Sit by an Apple Tree
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP
I found that quote lately, and I’ve gone back and read it multiple times.
I love the image of so many apples, falling all around you, wasting their sweetness, and really, isn’t that what much of the world seems to do? Waste their sweetness rather than savoring what’s out there?
I had a conversation with slave drew this week that it was nice to have traveled enough to not remember which trip it was when we found that amazing rhubarb cream pie, or exactly which time we were in D.C. we went to the National zoo and which time to Arlington.
I’ve been a lot of places – four countries, both hemispheres, most of the US states, four cross-country trips, three by car and one mostly by train. I’ve seen manatees from a canoe in Florida, seals from a cliff in California, and the magnificent frigate bird from the deck of a ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
I’ve seen a field so full of fireflies on a spring night that it looked as though it had been strung with Christmas lights.
I’ve played in dungeons across the country, literally, and played sometimes until my hair was dripping with sweat and my palms were swollen from hitting flesh.
I’ve left cane marks, those distinctive railroad ties that I so love, on asses and thighs in more places than I can remember, both anatomically and geographically.
I’ve been there the night the place closed down, or the time the cops came into the party, or for the event where we expected protestors and cameras.
I have presented in more states than I can count, judged more titles than I can remember. I have been to Atlanta in August and Cleveland in January.
I’ve had all kinds of relationships from long-term, committed relationships to hookups and booty calls, from monogamous to poly, with all kinds of people, slaves, submissives, girls and boys and bois, people who served me and loved me, and most of them ended well enough, and many of them continue, and that’s something, isn’t it?
I’m glad for the relationships and for the kinds of relationships I’ve had. I’ve had my heart broken a few times, and while I didn’t enjoy it, I’m not sorry for the experience. I suspect we all need our hearts at least bruised once in a while, to remind us that we have them.
I’m glad I’ve known the people I’ve known, and been the places I’ve been, and created the things I have created.
There are things I don’t have and probably never will, but I have much that many don’t, and never will, places I’ve been, people I have known and things I have seen and done.
I don’t know how much of that I would have seen, or done, without kink and leather in my life.
I am glad to be able to look back and think of the sweetness I savored, while the other wasted theirs away.
(This was originally posted in September of 2014, but was reworked and expanded.)