I need a new approach to the public Callan.
That means that I need a new approach to Callan, of course.
This isn’t new news. I have been looking for support on creating a new and effective performance soon after since my parents passed away.
I was who my parents needed me to be, then who my sister needed me to be even as she fumbled with her obligations.
There are a pile of things I should do; take ownership of my health rather than eating for comfort, put my anxiety and sensitivity away a bit, come from a position of social tolerance & resilience, get the paperwork done to be present in all the systems where I am seriously derelict.
Doing all this, of course, is an act of hope, an assertion of the belief that better and more fulfilling things are possible for me. That hope needs to be grounded in a sense that the reward to me will be higher than the costs, the return more than enough to replenish my exposure.
My low levels of latent inhibition, high levels of sensitivity, well developed social anxiety, expectations that people won’t get the joke and instead will find ways to silence, isolate and dismiss me, well, those bits are quite a burden to climb over.
Beyond that, my limited capacity to explain my experience in the world, even to people who are also identified as trans, but who don’t have the other experiences I do, like a childhood in the care of Aspergers parents, well, that creates real barriers to feeling seen, mirrored, understood, respected and cared for.
I know that I can be useful to many other people, offering them the benefits of my cultured way of seeing a wider world beyond walls most people believe are real.
I also know that way of seeing makes it hard for me to tolerate short-sightedness, the structures others use to stay stable and functional in the world. I have learned to respect those limits, attenuating myself to not bust them, but that leaves me playing inside the rules of other people, never being able to get the freedom and affirmation I need.
I have lived my life on fumes, scavenging bits and pieces of truth and support where I can get it, observing from the edges. I have not, however, learned to move past scarcity and take a place at the centre of the room, one of the crowd, wired into the network, playing the games and being effective at the social whirl.
I am not young, vigorous or exuberant. My body has hit limits, including nerve damage to my feet from lack of care, which makes simple jumping in less than easy or even attractive.
To me, actions have connections, rippling outward in all directions. Those ripples affect me, moving me out of the simplified pragmatism of a marketing based life.
“Replacing batteries on cordless phones is so complex that I wouldn’t even advise trying it,” a presenter on HSN burbles, “instead just getting a new, high quality system.” I scream at her endorsement of destruction and waste, even as she is just doing the sensible rap to achieve her aims, more sales of the product she is fronting.
The barren, short sightedness of the choices others make to achieve their ends aren’t just their choices, they are the assertions which they need to stay unchallenged to peddle their wares in the world. The barrier to tough questions, to linkages beyond, is the barrier to my communication, to what can be shared politely in this moment and context.
Public games demand public rules, with costs and rewards prescribed by the social bounds. Having walked beyond those perimeters I have lost the parameters, finding jewels far from civilized climes. The return of the jewel is always the hardest part of the heroes journey, Campbell tells us, because if society wanted the prize, they would already have it.
Selling tiny fragments of jewels in the market is an answer, while hoarding the trove and never speaking of the blood cost of the treasure, so that people can have delightful trinkets while not having to bear the weight of the whole. There is a reason missionaries offer polished bits that pick out accepted factors rather than bringing the transcendent and explosive in a way they will be dismissed as a crackpot.
The simple is the obvious, but the obvious seems so small to me now, reduced at the end of the telescope to isolated mundanity. Big is big, the tapestry net of tiny stars woven together as a shawl which dwarfs the desires of the market, offering only shiny snippets that decorate without challenge.
Entering the room, becoming part of the market, getting on the grid is buying into the constrained and orderly, the polite and appropriate, the marketable and the comforting.
Where is the hope that a functional performance will expand again to honor the journey of a lifetime? Can selling selected and polished bits from a journey ever recoup the cost of becoming small again?
Play along, I hear, and there is a place for you. That place, though, is within walls that trapped me under so badly, walls I had to break to breathe free, even if it meant living the life of a hermit, sustenance gleaned from the scrapings of stars.
I need a new approach to the public Callan. I understand how strange I appear to those who want to pick up a cabochon or two, understand how much I resist simple exposure for fear of having someone try to batter my edges again.
But I don’t quite understand the hope that a new package can bring new happiness, comfort and connections without the price of extinguishing.