One of the things I like on this blog is having people, apparently randomly, find old posts so I have a reason to reread them. It feels like serendipity to me, the universe offering a bit of a memory jog, a koan for today.
I have been working hard at finding connections and truths threaded through the strokes of lives, but what I have been missing is the flashes of fun which give life sparkle.
When I page through the calendars of local events, I wish I had more shared interests with others. Airplanes or cars or music or fashion or whatever; something that allows a bit of playful sharing. Too many years of scarcity, though, have captured my mind.
I have never believed that dressing up is fun in and of itself. I express my transgender to communicate my truth, not to get a thrill. Fooling people or feeling self aroused are not things I want to do, rather I want to find a way to have a deeper conversation about what is important to me, finding ways to connect with other people with more bandwidth, nuance and power.
Spending four hours alone in a hospital waiting room while someone undergoes surgery, for example, is not significantly more fun while wearing a cocktail dress. To me, it is the cocktail party chatter and related flirting that makes glamming up worthwhile.
My silliest and most relaxed moments always come when I am alone, amusing myself with somewhat absurd flights of fancy played out in silly voices. These are the best jokes that I have no expectation that anyone else will ever get.
Today I was considering a book of poetry written by David Venable expounding on the costs of a love of food, including a literary tale of the pain of spending every Monday stuck on the crapper. Yes, I know. You don’t get the joke. Sad dance, sad dance.
Fun is such a human thing. Having your fun turned into a private and isolated activity, though, takes most of the human connection out of it. It turns us rather squirrley.
As we get older, fun becomes a more and more complicated thing. Nothing is as simple and easy as it was when we were younger and innocent enough to believe our life was carefree, full of sensation and novelty that we could enjoy forever. The pain and responsibility hadn’t yet caught up with us.
Being adultified early takes childhood away and along with it goes our youthful sense of fun and abandon. When you don’t have a history of being indulged and supported in fun, coming together to play while others took charge of safety, it’s hard to claim that experience in later life.
I need fun, though. I need it desperately. And not the kind of cerebral in-joke that leaves me another step towards isolation, although the kind of fun that expects me to drop my smarts won’t work either, as I have found over time. It’s fun that affirms and empowers that I need, not fun that distracts and erases.
In that moment when we become blissful in a shared way, we create connections that affirm our moving outside the generic woe and entering the transcendent dance of joy.
Doesn’t that sound nice?