No Joy

I sent this out, under the subject “Joy,” a week before I spoke to TBB.

 Have you ever seen the tagline of my blog? 

It’s “the loneliness of a long-lost tranny.”  

I get the loneliness. 

I really, really, really believe that the only thing others can do is unlock what is inside of us.  Our great passion is within us all the time, and when we meet a special person, or have a child, we understand that we can turn on that energy and give of our passion and our concerns. 

The question you and I always struggled over is “who heals the healers?”  When we give to people who are blocked from giving, for whatever reason, it feels like we don’t get back what we need to survive.  And once we feel like our resources are thin, we hoard them, and the cycle continues, us giving less, getting less, etc.

It’s my sense that the only way to break this cycle is to ignite our own passions, to fall in love with ourselves, to delight in the gifts that our skymother placed inside of us.  Believe me, I know how hard that is to do; the world thinks someone passionate about something they consider sick is sick.   Passion scares the world, and when we burn, many may want to circle us, to watch and to warm, but very, very, very few will enter the fire and dance.

But, at our age, what the fuck is the choice?  Playing small has failed, denying passion to satisfy the world hasn’t gotten us what we need from the world. 

I was with my father at the oncologist today and saw a couple in their sixties.  He was rail thin — cancer will do that — but impeccably dressed in a dark suit, white tie, neat haircut and such, like an warm investment advisor.  His wife was next to him, and while it was clear that at one point they matched, today she wasn’t in Talbots, rather she had shiny makeup, spiky blonde hair, funky stitched boots, a bight corsage of raveled fleece.  When she chatted with people she knew, the classic woman was there, but it was clear to me that she was in a new time, claiming her wild crone energy, caring for her sweet husband yes, but also back to the energy.

I watch these transvestites who want to dress like little girls, and they baffle me.  Pinafores, curled hair, frilly socks?  What girl do you know who loves that?  Now, real little girls, all denim and neon, thick tights and funky shoes, princess and punk, well they look like they are having fun.  That’s the same energy I saw in the woman in the waiting room today, claiming her own femininity outside of the need to fit into a neat role.

It’s about play, and the faith in our own sense of play.   It’s about fun & joy, not earnestness.  Where is the joy?

My sister, who, as a retail manager, feels the need to live with her head up her ass, serving customers, employees and bosses, told me today that she thinks doing what makes you happy is a valuable thing, because people who are happy bring better things into being in the world.  I agreed, of course, but don’t trust her, as she will eventually shift into manager mode and shut down the energy.

Grief can take care of itself,
but to get the full value of joy
you must have somebody to divide it with.
     Samuel Clemens || Mark Twain

For me, the goal of my next two months is to try to find my Eros and share it with others.  I am far from sure that I will succeed, but I am intensely aware of the costs of failing.

When writing to you, I had to face a number of things, including how I felt about those limits of yours, how I needed to be honest, how I wanted to support you.   I accepted your affirmations and worked to affirm and empower you.

You have the power, beautiful.  You are a hitter.  But so often that power has been locked in the small service of giving others what they want, rather than the big service of giving the world what it needs.  You lose the joy in the pain.

The world needs you, intense and erotic, playful and loose, potent and precious.  The wounded healer who can celebrate not just the wounds, the real, deep and intense pain of our flesh, but also the healing, the real, deep and intense joy of our spirit.

Compassion?  God, it’s what wounded healers do. 

But leadership, a public practice of encouraging and affirming the transcendence of joy, well, I suspect that’s what we need to do.

All my love, kid.


The correspondent I sent this to saw the need to take it apart, line by line.

One thing that they couldn’t imagine was how I could sit in the oncologist’s waiting room with my father and notice the people there.  How could I not be consumed with his illness?

Yeah.  Consumed by Illness.  I know the drill.  And I know why this person needed to be shocked at my callow behavior.  I know why they couldn’t understand when I talked about maximizing our own health and our own power though maximizing our own passion.

It’s because they live with the illness, rather than looking for the health, the wellness, the joy.

No Joy.  No Empowerment.  No Transformation.