The closing years of life are like
the end of a masquerade party,
when the masks are dropped.
 Arthur Schopenauer

I suppose that there is something I should mention about that contest of will. 

I’m losing.

When you are young and vigorous, denial is possible.   But when you are old and crumbling, well, that facade crumbles with you.  You just can’t keep up the front, just don’t have the energy for self denial, and you have much to deny.

The masks are dropped, as Schopenhauer says.

It’s this tipping point that we all come to, this tipping point that I passed.

I dreamed last night of being in a big city and trying to make business networks, at a pub, at the opera, running and knowing that you have to spend to create, spend yourself, spend treasure, spend energy.   At this point in my real life, though, I have to husband and not spend, conserve and not risk, hold and not release.  I don’t have much and that means I can’t afford to lose much of my center.

My sister made me go to a workshop at a new age center just after I blew out my ankle.  I was cflear as to why I thought I shouldn’t go; because if it was horrible, unsafe and painful, I didn’t think I would have the resources to bound back afterwards.  It was horrible, and it took a long time even to get stable again.

I know the argument, that actually spending myself to resolve problems will open up new possibilities, free me, be less wearing than holding onto them. 

It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one
than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.
 Whitney Young, Jr. 

The problem is that as long as my life has to be a test of will, rather than a dance of life, then that will has to be valued over anything else.  “Empower and trust yourself, but only enough to solve the current problem, then put yourself back in the box.”  I don’t know how to do that.

The most dangerous thing in the world
is to try to leap a chasm in two jumps. 
 David Lloyd George  

Until I can leap, well, I have to play this game.  And I am failing at this game of denial, just like everyone does as they get older.

From will to wilt.  And the only way to claim life isn’t to deny more, it’s to live authentically, which in my case means facing stigma I don’t have the energy to face.

When you first come out as a transgendered person,
you spend your first year in absolute euphoria.
Then reality sets in, and you have to make a life and deal with the stigma.
     Joan Roughgarden, NY Times Magazine, 9 May 2004

If one doesn’t have the euphoria, the leap is much more wearing, often much too short.

I know.  My patterns are failing, and failing me.  Breakthroughs — breakdowns — are required to claim life.

But that doesn’t really feel like an option.