Y’all. I always come home from a retreat with an emotional hangover and this time is no different.
I also come home with all these unrealistic ideas of the work I’ll be able to get done in the days following a retreat.
As you probably know, we just got home from Stripcabin, the OG of all my retreats. Damn, that shit was powerful AF as always, but I gotta say, this mighta been the realest year yet. There was something in the air. So many desires in common. So many secrets in common–my god, the fucking secrets we are walking around with, thinking we are the only ones. An over-arching sense of…change?…in the air. For so many of us. For all of us? Weeping and writhing and rolling around in a human pile of love and vulnerability, none of us knowing where the fuck exactly we are going, not physically, mentally, spiritually, none of us knowing the answers to our questions or the solution to our secrets, but all of us knowing this:
We are moving. And we are exhausted. Or is it exhilarated? Or is that terror, is that what I feel–or goddamn, is it the inch of fucking liberation, I can’t tell the difference anymore, never could, but goddamn it, to whatever this force is I’m fighting, I want to stop fighting, I want to start riding, I want to say–
Yes. Yes. Yes. Whatever may fucking come. Yes.
The solutions to your problems are already there, I read once; you just haven’t reached that point in time yet.
And goddamn, we all have so many lives to live.
So today, I was supposed to create a clever email inevitably inviting you to apply for one of the few remaining spots at Stripcoast–and don’t worry, that email is coming, but if you want in on this shit, I really wouldn’t wait—
But instead, I’m caught in this post-retreat emotional fucking reckoning, a taking account of my heart and desires, because goddamn, sometimes it stuns me to realize:
These retreats, they change me too.
Every damn time.
While finishing up a workshop where all these women are moved AF and hugging and crying and in love despite very real differences–
and I want to make clear that we had actual Republicans and Democrats hugging and loving each other at this retreat in the fucking year 2018–
I said to my girl Michelle Mynx,
“You see how I’m just out here exorcising my own demons in every workshop I teach?”
“That’s the gift that you give.”
So today. I was supposed to write a clever newsletter. A Newsletter that Team Stripcraft Corp of the perpetual on-top-of-shit-excellency could be proud of, could say, okay, Lux got her shit together and is back to work.
But I haven’t.
And I didn’t.
Instead, I thought about transformation.
About all the lives we live.
Fuckin-A, baby. All the lives I’ve lived.
And so instead of being clever, I gave into urge to dig through old photos.
To just remember:
goddamn, all these feelings of change; they’re okay–
they’re all that life has ever been made of, and it’s time to stop pretending that ain’t true.
Here are a few favorites:
Me at 19? I was dating a gypsy moth trapper, a really sweet kid a year younger than me, and had just had my ass beat by my previous boyfriend a few months before this photo was taken.
Yo, so when I was like 7, my dad accidentally caught my leg on fire in a grilling accident at the beach. This is me the next day, shredding those gnarly waves because you couldn’t stop me, even then. (See Stripcoast 2018 pics for proof of how this continues).
OMG, Kevin! I was perhaps 17 here. Fairly certain we were high school seniors. He was on a family trip with me to the beach. He was my “gay best friend.” Very feminine young man, caught hell for it his entire life. Was one of the absolute best friends of my life and I think of him and miss him every day since he died tragically only a few years after this photo, at the age of 23. Still very hard for me to believe. A great love of my life that I lost. Hurts to even think about.
On a lighter note, me with the entire population of the House of Payne. We all lived in a historic house in a shitty neighborhood of Richmond Virginia called “The Payne House.” We of course changed that to the House of Payne, which was a fair assessment, although much fun was had here, and much sex and drugs enjoyed as well. So much drugs and sex. I was maybe 22? 23? One time found a dude with a needle in his arm nearly dead on the floor of the kitchen while his baby cried from a crib in the next room. That’s the kind of house this was. Best time of my life.
Speaking of fuckin hooligans, check my dad and my papa. They were besties and also drunks. They both quit the drink but never quit being besties. Died within two years of one another. This is before they quit the drink. Early 80s.
Barely legal. Had just moved out of my mom’s house. Maybe 18, 19? These were the first “professsional” sexy photos I ever had shot. Note the utter lack of tattoos and also the fact that I used to have tits and didn’t even appreciate em. Ain’t that life. Photog, btw, total creep, although he did produce this, one of my favorite pics of me ever.
So yeah, those are a few seasons of my life. I’m thinking on those right now. I’m wondering what’s to come. Who the hell knows. I could have never predicted any of this. Can’t pretend to predict the rest. I’m coming off this trip a-spinnin’ as hard the rest of these ladies. And I promise you something clever, real soon, a snappy newsletter with glamorous shots.
But not today.
Thanks for hanging out.