(sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) means to take a course opposite that of the sun, going counterclock-wise, lefthandwise, or to circle an object, by always keeping it on the left. It also means "in a direction opposite to the usual," which is how I choose to take it in using it as the title of this blog. We're all in the same world finding our own way.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An Open Letter

To the representatives of Campus Christian Fellowship of WWU,

Today, I saw many of you wearing blue shirts that read "I'm sorry" across the front. I was tabling for an event my office is putting on this Thursday.

First and foremost, I want to say thank you. The time and energy you've taken to spread awareness about the possibility of an inclusive and loving Christian community is truly awe inspiring, and given the history of Western society, a lot of actions have been taken in the name of Christ that do not represent His teachings in a way consistent with the kind of love and acceptance he preached.

As an agnostic queer who struggles with this idea of Faith, I can appreciate the effort to make amends for a history that is tied to your most core beliefs. I want you to know that I don't hold you responsible, and I hope that the many people on this campus like me also don't hold you responsible. You are not responsible for the ills of others in the past, but it means so much that you would take on that responsibility anyway. I welcome the opportunities I've had to interact with members of your community and organization to share ideas about faith and what it means to share this earth with people of all kinds of diverse backgrounds.

In turn, I want to offer an apology for the reactionary and often harsh judgement that often arises in the communities that I come from. Just as you cannot represent all Christians, I cannot represent all queers, but this does not mean I do not see or hear the kinds of harsh judgement that get passed on all of Christianity. It does not mean I have not made those judgements in the past. From a social and cultural context, there are and have been tensions between these communities and I think any kind of reparations or restitution must begin with open dialogue. More important than any kind of history is what we do with it, how we learn from it and where we focus our work in the future.

So thank you for opening the conversation.



Monday, May 21, 2012

In which Danny rambles semi-coherently.

Tonight is the AS Awards Banquet. It's a chance for all the crazy folks known as Student Employees of the Associated Students of WWU to celebrate all the hard work we've put into making this year great for all the students of Western.

It's going to be great fun.

I would rather be home working on an essay, or cuddling with my boyfriend, or as would most likely be the case, at Ritmo Latino Salsa Club dancing (it is Monday after all).

Don't get me wrong, I love recognizing people for the great work they do, and I love that our organization works to make people feel wanted and appreciated. But I don't really feel like I' ready for a banquet just yet. I have one big event on the way still: The Third Annual Condom Fashion Show. It's Thursday, and the event is kind of my baby for the school year, so I won't feel like I can truly celebrate the end of the year until it's actually over.

But rather than make this a post about how busy Danny is, because I've learned how to manage my time this year, I'm not actually as busy as I think I'm perceived to be and I know many people who are far busier than I am (busy people tend to congregate and be involved in at least one thing with each other so that we know all the other busy people).

Instead, I want to talk about stones.

I recently got a piece of amethyst when I was wandering downtown giving out donation letters.

I thought it was kind of pretty and picked it over the other pieces of amethyst.

Unless it's food, I'm not usually prone to these kind of impulse buy for myself, but I was in a store called Stone Moon and it felt right.

For the first few days that I had it, I carried it around in my pocket. I worried (2c) it in my left hand until about two days later I thought I lost it.

Did some laundry, and like magic it reappeared. I wire wrapped it and have been wearing it as a necklace ever since. I'm getting rather good at that.

Amethyst is supposed to ward off insobriety and increase psychic abilities as well as enhance dreams. I'm not completely sure how I feel about that, but it's pretty and I like wearing it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Well-Dressed Accordion


I'm sitting in another man's bed as I write this. Not in any kind of erotic, post-carnal memoir sort of way (what do you take this for, a sex blog?), but a comfortable, hanging out kind of way, with his roommate procrastinating her homework by browsing tumblr on the other side of the room.

With everyone else I've been interested or involved with, there's been something defining that drew me to them, enough that I've been able to label them with some obscure but fitting nickname for anonymity's sake, because while this blog is personal to me, I also very much want to respect the privacy of the people I'm writing about. No matter how hard I try though, I can't come up with any kind of silly pseudonym for Ethan.

I find though that I like that.

We've been seeing each other for, gosh, a little over three weeks now, though it feels like so much longer. Buddha's shining belly, has it really been less than a month since we were first introduced?! On some level, I feel like I've known Ethan for a lot longer because I've known of him for over a year now. We have enough friends in common that Facebook, in all its nosy social media interfacing, has been suggesting him as someone I might know for months. Now that we've actually met, I'm kicking myself for not listening to it sooner.

I suppose it doesn't help that upon hearing that he and I are involved, the majority of mutual friends we have (and apparently there are quite a few of them) seem to react somewhere in a range between inarticulate excited noises that can only be described as fangirl-like squees to “Ohmygodyou'resocute!.” He and I have reached an unspoken agreement that the appropriate reaction to this phenomenon is death glares with the occasional “Shut the FUCK up” depending on who's saying it. Feeling like the center of the who's dating who rumor mill in a campus community can be exhausting, and for us at least unifying.

We met at a party the weekend after Easter that I almost didn't go to. He'd gone because of his roommate and I'd ended up going because I had made a commitment to our hostess at the Birdhouse promising her I would show up to the party.

Unsurprisingly, we were introduced in the kitchen, not because that's where the booze tends to congregate, but because at parties like this one it's the place you're most likely to be able to hold a conversation and be heard over the music/drunk people. That and I'm always drawn to kitchens,  bookshelves, or the dance floor. So when he showed up in the kitchen, I was there.

I think anyone who knew either of us at the party could see that there was something going on. Once we were introduced, I don't think we were separated once the entire night until he reluctantly left my side around two in the morning, sending me his number via his roommate. We even left the kitchen together a little later in the party, only to end up sharing a chair in the living room, casting sidelong glances at each other through our conversations with everyone around us.

I wouldn't exactly say that sparks flew when we met,  we are in Bellingham after all: the City of Subdued Excitement, but I would say that there is definitely chemistry between us, the kind of magnetic attraction you don't even notice until it's gone and all you can feel is the lingering pull.

My work in the Sexual Awareness Center has really opened me up to being very direct when approaching people I'm interested in, because I'm not sure if it was even a full twenty-four hours before I asked Ethan out on our first date. We were both busy, but agreed to coffee or ice cream the following Saturday.

We continued talking throughout the week and somehow “coffee or ice cream” turned into dinner followed by ice cream. I'd been hinting at that possibility most of the week and resigned myself to just a simple coffee date up to the point where he texted me while I was at the grocery store purchasing ingredients for dinner. Needless to say, I saved those ingredients until the next day.

I surprised him with a flower (long stem, red gerber daisy if you must know) when I met him at the Copper Hog. Though he didn't turn red exactly, Ethan blushed and looked down at the table for at least half a minute before meeting my eyes. I wanted to kiss him.

After dinner we walked downtown and I treated us to Mallards Ice Cream since I had cash and it would conveniently fill my stamp card so that the next time I came in I would get a free scoop. I invited him to my friend's Big Lebowski movie night. He told me that it was one of his favorite movies. I felt like this was a sign the universe was telling me it wanted this to happen.

At the movie night, we were relegated to sharing a beanbag chair since all other seating had been claimed. I don't think we would have complained even if we'd told we would have to sit on the floor. I felt comfortable enough in his presence that it wouldn't have mattered. I laughed quietly to myself as he quoted more than half the film. After the movie, we sat in the dark on our beanbag chair, an island of sobriety surrounded by a sea of drunk on white russians, holding hands while a Creedance Clearwater Revival playlist played in the background

Then he kissed me.

For a chaste, closed-mouth kiss that lasted less than ten seconds, damn was I seeing stars. When I walked him home an hour or so later, I couldn't help myself, I grabbed him by the tie and pulled him into another kiss.

Some time after our first date, Ethan talked with our friend Jesamie, and as she relayed the conversation to me, she'd asked what he liked about me and he'd answered that I'm the kind of guy who would bring a red rose to a first date (I would have, too, had I not been concerned about the historic and literary connotations associated with red roses). As Jesamie put it, “In other words, his Danny-ness.”

I think that's what I like most about Ethan as well. I could talk about how I think he's adorable and nerdy, or that I'm constantly amazed by his intellect and skills as a writer, or his great taste in movies (and uncanny ability to actually get me watching them) but there's something more innate than that to which I feel I'm attracted.

We haven't had any kind of formal a relationship discussion yet, on Friday so I don't now feel comfortable referring to him as my boyfriend, though given the way we interact with each other, I suppose he'd let me get away with it. For now, I'm just happy to have someone who wants to hold my hand, who randomly texts me “:]” on a Saturday afternoon when we have plans for the evening, who asks me what kind of wine I like before we meet so I can make dinner (and picks a damn good one, too), regardless of what labels we use to refer to each other.

As I sit here in his bed, a pink stuffed bunny at my side, he's sitting in the other room on his computer, working on something for one of his creative writing classes, muttering almost incoherently to himself  about the idiocy of some of his classmates. It's kind of endearing, though that may be the sleep deprivation talking.

For now, I guess I just want to say I'm content.