Take Care Of Yourself

TantraGal asked me to lunch at her elegant salon of an apartment, one befitting an inveterate hostess who also runs multiple business ventures from her sophisticated lair.

She is a force of nature, that TantraGal. She got an anonymous e-mail from Munich saying that his Bosnian girlfriend had been driven to the edge of suicide after reading his journal entries about TantraGal. Sure, maybe international drama happens to everyone, but anonymously? She has now determined that he is an old client, and the internet channels to Germany are now regularly heating up with tantric soul stirring.

One of her handles attests to the fact she knows she has the energy of a storm, if a contained one, but that doesn’t mean that she is altogether at ease with this fact of her life. She wants to be taken care of, too.

“Well, you are so strong and powerful, how could you need anything from me?” I parroted over a plate of international food planned for a Mother’s Day brunch with family that didn’t happen.

“Yeah, I get that,” she said with a sigh. We both understand how hard it is to be potent, unique and called in this world, how we live on the edge of other people’s fears in a place that is both very tender, sensitive and open to the world, and very forceful, with the energy of nature swirling in us.   We push for understanding, and that light scares people who want to stay in the dark.

My biggest interest is in seeing our different solutions to similar challenges. She, a beautiful girl, learned how to use beauty as an offering, from a gracious space to using her body as a tool of expression, Me, much more lost, learned how to focus from my head, not trusting beauty, not creating space & grace, but shaping my expression in the contextualization of text, of story.

I need to learn to trust the external as she does, creating practice, even as she wants to learn to own her story, looking for ways to create a book that shares her wisdom as it supports her enterprenurial creation of practice.

I have been sick for over a week now, starting with the wicked sore throat, and continuing onto a hacking resperatory challenge leaving me drained and sore. I had intended to go out a week ago Saturday, and that fell by, and now have missed my opportunity to use my sister’s house as a staging area. I really do want to go to TransPride on June 6 in Northampton, but getting the energy up to reveal myself, well, that has been hard.

Well, the energy up to reveal is hard, yes. But worse, much, much worse, is getting the energy up to conceal again, go back into the monastic denial that drives my service to my parents. It is like pulling them to get things done, like carrying them on my back to create motion. Hard.

All this means I ended up at TantraGal’s house in “Invisible Mode.”

After a while, including a bit of a shock at the door, she was clear: I looked better, more whole & authentic, as a woman. My trans expression isn’t about putting on a costume for a night, it’s about expressing who I am inside.

I had heard this before. I remember almost a decade ago, PalVal took me back to her favourite restaurants in Placid. She later told me that a line cook had noticed me and said I looked much better as woman. Part of me wanted to believe she was just hyping me — PalVal would do that — but I checked years later and well…

TantraGal, well she wants me to take care of myself, like she works to take care of herself. My monsastic taking care of my parents, well, she, like so many others, just doesn’t understand it. Wouldn’t I have much more to give if I was present in the world as myself? Wouldn’t I be happier, more potent, and more graceful?

TantraGal, like any good entrepreneur, lives by her appointment book, and had to be off to continue her day. Her transition reminded me of how much I miss the kind of work that sweeps you up, carries you along, offers momentum and the possibility of success rather than just the need to minimize failure. Some wins can help lift one from the inevitable shocks that flesh is heir to.

I don’t take care of myself. And, even though my parents say they want me to get my life in order, well, they don’t want to freak either.

TantraGal believes that me as woman is so “natural” that it wouldn’t be long for them to get over, a key difference than for so many transwomen who transition as men in dresses and take a long time getting to woman — and sometimes, because of the defenses, they never get there.  She sees my healing as engaging the healthy parts, not struggling with the sickness.

But me as woman means engaging myself as a force of nature, standing & showing in a world without having all those years to learn to trust & shape my own beauty.

Still, the problem is really no different than for anyone else who is a force of nature.

And see how good it looks on TantraGal!