Question 16: Do you have any concerns or worries about your community or your community involvement?

The title of this post is the next question in the 50+ page “life review” that I am completing as part of my coaching certification program.

What a loaded question. Since it’s not one of the ones with the radio dial buttons for “yes” or “no,” I think it’s time to put into words the whirlwind of thoughts that I have been having on the subject.

Yes I have concerns and worries about my community, both the local and the online one. I’ve been asking myself a lot these past months why, when I’ve identified some distasteful (to me) elements possessed by the culture of these two separate but connected communities, I opt to step back in retreat over stepping up to make a difference.

I think I’ve figured it out. It’s like that old lightbulb joke – about how many therapists it takes to change a lightbulb?

Just one, but the lightbulb has to want to change.

I think the community wants to change in the way that I want to lose weight. Like magic, and overnight, without actually having to sacrifice anything it enjoys or put in any long term effort into the hard work and sweat it’s going to take to build a new set of habits.

The community likes to say that it is inclusive the way I like to order a salad when I eat with people, but take a spoon to a jar of nutella when nobody’s watching.

I think the community leaders are those who once felt like they could make a difference – like they could either reinforce what they loved about it, and/or make changes to help create a better environment for themselves and the ones they care about.

Problem is that once they succeed, they think their work is finished. Just like I thought I was all set when I lost 80lbs and thought that I’d never have to wear anything larger than a size 12 again.

I was wrong.

In order for the community to be better, it has to never feel like it already is.

Yeah, I have concerns about the community.

But I don’t think I’m necessarily any better than anybody else who ever thought they could make a difference, succeeded in making a difference, and then stopped asking “what more needs to be done?”

I’d love to think that I am immune to the corruption and complacency that power and popularity seem to have on so many of our recognized leaders. In politics, in religion, in workplaces, and even in sex positive, polyamorous, and queer communities – we see people who had the best intentions get sidetracked by greed or become intentionally blind to the experiences of others.

How do I know I’d be any different?

I was reminded of something I learned in school – about George Washington and how he had said something upon the completion of his second term that led to a 150 years of Presidents that move aside after 2 terms before an actual constitutional amendment was made to enforce it.

I went to look it up and ended up on a page full of quotes about term limits…some of which seemed similar in theme to the aforementioned whirlwind of thoughts in my head:

The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it. — T.B. Macaulay

You will always find those who think they know your duty better than you know it. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

If the way to do good to my country were to render myself popular, I could easily do it. But extravagant popularity is not the road to public advantage. –John Adams

I don’t think my concerns over community are new or unique, and I don’t think that they’ll never be addressed, nor do I think I am powerless to address them.

I think when the community is ready, it will seek out the types of leaders and organizers it needs to make those changes. And I hope it never stops trying to be better.

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Of Sharts and Friends

I’ve had a delightfully polyfocused weekend. Thursday, my friend and metamour Elre came over. We cooked dinner together (or, rather, I cored, peeled, and sliced the apple and ey did everything else, including searing the pork chop and prepping and roasting the butternut squash). Then we watched the premiere of Dancing With the Stars (and subsequently fanned ourselves after watching the steamiest Viennese waltz of all time). Had a really awesome time, as we always do when we hang out.

The following night, Snugglemuffinpookieface(1) came over and we cooked dinner (this time it was chili-lime rubbed steelhead trout with roasted chayote and red onion and a mojo de ajo sauce). I did most of the work, though he did supervise the cooking of the actual fish, and we went out to the dungeon for the evening. We had cherry pomegranate smoothies with whole-grain toast and cherry preserves for breakfast while the solar company inspector stomped around in my attic and on my roof.

I was really excited for Saturday night, though, cause I had plans for a slumber party with Snugglemuffinpookieface’s other partner, Hellcicle, who I’ve not spent as much bonding/alone time with as I have with Elre over the past year.

She arrived just as I’d started prepping the vegetables for the fig-glazed pork tenderloin with roasted carrots and brussel sprouts. We worked together, with Hellcicle taking over any chopping after I took three times as long to slice carrots and brussel sprouts as she would have, considering that she and our partner are professionals in the kitchen. She plated the dishes like a pro and we headed upstairs to sit casually on the sofa and eat our fine food.

My cat, Mulholland, was being extra needy of attention. He kept trying to get between us to get pets and rubs, but it was putting us at risk of getting his fur in our food. In an attempt to get him out of the way, I scooted forward on the sofa to let him pass behind me, and tried to give him a gentle nudge from behind to push him past me.

Right. So, he basically let off a spray of shit juice that splattered all over my poor metamour’s arms, shirt and lap. She sat there in shock for a moment, unsure of what had just occurred.

I sprang up to get a towel but …i mean, we’re talking cat shit here.

She set her plate down and went to shower. I picked up my phone, and texted bentSapien(2): “Mulholland sharted on Hellcicle. Other than that, we’re having a blast!”

That’s when it hit me. i picked my phone up again and sent the text:

“Dear Lover, I’m sorry my cat pooped on your girlfriend and other stories by phi-is-me.” The title of my autobiography.

He thinks it’ll go straight to the bestseller list. Hellcicle is begging me to really write it.

I guess I’ve just completed chapter one. 😉