"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
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
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

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                           

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. 

Monday 27 October 2014


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?"

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.

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


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

Friday 9 May 2014


timeless was barely posted when a lesson came crashing through the forest like Bigfoot to land on top of me and declare "It's time to remember who you are and why this living in the moment thing won't work!"

Today, a few days later, I'm sitting at the base of my tree again, alone this time, better for that lesson. Bigfoot seems to have gone back into the forest.

As with many of you, things have been rocky with my birth family. We don't get along. Some lose their family when they come out. I never got close to playing the T-card. The challenges started barely three years after I was born, just up there (pointing to my tree at a spot not far above my head), and finally settled down about four years ago. That was when it occurred to me that if I didn't phone them, they would never call me and maybe I should stop banging my head on a wall. 

The lesson began early Tuesday morning. A good friend emailed to ask if the person with my last name in the obituaries in a Toronto paper is my uncle.

She was right. My father's brother, a man who had been a lot of fun at times is gone. I liked my uncle.

Nobody in my family cared to call and let me know. For them, I don't exist.

Waves of anger and guilt and self-blame crashed in and the first few almost washed me out. Waves  ~ nasty, ugly and dangerous. I clung and soon, sooner than I can believe, my first lesson from Aadi brought me to higher ground.

Live in the moment. 

and this one too

Forgive yourself as you forgive others

... not simply words to be recited.

They reminded me to acknowledge feelings and thoughts about the past, and let them wash over, then come back to the present. 

Nothing can alter what has been done, all those close to infinite choices that have made me and everyone else in my little corner of space-time. I realized that for the family who couldn't bring themselves to remember me, there is nothing to forgive. They don't really know me at all. 

I forgave myself for stupid things I said and times I was negligent too. I try to do so every day so that living in the moment and being the best person now is possible.

I thought of my Dad and wrote him a short note telling him how sorry I am to hear of his brother dying. I know how much he will miss him. When you love someone, it isn't about expecting them to love you back. 

My friend thought a note might reach my dad on a good day and open lines of communication... 

What do I think?

Choices will be made.
There may be chances for forgiveness.

Time to bring myself back to the present. What a beautiful day it is here in Central Ontario, Canada, planet Earth. 

Monday 5 May 2014


There are ideas I accept as givens that probably, oh, who am I kidding, definitely seem pretty foreign to those who stop by here. Like the idea that everyone's life is like a tree with infinite branches where every choice made and every path that could have been followed actually exists in parallel dimensions. 
As a good reader of fiction, you are of course willing to suspend disbelief... 

"Why, aren't you the clever one now!" Aadi leaned back against the trunk of our tree as she laughed, put the apple she had been eating down and started to clap as she watched me slowly materialized while walking toward her. I love a bit of drama, and nothing like a tip of the hat to your mentor to get their attention in a positive way. Grinning, I curtseyed, "thank you, thank you." 

She patted the log beside her and in what for anyone else would be a feat of legerdemain, handed me an apple that slowly materialized in her hand. "You have more questions don't you Halle? I know that look." she smiled as she said that and I remembered how she admitted enjoying my curiousity. Something she called 'an endearing quality'.

Biting into that apple and looking up at my tree with all the billions of branches, I could see and hear Aadi pointing to one tiny glowing spot and whispering to me, "... and you are... that one." as she had on that day, as though it was only moments ago. 

I wondered how she could possibly know me so well, even tiny details like how much I love cookies and apples. I tried to fathom how someone so obviously powerful could care how I felt, and what I thought. Mostly I wondered how in the world she has the time to visit with and keep track of each of the billions of those tiny glowing dots. 

Her eyes widened, "My, but you are having some interesting thoughts there." She chuckled at my surprised look as it dawned on me that nothing I thought escaped her notice. "Halle, how long ago was it that we met here and talked about this tree of yours?" I put the apple core down, "As a matter of fact, I actually re-read the blog post about that visit just this morning, and it was about eighteen months ago." 

Shaking her head slowly as though to indicate I was away off, Aadi stood and walked around the base of our tree and stretched. Her body seemed to shimmer, and she looked like me, then like Beth, and then so many others, childlike then ancient and every age between, before settling back down to the image of that teacher I met only last summer in a dream

"Halle, take a guess how long it has been for me since these meetings you think of as in the past." 
As though in slow motion in my mind, the penny dropped. 
"I am guessing you exist in no particular time..." 
Nodding, she changed back to the appearance she had when I first met her. "... and you and I are never really separated are we?" 

Eyes glowing at me, her prize student, "Halle, we are one. You and Beth, and the monk from a previous life who you dreamed about too, and so many others who you don't 'remember'." She actually had used her fingers to make quotes around that last word. I almost chuckled at that, and then thought about what it meant. 
"You know what I really wanted to ask you about don't you?" 
Of course she knew, duhh! 

"The first answer is, yes, when you were 'born'," (she did the quotes thing again) "you did it purposefully, and yes, there is a promise we made. The things that challenge you in your life and the choices you made all related to it. Every feeling and thought matters. When you are ready, you will know how, and even when you are aware of it, you may struggle to live it." 
I had never seen Aadi so thoughtful and careful with her words, yet never in doubt like I often am. 
"It might help for you to know that you cannot ever be wrong. No one will judge you for failing to keep this promise. OK?"
"Everything in me tells me that it is important for me to know and understand the meaning of this Aadi."
She smiled and took my hand. "Just remember that by living 'in the moment' with love you are guided to fulfill all the promises that need to be fulfilled." 
I tried something my daughter used to do that had often worked well on me...  'puppy eyes', 
"Won't you even give me a hint?"
"Oh Halle, you know it already. You have been thinking about it." She frowned at my forlorn look, getting more intense and then started to chuckle at my pouting face. 
"Cut it out Halle!" she laughed at me. "Oh, I give up.... Here is your hint. Think of your six lessons. What is lesson number three?"

".. 'on earth as it is in heaven' ...  It's a promise? Oh, ...  Aadi, we really are one?" She nodded to indicate I should carry on. "So, when I remember you, and how patient and loving you are, and try to be more like you would be in whatever situation I find myself in, somehow that is part of my promise; doing my best to bring some of this place to my world and others who I know?" I felt amazed and light and joyous and overwhelmed all at once. "That can't be all of it though, can it? That is so simple!"

Aadi was up and on the move. "Such a lovely day! . Enough serious talk for now. Time to have some fun!" This was an Aadi I had never experienced. I had a feeling there was still so much to learn, but it was obvious that was not going to happen 'right now', even though for me learning was obviously just starting.
"How about a three-some?" As she said that, Beth walked out of the clubhouse of a heavenly golf course that appeared to have been there all along, smiling at the two of us. "Hello you two. I was just thinking how nice it would be if the three of us... what? Did I interrupt something here?"

"Beth, whatever would give you that idea?"

I grinned an impossibly wide grin as I took in this perfect, timeless scene and accepted a warm hug from my twin.