You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive.
I find myself thinking about this quote often lately, the “queer, divine dissatisfaction” frequently bouncing around in my mind. There’s something up with me these last few months, something askew, something just not quite right that I can’t place.
Despite that my writing and freelance design (did you know I build websites professionally?) work is going quite well, despite the launch of Butch Lab last week after three months of work, despite having my very first erotica anthology in the works and the inbox filling up as the deadline approaches, something still feels unsatisfactory.
Unlike many folks, I actually enjoy the winter holidays, and I’m having a good time building a home out of my lovely apartment that I share with Kristen, especially since my former roommate left and we have the space to ourselves. It’s our first winter holiday season together—I haven’t been going back to where I grew up the past few years and Kristen decided not to go this year, so we are going through our families’ traditions and choosing our favorites, making up some new ones as we build our life together.
I feel better and better about New York City, I never would’ve guessed I’d be here this long and despite traveling to the West Coast four times this year, I had a dream a few months back that I had to move back to where I grew up, and I was all for it, excited to be returning, until I realized I would be leaving New York. No more Sideshow, no more readings at Happy Endings and the Bowery, no more D train across the Manhattan bridge and events at the Center, no more Lesbian Sex Mafia, no more Kelli and Cheryl and Dacia and Mamone and Anne and Em and Grace and Diana and IDP and Prospect Park. And I panicked, in the dream, and yelled NO I’m not ready! and I woke up realizing I really wasn’t. I’m not. My Brooklyn freelance life is great, the best way I’ve lived in New York so far. I’ve been in the same apartment for three-plus years, longer than I’ve lived in any single place since the house I grew up in. I’ve been in New York five and a half years, and I left Seattle after being there six and a half years, so I’m getting close to having lived here longer than anywhere else. And though I thought I’d be way ready to go after this long in this concrete jungle, that I’m staying and making a life here actually feels pretty good.
And hi, have you seen my very sexy, gorgeous, radiant girlfriend? Not to objectify her, except well, yes, to objectify her just a little, because she likes that and I generally have permission to do so here in my little online world, and because her sexy gorgeousness is just one part of her and one part of what I’m madly in love with about her, other things being: her adventurous baking experiments, her kitchen tenacity in general, her extraordinary ability to communicate emotionally, the way she can work a room at a party, the shade of blue her eyes sparkle when she’s excited, the shade of pink her skin flushes, her high high sex drive, her openness to playing, how determined she is to make a place for herself in the world, how incredibly thoughtful she is at making the people around her feel comfortable and safe and interesting, her sensitive big heart.
I could go on.
Not to brag, except well, yes, to brag just a little bit, out of an honoring of what I’m grateful for, and because I really thought I’d never find somebody this amazing, and I was starting to get really convinced that I’d have to settle, that I wouldn’t find someone this good for me.
I almost feel stable! I love what I’m doing, I love where I’m going and what plans I have in 2011, this last year has been probably my favorite time period my whole life, I’ve never been this happy or satisfied … so why am I feeling a little bit unhappy and unsatisfied? My logical brain can’t quite wrap my head around it, but there’s something kind of shadowy that I get a glimpse of every once in a while, lurking behind my lungs somewhere.
And … well, that’s about it. On the one hand, my beautiful life. On the other hand, this shadow. I don’t know what it is. Hello, shadow, what are you? Who are you? Where do you come from? I’m not that scared of you right now, more just … curious. Tell me what it is you came here for. Let me know what you’re hiding from me.
It seems to be so quiet, subtle. I’m not sure I can force a shadow to reveal itself, especially not if I go after it with a spotlight.
So I’ll try to wait, and make a space for it to show itself, and be ready to hear whatever is going on, when it is ready to reveal itself.