Facing Fear (Your Deepest, Innermost Fears around Love)

Sometimes the Dragons we must eventually face hide within the wilderness of our own hearts

Often in the pursuit of adventure and facing one’s terror amidst avalanching mountains and flooded whitewater rivers, one may forget the Hardest Work and the Greatest Challenges lay not at Death’s Door in the Wilderness but in being with people including those we love and those who love us. Much of the time, however, it’s face to face with the mirrors of your own self.

This speaks especially with those we love or used to love. Our most difficult practices arise within the relationships we form among ourselves, with other people, and especially our selves.

The greatest Dragon we must someday face is not some monster in a cave abiding over those hearts we treasure the most. No, the greatest Dragon is us as we face our own shame, anger, & fear, yes, fear of turning back around to look those Others in the eye and atone for the consequences of damaging our relationships with them. Perhaps the hardest work is facing those whom we have hurt and wronged. Oh, the messes I have made! And cleaned up, too. It’s a neverending process at first, and, over time, the more one practices the easiest such practices become.

“Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love but in reality, love is the only thing in the world that covers up all the pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in the world that does not hurt.” – Liam Neeson

So, yeah, listen up. Love doesn’t stop. Who turned it off? Stop pretending. Do the fucking work. Stay with the pain. Transmute it with breath and blood. Face me. Let me face you. Choose to keep on loving no matter what. Awaken into the Oneness we once shared and, yes, still exists. Whether or not you believe in Twin Flames and the Twin Flame blues is up to you, and besides, doesn’t change what we had felt so true. Keep the fire burning before the last flame blazes out taking with it every precious memory of what was & what almost could have been.

 

William Dudley Bass
Thursday 10 August 2017
SeaTac/Seattle, Washington
Cascadia

NOTE: The quoted statement from Liam Neeson was borrowed from Wild Earth @ http://wild-earth.tumblr.com/post/136230670895/everyone-says-love-hurts-but-that-is-not-true.

The image of the red dragon & heart is a Free Download from Public Domain Pictures, License CCO Public Domain, @ http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=4445&picture=dragon-heart.

This essay/cry out was first published to my Facebook page on the evening of Thursday the 10th of August 2017.

Videos for Rose

There’s a story behind these videos. Both are personal and initially intended to be private. As I’m a beginner with handheld videos, these are, from any professional and even personal viewpoint, terrible in quality. They are shaky, unedited, and thus raw as Hell. Even so, I’m sharing them. Doing so is, for me, a breakthru in shame and embarrassment, of breaking thru mental barriers of not-looking-good, not-sounding-smooth, and worrying about what others may think. Toss all that crap. Yes! Even so, I feel shy in making these videos. My hearing impairment’s there. My speech impediment is there. The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) injuries from long ago gradually worsen over time and increasingly affects the ability to open my jaws properly to speak. Still, I go for it anyway, damn my own fears.

Besides, these videos are not for me. I wouldn’t put them up except to get those videos to someone special who lives far away more than halfway “down” the planet. She is one of the most amazing, inspiring, funny, romantic, and eccentric women I have ever met. We are so much alike with so many unexpected and startling synchronicities we wonder if those esoteric spiritual descriptions of Twin Flames are true. Seems so for us, anyway. Especially as we met by accident in such a fantastical way with mindboggling results. So of course the possibility of us being Twin Flames feels real for us. Besides, even if Twin Flames are more of a mythic fable, it doesn’t matter for we are both at choice to choose the next step together…or apart…moment to moment.

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Arrival Arrives

A review without spoilers and names of prominence.

Saw the film, Arrival. Wow, what a movie! Opens up, takes apart, and recreates language, time, and sensations of consciousness. And without blowing shit up, either. Relationships are the pathways to connection as well as the results of connection. No, not pathways, fields, as in fields of connection. This movie is both cerebral and emotional and thus deeply engaging. At the center of it all, of everything really, is presence. Presence. Awareness and self-awareness. One becomes present to what is deeply precious.

For those who think they really know whom & what Cthulhu is, well, y’alla in for all manner of surprises. Plus Arrival‘s another in a line of fictional films rich with symbolisms of soft disclosure. If it’s not your cup of tea, well don’t drink the damn tea then & go experience the movie.

The premises of the film as serious science fiction aren’t new. Messin’ with perceptions of what is time, explorations of consciousness, and their affect on what is reality and how we humans relate to each other and everything else are staples of so-called “serious” or “literary” syfy. Wordsmiths will love the story’s inquiry into language and the relationship between language and reality. This merges into inquiries regarding such in the relationships between ourselves and especially with those we love. One may be reminded as I was of the late ethnobotanist and psychedelic pioneer Terence McKenna’s observations of language and how the mind uses language to create and define what it perceives as reality.

A close friend, a mother with kids of her own, attended the show with me here in Seattle. She was blown away and moved to tears. Later she helped me fill in what I thought were gaps in my understanding due to my profound hearing impairment. My new hearing aids helped tremendously, and yet they don’t match the capacity of healthy ears and brain. What I discovered was there wasn’t anything to hear. I was so focused on hearing I missed the body language and the temporal-visual language of pictures moving at certain key points. In addition I was confronted with my own inner contradiction: I disliked nonlinear temporal constructs and prefer neatly organized compartmentalization of flow, yet by undoing all of those allows for breakthroughs in consciousness revealing deeper understandings of truth, reality, and ultimately my self.

Yeah, take someone by the hand and dive on into the Dreamtime. Thy minds shall open time.

 

William Dudley Bass
November 2016
Seattle, Washington
United States of America
Bioregion of Cascadia
Planet Earth
Sol Star

Note:
Adapted from my Facebook post of Tuesday 15 November 2016 & revised Friday 25 November 2016.

 

Copyright © 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

 

Aurora Avenue and the Dark Side of Love

A Nest of Urban Vignettes

Machines break down and stop. People break down and somehow keep going. Machines are all about function and efficiency. People are for creativity, making messes, and love.

Chaos was silent. No blaring horns from cars around me. No one reads beyond the edges of their digital screens any more. Finally stopped wondering how people sitting in cars behind me might respond or react to my bumper stickers. Nope. They’re too busy merging with their, ahem, “mobile devices” as they herd themselves into the Internet of Things. At every stop during the last few days all across the City of Seattle I’d see heads bow down and fones rise up in the postmodern autonomic digital prayers of the unconscious. Can’t even get a HONK! Not even one faint li’l bitty ol’ frickin’ honk. Then, BOOM BOOM CHOP! I had to put my 16-year old blue car in the repair shop up north on the Greenwood side of Aurora Avenue, and I met real people out on the streets in the everyday circus of madness and bliss.

She sat hunched over in the woodchips alongside the sidewalk in the shade of Gold’s Gym under a row of leafy trees with her face kinked between folded arms and knees. Her body was so scrawny the spinous processes of her lumbar and thoracic vertebrae poked out like those strange fins on a stegosaurus’s back called scutes or dinosaur dermal plates. They arched over with her spine in such a way I could almost feel the connection to her reptilian brain, but, hey, she’s a mammal, a hominin like me. We’re hominins in America. Hominins in America! The United States was and is still a quasi-fascist, pseudo-democratic oligarchy masquerading as a constitutional capitalist killer clown republic, Barack Obama was POTUS, and the Dem-Rep Duopoly self-gridlocked. Global Climate Disruption worsened, and the Great Global Depression wasn’t over at all for millions and millions of unemployed and underemployed lost people like us. She sat. I walked. She smoked. I judged. She despaired, and so did I.

A red suitcase lay loosely shut with clothes hanging out next to her. She smoked a cigarette somewhere down there under crossed arms, I could smell its acrid, stale heat, but I couldn’t see her face. I could see the crack of her ass between her shirt and her shorts. She was a young White woman with brownish, straw blond hair and all skinny and boney and all alone. I felt huge sadness and empathy. Oh, she was so alone in this world! I felt her energy as I strode around her towards the Gym. Without even trying, I could feel into her dark pool of synaptic fog just by walking by her. She felt sad, hung over, frustrated, desperate, and zonked out depressed. I could feel the ice-cold glitter of pain screwing thru her veins as the yearning for the next fix built up hot under her long sleeves.

I was in a hurry, however, as my car was in the shop, I had errands to do, and I was walking everywhere without any wheels. I wouldn’t take the bus. Nope, no bus today. Gonna walk for exercise. I stopped myself from going over to her, however, and reminded myself I have an old, bad habit of rescuing people. I am not going to rescue anyone anymore, no more drama triangles in life, and so must hold tight to my boundaries. Yes?

Hurried off into the Gym and trained hard with the weights. Slowly regaining my health after a prolonged and strange illness. Came back out after my workout with a long walk ahead of me. There she sat, more sad and desperate then ever, without looking up. She didn’t need to look up. She was primal enough to sense what was happening around her, even if her senses were warped and fragmented by too many of the wrong kind of drugs. I felt her coil without coiling and sensed the dead pulse of mutant killer kundalini. She cranked taunt as locked gears forced apart and popped as automatically defensive as a robot sentinel left behind to guard some long-abandoned ancient fortress. I stopped. She bristled and the image of her lunging at me with a dirty syringe in hand burst into my mind as real as a wild ass grizzly bear rearing up on her hind legs. I shuddered and recalled being homeless myself not all that long ago…and scared.

Continue reading “Aurora Avenue and the Dark Side of Love” »

In the Swirl of a Dish

Petri Dish Man’s Urban Seattle Socialist Vignette

Hungry. Sun blazing in my eyes. Making me squint as my belly growled low like a dog guarding a slab of meat. Hadn’t eaten since yesterday. Felt ravenous after I spent too much of the morning in the hospital being poked, pierced, measured, and explored by fantastic doctors and their curious assistants. Prodded me like a damn bug followed by quick pecks on their computers. Felt as if I was a giant insect splayed out and peeled apart in an enormous Petri dish by mad scientists and clever kids. Who behaved as if any moment they would hobble over and slather weird baby food goo all over me to see what monsters might grow. Ahhh, yes, call me…Petri Dish Man! BAM! BAM! BAM! DON’T BAN THE PETRI DISH MAN! ran thru my head over and over, tho I dared not tell anyone at the time, as it felt so strange.

Brought back memories of being in the Battle of Seattle during the so-called Anti-Globalization Revolts, and memories of being in Occupy Seattle and Occupy Olympia. Yes, even brought back memories of being homeless during the Great Global Recession after rich, capitalist pundits declared it long over. Despite being such a proficiently medically inspected man, however, I felt grateful for Obamacare’s ACA here in Washington State. Thank goodness it covered what my employer’s private health insurance plan wouldn’t cover. I shake my head funny too, as it seemed plain old common sense for 21st Century America, indeed all of Planet Earth, to have an integrated single-payer universal health care system, a democratic economic system, a socialist system.

Thus satiated on clarity of vision, I ventured hungrily into The Dish, a funky Seattle café, for a belated breakfast. Call it brunch. Time was 11:30 am. It’s a lively little café in my neighborhood. I currently live in a small, quasi-cooperative household below the landlord’s family in a house uprooted from the I-5 Corridor running north and south across the States between Canada and Mexico. The house sits beneath three immense Western redcedar trees in the Tangletown-Latona part of Green Lake up in the middle of North Seattle. At least till the rent rockets up. Only my second visit to this cafe, too. Rarely eat out anymore. Now it’s a treat! The place was abuzz, too.

Two staffers had called in sick, however, leaving the business understaffed. Only two other people were out front serving including one new worker who admitted she didn’t know how to work anything quite yet. But they were game and smiled anyway. Big, welcoming smiles, too. They bustled in and out among crowded customers, and the one cook in back paced himself as he had to. The warm smells of cooked food swirled with exuberant colors intoxicated yours truly Petri Dish Man.

The ghost of a homeless guy watched everything right over the lip of his big orange coffee cup. He was so invisible it as was if I couldn’t see him but nevertheless still sense his presence. I felt the color of his large, tattered coat fade charcoal and gray. Was his bright orange cup just a reflection of the Sun upon a glass bowl of slivered fruit? No, he wasn’t there, just a coat and a cup and the ghost of a man who gave up everything precious but his dignity and curiosity.

Continue reading “In the Swirl of a Dish” »

Goddess Dead

In the end
The woman was a stranger to me.
She laid curled shuddering in blood and tears
At the bottom of her privacy so long
Hot water ran cold as if from faraway graves.
I chose her anyway.
All of her.
Every damn bit of her
I chose.
She couldn’t believe it.
Didn’t really want to, even.
Tho she said she was glad
Turns out she’d merely gone mad.

Continue reading “Goddess Dead” »

Dead Love Alive

One light shines thru the window next door
All is shadows and spiders twitching
October rains darkness in all directions
Cold seeps from tomorrow’s bones
Flows home to all the stars of yesterday
I turn toward the woods
Rest my hands in my pockets
Feel heartbeats in each hand
Nothing feels real but the pavement under my feet
Nothing feels real but the pain, the forever pain
Oh, I open to the Love
I feel it surge hot as plasma
Searing open the Kosmos with a rip in the sky
The divine laughs like that sometimes,
Like an owl dancing in love with mice
The divine laughs like that sometimes,
As fierce as a nail bent naked
After I am gone forever
She comes to the window next door
And stands watching spiders bob flies in the light
She comes gone

 

William Dudley Bass
17 October 2014
&
now today,
21 March 2016
Seattle, Washington
U.S.A.
Cascadia

Copyright © 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

 

Blue Light White

So tired of Facebook love
So tired of falling in love with beautiful women so far away
Brilliant women, too
Remarkable women
Deep soulful women
Most seem too young
Oh, there’re a few close to me in age
Some even older
Every one a Goddess Incarnate within the human animal
But all too far away

I throw my smartfone into the darkness
It glows back at me as blue as a UFO
Keeps me up at night
Keeps me awake all night
Until I go crazy with loneliness
Or am I crazy from too much light?

The digital bonds stretch into emptiness
More yawning than the desert twilight
Roads disappear into
Before time snaps me awake

I want a hotel
A place to sleep
Can we fuck now?
Hell no
No connection
All is unplugged
Too virtual
And dead
Minds zoned gray as grey
Hearts still as stones before the tide
But no water comes
Only sand.

Quickly I retrieve my fone amidst inky stillness
I text too much still
Without ever coming close to filling the Void
Facebook feeds us all into like blue and white Soylent Light

Out among destroyed celestial spheres and broken stars
Shiva battles pseudo-Shivas as real as every machine
To save darkness from white light blue.

 

William Dudley Bass
Sunday 13 March
&
Monday 21 March 2016
Seattle, Washington
U.S.A.
Cascadia

Copyright © 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

 

 

 

Too Far for Tears

She calls soon after dinner
Right in the middle of the presidential primary debate
I do not answer
I do not want to answer
Later I listen to her voice mail
She is distraught
Crying
Sobbing
One of her animals died in her arms
I can’t make out which one or what kind
Only this animal is dead
And it died in her arms
And she loved this animal
Now my friend felt buried alive
In her solitude
She needed someone to talk to
Someone to listen to her
I can’t deal with it just now
I’m listening at Bernie & Hillary
Getting into it over Trump
Three hours go by
And I call her back
I listen to her with my heart wide open
After we are complete
I put down my fone
And weep

 

 

William Dudley Bass
Wednesday 9 March,
Sunday 13 March, &
Monday 21 March 2016
Seattle, Washington
U.S.A.
Cascadia

 

Copyright © 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

 

 

Farting Uphill to Poo Poo Point

A Tiger Mountain Adventure,

Or, rather, a Meditation on Relationships

Mount Rainier aka The Mountain from along the Chirico Trail on West Tiger Mountain on Monday the 26th of January 2015. Furthermore, it’s time to restore The Mountain to her Native name: Ti’Swaq’ … the Sky Wiper!

Mount Rainier aka The Mountain from along the Chirico Trail on West Tiger Mountain on Monday the 26th of January 2015. Furthermore, it’s time to restore The Mountain to her chosen Native name: Ti’Swaq’ … the Sky Wiper!

Monday 26 January 2015

Our day hike had two purposes: to spend time together reconnecting as father and daughter, and for my daughter to train for her upcoming attempt to thruhike the Appalachian Trail. Morgan and I are both rather eccentric. We both know it, too, and value such in the other. We both appreciate being outdoors and nature is a spiritual connection. Otherwise it feels like night and day to me. This day, however, we were late getting ourselves together as we made the gravest error of making busy work a priority. Especially me.

“Hurry up, Dad!” Morgan shouted. “Jeezus, Dad! You’re always yelling at me to hurry up and let’s go and all, and here you are texting old girlfriends and stuff!”

Except I didn’t have any girlfriends at that point, old or otherwise, as I was divorced and still single.

At this point our hike had to meet several criteria so as to qualify both as quality bonding time and provide at least SOME training. First, both drive time and trail mileage had to be short. The trail also needed to be steep as all get out to make up for being so short. We also wanted a trail we haven’t done over and over again.

Ah! Poo Poo Point! Yes!

“What?” Morgan asked with a scowl. “Poo Poo Point? Ew, gross, Dad. Like what, horses and cow poop and stuff?”

“No, it’s a short, steep hike up the side of Tiger Mountain from the back side of Issaquah. You’ve done it once before with Kate and Talia and me and Kristina back when Kristina and I were married. We watched paragliders sail off the cliff top.”

“Oh. Yeah, I remember now. OK, let’s go.”

What many call the Poo Poo Point Trail is really the Chirico Trail. This locally notorious footpath drives straight up the slopes of West Tiger Mountain. It’s steep and sweaty sweet before unraveling into rambling twists and turns. Two open, grassy meadows high up near the summit provided launch jump-offs for hang gliders and paragliders. Well, one doesn’t see hang gliders much anymore as paragliding has won out as technology advanced. Hiking thru wintry trees, however, one can look south upon the mighty leviathan bulk of Mt. Rainier, or as the Native Americans prefer, Ti’Swaq’ the Sky Swiper!

Continue reading “Farting Uphill to Poo Poo Point” »

Dragonfly People: Coming together in Nature for Adventure and Community, 2002 – 2003

A real Dragonfly Community in Nature.

A real Dragonfly Community in Nature.*

Dragonflies are small animals and ferocious predators. They live all across the planet except Antarctica. Prehistoric ancestors of today’s dragonflies were huge insects with wingspans of almost 30 inches or 7.6 centimeters across. The Dragonfly is also a symbol of transformation, power, adaptability, and poise. A number of us communitarians came together from different urban cooperative households across Greater Seattle to explore new communal possibilities. Some of the early meetings held anywhere from 20 to almost 50 people. Eventually some of us formed a new intentional community. Our new family came to be known as Dragonfly or the Yellow Dragonfly House. We chose this animal as our spirit totem with a focus on personal and group transformation.

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TRANSFORMATION: a 150 foot long dragonfly crop circle apparently created overnight in England, the U.K., in June of 2009.**

What came to be known as simply Dragonfly or the Yellow House was established in October 2003, but the process of community formation began much earlier. People from older groups such as Orca Landing and The Barn began coming together in 2001 to determine what was next for them as individuals, families, and communities. Some of them were monogamous families. Others were engaged as a polyamorous cluster. And a few were single. All were deeply spiritual and engaged in profound personal and professional growth, training, and development. Most were ethical stands for love, communication, and for community. Those who were not left Dragonfly of their own accord except for one person, initially intensely involved, who was asked to leave.

During the years of 2002 – 2003 the members of Dragonfly embarked on a series of trips to spend time together in nature and to strengthen the bonds of community. Not every member of Dragonfly Community went on every adventure. The following fotos are from six of our trips including our major outings. Some of the earlier members and candidates are not in any of these fotos. The core ones are celebrated within. These pictures survived the 2010 burning down of my and then-wife Kristina’s post-Dragonfly home. I took most of these fotos, and some were by Kristina, and others by friends who gave us copies after the fire. I edited most of those images. They captured moments in time and space representing the forging and celebration of relationships amid the great outdoors of America’s Pacific Northwest. Enjoy.

Dragonfly Backpacking & Camping Trip to Second Beach, Olympic National Park, Thursday 4 July – Sunday 7 July 2002:

L2R: Talia, William, Atreyu, Edan

L2R: Talia, William, Atreyu, & Edan.

Continue reading “Dragonfly People: Coming together in Nature for Adventure and Community, 2002 – 2003” »

Solo into the Glacier Peak Wilderness, July 2015

Fotos & Reflections from my 65-mile Solo Backpacking Trip into

the Glacier Peak Wilderness,

Washington State/Cascadia, Monday – Friday 27 – 31 July 2015.

*Click on each foto to blow it up big. Enjoy!*

Views of Image Lake and of Glacier Peak and surrounding mountains from deep in the Wilderness on the morning of the Third Day, Wednesday 29 July 2015.

Views of Image Lake and of Dakobed (Glacier Peak) and surrounding mountains from deep in the Wilderness on the morning of the Third Day, Wednesday 29 July 2015.

“Off the Grid & gone. Solo. Well or unwell. Glacier Peak Wilderness will swallow me up. Reemergence in about a week. Been planning for a year. Going into the Deep High Lonesome. Adios.”

Those words were my Facebook post for Monday morning on the 27th of July before I left Seattle for the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Before my adventure was over, it had turned into a middle-aged man’s Hero’s Journey, a strange Quest of sorts, and on the last day there was a time I realized I might not make it out alive. I did, of course, despite developing what turned out to be rhabdomyolysis, as I share these words and pictures with all of you. My travels into the Deep High Lonesome proved transformative in slowly unfolding ways, ways I am aware of as I write these words well over a year afterwards.

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Chiwawa River.  Looking upstream from a roadside campsite in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest towards the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area. Day 1 on Monday the 27th of July 2015.

Another roadside campsite beckons, but I stop only to stretch my legs, relieve myself, and smell the fresh forest air of mountains & rivers.

Looking across the Chiwawa River into the Glacier Peak Wilderness from the same campground. The river’s running low, and the temperature’s rising. I’m the only person here at the moment. 

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Dusty ass road walk. I parked my car at the Buck Creek Trailhead at Trinity (792.50 meters or 2,600 feet) and walked all the way back and then up the long Phelps Creek Road towards the Phelps Creek Trailhead (1,066.80 m/3,500 ft) to Spider Meadows. I started walking from Trinity about 15:00 or 3:00 pm PDT in the afternoon of Day 1, Monday 27 July 2015.

Was reminded of the words of Doug Scott, the British mountaineer from Nottingham, England, who once pointed out when one goes into the mountains one must be prepared to die. Not wanting to die, of course, but mentally understanding and accepting the risk. Didn’t plan any alpine mountaineering, tho, as my intention is to trek and scramble cross-country in a physically demanding and remote part of this journey.

The section I planned to traverse off-trail from Buck Creek Pass up into the alpine zone towards and then down into the Upper Napeequa Valley was expected to be the most daunting. Scrambling thru High Pass on the way was one of the highlights I looked forward to experiencing. The Napeequa was notorious for being remote, difficult, fly-infested, and spectacular.

As I contemplate the possibility of dying amidst such magnificent beauty, however, I know I’ll be fine. Just what’s going thru my mind. In case this proved relevant for any search and rescue, which I hoped there wouldn’t be any need for. So, here I am, very much alive and ready for more. 

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Selfie shot standing in the hot, dusty ass Phelps Creek Road. Gusts of wind swirls dust devils and flying sheets of grit. Even so, it is a beautiful day in the backcountry. I’m grateful to be here in the Great Outdoors.

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My Third Wife Changes Her Name: Gender Issues, Ex-Wives, and Surname Conflicts

 

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The Blended Family Wedding of Kristina Katayama (L) and William Bass (R) with vows to their children (Morgan, Kate, & Talia) and with their Community.

I married Kristina this past 11 July 2009. She was the great love of my life at that time. We have been together over 7 years, ever since late 2001, as I write this essay. Kristina is a vibrant and dynamic woman, bold, sexy, intelligent, professional, and passionate. She lives full out as a Postmodern Age human being. We married ourselves privately in May 2005, became officially engaged back in November 2005, and intended to celebrate with a public, legal wedding in the summer of 2006. We felt too busy with careers and children, however, and lived as if already married. And in 2009 we finally did it. Up to our Wedding Day, she used her father’s family name, “Katayama,” as her own. And after our wedding she insisted on changing her name. Or, to be more accurate, adding my surname to hers.

“What?” I asked incredulously. “That’s old-fashioned culturally-ingrained male domination of females. I don’t own you. I’ve fought against this kind of bigotry my whole life.”

I had more to say, too. “I LIKE the Japanese sound of ‘Katayama.’ Mine is an “Olde English” name. I like the global feel of Bass and Katayama being together as a couple. It supports Euro-Asian-American planetary integration! My name is short and monosyllabic. Yours is long and lovely with four syllables emphasizing the same vowel. And don’t you dare hyphenate! That’s a monstrosity!” Blah blah blah.

Continue reading “My Third Wife Changes Her Name: Gender Issues, Ex-Wives, and Surname Conflicts” »