Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pawpaw's Sex Advice

"Would you ever buy a pair shoes without trying them on first?" 

photo by Jacki Harp
This was my grandfather's answer to the question my husband asked him a month before we got married. Joel simply said, "Pawpaw, you've been married for over 60 years, what is the secret to a long marriage?" 

You see, my grandfather is special. He is not one of those old men who is stifled by a world of change. He likes new ideas, he is youthful in spirit and enjoys thinking outside of tradition, especially when it comes to sexuality.

When I was 19, in college with a long distance boyfriend, my grandmother called my dorm room to have a heart to heart with me. She warned me against "giving in to the chemistry of my emotions." She said it was best to wait until you are married before you have sex, because then you don't have anyone to compare the love of your life to. She also mentioned she had some close calls with Pawpaw, but she was proud to say that they waited until they were married to make love. In fact, she does not use or like the phrase "have sex" which she literally make her hiss when she says it. She talks about intercourse by always using the phrase, "make love." She is a pure soul, sweet and kind. Pawpaw thinks of sex a little bit differently. For example, Pawpaw uses a lot of interesting phrases to describe sex that my grandmother really does not care for like, "Going out to the barn", "Flappin' the sheets", and "Trying on your shoes." This is where my story begins.

When my dad died I was 21 and Pawpaw thought that he was going to have to take over where my dad left off. The thing was, Daddy didn't spend any time educating me about sex. His answer was, "no" and that is all that needed to be said. Pawpaw, wanted to be sure I was being properly advised into adulthood. Seeing as I was already an old maid (my grandmother married him at age 19 so my clock was ticking), he needed to teach me about the birds and the bees before it was too late. I have spent nearly every Friday afternoon with them since I was 19, so there was ample opportunity to take time to talk about sex.

I've heard a lot of Pawpaw's stories over the years. Most of them start with him staring out in space for a moment, perched in his easy-boy, then like a light bulb goes off, he would start with, "You stay out in the world long enough, you are bound to run across some interesting things..." These stories were often about his circumnavigation of the world during WWII. He has plenty of stories, all shocking in nature, not always about him, but almost always about sex in some way. These stories opened the door to many conversations about sadomasochism, domination, rape, prostitution, you name it. Once you crack that door open with your grandfather, pretty much all bets are off and you can talk about anything. For example, if you ask him, my grandmother invented the whole "answering the door in cellophane" deal. 

After Joel and I were married for a couple of months, Pawpaw called and asked us to come visit. Somehow he shooed BJ (my grandmother, no pun intended) out of the room and stared at us from the easy-chair. 

"Well, how is it going? You two figuring everything out?" 

We both giggled and said we were not having any problems which apparently was not convincing.

"Are you able to find the zizz-wheels?" He looked right at Joel.

At this point, we both laughed and said we had no idea what he was talking about, which concerned him all the more. So he began...

"All women have two zizz-wheels. One is at the base of the pelvis and one is behind the bellybutton. God made it this way so that they could be stimulated by all different sized penises. The one at the base of the pelvis is for short penises and the one behind the bellybutton is for long penises (He sticks his palm up and starts to wiggle his middle finger in the air like he is fondling some imaginary vagina). Which one have you found?"

I told Pawpaw I thought we must have found both. He declared, "Well, now we know what Joel is working with!" He smiled real big and then frowned. "This is serious. Your grandmother and I got lucky. We didn't have sex until we were married and we were fortunate to find out that we had good chemistry. I have lots of friends who have had terrible marriages because nothing was ever quite right in the bedroom. This is why you have to try on your shoes before you buy them. If everything is OK in the bedroom then everything is going to be OK during all those other times that get hard."

"Your grandmother and I have had a successful marriage because we are exact opposites. What has always kept us together is that everything is always good in the bedroom. It is really important to make love to each other as much as you can. You have to keep it interesting too. The best thing is the world was coming home from a business trip and see her wrapped in cellophane standing at the door. I just put my briefcase down right there on the stoop and followed her inside. That is the sort of thing that keeps a marriage strong."

He made us promise that we would make love often and try new things. He offered that since we had found the zizz-wheels that he reckoned we got lucky too. Then, BJ walked in. 

"What are yall talking about so intently? Bill, you look like you are doing something wrong." I answered that Pawpaw was telling us about zizz-wheels, but the look on his face said "shut the hell up." She big-eyed him and said, "I don't know what a zizz-wheel is." I laughed and said that Pawpaw should probably explain it and his expression got even more serious. BJ asked him what it was and he said he was just making sure everything was going OK in the bedroom. She didn't even think about it, "Well, what kind of grandfather talks to his grandchildren about such a thing!?" 

We changed the subject pretty quickly which meant that Pawpaw started telling the classic story about the morning after their wedding night when BJ saw his flaccid penis and asked if she "used it all up but that." She HATES when he tells that story but it ALWAYS gets a laugh out of people and that is the most important thing to Pawpaw when he was changing the subject.

A few years later, sitting on his red couch staring at him in the easy-chair, he had that glazed over look and I knew he was about to tell me something important. 

" Sure enough I think we have done young people wrong for generations. There just aint nothing good coming of making young people wait to have sex until there married. I really believe that it is more important to try on your shoes before you buy'em. There have just been too many failed marriages and hurt people out there because they think everything is good and then they get in the bedroom and nothing works right. You have to have sexual chemistry to keep pushing through all the hard times. You might not agree with me, but I really think that we have done yall wrong. Look at all the divorces this day and age, people need to try on their shoes."

My grandfather just turned 88 and has been married to my grandmother for 65 years this June. He has traveled around the world, fought in gruesome wars, traveled the country as a salesman, raised three sons, one of whom was severely autistic, and somehow survived watching two of his three boys die. He has experienced a lot of the world, a lot of pain, a lot of joy and at the end of the day, I think he knows what he is talking about.

I don't know if you have found the zizz-wheels or not and maybe you don't think people should go around trying on their shoes, but I think it is pretty cool that I have a grandpa that cares about my sex life enough to talk to me about it. No matter what he says, I found it to be a gesture of great love to sit us down and make sure we have figured everything out in the bedroom. 

In this world of sexually taboo everything, it was refreshing to know that my Pawpaw isn't scared to talk about something that he thinks matters a lot. What would the world be like if all grandparents did this? Can you imagine? 

 Here's to trying on your shoes and flappin' the sheets!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Do we have the power?

Venturing on the very slow path of learning to understand the power of our God made bodies, I've encountered Qi energy. Qi (pronounced "chi") is what the Chinese (among others) believe is our life energy, our life force. The power of Qi can be cultivated, used and shared. It is the movement of Qi and the directional flow of Qi that enables bodies to grow and heal. I still have a lot to learn about Qi, what it is, how to become aware of it, and of course, how to use it. For the moment, I wanted to share something with you that I found to be amazing. It is so amazing, I had a hard time finding a place for it in my understanding of the world. 

In this video you will see a man who is called "DJ", mainly because Westerners do not know how to pronounce his name. He lives in Indonesia and is a humble healer. It wasn't until a couple of Brit's ran into him that his life suddenly changed forever. He is most certainly exploited in this video, but I don't think they intended to hurt him. Fortunately, he is was convicted enough to stand up for himself.

DJ is a mystery because of the powerful current of Qi energy that he has learned to cultivate in his body. This energy has allowed him to become a successful healer. He defies much of what we would believe to be impossible in this day and age.

If you plan to watch this video, which I hope you do, prepare to marvel at something we have long assumed is a hoax. Is it though? In your hard of hearts, haven't you too felt the magnetic pulse of energy when you hold your palms close together?

DJ says the source of his energy is daily meditation. What is the source of your energy?

The man can use his Qi to heal people, start a fire, press a piece of wood through a plastic table. These are just little tricks but you will see his patients spasm and move as he works on them. This to me, was more incredible than the sensation he can provide with parlor tricks. 

Give it a go. Marvel. Wonder. Imagine, just imagine, if you could believe this even for a moment. 

Just like Jesus assured his Disciples, that we too can do what he does and more. DJ also maintains there is nothing special about himself, anyone can do what he does. You simply have to practice.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Women's Rights

I stumbled across this video and thought that it sends a really solid point. Check it out:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Recap on Sexual but Not Sexist

Just in case you are curious, I found the tribute that Ingrid Michaelson's "Girls Chase Boys" video was recreating. It was "Simply Irresistible" by Robert Palmer. I have to admit that I really don't like this song and I really don't like his video. It's cool to see how Michaelson's version really does embody just what I mentioned in my post last week. Palmer's video is sexual and it is sexist which honestly makes it a dime a dozen. Michealson's- well, you saw it. There is a big difference here and I think Ingrid is a bad ass.  

Here is Robert Palmer's video "Simply Irresistible":

Dreaming of Peace

The place where you are right now, God circled on the map for you.


Every child has known God,

Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts,
Not the God who ever does Anything weird,
But the God who knows only 4 words.
And keeps repeating them, saying:
“Come Dance with Me , come dance.” 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Trippin' on Accupuncture

It was so quiet when I walked in. Decorated like a spa, grays and lavenders, it smelled of lilac and jasmine. I sipped lemon water as I waited for my turn. 

When I entered the room, I slipped on a robe and laid down on the table. It was warm and comfortable. Sounds of ocean waves permeated the room. Jane came in and felt my pulses. 

"You are healthy if you want to know that. There is nothing wrong inside you but your pulses are weak. This will strengthen them."

Then she pulled out small plastic tubes and began to snap them, applying hair-thin needles just barely into the surface of my skin. In a few moments they were balancing out of my knees, ankles, wrists, right above my belly button. Before she left the room she poked a needle into the top of my head and said, "to quiet your mind." Then the lights clicked off and I was alone with my body.

Almost from the moment the needle slipped into my skin where my thumb connects to my palm, I felt my arm begin to tingle. My hand grew hot and I felt a giggle bursting from inside me. I could not stop it. I laid there for nearly five minutes laughing like I was being tickled. My whole body twitched with delight and I grinned a wicked grin in the dark by myself. 

I laughed until great, big sticky tears dripped from the corners of my eyes because I didn't want to move to wipe them. They dried hard and crusty on my face. 

When this tickled delight had finally run it's course, I started to see the colors... Moving to the sounds of the waves, oil-pool ripples of purple and magenta started rushing across the ceiling and then back again. Bright green and yellow swirled into the motion and I watched as a sea of neon hues danced above me. Then the waves turned into bright pink stars and the stars came together to form a face of a woman who winked at me and floated away. 

Then I heard a voice. It was a man. His voice was jumbled and robotic but I could distinctly hear that he was discussing the significance of the number 9 (the number of transformation). 

Then I was floating above a room that I knew was mine but I had not ever seen it before. There were women sitting around in a circle, canvases in front of them listening to an instructor encourage them to paint whatever comes out of them. I recognized her voice but I could not see her- it was me.

When the light clicked on and Jane returned, I was in a fog of wonder and colors. She began plucking the needles out of my joints and didn't saw a word. I pointed to the spot in my hand that reacted so much to the needle and seemed to be connected to my sudden need to laugh. 

"That was your colon meridian. Emotions get blocked in the colon. Shifting the flow of energy there releases the blocked energy. Sometimes people go right home and poop and other times people just start crying and don't know why. It's because you've blocked something and it was stagnate there."

I told her that I could not stop laughing when she poked that point.

"Well, Claire, it seems that you have stifled joy."

I knew when I received acupuncture that I would probably come to terms with some blocked emotions. This is part of the reason I wanted to do it. It didn't occur to me in a thousand years that all this time the emotional block that I had felt has been joy. 

"It's a good thing really. It means that you have grieved what you need to grieve and been sad about what you need to be sad about. Now it is time to just be happy when you know you are happy, even if the situation doesn't seem like it should cause that reaction. It is good to feel joy."


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Essential Oils

In Jesus's time, it was customary to greet a visitor to your house by washing their feet. There were even moments when guests would have their feet anointed with oil by the host's servants or the hosts themselves. I have always assumed this was a cultural gesture of hospitality, but now I am beginning to wonder if there was not something much deeper going on here... 

I attended an essential oil seminar a couple weeks ago and was amazed by what I heard and experienced. People who have used oils for years were describing miraculous moments of healing and almost immediately in some cases. Teacher's who vaporize oils in their classrooms are experiencing entire school years with no sick children (unheard of in public schools!). The flu, thyroid problems, weight loss, aches, pains, digestion issues, all forms of infections, warts, herpes, even some forms of cancer have been treated by essential oils and cured. 

For years I have puzzled over the way that the Western world uses medicine and surgery before all other options. I can't describe it, but it has always felt off, wrong even, to live this way. To me, it makes my health feel out of my control. It reminds me of before the reformation when you had to go to a priest to receive forgiveness from God. We can pray to God ourselves now...can we not also be empowered to heal ourselves? The way we blindly accept doctors advise is really disturbing to me.

It all started a few years ago when I saw "Eat, Pray, Love" in theaters. The main character, played by Julia Roberts, gets a bladder infection. She visits the local medicine woman who makes her a tea out of a leaf that was grown outside of her home. At the time, I was getting bladder infections regularly and each one was worse than the one before and all of them resulted in my visiting the doctor and then later the ER. I'd come home with 10 days of antibiotics and some painkiller that made my pee orange. The idea that all Julia had to do was drink a leaf tea and would be made well just consumed my mind for the rest of the film...and then for months after.

I could not shake the burning desire to find out what plant that was so that when my next bladder infection would come, I would be armed with the ability to heal myself. I really coveted that Hollywood idea of having my own medicine woman.

These thoughts led into new notions that left me feeling disconnected from the earth God created. Didn't he give us everything we need? Doesn't God in all his mercy provide for ALL our needs? Why are we creating drugs when I am SURE that his creation can restore our health and spirits because it was made by him, he is in it? How have we lost touch with this reality?

I thought about this for a long time and slowly ventured forth into a new, epic part of my life path- a journey into alternative medicine. 

First, I started receiving chiropractic care which resulted in my no longer suffering from allergies, daily headaches, knee and hip pain. Chiropractic led me to reflexology which led me to massage therapy which led me to reiki which led me to acupuncture which led me to Chinese medicine which led me to essential oils. 


All of these techniques build on themselves and connect to one another. The piece that seemed to be missing was the external influence of God's creation. Touch made sense to me. Intention and Awareness altering life states made sense to me. Meditation, Prayer, Yoga all made sense to me. Acupuncture, Message, Reflexology all shift your chi, your energy. This made sense to me. But where was the medicine? There are times when you need something more...


Essential oils. I've been trying them for two weeks now and I can report some amazing improvements in my health. My skin is bright and clear and my scars seem to be fading. I've lost 5 pounds and the symptoms of returning hypothyroidism have dissipated. I have slept well and though my life is full of nerve wrecking stresses right now, I have remained strangely calm and at peace. I've been treating my friends too. These oils have cured dandruff, sunburn, indigestion, menstrual cramps, hangover, headache, allergy attacks and sinus congestion. Oils are even able to brighten moods and make you more alert.

According to my class instructor, The best places to apply oils to your skin is on the bottom of your feet and behind your neck because your largest pores are there. Once I realized this, it got me thinking about Jesus again. All those stories of people washing each other's feet and the woman anointing Jesus's feet with a fine perfume or oil seem to make a little more sense. What if people weren't just honoring one another, what if they were healing one another with this gesture? What if the humility of touching someone else's feet was not just a gift of service but an expression that said something like, "I want you to live long and be healthy."

To me, essential oils have been the missing link to this alternative medicine puzzle I've been putting together. It wouldn't surprise me if the Bible had it right all along. God has given us everything we need.