"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 - -

Thursday 29 August 2013

Who Will Speak for Me?

There are a lot of posts attached to this blog. This is number 238. That is a lot of little bits of who I am. In a way, what is found here is the best legacy there is of a true "me".

Living in stealth really sucks. Oh, I'm not a bad person in person, but I hold back. I still pretend. Promises were made to someone who I refuse to disappoint yet again if I can manage it.

It has always been my contention that after death, this body is no more important than some hair on the floor of the hairdressers shop, or some fingernails in the garbage can; just part of me that I used to have a use for.

What becomes of 'us', the spirit part is something I cannot be certain of, if I am honest. We all have hopes and beliefs. When you spend big chunks of your life-energy trying to improve yourself it is difficult to believe that your soul is as impermanent as the flesh. One thing that seems beyond debate though: once we are dead, it is too late to tell someone your own life story.

One way we do live on, in a sense, is in that part of us that is carried by those who loved us and continue to think of us. But what person is it that lives in their hearts and memories?

Over two years ago, I wrote a piece where I discussed a little of my thoughts on who we are versus who people think we are in J'écris donc j'existe. At the time, I was very much that work in progress. Now, a little less so, but as an unknown reader said, "We are all constantly evolving. Our needs change. Our relationships change. The rules change."

Re-reading a post Caroline wrote in early August got me really thinking about this (I need to blame someone for all this 'pensing' don't I?) in a post she called Life and death...
Caroline's friend and neighbour Douglas had lived a good and full life. At the send-off for him, it fell to a man named David, who had know Douglas well enough to "speak for him". This sort of funeral, one where an individual is charged with the task of  'speaking for the dead person', telling as honestly and accurately who the deceased was and what their life had been about, is the sort that has always appealed to me.

There is a local friend M who asked me some years ago to be that person for him if ever the occasion should arise (ie he should die before I do). M and I have had some pretty serious and interesting talks over the years, yet I have the advantage of not being family, and not being a former co-worker. We are very recent friends. Just the sort of person who can speak without hidden agendas. He doesn't want someone who will forget the bad stuff, or dwell on it either. Just include it. Be honest....  Perhaps he has wondered why I did not reciprocate. How should I tell him that I am not ready to be that open to him when he is so ready to honour me in this way. A promise to my wife means more to me than these feelings however and I digress... time to move back to the point.

It occurs to me, that the easiest way to fill in a very important blank in many of my family and local friends impression of "who I am" would be to bequeath to them the following url


and tell them to set aside a few hours to move forward from that pivot point in this life until whatever place this blog leaves off.

Well hello there my dears. 
Remember please, I loved you all so much. 
I hope you will always remember that. 
It would have been better to tell you all of this in person, but...

Wednesday 28 August 2013

First Dream

The idea I have that it is possible to reach out to other aspects of ourselves had to come from somewhere. What could possibly be more futile than thinking you can send ideas back in time to a younger version of yourself? Yet I believe that can and does happen in dreamtime. The reason I believe that woke me way too early today. It is a childhood memory and it wouldn't let me go back to sleep. It said, it insisted: "pass me along today."

My whole life was changed by a dream, or what seemed to be a dream anyway, that repeated itself in many variations at an age younger than I even remember, yet at least sixty years later it is still working on me.

I still have dreams that are vivid, as you know if you have read here before. Sometimes I cannot identify who I am, or who I am watching at all. A recent dream was extremely disturbing and I have not figured out why it came to me yet. But I digress. Today I want to relate that first dream, not from a future self, but maybe a past self.

Keep in mind, I only managed to understand what I was hearing as I got a little older, but here is who these first dream messages were from and what he showed me that changed my life.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

am living in a cathedral. It is always dark, lit with candles. I can hear voices singing. A droning sound it is, and it means the time is coming when they will arrive. I am afraid, because they will expect me to teach them. I have been given heavy responsibilities somehow and I know I am unworthy of this position as a leader, but I also know it is my fault that I have this duty and responsibility, as unskilled as I really am. 

I live a nightmare, certain to be found out and reveal to be fake. How much I wish it was possible to be a child again and know how wrong it is to pretend to understand. When you fake your way forward into a position of power, you will eventually be found out. So much better to admit to your ignorance along the way, and seek out knowledge than to pretend to be capable and live in fear of eventual disgrace.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

That dream, sent in variations over a period of years never left me. To this day, if someone is showing me how to do something, and I don't understand yet, no matter how long we have been at it, or how embarrassing it will be to ask to be shown some part of it again, I never hesitate to say, "can you show me that again please?" if I need to. And when someone asks, "Do you know how to .... ?" the only way I will say "Yes, I do" is if I really do.

Was I that monk-teacher in a monastery in a past life? That is one explanation. One thing that seems impossible is the idea that it was the product of my young imagination. This dream started coming before I could read or even talk. These visions and memories, so real and vivid had to come from another aspect of myself, or from some outside influence entirely.

Perhaps in dreamtime, this current version of me will somehow meet that fearful, but wonderful teacher again. If I do, he will know that his warning, this one lesson he really could teach, was received and appreciated.

Monday 19 August 2013

As Real As We Can Be

Munching on that delicious cookie, I found myself on a dirt path that meandered into a forest. Aadi had said something that was puzzling and personally troubling.
"Invisible people don't exist".

My first thought had to do with my own life, and who I am. Halle is invisible to those who know the guy. They see the maleness first and don't stop to think about how I act and haven't a clue how I feel, so for them, Halle doesn't exist. Yet, for me in spite of outer presentation, Halle is now who I am, as contradictory as that seems.

Ahead was an opening in the forest, the path carrying on to a teeing area, and standing there, who else but Beth, my twin sister from a life that never happened, well not to me at least.
"You're late for our tee time, but luckily the golf course isn't busy." Picking a tee and ball out of my pull-cart I joined her and looked out on a lush scene of green and blue and white she had created for us. "You have the honour." she indicated the tee had landed pointing toward me. 

I took a hurried, but effective cut at the ball, hardly watching its flight as I turned to ask her what was on my mind; "Beth, you're real aren't you? I mean, when we part company, you wake up and you really exist, right?" 

"Halle, when you wake up, you exist don't you? How can you be so unique and detailed in my dreams otherwise? Come on dream friend and sibling! We are wasting precious golfing time here!" She laughed at me as she teed her ball up and went into her routine, lining up then taking a beautifully balanced swing, sending the ball out then up over the middle of lush green fairway to join mine safely between those blue and white patches of water and sand. Watching her, I resolved to try to swing more like she does; so calm and easy as opposed to my effort-filled method, a constant reminder that I still cling to some parts of the male façade.

"Well," I said as we walked together pushing our carts, "if I didn't know better, I could be just a creation of your imagination, someone you created so you can beat me on these dream golf dates!"
"Halle, I don't need you in my dreams for that, besides, you win your fair share of times here. But I've often thought it would be so much fun for us to be in the real world at the same time and be able to meet each others' kids and so on."

"There are rules against that, sadly." Beth agreed and then suddenly looked serious, and very pensive, a look others probably see in me quite often I mused. "What is it Beth?" We sat down together on a bench that had conveniently materialized. She looked into my eyes and grabbed a hand and squeezed. 

"Halle, you are really serious about this 'really existing' thing. I worry about you carrying the heart and desires of a woman around in that man's body, yet remaining determined to keep status quo for the sake of your family. I get that, but there must be more, because you have shared enough for me to know how this gnaws at you!"
There was no hesitation in my reply. "I am no martyr Beth, but my time spent reading blogs and emails has shown me many sides of transition. First, I've lived all my life dealing with this, and through my contacts on the internet, and the help of my therapist Dr. T, I understand so much more about why I feel the way I do. It is so much better than before when I hated myself and had frequent thoughts of suicide." She looked slightly horrified for I had never mentioned suicide before. "I am convinced nobody who can handle being trans any other way should transition. Second, I'm sure you can guess transition isn't a simple matter of 'now I am a woman and life goes on', and I'm not just referring to loss of family and friends and male privilege. There is so much to learn when you haven't grown up into womanhood. Because unlike a genetic woman, you cannot become who you must be gradually through childhood surrounded by girlfriends finding your own style and personality, it becomes another façade to create and maintain. Even more than that, no matter how young you are, you can never fully forget that you started life as a male. Even women who transitioned as early as their late teens or early twenties have to face that truth from time to time. There are people in our society who mindlessly fear and hate us if they find out the truth. Imagine how devastating it would be to have lived most of your life as a female, and friends and family you have loved suddenly become aware of your 'history' and can't handle it. That happens Beth! My respect for those who transition is boundless and I pray in my own way for them to be able to have peace in their lives."

"But Halle, haven't you ever thought about how when you die, there will be nobody to tell this positive side of your life, who you really are inside?" 

"Beth, have you been reading my emails!" I chuckled at that idea, but thought how right she and others were about the ultimate effect of hiding myself away forever. Disturbing feelings of turmoil overwhelmed me and I woke with a start. 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Crazy to imagine that someone in a dream can be real I suppose, yet knowing her, having our exchanges in dreamtime has made my life richer. For an invisible person, she seems to be doing a good job of existing.

Perhaps that is a truth for many of us here in Blogistan, "invisible" friends and family of a different sort too, yet more effective than many who we see every day.
As a bonus, we can and sometimes, when the stars align just so, we do meet!
A tantalizing thought I intend to pursue.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
(Hamlet, Act I, scene v)

Monday 5 August 2013

A Wonderful Amazing World

I came of age at a time when a computer was something that only large corporations and big universities had. Only one year out of high school, it was my good fortune to learn how to program one of those remote units, connected by a teletype machine and phone line. 

The PDP-10 could not only crunch large files of numbers, but thanks to a program called TECO could also do a thing called text editing. At the push of a button, after a month of file creation and testing, a full report, with text and charts could be created on a larger faster printer, then sent via courier to our office. Amazing stuff for the time. 

This morning by chance, the configuration you see here was staring me in the face. A biography of a visionary, sandwiched by two machines he imagined long before the rest of us ever did. 

I have a good imagination, but am humble enough to acknowledge that I will be as surprised as anyone by the technology that my grandchildren will simply take for granted.

Having longevity on my side genetically, I hope to be allowed to use in amazed wonder several more generations of magical devices that currently reside only in the imagination of some genius. 

Saturday 3 August 2013

Use As Directed?

OK, so this looks like an advert for a product, and since the product is working for me I suppose to some extent it is advertising, but I assure you, Halle has not gone over to the dark side by trying to make money from her blog.

When sandal weather arrives, I start wearing mine all the time, well, unless the occasion doesn't permit them, such as grass cutting when the 'pig boots' get used.

I have always had problems with dry skin and my hands and feet in particular get so dry that my heels actually develop wide cracks. Dirt gets into those cracks and, well, you can imagine how unattractive and painful that becomes.

This product combined with an exfoliant scrub has helped, and as you can see, it is clearly a product for women, so I have no trouble at all using it on my hands and feet both, just as I have no trouble buying and wearing women's socks when I cannot wear sandals. They are more comfortable than men's, made of softer material. Having rather small feet for a man, but moderately large for a woman (I take size ten, just into the 'normally available' range; eat your hearts out girls) the socks that say size 6-10 fit me perfectly with no bulge up the ankle. I feel sorry for women who are size 6 just as I used to feel sorry for myself with men's socks that are size 8-12.

As my body continues to evolve with the t-blocker in my system, my body shape is changing too. When the time comes that women's tops and slacks are better suited to my body, I will likely wear them too.

Anyway, the point of this rambling is that doing as I am told has never been something I have done easily. I do not accept authority well, choosing instead to do as I feel is right for me, while keeping an open mind and being careful to not "scare the natives". I have been carrying a bag for the last two years. It is a black cloth bag; very unobtrusive, but it keeps the line of my slacks from bulging, something I have always disliked, and putting a comb, your wallet and keys in your pocket just gets uncomfortable after a while anyway. Do I get comments? Yes, but very few that are abusive, and those from the sort of men who I tend to avoid and care little about. I consider the source.

In my last post, Aadi's declaration "Invisible people don't exist" hurt me. It might seem strange but that dialogue really came from a different source within, or without, I don't know, but it was recorded as it arrived in my mind. My heart practically broke to transcribe then read and re-read it, but I hit publish in a moment of weakness. I fussed over the post for a week before doing so, but the dialogue with Aadi was never edited, as much as it hurt.

It hurts because I am invisible. I know it and hate it. But dammit, I exist. I not only exist, I am in charge here, even if I choose to use what I have in a different way than all the wisdom around me and my heart often might dictate.

There is a good reason my hands are soft and these nails are very tidy. The same reason means I wear gloves when I do projects.
The same good reason applies to those feet that are currently quite soft and not all cracked (thank you Dr. Scholls™) with nails trimmed.
If I never decide that today is the day I must begin the rest of my life presenting as a woman, I will still always be ready for that day. I take the warnings of what it means to be trans seriously.

Lots of males get hair transplants. That is something I am seriously considering, for I hate wearing my wig even more than I hate looking at the receding hairline and bald spot.

I currently shave and epilate large areas of my skin surface. Lots of males have hair removed from their bodies permanently. Now, if I decide to have facial hair removed permanently, that will be likely be the day referred to above and probably the day this blog comes to a screeching halt, or changes radically.

I love life as mystery.

Following someone else's rules is not something I love. I will do everything as I see fit and take full responsibility for the results.

J'ecris, donc j'existe!