Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mabon circle

It was a fairly busy weekend for me but full of good and productive things. It seems like I’m finally starting to adjust to an early sleep schedule, but I still need to work on keeping my apartment clean when I don’t have unlimited time to pick up after myself. It’s not terrible by most people’s standards, but I’ve gotten used to keeping things tidy, especially when I have company over (which is a lot rarer occurrence these days).

So this weekend, I left directly from work on Friday and drove up to Middletown, NY to visit with Buck and Donna so that we could transcribe a poly timeline that was created back in March at the national poly leadership summit I attended as a volunteer. The original scroll of the timeline will be housed at the Kinsey Institute, which has a poly library of historical documents, but we wanted to capture the information on an Excel spreadsheet so it can be used and expanded on a future Web site. Friday night we all had dinner together at a Mexican restaurant, followed by some group cuddling on the couch back at Buck’s place before bed.

Saturday Donna had another engagement upstate, so Buck and I had the day to ourselves. We started with him getting a haircut at a nearby salon, which was also hosting a bridal party that morning. It was actually quite fascinating watching the bride getting her hair done, and it gave me a new appreciation of how much work it takes to create these beautiful hairstyles for special occasions.

Afterwards we had brunch at a Perkins restaurant and then went to Sunshine Studios so I could buy the Woodstock Chimes Emperor wind gong I saw last month when we visited for the Open Love NY leadership retreat. We spent the entire afternoon transcribing the timeline scroll, which extends from about 500 BCE (before Common Era) to 2050 CE and charts the growth of polyamory in the categories of Self, Group, Movement and Culture.

On Sunday I went into the city to meet up with Polina and attend my first group circle at a friend's house for Mabon. It was quite a big step for me to share my spiritual practices with other people, but as part of my continued growth and dedication to my practice, I felt it was a good opportunity to see how it feels as part of a group. My friend Katie (who is married to Patrick, one of the board members of Polyamorous NYC) organizes a family-friendly circle with her five-year-old daughter Evie to teach kids about paganism. Katie and her girlfriend Laura, and her daughter and I joined Evie in circle, and it was a lovely experience. The presence of the children made the circle feel more casual, but also brought a nurturing energy to it.

As Mabon is a time of harvest where we give thanks for the bounty we reap from our efforts throughout the year, I have two major things to be thankful for – my new job and my relationship with Polina. As I said in circle, these are the things that I’ve worked on and put effort into this year that I’m thankful have borne fruit.

Polina arrived afterwards and joined us for the potluck lunch party around the same time that Patrick and little Jasper came home from gymnastics class. I gave Polina a DVD of the MTV True Life episode she hadn’t seen yet (my big national TV debut) and she brought me a present from her trip to Switzerland, an aluminum water bottle with pictures of Swiss postage stamps on it. She also returned my copy of Stephenie Meyer’s New Moon, which she managed to slog through so we can see the movie together when it comes out on November 20.

Polina and I left around 3:30 p.m. and decided to watch a movie, but we couldn’t find a theater nearby that was playing anything we liked. So we stopped in our usual frozen yogurt place on Christopher Street to relax and have another check-in about our relationship, which is moving toward a more poly structure as we both pursue new people while continuing to nurture our bond to each other.

We both acknowledged how our relationship has progressed in the past several weeks, even given the disapproval of her family and the limitations we currently have on spending time together (although I think we are both a little surprised that we’ve managed to see each other three weekends in row after our month-long separation in late August and early September). We had a very candid talk, followed by as much snogging as we could get away with in public, before heading back to Yoshi and dropping her off at her grandmother’s house for Yom Kippur services that evening.

In other news, the job has been going very well so far, other than the commute is rather long. Through familiarity with the route, I have it down to about an hour’s drive time each way. I get to focus on writing all day long, without having to deal with budgets, team supervision, client meetings or any of the other managerial/administrative things that I had to do at my last two jobs in public relations agencies. I also keep pretty regular hours since I’m a contracted employee (unless they want to pay me overtime) and it’s nice being fed a nutritious lunch every day in the free company cafeteria.

However, I’m getting renewed interest from PR firms I interviewed with over the summer as the economy bounces back, and I admit it would be a good thing to live and work in the city, all else being equal, so that I could spend more time with Polina and my other friends. Career-wise, I’d probably be better off staying in Princeton and getting more in-house communications experience, but we’ll see if I get an offer that makes it worth making another jump.