Believing something is the difference between knowing something and being prepared to trust it in practice.
I know in words I am loved and valued, but putting that into practice and taking risks knowing that those who love and support me will catch me whether I fail or fly takes courage. I know I am an excellent teacher and a pretty good advocate, but putting money and hours behind turning it into a business, which is what I have mainly been doing this year, takes an entirely different type of belief. I knew that after an initial rush, things would settle and there would be time to write again, but their have been weeks where I have been pulling my hair out over missing meme deadlines and failing to develop ideas, to the extent I couldn’t keep looking at this other life I couldn’t have, I just had to trust you would all be here when I could come back.
I believe I should meet people where they are. I shouldn’t judge them but see if I can add anything positive. It is amazing how many times in a week I catch myself thinking “Your kink isn’t my kink, but that’s ok,” whilst actually considering the parenting or teaching styles of someone I am supporting. I believe, as my Girl on the Net Eroticon mug states, “Your words can change the world” and I take that into my teaching practice everyday, with far more warmth than any of the trite little teacher memes I see on “best teacher” mugs. I believe that being open and conversational about my experiences with autism, gender and sexuality and sexual abuse (where appropriate) have led me to be better able to support some of the families I work with, to help them to feel accepted and normal in a world that typically makes them feel other.
I believe accepting myself, even the bits I don’t like and even the limits I can’t seem to break through, makes me a better human. The kinky bits, the Christian bits, the strong parts and the works in progress… trying to hide any of this holds me back. That doesn’t mean I have to show all my hand all the time, but that I have to know it is there, even if it is an aspect in reserve or shadow at any given point.
So, I’ve written something about I character that has had to do some practical work towards self-acceptance. Two people who have to put belief into practical action.
I’m rusty, but I know you’ll be gentle.
“See you Sunday?” I shout-whisper after the last departing shadow disappearing into the darkness. A sodium orange hand waves back in acknowledgement. Don’t disturb the neighbours. Be polite. I close the door carefully. Security is important.
The weight of Kate’s eyes follows me as I walk back into my living room. I wonder if she can see the thick, syrupy something in my blood. My body doesn’t feel like my own, each movement stilted by the feel of my skin against my clothes. Her empty cup sits on the coffee table. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone drink a cup of tea so slowly and still make it look natural. She spoke to everyone, her constantly moving hands a good excuse not to hold her cup.
“Would you like another?” Be a good host. Why should my voice catch in my throat? I ‘d been talking all evening and suddenly I was too loud, my voice too scratchy and deep. I join her on the other half of the sofa, perching awkwardly.
Kate smiles, and soft crinkles framed her warm eyes. “That top looks great on you.”
The non-sequitur is so her. I want to preen a little and still a tiny part of me worries. “You think? Not too tight?” Not too low, not too busty? I feel bare without my usual collared shirt. Dress to impress. Keep it modest.
“Perfect. Frames you here.” Her hand sweeps through the air across her breasts and of course my eyes follow. She is full where I am scarce. Her hand rests on her exposed skin, fingers dipping just into the furrow of her cleavage. Nails painted a soft pink just a shade or two darker than her skin. I don’t make any effort to move my eyes back to her face, just watch those nails grazing skin in a slow motion I feel through every nerve in my body.
We’ve been here before. Danced this dance. And I have always shied away.
It’s taken a while for me to be sure I have permission to have this. To feed my soul and accept this path is the one I can take. She is my best friend. My partner in more ways than my ex husband ever was and yet that relationship would never have been questioned. I’ve come to realise I am denying myself more from fear than piety.
Touch. Her other hand warm on my upper arm. I want to lean in the feeling. Want her to hold me.
Pray that I’m giving clear enough signals, because there is no way I can form words to express what I want.
“This line,” she says, and the rest of the words fade to white as her elegant fingers leave her chest for mine, pale against my darker skin. I am so full of sensation, my eyes filling as though to cry, throat tight, and yet each individual finger tip is registering as a different point of radiant heat.
“I thought it might be too much skin, too low.” God, why am I talking? Her thumb is tracing the inside curve of my breast, burning through the fabric as though it was gone. My nipple is hardening against the gentle pressure, insistently reaching for her.
“You are beautiful. Fearfully and wonderfully made.” Kate echoed the incantation of tonight’s psalm study and I wait for the waves of guilt or fear or something… but it doesn’t come. A hot wash of peace both surprises me and feels completely natural. I am blessed by her touch.
Swept up in so much of everything, I don’t know how our lips meet. Can’t think beyond the softness. The sweet pull of need in my body and the feeling that this is right.
I want to tell her. I want to tell her my soul is singing. That I’m glad we’ve waited until I was sure “love is love” was not just a saying for others but applied to me as well. That I can be me and be this as well.
This is home.