Edith Piaf (Catherine Tate) with her therapist (Rebecca Front)
Sky Arts Playhouse Presents Psychobitches
What do I regret?
Today, I would say that I regret having to become so defended, which in my case means developing my brain so much that I became intellectually musclebound, that I was never able to just create my own stories.
My dreams often amaze me because they are such rich and detailed stories, almost cinematic.
In them, I never feel hesitant or resistant about acting on my feelings. Because they exist in my head, I don’t need to do the hard, hard, hard work of passing everything through the fine pore filters in my brain before I express it. The feeling is so freeing.
In the real world, I even know how to bleep myself, dropping out the sound when I say a curse word in normal conversation, a filtering habit if ever there was one, and far from free.
Dreaming shows me that I have these organic tales inside of me, but squeezing them out in the midst of my defended and attenuated life, well, that is far from simple.
As transpeople, especially transpeople who have some age to us, we lived through lots of time when closets were needed. We kept company with our bear, stayed defended and felt the pain of having our opportunities and possibilities be stolen from us. So much to regret.
I can’t reclaim my youth, my lost girlhood, my depleted exuberance.
Sometimes, though, I think I might just be able to scrape some storytelling out of the barrel.
I have talked about how I see Sex And The City as an allegory of chakras. Samantha leads with her crotch, Charlotte leads with her heart, Miranda leads with her head and Carrie leads from the crown. Each of them has all the bits of course, but for archetypal purposes, they represent different approaches.
I used to call that crown chakra “spiritual” but I don’t any more. I think all of them are linked to spirit, that spirit connects through us.
Now I call that crown “creative.” That’s what Carrie is doing, taking what is around her and creating art.
For me, life is better when I am writing well. I write because I believe that I am creating something true, something potent, something of value, even if it doesn’t have an immediate audience. Lots of work has had to have the audience catch up with it, because the process of mellowing art and the growth of the zeitgeist means that raw today can turn into tomorrows delicate.
Can my creativity exist when it isn’t shoehorned into a bounced trans narrative? I suppose that I will never know until my life isn’t shoehorned into a bounced trans narrative, crammed into a too small coffin.
I know what I regret.
I know the lessons I have learned from the experiences that brought me regret.
But sometimes, in my dreams, there is still a world where I am not bound by social pressure and history. Sometimes.
Is it possible to imagine the freedom of my imagination beyond being brain bound?