krystale: (Default)
Once upon a time, I was a subcontracted product demonstrator. Several contracts brought me to Brattleboro Co-op not long before it's renovation and some afterwards. One cannot go too many times to the coop without an awareness of the broad side of the Latchis on the opposite bank of the river. There were murals on the building. I have to admit, I have no idea what they were, these are memorized details, I cannot picture them. I may suddenly recall them one day, my brain does record visual and I can go back into the memories and look around, but it takes time and focus. I can't actually recall visual details without that conscious focus, you could google up pictures faster. I'm not even sure if they're still there or different now and I live around the corner.

There on the broad walls of Latchis, amid not unexpected windows, murals and a door are just there, there is no way, without aid, to physically get to any of them so far as I can perceive. The way the Latchis sits so snug to the water, just a few feet of stone in many spots, even overhanging the water in others, makes it look extra difficult to reach.

My AP English teacher used to say to look out for what didn't fit in. It was significant.
Also, if you ever played video games it's where all the cool stuff is.

To me, rivers seem to separate worlds, so everything beyond gets extra curiosity. A river, in its rushing by brings sound and smell of its own, displacing such things from the opposite shore like an invisible and intangible wall.

I liked painting murals. In high school I really hated the part where I was supposed to make a mock up first then replicate it, but I certainly liked painting walls for some reason. I worked paint crew summers in college. I did well enough that after my first year when they filled up the roster before I knew they were hiring they took me on anyway when I said I was interested. This let me get away with putting murals in my dorm rooms and then avoiding the repaint fee, too.

And that door.
For all my logical brain flops around when asked to imagine something it has an equal amount of fascination for what could be. I did not know what was on the other side of that door or why it was there. This, in my logical brain, made it a portal to possibility. All sorts of things could be on the other side of that door. It could be amazing.

I never checked. Sometimes I enjoy having the portal to possibility more than knowing. There's a poem about a Grecian urn that explains this, but I don't feel it about humans the way the poem suggests to me, just things like this door.

I pondered it most days I visited the coop after I'd first noticed it.

About a decade later, someone was looking for someone to lead a mural painting project to brighten a dingy hallway.
Plans began.
Pre-designs were avoided!
Here's the hall where it goes, a window looks out over the river to the co-op now remodeled.
The window is next to a unopenable door with no knob. Memories tickle, but I am focused on the project at hand and cannot load memory files now.
Work begins.
More artists stop in and work with me. I can create something alone, but my skill is in the fostering of and blending together of many ideas or styles from many sources. Collaborating was a favorite part of this project. It was so exciting to see what other folks melded visions yielded.
The second or third day I am early and alone, someone comes through the hallway with a cart of rolls, compliments the mural, then worries I'm too hot and thus opens the window a pinch.
I am grateful for the immediate airflow and say so.
As the cart squeaks away, I twist the knob that opens the window more.
The sound and smell burst through as the window opens, I'd not be surprised if it was leaded glass in the window, it had blocked so much sound.

The glass before me swung out and so did my brain, onto the sound and smell of the river and where I'd heard this particular crash and roar before. Rivers never sound or smell exactly the same, just like a living thing it changes and evolves but keeps some recognizable particularity.

I was alone, with time to spare, so I let my brain go.
I could recall myself there, eating lunch, leaned on the fence, pondering.
There, wondering.
Here, creating.
There wanting to be
here creating.

Spinning, the river washing away the decade between.
I'd waved one day, in case anyone was looking.
I waved back at myself, the decade blurred away in the spin and flow.
I wonder so many things.
Here and there as the mural grew throughout the hallway I and myself paused and wondered together.
Now and then I reload the memories, the spin, and join in the wondering.

I can't really picture the hallway in my head either.
It's not so much a mural or a hallway as a world of cooperative art you can step into and pass through.
I am friendly with all sorts of folks, so when this hallway was tied into inclusion, I went with it.
A mural is visual. If something is visual only, it is not inclusive.
Aside from being socially nice, inclusive things usually provide richer experiences as they account for more of the senses.
I wanted it to be touchable, too, to be both inclusive and immersive and simply because I like touching things. I tried. I still wish in ways I could have done, or do, more with it, but I'm still learning as I go and I couldn't stay there forever.

I did accomplish one thing for sure. I helped to make that space worth wondering about.
krystale: (Default)
Aulii, my primary partner, has a tendency to rub my skin when he touches me. Regardless of if it's his thumb on the back of my hand or his palm on my back or arm, there's rubbing. Often absent minded rubbing and I can tell his mind isn't on the contact. I actually struggle not to have negative issues with this. Aulii is aware and tries to help. I don't blame him; I flap sometimes. There's proven positive body and brain chemistry in small repetitive movements such as shaking, flapping or other types of so called stimming.

I was severely neglected and sexually abused in early infancy. As a result, physical contact is for me a heightened experience. For me, there is no idle minded contact. I've learned to do it a little bit for Aulii, because being touched in that way is as comforting to him as touching that way, but it takes effort, ironically.

I and my serotonin levels are lucky that Aulii and I are in physical contact often enough that I couldn't possibly remember even a small percentage. Usually I'm well aware when of most instances the times I've come in physical contact with another person.

A few days ago hands overlapped a bit when a playdough loving associate and I fake battled over the playdough "slug" I'd made who's head he chopped off and into bits. We seemed amused.

I hugged my best friend and also another friend who is also my tattoo artist this weekend. They're three Mississippi huggers. If I'm in crisis, they'll let me have a few more Mississippis. They're my peeps.

There's some hand contact during the half dozen manicures I've done in the past month or two.

I ran three fingers across the back of a newer friend as I walked past closely behind in a crowd.

The dental stuff.

I hugged several old friends at an event a few weeks back.

Few weeks back there was an afternoon with my other partner.

It's been quite a while since my current therapist shook my hand.
My prior therapist and I were huggers.

There is very little physical contact in my world other than Aulii.
I've learned to hover instead of touch most people. Many people have. I might say too many.

When I hand people things, I'm aware if we come in contact.
Usually I try not to touch. Usually.

Touch sets off a data stream in my head. It's similar to hearing or smelling or tasting. I think everyone has this. Touch is one of our five senses.

I've done a great deal of work with energy and touch such as pressure points, humans and animals.
One of the friends I hugged at the event a few weeks ago has worked with me, I have attended his classes, he has attended at least one of mine, I have been his assistant in his classes. He is far more skilled than I, but he did find the strength of my energy remarkable.

I imagine this touch based communication is a skill used a lot by infants and parents of infants. I know from my own work it's used in animal husbandry.

I'm going to guess here and say most people have this latent because they were held and had this communication so it's so called "second nature" and therefore they are less consciously aware of it.

It crosses into body language, but I am muddy with the visual aspects of body language. I am faceblind.

I know on a biological level, there is brain and body chemistry associated with touch. There is chemistry, in body and external. Physics in the electrical currents and conductivity in our body and our brain.

Touch is our primary means of influencing the world around us.

To me touch is to my brain what standing in a stream is to my legs. Try to describe all that you perceive and the experience stretches, unravels, expands deeper than it's initial parameters.
Touching is a stream. Touching another living creature is to me like standing in a river. Pulse and rhythm, undercurrents, things that bubble up, sometimes floating, sometimes sinking.

I have been called a healer by some people. My partners claim there is a higher than normal intensity in my touch and an uncanny knowing at times, one prior partner's touch felt like that to me. Other folks have sometimes claimed my touch burns like fire. I think people are over dramatic. Never the less, those are actual things people say.

So, generally I let other people initiate touch.
I feel like a criminal for running three fingers across the back of that friend, I really could have slunk by without if I'd been careful. I even require people actually ask me to do massage or pressure point or related work I do.

But sometimes there are people I want to touch more, sometimes my palms get jealous of my fingertips.
Sometimes it's people who later claim I'm a healer. A few times it has been people who turned out to be partners.
I can't assume I know, so I try to stay cautious. Hover, out of touch.
Sometimes there are people I want to touch more and don't know how to ask. I know I like to be asked first, generally or at least initially.
I know how to communicate through touch.
Words don't touch much.
Sometimes I wonder, like when I press a few millimeters of fingertip against a palm when I pass a rhinestone to an art consultant, can they read it from me?
Do they like what they read?
Can we communicate more?
Too often the answer is no.
Sometimes, still too often, the answer is good bye.
So, I don't ask.

I have many friends I've never hugged or touched.

I wouldn't mind hugging my therapist, but she has boundaries.
There are many people I'd touch more if it suited them, but they have boundaries.
I'm poly and carefully, but most people are completely closed to this paradigm, broaching it even in the kink community is awkward, never mind elsewhere.

I wonder why people touch each other so little. It seems like most people want more caring physical contact, yet typing that prior sentence seemed "inappropriate" and "NSFW" as they say.

Are people afraid or ashamed of what they'll learn and reveal?
Are they afraid they'll get pulled in and loose control, the jealousy traveling up the arm and beyond, too irresistible?
Or, like me, is the fear of rejection or lack of reciprocation so strong that we'd all rather do without just to hold on to the potential?
I'm not worried I'll make them feel weird. But if I like them in my life before touch, and I wouldn't want to touch them if I didn't, I am scared that they won't like it and thus not like me.

There is no idle touch for me.
There are rivers I'd like to dive into.
OK, well, metaphorically speaking I'm more of a wader. But it does turn out that in some rivers there's a point in wading that instead of passing through, I'm wanting to plunge in, embrace the current, feel all that's there.


krystale: (Default)

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