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Feb. 6th, 2016

doing my hair

what will you need to take with you when you go?

...maybe a warm bathtub with neverBursting bubbles, lavender soap with a tiny hint of jasmine and pomegranate, and all the memories of the touching only one person in the universe can give you.

Ref to picture / music post at http://silverplate88.livejournal.com/129064.html

Blessings Be.

Feb. 5th, 2016

vowing to keep working until I fucking drop

The entry to this post is somewhat involved, I'll link it to Ki in a bit.

25 years ago this week the UK rock group QUEEN released their album "Innuendo", it was the farewell appearance by their lead singer Freddie Mercury, who was already mortally ill and who died in a few months from complications of incurable AIDS-related bronchopneumonia (November 1991.)

The title of this post comes from what a reporter quoted Freddie as saying, that he vowed "to keep working until I fucking drop."

One month ago next week (in January 2016), David Bowie died from incurable liver cancer, days after he released his farewell album "Blackstar." David is more vivid for me because I'm a theatre artist also--- and David, though mortally ill, was also composing and arranging new songs for his new musical production "Lazarus", opening in New York last November. "Lazarus" of course recalls the Judeo-Christian legend of one story of Jesus of Nazareth, who brought a man named Lazarus, who had already died, back to life.

The Off-Broadway director of "Lazarus" said of David that he was "still writing on his deathbed... he kept working like a lion through it all."

So Ki's life was very far from those of international rockstars and theatre composers. Did she vow to keep working until she fucking dropped?

You bet she did.

Even though her mortal illnesses were basically emotional rather than basically physiological.

In her last days she not only took her new videocam into downtown Olympia at night, to record rough-cuts of interviews with her beloved homeless friends --- she also created photos of them and edited them and posted them in her two galleries at Deviant Art. Including one of a veteran confined to a wheelchair whom she chanced to meet on a city bus they were both taking, near her college campus. The vet was smiling. They both were.

And with only hours left in her mortal life, she collaborated with another LJ writer to give permission for one of her photos of her sister Becky to be re-imagined as an acrylic painting to be publicly displayed on campuses later in 2008.

Still writing on her deathbed? ....Sure. "Requiem for the Silent", and a short time later, "A Childhood Memory," a memoir written (and read in class aloud) for a class project nine days before she left.

Soyeah. This is not a post about dying, at all. It's about the creative drives that are timeless and not subject to any illnesses any longer.... not Kiota's, nor Freddie's, nor David's.

Timeless creativities, along with many of our own...

And so it is that, right now tonight, you and I can still go be thrilled by Freddie's music, David's singing and writing, and both saddened and uplifted by Kiota's images and reminiscences.

Until we fucking drop.

(Not that the journey ends there!)

Blessings Be to you and yours from Brad / Silverplate88 co-Mod

Feb. 4th, 2016

cowpunchers

Time is all we have

Ki is writing in her LJ at about four in the morning on the last Monday she'd be here, 07 April 2008, and here are some of her beginning words and ---

WARNING TRIGGERING FOR SUICIDAL HISTORY AND IDEATION

"I say I'm better but I think I'm just getting calmer about it. When I was younger and suicidal, I'd always be hysterical. I just hurt so much I'd have to die at that very moment... Hey, I'm suicidal now. Whatever. I was suicidal last night, too. And then a couple times last week. I know I'm not going to do anything tonight. I'll just go to bed and probably in a couple days things will seem better. / But in a week? Month? Year? / I just keep being more and more sure it's the right decision... I don't know what it is to be able to trust people, to know that they're there because they want to talk to me, because they like me for me, that they really do care about me..."

(This next is by a press reviewer of our current production in my home theatre:)

"Time is the most valuable gift we can give to one another. Whether out of love, duty, or respect, to take the time to go out of your way in service of another is something that should be cherished by all of us, because when it's all said and done time is all we have. But you don't have to make any effort merely by being in someone's presence; it's about listening. Caring. To hear what your partner has to say with attentive respect, so that their thoughts and words live on through you -- that's how time is valuable..."

I've added the boldface and italics. Because this resonates deeply, for me this is all about why Ki is just as real to me now, right in these moments while I'm writing to you, just as real as when the two of us were eating dinner and breakfast together eight years ago, starting one day after she created her journal entry on the seventh. (I wanted to clean up afterwards, to wash the plate but she wouldn't hear of it, I was her guest...)

But certainly everything is not at all this personal with me, each one of us has special ways through which Ki lives now in our hearts. No matter what time it was, is now, and will be tomorrow. No matter what the last most previous entry in this memorial journal was, or will be next.

And especially on a larger canvas, worldwide in fact, when Ki spent a lot of time being an active counselor on TeenHelp, far longer than just one night, it was years --- her caring and her compassion came right through to each of the callers she counseled. And of course many times it happened that she was not saying any words at all, but just listening in silence to what the TeenHelp client caller was saying to her or crying about. Her silences were very soothing, warm, and compassionate. She listened with much more than a single ear, or double in a headset: with much more than only with her eyes fixed on her computer screen.

There's a saying in palmistry. As the palmist/psychic traces out the anatomy of your open hand, she says: "This is your life line. If you aren't doing anything with it, it doesn't matter how long it is."

Indeed.

And it doesn't matter what year it is, either.

I feel her showing us that all the time.... what to do.

Tonight and tomorrows. Tracers and listeners.

Blessings Be from Brad / Silver :: co-Mod

Feb. 2nd, 2016

erin links to bridget

she is soooo hot

Picture post belonging over here, but my scrapbooks are over there!

http://silverplate88.livejournal.com/128905.html

Blessings Be from Brad / Silver

Jan. 31st, 2016

doing my hair

when I walk through the storm

"...there is always someone
for each of us they say
and you'll be by someone
forever and a day
I could search the whole world over
until my life is through
but I know
I'll never find another you.
It's a long long journey
so stay by my side
when I walk through the storm
you'll be my guide, be my guide..."

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he is everything, now I have nothing.-------private Email

I've spoken with Ruud for what will be the last time... he does not want to be friends with me, not even to talk anymore... he just walked away.--------- FriendsLocked LJ

You are one of my closest friends. You have been for years. I love you and I really really don't want to lose you. ----------liveChat to Portugal

...she's totally playing you, had her fun, and now she's fucking around with other people.--college Chat

Brad, co-Mod: Ki had been one person in all these convos, the others had been me and two others, at three separate times in her life; situations also refer to two of her lovers (the other, a girl). The song lyrics are excerpted from "Another You" by Tom Springfield. It's a map to Ki's beliefs.

What emerges is a ton of angst and relationship confusions, they got particularly hurtful to Ki at the end.

At the start of the 407th week today, it is Sunday, and Saturday nights are always remembered in some way, some distant --- Ki has changed away from needing mortal guides any longer, and now in many private ways she offers herself as the guide she never had for very long. To hold onto, through the storms and over them and beyond them.

Now, it really is "Forever and a day."

My hope is that each one of us has a stormguide, a person who is here today and not gone tomorrow or any tomorrows. A Guide in many forms in many voices, perhaps many silent but eventually immortal too.

Eventually and right now too.

If they gave me a fortune?

Blessings Be.

Jan. 30th, 2016

Cosmopolitan

a phoenix for tonight

Brad usually goes over to his J to link to me from there. But tonight is different, he's been all WTF trying to get photos uploaded, so here we come in reverse. Transferring my poetry is MUCHMUCH easier!!

I had a hot time in Holland too, when I was there, but nothing remotely like this... they really had a blast that night on the beach. Wish I'd been there!

Oh yeah, I was. I wrote their script and I used his camera haha

http://silverplate88.livejournal.com/128546.html

<3 Ki

Jan. 28th, 2016

Rose petals

how long can eyes spill tears?

"This was written right after the explosion of the Columbia shuttle, for Ilan Ramon:

.......MOURN YOU.....

How high can temperature
soar
in frigid air?

How long can it take for
shock
to become truth?

How long can
eyes
spill tears?

How long can I
mourn
you?"

Ki posted in PostPoems on 28 April 2003, three months after IAF Colonel Ramon was killed in the explosion of the USA space shuttle Columbia. He had been a career air force combat pilot and also the first citizen of Israel accepted on a flight crew into space; they had just been working 24h/day in rotating shifts on experiments for the fifteen days of the mission, shuttle was 16m away from touchdown back on earth.

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Colonel Ramon was a family man, one of his four kids had been the same age as Ki when the accident happened, his son Assaf. There was national shock in Israel.

The colonel had had family elders interned in Auschwitz in the war, and he carried a small pencil drawing with him into space --- a drawing = "Moon Landscape" = done by a fourteen-year-old, Peter Ganz, who had been killed in Auschwitz. (In fact, I've just noticed that all three of them were the same age: Peter, Assaf, and Ki.)

Assaf would go on to follow his father into the IAF, but die in a jet fighter training accident just before he was to graduate from flight school.

(We are remembering today in the USA not only for the crew of Columbia, but also because exactly 30 years ago today the shuttle Challenger blew up on 28 January 1986, 73 seconds after takeoff; aboard was our first civilian in space, an active teacher named Christa McAuliffe, who was going to teach classes to her kids during the mission, over a telemetric downlink.)

Ki made a point of posting both of her poems composed in memory of Ilan Ramon, on the first day she had opened her PostPoems account: her other one is "Grief."

And of course Ki has a constant theme of departing into space (and of death), it shows up in much of her creative work.

So.

Not a single one of the students in New Hampshire --- excitedly waiting for their teacher Christa's lessons --- has ever forgotten where they were that day. Most of them were sitting in class that morning, watching the Challenger lift off from the launch pad; some had watched it blow up (it had been still close enough to the ocean to be tracked live by videocams.) As a nation, we had been in national grief also.

Not a single one of us closest to Kiota has ever forgotten where we were either, that day or evening when we got the confirmed news about her.

So:

"How long can I
mourn
you?"

Each of us has her own answer.

Separately, and together.

Blessings Be.

Jan. 27th, 2016

Olympus Sureshot

on a happier note

I wrote this for a new section called "Recovery Stories" on the site that I mod. Kind of decided to write it on a whim. Haven't edited it or anything. So, this is what you get raw from my mind at three AM. ... I'd like to end this on a happier note... wheee Ki's all better, had a rough life but she's totally happy now and living it up and hasn't cut in years and couldn't care how much she weighs and if a guy hits on her, she tells him to fuck off.

But that's not how life is.

Things are never perfect.

They are a hell of a lot better though... I can actually get out of bed. I can function. I don't want to kill myself. I'm going to college in September -- ... I'm going to be a social worker... help kids who're like I was, kids living on the streets, whoring, trying to leave it all behind, thinking there's no way anyone in the world truly loves them. ... I don't think I deserve to be raped... I'm actually living for me. Because life's kind of fun, once you get used to it.

My point is, I've been through a lot of shit. I've lost friends because they couldn't stand to watch me slowly kill myself. But I did survive. And it was worth it. There is good in the world, and there is beauty in the world.

So. Hang on. It is worth it in the end.

:Ki, these are excerpts from her posting on 31 July 2007, writing from her bedroom with her boyfriend Ruud, in Holland

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Brad/Silverplate88:
The memory suddenly comes back that --- some nine months later than this entry --- Ki would forlornly post that "there must be some words that can save me" and where are they, who could speak them to her? She would then be coming quickly to the end of her mortal life. Well, there they are right here, and they have come from her own heart, and by then she couldn't hear them anymore, and that is all pretty poignant.

But we can hear them still.

And, because Ki had been so active on TeenHelp as a counselor (and here with many of us), and because she and Ruud had started their relationship webcamming and "sexting" one another across Israel to Holland, and because she got into more than one flamewar on LJ about looking at posted images (what did they see really?), --- because of all this, she would have been intensely interested in this next stuff and surely would have expressed her opinions, in close to the same words as these:

"...the experience that teenage girls have when they privately "sext" with their boyfriends and then their boyfriends share the photos with the world; research shows that girls have a very difficult time recovering from this, and can find themselves dealing with depression, drug abuse, ED's, and suicide."

(To be accurate, I need to say that Ruud was never guilty of this BUTBUT Ki had gone through a parallel experience some time before, as a member of the avidGamers site, when she had entrusted four topless photos of herself to an avidGamer girlfriend, who promptly broke Ki's trust and posted them publicly, forcing Ki to complain bitterly --- which got her no support at all from other avidGamers who called her "stupid" to trust someone with such photos in the first place (Ki had been twelve or thirteen.)

this is "a painful invasion. It's not always about contact. And it doesn't necessarily involve nudity. What it involves is a man or boy thinking of a girl's body as his to watch, measure, glare at, comment on, photograph, or share, independent of the woman's desires. It's the idea that a view of a woman's body belongs to someone other than the woman/girl herself."

The article title is "Looking can be Abuse" and the full ref is at the end of my post.

Another ref mirroring Ki is #Iammorethanadistraction campaign which responds to these attacks upon girls for wearing "provocative" clothing, as Ruud later complained about Ki (see previous post), and out of the campaign has come a sarcastic play called SLUT developed by the eight 18-year-old members of The Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company in New York, which might be only of local interest -- except they've gone on a national tour in America with it. Recalls Ki's participation in drama class before she dropped out of school (she appeared in a play onstage at least once.)

We also need to note that the environments are not exactly identical -- some of the article references have to do with Orthodox Jewish practices and Ki is about as far from Orthodox Judaism as she is from the planet Jupiter (in her last weeks she wrote with interest about Reform Judaism and Wicca and consulted me on the splinter-group of Islam called Sufism, founded by the Persian Poet Rumi in the 1200's, heavily involving dance movements).

What we have with all of this is Kiota's aggressive championing of women's / girls' rights, privacy of your own body in your own time, and the hope of the light of change. "It IS worth it..."

Which, again, is all Kiota. It was then, on 31 July 2007, and right now at nine minutes to one in the morning on Wednesday 27 January 2016, as I finish this up.

Shalom from Brad

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references: http://www.lilith.org/articles/looking-can-be-abuse
http://www.lilith.org/blog/2015/05/voyeurism-and-the-yeshiva-girl

also referred to: article in Lilith "Teen Girls Challenge Sexist School Dress Codes"

Jan. 26th, 2016

rainbow lollies

what's so difficult about bringing Ki a light?

Here's a little exchange from Ki's (earlier) journal, and

WARNING MAY BE TRIGGERING FOR LANGUAGE AND NEGATIVE SELF-IMAGE

Kiota on 19 November 2005:
.........Lois had justified anger at me {for whoring and then being late and missing the best part of her brother's wedding, then finally arriving, coming straight up to her and kissing her} but I'm a bit fragile. And it hurt. I yelled at her {later, online.} What could I have said? That although I am feeling fucked-up and unlovable and although I could reallyreally use some safe affection now, don't kiss me because I'm a dirty whore? ... The man I fucked. He called it rape. And he fucked me and he paid me and I left. And the fact that he paid me somehow changed it for everyone. Made it ok. Made it logical to forget if Kiota's really feeling fucked up and hating herself for being a fucked-up whore. I signed off and cried. And realized after awhile that I was more angry at myself than her. That I hated myself. That anyone should care about me. I'm just a fuck-up and a failure and a whore.

Brad on 20 November 2005:

............What's so wrong or difficult about bringing Ki a light, offering her some safe love and refuge and warmth when she can't raise her own arm to light her own way? Whatever that way may be and however long it might be? Sure I get as scared as *Judith. It's not a fraction as scary as watching Kiota being abandoned when her need is so large and so painful. ... which true and permanent friends would never do. Times like this, we find out who they are. And, aren't. ... Ki: thank you for being so special and so YOU. That "thank you" is permanent.

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*Judith = not her real name, she has an LJ account.
Lois = LJ UserID is Lotus82, her LJ is still up as a memorial, no new posts allowed, you can read her story there. Lois is a model for Ki, a former lover, and a first responder on Ki's final night with us.

Yes, I feel a little awkward quoting from myself, but I think it all fits here and is appropriate.

What I said on 20 November caused an immediate firestorm in Europe, the word at the time was "flamewar", and it prob still is right now --- LJournalers arguing with one another in cyberspace. Each of them took it as a personal insult that they had been called not-a-real-friend.

More than two years later as Ki and I sat on the walkway steps at Evergreen, she said "You know, *Liana hates you." I was all WTF, I don't even know *Liana and I've never written a word to her! Ki didn't reply to this but changed our convo as she drifted in and out of dissociation. Later, in May, *Liana and I had a very long convo in her own LJ, I tried to explain why I thought what had happened, had happened. One of *Liana's comments to me was that she was glad to find out that I was human and not an "enabler" after all.

The relationship between *Liana and Ki was that Ki was infatuated with her and constantly used her as a model for creative work.

So, the point of this memorial journal post, on this night we are more than ten years down the road from those 2005 entries: we are all of us in her chosen family, I once called it "your cyberfamily." It doesn't matter whether we actively engage with Kiota anymore or not, she left her trail of lights for years in TeenHelp and in our lives at the time and maybe she still does that. Through dormant memories, or active ones.

I think it's best summed up in a line from the film "Angie", the 1994 film by Martha Coolidge starring Geena Davis: "Life breaks everybody. The way I see it, it's up to the less broken to help the more broken..."

And if there's one basic message coming through all of LiveJournal, it's this: you are not alone, you don't have to do it alone. Ever.

Shalom and good evening and good morning from Brad/Silverplate88 co-Mod

Jan. 24th, 2016

Rotterdam HS

I still feel all relaxed and stuff...

From Brad, co-Mod ---

Just received my e-copy of LILITH, the feminist Jewish magazine, and one of the lead articles is titled "Sex in the Promised Land" and it's a review of some doctoral thesis research by one Dana Kaplan, getting her advanced degree in sexual researches in Tel Aviv, Israel's coastal principal city. So many things in this review are complete correspondences with Ki, who for five short weeks (which most everyone has forgotten about) lived in Tel Aviv (on-and-off) and had a job in a BDSM studio. There's lots more parallels than that. One being a couple books published in her lifetime about the environment she worked in.

I'm not aware that Ki ever used an LJ-cut, she was straightforward and VERY detail-descriptive of what she did and what she allowed to be done to her. Why I see all this as relevant to Ki (and to each of us, in our different ways) is that she experienced major energies in that part of her life, in both directions -- helpful and harmful -- and it's part of the reason why her love is so strong today, from the perspective that I do not think you're able to respect and honor your devotion to a person by just loving the parts you like and ditching the parts you don't.

So I wanted to share some of this here, and I want to be care-full at the same time, because you know what triggers you and what does not. Therefore, the warning:

possible triggers for sexual topics such as SI, eroticism, LGBT, abuse starting here

Going back to an October convo, a squabble with her boyfriend, Ki declares "I tend to sexualize my relationships because I have PTSD. I tend to feel insecure if someone doesn't find me sexually desirable because then it's like they don't like me. I don't dress provocatively or 'act seductive or exhibit inappropriately flirtatious behavior... Yeah. BIG LONG SLEEVES and pants are rteally fucking seductive. So is wearing loose sweaters and coats over everything. Right. How the FUCK do I act 'seductive' or 'flirtatious'?'" (CAPITALS are Kiota's.)

Then the last summer she was with us, in June and July 2007 there were rollercoasters. Through friends she joined a team of sex workers in a BDSM studio, posting "I actually have friends in this job!" Tel-Aviv is about 52 miles from her family home, across the country, it's a tiny country. It was farther than that for Ki to go from college to the Seattle airport to fly to Europe or wherever.

So we are talking out-of-town here. Most of the workers are women, at least one has an LJ. Ki got to dress in leather costumes, high vinyl boots, the standard rig, and become a pro dominatrix for clients and also a sub for the girls who wanted to play with her using bondage, hot wax, and whips. Ki journaled that it was important that she be able to test her body's limits for pain.

Later in the month of July she's back in Holland with her boyfriend, and they go off to a vacation-rental bungalow with mutual friends from Portugal. They share a bedroom, and she comments "my penis-phobia is still bad, things happened this year... but I'm making friends with it now..." "apparently fingering feels better when we're both standing up" and eventually adds, some time later, "...I'm pretty sure I had an orgasm and WOW... I'm still all happy about it. About fucking time." Many of us in her Friends group sent congratulations.

Also, "he cares how I feel, he wants me to feel pleasure too, it's not just about getting himself off... I've never had that."

"It's hard to generate excitement, anticipation, and lust with the same person you look to for comfort and security, but it's not impossible... " we are engaged "to be open to the magic and mystery of the erotic exploration that's possible..." Those quotes aren't from Ki, they're from sexologist Esther Perel's book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence (2006), in which there is a "Chapter 10 The Shadow of The Third, Rethinking Fidelity" and these issues were central to Ki's relationship with him, leading to their final breakup only a few hours before her mortal death.

In the LILITH review are also refs to Lee Walzer's 2000 book Between Sodom and Eden: A Gay Journey Through Today's Changing Israel. Ki was eleven in 2000, a rape survivor (1998) and "I came out at fourteen... my parents were very understanding." Soyeah, later it was something of a stretch for both her and us to find out all the positive stuff happening with her (male) boyfriend, at least positive for awhile.

One Israeli sex educator says "at nine, they think they're already teens...just look at all those sexy little Purim costumes on the streets!" She further notes that many '14- and 15-year-olds are becoming sexually active, (and) a kids hotline gets about 25 calls a day' from kids 'who don't understand that looking sexy is not the same as feeling good sexually, and that being sexual does not necessarily mean having intercourse.' Kiota started her career at TeenHelp as a Live Help Operator (LHO) before she started her LJ membership on 28 November 2002, over the few years she counseled kids involving precisely the same topics and others, and was on a LiveChat with LHO's a couple hours before she left us.

The title of this post is from Kiota's LJ entry on her orgasm.

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So the book refs are to Amazon and you can Google the Lilith title if you want, it's the Winter 2016 issue to look for. Author of the article is Barbara Gingold.

Blessings Be on this quiet Sunday eventide.

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