Day 30 of a year of giving.

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Well, the best laid giving plans were foiled. I was to donate blood today. I managed to pull myself together and call a cab and haul myself to the blood donor clinic. They stabbed my finger, and had me go through a long list of screening questions. Then we went through my medications to check in a big book to see if there were any problems there… and… there was. I was eligible honestly and legitimately in every single item but one. One of the medications I take, seroquel disqualified me.

Now, here is the kicker, it disqualifies me because it puts me at risk to give blood, not that my blood places anyone else at risk. Seroquel is a medication that builds up in the body, to a therapeutic level. Giving a volume of my blood will mean that the medication levels in my blood will be reduced and this could cause mood swings for me.  Now it doesn’t matter if my Dr. says it’s okay, I can’t get a note, anything like that, doesn’t matter if it’s my body my medication… blah blah blah. It’s their policy. However, their policy around medications like that is if you don’t take it for the three days prior to giving blood, then you _can_ donate. So… I’m allowed to discontinue my medication for three days and then donate blood. Does this make sense to you? Obviously my blood levels are going to be much worse off this way. It’s not recommended that I do so, go off my meds for three days then donate. However, it’s not dangerous for me, and it’s a decision I’m perfectly capable and allowed to make.

It’s their policy… So.. what am I going to do? Make another appt. to give blood for next time the blood clinic is in Chilliwack, skip my meds for three days, give blood, and probably have some mood swings for a few days… that I wouldn’t have had if they’d just taken my damn blood to begin with. LOL. She assured me it wasn’t that my medications would be bad for the blood recipients, its that they didn’t want to lower my blood levels of the medication. *groan*.

The only thing I managed to give today was a good tip to the cab driver.

I was then feeling rather dejected and sorry for myself for being turned away over something so trivial. I walked in the rain for a few blocks to the local Dicken’s sweet shop and tea shop, bakery, cafe, museum, etc… fantastic little place here in Chilliwack. I consoled myself with ‘high tea’ I had little puff pastries, and little sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and petite fours, and they had a lovely matcha tea available (they have about 150 teas available). I browsed the shop after my tea until Wolfe got off of work and could rescue me stranded in this little haven in the rain.

I then proceeded to further indulge, and we went to the mall, and had shopping therapy, I hit the little accessories store and bought two rings and 5 hair accessories. 30 bucks on shiny things with velvet and lace and feathers… pretty feminine accents.

So.

I have all my blood… Wolfe offered to take some from me, but it’s not the same.

I did get lots of ideas for future giving though. I can’t really complain, out of all the things I like to ‘get’… ideas are my favourites.

Day 29 of a year of giving.

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Today I gave to a few different click to donate charities through The Hunger Site.

Excerpt from the Hunger Site:

The Hunger Site was founded to focus the power of the Internet on a specific humanitarian need: the eradication of world hunger. Since its launch in June 1999, the site has established itself as a leader in online activism, helping to feed the world’s hungry. On average, over 220,000 individuals from around the world visit the site each day to click the yellow “Click Here to Give – it’s FREE” button. To date, more than 300 million visitors have given more than 500 million cups of staple food.

The staple food funded by clicks at The Hunger Site is paid for by site sponsors and distributed to those in need by Mercy Corps and Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest) . 100% of sponsor advertising fees goes to our charitable partners.Funds are split between these organizations and go to the aid of hungry people in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America.

All of us here at The Hunger Site are also deeply moved by the humanitarian crisis in Darfur . Learn how you can help!

Hunger: Do You Know The Facts?

It is estimated that one billion people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition. That’s roughly 100 times as many as those who actually die from these causes each year.

About 24,000 people die every day from hunger or hunger-related causes. This is down from 35,000 ten years ago, and 41,000 twenty years ago. Three-fourths of the deaths are children under the age of five.

Famine and wars cause about 10% of hunger deaths, although these tend to be the ones you hear about most often. The majority of hunger deaths are caused by chronic malnutrition. Families facing extreme poverty are simply unable to get enough food to eat.

The Hunger Site began on June 1, 1999. In 1999, a year marked by good economic news, 31 million Americans were food insecure, meaning they were either hungry or unsure of where their next meal would come from. Of these Americans, 12 million were children.

Wu Wei

Leila Raven Post in General
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It’s a jumble now, as I try to sort it all out in my head, the mix of thoughts, experiences, on all the different levels they happened. I know there was so much going on in me, and much of it unconscious. I’m trying to plumb that stuff in my head around the rope around what I’m really doing. Energy work. Looking for a conduit for creation, creativity, energy, life, joy, hope, strength, freedom, play, maybe love. Maybe love is just hope, lots and lots of hope.

I walked in wondering if my body would betray me. That was the fear, and lots of wonderful hopes and anticipations bubbling everywhere, but crawling in the dark places, pushed down by my carefully painted face and scented body was the tension. The dark wounds and desires that makes what it is we do what it is we really do.

Power, control, primal, edge… no… just simple rope. Right?.

Small talk and polite normal conventional words and items filled the room, but I’d catch the pure thread of talk on the microcosmic level between us of things your mind can’t wrap solid around. Chemical scent, biology, psychology, spirituality.. all that stuff, what labels you want to hang on my core exploring your core using whatever tools nature and experience has provided us under neath the surface.

Next thing that’s clear is the puddles of red rope on the floor. How I love red. The red rope sizzles and sparkles in my eyes, red is blood is life is energy, and the rope is heavy with it. Handled and loved rope.

The hands that start reaching and exploring wrapping by torso are strong and experienced. They are confident yet exploring, gathering information about my body, the rope is an extension of hands and fingers that grab and touch me taking my measure as it works me into it’s symmetry.

I also get information back through the rope about the owner of the strong hands… interesting information.

Levels are happening around me, things on the surface, clear, things underneath, visible, but elusive, known, but with mysterious corners.. thinking of the kittens sliding under my bedcovers, curious dangerous lumps in the fabric of my being.

I had pain in my back from sitting cross legged on the floor, and my broken naughty body complained, all the muscles in my back had been whining. Now the firm rope has created structure, and taken weight from muscles. In a wave, in a soft moment, all the pain has melted away. There one moment then gone, I listen completely to my body and relax in the chest harness as it becomes anchored above me and I let it take the burden of the weight of my body from me. Inside a part of me cries with joy. It brings a tear to my eye now to recall it.

Looking up along the tower of rope climbing from my chest I see many things. I wonder at how heavy the rope is woven coming from my chest. Gemini I am I keep all my tension and all my secrets there, rib cage and spine upper back, heart, chest. Thick red climbing from above my heart into the above.

I have a memory, Elementary school gym class. Looking up, the knotted rope. Everyone is supposed to climb the rope. I cannot climb the rope. What is wrong with me? what is wrong with my body. No, I wasn’t a fat child, I was a thin little girl. I don’t think I was particularly weak. The rope is impossible. I struggle with it going no where. There is so much shame. I am unpopular. None of the popular children like me. I am terrified. Maybe if I could climb the rope I could be acceptable. I want to climb the rope. What if my body fails me.

I haven’t been suspended yet. I have no pain right now. What if as soon as I try to get ‘up’ my body will betray me. What if there is pain, weakness? What if I will be rejected?…

I’m off the floor, and I’m being lifted, I’m being cradled, I’m suspended. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t climb the rope then, that I didn’t climb it alone now. It’s okay to trust others to help lift you up. Sometimes there are things we cannot do alone. I let the idea fill me, that it doesn’t matter if you can climb the rope or not. It only matters that there are people who will help you try, who will help pull you up, support you, guide you. However, you have to seek them out, you have to ask, and you have to trust.

Sensations, lots, so much to process. Rope is touching and caressing, biting and holding many parts of me. Most of it is very gentle and very firm. Very little discomfort. Things happen… an arm turns purple quick and has to be liberated. My limbs are arranged and shifting around me.

Everything is fluid, and there is a lot going on. That and my mind is floaty hazy now and I just want to feel. Not much thinking, just feeling where my body is in space, where the rope is, where Oni is. I feel him in the rope and tentatively in his own body, hands, and occasionally eyes and torso. Some awkward moments, as I’m fumbling with control.

The buzz in my body and my mind has built and it energizes me, making me feel joyful, which makes me feel feisty and playful and a bit toppy. I wish my body was stronger, I want to climb the rope. I imagine myself pulling myself up and over the suspension frame and hanging over it like a jungle cat looking for prey. It’s not going to happen, nice daydream, but the body is old, heavy, and weak.. and also all tied up.

I feel Oni moving away, or maybe I have pushed away, he has been very respectful and gentle, sensual, and sweet, and strong. I shift my body in the ropes turning sideways. Oni looks surprised. That expression on his face makes me thrill, I want to bring something different to him. Make a gift of me as well. Giving surprises is fun. Encouraged, and playful, though worried a little about offending, I work my legs free. I realize I could completely escape if I wanted to. I don’t want to. I shift back into the chest harness and let Oni adjust it back to center again. Though my legs are free now. We play some more hanging in the harness… My mind is soft now, and my memories from the rest of the evening and coming down are speckly.

There’s much more, but those are the bulk of the conscious parts.

I know there’s more to come as well, another date with rope… or perhaps it’s a date with Oni.. I don’t know. I don’t know if I have any ‘intentions’ yet besides exploration… I wonder if Oni is pondering any intentions.. I’m not too worried about it. I don’t need to process it too much consciously, I’m okay with just letting things unfold. Wu wei

Day 28 of a year of giving.

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Many cultures have gift giving traditions, many give gifts when visiting others. You bring a gift to your host. Today I went to visit a man who like me seems to have an appreciation of different aspects of Japanese culture. So I brought him a gift to show my respect and my appreciation. For being my host and being my guide into exploring rope.

I love giving gifts where I can put a lot of my personal energy, creative energy and thought and care into it, I think many people often lose the connection between the material gift and the real meaning behind the giving of gifts.

Un-related to this incident of giving, but something else that has been on my mind around giving… I think one of the hardest things about giving that I’ve discovered and learned, is that some people can completely mis-interpret the meaning behind the gift. Some people give gifts with an agenda, gift giving can be used as a an attempt to control others, manipulate the power balance in a relationship. Trying to make people feel indebted to others. I have never given a gift with this kind of intent behind it, and sometimes, most of the time, I forget that people can and do.

I think it’s important for me to remember, because for some people some of the time, it’s probably a greater gift for me to not give them anything. If me giving someone something makes them feel uncomfortable, or unhappy, then it completely destroys the whole reason for me wanting to gift. The only thing I want back from anyone is happiness.

I have a date… with rope

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I woke up this morning tingling and with a smile. The only thing to do today to focus on preparing my mind and my body for the journey it`s going to go on tonight. I made my way to the bath and filled the tub with hot water, Epsom salts and exotic oils, I soaked and let my muscles warm up and relax as fully as possible. I washed and luxuriated in the heat. I towelled off and oiled my skin and found something comfortable and simple to slip into.

Relaxing with green tea and herbs to soothe my stomach, and a very light brunch, I paint my face… thinking of photographs and rope, I powder my breasts and my freshly shaved sex as well as powdering my nose. I rub a little more scent into my skin.

I`m thinking off an on, wondering how I`ll be tied… will I get to be suspended, will I fly in the rope, will I fight it, will I make love with it, will it be a struggle or a seduction, or both. What will my body do in the bondage. Will I get to that deep quiet place. Will endorphins find me and soothe my pains. How will it go.

I put aside a silk japanese Kimono, vintage, a gift from a close friend given to her by her Japanese mother, given to me. I put aside a satin Chinese cheongsam dress. In case I want the comfort of cloth and fashion in the ropes… options. I`ll also bring shoes. I don`t know if I`ll be bare or with those… but  they are clothes and shoes I love, and like an extension of myself.

I want to honour the man that is going to put me in rope… I think he has an appreciation for some similar aesthetics as I do. So I take brush and india ink and script his moniker in kanji on a piece of ivory rag paper bonded with silk embossed with the pattern of plum blossoms. The pattern is subtle, in the weave, looks plain ivory until the light catches the weave of the pattern of branches and buds. The large black character of his name is not bad, for my awkward brush work. I take a carved stone stamp that has the character for `scholar` engraved on it, and stamp it at the base of his name-kanji. signed it. Mounted it and added a piece of rough cord so it can be hung if desired.

I also found in my collection of treasures which collect dust, a red Japanese paper maché demon mask… and it seemed appropriate, *smile*, so I will bring that as well to my esteemed host and guide.

It`s about time to leave… going to get my rope cherry popped, and hoping to fall in love with yet another textile.

Day 27 of a year of giving.

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It was a pretty good giving day today. Dropped the two bags of clothing off at the one thrift store. Where of course did a little shopping as well. Actually shopping at some thrift stores, like the church run ones I frequent, often supports valuable charity. Many of these places are volunteer run, the items they sell have been donated, some goes to local people need, some they sell. Often they use money for local charitable work or for support abroad. One of the places had a drop box for change for helping children in Iraq, so I dropped a couple of dollars in.

I always look around at cashiers check out areas for giving opportunities. Charities often set up donation cans and boxes for people to donate at tills while they have their wallets out and are receiving change in their hands.  Don’t like accumulating change? When you’re standing in line take some time to peer around for a charitable receptacle to deposit it in.

I gave some other things too.. but some gifts I blog about and some I don’t…

I had a lovely day with a friend I care about a great deal, and that was fun.

I bought some things for making art, some lovely frames. My friend also spotted an awesome old fashioned style vibrator and passed it over when she saw my eyes go big and sparkle with interest.

I’m exhausted, but happy.

Tomorrow night I lose my rope bottoming virginity. I have happy anticipations.

Day 26 of a year of giving.

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Someone had a whack at the big pile of clothes again today, and another bag disappeared. I still have a big pile, I took out two bags of the less nice stuff (not fetish or dressy) and will bring it to the salvation army some time soon.

Day 25 of a year of giving

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Today we gave Wolfe’s parents some help with their computer. At Walmart we gave the empty check out line to the gentleman behind us. I bought special toys for the kittens today. I also gave some recipes to my mother in law for turkey congee and some other easy to digest dishes as she’s having some tummy troubles.

Day 24 of a year of giving.

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Lots of opportunities to give today. Bought a new friend lunch, nice tip for the waitress, complimented some ladies in the store while browsing, gave more clothes from the big pile of clothes, and going to a birthday party with birthday gift and homemade card in hand!

Lots of giving was to be had, and is still to come! Fun day!.

What a lovely day. Met a new friend for a day of shopping. We went to a liquidation sale and I found a great pair of shoes and a hat, she came away with many amazing shoes! We then hit value village for some more shopping and I picked up a rose coloured skirt and shirt which I’m going to wear tomorrow for tea with friends. The shoes I’m wearing tonight for a party. I have to take photos of them, they’re gorgeous 5 inch platform heel black patent sandal. So sexy. After shopping we re-freshed with all you can eat Chinese food buffet… yum. I was a piggy and ate a whack of ice cream and goodies as well at the buffet… could. not. resist. Then we came back to my place and the big pile of clothes I’m gifting was further pillaged and further reduced. Now I’ve freshened up, and dressed up for the party at other friends this evening, and ready to go! I can’t believe I’ve had the energy to be out and about this much as of late, and it feels fantastic.

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Day 23 of a year of giving

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Today didn’t provide a lot of opportunity for me for giving. Maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough. We donated to the food bank at the grocery store today. I bought a friend tea, but she bought last time. Then we made art together… which was glorious fun.

Collaborative drawing… we pooped out before we got to finish it though, so there is more art in the future to be found. Today I was gifted to, she gave me some of the art supplies she’s not using. I was also given some photos she took which are really good, and very inspiring. I’m going to put a couple up in my studio. I like being inspired by other peoples work.

So, I don’t know how much I gave, but I certainly received today. Art supplies, and lots of black pens, which I love, black markers are art supply sex. You can’t have too many of them. Power and control lives in the black marker.

More importantly though she gave me inspiration, ideas, got me making marks. She contributed to my studio, which is just taking form. It’s kind of like midwifery… the studio is like a womb from which the things I create are going to emerge. She helped support and nourish my creative womb… lol. Art midwife – thank you.

My head is in floaty art space.

Day 22 of a year of giving.

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Today I’m donating and giving time toward activism for the awareness of child predation. If you’re interested in seeing how you can help. You can make a donation and learn about other ways you can help protect children here.

If you ever come across content on the Internet or elsewhere that leads you to believe a child has been or may be hurt or in danger. Don’t be afraid that something bad will happen to you for handing in the information. Often people coming across child pornography, or other information, accidentally panic, afraid that they could be charged for criminal action. The authorities are not interested in persecuting you, they want to get to the real problem and help the kids. Do the right thing, and pass on the information. I believe you can even do so anonymously through a tip line like this if you still feel nervous about it.

Day 21 of a year of giving.

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Today I gifted another two lovely ladies with clothes, and shoes, and boots… and of course I got to perv on them trying things on. Nothing like watching beautiful girls modelling sexy clothes and foot wear.

I can’t believe I still have a big pile of shoes, and a big pile of clothes… obviously I need more naked women in my living room.

Day 20 of a year of giving.

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Today we donated a big stack of books to the local Salvation Army – Care and Share center.

So far I’ve found this process to be really rewarding. There’s a really positive energy that feels like it’s starting to flow through my life, and I believe in big part it’s due to this project of giving.

A few days ago omeone on FetLife asked me how I came up with the idea and what I think I’ll learn from it.

It just came to me one day a couple of months ago… I just kept churning my brain around ‘ a year of giving ‘… It’s hard to describe how the idea was ‘born’. It feels a lot like when I make art, or write poetry, it’s a creative processing thing.. the idea just kind of gestated. It was an idea that started with a phrase that popped into my head and just grabbed me by the heart.

I’m not sure what I’ll learn. It’s reinforcing a lot of the things I already believe so far. What I’ve learned, or had confirmed…

* Giving is very enjoyable and fulfilling, it feels good to give.
* Giving doesn’t have to cost anything, and it can be simple.
* Opportunities to give constantly present themselves in life.
* Things don’t matter, people matter.

I’m sure there’s more it, I’m just starting to explore.

I know giving from my own belongings and decreasing the amount of material stuff in my life feels really cleansing and positive as well, decluttering. The decluttering feels it’s not just decluttering my home, but my mind and spirit as well.

Giving is like… love in action. Giving is about living in harmony with your environment. It’s about increasing my awareness about how I affect everyone and everything I come in contact with during my day. How I look at someone, whether I smile, if I compliment, or assist them. That I can bring something positive to the world every moment, if I choose to. We all can.  It’s like being very awake. I’m looking at others with their needs and happiness in mind. Giving isn’t just geared towards people either. I’m looking at giving opportunities towards animals, towards all nature and the environment. The wonderful thing about giving, is that it has widespread rammifications, joy spreads. It gets passed forwards.