This was a significant time. I was in Sante Fe, surrounded by desert and mountains and dreamed of a desert tortoise--one of those dreams charged with feeling, like a message to myself. The desert tortoise lives in burrows, comes out at night. I thought, I've been living underground, and now this is the evening of my life. The sun is setting. It's time to come out of my burrow. Those were my thoughts, and I didn't even connect them to sex! Other than the standard Freudian stuff... in and out of the hole sort of thing.
I'm an artist and poet. I think in images and symbols--and dreams. Sometimes it takes years before I'm able to 'explain' them in prosaic language, but I find, even when I don't know it--I follow those dream images, and the symbols that emerge in my poetry and art (when I say that my Spirit Stick is inhabited by one of my Spirit Guides... it's more than metaphor). That tortoise was one of those symbols. Five months later, having come out--and planning to go to a fall gathering of Radical Faeries, I noticed in reading about one of the first Radical Faeries, Harry Hay... that I had gotten my tortoise tattoo on his birthday--not far from where he had once lived.
If ever I have the money for another tat--it will be a crow on my right arm. Can't tell you why, but the crow and the tortoise belong together in my mind. Maybe when I have that crow on my arm, I will cross my arms, and they will tell me their story.