I’d be scheduled to show up as an erotica writer and my Cancer crab would show up instead, the part of me that needs to crawl into my shell and hide, claws waiting to pinch anyone who gets too close.
But I couldn’t retreat into my shell last weekend. I had signed up to read my yogic self-pleasuring essay at the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival.
So the inner dialogue last week looked a little like this:
The Crab: I can’t think of anything worse than stepping up on a stage and showing myself like that. I’m not going.
The Erotica Writer: Don’t do this to me.
The Crab: I’m tired from work and I really need to be alone. I don’t know what to wear. Seattle is six hours away. I’m not going.
The Erotica Writer: Don’t fucking do this to me.
Thankfully, on Friday night The Yoga Teacher showed up.
She peeled off my work clothes and guided me to sit naked in front of my meditation alter. She opened the windows and invited a warm breeze to caress my skin as she lit candles and whispered a modified version of the loving kindness metta in my ear, over and over again.
May I be filled with loving kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I feel sexy
She honored The Crab with all that quiet darkness. She honored The Erotica Writer by reminding her of the very essence of the story she was scheduled to share, a poetic essay about embracing the sensuality of the self through yoga. She guided us through a gentle vinyasa flow.
When I stepped on that stage the next day in my magenta batik yoga pants, black spaghetti-strap tank and vintage suede boots (that unlike last year, fit as a tight as a glove) I felt empowered, sexy and excited to share my work.
I was still nervous, unaccustomed as I am to being in the spotlight on a dark stage reading about masturbating in front of an audience. My voice and legs only did that adrenaline tremor thing for the first two paragraphs and then mellowed out. This is progress.
But the point is...I did it. I showed up for The Erotica Writer.
And now The Crab gets to scurry into this cool, dark, new moon night.