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.