"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 - -

Friday 27 January 2012

True Love

"Oh, my darling. You are everything I have ever wanted. When we are together, my heart soars. Apart, I wait for our next time together with breathless anticipation; anticipation of the way you respond to my lightest touch, like a thoroughbred. Your leather seats warm me…. "

You knew that was a new car owner right from the start of course. No?

There are many kinds of love you see, and as it turns out (and yes I am sadly aware of how cynical this sounds, so think about it and challenge me if you like), the kind of love we have for a car and the kind of love we have for a mate are sometimes quite close. This love differs wildly from the sort of love we have (or should have) for our children. That love, what the Greek agape was used to describe is an unconditional love and mirrors the sort of love I meditate on in the morning these days.

Sadly, the car will get older and need repairs and fall apart and naturally at some point love of car turns to put up with old heap turns into lust for a new and sleeker, or more functionally sufficient model.

Lets face it, if you went out one morning and there was a horse and wagon where your car should be, you would be horrified.

If your child comes to you and reveals that they have "become a horse" and needs your understanding and help, it is a different matter, one hopes. But what of a spouse? Is our love of spouse more like love of a possession? Is our spouse simply a high maintenance piece of equipment that needs to be coaxed along so that it can fulfil its purpose in our grand scheme?

Is it true love? Yes, of course it is, but what sort of love is it?

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Negative vs Positive

This morning my meditation on love was immediately followed by the impulse to blog on the idea that the use of negative images to make others behave 'properly' in place of the use of love has poisoned our world.

It seems devils and demons sell better than angels.

Even something as ubiquitous as the saying "Don't forget to …. " in place of the simple and positive "Remember to … " demonstrates this tendency. I have personally attempted this replacement in my own language with good success, but it has never caught on in others around me. Try it next time you are about to remind someone... "remember" is positive.

Somewhere along the line guilt and shame to discourage replaced the use of love to encourage.

Can we fix this, or is it too insidious a force in our world?
More on this soon.

Friday 20 January 2012

Going With and Against The Grain

It seems likely to me, having planed and sanded a few boards in my life, that the saying originate in the wood shop, where going against the grain of the wood generally results in a poor result. At best the surface ends up being furry, with the ends of the grain sticking up, or at worst whole slivers of wood will get caught and will pull away from the surface.

In the context of this blog you might assume that "going against the grain" means the usual, of acting against societies' norms or your own usual tendencies, and therefore being uncomfortable in those actions and if so, you are partially correct.

More often than not these days, even though I am always cross-dressed as a male, my public behaviour is tending to be whatever I want it to be. I like to be comfortable and as natural as possible, so I am pushing the envelope of traditional male appearance just a little, and traditional behaviour quite a lot. I get looks and that is fine, because going against that grain suits me.

So many of us are wrapped up in finding the right voice, the right look and generally doing what we must to fit in as a woman. In my case, working very hard to find ways to stay with my partner who is slowly getting used to the new person in her life means not forcing the situation and knowing that soon enough I too might be concerned with those things we call passing. A compromise is working for now. She knows what is going on, and so do I. We love each other in many ways, so in this case there is no going against the grain. We are each finding the grain, and working within that as best we can.

So what about the title? When it comes to facial hair,  a smooth smooth feel is what I must have all day long, which means using a fairly expensive multi-blade razor, and shaving over the same area several times in different directions. The first pass usually does not matter, but the second time is against the grain, in whatever directions that happens to be. I will keep adding lubricant (usually just good soap) and pulling evenly until my hand can pass over the whole area and feel no 'grain' at all.

Some who come here regularly might recall that hair is an issue for me in other places apart from my face, so late last year I bought an epilator. The instructions said it was for leg hair, but come on, hair is hair, right? Well, the first time any area has the hairs yanked out, they are not happy about it, but none can resist a persistent applications of this machine. I got through it because I really really wanted to; pain be damned, those things were coming out. I will not catalogue the various areas other than legs where that machine worked just fine, but lets just say I reluctantly stopped just as I was contemplating moving to my face, as tempting as that is.

Oh, and by the way, go against the grain. The only hairs that will defy those rotating tweezers are the ones that are lying right against your skin. Rub your hand back and forth a few times to get them to stand up and say goodbye.

If going against the grain on my body or in my life is what I really know I must do, then I think deeply, listen to my heart and head and I do what they tell me is right for me.


Morning Meditation

I call her 'Love', and know her embrace is sure even when I choose to pretend she isn't there.

Love whispers in my ear - she will be my muse if I let her. 

She revels in our joys, lights a way through our sorrows and will never give up on us even if we choose to ignore her.  

Love's song will be a path to become more than I was yesterday.

Love's power will wait undiminished for the time when we are ready.

At the end of the day, as at the end of life itself, love will gather us back into her embrace, no matter the part we played in her drama.

Omnia vincit amor

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Some Help Maintaining The Façade?

I have been at this project in cyberland for closing in on two years.

In an early post, my very clear objective was set out with the words

Unless it becomes obvious that I cannot be the best person I know how to be while staying in the body I came with, I am not going to risk losing the people who I love. 

There is a blog "Bree's Tea..." that I have been following for a long time. Bree's final post in 2011 was in April; a very long pause for some bloggers. She is posting again now, so no worries. In fact, her latest post brings renewed hope for achieving my very clear objective.

In Being Transsomething, Bree writes

"The subject matter is can it be beaten…the short answer is yes.  Can you keep your sanity, again yes you can.  How does one slay the dragon, well that’s not so easy…"

Bree has my full attention because this is an issue way too important to me to risk missing out. She says, it isn't going to be easy. Let's face it, nothing about this condition has been easy. What has seemed to be the only viable treatment, transition, is far from easy.

I am keeping an open mind. No two of us are alike, so what works for Bree may not work for me, or you. She has promised to post a series on this topic, and she has also promised there is a lot of learning along the way to beating, or at least having a chance to beat this condition.

In her banner, she asks "Won't you come sit and share a cup?"

My answer is yes thank you Bree.

Perhaps you might join me over there.

Post-script a year later:
Sadly, Bree has not blogged any further on this topic. 
It may be (just my interpretation) that the act of blogging itself is counter to the desire to fully eliminate the need for a façade.

Friday 13 January 2012

Loneliness and Friendship

That title might make you think there is a downer coming, but quite the opposite. Discovering a truth in your life is always a good thing.

Many years ago, when my audience was the worn pages of my 4X5 spiral notebook, I wrote a short essay about loneliness. My scribblings there had to do with feeling totally alone even when surrounded by people. I wondered how it was possible to be in a room full of "friends" and yet still have a feeling that could only be described as lonely. Sadly, I never pursued an answer. Perhaps I was not ready, or could not handle the truth in what were truly difficult (as contrasted with somewhat difficult) times of my life.

We need each other and yet what we deal with is personal, and the paths we take are unique. Our true friends will not tell us what to do, but only what they think and perhaps, if we are really lucky, we will find some who will ask questions in a non-judgemental way, only seeking to help us to think a bit more about our concerns, rather than to validate some path they themselves have taken.

I cannot believe that after all these years it has only just occurred to me that my feelings of loneliness have been the result of a choice made, like a self-imposed penalty for having been born the way I was, in the circumstances I found myself.

Rather than choosing to believe in like-minded companions who I was worthy of, those people referred to above, I made the choice to try to fit in with those who, if I'd been true to myself, would likely reject me, only to find, so late, that the illusion of companionship is even more empty than true isolation. What is more, I squandered the chance to find those of that group who would not have rejected me at all, but might have embraced me as who I really was. I will never know.

A good friend asked me this week if I could stand to live alone. Yes is my answer. I could live alone, for that would allow me to take the risk that living true to myself would lead to a condition far better than lonely in a crowd.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Wondrous Times

Winter was never one of the guy's favourite times of year. You might guess from the title, all has changed. Perhaps it has to do with living in a paradise instead of a city (where I lived the first fifty years). It may be that right now embracing all of the wonders life sends seems to be so right and good. It is probably because there is so much to embrace when you see life from all sides, instead of narrowly.

Whatever has caused me to fall in love again, I wish I could capture my world for you. 

Here are photos for those who might wonder what it is like right now, and why one might actually love winter in Central Ontario Canada.