Saturday, May 31, 2008

My Four-Wing Is Showing

We were sitting in the Thai deli eating lunch when I told Teo What I Want From Sex, (in short, stardust and magic), and he smiled at me and said, "Your Four-wing is showing."

I didn't catch the reference at first, and thought maybe a shoulder is like a forewing and my sleeve was torn and gaping.   Then I remembered that canards might be called forewings, and wondered where the corresponding point would be (a moustache? ~ what?! I HAVE A MOUSTACHE?! ~ ears? collarbone?)   Teo noticed all the gizmos grinding in my brain, and filled in the missing piece, "Your enneagram Four-wing."

Ahhhhhhh.... yes, it all snapped together and I laughed with relief.   It had been a long time since we had talked about the enneagram, and even longer since we talked about me having a Four-wing.

I used to laugh it off.   I thought I was quite unlike a Four.   Fours are so dreamy, so lost in their imaginations, so, um, romantic, from the shooting stars above their heads to the flower petals below their feet.   In fact, some enneagrammers give the label Romantic to the Four.  But this time I couldn't easily dismiss it.   Just recently I wrote that Yes, I'm a Romantic plus the subtitle/intropoem of this blog says "this is the essence of love and romance."   I chewed over these thoughts and remembered how indulgent these writings are to dreams and imagination, in other words, to Four types.

So, yes, dear Teo, I do concur.   I do have a Four-wing, and it's been growing lately.   This blog has been devoted to its exercise and, as a result, its accelerated growth and development.   After listening to Teo talk about his own tendencies about intimacy and sex (Teo's an Eight), I decided it would be a good idea to branch out to more facets of love and romance, of intimacy and sex.   People of all types bond, and they bond in their own special ways.   It's a bit narrow to ignore all those other ways of bonding and sharing, so I plan to broaden the scope of coverage to include lovers of many stripes, not just romantics.

Originally I figured everyone needed their romantic nature nourished, perhaps even revived, and I still believe that.   But now I figure a good way to do that is to support and nourish their life nature and also supply doses to fortify their romantic nature.

A translation of the paragraph above: every enneagram type has at least a little bit of each of the other types, including the Four.   But each type lives and loves differently, so each main type needs to be supported along with the bit of Four.   If you would like more attention for your own enneagram type, write to me and tell me about your situation.

~ with love from Jolene

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Image credit: The Enneagram Institute

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mm, Mm, Magic!

I wanted magic, I got magic.   Wow.

In the wee hours last Saturday morning (or Friday night, depending on how you calculate), I wrote that I wanted sex to be magical.   Less than 24 hours later, a nice friendly visit with Deven sparkled into a scrumptiously delicious tryst.   Yes, there was yummy mm, mm, magic!

Deven and I have had our ups and downs over the past year, and lately it had been mostly down and declining fast until a week and a half ago when we had a breakthrough discussion and found that we still had some very good potential between us as friends.   I privately resolved to be a much better friend to Deven, to give us the best restart I could manage.   I also resolved to leave sex off the table (and off the bed and off the floor...) and I had actually become quite happy with that situation because it came with so many other good things, like appreciating him and us from totally new directions.   Besides, every time we joined in sex he disappeared from my life for a week or so.   It just felt crummy.   I much preferred having Deven with no sex to having sex and then no Deven.

So I had some reservations about Saturday night ~~ not wanting to be cut off from his company again just after we had been getting along with each other so nicely.   He said he wouldn't go away....

Well, so far so good.   Loving encounters with plenty of pixie dust on Saturday night plus Sunday afternoon AND Tuesday night, and then a friendly conversational visit this evening (Thursday).   Lovely.

No pullback so far.   This is mighty nice....

~ ~ ~     ~ ~ ~     ~ ~ ~     ~ ~ ~      ~ ~ ~

Image credit: "Flower Power" by Jay Jacobson

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What I Want From Sex

I finally found the word to describe what I want from sex lately.   See, for the past half year, I have not had my usual interest in usual sex (that is, with men).   That might be an indicator for depression, except that I've had strong interest in unusual sex (say, with the cosmos).   Now as far as I'm concerned, it's no problem: I'm happy with my situation.   It's fascinating in terms of evolution, and I don't feel an urge to label or categorize or analyze or explain any of it to myself.   I like watching it unfold at its own pace.   I'll mention that while this strange, new direction has been developing, my buddy Saturn, the big, beautiful, ringed planet, has been a reassuring companion and guide.

On the other hand, there are those who do have a strong urge to analyze and label the phenomenon, who want to know why I don't have my usual interest in sex (with them).   Those would be men, of course.   To address their questions, I've been thinking about sex a lot lately, and now I found the word:


I want to make magic.   With no need to settle for anything less, I want to feel a growing sense of magic and wonder as we wend the way toward each other's souls, as we whirl in waves beyond ourselves.

This path is now revealed and I will practice sensing when enough magic is gathered to catalyze sex.   But I wonder what "magic" will mean to my man who wants sex ~~ usual, unusual, whatever works ~~ he enjoys sex.   What's wrong with usual sex?   Nothing, darling, nothing is wrong with usual sex.   But everything is better with magic.

~~~     ~~~     ~~~     ~~~     ~~~

All the stars will tell the story
About our love and all its glory
Let us take this night of magic
And let us make a night of love

~~~~     ~~~     ~~~     ~~~     ~~~

I changed a few words above in a verse of the song "Surrendermade famous by Elvis Presley and written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman who rearranged a 1902 ballad by the brothers Giambattista de Curtis and Ernesto de Curtis.   The verse was matched with the image, credited as "Surrender" by Federico Bebber who used an image from Marcus Ranum's stock gallery

Image credit: The Ringed Planet in Time magazine by NASA / JPL / AP   ///   Time's caption: "In this composite photograph compiled from images produced by Cassini in 2006, the Earth appears as a tiny pinprick of light in the upper left between Saturn's outer rings."

Leafy Green Feelings

My habit is to blog when I'm on top of everything in my life, when everything is under control, when life is spinning along like a top.   So I don't blog much.   My life is hardly ever like that.

Just tonight I read some blogs by people who went through stuff and wrote about it as it happened.   It has a fresh quality, unprocessed.   Raw, so to speak.   Raw food is good for the bod, and raw feelings are good for the soul.   A workable theory, yes?   Instead of processing stuff first and wrapping it up in a package tied with a bow, I'll poop a pellet  *plop*  onto the page ~ ~ voila.

Wait a minute.   That can't be right.   Manure is very highly processed stuff, and anything but raw.   Let's try that again.

I'll gather salad greens from my garden of experience (the tender, young shoots that have just sprung up), rinse off the grammar, and offer up the raw leafies for us to munch on.   That might be tasty!   Or it might be as eye-watering as onions.   Guess it all depends on what pops up in the garden overnight.

It just occurred to me that eating lots of raw leafy green vegetables is an excellent remedy for constipation of the gut.   Likewise, an excellent remedy for writer's block is penning raw, green words with no prep or dressing or even effort for presentation.

Raise your shooters of fresh wheat grass juice, everyone, for a toast in honor of turning over a new leafy green feeling for fresher, livelier vitality with special enzymes and ephemeral bioflavinoids intact.   Cheers!

~ with love from Jolene

~~~     ~~~     ~~~     ~~~     ~~~
Photo credit: Jennifer Benner, (Fiddlehead ferns)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Sister in the Romantic Revolution

A few days after Aja said he didn't really understand what would inspire someone to subscribe to my blog, Carol Allen replied to my request to quote her newsletters. She really summed up what's going on here.
Hi Jolene,
Thanks for writing!
Congrats on your blog.
I don't mind you sharing my stuff at all - there's a four alarm fire out there and we all need to get the word out about relationships and what works! People are literally dying over this stuff!

[snip some stuff about commerce]
Thanks for being a sister in the romantic revolution.

That really feels good ~~ a sister in the romantic revolution!   Charges me all up to stride forth like Liberty Leading the People (or as the French artist Eugene Delacroix called his painting shown above: La Liberté guidant le peuple)

It Seems a Bit Scattered

Aja and I were talking about getting the word out about my blog when he asked, "But what are you trying to do with it?   What's the point?"   He didn't see much connection between mood swings and L~o~v~e.   (So I reminded him how mood swings had been so deadly for some of his romances!)

"Hunh," he said.   "Well, it seems a bit scattered."

Yes, I agree, it seems a bit scattered, as does love when seen from our human viewpoint, because it reflects the nature of the human condition, which reflects the nature of life on this planet.   It all seems a bit scattered!

Life and love and romance are all buzzy, busy, wild and silly adventures when you're right in the middle of them.   In our reminisces, as we look back and try to find clues, it's easier to see patterns.   And I do see lots of patterns in life, love, and romance.   But if I tried to put them all down in their proper places, like a really nice website might have, you, dear reader, would have neither a website nor a blog.   Much as I would love to build an eleventy thousand page website given enough free time and a long enough life, I'm not going to devote myself to it right now.   But what I will do right now is post my thoughts as they occur, and brother, my thought stream is a scattered!   I'll get it down now and sort it out later, just like we do in real life.

The existential theme is a natural one for this endeavor.   In the first place, I cotton to existentialism as a philosophical framework.   In the second place, love is loveliest when experienced existentially, so that shows up in the content.   In the third place, the process is existential by default because the blunt truth is that's the only way I'll get the content to the web.

Scattered?   Yes, of course, and ironically, in this world, that means perfectly aligned.

~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~

Original context of photo by Charlie Morey

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Romance or Nothing

You would make me choose.   You would hope to make romance irresistible, and you would work hard, I know, but to better your odds, you'd take friendship off the table and then tell me, "Romance or nothing.   Choose."

You'd rather gamble for gold than settle for sunlight, such are the stakes that you see.   Gold is rare and coveted, and it even glistens like the sun so you would have it all, wouldn't you?   But sunlight ~ common, ordinary sunlight ~ anybody can have that.   It's no prize.   And you want a prize.

You have done this so many times, to yourself, to your lovers.   Oh, you haven't stated it in those words, perhaps, but the undertone was always there.   "Romance or nothing.   Choose."

So I did.   I hoped your words would come true: "Of course, friendship is important.   Of course, I'm your friend," even though I knew that as you said them, deep down, you didn't believe them yourself.   I felt the gamester lurking, the little demon who makes you say things because he tells you that's the way to play the game.

Well, darling, the little demon is right about one thing.   That's the way to play one game ~ the small game ~ the game for nuggets that you never win.

The illusion is so lovely, though.   The shining gold nuggets dangle before you, almost within reach.   Just a little more effort, just a little adjustment, or maybe a lot of adjustment, but look at those nuggets!   Make those adjustments, whatever it takes!   Believe what is false, avoid what is true, but adjust!   Sometimes you might touch one, just enough to make you think it's real.   But you never get close enough to really examine those nuggets, to really figure out what you're aiming for ~ certainly never close enough to win them, to finally hold your prize.

That's how romance is defined for those who play the small game.   The nuggets are out of reach by definition because phony romance is defined by the pretense of mystery.   One must pretend to increase intimacy while at the same time pretending to maintain mystery.   What a paradox.   With true intimacy, veils are lifted and secrets revealed, and the two become closer as they understand each other more truly.   On the other hand, a phony romance is served by veiling the other with illusions to gratify one's ego, with fantasies to stoke one's desire.

This is why you would make me choose ~ for your ego, for your desire, but not for the bonds between us.   Friendship values intimacy ~ the real kind.   A deeper friendship means deeper intimacy means peeling veils and letting them fall one by one.

"You see," says the little demon, "stripping off those veils!   Next thing you know you're sittin' there buck naked in stark sunlight with nothing left for fun!"   And he snorts with contempt for the fool who would settle for the glare of sunlight instead of the glitter of dangling nuggets.

It's easy to fall for that zinger.   But remember for any endeavor that humans pursue, the more you know, the more there is to know.   The more you seek, the more you find to seek.   I'll add the refinement that the more depth you explore in intimacy, the more depth you discover.   Your discovery of another human being is limited only by the equipment you bring to the task.   Even more importantly, your appreciation and wonderment of another is limited only by your ability to appreciate the wonders of this universe.

That would explain why the game of phony romance is so appealing.   People don't have much faith in their ability to appreciate subtle wonders, so they try to conjure up excitement by using romantic illusion to focus their wandering attention on their chosen beloved.   That kind of romance floats for a while.   And then it sinks.

I learned to heed the little gamester's bluff and call it.   I learned to say, "Friendship first, or nothing doing.   I want to explore what is between us with open eyes and open heart."

Yes, I'll give up the gold and settle for sunlight.   I'll choose that which is so abundant it is expected, presumed, and taken for granted, even unappreciated by some who think it's common and ordinary and no prize at all.

Sunlight, giver of life and grace of the day, is taken for granted because it is so abundant and reliable.   But that's no common and ordinary thing.   Reliable abundance makes the sun our planet's blue ribbon, number one, most important source of energy for life ~ a high prize indeed.

Let us begin with abundant sun.
Come as a friend, blessed by the day.
Let us discover between us our bonds,
Growing as lovers, blessed be our way.

~~~     ~~~     ~~~     ~~~     ~~~

Carol Allen encourages a focus on the theme of friendship in this excerpt from her March newsletter.

Dangling earrings and heart locket as seen at

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Not Stamped For Work

NSFW is a web acronym meaning "Not Safe/Suitable For Work".   After reading the wikipedia entry, I declare that this blog is most definitely Not Stamped For Work, nor for any kind of situation that imposes mind control or numbing of the senses or emotions.

On the contrary, only half (or less) of the content here is at the surface in textual words and visible pictures.   The other and most useful half is in subtextual poetics and substratal impressions, in emotional currents, invisible patterns, and libidinal imagery.   Corporate and institutional environments (including most schools and workplaces) impose constraints on the mind and emotions.   Even the descriptive words -- corporate, institutional, environment -- are hard and dry; they numb and deaden life's juiciness.

So I beg you to avoid this site when you are at work or school.   The mix is like oil and water: you'd have to add alcohol, but work and school don't like that either!

From the 2007 Tokyo Sexpo

The Tokyo sexpo assembled in July 2007, so this is old news, but I just found these pictures on Wired's website, posted in October 2007.   Interesting to see how that side of life looks when it's on daylight display instead of hiding in shadows.   At the very end of the series is a photo of ~ what are they, paperweights? ~ happy little phalluses plastered with big loopy grins and a look that says,   "Ain't I cute?   C'mon, cuddle me."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Babies DO come with instruction manuals... and so do lovers

This article by Cori Young explains a few things about how we understand each other. As the third paragraph says, "To mothers holding their newborn babies it will come as little surprise that the 'decade of the brain' has lead science to the wisdom of the mother's heart."

The article gives some technical explanations for interactions between mother and child and shows some extensions to humans of all ages, but the section quoted below really clicked into place for me because it applies to everyone who is trying to figure out how to understand a loved one of any age. Emphasis is mine.

[begin quote]

Proximity: Between Mammals, the Nature of Love is Heart to Heart

In many ways it's obvious why a helpless newborn would require continuous close proximity to a caregiver; they're helpless and unable to provide for themselves. But science is unveiling other less obvious benefits of holding baby close. Mother/child bonding isn't just for brains but is also an affair of the heart.

In his 1992 work, Evolution's End, Joseph Chilton Pearce describes the dual role of the heart cell, saying that it not only contracts and expands rhythmically to pump blood, it communicates with its fellow cells. "If you isolate a cell from the heart, keep it alive and examine it through a microscope, you will see it lose it's synchronous rhythm and begin to fibrillate until it dies. If you put another isolated heart cell on that microscopic slide it will also fibrillate. If you move the two cells within a certain proximity, however, they synchronize and beat in unison."

Perhaps this is why most mothers instinctively place their babies to their left breast, keeping those hearts in proximity. The heart produces the hormone, ANF that dramatically affects every major system of the body. "All evidence indicates that the mother's developed heart stimulates the newborn heart, thereby activating a dialogue between the infant's brain-mind and heart," says Pearce who believes this heart to heart communication activates intelligences in the mother also.

"On holding her infant in the left-breast position with its corresponding heart contact, a major block of dormant intelligences is activated in the mother, causing precise shifts of brain function and permanent behavior changes." In this beautiful dynamic the infant's system is activated by being held closely; and this proximity also stimulates a new intelligence in the mother, which helps her to respond to and nurture her infant. Pretty nifty plan--and another good reason to aim for a natural birth. If nature is handing out intelligence to help us in our role as mothers we want to be awake and alert!

[end quote]

To use computer terms, the baby's electromagnetic pulse pattern triggers the mother's embedded executable files to download the baby's instruction manual. The manual is written in Emotion, not English. So as the auther said, being awake and alert helps, but I'll add that being sensitive and receptive helps also.

When my babies grew into small children, our hearts continued to have conversations. After a distressing nightmare, a little one would cuddle close, heart chattering away in fear until it was persuaded by my bigger, steadier heart that the harbor was indeed safe. Only then it subsided into gentler rhythms.

I believe that not only babies communicate heart to heart with sets of instructions, but adults do, too. With my lover's heart next to mine, sometimes I sense intense emotional torrents of pain or sorrow. Here is one conversation, translated:

"I hurt! I have hurt so long!"

"How dreadful! There, there, tell me all about it."

"All closed up!" {anguished cry}

"Mmmmmmmmm...." {soothing steady beat}

"You know how it is?"

"Yes, I know how it is."

It all happened in a jolt of one or two seconds, but that was the gist of it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

One time, a lover's heart conveyed a long groan of anguish, like a release of unutterable despair held for years, maybe decades.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I have become more sensitive and receptive since those conversations, and now feel announcements with more subtlety. These guide me to meet my lover's needs with understanding and precise yet wordless depth.

There are many vulnerabilities a man may be too proud to admit, but his heart is not so afraid. His heart will gush a full and honest account of its troubles to a compassionate listener in just a few seconds of profound clarity and wholeness. This is your map for finding buried treasure, your personalized guidance system for navigating emotional waters with him, your instruction manual for that one-of-a-kind, custom-designed, some-assembly-required, togetherness thing.

The native language of every heart is Emotion ~~ let your heart start translating for you.

Hugs and kisses ~

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mood Swings

Sometimes I feel inflated enough to say to myself, "Jolene, you are the Goddess of Pleasure and the Queen of the Night."   And sometimes my partner feels enraptured enough to say it out loud.

But other times I feel so deflated I wonder if it's all a cruel hoax.   One of these days, I mutter, someone is going to notice that I'm actually a hag, not a siren, and then life as I know it will cease.

Mood swings.   They are all the rage lately (sometimes literally), hitting the tabloids with Britney Spears' high-profile meltdown, making headlines with breakthroughs in diagnoses and treatments, and getting published as memoirs and blogs.   Mood swings have catchy buzzwords, like "bipolar disorder," the old "manic depression," or the lesser known "cyclothymic disorder."   Mood swings have been around for millennia, but now they have a DSM* entry and a list of treatment protocols to experiment with.

For myself, I'm sticking with the term "mood swings".   It sounds more organic to me, like something to live with as part of the human condition (which it is) instead of some kind of victimization issue.   Nevertheless there are some very important aspects that deserve attention, and I am happy that mood swings are getting coverage even if it means getting a Latin name and at least three levels of diagnostic discrimination.

Due to recent coverage and because some people close to me have announced their struggles with bipolar, I've learned a lot about it lately.   For one thing, I learned that bipolar behaviors are an eerie match for some behaviors of my own that have been quite annoying, for example, the hag/siren dichotomy.

An upswing bestows the siren ~ I feel young and energetic and in the mirror my cheeks are round because I'm smiling and my eyes are sparkling (and my talk is giddy with run-on sentences).   People respond to my irresistible charm.   Colors are luminous and earth is a good place to be alive.   A downswing draws the hag.   I feel old and lethargic, my skin looks dull in the mirror, circles darken below my eyes, colors are washed out, and I avoid the world and everyone in it.

Planning is tricky when I don't know whether the hag or the siren will make her appearance.   I subconsciously adopted some self-medication tricks to tip the balance toward the siren when it was really important.   For example, before or during an appearance in public, I did things that could bring on upswings, like staying up through the night before, bingeing on sugar or starches, drinking caffeine or alcohol, cranking up music, or indulging in self-absorption.   At home after an outing, there could be a crash with a depth proportional to the overstimulated height.   Before I started investigating bipolar, though, I didn't connect the high and low events.   It all seemed random and disorderly, and utterly beyond communicating to sane, solid, stable people.   How ironic that such men attract me like magnets.

Mood swings seem rather anti-romantic in the harsh light of analysis except, perhaps, for the drama and excitement they might cause.   There is a message here for those who would risk this kind of challenge.

What a lover needs to remember about a moody, chaotic beloved is that one's entire perception changes with mood swings.   One's brain processes sensory information differently depending on whether one is up or down.   So if you take up this challenge, don't assume that shifts in behavior are related to something you have done or not done, and don't get attached to what seems like your influence over your beloved's behavior.   But by all means, do enjoy the scintillations, the thrills of surprise, and the everchanging scenery along the path you share with your beloved.

* DSM: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Friday, February 08, 2008

Yes, I'm a Romantic (How'd you guess?!)

Of course, I'm a romantic.

Let's try that again.   Of course, I'm a Romantic, with all the swirly flourishes and soundings of strings and cymbals included.

But I'm not a hopeless romantic.   I don't sigh heavily with disappointment, and I don't obsess over potential meanings in small gestures.   Nope.

On the other hand, I do sigh deeply with pleasure and I do obsess over subtle meanings in small messages I write in poems and songs.

I am a hopeful romantic.

The romantic in me pays attention to small gifts of beauty and joy that life brings us always and everywhere.   And hopefulness means that in times of uncertainty, I put more attention on the bright side rather than the dark side.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Let my fingertips touch your hair, my love,

Let my hands caress your face,

Let my arms enfold your body in my

       enduring, unbounded embrace.