Written in the Sand

Last year I committed to spending more time at the beach. AND I DID.

My priorities and my visions of normalcy and success shifted with every minute I spent at the shoreline.

My intention was to continue regular beach visits in 2019 — multiple times every week — but so far this year … I haven’t gone much.

Today I didn’t even want to leave the house. Like most days this month. February is the worst month of winter in Washington (even without the snow that piled up last week); even though the days are getting longer, it’s not nearly enough sunlight after months of reduced daylight hours. It feels like darkness falls way too soon every day.

But I had to get one of Delia’s checks in the bank. It seemed like a waste of gas and putting-on-clothes to turn right back around and go home, so I made myself go to the beach, telling myself that I could just sit in the car and read. Just GO. Just GET there.

And there it was … proof that THE BEACH IS FOR ME, written like a personalized welcome mat:

Without planning it, the tide is often low when I get there. Especially on days like today when I had to ease myself into just the idea of being upright.

Funny coincidence: last night I read a story featuring sandwriting that was also like a personal bridge, but between where I picture the author Emma Donoghue and here in the Pacific Northwest. Starting out reading Slammerkin and The Sealed Letter, she has always seemed SO across-the-pond and decades and centuries ago from where I be, but in Touchy Subjects there she is writing about JESUS and TACOMA and the word COCKSUCKERS in the sand.

So far this book is full of stories I would never have imagined her writing, but I was totally surprised by Room coming from her, too. But maybe she was just making fun of us for that big JESUS CARES ABOUT YOU sign you can see from the freeway that you can imagine was an inspiration for it. It makes me miss Tacoma, actually. Lots of things make me miss Tacoma. But then I go to the beach here and don’t give Tacoma another thought.

Anyhoo … I had very tender feelings for “The Man Who Wrote on Beaches” when I read it last night.

“…he had a home with a view of Puget Sound and a good job and a great collection of German steins and a lot of laughs. Above all, he had Margaret, who was twice what he deserved.”

The older I get and resign myself to being My Authentic Self, I have to accept that even though I’m capitalizing those words like I’m in on the ridiculous joke of myself, I’m honestly NOT joking. I’m earnest and can say with my whole heart that I love The Man Who Wrote on Beaches. With recognition, relief that I haven’t taken it QUITE that far (but only because I got the idea of asking Jesus into my heart out of my system as a teenager), forgiveness … and no measurable amount of irony.

Woods, Water & Values Progress

 

At the beginning of this year I committed to check in weekly about three things I value:

I’m still working on all of these things! I haven’t been able to blog about them every week. Some of the commitments have receded or morphed while others have become clearer TOP priorities.

I’m excited to share all the pictures (especially of woods & water) with my progress through doing and enjoying, focusing on and caring for the good stuff I value most.

In the meantime my biggest webwhore/webmaster priority is improving and updating Delia’s site and marketing it more/better so she and her site will make the money they deserve! We want to make enough money to keep making homemade porn, and be able to take loving healthy care of ourselves, each other, and our customers.

Thank you everyone who supports us in whatever ways you’re able, whether it’s through membership to our sites, buying a clip or wishlist item, leaving encouraging comments, recommending us to other people, or just continuing to check in and visit our sites or profiles whenever it feels good for you to do so. Even if we don’t know who you are and you don’t say or buy anything, your visits register in our stats as VALUABLE.

 

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Woods Walk: Week 6

Fulfilled: promise to myself to walk in the woods weekly (at least).
Even though I haven’t been blogging these walks right away, I’ve been doing them … and feel happier because of it. Super happy to have gotten this one promise to my body fulfilled early this week / today. It’s been a long time since I visited this favorite local park for woods-walking.

These paths — especially where they are narrower with lots of roots, hairpins and other obstacles to navigate (not pictured here) — make me want to run run run run RUN.

I ran a little bit. Even though I felt clunky and ran out of steam fast, my body still remembered how to do it and reminded me how fast rhythm and euphoria can be mine. All mine at my own varying, self-pleasing, self-pushing pace.

It doesn’t feel like winter. It feels like spring with a very depressed sun that wants to stay under the covers and sleep a lot.

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Woods and Water: Week 4

I squeezed in a combo woods-and-saltwater walk before this week ended!

Yup – that deer was only a few feet away from me when I lumbered down the trail. I should’ve done more to scare it instead of taking a picture, but they’re so habituated to humans here it’s a lost cause.

Bluff and beach erosion are problems here (especially for people with houses built on them). I definitely worry more about rocks and earth and trees sliding down on me when I’m walking the beach than I do about tsunamis. We had a Tsunami warning in the middle of the night a few bedtimes back, but we kind of laughed it off. This time.

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Values & My Favorite Things: Week 1

Like a lot of people resolving in January to do things differently or better or more or less, I committed myself to working on my values in three tangible ways, and blogging about it weekly. The first couple of things I’m dedicating myself to practicing weekly are like a lot of people’s resolutions: go outside more! Keep this one area of life clean and pretty! Blah blah blah … you’ve heard shit like that before from all kinds of folks. But my third values-magnifier is probably not something anybody else is devoting a year of mindful practice to.

The third way I’m connecting to and meditating on my values is through an object I treasure: my dancing bananas ashtray.

trixie's dancing bananas

It’s cheap metal. I think it cost about $2.57 over a decade ago, wrapped in crinkly cellophane. I DON’T EVEN SMOKE but when I saw it, I had to have it. I’ve kept it ever since.

There are a lot of things I’ve bought compulsively, but there’s something special about my dancing bananas. I need them on my nightstand. Sometimes I forget about them, but whenever I pick them up I get a surge of some kind of rightness that cuts through everything else competing for my attention as Most Important. I experience a rare sense of easy and relaxed happiness; THIS is CLEARLY what’s most important: my dancing bananas ashtray.

If I were to measure the worth of all of my possessions against this Most Treasured ashtray and throw away everything I don’t love as much? Pretty sure my environment and priorities would be cleaner, happier, and more in keeping with my honest values and aesthetics.

Classy People with Good Taste would dismissively call it kitsch. If they were giving me the benefit of the doubt they’d assume I love it as kitsch. I DON’T. It is a fucking spiritual touchstone and perfect example of beauty in my eyes. My dancing bananas remind me what makes human so lovable and fucked-up: our imaginations.

If you do not love my dancing bananas, I’m pretty sure you’ve advanced yourself into a profound disability that renders you unable to find comfort or delight in basic human yum yum. I do not want to spend a single night in your dry complicated irrational land of sophistication. I will stay here where we tell each other stories of saucy faceless slow-dancing fruits dipping their toes in gluttony’s sweet hot goo.


 

Like many Americans, I have way too many things. Many of them I value so much that I’m afraid to use them, even though they’re mostly worth nothing. So I’m going to check in every week with my dancing bananas to remember what it’s all about, this thing called (my) life.

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Woods & Water: Week 1

As mentioned in my previous post, this year I’m building and reinforcing my value system with three different practice-and-blog series. That post focuses on values about cleanliness by practicing and showing off nail grooming. The second post and series I’m kicking off here revolves around BEING OUTSIDE. Specifically in the woods and by the water, at least once a week each (and specifically SALTwater).

So on the 6th day of January, because I made this commitment to myself (so I can feel proud of my follow-through instead of like a beach bum slacker? see also: puritanical values about work), I dropped everything else and went to the beach:

 

Normally I’d avoid the beach on a Saturday (because normally I avoid people, and normally beach + Saturday afternoon = people), but because it’s winter and it was probably going to rain, there were hardly any people at all!

So I didn’t have to figure out how to interact with anybody except fog and rain and sand and space and day meeting darkness and feet hitting ground … and that is my happy place.

So what does this have to do with values? Well … I value: my body | fresh air | sweating | taking the temperature with my skin | working to LIVE | sunlight | LIVING TO LIVE | telling time by tides and shadows | free self-health-care as valuable “work”, more valuable than any desk work | connecting with what is REAL under my feet | my exceptionally good fortune in living in this time and place out of all of the times and places humans have existed | solitude | the colors green the colors brown the colors grey the colors colors colors blue yellow brown green green green green NIGHT | the enormity of sky | seasons | my freedom | my ability to exercise my freedom and to choose what is healthy(iest) | having a platform to celebrate and serve what I value and what sustains life | bunches of other good shit like just BEING ALIVE

Basically: I AM SUPER FUCKING LUCKY I CAN WALK ON THE BEACH EVERY DAY. Whenever I want. And very often have it all to myself: way more quiet, peace, and solitude than the vast majority of people on this planet have access to.

I value quiet, peace and solitude. And huge bodies of saltwater. I feel some kind of a huge moral ethical human spiritual obligation / necessity to feed on my good fortune and revel in the pleasure, nutrition and healing it gives me to be out there, in what little there is left for however long it and I linger.

 

 

The time & weather when I started my walk, and when I ended it:

winter weather in port touchdown

For that first week of January I did my woods and water walk all in one outing, hiking up the hill from the beach as it got dark. The trail was steep, slippery, and getting harder and harder to see, but I wanted to be speedy to cover as much ground before it got totally dark; this was a fun extra-sensory challenge to really focus on FEELING my footing, being aware of every step and seeing with the soles of my feet.

drainpipe near dusk

This wet walk alone up an eroding hill intensified my appreciation of the book I’m reading (It), remembering what it’s like to be a kid roaming around outside relishing freedom, suffering from fear, and just being alive outside with your heart beating fast.

Didn’t your values seem a lot clearer when you were a kid than they do as an adult? I want to be as clear as a childabout the value and rightness of certain things. Like mud puddles.

twilight alone

Being outside alone while it got darker and wetter and darker I felt more and more like myself, and giddy about it.

In some ways I’m not even sure what this word “values” means and how to talk about them meaningfully or accurately (is that possible?). But the darker it got and the more sure I knew where I was and how to get somewhere else, the more I remembered who I am and felt happy about the rightness and certainty of it: I’m a night person who loves being alone in my body outside.

I would rather listen to water dripping off of different things onto different surfaces than people talking words. Part of valuing these things – night, solitude, rain, outside, wet sounds – is valuing myself for being the kind of person who runs sopping wet through the dark alone in winter.

Note on blocking out part of our hometown name: it’s not a secret on our sites, but I don’t want to make it THAT easy for no good reason. Plus it’s more fun for you to read if it’s a blank you can fill in with your own idea of a perfect place to live!

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