utter terror and extreme, satisfied joy.

And I had a great time being photographer, climbing my own routes to get to the good and various photo angles.

I can hardly wait to share them, these photos… yes, this trip has been very good for me so far… πŸ™‚

Thank you, God.

Please, continue to guide me as I release these restraints I have been carrying, and free myself of these painful fears and stresses in my life… I can do this, and I am grateful for the living opportunity that lies all around me with this present moment.

Thank you for it.

Amen.

Yeah…, today was absolutely exhausting and totally awesome… thank you… πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2020

Shower time(!!!)

Showers.

There are two things that have been on my mind regarding showers tonight.

Naturally, as is the case with all amazing ideas that arise in the shower, I’ve forgotten one or the other at least five times since they first came to me while I was showering half an hour ago…

Fortunately, though, I got them both back safely into my consciousness, and wrote them down before I could forget again.

The first: Shower buddies.

Whenever the idea of showering with someone is portrayed in film or television, in books, or even in conversation, it is almost exclusively approached as an erotic experience.

The same is true with physically exploring another’s body – it is never never anything but an arousing, erotic experience for both (or all) parties involved.

But why must they be so?

There is a photo – simultaneously dreadful and adorable – of me as a baby, climbing carefully into the shower to join my dad, my bum covered in you-know-what (Obviously, my mom had a sense of humor about it.)… we got to be shower buddies, sharing the space and showering simultaneously, my dad and I.

When I was older, but still a child, I had minimal space in the house that was ever granted to me entirely – that is to say, nowhere was guaranteed to be my own space for long.

This, of course, included the toilet and the shower. (Yes, I have this one terrible memory of sitting on the toilet while my sister showered, and my brother walked in and told me to scoot forward, because he needed to pee… I am proud of 7-year-old me for refusing…. but I digress…)

Whenever my sisters needed to shower, they got to shower.

If I was already preparing to shower, it was no matter, they just hopped on in with me and adjusted the water to their preferred temperature (quite hotter than I liked it, actually).

At first, they had me shower with them in order to make sure I was showering and to show me how to shower properly (I didn’t exactly love showering or bathing as a younger child).

Eventually, though, I turned into more of a coincidental affair that no one really minded, and that I actually found fun.

In one sense, I enjoyed learning how my older sisters showered and how their bodies were – though, to be fair, they already walked around in towels or half-naked or naked for an hour or so after every shower anyway – and, in another, I enjoyed the fun of sharing an event with someone and in such an intimate, one-on-one way.

It might sound a bit absurd, but it really was a fun event for me as a child.

At my mom’s house, it was only ever an exchange of space – she would finish and step out of the shower, and I would step directly into it, without turning anything off.

But, at my dad’s house, it was all too common that I would end up showering alongside at least one of my sisters… and I loved it.

Fast-forward to grown-up days.

I really would love to be able to have a shower buddy again.

Bathing at all the onsen in Japan, I learned to appreciate the human body even more than I had before, and especially to appreciate nudity not as something wrong or weird, but as something that is natural and that merely has a certain time and place in society.

I also learned to be comfortable with my own naked body… and to be comfortable with my own naked body around other people… and to be comfortable with my own body around my friends and their own naked bodies…

I guess, now that I’m really thinking about it, I actually did have showering/bathing buddies in Japan… it was silly at first, but it became rather fun for me.

‘Hey, what do you want to go do this weekend when we get together?’ a friend asks… ‘Onsen!’ was my delighted reply.

And it wasn’t so that we could go be naked together – that was always a way-after thought – but because I love having out in all the lovely baths in onsen… it’s one of my favorite pieces of Japanese culture, onsen.

I just became very comfortable with the whole showering and being naked with others – including friends – situation.

(Fun fact: I met my ukulele teacher in a bath at an onsen while on a snowboarding trip in Japan… we started lessons together a few months afterward.)

And so, I want to bring that back into my life, I guess.

Why would I love to have someone in my life?

Right now, because I want a shower buddy… πŸ˜› (I am totally cracking up right now, but I really do mean it!)

It definitely teaches cooperation (and agility), it inspires a sense of childlike silliness, and it is just a little bit crazy…, all of which I think are wonderful things to have in our lives. πŸ™‚

Also, in terms of exploring bodies physically, can we not learn to touch another’s body – say someone’s ripped abs or arms or legs, or beautifully shaped back, or even someone’s buttocks (Can you tell this one has happened to me??? Several times, actually…) – either clothed or not, with fascination and appreciation, and not have to make it an erotic affair?

Think of how a blind person might explore another’s face… it is not for erotic reasons but for getting to know the person.

Sure, a sighted person can see the other’s body, but how much do we really see?

I would love to explore my partner’s body, every bit of it, in a non-erotic sense… just as we get to know and to spend time with someone’s personality, I think it is important that we get to know someone’s bossy and spend time with it in its natural state (i.e. not aroused).

That isn’t to say that arousal need be denied always and forever – just that it has its own time and place, and isn’t always what’s called for (or best) at certain times.

So often, I hear people talk about wanting the lights to be dimmed or out when they are going to be naked in any way, even and especially around their partners, because they are ashamed or embarrassed about some or many parts of their bodies…

Would it not be better for everyone, if partners took the time to visit and explore and get to know one another’s bodies fully, in the light of day, so that they can be that much closer, more intimate and loving and accepting and appreciative of one another, more wholly so, after dark (and at all times)?

My opinion, of course, but I think it would be totally fabulous for both the individual relationships and for society at large.

……….

Okay, moving onward…

Second thing: Clothes.

One of my favorite things to do when showering is to enter the shower with clothes still on me.

It’s not something I do all the time – not by any means… it’s just something that I love, whenever I have the opportunity to do it.

When I was little/younger, I always had to do it because I had somehow gotten myself and my clothes absurdly dirty, such that the clothes could Not be put in the hamper in their present state – they needed to be rinsed off first.

Occasionally, it would be and still sometimes is because I have gotten myself caught in the cold, cold rain, and just want to get myself warm as quickly as possible… peeling the wet, gluey clothes off myself before entering the shower not only would have taken forever, but it would have frozen me even more, leaving my skin so exposed(!).

Most commonly, it was because I was in my swimsuit, and I needed to wash out the chlorine immediately, so as not to ruin they suit…, so I just got int he shower with the suit on, and then peeled it off and washed it quickly before washing myself.

These days, though, it is mostly just because I need to hand wash something that I am wearing (not necessarily a swimsuit)… a bra or underwear, sometimes socks or shorts, very occasionally a shirt or leggings or pants… and it’s sometimes because the items must be hand-washed, but most often because it is loads easier to do a quick hand wash in the shower than to do a whole load of laundry (that I may or may not have) just for the one item… also, if I need the one item soon or often, and I had only worn it just enough to be not fresh anymore, it really doesn’t need to go through such intense washing as the machine would do… a quick rinse and scrub is sufficient.

In fact, in winter, I have two of this particular shirt that I wear constantly, and so I always hand wash them in the shower.

Year-round, I wash almost all my sports bras in the shower… it started because I was required to hand wash my running bras, but continued because I have more work-out shirts than I do bras, and, as I have admitted before, I am not great with getting laundry done… I practically avoid it until I’ve been out of options for at least a few days*.

(I am getting loads better at it, actually, though I still have my moments of avoidance from time to time…)**

Anyway, I sometimes will hand wash something in the shower just because I want to experience the amazing feeling that is entering a warm shower, dressed.

If you haven’t ever tried it, naturally, I highly recommend it. πŸ˜‰

Well, those are the two shower things that have been on my mind tonight…(!)

Happy bedtime, folks! πŸ™‚

*In high school, we began “Swimsuit Day”, my best friend and I, because she loved wearing her swimsuit top better than a bra, and because I inevitably ran out of clean underwear, and didn’t necessarily notice until post-shower in the morning before school…, so I would grab a bikini bottom instead… and it became a thing that we did together for a day or two every time I needed to do laundry (obviously, I improved my awareness a bit, and so was able to give at least a day’s warning before “Swimsuit Day” was to take place… also, nobody ever really knew why we did it or how we determined when it would be, but plenty of people knew that it was “Swimsuit Day”, whenever it was… and some girlfriends actually started joining in, wearing swimsuits under their uniforms along with the two of us on “Swimsuit Day”…

**Did you lol at that unintended pun???… because I certainly did. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2020

Monkeys!!

Today, a friend and I, kind of for her birthday, went up to Nikko (a city in Japan).  We did several neat things, saw some beautiful stuff, and we had a very good time.  

However, the most odd and somewhat amazing part was when we pulled down a small road in the middle of town to get to the parking lot behind the city information center.  What to our wandering eyes did appear, but a band of monkeys playing in the road!

I halfheartedly attempted a photo as we pulled nearer, but they wandered off as the car got closer to them.  When we walked into the information center, I stopped at one spot next to the wall and hovered my hand over a specific spot where I had seen one of the monkeys perched a few minutes beforehand.

“A monkey was just sitting here!” I declared.  “A monkey’s butt was right here,” I happily exclaimed.  “I want to touch it, so as to have been on the same ground, but I’m not going to touch it, because a monkey’s butt was just here, but how cool is that?!  A monkey was just right here!”

So I was five for a minute there.  It was splendid.  πŸ˜›
Post-a-day 2017

The Shinkansen

There is a general air of ‘nothing special’ as people mill about the car, taking their time sitting down.  Suddenly, though nothing inside has changed, everything has changed – the train is moving.  It began without a start, reminding me of the ever-odd sense of perspective in 1984, where they are now at war with whomever, and, therefore, have always been at war with that same whomever – the train is now moving so smoothly along, it feels as though it has always been moving, never having been stopped in the first place.

And, for some currently-unknown reason, I find myself looking out the window, listening to my wonderful Spanish music (Mexico), and crying.  As in the case of my seeing Le Roi Lion (The Lion King) musical in Paris, I am suddenly overwhelmed with some emotion expressed with intense tears and a heavy tremble of breathing, deep in my chest.  I don’t know what emotion this is, but something is saying to me, “It’s okay, honey.  It’s okay,” and meaning it.  Everything is all right, and I can be at ease.

That’s when I notice that I have a joint experience of joy and terror.  

I have joy for the excitement of being on such a train.  I am, after all, on a Shinkansen, one of the world-renowned bullet trains of Japan.  Something I learned existed when I was a child, and never considered my ever having the opportunity to see, let alone having it becoming an easy weekend thing for me to ride on a whim.  Being here, right now, on this train, is like I am living in the middle  of the history I once studied in a book.  Like when I wandered around Spain with my class, like it was no big deal, seeing the places where all of these people and things once were making history.  I’ve been to so many places like that, I don’t even remember where all I have been.  How crazy is that?!  And here I am, doing just that sort of thing all over again.  And like it’s no big deal – it’s just part of normal life.  Insane.  Joy.  : )

But recall this terror, this fear that also finds itself within me as the train begins its southward journey.  What is this terror?  Why did someone inside have to tell me that things really were all right, when they seemed to be obviously so?  

I think this ties into what I was considering last night about dreams and such, though it isn’t just that.  I think I am somewhat afraid of living my life to the fullest on my own, because why would I want or need anyone else, if my life is already amazing solo?  (By the way, this is huge for me right now.)  If I am 100% content and delighted with my life, then why would I want anything to change?  Why would I want someone else to come into it and to join me in all of my endeavors?  It sounds silly to me, but I think it has some truth to it for me and how I live my life.  I think I am terrified right now on this wonderful train experience, because I am not with my future partner (or anyone else of particular importance to me), yet this is still something amazing.  It is as though a part of me was asking if it were okay to enjoy the experience, even though I’m all on my own.  Even though this might always be something that stays shared with only ‘me, myself, and I’.  

Is that why I was so afraid, so worried and concerned?  I don’t know.  But it feels more and more the case by the moment.  

I have all of these absolutely amazing things in my life, happening all the time.  Just take the fact that I am listening to this Spanish music for example.  (As a side note, I found some old headphones!!)  Much of why I live the artist is that I understand and can sing along to the songs.  I can sing along, because I have studied in Spain, I have visited Mexico, and I have various ties to Spanish native speakers.  And Spanish wasn’t even anything to do with my major in college or anything – it was just a sort of passive hobby for me, and it still is.  Just one of the many amazing things that have happened and continue to happen in my life.

The thing about these amazing things is, they never seem to me to be much of anything special, abnormal.  I’m not living in a hut in the middle of Africa, hunting baboons at night with spears and rocks, so my life isn’t really crazy or unique or anything special, right?  I think I expect to be doing things closer and closer to that sort of life once I’ve found a partner to share in it all with me.  But, until that time, I feel like my life is just a matter of this and thats, a feeling of ‘just hang on until your real life begins’ in the air.

Interesting, huh?  : )
Post-a-day 2017