Thursday, April 30, 2009

I lust

after Northbound Leather ....

morningstar (see her terrific blog here, she is doing a really great series on various BDSM-related activities and has some amazing viewpoints) mentions in her blog today that the whole "fetish" wear thing leaves her cold.

I, on the other hand, while not crazy about dress codes, per se, LOVE sexy fetish clothing.

In my current get healthy and thin regime, I have promised myself if I reach my goals by my birthday in July I am going to treat myself to a top and skirt from Northbound - I've picked them out but am keeping them a surprise!

I love the entire silly delight of dressing up (although it has been far too long since I have) - I love the stockings (have never worn panty hose in my life), the garters, the slippy, lacy, sexy underwear, bras which clasp and lift and push together, corsets which bind and raise and nip and tuck and skirts which show off long toned legs .... I love the boots, the heels and even the lacy gloves which slip up your arms and over your elbows.

So wish me luck on sticking to my diet, keeping at the exercise and shaping up to wear those kind of clothes ....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Musings on what we are

Reading through some thoughts on other blogs over the past few days, I noted that a number of individuals equate dominance and submission with a specific gender, an oft-repeated mindset that I find perplexing.

I had to really muse on why it irritated me and realized that it tweaks my feminist bone in that it is such a traditionalist and hidebound interpretation of the dynamic, not to say incorrect (there are many instances of female-dominated societies in nature). I also believe that many people cling to the CREATED myth of the stalwart breadwinner and stay at home mum which really only existed in the minds of mid-20th century television writers.

I am not a believer in the “me Tarzan, you Jane” school of thought. The reality is that I do not perceive dominance or submission as gender-specific. The assumption that because a human being has a penis dangling between his legs somehow makes him authoritative, capable, commanding and possessing that special something that makes an individual dominant is simplistic and simply trite.

To clarify, if for the individual, male dominance is what turns their crank, then more power to you. Each of us is entitled to create a dynamic which works for the needs of our own psyches. But what I object to is a wholesale assumption that ALL males are innately dominant and ALL females are innately submissive.

I’ve speculated before about the ethereal nature of dominance and submission and struggled with describing whether it is a need, a bred in the bone habit, or an intrinsic part of our psychological makeup. While I still don’t have a definitive answer, I know that my own personal journey has revealed my submission as an integral part of the complicated facets of what makes me, me. Not a choice in the sense that I ‘choose’ to be submissive but a compelling urge and one, when matched with the commensurate need of a dominant who ‘calls’ to me, provides an all encompassing, to the soul kind of comforting rightness.

Truth be told, there are times in my life I wish I COULD be dominant; the whole submission mindset sucks the big one at times and recently, I have realized how much it can permeate my outlook in its entirety – apart and separate from any sexual or BDSM-related issues.

I’m not speaking specifically of general actions – i.e. how I comport myself in work-related situations or in the public at large; I continue to be assertive, organized and capable and have no problem with establishing autonomy outside my personal relationship. However, there is no question that the submissive core of me is reactive – extraordinarily and at times, frustratingly so – to a certain dynamic.

I’ve never been entirely able to decode or describe why it is that a certain personality strikes sparks in the submissive part of me. I do know it is not gender-specific and it is HIGHLY unusual (in that, there aren’t a lot of people who “pull” me). While I learned a very long time ago, I was submissive and learned early on to laugh at those who denigrate, belittle or otherwise attempt to malign those of us who don’t immediately grovel before their Almighty Masculine (sorry, it is ALWAYS masculine) Dominance, I find myself intrigued and often frustrated at my inability to truly understand WHY a certain personality ‘calls’ to my submission.

I don’t even have a proper label for that.

But it is as if something awakens inside, something stirs deep within my soul, a resonance and vibrating awareness, a hyper clarity of thought and need, a yearning which sets the hair on the back of my neck quivering, which creates moisture between my thighs, hardens my nipples and creates a mindset that is uniquely different to the workaday face I show to the world at large.

Sexuality and submission are inextricably entwined in my psyche and I cannot experience one without the other. Where I submit, I desire, and I cannot desire without a commensurate need to submit. And the sex of the Dominant just is not an issue – it is the nature of the individual, the resonance that vibrates between us, the inexplicable tug created by the meshing of certain personalities.

The older I get the I begin to understand that our sexuality is simply another facet of the complicated creatures that we are. The gender we present as is not always the one we internalize and because of the intricacy of the human species I truly believe how we react to each individual is unique to that dynamic and as such, cannot be dependent on something as simplistic as genitalia.

I also truly believe that that there are levels and degrees of dominance, of submission and of a blending of the two. Thus, we have those who see themselves as dominant – entirely; those who perceive themselves as submissive – entirely; and others who see themselves as a blending of the two. Further, there are individuals in the world who simply do not present as either sex – that are in essence asexual.

I know that I have struggled at times to understand why I am the way I am; I have looked at upbringing, basic nature, nurturing and experience and have yet to completely comprehend the nature of the beast. But what I did ascertain is that even in the nature of what I am, there are degrees of intensity and intricacy.

On a former blogging site, some of the BDSMers were fond of using the term “alpha” submissive; often used in the context of a poly relationship wherein the Master had a number of submissives but the “alpha” remained his primary and was generally perceived to have greater status, to have strength of character beyond the others and an assertive and determined personality.

Truth be told, I’m not terribly fond of the term as I find it somewhat misleading and exclusionary. Perhaps without the intention of being so, it somehow delineates (in my mind) a “greater” or “lesser” than status that I find problematic and off-putting.

However, for lack of a better term, I do understand the context of the term... and would claim it for myself for lack of a better one.

For in truth, I’ve often thought that in the right situation, I could conceivably dominate another, less forceful submissive but ONLY under the hands of a strong Master. The gender of either would again be not dependent on what was between their thighs but on the essence of their personalities.

The point I guess is that in the end, simplistically dividing our BDSM world into Dominant OR Submissive simply doesn’t work in reality. It is, when all is said and done, the core values, abilities and nature of the individual who decides their orientation, not their gender.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gather ye rosebuds as you may

Spring – capricious, petulant and unpredictable.

Sunlight spilling down from an azure sky, breathing warmth into pale winter faces, touching a cool tongue to blush colour into yearning and want into blood grown sluggish with practiced ennui.

Spring – changeable, whimsical and quirky.

Heat beating down and sweat trickling from skin flushed with uncertainty, pulling at clothing suddenly restrictive and smothering only to shiver, flesh rippling as the sky frowns and clouds swallow the light and lap its brilliant promise into capitulation and surrender.

I raise my face to the grumbling promise of storm and open wide to the gathering thunder of possibilities and welcome the cool slick weeping of Spring promise.

The lake mumbles an undulating promise of surcease in the distance and looking out over the expanse of water, I feel my heart lift as molten sun inches golden trickles of brilliance through the broiling grey of sky and horizon until my eyes are dazzled and the sky sparks and glows and shines with a brilliance that aches.

The breeze licks my face softly, its breath soft, a promise of soft spring in its gentle caress. Grumbling and chittering and crackling, water courses in rivulets of clear streams of delight, freed from its winter prison, seeking to rejoin the vast expanse of lake and sky, to rejoin the font of their existence and feel whole yet again.

I feel my body awakening, flesh and nerve vibrating with new life which courses hot through veins sluggish from the slow insidious pull of despair, thrilling now and widening and flowing faster like the water which slips quicksilver along the course of lives lived and the eroded causeways of experience.

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Robert Herrick

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.

While the metaphor of youth, virginity and beauty is most obviously not applicable in the case of this selkie, the message itself is profoundly apt.

The reality is that NONE of us know how many hours are our lot in the uncertain, confused journey we are all travelling, each of us in our unique little groove, walls made of our own insecurities, barriers looming from fears profound and created, rock-strewn landscapes of possibilities unexplored, promises unkept and potential barren and frozen in the petrified forest of our indecision.

Best intentions are merely possibilities that often fail to reach fruition.

Caution is another word for a failure to embrace change.

The Moraie hold in their hands the threads of our little lives, and Atropos with her sharp knife makes the cut, often when we least anticipate.


And every day have this great wonderful
vibrant watch of a life
not lived in colour and so lifelike or not
and between flips,
it too passes with a gentle, deliberate lift of a finger,
altering the maybe world, or not, but

as always Death, in his boredom,
still holding my flesh and blood
maybe a dream, or not, hand,
checks his watch.
(f-cynr – This For Sure Death)

And while I am not quite there, I feel vibrating on the edge of consciousness the great conflagration of life in its colour and pageantry. In the smooth, pale flesh of my body, I feel the soft breath of lust breathe moistness into the barren landscape of a quiescent want, coaxing the small flickering flame into a fire which ignites a passion I thought forever doused.

Paths are seldom clearly delineated; our human eyes are weak, smudged with pretence and delusions created from the cringing fear of hearts and souls made small from anticipated trepidation.

Gather ye rosebuds as you may ....

For tomorrow we may die.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Thoughts, thoughts eddy around the shoals and shallows of my mind, slipping through the undulating stream of the moment like quicksilver. My moods this week are mercurial and capricious, as the thoughts tumble and fight in dark corners, snarling maliciously and fastening sharp teeth in melancholy and grief, then escalating into rage and a frustrated acceptance of reality’s cruelty.

A week of aching loss.

A week of remembered sorrow and new sorrow.

Deaths from before and deaths in the now. Deaths of the body and the death of memory.

I haven’t handled it well.

Patterns repeat as without conscious volition we revert to character and to past coping strategies. I am the Crab , and like my zodiac sign, I withdraw into my hard carapace and seek comfort in disconnecting from the world, from softness and caring, from exposing the soft underbelly of my vulnerability.

Which when all is said and done is, this fierce refusal to share pain is hard on those who care about you because reaching out is an impossibility for me, sharing sorrow an anathema, exposing grief a horrifying thought.

Yet...and yet, one could speculate that proximity and familiarity would engender understanding. That patterns and personalities long studied would give insight and a modicum of comprehension.

There are times I despise the submissive core of my personality.

The softness that I cannot help but perceive as weakness. The yearning need to please that creates a horrific disconnectedness in the core of self as my body and muscle memory blindly follow the need, voiced or unvoiced but felt and incorporated in the very fibres of being. The call, once met with joy and an all encompassing rightness but now creating friction and confusion.

Submission battles within the fractured battlefield of my mind and heart as rationality and reality attempts to force its atavistic want to capitulate.

Pride... pride which has buoyed me up through perfect storms of misunderstandings, accusations and abuse. Pride which has given me the spurious comfort of perceived strength. Pride which has provided me with the small, crucial buoy needed to keep from drowning.... I cannot, will not, give it up and cling to it in the dissonance of my fractured life with desperation and an implacable will.

There are times I damn my submissiveness, loathe it and see in it the seeds of my self-destruction. For that yearning, aching void seems to exert control beyond what the myriad, complicated other facets of my human life involve.

Patterns...for me anger is my cherished ally, rage my saviour. I find calmness when wrath envelops me in its comforting embrace, when its hot aching want fills the cold, tender spaces of my heart with a flame so cold it burns. And best, anger drowns the clarion cry of submission and watches with a fierce delight its capitulation and cowering adulation.

But there is a part of me, a little wisp of self that crouches in the corner of my roiling mind and frets at being left bereft, alone. A little facet of rationality and balance that senses to reach out is not weakness but strength, to embrace and release requires courage and will.

But the quicksilver realities of my beloved Pride and Rage rally and I pull them about me and open wide my mouth and drink in their bitter tisane and swallow.

And stoic, accept their bitter lessons.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

(Dylan Thomas, 1914-1953)

Goodbye, Mel, my dear friend

Friday, April 24, 2009

AHHHH where are these politicans COMING FROM

Mr. Obama, with all DUE respect, will you PLEASE start being a little more CAREFUL about who you're appointing - I realize Canada doesn't mean a whole lot to the American government, but damn IT - we ARE your neighbour and ally!

9/11 terrorists came from Canada, McCain insists

Apr 24, 2009 04:05 PM
McCain is the latest high-profile politician to repeat the diehard American
falsehood that the 9-11 terrorists entered the United States through
Just days after Janet Napolitano, the U.S. homeland security
secretary, sparked a diplomatic kerfuffle by suggesting the terrorists took a
Canadian route to the U.S. eight years ago, McCain defended her by saying that,
in fact, the former Arizona governor was correct.
"Well, some of the 9-11
hijackers did come through Canada, as you know," McCain, last year's Republican
presidential candidate, said on Fox News today.
The Arizona senator's remarks
prompted the Canadian embassy to immediately reissue remarks made earlier this
week by Ambassador Michael Wilson, who reminded Americans once again that no
9-11 perpetrators came to the U.S. via Canada.
"Unfortunately, misconceptions
arise on something as fundamental as where the 9-11 terrorists came from,"
Wilson said.
"As the 9-11 Commission reported in July 2004, all of the 9-11
terrorists arrived in the U.S. from outside North America. They flew to major
U.S. airports. They entered the U.S. with documents issued to them by the U.S.
government. No 9-11 terrorists came from Canada.

that's just an excerpt - GET YOUR GODDAM FACTS STRAIGHT - do you NOT realize
you look like fucking IDIOTS on the world stage!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Soapbox Thursday: HELLO!! Get your facts straight Napolitano

You know what’s frightening?

What’s bloody scary and freaking ENRAGING?

When your CLOSEST neighbour, your supposed strongest ally, your greatest trading partner ... CONTINUES despite being shown evidence to the contrary, again and again, to perpetuate urban myths which fracture trust, create an atmosphere of suspicion and censure and continually and carelessly continue to spread slander against you.

and no matter HOW many times you refute, prove, deny and offer incontrovertible evidence, the same tired lie returns again and again.

This week, yet again, a senior American official, one assigned by the current administration (we can’t even blame George Bush this time!) came up again with the oft-quoted and COMPLETELY erroneous statement that the 9/11 terrorists entered the US THROUGH Canada:

On Monday night, in an interview aired by the CBC, U.S. Homeland Security
Secretary Janet Napolitano was asked why she wants to increase security on the
Canadian border to the same level as the Mexican border. She replied: "To the
extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known
terrorist have entered our country across a border, it has been across the
Canadian border."

"Are you talking about the 9/11 perpetrators?" asked interviewer Neil Macdonald.
"Not just those, but others as well," responded Napolitano.(Toronto
Star, April
22, 2009

HELLO!! May I remind Americans YET again – the 9/11 terrorists were in the U.S. on legitimate US visas, issued by the U.S. government!

"Unfortunately, misconceptions arise on something as fundamental as where the
9-11 terrorists came from," said Michael Wilson, Canada's ambassador in

"As the 9-11 commission reported in 2004, all of the
9-11 terrorists arrived in the United States from outside North America. They
flew to major U.S. airports. They entered the U.S. with documents issued by the
United States government and no 9-11 terrorists came from Canada."

So, thank you yet AGAIN U.S. government for not only pulling out yet again the urban myth of our complicity in one of North America’s greatest tragedy (which tragedy incidentally affected us almost as much – there were not only a number of Canadians in the twin towers including the brother of one of my OWN fellow employee), but then, instead of apologizing and setting the record straight, compounds it by adding the NEXT day that:

“Canada is allowing people into our country that we do not allow into

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney fired back at Napolitano on CTV Newsnet's Power Play Wednesday.

"That's absolutely wrong. Ever since 9-11, and before 9-11, Canada has
co-operated with the United States on issues of continental security,
as it relates to immigration. As the prime minister said when
President (Barack)
Obama was here, we view any threat to the United States
as a threat to Canada,"
he said. (CTV Newsnet)

Can someone explain to me WHY someone who is so obviously ill informed has been put in such an important position? Where are her handlers and her aides? Where are her RESEARCHERS?

Let me state here categorically and emphatically – I do not EVER want to live in the state of paranoia and with the xenophobic mindset that is becoming increasingly prevalent across our once-friendly border. Do I think there are terrorist threats out there? Absolutely!

But I cannot and will NOT allow them to win by making me doubt every face, every person, every religion, every belief that does not fundamentally concur with mine.

Nor will I go down quietly as i watch the perpetual, continuing and frightening erosion of personal freedoms in the name of “security”. I am neither paranoid nor naive; but harassing citizens because they are a different colour, different culture or race and/or different religion is not the type of society I wish to see unfold in my lifetime. I do NOT want my children’s legacy to be a totalitarian state not unlike Stalin’s “Great Purge” – how IRONIC is that the Cold War of the 50s is coming back to haunt us in a manner of speaking? Stalin must be laughing in his grave!

Back then, politicians, citizens, ordinary people railed against the atrocities vested on the common man by Stalin’s Red Army – the lack of personal rights, the erosion of choice, and the rigid adherence to a party-dictated line of thought, punished severely and with no recourse at any imagined slight or deviation.

Paranoia is alive and well and living in the United States.

Canada has been a generous, committed, supportive and caring neighbour for a very long time. With no disparagement to Mexico, Canada does not have thousands of illegal immigrants sneaking across the border; we do not have drug wars whose violence spills over into American border towns.

Canada has responded quickly, appropriately and effectively to beef up security to deal with the new global realities of terrorism and fanaticism. We have co-operated and supported American security efforts in many areas and provided valuable feedback and guidance in other areas.

So, can President Barak Obam PLEASE ensure that with the new change of administration there is a commensurate change in the quality of people to whom he assigns key portfolios? Perhaps someone who is informed would be a good place to start ...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Buildings soar dark into a lowering sky and bleed colourless into the grey of forgotten spring. A window shimmers, a glittering beacon in a dreary landscape as the sleeting rain’s sibilant whisper hisses secrets against the wavering glass of the steel towers. Fog eddies and obscures the soaring needle of the Tower, which fades in and out of the brooding sky like a phantom of century thought and a dream of nirvana in a concrete jungle of broken hopes.

In the distance, the lake sways restlessly, breathing moisture into gloom and roiling under the shifting expanse of sky, its spring promise obscured and forgotten. Sky and lake meld and flow into variations of grey and pale white, and I stand looking and throw out a yearning cry into a silence so profound my voice slips unheard into the cacophony of a grey city.

I look down and wonder at how grey days and rain can make colours so intense yet muted as my eyes are captured by the gleaming stone of the Labyrinth, washed red in this early morning gloom. I can see the struggling spring green of buds obscured by rain and the noisesome murk of despair and watch the trembling branches sway, pushed by a wind which scuds clouds across an unforgiving sky.

I am capricious and moody, a hormonal hotbed of erratic emotions and crawling sexual want. I crave the touch of hand, the slippery sliding softness of muscle and want and yet my skin flickers like an irritated cat and I know I would buck like an errant, moody little mustang being pressed by a snorting stallion given a chance.

My breasts are aching and full, the nipples swollen crimson tips under the thin silk of the black lace, wanting cupping and squeezing and the sharp sting of demand.

As the harshness of past despair and all encompassing sorrow licks familiarity into the eroded trenches of a soul buffeted by harsh realities, the resilient and unwavering spirit of this celtic seal is rallying. I am a creature of the world, of physical appetites and spiritual wonderings, grounded in the now and in the pain of living and buoyed by my constantly questing need to see beyond the immediate and find the kernel of truth which often precipitates angst yet in the end, provides at least a hint of the “why”.

I am figuring out what and who I am and in the doing, finding a certain personal salvation.

I realize that attempting to rigidly define and delineate oneself is ultimately self-defeating and an impossibility. We are, each of us, unique. Our desires, personalities, our issues, the level of our self-esteem; the factors that created us, the trials, tribulations, the joys and supports - all are unique to the individual and cannot be replicated or recreated in someone else. As I muse on realities once thought impossible, I realize attempting to rigidly define and delineate roles is ultimately self-defeating and an impossibility.

And by that token, each interaction we have will by definition be exceptional and distinctive and exclusive to the particular interaction between two distinctive individuals.

It seems to me, ultimately self-defeating to try to adhere to a rigid set of regulations and defined terms. To limit ourselves to black and white rules, to net our souls in gossamer strands made of steel, to refuse to look beyond what protocol and what we often perceive (and not always accurately) others demand – would be, to my mind, pointless.

Often we ourselves remain the worst and harshest censors of possibilities; caught in the throes of past experience, trussed and roped in rituals endlessly played out and patterns (destructive or not) endlessly repeated, we convince ourselves that change is inimical to happiness.

But choices can open doors.

Changing perspectives can provide new venues to contemplate, new avenues to explore.

I stand and watch the weeping sky breathe Spring into being and see a small, steady light of maybe. I’ve been removed from the reality of body and blood and tendon and as I feel the blood coursing through the flesh of now, the swelling of need and possibility becomes concrete.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Britain's Got Talent

By this point (with 12 million + hits on the youtube video), everyone knows about little mouse Susan Boyle and her stupendous voice and complete victory over a nation and even a world - a true case of the little engine that could.

But you have to LOVE Britian ... you have to see these two other acts.. just in contrast and because I bloody LOVE the British - certaintly the second of these you would NEVER see on American or Canadian TV!

Know Thyself (2)

Tuesday’s post garnered such thoughtful responses and kind thoughts, I felt more needed to be said on the subject. I always find myself astonished at the kindness of people and even more so, at the commonality of the human experience which can provide such comfort – there truly is something intrinsically reassuring in knowing “we are not alone” (and on that note, thank you, all of you (and profoundly, Gillette in particular), for your compassion).

M:e very aptly uses the metaphor of a plant. Each of us needs nurturing to some degree or another – and at different stages of our growth can withstand inclement conditions better than at others. Certainly as an avid gardener I can relate to the concept although truth be told, my mindset which can tend toward the dark side, sometimes veers too much to the “wither and die” vision rather than the nurturing one.

One lesson, however, I have learned over the past 14 months in particular is selkie is indeed a warrior.

I am, was and remain incredibly resilient in the end, in mind, spirit and body despite the buffeting of adversity and pain. Not entirely, of course, for some time I burrowed deep down into the hidden nooks of my elemental self, seeking the spurious safety of dark, hidden places to mask the totality of my capitulation to sorrow. I hid beneath my skin, removed myself from behind my eyes, allowed despair to whip a cowed and unhealthy submission into my very pores.

There is a comfort, after all, in separating from sorrow.

There is a calm to be achieved from refusing to feel.

But as Morningstar wisely says when she points out that it is up to ME to decide how much I am willing to fight, that “… the answer lies within you...only within in you... “ she is correct.

Ultimately, I can control only what is within MY personal control – not the events, the people, the actions of those outside my venue. In short, I can’t control how others react, act, feel or choose, not even those to whom I am bound in heart, mind and soul.

Further, I think it is human nature to want to abdicate responsibility to a greater or lesser extent for events in our lives that do not seem to be “our” fault. It is ALSO human nature to want to remove oneself from pain (at least emotional pain) and it probably could even be considered rational to avoid thought and effort and continued agonizing over events you cannot control.

But as trite an adage as it remains, “it takes two to tango” is the reality.

More importantly, the specious comfort of a refusal to feel is hardly a permanent life choice – at least in my books and, based on my past experience, not in my nature.

But as TG says, “unconditional acceptance” is something we all seek yet seldom receive; but in return, how much do we ourselves “unconditionally accept” our loved ones? It is often far too easy to turn the mirror outwards instead of looking inside the silvered frame, to expect, anticipate, demand from others what our own hearts won’t offer to them.

And yes, Amber, fluctuation IS uncomfortable but I realize when I’m not caught in the throes of self-pity, that discomfort in itself can be a positive force. It is fevers that alert us to viruses, pain that alerts us to dealing with bodily injuries, spiritual discomfort and mental disquiet in turn nudge us into thoughts and insights we might not otherwise have reached.

Certainly, Buffalo’s insight that life brings with it the full range of complexities and dichotomies that so many of us find difficult to stomach is truth indeed. The reality is that if we didn’t have the bitter as contrast, we may very lose sight of the true taste of sweetness. I think, simplistically, it comes down to accepting that life itself is full of experiences – that perhaps we should stop rigidly defining any experience as “good” or “bad” and instead seek the knowledge garnered from the experience itself. Not that I think that is easy – we are hard wired as a species (I believe) to seek to find a measure of balance and peace in our lives; when events occur that disrupt that balance, we are left off-kilter, discombobulated, unsure how to proceed or even frozen, unable to make a step in any direction. – at least in the short-term.

We are indeed the sum total of our experiences – it is those experiences that mould us, provoke us, create in us insights and perceptions that impact on the type of person we become. How we choose to deal with the ones that elicit uncomfortable and painful revelations is probably very much an indication of the person we are and more importantly, probably a very good indicator of the person we aspire to become.

Liras is right when she says all living things change; in fact the very nature of change being life itself is something I’ve discussed before. And poetic, lovely Liras is also right when she says sometimes you must bend and sway with the vicissitudes of life if we are to survive; we must learn that bending is not weakness nor swaying giving up but simply a way of surviving to thrive another day.

I guess I’m just not certain as to whether I will like the woman who emerges at the end …. but as many of you have pointed out, being ‘different’ does not mean “bad”. Metamorphosis, after all, often results to our human eyes in something far more captivating in its new guise.

And I think one of the biggest lessons learned over the past months, is one runzwithknives points out “First I had to tear down that wall and then put away the sword” – rage, incandescent, overwhelming and so utterly destructive held me in thrall for what seemed a very long time. Now, I truly believe, rage in the short-term can be a healthy, constructive way of dealing with justifiable hurt. It burns bright and hard and shines brilliantly in the murk of betrayal and its resulting despair. It buoys you through futility and its hard, brilliant need gives you the strength to keep moving forward.

But embraced without restraint, internalized with no limits, fanned to a white hot conflagration again and again and it will turn on its creator and envelop them in its painful want, destroying its creator.

I have worked actively and consciously to avoid living a life of rage; I have struggled for restraint and understanding and tried desperately to avoid bitterness. So that, in the end, perhaps like runzwithknives, at the end of it all I can say “The me who came back? She's changed in a lot of ways...some subtle and some not so subtle...she's still changing. I like her and that's all that counts.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Know Thyself

One of the issues I’m wrestling with lately is the profound personality changes I suspect have occurred in me over the past few years – and specifically over the past 14 months. I sometimes look into myself and am astonished, confused and yes, even appalled at the person I am becoming.

I don’t recognize her you see.

While I am cognizant that we are all somewhat blind when it comes to truly assessing our own traits and idiosyncrasies, I think most of us have a fairly balanced grasp of the type of person we are. I know that I was intimately acquainted with the myriad faces of s. over the years, and while age and new experiences offered insight and shed new light on certain personality quirks and self-knowledge provided growth and change, the essence of self largely remained intact.

Hot tempered, - √
Open – √
Naive (read STUPID) - √
Kind – √
Empathetic – √
Too bossy – √
Ambitious – √
Family-oriented – √
Sensual – √
Sexual – √
Nurturing - √
Fragile – √

and a myriad of other descriptive traits that could be applied and in most cases, would be concurred with by intimate friends and family.

While I’ve spoken about change and how most of us struggle with the adjustments and new mindsets required to accommodate the new realities, only recently have I come to understand how catastrophic change can impact the essence of an individual’s concept of self.

I think it is human nature for us to cling to the concept of self that we internalized and grew into from an early age – simply put, each of us needs to have something concrete in terms of how to define ourselves. It focuses us, keeps us anchored to reality, gives us a starting point as it were from which to launch our interactions with other individuals.

I realized recently that certain inalienable traits I thought intrinsic to who I am, are not.

I think disillusionment, stress, rage and many, many years of being undermined, reviled and despised have taken their toll and changed – perhaps inexorably – who I am.

And I don’t like the new me.

Loss of faith, the rewriting of history, new viewpoints, having my weaknesses emphasized and pointed out again and again have eaten away a concept of self I thought inviolable. I have developed a fa├žade that protects me but which is alien to the nature of what I used to be. For stupidly or not, I have been hurt – deeply and profoundly at times – in the past but always managed to find a wellspring of compassion and forgiveness that allowed me to move forward, to forgive (if not forget), to continue in life without bitterness or regret over actions done and finished with.

But I find myself frozen behind a wall I cannot – and will not – break.

I cannot seem to find the compassion always there before when a tormented soul would strike out and wound me – compassion and an understanding of their pain and what is causing them to wound the thing they love – and made it possible to embrace them despite the hurt I myself was experiencing. I was, at the heart and soul of me, a healer.

But I find myself frozen these past few months, caught in stone, looking cautiously outside a small crack but quickly withdrawing at the most tentative of approaches, not finding in myself the will to venture out, to expose my vulnerabilities yet again.

And I don’t recognize that person.

The one who finds it safer to crouch behind the safe, smooth walls of indifference and refusal to trust, the small hidden mouse who finds it preferable to feel nothing than suffer again the pain of disillusionment and disappointment, the little hurt creature who would rather fade away than try, uselessly, again to make some kind of impact on a situation she finds impossible to believe will be resolved.

And in so doing, knowing I inflict pain on someone that continues to mean so much to me is confusing and provoking yet seemingly impossible to circumvent.

And slowly, inexorably I feel the traits which I cherished and held dear fading… a dying of self that is frightening in its implications.

Hot tempered, - X
Open – X
Naive (read STUPID) – X not so much anymore
Kind – dependent on situation and person
Empathetic – to friends and children, continuing
Too bossy – √
Ambitious – X
Family-oriented – √
Sensual – X
Sexual – X
Nurturing – X – only to certain individuals
Fragile – √√√….

I guess the question, for me, the most profound one – is this permanent? Is this who I am becoming? Or is it a rational reaction to a series of irrational and wounding events in a life never smooth, never balanced? And just how much will can I find in myself to return to a person with whom I am comfortable under the skin? Someone I can LIKE?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I stand looking out over the lake, the restless, mumbling water an intense deep navy. Above me, the full moon spills a silver waterfall of light through the deep morning sky, dancing and weaving and sliding along the opaque expanse of cold morning until hurtling through the unforgiving sky it explodes against the yearning flesh of my face and shatters into a million glittering diamonds of promise.

The lake inhales, a deep, intense breath and then breathes out, sighing spring which licks my cheeks until I shudder and feel the grumbling protest of winter past as it reluctantly retreats into another season..

I raise my face to the breathing moon and drink in its celestial ache and open my mouth and pull its yearning want into my lungs until I feel as if my body throbs with light which spills and dances and glows reflected glory in alabaster Irish skin and leaves the golden kiss of freckles stark on its thinning delicate membrane.

My eyes close, flooded with the white light of an ancient planet and feel its call and whispers to the secret part of me that yearns to be untethered and freed from the constraints of flesh and time and soar free to spill into the endless expanse of sky and flow into a universe of possibilities to which my narrow vision has condemned me.

Man’s greatest gift is also his greatest curse – our ability to move beyond the moment and look behind and look ahead until the reality of the now is blurred and hidden behind urgencies born of past experiences and unknown futures. We clutter our minds and hearts with possibilities that may never be and carry the burden of the past in heavy packs on our backs, bowing our spines and forcing our eyes to the path beneath our plodding feet as we stumble and fall instead of looking up and into the endless expanse of sky and promise of what might be.

I want to shed the cumbersome, cloying prison of my clothes and shed with them the tumbling, sticky prison of thoughts and emotions I am exhausted from feeling and living and dealing with.

I want to cast of the restraints that pain and broken trust have placed around my heart and waken a body grown cold from betrayal and rejection. I want the hot moist need of lust to blaze desire into the stiff, crimson yearning of nipple and lick demand into the humid, swollen folds of my sex until my body thrums with the ancient call of sacred lust and signals the fecund reality of my fertile sweetness .

I want to peel of my skin and dive into the cold navy ocean and feel the soft, burning clasp of water around me, embracing and soothing me in its shivering embrace and feel the burn of muscle and sinew and the sweet lick of velvet water against every crevasse and fold until I cannot discern where the water starts and I end and simply rock myself into the rhythm that will propel me into a moonlit sky.

I want my mind quiet as I slice through the deep coolness of arctic water, my shattered heart trailing away on the eddies of tide and ebb and flow of the moon and find instead the contentment of simply glorying in my flesh.

I want to just be.

So, What Do We Canadians Have To Be Proud Of ?

1. Smarties

2. Crispy Crunch, Coffee Crisp

3. The size of our footballs fields, one less down, and bigger balls.

4. Baseball is Canadian - First game June 4, 1838 - Ingersoll , ON

5. Lacrosse is Canadian

6. Hockey is Canadian

7. Basketball is Canadian

8. Apple pie is Canadian

9. Mr. Dress-up beats Mr. Rogers

10. Tim Hortons beats Dunkin' Donuts

11. In the war of 1812, started by America , Canadians pushed the Americans back past their White House. Then we burned it, and most of Washington. .. We got bored because they ran away. Then, we came home and partied... Go figure.

12. Canada has the largest French population that never surrendered to Germany.

13. We have the largest English population that never ever surrendered or withdrew during any war to anyone, anywhere. EVER. (We got clobbered in the odd battle but prevailed in ALL the wars)

14. Our civil war was fought in a bar and lasted a little over an hour.

15. The only person who was arrested in our civil war was an American mercenary; he slept in and missed the whole thing. He showed up just in time to get caught.

16. A Canadian invented Standard Time.

17. The Hudsons Bay Company once owned over 10% of the earth's surface and is still around as the world's oldest company.

18. The average dog sled team can kill and devour a full grown human in under 3 minutes. (That's more information than I need!)

19. We know what to do with the parts of a buffalo.

20. We don't marry our kin-folk.

21. We invented ski-doos, jet-skis, Velcro, zippers, insulin, penicillin, zambonis and the telephone. Also short wave radios that save countless lives each year.

22. We ALL have frozen our tongues to something metal and lived to tell about it.

23. A Canadian invented Superman.

24. We have coloured money.

25. Our beer advertisements kick ass { does our beer}


The handles on our beer cases are big enough to fit your hands with mitts on.
OOOoohhhhh.... Canada !!

Oh yeah... And our elections only take one day.

Pass this on if you are proud to be Canadian!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

eh? What did you say?

On my recent visit to my mum in Montreal, I discovered yet again that both she and my sister were definitely the worse for wear when it came to their hearing. Both have been tested recently and BOTH are supposed to get fitted for hearing aids; my mum, simply because she is 84 (and given that is probably one of the few things that are failing, I want her constitution!), and my sister because she has been plagued with hearing issues on and off her entire life.

But the exchange below was not untypical this past weekend:

(I'm in the kitchen, working flour and butter with my hands as I make pastry for a yummy brandied nut tart – shoot me an email if you want the recipe to my mother down the hallway in her room) –

Me: Mum, do you have a pastry cutter?

Mum: What??

Me: Pastry cutter! Do you have a pastry cutter?

Mum: Eh? What are you saying? A tea towel?

Me: NO. A pastry cutter- I need a pastry cutter!

Mum: I have LOTS of tea towels, - they’re in the linen closet –
Siobhan, get Sheenagh a Tea towel!

Siobhan: (in computer room across from mum’s) – What?

Mum: A tea towel – get sheenagh some tea towels!

Me: I don’t want tea towels – I want a pastry cutter!

Siobhan: Eh? What does she want?


Siobhan: A bowl – a large bowl?

Me: NO. A pastry cutter, Bins, I need a pastry cutter.

Mum: Siobhan- get Sheenagh some tea towels!!

Siobhan: OK< I’ll get the bowl, hang on.

(Walks bye me where I”m howling with laughter in the kitchen, trying to reiterate I need a PASTRY CUTTER)

Siobhan rummages in the pantry, brings out a big steel bowl and brings it to me.

Siobhan: Here you are.


Siobhan: What’s so funny?

Me: I needed a pastry cutter!

Siobhan: What?

I give up and finish the pastry by hand.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Certain words in any language are imbued with meaning, fraught with poignancy and saturated with concept and an intensity of emotion that can engender the most intense reaction in most individuals. Certain words simply carry with them such a plethora of emotive responses yet carry reactions so intrinsically personal that even the least-engaged person can relate.

Home.... home is one of those words.

Our literature and media is saturated with the concept of "home" from "there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home" and ruby slippers to hearth and home to a simple yet heartfelt cry heard by every parent "I want to go home". Popular literature and film like to exhibit "home" in terms of neighbourhoods and towns, of homes where generations of family have trod the worn boards and stood at the same windows. But for me, home is such a relative term.

When stressed, despairing or anxious I often mentally repeat to myself, a mantra of comfort, "I want to go home"... yet oddly, do not have in mind anything made of bricks and mortar nor a specific street but rather, a state of mind.

It’s something I think about probably more often than I should. But often, I feel unmoored, untethered, a kite flapping in a capricious breeze, broken line snapping uselessly, no hand to guide and keep me safe.

Where is home for a wandering, foot weary selkie?

Moving to Canada when I was 6, "Home" was always Ireland’s green fields, it was the slick smell of cobblestones under the soft Irish mist, and the smell of steamed milk and strong dark coffee in Bewley’s. A year in Canada and then an arid island in the middle of a tropical sea was "home" and buzzards circling the sparse sun-burnt brush and the deep endless turquoise of an endless sea... the deep cold beauty of a mountain lake and the lushness of ancient trees were powerfully home to me for a brief, unforgettable interlude in the Eastern Townships, then here, there and everywhere and eventually at 14 back to Montreal....

For a very long time, although my tenure in that city was relatively brief (6 years), Montreal was "home". I think one’s adolescent years are pivotal ones and in many ways create markers which impact and create memories that resonate in the remainder of your life.

And I have so many.

Stepping into the church today with my mother, memories rushed back and enveloped me in a kaleidoscope of refracted time which sang and danced and hummed in the background of my heart while I followed the comforting ritual of a sacrament in which I no longer believe.

At 16 with D. on my arm for the first Xmas with us and beside us my dearest friend and brother of the heart (Norman with his shock of dark hair, pale skin and clear eyes he could have been brother in truth) and Christmas cheer churning in my stomach until right at the midnight mass Norm hustled me outside where I proceeded to puke my guts out while my parents` friends walked by laughing. Home was a chaotic, welcoming house bursting at the seams with people and welcome and jockeying of five girls for a single small bathroom, and my father, sitting quiet at the dining room table, mouth half smiling and watching the circus of energy and enjoying every moment, glasses perched on his nose, green eyes merry.

Montreal was where I called home, alone and forlorn in my New Brunswick university and cried, me on one end of the line, my mother on the other.

And through my wanderings over the next few years, it remained `home` even on our arrival in Toronto and my attempt to put down roots. For here I have been for four times longer than my tenure in any other place yet it is still not `home`.

I do not in any way undermine Toronto- in truth it is an incredible city full of fascinating, eclectic neighbourhoods, with magnificent islands just an affordable ferry ride away, theatres, sports arenas and a nightclub district that through all reports (not personally known) is superlative.

But it is not `home` and several years ago – at least 12 or 15 – I realized I no longer even thought `home`` when I thought of Montreal and on my frequent visits back no longer did I yearn for the quiet tree-lined streets I despised as a teenager nor hanker for the European flavour of its cityscape.

I realized then that I was rootless and homeless in truth. My mantra ``I want to go home`` did not in any way encompass the physical realities of brick and stone. My yearning for ``home`` was entirely unrelated to physical structures, to the flavour of a culture nor the taste of a language. While I feel a sweet sense of sorrow that once my mother is gone the small brick bungalow and the street on which I was a teenager will probably never be seen again, it is momentary and passing.

No. For me, when I yearn to go ``home`` it is a state of mind to which I wish egress. It is a place where my heart will be content, where my soul is at peace. Somewhere I will feel safe, where I will feel able to lay down the burdens I carry and which weigh so heavily sometimes on my shoulders. `Home` is a place not in the corporeal world in which we live, but a sweet, enveloping emotion that embraces and soothes. `Home` is safety and cherishing and comfort. It is the knowledge that you are somewhere you are supposed to be. Home is not something that can be bound about by description nor put in a box. Home is a refuge you carry in your heart so it is with you all the time, no matter where you wander.

I want to go home ....

Friday, April 3, 2009


fucking asshole.

someone seems to have been using my account without my knowledge.

hadn't locked me out so I never realized.

It only came up tonight.

I have a file in my mail wherein if I post a blog or make a comment to my own blog, a copy is sent to that file in my mail.

I opened up my mail tonight and saw a NEW comment from ME had been made.

Problem was, I DIDN'T.

And when I went to where the comment was apparently made, it wasn't there - so it had been deleted. I suspect they made the comment, realized they were "me", deleted ... and so far have not hacked my mail .... and didn't realize I had it set up so I get COPIES.

whoever the FUCK you are - GET A GODDAM LIFE.

This is the second time I 've had a blog hacked....

so if you get some odd comments from me that don't resonate as selkie- now or in the past - now you know why.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ouch! That HURTS (Please do it again!)

Moisture slips along the smooth glass and trickles crystal sighs down the surface of my poignant sorrow, cocooned in the cool glow of artificial light and pretence. I sit at my desk and let my eyes soar into the greyness of sky and lake and eyes as green as spring mute and fade to slate and disappear into the vastness of the weeping horizon.

Angel asked a rhetorical question lately, which I have been musing on since. (see here) Although my mind in some ways is restless and constantly questing, I realized when she posed that question and mentally tried to answer it, that the realities are far more compelling than I had truly understood.

I know that I have a knee jerk reaction when someone says incredulously “you like PAIN”... no I don’t like pain! I’m not nuts – WHO likes pain?

Except I do – sort of.

For a long time I justified it as “not really pain” as when it got to the point when it “hurt” I was usually in a head space where my mind didn’t interpret it as “pain”... right?


Honesty after all, particularly with yourself is important. And the bottom line is that even when I LIKE it, it still bloody HURTS and yes, I admit it! I like the hurt. The hurt grounds me in a manner of speaking, it provides a focus point and a lifeline, a spiritual connection to the hand wielding it...

So Angel’s question made me explore the convoluted highways and byways of selkie’s mind to figure out (or at least attempt to) why a certain level of pain can bring me to a place that I consequently seek again and again. And in the thinking came up with some personal revelations.

First, I am, and always have been, a risk-taker. I have always been the one who jumped, who put her hand up, who even when her heart was hammering in her chest with terror, stepped out and took the plunge. I didn’t plan myself that way nor feel I had anything to prove to anyone- there is just something in me that drives me to face and conquer the things that intimidate or frighten me. I do think that this personality quirk is partially responsible for my willingness to explore the limits of sensation.

Second, I have a very, very unfocused, restless, even at times, chaotic mind. In some respects, I am a terrific service submissive, as my mind is always anticipating, always planning, always looking ahead and formulating plans and underlining tasks and nudging reminders. This mean, for D., his life was in many respects, extremely smooth – his vitamins always there, fresh coffee beans whenever he went to grind some, gym clothes washed and ready.... but it also means that I seem to lack the ability to focus on my own immediate needs – in fact, finding it far easier to focus on everyone else’s.

The room is quiet, the clicking of fingers on a keyboard, the distant sound of laughter down the hallway, the almost imperceptible hum of the machinery .... My breasts feel full and aching beneath the embrace of the pale blue bra, nipples swollen and distended, throbbing to the slow measured rhythm of my heart as my mind remembers the sublime peace in being used.

Restraint is first of all crucial for me to completely engage in the moment. Quite simply, unless you make me, I can’t be still. Focusing me, making me calm, making me capitulate, succumb is difficult... until the MOMENT ... and then you can physically SEE it.. the submitting .... my head will stop straining, my body quietens and as you can watch, all the muscles in my body just calm and I accept ... a sweet, sensuous giving in ... and that is me .... when I am restrained, cuffed, roped and spread, I simply, for that moment, finally STOP... and in my case, the ropes don’t have to be physical but can be metaphorical.

And in stopping, I am open, I am present, I am ALL there.. available to my sadist, my emotions, my feelings, my body open to his choices. There is the sweetest, most sensuous emotion which sweeps over me when I finally STOP and allow myself to submit ... allow him ingress to my flesh and to my soul, an almost spiritual awakening that flushes a hot sexual need through my entire body.

I am never more vulnerable then when I submit... my body open, the barriers gone from soul and spirit, the hot, throbbing centre of me painfully, tenderly laid bare. And as if involuntary, my body responds physically, membranes flush and swell, nipples tighten and engorge, the tender flesh of my inner thighs glisten with the moisture which begins to well from between my splayed legs.... as if this mute offering of tender, fecund flesh will placate and calm the beast without ...

Now at this point, if the sadist just began whaling away, there is a very good chance that the sting and hurt would disrupt the waves of yes that I would presently be experiencing. It would snap my mind back from its submissive state into protest and anger and in so doing, dissipate any chance of pursuing the scene further.

No... subtly is important, coaxing, teasing and licking want into the skin so it burrows beneath the surface, slips into the pores and teases nerves into flowering and expanding and accepting. Stroking and firm flesh on flesh, singeing flames into the aching and moisture into the awakening.

For me, flesh on flesh is crucial, at the beginning, during and most decidedly at the end. To feel the warm reality of skin against mine, the sliding unmistakable friction, the moist reality of breath against my neck, all providing fodder to the thoughts now wheeling about in my heart. For another crucial part of the puzzle for me is to understand, to comprehend, to encompass and embrace the reality of the person inflicting the pain.

There is a fierce joy in me to internalize that caressing my flesh, smacking it, watching the pale Irish skin warm, flush pink then crimson, is something fiercely, passionately and ardently WANTED by the person doing it.

The knowledge that MY compliance, MY tacit and obvious agreement, MY flesh by being available to him, MY trust implicit that it is his to abuse yet not destroy, MY submission in short to his desires is something that delights, elates, that arouses and satisfies to the soul something in he to whom I submit is in itself so fiercely powerful that tears often trickle from beneath my closed lids.

And done right, the intensity of the session can increase exponentially with the intensity of the moment.

For the rhythm of the flogger as it tattoos my flesh, the crack of the crop against the firm flesh of buttock, the thud of the tawse against the flesh of my inner thighs.... all serve to ground me, orient me, remind me of why I am there.

I find myself welcoming the hurt, the hot searing sting, wanting more, craving the intensity to increase, the sensation to rise further. Deep in the middle of a well-planned session, I am not entirely rational – not mad or crazy or out of my mind – but soaring. Grounded in the here and the now, in this SECOND, in this moment of living, relishing the reminder of my mortality, drinking in the sublime moment of joy as if the pain is a beast I have mounted and which pounds through the byways of my convoluted psyche with the hot muscular pull of muscle and feel of freedom against my face.

It’s a good thing my sadist, despite the intensity of his own emotions, is in control... because truly I know the strength of my own want would lead me to demand more and harder, hurt me fiercely because it is as if my nerves have morphed into something separate from the everyday realities of my flesh and have begun to confuse pain (which is intended to be a warning to the body to desist) with an unspoken imperative to reach further and longer and harder ....

And if you asked me, at the apex of my frenzy – do I hurt? I would look at you with confused eyes ... for at that point hurt is such a relative term and carries no meaning.

And through it all, I need the flesh on flesh .... the reassurance that he is there, that he is in charge, a restless mare, quietened with a soft pat, an over-excited creature, soothed with his stroking. His teeth fastened in my shoulder will focus me and calm me, his cock in my mouth will exhilarate and ground me.

Once he starts to bring me down, to wind the intensity to a level of rationality, then the pain begins to creep in. The skin of my back, abraded and raw, the welts along the buttocks, aching, the soft, tender flesh of inner thigh stinging .... awareness creeps in like a flutter of soft wings and I will start to shake. My mind is soft, frightened, my soul vulnerable and involuntarily at this stage, my entire body will start to quiver.

Gentle hands, soft voice, butterfly kisses along my trembling jaw, tender lick along the line of neck, hands firm and capable rubbing gently along the abused skin and most important, pulled into the safety of his embrace and loving arms. I need to be held, I need to be reassured and in so doing, I need to know he is also reassuring himself. That in his way, he is also craving and needing the reassurance of our mutual exploration, our capitulation to our respective demons ...

The aftermath of a session is exquisitely, sensuously relaxing. Like the end of a yoga session (I’ve drawn that parallel before), my body is relaxed, almost drugged, my mind calm. A challenging yoga class can leave your muscles aching, some twinges and pulls of a minor nature but most of all it leaves your body tingling and feeling alive and worked as a body was made to be worked. For me, lying sleepy and content afterwards is similar. My skin feels tender and incredibly sensitive, my muscles – which I inevitably tense and untense throughout – are relaxed and soft, my heart thuds slowly, quietly in my chest. I feel a certitude and comfort that is quietly spiritual. The welts are sore but in a way that is removed from the immediacy of need, while other areas of my body might herald a distant ache that I know will translate into more serious reminders tomorrow.... but at that point, it just does not matter and I am at peace.