"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Never Good Enough

Lately my sweetie has been reminding me more than usual of how laid back I've become in so many ways. There is no doubt I was very much a perfectionist up to the past few years. These days, when I do something well, it is not a race, or a competition. Perhaps the differences are subtle, but they are real and noticeable. 

It is not my intention here to highly analyze OCD behaviours in general; just mine. It might seem that way, and of course, those who know about such things either from observation, or personal experience may be tempted to chime in here. Please, as always, do add your thoughts. I love learning... but perhaps that is part of my obsession?
While on the subject of caveats, this post might sound a bit like bragging, and I want to be really clear that part of my problem over the years has been my lack of pleasure at being thought good at anything. It is hard to take pride in one's defence mechanism. 

How is it that obsessions become connected with pleasure centres? Maybe they couldn't be obsessions otherwise. I have always found great pleasure trying to be as good as possible at everything. "Always" is not quite accurate actually; I can pin the full development of my obsession to the same time, my late teens, when I became determined to demonstrate myself as a real man. Hatred of self can be a powerful motivation. 
I have had people ask me "Is there anything you aren't good at?" The answer varied, but in truth, "There are things I've never tried." was the best one for most of my life. These days, the answer is one of encouragement to others. Pointing out that they do complicated things well too and never give thought to how complex those things are.

Finally, inner peace found through a process of self-discovery over the past four years, and yes, chemical intervention too, has permitted me a glimpse of another me who might have had a full life being so much more than 'good as possible at everything'; a person finding pleasure in things beyond her control. A person happy to simply be herself helping and encouraging those around her. 

Thursday, 25 December 2014

O Holy Night

It may be the words that matter for some, but when I heard this the first time, and every time I've heard it, it gave and gives me shivers. 

Love yourself.                    

             Love each another!


Monday, 15 December 2014

Creatures of Light

There wouldn't be much going up here lately if I tried to rely on my own words, or tried to write so that others would like what is here. So today, two reminders to self:
First I can do whatever I want to do. My blog. 

Second, knowing that I get really bound up sometimes and fail to make the very best most loving decisions, something I need to remind myself, not just for times when I have feelings of disappointment, or loss and despair, but also when life is good:
Whether victim or a master ~ my ego is just that, and who I truly am, ... Reality is amazingly different. 

You are creatures of Light.

From light you have come,            
        to light you shall go, 
and surrounding you through every step
                    is the light of your infinite being.

By your choice dwell you now in the world which you have created.
What you hold in your heart shall be true,
and what most you admire      
           that shall you become.

~

You are life, inventing form. No more can you die on sword or years than you can die on doorways through which you walk, one room to another. Every room gives its word for you to speak, every passage its song to sing.

Monday, 1 December 2014

A Kind, Forgiving, Charitable, Pleasant Time

This time of year has always been a special time I love. Perhaps strangely, since the nativity narrative is not an important part for me; likewise the presents under the tree. There are in fact many events that occurred around Christmas that could make this time of year one I dislike.  

Last week, Joey asked readers "so will you be attending church at Christmas, or will you be staying as far away as possible?"

I told Joey in a comment that I would not be attending a church, yet a full answer would be too long for a comment. Here is the text I originally included but removed:

Joey, I hope my answer is taken for what it is; my belief and my answer. I don't want to sell anyone else my own particular spirituality, but you asked.
I won't be attending a church at Christmas or any other time that I know of. I studied Christianity extensively, and was convinced that I should attend and learn as much as I could for a long time. In the end, staying and going through the motions made me a hypocrite.
While my belief in God and the spirit is strong, I have not found religions useful; actually quite the opposite. I feel there are already too many things that divide humanity into "we" and "they". 
By the way, the Christmas Story is an ancient myth, predating the birth of Jesus, that the "church fathers" decided to adopt centuries after the crucifixion. It is a lovely tale, but then so is Dickens' A Christmas Carol. 
We need better, kinder people in the world. If going to church does that for you, or others, I encourage it wholeheartedly.

Perhaps for me, nobody ever said it better than Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol,
“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.



Sure On This Shining Night

Sure on this shining night
Of star made shadows round,
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground.
The late year lies down the north.
All is healed, all is health.
High summer holds the earth.
Hearts all whole.
Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder wand'ring far
alone
Of shadows on the stars.

James Agee (1909-1955)

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Shouldn't We All Have One?

The question I ask myself often:


If I was the sex I spend so much time obsessing about, 
how would my life change?

The answer these days after working on myself for a long time:


not very much. 

After all, even as a woman I would be wearing the same sort of clothing (yes I've managed to modify my wardrobe considerably) that I do daily. As a woman, I would be doing the same sort of things too. 

So, why the drive for congruence??

It is hard to not be seen as just a little beautiful when that is how you feel.

When quiet and alone it is hard to forget my body is wrong.

When in a social situation where I'd love to dress up and show who I am, my body image is wrong so my clothing is wrong and it makes me feel wrong too. 

But do you know the hardest part these days?

When in a serious conversation about social issues it would be so great to be able to fly my freak flag high and proud! 






Sunday, 9 November 2014

See, I'm Happy Today!

There was a need for a new post to show you all that I spend at least some of my time being non-grumpy!

So, I installed a new gadget on the page below and right. I thought it might be fun for visitors to see where their fellow readers are located on the planet. I thought it might be fun for me too! 

As I was looking for this gadget, it was necessary to scroll through hundreds of other candidates for gadgets to add. A bit like going shopping for a loaf of bread but being forced to walk by and look at hundreds of other delightful items that you really don’t need, don’t want, but tempt you anyway. 

There are dozens of “virtual pets”. Would you think it cute to have a duck, or a school of fish swim around the screen, following your cursor as you scroll about? No… didn’t think so. 

How about quotes by famous people? I find Mark Twain entertaining. Oh, there is George Carlin.. what a clever guy he was. Died this year I think. Hmm, I’m a big Abraham Lincoln fan…

Oh, there’s a Noughts and Crosses (Tic Tac Toe) game for those who get bored.

Well.. that was fun, but in the end, I had to follow the link from Leigh Anne's blog, where I found the revolving globe and then follow the instructions in the help menu to copy the HTML code. 
There! Done.

I feel so very techie this morning! :-)

p.s. interesting that on my smartypantsphone it is a map not a globe. Hmm, maybe some clever expert would be able to explain that. Feeling slightly less techie now. It was fun though. 

Friday, 7 November 2014

Fighting for Peace, Love and Understanding

It has been my belief for some time now that my own fight to be accepted as who I am is part of a more general and wide belief that all should be accepted as they are. That if we all had a wider and loving experience of others around us, other genders, other cultures and age groups, other races and religions, then war could end. 
This morning a fine article with this quote that took me aback:

"Because the thing is, the fight for equality is much stronger when all of the more powerless parts of society join together."

Using Racism to Excuse Sexism in BROADBLOGS

Is it because I'm Canadian that I notice this innocent quote implies there is violence involved in enlightenment? Yes, the language is a little confusing, but their idea is clear. So no, I have no disagreement with the sentiment. Even I use language carelessly at times; read the first sentence again. 
This quote encapsulates some huge problems with North American ideals; that while there are parts of society that are powerless, we still imply that these powerless folk should be fighting
Oh, I know, this is not a new idea: 

It may be that I am old and old-fashioned and Canadian that I notice and wonder about the absence of a spiritual content in our search for peace, love and understanding among peoples. My land was once best known as peacekeepers and calm diplomats moving behind the scenes in a world of high tension. No longer. We rattle our sabres with the best of them these days. At one time our armed forces were considered a force to be greatly feared and respected specifically because we did not fight until there was no peaceful course to be found.

We are all wringing our hands, puzzled that so many members of our enlightened Western civilization are rejecting that world. From an article in The Atlantic,  The Allure of Radical Islam in Canada :

"If you are alienated, angry, and attracted to violence, radical Islam provides a powerful ideology of justification. If you are lonely and purposeless, it offers redemptive self-sacrifice"

There is too much celebration of violence in our world these days. If you have no access to the popular North American culture as expressed by the media, I envy you. It is difficult to turn on the television after 8 pm without watching people murder then be murdered themselves in what passes for entertainment.  

The world is waiting for humanity to wake up and pay attention to itself. The lessons are all around.

Walt Kelly's "Pogo" Earth Day 1971
WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Next Steps

Maybe the hardest thing for me is recognize what is best for myself. 

Trial and error, stupid blind luck, and a lot of desperation lead me to writing a journal as self-help therapy. Even better luck, or some divine intervention sent me online where blogging and all of you helped me even more. What a wonderful surprise to find this community. Yet in spite of that, some days I feel isolated and impotent. Not a good feeling.

Impotent because there seems to be nothing of long term worth in what I am doing now.

Isolated because I haven't held the hand of a sister or brother of my true family.

My therapist, the good Doctor T thinks writing has been my best therapy and suggests the next step is a new format and a wider audience. 

My friend Calie, who I love and respect, thinks I need to find a way to be with trans friends who are close enough for conversation over a meal. 

I definitely need to do some things differently. 
      Make new mistakes                           
Learn                    
Grow. 



Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Not One of the Shades

For those of you unfamiliar with goings on in Canada, and let's be honest, that includes just about everyone who is not living in Canada, and sadly, many who do live here, there is a (former) radio personality making news these days. 
The story came out slowly. The timeline is interesting in itself. At first I thought as I'm sure many did, "Here we go again with a public figure being persecuted because it has become public knowledge they are living a life that "normal" folk can't accept." 

Mr Ghomeshi has not had his day in court. That may never come. Whether he turns out to have been wronged by the CBC, or is found guilty of a crime, this has stopped being about intolerance toward those who embrace a BDSM lifestyle. The discussion now is about power over, and male privilege and abuse

Please click the link and head on over to Mercedes Allen's site and read 
BDSM, Gender, Entitlement and Jian Ghomeshi 

As always at Dented Blue Mercedes, this post is interesting and so well written. Come on back here for a discussion after if you like. 

Friday, 31 October 2014

Changing Seasons

Every now and then I think about stuff that most people don't. So let's see, for instance waking up and wondering what I can do today to be bothered less by having to present male... yah, that. Most people don't have that to deal with do they? I was reflecting on something else this morning though. Yay! 

I look at the map of where in the world people are who check in on how old Halle is doing and what crazy stuff she is writing about lately and here is what I see:

There is a lot that divides our world I know, but there certainly are lots of us all over the northern hemisphere puzzling over the meaning of our lives. 

If you are in the northern part of that northern hemisphere right now, you are also puzzling over something else; how much longer you can enjoy moderate temperatures and in particular, (if you are Canadian anyway) how much longer precipitation will be something that takes care of itself and doesn't have to be shovelled off the walks and driveways and roads. 

Thanks to radar technology, we can see what precipitation is falling over continental USA and the southern reaches of Canada. (I can recall a time that such a map would have been artificially stopped at the border. Thank you Intellicast!) 


Here is this morning's answer here in the area that includes us in Central Ontario, Canada... 

The blue colour (where we live) represents s.... sn...... arghh!! White, shovelable stuff that falls gently and persistently from the heavens. In cities and towns, snow (there, I wrote it... shudder) will make walking and driving hazardous, at least until we all get used to taking it slow again. 

I actually love snow sometimes. It is clean (at least for a while) and beautiful in a perverse sort of Canadian way. There is nothing quite like a walk in the woods on a cold snowy day. So peaceful. Something that has to be experienced to be believed. 


Monday, 27 October 2014

Lullaby

Oh! hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,
   And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, o'er the combers, looks downward to find us
   At rest in the hollows that rustle between.

Where billow meets billow, then soft be thy pillow.
   Ah, weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
   Asleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seas. 

Seal Lullaby ~ Rudyard Kipling 1865-1936)



Saturday, 18 October 2014

What Sort of Woman?

For the past two years my doctor and I have been experimenting with my body using incremental doses of spironolactone, a diuretic with anti-androgenic effects. Its benefits have made it possible for me to live without the surgery that would realign my body and allow me to be thought of and live as a woman. In the near future I am determined there will be further alterations to my chemistry to provide this same benefit in a more permanent way. Slowly I will find ways to extend my reach into womanhood while allowing the world to see me as male. People see what they expect to see. If at some point in the future I can end the deception, so much the better, but, I won't ever try to be someone else's idea of a woman. I will be the very best and strongest person I can without any sort of shame.

I'm going to confess to feeling a bit of shame because mine is the best of both worlds from a woman's point of view. There are no restrictions on my work and involvement in the arts and activities I love and would continue to love as a woman, but I still hold a free ticket to the privileged life of a male in our society. I can walk down the street without fear. Nobody challenges my expertise on any subject. Even if I ask for help with something, there is an assumption that a quick explanation will do. Nobody dumbs down their reply just because of my appearance. Men are given respect just because they are men. So unfair.

When you are a woman, you are expected to act as a woman, but what exactly does that mean? I know a lot of women who I have never seen in high-heeled shoes, or even a dress. It is quite likely they have only shaved their legs when getting out shorts or a bathing suit in the summer and yet, nobody questions their womanhood. I know other women who absolutely never wear makeup; never.
Nobody questions their sex and while not models of femininity, they shine, and are attractive because of other things. They are clever and well respected. Theirs is a subtle beauty.

My favourite females, fictional and otherwise have always been smart and strong mentally and physically. Not too long ago I passed along a suggestion to Ruby to read the "In Death" novels of J.D. Robb. The main character is one kick-ass cop named Eve Dallas. Nobody messes with her without regretting it. In a post a few weeks back I mentioned my friend M. She is a strong, smart, kick-ass woman too. And no, she still doesn't know about me...  yet.

I am convinced that others will see me as a woman some time in the future, because in so very many ways I just am already. There is a lot to fix on this body, and fix it I will over time. I will see myself fixed long before others notice and you can bet on this, I will be my own sort of person for the rest of my life.


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

So You Have Problems ~ Good

It is often temping to imagine that growing up without "our problems" would have made life wonderful. An old nemesis has been trying to tear me apart again these past few months. Out of practice after feeling so well for so long, it was able to bring me down. Finally, I'm finding ways to help myself, and while nothing is ever perfect (who expects perfect?) life is moving along again. 

This morning as often happens, help came from an unexpected source.

One of the blogs that grabbed my attention over a year ago and I have followed ever since is BROADBLOGS. I learn something from every post, no matter the topic. That is why it is over there on the right side.

Today's post is titled My Bumpy Trek: From Tomboy to Sex Object to Me

Sometimes having a problem is the way paths to real learning present themselves. We all have them and life is about what path we choose. This post is also a reminder that love is around us if we are open to change and sometimes change comes in unexpected ways. 

The young author of the post is thankful to have learned "that as women we are all together in this world." 

My wish is that someday we can all be together no matter our gender. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Still a Façade

On a bright day not that long past I wrote and believed:

I am NOT my body

If that is so, and I know it is, how is it that contrary feelings persist? I am fundamentally mismatched and wrong and cannot banish that thought. 

A wonderful lady who I have worked with several times over the past three years, let's call her M, saw me from across the room at a social occasion recently, walked over to me and asked:

"Are you feeling OK? You look really stressed out."

We have done some pretty high pressure stuff together and M knows me very well. Hmm, let's put that correctly. She knows the public version really well and by the nature of what we have done she has had glimpses of a deeper hidden person. Let's be clear though, M is not privy to the secret.

I came very close to bringing her into that small inner circle in that moment. M has a way of asking important questions, and in those times seems to be looking into your soul. That moment felt so much like a connection to Me, the real me, not to him; that person the world sees and thinks they know. The circumstances were not right ~not enough time ~ too many others close by. The moment was lost, for now. I could have made lots of excuses for what she had noticed, after all, there is a lot to be worried about these days. The struggles of those living in parts of the Middle East came to mind as one that weighs heavily, but I wanted to be honest with her. I like M a lot. I couldn't lie to her, so I told her there is a personal issue that is stressing me out and perhaps we should talk about it, but at another, better time. 

I wanted to say, "M, the thing that is stressing me out so much is the fact that I am bound by a promise to not tell you or anyone else who I am and all that I truly feel." 

This fleeting connection with M's caring soul touched me and crystallized feelings that have been at the edge of my life for so long, and have nagged at me saying do something to end the conflict between who you seem to be and who you are.

Before I can share with her, or anyone else in my life, I should be able to convert images and feelings into words. I will flesh myself out as I would a fictional character. I see myself, relaxed and smiling and in control. Slightly insecure checking myself out in a mirror before striding forward into the world. I feel a tug on the ears, a glint of dangling gold around my neck and wrist, colour on my toes and fingertips catching my eye to remind me who I am, and a wardrobe proclaiming to all, 'this is my look' today. The smell of my favourite scent wafts out to announce my presence while reminding me of a friend who suggested it and bought the first bottle I owned. 

So this is a person others could know if I permitted it. In place of that reality, this same heart and soul is living in a limited, controlled way. Life is muted, with high points corresponding to connection with friends online and brief guest appearances in the real world by what I say, or how I act, but never, never how I look or how I feel. Some might and have counselled, "get dressed up and head out." and to them I say, I will do that just as soon as I can promise myself to never ever go back. Going back would tear my heart out.

It is difficult to admit to all of this so far into what has been an increasingly satisfying journey away from ego-centric matters. As much as it hurts to admit, it seems we sometimes have to accept that matters of the body and the ego must be dealt with. I would like to think that the growth and self-acceptance I have felt over this past four years will somehow make a difference in how I handle myself today.

The spiro has worked for so long. Yet here I am tortured by a vision of who I'd choose to be. I wonder if further intervention to eliminate the effects of androgen would help. Perhaps, and I suppose that is worth trying too. 

Fully aware of the turmoil I'm feeling these days and the lengths I am going to, a good friend remarked in an email recently:

"To outsiders it all seems so absurd, they have NO points of reference, how can big changes (that) make such small differences to the way you live be so important? Then again look how hard they fight to keep us in our place, what do they fear?"

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Random ~ Really?

It takes all kinds to make a world. I know lots of folks who are only happy doing things they have always done, and doing it the same way they have always done it. 
That is not how I roll, as you might have guessed. This is a post about being happy seeing a new idea and understanding it, and maybe embracing it.

I know why this blog got started. It is up there under my sunrise snapshot. I ask myself questions now that never would have occurred to me to ask, let alone explore at that time over four years ago. 
Part of what has happened has to do with how I have chosen to continue to find ways to deal with a distraction that will not go away in my daily life, but somehow, because I feel I must deal with it, I deal with it. That alone leads me along paths not traveled by many. 

The other part of what has happened has to do with you. 

You stop by. You read and react based on those things that are part of your life. Some quickly click a mouse or touchpad and leave. That doesn't change my life. Sorry. Many read and re-read then think of what is here and what it means to them, then decide to say something down there at the bottom, and next thing you know, two things happen. One, I read and it tells me something I hadn't thought of before. Two, and this happens more often than you might guess, I ask myself who this person is and what else they have to say and I go looking for your blog. Sometimes to my great disappointment you have no blog. Perhaps you tweet, or do facetime, but no blog. I don't really do those other social media things (another post perhaps), so then I have to wait until you comment again to learn more of a different way to look at the same thing

Let me get to the point here. Many will suggest that there is guidance in what happens. Some would go a bit over the top and suggest that all of this is a gift from God, which immediately makes me wonder, if God loves me and gives me such wonderful gifts, why is it that others seem to get so neglected? Does God love me but hate them? Just asking...
I will admit that synchronicity puzzles and amazes me. 
Here is a possible thing to think about then I think it is time to get your views on the same idea, or any idea that comes to mind. 

"God helps those who help themselves"

Whatever the truth is, and it could be simple probability, I will continue this path, asking questions and putting it out here for you to read. I know one thing as a certainty; If I had not started this blog my life would be poorer. Much, much poorer. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, here below the fold, as Cassidy would say, a big thank you to Ashley in Alberta for including me in her list of bloggers to receive


Of course, attached to this honour are rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
 ~ see above ~
2. List the rules and display the award ~ keep reading ~
3. Include seven facts about yourself.
 ~ see below ~
4. Nominate 15 (no... like Ashley I will pass this along to some) other bloggers and let them know about the award.
 ~ see below the below the fold ~
5. Display the award and follow the blogger who nominated you (if not already!) ~ I proudly follow Ashley!

Some facts in no particular order:

~ Before starting this blog, I'd never imagined writing anything for anyone else to read. It turns out I love writing, and have even had ideas for a novel, but thank goodness those ideas have yet to grab me by the scruff of the neck and insist on being put down.

~ Taking time to make music both instrumental and vocal is essential to my well-being.

~ I am a good cook, and an even better eater.

~ I continue to struggle with depression. Cannot imagine why…

~ Golf has become a metaphor for life for me, and the more I like myself, the lower the score (that is a good thing by the way). I love being on the golf course no matter what the score. Like my life, competition with someone else never matters to me... Companionship does.

~ By the time I was eight years old, some testing had identified me as a genius. It didn't help (the information that is). To this day I have no idea why money was spent finding out stuff like that, other than it permitted many teachers to comment "Not working to his potential".

~ I have a collection of recordings from 78 rpm's to cd's that fills many meters (big yards) of shelving space. It would take months to listen to it all. I have an ongoing project to digitize the vinyl and shellac part. It has recently occurred to me that most of it is likely already on YouTube and my efforts are unnecessary, but sometimes it is a process that is important, rather than the result.

Nominations for this prestigious award should include every single blog that appears in the list over on the right side (sorry if you use your mobile device you need to load the "web version". As well, to see many, you need to click on show all:

So, who to choose? In the spirit of the above the fold material, here are blogs by folk who have stopped by here not to read about a transexual from Canada, but for other reasons known only to themselves. 
Thank you for making me feel wonderful and appreciated as a person. 













Sunday, 7 September 2014

It's All in Your Head

The inability to forget is infinitely more devastating than the inability to remember  (Mark Twain)

Something that always amazes me is how ideas come together when I deeply desire understanding, and then pay attention to what happens next. On Thursday Jules posted on the topic of avoiding. It got me thinking about how doing something small and positive has always worked better for me than fussing over a big seemingly impossible problem. This was the beginning of some synchronicity. 

As my previous post will attest, I've been feeling agitated and down for the past few days. Thursday morning was a low spot, but overall it hasn't been very good for many days. Yesterday morning, I chatted online with a wonderful girlfriend, and felt a lot better, but realized that after a while my mood was headed downhill yet again. As I wrote to her later, it dawned on me that when she and I were online together, it was as if I was transitioned already. I was me and this body I dislike was not an issue at all. I needed to believe in my power to be the same person all the time so that no matter what people see when they look at me, that person inside can be me.

Then, more synchronicity:

As frequent visitors here will recall, golf is an important part of my recreational life. Yesterday afternoon, after the revelation I mentioned above  I was wandering around the public library in town, just putting in time while waiting for my sweetie, and happened to see a book I've meant to read. "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect" by Dr. Bob Rotella. I signed it out but didn't open it until this morning, when I read:

"NOT MANY PEOPLE think that their state of mind is a matter of choice. But I believe it is. Unfortunately, major branches of psychology and psychiatry during this century have helped promote the notion that we are all in some sense victims—victims of insensitive parents, victims of poverty, victims of abuse, victims of implacable genes. Our state of mind, therefore, is someone else’s responsibility. This kind of psychology is very appealing to many academics. It gives them endless opportunities to pretend they know what makes an individual miserable and unsuccessful. It appeals as well to a lot of unhappy people. It gives them an excuse for their misery. It permits them to evade the responsibility for their own lives."

followed by

"people by and large become what they think about themselves"

That really hit home. 

I have only just started reading this book, but as you can tell, Dr Rotella has my attention. If it helps me improve my golf game, that will be a bonus. 

Friday, 5 September 2014

Life on the Edge

Just a short note today because what happened yesterday needs to be acknowledged so I can move on and remember it only as a lesson.

As the morning wore on, I was becoming more and more agitated. I know the signs, even if it has been a while since having to live with them day after day.
On the edge of a phone call for an emergency counselling session with the good Dr. T (my therapist), it suddenly dawned on me "I forgot to take my pills this morning!"

It is hard to believe that a few hours without chemical intervention could possibly make such a difference. By dinner time I was back in control of feelings that never completely go away. Today, all is as it should be.

It is wonderful to connect with a higher self, but as we all know, we have to acknowledge and connect with the self that deals with the body and its requirements as well. Both must be honoured.

OK, time to get on with the day! Hope yours is a good one too!


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Pursuit of Happiness

A Buddhist monk approaches a hot dog stand and says "Make me one with everything".

This past week and this as well, sweetie and I are on holiday taking a break from routine and work. It makes us happy, at least this is what the lovely Mrs H says. She teaches me so much. Not intentionally of course, but in this case by modelling the extremes of a cycle we all fall into as humans.

Much of human existence, at least the part not preoccupied by survival (not the television programme), might seem to be distilled down to that very American phrase 'the pursuit of happiness'. It is likely that scholarly essays exist on this idea. It is not my intention to add to that body here, but simply to reflect that for me the traditional idea of happiness seemed too strongly connected to possessions or ownership or control, all things that had little attraction in the past and almost zero attraction now. 

For so long I was certain real happiness existed, but had eluded me. Contentment seemed to be what I could settle for; the knowledge that I was doing the best I could under sometimes impossible circumstances. I knew something that would make me happy; to be fully female.

It is clear to me now that gender congruence alone does not create happiness. One might say it removes an impediment. I know that for some, that life path is the only viable one. After, one moves on and the challenges of life return. Happiness is not the automatic result.

My attempts here to understanding my dual nature, my queerness some would say, has lead me to wonder what there is to cherish, if not happiness.

Watching my sweetie, it seems to me that the 'happiness search' is a cycle that involves analysing the present situation followed by planning for something 'better'. An inability to live in the moment then sabotages the very goal of happiness, as this wonderful thing we plan takes place and moves into the past, regret follows and the planning for the next happy occasion begins.

For me this trip away from home with my sweetie is about moments to savour. Worldly moments yes. Good food. Beautiful scenery. Friends to visit.... Those sorts of things. I have enjoyed it so far, and look forward to relaxing with books, but this issue of happiness wants to be explored first. 

If happiness exists, it lies elsewhere and absorption with moments of joy almost seems to get in the way. That cannot be right. If we instead assume that happiness is an illusion, replacing the cycle of planning and waiting with something more fulfilling, just what does that look like?

As I sit on the sandy beach looking out at the water sparkling blue under an August sun, Aadi slowly materialises, as though in her way she is trying to sneak up. "Interesting thoughts you are having there. Maybe you will put this into one of your blog posts?" 
I never know how she will look in these dreamtime meetings, but somehow I always know it is her. "I've been pondering, yes." A butterfly came toward us from a long trip over the water and landed on her outstretched hand. "Something you are wondering about. Ask, Halle" 
"Is it fair to say that from your point of view happiness is meaningless Aadi?"
She placed her free hand above the butterfly like a shelter.
"In what you would call this moment my consciousness is here with you, and also consoling another Halle who transitioned thirty of your years ago and cannot imagine how she can carry on without her partner of twenty five years.  As I tell you this, I am with yet another version of you who just died in a mysterious car crash and is trying to figure out why he still is conscious and can see his dead body and mourning family gathered. These are just three of an infinite number of 'places' I am engaged in 'at the moment'. My perspective is *different* shall we say." 
She had a glint in her eyes as she told me that last part. I was about to suggest that she really didn't have time for me because I wasn't in any sort of trouble, when she interrupted the thought. "It is all about perspective you see. Isn't this a beautiful day Halle?" 
As I was about to answer clouds darkened and rain fell so hard I could just barely see the lightning flash that preceded the thunder by only a second. Just as quickly the clouds parted and sun was shining again. Aadi raised her hand, and the butterfly perched on her finger flapped it's wings and fluttered off.
"A beautiful day indeed Aadi". 
" From a certain perspective, mine, happiness is replaced by joy. Joy for the knowing that nothing in life is wasted. Everything you or any of your uncountable incarnations does adds to our totality.
Your acceptance that both female and male reside within is part of a new perspective. It is part of our joy Halle.
The fact that you are here with me on a day when there is no crisis to deal with tells me something of your perspective, and it is a good thing. You know that as long as you live there will be hard times when it will be difficult to remember this moment and this way of seeing the world. Come back to it as often as you can my dear. "

I am left with the question about happiness. Somehow it seems that this pursuit is no more or less valuable in life than any other. 
Love yourself 

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Embrace the Child



I really am too busy to be doing this writing, but it is as though some power has grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and dragged me here, telling me this is important! This is for now!

Those children dancing about in their innocent joy of my previous post might seem frivolous. I am not a frivolous type, take my word for it. Yet, when I meditated upon the difficulties in the world, and wondered what could possibly be done, my heart gave me that vision. It was for me to ponder what it meant. 

Children don't come into the world to hate, or even fear others. They begin looking for and accepting warmth, safety, ... love in other words. Finding fear is the shock. Being taught that dancing about and being childlike is childish is a surprise, but then being threatened with punishment for being a child ends the story. Soon enough, other learnings take the place of the search for loving warmth and safety. Our race has survived in a hostile world. We are prepared by natural selection to be survivors. Learning and adapting means getting control of your world by any means at your disposal. Watch children and how they manipulate those around them. It can be gentle and loving. It can be horrendous. Careful the things you do, children will see, and learn. 

I was a child of a relatively safe home, but learned early on that asking for the girl-toy got me in trouble. By the time I could figure out that I hated being pushed to the boy's part of the playground, it was clear that it was "man-up or be in trouble". The rest, denial, self-loathing followed too easily. Yet in the scheme of things, being trans and unable to do anything about it is small potatoes.

Child of UK mother being groomed to kill

I wasn't asked to shoot my first firearm until I was 12. My father enjoyed hunting. I did not. Nobody ever forced me to use one ever again, so I have not.
Please understand, living in Central Ontario, Canada it is obvious that there are many whose lives depend upon successful hunting and fishing. 
Teaching children respect for nature and the ability to feed themselves is right. 

Teaching children to hate and kill is not.




 p.s. Thank you Lindsay for the comment. Here is a video inspired by that lovely thought.




Careful the spell you cast
Not just on children
Sometimes the spell may last
Past what you can see
And turn against you
Careful the tale you tell
That is the spell
Children will listen

Monday, 4 August 2014

Why Deny the Child?

A slight fog was rising as sun filtered through impossibly tall trees in full leaf. In my dreams I usually find myself near water, but today, a forest glade. Sitting with legs crossed there upon the beach blanket was a child, so small and delicate; she couldn't be more than three or four years of age, reading a book. Her yellow dress spread out around her was trimmed with white lace and flowers were tucked into her braids. She looked like a forest nymph. I recognized the book immediately from the illustration; Alice in Wonderland.

She almost giggled as she said "Ah, Halle, you found me at last." I felt puzzled at this. How did this little girl know me? I couldn't recall searching for anyone, let alone this little lady of the forest. "Our daughter loved this book too... I am sorry, but I don't recognize you."
Closing the book and putting it aside, she turned her face toward me and reached out an arm and her open hand as though to invite me to sit beside her. "Sit with me then, and I will teach you."

My mind had been churning with wonder at who she might be. Perhaps Beth at that age? Could she be our Grand-daughter, less than a year old in my time, but maybe in this magical place, a bit grown up and so very wise; yes, that was wisdom in her shining blue eyes and slight smile. More than anything else, her expression and manner exuded love. "You want to know who I am, or will be, or was, don't you?" My eyes widened at the seeming contradiction between her childlike appearance and commanding presence and all I could manage was a nod, then "Are we family?"

"It is a very large family, and yes, you and I are one there dear Halle."

The thought came as a question in my mind, are the greatest truths really so simple? to which her voice replied in my thoughts, Do not keep the child from your heart, for truly, whoever receives love as a child does, shall know peace. "That is how you think of life isn't it?" Her hand was upon my own, and I felt so light, and young and somehow, in this magical place, suddenly I was the little girl's twin and we got up together and danced around the blanket like a couple of... children, filled with the joy of being and unaware of the difference between childish and child-like. In that magical space those little girls danced about, knowing somehow that the world could be a wonderful place, if only we remember the child who desires only love and a place to dance and sing without thought of the judgements of the world.

I am awake now, and the radio is playing in the background, a solemn voice telling me of explosions in Gaza, and Tel Aviv, and demands that the fighting should immediately cease and diplomacy forced upon the combatants.

Forgive them, for they have forgotten so much... 


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Self Image ~ Letting Go

Echos from his life:

"No, I'm not surprised that I haven't heard from them. Why would anyone think of me, anyway."

When you are convinced that you are a screw-up, it spills over and makes amazing messes in every area of your life. Even though you are hiding your deepest feelings, feelings that come from a place dark and self-loathing, it is obvious to others that you are unhappy, and they all think you are unhappy with them. "Who wants to be with someone who is always down?" and around and around it goes, each circle a bit lower and tighter than the previous one. 

I am not a screw up. I have confidence in me (cue Rodgers and Hammerstein sound track from Sound of Music please...).

So, why is it that I am still the one to call family members? How many times do they think I am going to want to hear "oh, hi, I was just thinking of you... " as they realize who it is on the other end of the line. 

Yes, this pattern is an old one; a holdover that threatens to keep me in that past. Who doesn't think that when something happens over and over that maybe, just maybe, it is your problem and not someone elses'? How dare I have self-confidence under those circumstances? Well, it is not their fault that they are stuck in my past. Finding a way to bring them into my present is proving to be daunting however. It just might be that in some perverted way, they are comfortable with my past. 

For me now, it is about rising above my past. Yes, that person was, sadly, a reminder of bad times and someone who really was not fun to be with. I am carrying his baggage, but not much longer. Bit by bit it is being left at the roadside... nope, don't need that... oh my, look at this old thing. It never really did fit me, so time to ditch it all. 
The pack gets lighter and my heart with it. 

The wonderful truth is that my sweetie has noticed a lighter and happier me. Our kids and now grandkid knows this version. We love one another. I am not a stranger to them. 

Who doesn't stop now and then to wonder what might have been, or how we might have done things better? We learn from experience. 

Eventually, all the knowing has been gleaned. The chaff needs to be left behind.

"No, I am not surprised I haven't heard from them. It seems they don't want to know the person I am now. "

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Detached

It isn't good, this feeling. I'm not sure it could be called bad though. This is my reality. 

It feels as though I am an observer most of the time. Every now and then I engage in the process around me, when it suits me, but most of the time an auto-pilot carries on the business of 'his life'. Even the parts that are supposed to be dire feel like fun; adventures for the child who inhabits the body. As a mother takes pleasure in playtime for her son, surrounded by and engaged with the other children.

People have asked me how it is that I am so calm. I make up stories for him to speak. 

I care, but in the end, does any of it matter?

If only they knew. But who would believe the truth?

This might be what happens to someone when they deny their own existence far too long. Existence becomes something detached and contented.  

Beware. If it happens to you, you might get to like it, or at the very least, get comfortable with it, as I am now. 

Yet, in the periphery of self-awareness, there is a lioness. Asleep for now. Ears twitching. 

Nice Kitty...

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Real Illusions

Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place.

While it might be nice to say something like 

"All I ever needed to know I learned from Richard Bach."

it really isn't true. Having said that, it seems that one story,"Illusions; The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" , read and reread over the past thirty years has turned out to be important. Every reading I have come away refreshed, believing once more that there is something more to life than what is obvious.
Even more though, is that this is a story that has made me know that I am part of that magic. 

The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

I always accepted responsibility for my own messes, and then the messes of others to my detriment. 
Too many years of coming home after a hard day of work to a long sleepless night spent hating myself. Tormented by an inner voice that screamed  "You are not this man you pretend to be. Stop pretending!".

"And what would you do," the Master said unto the multitude, "if God spoke directly to your face and said, 'I COMMAND THAT YOU BE HAPPY IN THE WORLD, AS LONG AS YOU LIVE.' What would you do then?"
And the multitude was silent, not a voice, not a sound was heard upon the hillsides, across the valleys where they stood.

Too often it seemed that there were two Gods. One calling the faithful to love and  joy, and this other angry one judging and finding me wanting. One demanded that I love myself and others, while the other demanded penance and sacrifice. 
Try as I might, living in the service of others didn't work. Couldn't they see how much I loved them? But it never worked.
I read Bach's Master's words, and that silence, echoing through the valley told me that worrying what others think, trying to make anyone else happy is folly.

It is not something that can be fixed in a day. These are habits of a lifetime. 

If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.

I had been ashamed of and had tried to atone for this inner personality who seemed to know me better than I did. Finally acknowledging and accepting who I truly am permitted that fictional inner person to become a kind and loving observer and participant. Thoughts of how we could improve who we are, coming from a loving and inner friend, could take the place and carry the same weight as suggestions from a parent or spouse who I wanted to please. 
Here was a way for that insistent person inside (she was just a fiction, right?) to become the way to interact in a new world. Trapped no longer, here was this amazing personality who lived and grew and loved! Over this past four years, that character who lived so long as a painful reminder has become my reality. Oh, not in the physical way that seemed so important to show the world in the beginning, but in all the ways that are truly important in how one relates to others.

The simplest questions are the most profound.
Where were you born?
Where is your home?
Where are you going?
What are you doing?
Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change.

My answers have changed. 
My birth is much more recent than any piece of paper can say.
Home isn't a place or a time anymore.

We are game-playing, fun-having creatures, we are the otters of the universe.

Hidden currents in this ocean take me where I am going, each moment an adventure. 

Watch your answers change

Love who you are fully and without reservation. Be guided to make your choices in that love. Others around you will find all they need and deserve in your presence. 

You gave your life 
to become the person you are right now. 
Was it worth it?


All quotes in blue from "Illusions" by Richard Bach