{Impressions} Zamil: Zen and the art of rope bondage

This is the first of what I am calling my “impressions” series- me writing first impressions on people I have met that in the first few days of knowing them I go “wow, they will be in my life in some form, or will change it”- I am sad looking back with my memory that is like a steel seive that I did not write these things down with many people… so here is my first… Zamil

A rope artist from Berlin, Zamil stands out in a crowd the same way a rainbow stands out in the distance as the sun breaks through the crowds- his beauty in form and spirit a sight for sore souls, and like a rainbow has natural grace and no puts not airs about himself. Why would he need to? His trim form is the thing of German fashion plates- Black satin Hakama and velvet sheer button up top, short brown hair with darts of pepper, flat midsection and biceps that only a gymnast, martial artist or swordsman would naturally have. Luckily for our viewing pleasure Zamil has honed his art in at least two of those three activities for a decade or more.

I have a love-hate relationship with men who sport wolves on their bodies. Too many are hunters, looking for the kill or the hunt, searching for a pack. But Zamil’s tattoo calls to me as the wolf who has his own pack, understands his world, keeps those things he cherishes close to his heart, and his feral smile glimmers with a taste of woodland air and sadistic glee before he winks, looks away, and puts back on his sheep-skin suit. There is a depth of authenticity, and more importantly, an awareness of the self that makes others be drawn to him… for who can know you if you do not? Before bed he goes through a bondage tie, creating it, reducing it down to its elements, perfecting as he simplifies and turns it into its truest form. With each movement and word I hear from him I see that same obsession with intrinsic self-knowledge in his conversations, his body movements, his flirting.

This is not the self-awareness that keeps one insolated in the self. This is Zen. What happens happens. What has happened has happened. What will be will be. Unless safety is critically an issue, no ties are corrected. He creates and perfects in advance his command of multiple languages so that in the moment of heated linguistic fencing his sword of a tongue need not second-guess its target, and thus offer him the ability to fulfill his fetishistic word lust. He teaches his muscles how a line should move so that his body can take on that challenge and open up his mind for the next step of the dance. His muscle memory allows him to choose the speed of his own dance in life- romantic waltz or lightning swing.

Humility. Homage. Respect. In the act of naming teachers he marks his own place in history and becomes part of our litany of memory. He shows what his body and mind have conquered with a richness of simplicity, encouraging each of us to become aware in the moment. Perfect. Watch. Be true and learn the steps before you create your own dance.

In his humility is the strongest grace I have seen in a long time- grace that when it has a doubled line in hand and a single overhead light showing us his form echoed in shadow and a bundle of curvaceous red hair at his feet as he oozes pure sensuality. This is not the sexuality that instills a desire to devour or the desperate need to feel his fingertip slide along our sweaty form, even if more than a few eyes in the audience flicker with both those thoughts. This is the appreciation of an expert tango dancer as his heel clacks along the floor and he entwines his lover’s waist with a selfless grip to dip her back. This is the need to not remove your eyes from the grace for a moment lest somehow the rainbow dissolve in a blink of the eyes and we wonder in the morning if we truly saw such perfection in the space between raindrops.

“We destroy our art,” he commented as the weekend drew to a close, acknowledging the transience of our truths. Without history, what are we? Without understanding ourselves, how much can we understand our partner? Why complicate when we can find our own essence? Plunge deeply, plunge true, find the beauty in the moment and dance on in the awareness of our own soul. This is Zamil as I have met him in a few short days, and look forward to seeing him again when things that will happen happen.

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Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.

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