"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, 27 November 2022

To Find Out Who You Are

Pilgrim: one who travels to a shrine or holy place as a devotee
Grace: unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification

Over twenty years ago, I purchased the album that includes the song below. At that time, somewhat wistfully, I listened to its lyrics and they made me wonder what had happened to the person who believed that life should be an adventurous journey. 

Somehow, not long after, that person was reborn and the adventure, that journey, continues now. 

Some would argue that saying my destination on that journey was a holy place is doubtful. I disagree, and whose opinion matters in this case?

Making the choice to travel in search of a life that matters more than anything to you is never taken lightly. There are few guarantees. We know there will be difficult twists and turns. In the end, whether you arrive in a holy place will be a result of determination and no small amount of grace. 

As an important aside, if you have come here as part of your own journey, please take the time to read the comments that other pilgrims made, especially early on in my journey. Their guidance often made all the difference for me. 



Pilgrim

Pilgrim, how you journey
On the road you chose
To find out why the winds die
And where the stories go
All days come from one day
That much you must know
You cannot change what's over
But only where you go.

One way leads to diamonds
One way leads to gold
Another leads you only
To everything you're told
In your heart you wonder
Which of these is true
The road that leads to nowhere
The road that leads to you.

Will you find the answer
In all you say and do?
Will you find the answer
In you?

Each heart is a pilgrim
Each one wants to know
The reason why the winds die
And where the stories go
Pilgrim, in your journey
You may travel far
For pilgrim it's a long way
To find out who you are...

Enya from the album A Day Without Rain 2000

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

It Never Hurts to Be Pleasant

That was something my grandfather taught me. He repeated it many times as a reminder to himself, I think, but I absorbed it. Over the years it has become clear that it means what it says. That is, being pleasant might not make others love you, but they won't have cause to hate you because you are civil and pleasant. It is true that some very pleasant people come to a bad end. I would wager that it is rarely a result of being pleasant. 

In the world I now inhabit - let me remind you, I am an older woman with a long history of behaving and looking very male - I don't try to fool people. I dress and act as a woman of my age would because that is who I am. It is pretty hard to imagine though that, with hair that betrays male-pattern baldness and the height and shoulder width that a lifetime of testosterone gave me, there aren't many who guess that I am trans. So what is a gal to do?

Remembering my years of training, I am pleasant with anyone who allows me to be that way. Because I live in a small town people generally talk to one another. It isn't like being in Toronto where commenting that the weather is beautiful to a stranger gets you dirty looks. In consequence, although people might know very well that I am trans, people also know that I am friendly. They aren't afraid of me. Sometimes they say things like "what a lovely outfit that is ... you are always so beautifully dressed". I don't think they say that to other women who come in the store, but I am always pleasant to them, so they reciprocate in their own way. I appreciate it. 

What might come of this is that people who didn't know much about trans-folk might have learned that transpeople are not scary. In high hopes, some young people who are afraid they are like me (because being different is the worst thing that can happen when you are young in our society) might realize that coming out and living your own truth isn't a bad thing.

I am currently in my early years as a senior citizen. Someday, if I am lucky, I will get old. I might be unable to care for myself. Some of the young folk in this community might be caring instead. I hope to be able to stay pleasant for them. I might even be able to continue to educate the muggles. 

Sunday, 23 January 2022

You Are Your Data

If you think climate change is a difficult problem to solve, you might be surprised to discover there is another much more difficult - no let's be honest - impossible problem to solve and we are contributing to it right now. 

We all know that while we use our phone, pad, or computer, every click and search is used to target us in, for example, advertising. We might even know that our 'likes' and 'comments' are all used to make sure we see more of the same thing online. A word like "algorithm" sounds very mathematical and computerlike, yet the term "business model" is much more to the point, for nothing in this capitalistic world is free. What we do online is our payment for the provider's service, and this is like gold to a political party or a potential dictator. It would be unfair to give away much more. There is a video below and it is informative and well-presented.

Maybe you know a teenager who needs to watch this.  While I definitely learned some things, at my age, my searches and clicks don't matter to most companies, or politicians, or ... anyone. Cynic that I am, I honestly have no hope that we, as a society, can escape the traps that have already been sprung or will be sprung very soon. 

However, it is better to know the problem. That way you will know where to allocate the blame when ... No, I'm not going to spoil it. 

Addendum February 1, 2022

Is it necessary at this point to warn those who enjoy a lifestyle that they would like to keep somewhat private that to be forewarned is to be forearmed? Please read the comments and think hard about how you are using the internet friends. 

Take care of yourselves!