No videos

I have to address the lack of videos. Because they really were the essence here.

What if you can read Rain Robert but you can’t see her anymore, is she still Rain Robert?

Why is there no more videos? That’s the important, more subtle question. To which there is no straightforward answer. Making mistakes, not getting what I wanted, failing… Is that what propelled my future back into my past? Am I even in charge of my itinerary?

When I first started this blog to justify my actions, I spoke of a cloudier time I had overcome with said actions. Now I am again that cloudy version of myself which I had so proudly declared having moved on from. I have become but a newer version of an old me.

My body is my territory. Right now it is divulging the tug of war I’ve been playing with life and death, with surviving and self destructing. I wish I could create images that reclaim my body in this state, like others have known how to do, but I personally am not able to. My videos were not conceived in a place of unconditional self acceptance. They were a celebration of the brand new feeling of feeling new. They went away when my body stopped reflecting that back to me.

It’s really embarrassing to confess but I cannot save face and pretend my appearance isn’t the problem. Or at least, that the issue isn’t how I feel in how I look. How the heaviness and stretch lines and immobilization have converged to make me feel like I am old again.

The last six months, the last year and half, the last US election… It’s hard to tell when the falling apart began.

I lost it. I don’t even know what it was that I had. I just know I don’t have it anymore.

Love? Health? Safety?

It was the feeling of living inside my body. The enjoyment of my body not being overweight anymore. The joy of being turned on and alive in my body. Without that body, without me in that body, I don’t have the ability to make videos. It is that simple. It is that trite.

How did it happen? Shit. The ping ponging of mirrors facing one another. Situations triggering triggers, triggers triggering situations. My body protecting itself against getting re traumatized. Feeling re traumatized by my protecting body. Dissociating, shutting down, seeping further and further away.

I have spent so much time hating my body with a vengeance, the vengeance expressed as actively harming myself. My childhood and teenage hood felt like wasted years. It’s bad enough to not be fit. Feeling old when you are young is even worse. Like watching the sands of time run through your grasping fingers.

The drive I have felt to make my videos only makes sense when one realizes how much it meant to me to feel young. It was a revelation to experience my body this way. Pristine. Fresh. Full of possibilities. Experiencing what I used to look at from the outside. It’s not just creepy old men who drool at the sight of cheerleaders. I did too, back when I could have been one if life hadn’t turned my body into a battlefield of survival. And I guess I am again, as I try to remember how I managed to feel like one in that fleeting instant. If I hadn’t captured it on camera, I might have trouble believing it even happened for real.

Feedback

If the sound of your reality does not reverberate on anything, how do you know for sure that your reality is real?

My official coming out about my project has yielded the grand total of zero conversations. I didn’t know what would come of it but I guess I wasn’t expecting nothing at all. I realized I was being naive when I thought I could upload my videos to the internet without being noticed. I guess I have to realize I was being even more naive to think I could tell everyone about it and that we would discuss it openly.

I can’t blame the people in my life for not being able to talk to me about my project. I wonder why I even needed to share it with them in the first place. Was it really an experiment to see what would happen? Did I just want to know what it meant in real life to compare it to what it had meant online? Was it to protect or to expose myself, to challenge or to impress others? I can’t even tell what my intentions were anymore.

I can’t help but notice the parallel with how my mental health challenges also exist in a vacuum. I have managed to create yet another experience to reinforce how I feel hidden and lonely. To confirm that when I try to reach out or open up, I do it in ways that increase my isolation. I have beautiful people as friends but how can they support me if I don’t know how to support myself, if I’m not even sure I should be supported at all?

Maybe it’s because I don’t spend enough time talking about what’s really going on. Maybe it’s because I don’t find the right words to explain that it matters to me.

I don’t think I can even tell what success is from failure. My perspective keeps shifting so fast, there’s no way I can hold on to any one way of looking at things.

It’s really hard to celebrate that I have made sexually explicit videos if I don’t acknowledge that the world I live in is repressive of sexuality. For that I would need to recognize that my world is not as open as it says it is.

It’s really hard to celebrate that I have kept myself alive this long if I don’t acknowledge that it was not a granted thing. For that I would need to recognize how much self destruction I’ve had to protect myself from.

Sexuality and mental health are probably the two most taboos subjects in our society still. They are also the only two things that interest me. Is that why it feels like I walk around in a glass bubble, tinking my hands on the shell when I try to talk? Inhaling the ways I keep myself apart before I can be rejected? Exhaling the pain of being right there without being able to touch it?

What if there was a way to discuss everything openly? What if it was our job to figure out how to discuss everything openly?

I have had the experience of people telling me what they appreciated about my project. I am forever grateful to those who have. It would be a dream now to have someone tell me to my face what is so wrong with my project that they can’t talk about it. Anything would be better than engulfing silence. What exactly are the lines I’ve crossed? What exactly is it that bothers, bores, angers, disgusts, indifferences you? I really wish someone knew how to articulate it for me. I really wish someone had the guts to tell me.

What does Rain Robert mean to me?

Creating Rain Robert was one of the most exhilarating thing I have ever done. My videos were truly not made as objects to be consumed. They were captured moments of my soul in flight, spilling out of myself, transcending the envelop that usually contains it.

Channeling this energy was such a ride. I long for it still even though I don’t know how to let it inhabit me anymore. It was a time beyond the pale, when living in the forest by myself didn’t crush me but emboldened me instead. But how could I sustain that as the forces of my cultural script shook me up, as my need to fit in reawakened? Self-reliance confronted by the desire to belong. Can one really have both?

Of course part of the problem is that the “success” I encountered online changed making videos for their own sake into a means of pursuing this success. And then that mutated into a means of becoming a more acceptable person, since successful people are automatically more acceptable. But how crazy is that. No one in their right mind would ever argue that uploading orgasm videos to Pornhub is a sound way to pursue social acceptance.

How quickly contrary intentions and effects get convoluted into a bind. Something that makes perfect sense can easily lose all its meaning with one little shift in point of view. Just like that, you’re still looking at the exact same thing but you’re seeing something completely different.

Drought

Oh Rain Robert, where have you been? Post videos, post coming out, post posts, into a sense of rejection, of danger, of failure, past feeling my body, past being able to function, past knowing how to help myself…

I think Rain Robert is the name of my soul. That’s why I can’t drop it, even when I’m not doing it. Because it’s not a doing thing, it’s a being thing. That’s why I miss her. Because I miss me.

I see now how I have usurped my own identity to create hers, taking away my real name to make room for my real self.

There was a version of me that had not been allowed out before. She is how I freed her. Pleasure and pain are the language she speaks. But giving her a voice is not without consequences. Her existence into the world is confusing and threatening. Instead of celebrating the victory of her release, I got caught up in how she was being received. And just like that it took me back to not knowing how to be what I should be. And just like that that took me back to wondering if maybe I cannot be at all.

I keep searching for a viable pathway to let her be. Let me be. Because I hear the voice fading out. Please. Let me out. I am suffocating if I can’t come out. You are being strangled if you keep me in. A prisoner in my own self. I am a prisoner of my self. Both tyrant and martyr, executioner and victim. The question is, is this a tragedy or a drama, have the fates been appointed or are we in between acts?

The gates of hell

Dear friends, past, present and future,

Dear self, past, present and future,

Almost everyday for the past many months, I have tried to write a post that would reconnect the line. Or even just finish a sentence, get a hold on a completed, stable thought. But my mind is bruised and it feels like squinting into too bright sunshine.

I long to explain what happened. Explain it to you. Explain it to me. Where I went, how I felt, why I lost the thread. But I am forced to admit that no such thing is possible at the moment. I just don’t know how.

This story is all I got.

Walking through a clearing I came across a flock of birds.
Watching them I saw that they were my hopes and dreams.
I reached for them but they took flight.
I tried to jump to the sky but was stuck to the ground.
Then something strange happened.
The world flipped around and up became down.
The turning of a key in a lock.
So in trying to fly to heaven I fell into hell.
The birds flew straight through the bars but I had to open the gate to get in.
Burning metal, enter at your own risk.
I wanted it so badly, I didn’t heed the warning.
It got terribly hot but I didn’t notice in the trail of the birds’ flapping wings.
They disappeared one by one until I realized I was surrounded by old parts of me encased in fire.
Parts I had owned before, parts that were cast away for safe keeping.
I was almost suffocating but I couldn’t leave them behind.
I scorched my hands prying them out of the flames.
I didn’t stop until they were all free.
Then I thought that’s it, I did it.
But I was feeling awful, so awful it didn’t make sense.
I took whatever I could find to try to make me feel better but I kept getting worse.
That’s when I noticed I was still lying on the ground of hell.
It finally caught up to me that I needed to get out of there.
I don’t remember how I did it, just that it took all my strength to close the gate behind me.
I’ve been catching my breath and mending my burns ever since.
Looking around, inside, above and under me to try to figure out what happens next.

Moving on

Ok, so, now what do I do with all this aggregated material? This congestion of words that’s messing up my actual digestion?

A few dozen drafts, a hundred beginnings, half as many turn of phrases. Notice how I use the quantity of my mess as a shield to palliate my fear that its quality is insufficient? I don’t think you’re supposed to call yourself out for the trick to work. But what if my trick is calling myself out?

I’m evading the question again. Should I publish what I have and clear the deck or should I stager and stage it to some sort of effect? Answering that would require I know what effect I am looking for.

Sympathy. Ouch. Automatic writing sometimes you fucking suck. But yeah, sympathy is what I seek. Sympathy as the remedy for my deflated self esteem. Sympathy like flares shot out in the night of my isolation. Sympathy to brace me since I have forgotten how to embrace me.

Blah. Isn’t all this so blah. I guess I’m disappointed. I was supposed to turn into a super hero. I was supposed to be a champion. And here I am, wondering if I can barter words for sympathy. Where is my infinite source of strength, how do I unlock all my potential? Is there another book or maybe a seminar I could consume that would reignite my fire? How about the blood of a hundred virgins? What can we sacrifice on the altars of nowadays when we don’t even know which gods to pray to?

If only I believed eating the heart of a creature could cure me of my lack of courage. If only I believed in the future as a wishing well of possibilities. Jesus. Is there anything I do believe in? I’m not sure anymore. I’m not sure if maybe I fooled myself into being the believing kind to begin with.

Serpentine, serpentine, snaking my way through my mind like a game of pac-man, eating eating all the words, diffuse diffuse all the mines, gobble gobble all the feels, unclog unclog all the synapses. Just watch out for the ghosts, the brain freezes, the gusts of disassociates, the paralyzing listlessness. And again, still, always, ask yourself. Are you winning?

Letting it rain

I tried to exist without being Rain Robert. It doesn’t work. Something’s missing. I’m missing.

I need this space like I need water.

Documenting pain, documenting pleasure.

Words. Images. Mirages.
Recording. Revealing. Releasing.
The opposite of deny and hide and suppress.

Like throwing rocks in the ocean.
I’m throwing rocks at my screen.
Imagining the cracked lace.
Imagining the leaking.

Like picking flowers in summer.
I’m picking flowers with my camera.
Imagining the scent trails.
Imagining the scintillation.

It’s been so long, I haven’t known how to come back. Oscillating like a fan between feeling free and feeling bad for having disappeared.

I couldn’t bring anyone with me to where I’ve been going. It’s a lonely road for the dark night of the soul club band.

Is there a place for me as I am in the world as it is?
This is my task, this is what I need to resolve.
That’s why I am choosing to post again.
Because this is a place where I do exist, where I do belong.
It’s a way to create a bit of ground under my feet, even if just enough to stand.
From there maybe I will see further, see somewhere I can walk to.

Going through the hundreds of notes I’ve left behind this year has been feeling like a reversed Hansel and Gretel. I’ve already been cooked and killed and saved – I might as well be every character. Now I’m retracing my steps through the forest, collecting the pebbles I sowed to find my way back. Or was it to show me the way there? Can you tell the end from the beginning? Morning having the night for breakfast. Night having the morning as night cap.

The process of sifting through my words is intense. I can hear my brain struggle, my soul sob. It hurts in both past and present tense. All my subjects whining and intertwining, the same preoccupations hopping around like a stream of (not so) conscientious crickets.

So many thoughts and feelings. Staked into the ground they could be made into a shelter. Just put a tarp on top. Now I can let it rain.

On the truth

The truth is…

I keep wanting to finish the sentence that starts with the truth is but the truth is I don’t know what the truth is.

I seek the truth that goes deeper than acclaim, deeper than productivity, deeper than everyday health. I seek the place where I belong. I seek the feeling of being one with life. I seek the love that cannot be taken away.

My silence, my hiding, my rejection are expressions of my seeking. Just as much as my showing up is. Clearly I’m still grappling with this. There is never enough proof to make the rational mind stop spinning. Doesn’t matter though, because the truth resides in the heart. That’s what needs opening. That’s what needs listening.

My heart is an infinite ocean. I may be present or I may be absent but my quest remains, ebbing and flowing, its course unalterable.

How I feel is more important than what I do. What I do I do because of how it makes me feel. This sometimes leads me to addiction. And sometimes it leads me to grace. I can deal the former if it means I can have the latter.

In the stillness of the night I hear my voice. It reminds me that I am not alone. I am here even when I am not here. So are you. We are in each other.

On life

I figured out what my spirit animal is. A firefly. I appear. I disappear. I appear. I disappear. I…

It’s difficult to explain why I didn’t write for so long. I started many sentences, never could finish them. Like thoughts that can’t be completed. Then I stopped trying. Distance. Rebellion. Change.

It’s just as difficult to explain why I am writing now. I’m not sure what it brings. But I’ve said it since the very beginning, I’m doing this for myself first and foremost. I am not here to please, I am not here on demand. I am certainly not here to win a medal of assiduity.

What is this disordinate narrative? Well I guess it’s me. All of it is me. The voice in my head, the one scrambled in notebooks, the one I speak out loud, the one that gets published on this blog. What is life but a long fragmented, reinvented, interrupted, continued monologue? Or maybe I’ve watched too much TV. Perception and experience channeled.

This year so far has been incredibly hard on me. Past, present and future are battling it out like some wicked threesome wrestling match. I’m being confronted with challenge after challenge, no detail too small to bring up a shitstorm, no impact too banal to be mistaken for noise. I’ve dug up the ugliest feelings, the nastiest habits, the deepest despair, the roots of my innocence, the layers of my guilt. History, ancestors, triggers. Realities, circumstances, destiny. I’ve been working. I’ve been bingeing. I’ve been sick. I’ve been exercising. I’ve been drinking. I’ve been crying. I’ve been trying. I’ve been giving up. I’ve been caffeinating. I’ve been sweating. I’ve been thinking.

So now what? Now this again. Wanting to mark time. Wanting to hear myself speak. Trying to wrangle a bounty of ephemeral with my magic lasso again.

It’s just not gonna be like I thought it was gonna be. When is it ever. I had such a plan, I shoulda known right there it was too much of a plan to ever come to be. The fact that I still believe I can follow plans is endearing. Cute, like a pink ribbon or a stitched monogram. I keep trying to make myself one but coloring books are just not my thing. The minute I draw the lines first, I know I won’t be filling them, no matter how clever or bright or sharp the lines turn out.

I’ve been calling it that but this is not a project. This is my life. I can try packaging it any which way I want, it’s always going to spill over. It’s always going to run dry. It’s always going to be brand new. It’s always going to repeat itself. It’s always going to make perfect sense and be perfectly incomprehensible.

On that side of me

There is a side of me I do not know how to let out, do not know how to get to exist outside myself. I can feel it in there, present just inaccessible.

Well, actually, that’s not exactly true. It does come out, sometimes, surprise surprise, firecracker fizzing by, as soon gone as it was irrepressible.

I wish I could but I cannot summon it on cue. Definitely cannot fake it into reality. It doesn’t respond to commands. It doesn’t respond to anything. It only ever shows up when it wants, as it wants.

It’s the side of me you don’t want to piss off. The one that gets turned on by heavy metal. The one that loves hard liquor and loud footsteps. The one that can hold a lustful gaze for longer than most. The one that isn’t afraid of being called an intellectual. The one that truly madly deeply doesn’t give a shit what other people think.

I want to call it dark but that’s not quite right. It’s assertion. It’s self possession. It’s raw, unadulterated confidence. Not the kind that’s earned, the kind that’s just evidence.

Almost doesn’t sound like me at all. Except there is no me without it. Still, on those rare occasions it does make an appearance, it’s as pleasing to me as it is shocking to anyone else who thinks they know me.

God I adore this side of me. I would give it an altar if that wouldn’t make it laugh in my face. Irreverent. Radical. Unapologetic.

Yeah…. No, this side does not stay out of sight for no reason. Oh the sneer I feel curling up inside. Our true powerful nature. Ain’t that the first thing that gets beaten, ridiculed, coerced out of us? And yet, it can only be gone for good if we’re dead. To still be alive means we still have it, however deep it has to be buried, however elusive to will it may become.

I am still here. And so that side of me is still here. Well then, let’s keep lighting up as many fuses as can be found, and wait for the fire to get cracking.