No stories today, but plenty on the way. Life has been wonderfully busy, and while I have loads of new experiences to write about, I haven’t had the time to wrangle my thoughts into any sort of logical order just yet.
A full week later, and I’m still blissfully happy from spending the most amazing weekend in Cork with friends new and old. It was, by far, the most intense and fulfilling experience I’ve had since joining Fetlife. Falling as it did on my one-year anniversary of joining the site, it seemed a perfect reminder of why the local community is so important. I am deeply grateful for all of the wonderful things they have invited me to experience-
To finally play with a man I’ve been getting to know over a shared fondness for good beer, careful observation, and mindful reflection. To be together in a different way, quieter, more sensual, intimate and peaceful.
To talk and play with a woman I had admired from afar, to hear her speak of leadership, of drama, of connection and passion. To feel her act on these things, paint them onto me in light bruises, invisible but to those who look closely and with intent.
To make so many new friends that the robots of FetLife suspected I was merely spamming. To put aside my initial anger and frustration and bask in the fact that I had connected with many amazing people, that my forced extroversion had been well worth the effort and discomfort.
To stumble into a sanctuary.
To soak up the atmosphere in an event that approached perfection more closely than any I’d yet seen. To watch people enjoy their surroundings, the lighting and layout encouraging interaction and observation. To hear everyone talking with pride of the bits they had contributed, the things they had made to share, to build a community for themselves.
To look behind the mask of the master, to be shown the joy and struggle that characterises every life lived well and fully.
To take a peek behind the scenes of an event. To drag myself out of bed far too early each morning, prowl zombie-like through the city to the venue. To be awoken properly by the sharp aroma of disinfectant, a steaming mug of coffee, and the soft hum of the hoover. To enjoy a few moments of quiet and calm in this sacred space before the crowds arrived.
To share an intense experience, to put words to it for the first time, and to hear those words shared on my behalf.
To be welcomed as an outsider.
To sit, solitary, in a pub, thinking it’s all over only to have one last, poignant, conversation with a stranger. To wish him well, and hope he has the courage to confront his preconceptions of love and pain.
To witness the most heartwarming and heartbreaking things, raw and honest and human.
To experience pure magic, pure bliss.
To those who made all of this possible, my most heartfelt thanks.