i've been posting little stories from my time from Apogaea, 2018, "Reflections," on the book of face, and this one seemed like proper material for my poly-focused blog.
inside this edition:
water brothers/sister misters;
telling it on the mountain;
love's flaming alchemical arrows.
i want to start with the lyrics of a jefferson airplane song called "Triad":
"You want to know how it will be
Me and him OR you and me
You both stand there [...]
"What can we do now that we both love you",
I love you too-- I don't really see
Why can't we go on as three
You are afraid--embarrassed too
No one has ever said such a thing to you
Your mother's ghost stands at your shoulder
Face like ice--a little bit colder
Saying to you--"you can not do that, it breaks
All the rules you learned in school" [...]
We love each other--it's plain to see
There's just one answer comes to me
And in time--maybe others
So you see--what we can do--is to try something new--
If you're crazy too--
I don't really see
Why can't we go on as three."
[in case you'd like a soundtrack as you read: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Aej9wmoQ7M]
|water brothers embrace|
i think of my partners as water brothers [my hubz's paramours i see as my "mister sisters," but i'm sure somebody out there knows a better term...?]
on the topic of terms and names, here are some glossaries i have found helpful in the past, and i hope you do, too!
More Than Two's "Glossary of Poly Terms"
Bustle's "7 Poly Terms Everyone Should Know"
Bustle's "7 More Poly Terms You Should Know"
so with that little psychedelic song epigraph, and a few resources for poly vocab under our belts, let's enter story together, shall we?
saturday morning, i left my boyfriend at dawn after friday night spent trekking around together, playing tour guide on his first Burn experience.
|Evey playing pack mule|
|just after i was shown the perfect way to gut a mango|
before we turned in for the nig...er, dawn
i went to my tent and made some amazing tent love with the husband, as he'd requested my company whenever we returned. i napped for an hour or so, and then got up to make camp breakfast. i take a certain pride in partying until dawn and then getting up and making the coffee before the others are up.
"it's mimosa o'clock," i chimed to my camp mates as they stumbled out into the already blazing hot day. i spent some time there, communing, rubbing Trevor's shoulders, and realized Evey must be burning up. i wanted to give him some mimosa goodness, too. his oven, er, tent, was empty and i remembered that he'd placed a hammock up on a hill when he'd arrived, as an outpost for us to have privacy if we wanted/needed it. so thoughtful and forward-thinking!
|i see you|
i told Trevor i was going up to the mountain to deliver champagne. he got that look on his face that says he feels jealous. i braced for something like, "must be nice..." but instead...he said, "i feel jealous." relief flooded me, and i walked right over to him, smiling wide, swelling with love for him! his ownership of his own emotions vs. a passive-aggressive quip made me feel called IN versus OUT. i struggle with shame and guilt for the ways i rushed us into poly, and the ways i failed to take his emotions into account then over and over. all i could think of was what i wanted, needed, versus what worked for and fit my existing family.
|Dustbunny, aka Baby Daddy, involved in some tent shenanigans|
|Why would i hog this man's perfect kisses all to myself? that's just cruel!|
but that has changed. even as my husband told me to "go on and get the champagne up there to Emelio," i stayed. i did not worry i'd miss my chance to deliver a cold bevvie to my other man. more chances to do nice things for him would present themselves. i wanted to stay by my husband's side and help him through that moment. so i did. and then, after some time, he decided to go up on the "mountain" WITH me.
his first words to Evey when we arrived? "i am here because i felt jealous."
i hope y'all can understand the immensity of that moment. metamour communication is important, but is often overlooked until it's too late. Evey smiled at him the way i had smiled, and we all hugged. then, we put Trevor in the hammock and rocked him back and forth and shared a wonderful time together, light and free, us three. we told him of a treasure map we'd found in the night while stuck in a beautiful, temporary, co-dependent relationship with a hammock that taught us a lot, really (but that's a story for another time!) and we went on a trek to find it together with others in the camp. [we found plenty of booty, but no treasure, haha!]
here are the books i'm reading on jealousy right now:
Polyamory and Jealousy: A More Than Two Essentials Guide
The Jealousy Workbook
The Smart Girl's Guide to Polyamory [not focused only on jealousy, but it's a newer book I missed linking y'all to in my last blog. came out 2017.)
it was so lovely to be with both of them in one of my favorite places on earth. there was one moment of fear when i found out my husband's lover wasn't attending, but i remembered how patient and open-hearted my boyfriend is, and i remembered that i have worked very, very hard on my impulsivity and patience, and i knew we'd find our flow together, and of course, we did.
i want to say something that i know will sound startlingly arrogant, overly grand, especially to anyone who used to know me but who hasn't been in my lifeflow for a while: i've overcome my impulsivity issues in sex and romance. how can i be sure? it was no sudden conversion. the entire time i've been in recovery from the double break up of august 2016, i've been working my way to this place. my failure to go slow and organically evolve was a huge reason all of that shit hit the fan. it's been positively reinforcing, watching the success my "vee" configuration with Trevor and Emelio has had, due precisely to moving so slowly, cautiously and with compassion.
some links on "vees":
Reddit on "Is a V sustainable long term?
Polyamory Paradigm blog, "The shape of your Vee"
i think that maybe once "wise mind" gets married to the heart, it's harder and harder to follow manic bunny trails that lead nowhere.
love can change us. for the better. if we let it.
love is an alchemical fire. in case you forgot or didn't know, aphrodite was the goddess of alchemy! not "just Love."
Aphrodite, the Alchemical Goddess
a friend recently wrote me and said she was proud of me for having the courage to love like this. she said she was so sad to see a friend, "who should be like you straitjacket himself in a sexless traditional marriage. And justify it as a necessary sacrifice." hearing that means so much, especially in a world where poly is still so widely misunderstood.
it's not for everyone, but it is the healthiest expression of love for me. even so, it takes so much energy and work to overcome internalized toxic monogamy (by that, i mainly refer to love defined as possession and the potential for stagnation due to the way that toxic monogamy teaches that love is a noun and a place (we've arrived!) versus a verb and a trek ever toward it (we're going on an adventure, charlie!).
i've had so much support from my monogamous friends, but there have been some who think my discussions of poly are criticisms of their monogamous lives. who can't see the word "toxic" in front of "monogamy" there, and think i'm generalizing about all monogamous people when i call out these dark sides of monogamy. the way some choose to express poly can have its dark sides, too, of course, but i don't see those versions of mono or poly as healthy forms of love.
|a hurtful meme|
i'm not commitment averse! quite the opposite! i'd love to be married to both of my partners. we're all in it to win it, as they say. on that note: here's some news about the potential for that:
Polyamorous marriage: Is there a future for three-way weddings [a bit misleading of a title, as my "vee" configuration wouldn't necessarily want a 3-way wedding, whereas a true triad might]
Polyamorous Rights Advocates See Marriage Coming For Them
Polyamorous Paganism on "Fighting for Polyamorous Marriage" [this blogger raises some really great counterarguments that maybe marriage isn't what we should be fighting for after all]
that meme above, i found it while searching for that helpful bullet list on toxic monogamy. it reminds me of another meme i saw that said, "if you are a white person hearing a black person talk about racism in white people and aren't insulted, it's probably not about you. if you are a white person hearing a black person call out racism in white people, and you are insulted, it definitely applies to you." in other words, i've got to wonder about the person who created that meme's love life. oh no, wait, i've got better things to think about, so nevermind.
love is a fire, and none of us enter it unchanged.
folks have called me lucky. told me love comes easily to me. and maybe so. sure. i'll own that. but only because i have turned toward it over and over again, sunflower to sun. jumped off every cliff it offered so far.
yes. love has come to me. and why shouldn't it have? love is abundant! but keeping that love? nurturing it? that only happens with the heart and the mind linked in partnership. wise mind guiding the flow of emotion. emotion informing thought.
it's really, really hard work. and it's all worth it to watch this extended family form and function. we'll all be walking in pride together this sunday. a perfectly imperfect poly family composed of a cis-white straight man who is a strong ally of LGBTQI(P?); my queer AF boyfriend/Queen; and myself!
as Evey and i walked past a flaming heart together one night at Apogaea, we discussed this way love has of changing us. how scary that is for some people, including myself, often. how many shut themselves to love without meaning to, without consciously wanting to, because of control issues, or the need to keep reality consistent with the Jones' version of love or the version of love we've been handed by our screens, or the need to not get hurt again. and again.
my love doesn't look anything like screen love. it looks like this. [and ok, sometimes it also looks like ugly crying until 2am when there's a blow out. i'll try to take a "reality photo" to balance these glowing depictions! haha!]
this is my love. i don't say, there are my loves, because we are in one love. together. we are family.
and i wanna show my love to you on your current screen of choice because changing negative public bias against poly starts with offering reflections of what it's really about.
|can't you just hear love all over my face?|
i like full circle conclusions. do you?
of COURSE jefferson airplane would have a song about our situation. because it's a damn trippy one. and sometimes, walking this uncanny valley toward embodied poly love, we trip. we fall into gutters and have a few moments down there gazing at the stars we aim toward. we get up, dust off, put another flaming arrow in the quiver. we "put some breath in front of it." then we take aim.
photo credit: pictures of me and Trevor courtesy of Emelio. pics of them by me!
PS, a confession: i really wanna take down that last poly blog "reflections on poly, 2 years in," but it was an honest account of where i was at the time. so i'll allow its continued presence. also, it has good links for y'all.