"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive boy who often thought he should have been a girl - -

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Defying Gravity

A bit of an interlude today, but staying with the theme. Today marks the tenth anniversary of a musical production exploring themes of being 'othered'. It is a story of love, forgiveness and friendship. 
Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth from the original cast (Photo: Joan Marcus)


Yup, Wicked is starting its second decade on Broadway tonight.

Three years ago here, I featured my favourite song from that show, For Good.

Today an anthem for many of us.

I'm through accepting limits
'cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!


Monday, 28 October 2013

some rules need to be changed

There are some rules, or religious & social conventions (which are like rules, especially in some countries) that seem very wrong. Rules and laws make sense for the time of those who create them, but later, when conditions change and the law or rule is tested, it becomes obvious to all that it no longer fits. 
Cassidy gave us some good examples of this in her post Lessons Learned. Please do read this in its entirety if you haven't already. What she has to say is important. 

The social conventions that are on my mind, a basis for much of my thinking on the topic of people who have to hide who they are, has to do with what it means to be a woman in much of the world. 

Very much in the news this past week are Saudi women who are demanding the right to drive in their country, testing the rules by getting behind the wheel. I am no expert in what it means to be a citizen of that country, so I cannot comment on whether this convention, and the laws that support it are right or wrong, yet if I put myself in their place, lack of choice on how one might care to live one's life seems wrong. It is hard to believe there is any explicit religious prohibition; the whole "cars are too modern to be mentioned in holy scripture" thing. This likely fits the 'social convention' category. Perhaps some knowledgeable reader might care to educate us in a comment.

Now before I get too far ahead and start sounding critical of others, I will fully admit that women here in Canada, because of convention, have also suffered from lack of choice on how to live their lives in the past. More to come hopefully on that. 

In the meantime, some topical levity. 



A postscript: Thank you to our Smokey Swallow whose post created the original impulse to give extra thought to this topic. I must see the movie Wadjde, the first movie written and directed by a Saudi woman.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

'Just' a Person

People write blogs for all kinds of reasons. So it is with readers too. I fully appreciate that sometimes folk are going to turn up here to read about _______ (insert your favourite label from the LGB-T 'umbrella'), and they likely search around for a while and get bored and leave.

Often it occurs to me that the time has come to put the ole quill away and give this place a long rest. I mean, who should care what some person in Ontario, Canada (of all places) who should be presenting as a woman but for various reasons continues to present as a man, thinks or feels?

Well, fact is, when you make pottery, or write, or paint or take pictures, you probably do it for yourself long before anyone suggests you are a potter,  writer, painter or photographer. So it is with my place here. It is a place where all of that stuff in the paragraphs above doesn't matter a bit. Here it is possible to be a person who requires no labels; me.

There are times when life seems to be sending the same information, or a theme of sorts over and over in various versions. When that happens to me, I write. The written word is the way the theme gets sorted out and made useful to me. Sometimes information comes in dreams, or during morning meditation or in a letter from a friend. More often than not, I get very lucky as I get the urge to click the link to a blog with an intriguing title on someone's reading list. Sometimes like a perfect storm, writing becomes essential.

This past week, the theme has related to a world where those who begin life struggling to accommodate a body/mind mismatch are accepted as people worthy of respect. One where we don't have to pretend, hide and/or justify ourselves, suffering labels that give society permission to 'other' us. You know, just normal stuff that everyone thinks about.

Please feel free to send me links to your own favourite article on the topic. I intend to post further, right after that writing process I referred to above happens to my satisfaction.

xx
Halle

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Evocative

           Young Girl on the Shore                                                       Edvard Munch


I have no clear explanation for the feelings this painting kindles in my heart. 
It has been on my desktop for weeks waiting for me to acknowledge it somehow 
~~~
Patience
~~
Power
~
Love

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

~ ~ ~ one ~ ~ ~

While contemplating the parallels with the book "the host" referred to in last week's post, it occurred to me that a shift in internal identification has taken place while I wasn't paying any attention. "We" don't need a miraculous 'happy ending'.

He is gone

I looked on painfully as the pretend-male, seemingly logical part of this team worked so hard to think himself out of a complicated, contradictory life. Disastrously, yet out of necessity, his fabricated persona ran the show and did it so very convincingly. Lately that male persona, the last of the façade it seems, was running out of steam. I could tell because everything 'he' thought and felt became mine, yet that straw man did not have the power to survive. I do. He hurt and wanted and it felt like insanity, even though it was just more of the same; almost sixty years of turmoil in a pressure cooker venting constantly that he had helped me survive.

Our therapist assured us many times, we are a good person, full of love; doing the best we can. Now we... no, I am convinced that being a good person to the rest of the world is very well and good, but I need to stand up for myself too, and love myself. Nobody else can know what I need in order to be whole. More importantly, doing what is good for others is often toxic for me.


I have always thought that the point of writing here was mostly for others, so they might know that a personality spanning both sides of the gender divide, like two drivers taking turns on a long trip, can exist and perhaps thrive. I am glad to have this blog now as a record of how "we" became "I". 

Today, late, but not too late, there is one person.  Despite living in a body that society, testosterone and the needs of a lifetime lived by a synthetic male personality created, it turns out "he" really isn't needed now. I am this complex, logical, caring, whole-hearted person in charge of making the choices that can be made here. There is nobody else to blame or credit living inside with me. 
Perhaps the last key came from you Ellena, when in your comment you referred to a difference between "being a body and having a body". Thank you for following your desire to comment that day!

I Am Not My Body

Time will tell what further baggage from the past can and must be changed or eliminated. "I" am determined that my love for my sweetie and our children (and soon, our grandchild!) will be honoured. 

Life won't ever be easy. It isn't supposed to be. Yet amazingly, I'm convinced making good choices comes down to one complex ingredient.  

love




Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Not really a book review

Many months ago the book The Host by Stephenie Meyer was on my bedside table. I cannot say it was a 'page-turner', but the premise and the sensitive portrayal of a human unwillingly hosting another within herself was haunting for me to say the least. Immediately after finishing, it seemed obvious this was a book I needed to blog about, but could not. The feelings of sadness it created were too raw.
It took months before I could bring myself to sit and ponder how powerfully the book affected me. 

The host is a human female living in a ficton where the earth has been invaded stealthily by aliens who have no other existence but as a parasite. Inserted into a human, they take over the conscious control of the body, eliminating the previous consciousness; well, usually eliminating it. 

Meyer's portrayal of the inner conflict between Melanie and Wanderer (the invader) kept me reading, anxious to see how the author would find resolution. She somehow managed to capture the horror, the struggle, ultimately the respect and love between those two personalities I understand so well from my own inner life. The parallel of a female subsumed by an alien control (in my case a male persona imposed by societal pressures) was obviously an irresistible hook. What surprised and ultimately crushed me was a 'happy ending' in which miraculously both personalities manage to triumph, something that cannot happen in my world. 

I won't see the movie.