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Not Dead Yet

I had forgotten about this blog until I recieved an email from LJ this morning notifying me that one of my friends here has a birthday coming up. . . A friend who died suddenly two years ago. I logged in with the intention of deleting this journal, which I haven't touched in five years.

But I just read the to-do list and my initial entries, and I want very much to get back in touch with the energy that prompted me to start this blog.

A lot has happened in the past five years, and in some ways I'm closer to this spirit of adventure and breaking free than I was then, since I have been actively working on ways to have a "free range" lifestyle, working for myself rather than continuing to slog at a day job. But there is still a part of me that is more fearful than I would like and which is habitually attached to conventional living. I need to cultivate my pirate side to give my dreams more energy.

Also, my daughter (known in previous entries here as Accalia) is now 20 years old and has moved out, so I have much more freedom than I did before.

It's not enough to do the work. I need to have the spirit to relish doing that work, confident that I am truly doing what I love and moving toward a future I take will take pleasure in.

The Pirate Queen's To-Do List

Items that are links are complete, and connect to a post about the achievement.
Unliked items are still to-do.

   
 

One Time Goals

  • Get a passport
  • Take fencing lessons*
  • Take sailing lessons*
  • Drink some rum
  • Get a tattoo
  • Get contact lenses*
  • Take a sailing cruise in the Caribbean
  • Complete my pilgrimage drive from Seattle to LA and back
  • Administer a flogging*
  • Receive a flogging*
  • Learn and be able to effectively tell three sea stories
  • Create an altar for the captain's cabin
  • Have a complete pirate queen outfit that I can wear to any renaissance faire or pirate reenactment event with pride and confidence

Lifestyle/Attitude Goals

  • Be brazen
  • Eat more seafood
  • Have a strong, flexible body
  • Go someplace new at least once every two weeks

* Things I've actually done before, but it's been long enough since then that they will be significant "new" achievements for this stage of my life.

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"Kidnapped by Pirates is Good!"

Arrr!

Kidnapped By Pirates" Is Good
Words and Music © 2007 by Tom Smith
Released under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike License


Sometimes romance isn't all it might be,
Sometimes it's boring and pale,
The same old routine, played out nightly,
And you wonder if love has gone stale.

Well, I'm here to offer solutions
When passion ain't quite up to par
A cute little sash, a cunning eye patch,
And a scoundrel who likes to say ARRR!

And it's Yo Ho, off we go
Across the deep blue sea
Way hay, far away
Where it's just you and me
I'm feeling so much bolder than
I ever thought I would,
So I'm slingin' you over me shoulder, love...
"Kidnapped by pirates" is good!

A pirate is lookin' fer treasure, my dear,
A trinket that's pretty and sweet
He certainly does it for pleasure, my dear,
Let's go look under the sheet

We don't need no fancy costumes,
That's why we've both got a brain
A slightly worn shirt, an accessible skirt,
And we're sailin' the Spanish Main!

And it's Yo Ho, off we go
To the Islands of the Spice
Way hay, far away
Where Cutthroats are kinda nice
We'll have such delight, more than even
Dan Savage says we should,
Ah, wench, that's right, you're not leavin' --
"Kidnapped by pirates" is good!

Now, "Murdered by pirates is good", they said,
In the film The Princess Bride
But we find it more romantic
If nobody's actually died.

There ain't no reason why our love life
Has to fade to black
So let's turn off the TV
And turn on Cap'n Jack

So let me put your blindfold on,
I'll make ye walk some planks,
And then I'll have a change o' heart,
And accept yer grateful thanks.

I'll carry you off ta me cabin,
Where we'll do things obscene,
And tomorrow YOU do the kidnappin',
My lovely pirate queen!

And it's Yo Ho, off we go,
To realms of fantasy,
Way hay, far away,
Where it's just you and me,
And every night I love ya more than
I ever thought I could
From the deck of a Portuguese Man O' War,
"Kidnapped by pirates" is good.
And I left our cell phones back on shore....
"Kidnapped by pirates" is good!


http://filkertom-itom.blogspot.com/search?q=kidnapped+by+pirates+is+good

Parenting and Piracy

Positive stuff happening in the day job and my spiritual direction practice, but no details tonight because Accalia and I spent the last two hours playing Sid Meier's "Pirates" on the Wii and now I'm late to bed, but smiling. And so is Accalia -- who was definitely not smiling earlier this evening.

I like the fact that I can bond with my daughter over piracy.

2 New Places

I've been neglecting this blog. . . but then, I've been neglecting all of my logs. I've been overextended and needing to pull back in.

The last time I logged in here, I realized that I'd completely forgotten about the resolution to go someplace new at least once every two weeks. I hadn't done that since I'd started this adventure! (So much for adventures. . . )

But I've done better these past two weeks.

Last week I went to our downtown museum for the first time and saw a special exhibit. Now that I've been there once, it's going to be a lot easier to get there in the future. And while I didn't enjoy the featured exhibit much, there were a lot of other things that I wished I'd had time to see.

Today I drove to another city to go to a meeting of a group I may want to join. That was actually pretty easy, but it still counts as a new place.

I need to re-visit the goal list on a regular basis and keep myself on track. . .

The Rum is Not Gone

Started the new year by knocking off one of my to-do items: trying rum. Last night, on an impulse, I watched the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and it seemed like a good time to break out the rum.

I didn't care for it.

I tried "10 Cane" and -- of coure -- some Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum, but neither were to my taste.

Honestly, I don't have much of a taste for alcohol in general, and I'm not sorry that I didn't care for these. For now, I'll stick with vodka on the occasions when I do want to imbibe.

Still, the point of the exercise was not finding new alcohol to enjoy, but trying something new -- and I accomplished that.

This was the easiest of my original to-do's to accomplish. I'm going to have to ponder what to tackle next. . .


ETA: Yikes, I'd forgotten about the "going someplace new every two weeks" item. I was going to let myself off the hook, due to the holidays and the weather, but that's not a good idea. Instead, I've thought of someplace relatively easy to get to that I can go to today, with Accalia. It will be a very tame trip, but it will accomplish a couple of goals I have for today.

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Mind-Body-Spirit

One of my biggest challenges has always been comfort with my body. I've always been someone who has lived primarily in my head -- except where sex was concerned (and even then, I can be very mental).

My body is stiff and out of shape -- and this morning I realized how much being physically cramped and stiff is mirrored in my spirit. Doing yoga this morning helped lift me out of a compulsive, time-wasting loop. And I feel braver as well.

Having a flexible, relaxed body will help me have a sharper and more creative mind.

Having a stronger body will help me feel more confident in the challenges I face.

Over the years it's been very hard to find meaningful motivations to take care of my physical self. Perhaps this increased clarity about the connection between body and mind and confidence will give me focus in a way other things have not.


I don't need to be a particular size to be a Pirate Queen, but I do need a strong, flexible body if I'm going meet the challenges of a life of derring-do!

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Grasping

This I want to remember and affirm: I have always craved that which is beyond the bounds of respectability and proprietry. I have craved the intense, the ecstatic, the transgressive. I have always been Inanna's get -- even in my love for Her dark sister. Even as I have struggled to maintain the facade of respectability in my public life.

For the past three years I have numbed myself to hold off the pain.

Tonight, I feel the craving for the extremes I don't know how to achieve without a wild, trusted companion.

I would give anything to have my husband with me tonight, to feel his flesh on mine.

I know I have his permission, but it still hurts to imagine reaching for certain pleasures without him.

And yet, if I deny myself those pleasures I will lessen myself.

How to be true to my thirst for intensity and true to him?

There is no conflict, he whispers in my ear.

I know he tells the truth, but I do not feel it in my heart.

How can I share my body with another when my heart and soul are his?

I know there are other ways of experiencing intensity, but I ache for the carnal delights of flesh on flesh, of the feel of rope, chain, and leather against my skin. I want to scream and cry and shriek in pain and delight.

I want him.

To Do List

I've just posted a forward-dated To-Do List at the top of this journal. As I complete the items on the list, I'll link them to posts about what I've done.

Some of these are simple. "Drink some rum" will be easily accomplished -- but it's something I've never done before. (If the rum is gone, it hasn't been my fault!)  Some are single achievements, others are more attitude-adjustment reminders: to "be brazen", for example, rather than try not to make waves or draw possibly critical attention to myself.

"Creating an altar for the captain's cabin" isn't just about honoring the deities I will be asking to support me on this adventure, it's about honoring and invoking Water, becoming a person who is comfortable with it.

The scariest item on the list is "Go someplace new at least once every two weeks." One of my biggest non-rational fears is of getting lost -- and it's hard to be adventurous with that fear hanging around one's neck. As far as I'm concerned, this can be as simple as taking a local trail I haven't walked before, going to a new location within my city, or traveling a long way.

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Becoming a Pirate Queen

What happened?

I dropped the weight of the grief and frustration of my life as it had come to be.

I started taking time just to be quiet with myself again: not engaging in numbing behaviors, not doing spiritual practices, not reading or watching tv, not seeking escape from everything that's been hurting.

I watched Mamma Mia! and decided that I wanted to be as fabulous and joyous as Donna.

I read Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts and reconnected with my pleasure-seeking nature.

I made a collage of images of pleasure and found -- only slightly to my surprise -- that it had to include pirates.

That same day, I took the collage to a spiritual direction appointment. My director made the image part of the altar, honoring it in a way I had not, and then asked questions about the images, especially those of piracy. As I talked about it, I realized that the qualities I associate with piracy, and being a Pirate Queen in particular, were essential to my sense of pleasure and happiness: freedom, personal sovereignty, being "outside the box". As we talked about it, I felt an explosion of energy, passion, desire, and excitement -- the likes of which I have not felt since LM's death.

For most of my life I have felt it necessary to conform to the expectations of convention -- but it has only been when I've stepped outside of those constraints that I've known my greatest joy and satisfaction.

I'm 46 years old, and it's past time I started to live my life on my own terms, reaching out for my pleasures, my dreams, and not toeing the line of convention in hope that one day I'll be rewarded for following the rules. So far, all that has gotten me is a series of boring, unsatisfying jobs and increasing numbness.

The reality of life is that I can't quit my job, steal a yacht, and run away to sea -- but I can and will start kicking holes in the walls around me, doing things that others might call outrageous because I want to, and not giving a damn about what "They" think.