One of the things I don’t have, one of the things that it would be valuable to have, and one of the things I despair of ever having, is a simple story.
People don’t grasp complex instantly. Their overall capacity to grasp complexity, with all its contradictory facets, is directly related to their life experience with complexity. If they have had a lot of complexity in their life, it’s much easier to understand.
I remember back in 1984 driving the Northway and thinking about the difference between vector heads and network heads, between people who saw the world as a series of straight lines and those who saw the world as a vast web of connections, with huge numbers of pathways that were all valid, all useful. When I worked at GE one smart fellow noted that I rarely did the same thing the same way twice, which he thought was odd and remarkable.
One brilliant tranny sees that complexity as a shield, noting even as I self-reveal, “reading you over the past couple of years is like standing in a gale-force wind, raised by a desperate elemental.”
For me, it’s just what happens when a femme has to filter everything though her brain. It always amazes me how few femmes write on-line, but the bandwidth limitations are killing. Leslie Feinberg notes that Minnie Bruce Pratt is always losing sunglasses because she had to take them off to talk. I tell the femmedykes by looking at their eyes. The amount of communication there tells me a great deal about the exposition of someone’s nature.
To understand myself, I have had to go deep, to dive into my own web of connections and explore them. I have stumbled and looked for the jewel.
Joseph Campbell says that the hardest part of the hero’s journey is often not the losing or the transformation, rather it is returning the gift back to the world. If the world wanted that gift, it would already have it, so bringing back the crystalline jewel which contains a bit of elemental & mythical wisdom is fighting the tide of culture.
We go, find understanding in scope, but then are asked to pack up that wisdom into a neat little package that people can understand and buy without it transforming their life. If they wanted real transformation, they would be searching, but they want the feel of transformative wisdom without it actually disrupting the patterns & habits that they have created to let them work in the world as it is.
When I meet people, they want that neat little package, that simple story that lets them categorgize me quickly, stuffing me into their own neat pigeonholes. As they know me, they may develop a deeper understanding, may let seeing through my eyes give them new insights, but to engage that complexity takes time, takes trust, takes innovation.
Even if I could do it, the idea of having to package myself up into something small, easy to understand and very simple just terrifies me. I have spent so long wondering at the majesty of connection, the intricate revelation of networks, the swirling & vibrant beauty of complexity, that I don’t see simple in that way any more.
But still, I wish I had a simple story, so I could just meet people and make connections like normies do. I miss the connections.
But I guess that it’s not that simple.
Or, more to the point, I guess that I’m just not that simple.
Nobody is, really.