Once I began drinking, I slipped into a wordless space. This happens with me sometimes -- I still think in words but communicating in them somehow feels wrong. Usually people get impatient quickly or I feel embarrassed with trying to communicate non-verbally and I force myself to speak and then it dissipates, but this time everyone was so profoundly respectful and no one lost interest in what I had to share -- so I stayed in it. Chris signs, also -- when ze signed to me I felt this intense burst of coadunation; I felt seen in a way I hadn't been before, in a way I hadn't even known existed.* I feel very strongly that I am valued for my ability to communicate -- I'm good at phrasing in other people's dialects so that they don't have to do the translation work, but something is lost for me in that. The effort of others in that translation is an effort of love and respect. I don't often give people the chance to do that effort, because frankly most people won't bother and I cannot bear to be misunderstood. Trusting people to do the work of listening even when I'm not making it super-easy is a big deal. Once I get to a depth of trust with someone I will speak carelessly, phrase things awkwardly/badly, drop the disclaimers -- and often this means a lot of conflict, in part because people expect that I will communicate perfectly. I've lost friends over it, I've had endless fights over it; but being unedited-and-still-understood is something I need. When Kyle and I are in sync (which used to be our default state but isn't right now because summer was very hard on our relationship and we're still recovering), we do at least half of our communication in sign and gesture/expression.
*I've always wanted to learn sign because I think it's beautiful and because I want to be able to communicate with people who are hearing-impaired, but now I'm realizing that more than the aesthetic and connecting-with-others reasons, I need to know sign because it's an important part of my spiritual being. I need to know sign to better understand myself, to better trust myself.
After the ritual, we all went to bed -- it was early for me considering how late I woke, but I was exhausted and I slept SO soundly. In the morning, we all spent time together, talking mostly about language and roleplaying as self-examination. Koronah wanted Kyle to paint on zir so ze did, and when Koronah asked for a blossoms on the tree I jumped in and also (on request) painted mountain lion eyes (which was scary but awesome). That was incredible <3
Koronah is someone I've spent so little time with (only three days! and not even full days), but it's been such intensely nourishing, growthful time. Ze is one of very few people who bolster my faith -- I need that so much and it's so rare in my life. Koronah, Hannah, Aurilion, and sometimes Kyle (it can be very faith-bolstering but it can also be faith-reducing with Kyle, because zir faith is so quicksilver). Koronah and I don't have the same faith, but ze's strong where I'm weak and all I have to do is watch and listen in order to grow. Now that ze's gone back home I miss zir. And I miss Chris, whom I'd never met before this short visit, but with whom I feel an intense connection/understanding. I don't know quite what to do with this, except call on the universe for local people who can bolster my faith, and make it a priority to see faith-bolstering people whenever I can.