Bad morning for me. I shattered very this morning, struggling to take care of my family and seeing the state of how they have trouble taking care of me, making things much harder, and not considerate.
TBB says she knows what the problem is, and she knows the problem because I have told her in the past.
We shatter before we become new. We break before we transition. We die before we are reborn.
The role I played for ten years with my parents doesn’t fit anymore. And if I wait for my family to take care of me properly, I’ll die.
That requires a leap.
“People think you have all the answers because you have so many great answers, on your blog and in your voice,” TBB told me. “That’s why you are my go-to gal when I need to work through something.”
“Don’t people understand that there is blood in every blog post?” I asked.
“Of course there’s blood. You are a damn guru. Your blood is the price you paid,” she answered. “What do you want?”
“I want someone to come to me and let me get naked, then trace the lines of my scars with their finger tips and tell me I am beautiful.”
“Wow!” TBB answered. “You have big dreams!”
“Maybe,” I agreed, “but I also believe that no one will ever kiss me again.”
A friend is taking TBB out to a big gay bar tonight for her birthday, letting her be transported there in heels, leggings and a new haircut. “You know, nobody at a bar ever comes over and says ‘Oh, your mind is so hot!'”
I know. Who values the sacrifice? Who cherishes the broken while admiring the transformation? Who heals the healers?
But I will let you in on a secret. I always think the most beautiful part of anyone is their scars. Not the decorative ones, but the ones that show they paid with blood for their own growth and enlightenment. Give me a post-therapy grown up every time, one with twists, ambiguities and pain that shadow their brilliance, focus and joy.
For me, the complex ambiguity of being a whole human is endlessly fascinating. I often saw Virginia Prince pontificate and argue, but seeing the tears after hearing Wendy Parker’s musical piece about her trans experience really opened my heart. I know it wasn’t something many people got to see.
And when Kristine James told me about her life, and how she regretted never having pierced ears, I knew that wasn’t something trivial and small. TBB’s ear piercings were the ritual of passage that started a transition, and Kristine denied herself that for her family. Over a lifetime, that’s much more painful than the sharp punch to open the holes.
When the Japanese mend broken objects
they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold,
because they believe that when something’s suffered damage
and has a history it becomes more beautiful.
Barbara Bloom, American artist
I know my family can’t give me what I need, no matter how much I want them to. I know that the only way out of hell is through. And I know that as I coach Ava to start her own practice, I can hear the voice of my mother in the sky coaching me.
But my feet are in constant pain, my sleep is broken and fitful, my joints are aching and I feel old. I don’t feel up for one more leap, even if I know that is the only way I can move forward. For me, it’s not swim or die, it’s hop or die, and I knew that when I was four.
I want someone to come and take care of me. I want my pain to seen, my scars to be aggrandized, my life to be valued.
But the best I can get is to start a new chapter where I can get direct rewards for sharing my hard won skills.
So while I want to do something dramatic and destructive to show the world how much pain I am, to shove my beaten and battered spirit back into their face so they have to clean up the sticky mess, I know that doesn’t serve anyone.
But my scars, my scars and my pain, make me who I am, give me potency and grace. I will never rise above my damage, I will rise with it, both wounded and healer. I will be like those who I admire for their breathtaking beauty and bravery, bloodied and bold, suffering and soaring.
It’s just I don’t really want to do that. I want my mommy to take care of me, and not ask me to crawl through glass on my belly to claim a new life, no matter how many signs of affirmation that she offers.
I am old and broken and weak.
And I am damnit, her child rich with gifts.
Calling is a bitch, especially when you realize you are a prophet.
But when the choice is die or leap, well….
If one more leap kills me, so be it. But if it just lands me in another fire, well, there is more for me to grow.
Still, part of me wants to be out of here, lying in a sticky pool, showing the world how much they pounded and abused me.
And part of me knows that another scar just makes me a little more wise and a little more beautiful, even if no one but my mother and I see it.