"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 - -

Monday 28 April 2014

Faith in Purpose

Ever had one of those moments when you suddenly realized how silly you have been, like searching for your glasses that are pushed up over your forehead?

I have been looking for a sign that I've been standing under for weeks. 

Today a post on a topic that a wonderful friend referred to as "deep". That may be, but I promised a younger self I'll think about her and send these letters back as long as there is something to say.

A week before Easter we had two funerals in our community. 
An old friend, ill for many years finally succombed. We celebrated a wonderful full life. 
A very young friend in what appeared to be good health died suddenly. This time we celebrated a wonderful, and too short life.  
The second family has good reason to wonder how God could take away someone who meant so much to them and others; who had only just recently found a meaningful vocation and was loving life so very much. 
The parents were amazing. Rock solid. I felt so silly over my shaky faith in a power they obviously recognized as present even in their grief. 

Palm Sunday brought an infrequent attendance at the local church service and once more, public recitation of The Lord's Prayer. It reminded me how much I love that prayer, and rely upon it. It also reminded me that this prayer Jesus taught the disciples, and now to all who follow, has been most useful as a meditation tool.  For that purpose, it is essential to pause for contemplation after each of the six lessons. One cannot do that in a public recitation. 

The lesson that I need work on is the second; "... Your kingdom come, your will be done... ". Any higher purpose that I can participate in must be experienced through love as part of a plan I cannot know in its entirety. It requires us to accept that who we are is part of that purpose. We are where we are, being this person for a reason. 

Too very often we can think that life is meaningless. We might even believe that things happening around and to us are random. 

Not every message from that higher power comes gift-wrapped in a dream, or meditation or as the answer to a prayer. Sometimes you and I are the messenger. Sometimes a dying friend and their family deliver the message. 

The past is here inside to help me to understand the present and live more productively here, in the moment.

There is a purpose to be found in living the life I have, and the person I am becoming.  

Life will not be a spectator sport.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Matthew 6:5-13
English Standard Version

And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 

Pray then like this:

~ Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

~Your kingdom come, your will be done,

~on earth as it is in heaven.

~Give us this day our daily bread,

~and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

~And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Thursday 24 April 2014

We All Have

Oh my but I do not want to even imagine where I would be without those who know and care because they are there, or have been there.

So this gorgeous afternoon, before resuming work around the house (spring has arrived, finally here in Central Ontario), time to pass along some beauty and thoughtfulness from a friend who personifies those qualities for me.

For those with ears to hear....

In My Secret Life

I saw you this morning.
You were moving so fast.
Can’t seem to loosen my grip
On the past.
And I miss you so much.
And there’s no one in sight.
And we’re still making love
In My Secret Life.

I smile when I’m angry.
I cheat and I lie.
I do what I have to do
To get by.
But I know what is wrong,
And I know what is right.
And I’d die for the truth
In My Secret Life.

Hold on, hold on, my brother.
My sister, hold on tight.
I finally got my orders.
I’ll be marching through the morning,
Marching through the night,
Moving cross the borders
Of My Secret Life.

Looked through the paper.
Makes you want to cry.
Nobody cares if the people
Live or die.
And the dealer wants you thinking
That it’s either black or white.
Thank God it’s not that simple
In My Secret Life.

I bite my lip.
I buy what I’m told:
From the greatest hit,
To the wisdom of old.
But I’m always alone.
And my heart is like ice.
And it’s crowded and cold
In My Secret Life.

words and music by Leonard Cohen

Monday 14 April 2014

Mostly Effable & Scrutable

Last year, this was a breakthrough ~ so much so that it got added to my profile.

Telling the truth all the time to everyone around you is not necessary. Now that might seem like an obvious thing, but I have struggled with it for a long time. The inner me has not been part of my outer expression. That has bothered me a lot, and I've made an effort to fix it, but perhaps it gives me an advantage to be at least a bit hidden to those who are unwilling or unable to get to know me.

Getting into stage acting has provided some personal insights into how easily people can get wrapped up in thinking of people in terms of how they look, what they do or project themselves. 

When acting, costume, and makeup literally help you flesh your person out. You begin to see the character, and start relating that person's actions and words with their appearance.

Before it is possible for me to project a character on the stage, I need to work out a plausible history that suits that character. The interesting thing is, some people think that the person doing the acting is the character they have seen them portray. I remember a child coming up to me after a show in which my character was nasty and selfish. I was still in costume and makeup. The conflict she felt showed through her eyes, thinking maybe I really was scary until I smiled and spoke to her in my normal way.

In the real world, we need to spend time with someone to really get to know them. Appearances can be way off.

I have mentioned that golf is a passion of mine. Yesterday, the Masters Golf Tournament finished, and this year's champion is Bubba Watson. I just read that Bubba has expressed negative opinions on same sex marriage. I admire his golf swing and enjoyed watching him play really well, but what he or any other professional athlete thinks about something other than how to play their sport matters to me not at all.

It amazes me how disappointed people are when they find out that some public person they have thought of as heroic has a massive "character flaw" they have been "hiding" ~ JFK's affair with Marilyn Monroe ~ O.J. Simpson convicted felon ~ Jim and Tammy Bakker sex and money scandal ~ care to add your own surprising disappointment?

When I started this blog, the title was "Maintaining The Façade". I changed it, convinced that having some sort of cobbled-together personality that I could use for the world was wrong.
What has sadly occurred to me since, is that this façade-creation process is something that everyone does to some extent. We build multiple façades that we put on and take off as we move through our lives; one for home, one for the car (some people's car persona can be very scary!), one for work, and on it goes, dependent on how many different social settings we find ourselves.

All of us are multi-dimensional and the way we express ourselves at any one time might not even hint of a deep, innermost truth...

The Naming Of Cats 

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey--
All of them sensible everyday names.

There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter--
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable

Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

T. S. Eliot

Monday 7 April 2014

Pamper the Donor Body

This picture is included for the squeamish, so the photo that blogger puts up won't gross anyone out.

from Lipstick, Shoes and Parties *

I promised Caroline this post a month ago, when she rescued me with some great advise.
Thanks to her, my feet aren't ugly, well, not as ugly as they were a month ago, anyway.
And speaking of self-image, there is nothing like really sore feet to make you feel miserable and un-ladylike!

Before and after photos are included below the fold. Not pretty, almost a month ago,  is what my right heel was. Uuuugly! And so sore I could hardly walk on it.

I told Caroline about it, and sent her before photo.... she recommended soaking in antiseptic, followed by scrub, and topped off with a cream that contains urea as its main ingredient.

Do you know what urea is? Just urine!! It seems that the ancient Romans knew all about the healing properties of urine. If you are interested references are easy to find. For our purposes, it is enough to know that urine will kill off fungus that causes athlete's foot, and it leaves your skin soft and healthy.

I promised Caroline this post. So here it is! Just look at the after shot and you will know that I intend to continue using the cream I found. Oh, the cream I used is Gold Bond Foot Cream.

~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~
A Month Ago 


Thursday 3 April 2014

Self Image ~ Authenticity means... ?

Today's post follows, below the fold. I do need to mention that today I feel calm again, convinced that there is a need for much revision in how I live my gender. Perhaps I feel better because the chemistry has settled down. I believe it also has to do with knowing I've made a start toward heading off the next crisis before it happens, thanks to huge support from friends. As Calie says, trans-friends, people who care and understand us, are essential to our wellbeing.
Anyway, the experience has woken me up to the need for change and that is a start. I will be talking to my therapist about repressed feelings and denial and other things.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

As a transsexual, I am regularly checking my motives. If you are trans, you do too.

Madam Inquisitor asks, "What did that dream of a powerful, and yes, provocatively dressed Halle mean? Who did you dress up like that for?" My answer to her, over and over is that if/when I present myself to the world in a costume like that it will be for the pure fun of being together with people whose company I enjoy, and to have a lot of laughs with good memories to share. 
I will not be looking for a date, or even any male attention. Heck, I'm getting old, although...  I suppose even Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke had her Matt Dillon (most of you are wayyy too young to get that but some did, didn't you? :-)

You probably know that I am a believer in messages coming at us when we need them, if we keep our eyes and hearts open. 

Here are two posts that I have particularly noticed and have appreciated yesterday and this morning. These writers haven't a clue who I am, but like me, they send their ideas out in faith that there is someone, maybe only one person who needs to read and think along with them. 

Over at the right you will see BroadBlogs. This post, Real vs Cartoonish Sexuality has some important thoughts and links for all women. We live in a society where our sexuality is manipulated. Being authentic is not easy. 

The second link illustrates first the amazing power of finding something you need when you need it, and second, how important it is to examine one's motives thoroughly. 

My life has been complicated, and as a child I went through some traumatic events. Because of that history, I have always had an awareness, as I suggest at the beginning of this post, that I need to examine my motives carefully. The brain is an amazing thing.  

Among many fears I have had in the past, that are never far from my concern, are those expressed well in this post from yesterday. The author, Kathleen included this note at the bottom of her post. I could probably append some version to many of my own. 

    " I know I wrote about this just six months ago; please forgive the repetition. For two weeks now, I’ve felt a need to write about this again. It may be that someone who reads this blog needs to see it."

To finish up, here is a piece that picked up my spirits yesterday on a long drive that likely helped me get some perspective. 
Here is my favourite jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall in 1996 at the Montréal Jazz Festival with Straighten Up and Fly Right
Good advice for all of us, especially if we have a monkey riding on our backs! 

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Too Much

I need to talk this out somewhere. 
For so long now the anti-androgens have taken away this aspect, this complication. So well that I have been able to lead a mostly normal life, devoting my attention almost fully to those around me and the passions we share. It has allowed me to explore an inner landscape that seemed powerful and eternal. It is as if a storm surge has come in and unexpectedly wiped all of that away.

No amount of logic can, or ever did help, but so far meditation and prayer seem powerless as well. Did I mention somewhere that when life sends the same challenges over and over, it means something? 

It seems that my newfound faith in a higher purpose is being tested. 

The dreams were about the extremes of a life I have worked hard, given up much, to avoid living. It was an easy choice to seek a way, in fact do anything necessary to avoid that life. That path would be difficult, painful in every possible way for me and those I love. The path of transition is hardly easy, or assured to be eventually happy. If you know someone who has transitioned, you should know that they are not brave; they were desperate.

Ironically, emotions pulled from me by dreams have wakened some part of me I wished would have stayed asleep; oh how I wish that right now.