“So, this is what I want to tell you…”
Many of my blog posts start out with that phrase, though I have been writing long enough to edit it out.
Trying to share a view of the world, to give context by revealing connection, has always been a key part of what I write.
Lately, though, I haven’t been able to pull that off very well. I start to create a message but the energy just peters out, leaving it rough, ragged and short.
When I write now, it’s more about my personal state than anything else. That’s not good, not good sharing, not a good sign.
There’s a conference coming up this weekend and a lobby day next week, both of which I attended last year.
The odds of making a great connection at either of them are very small, but at least they offer me an opportunity to create something, asking myself the question of what I would say if they gave me five minutes to speak to the assembled group.
Now, though, I am coming up blank.
I scratched together a workshop proposal for the conference — Trans-Empowerment: Believing In Yes — but understood it was too much, so I didn’t submit it.
And as to the lobby day, well, what I would want to say would highlight the limits of politicizing trans expression, believing that somehow new laws can change the trans experience. It’s easy to demand that others change, and trans rights are human rights, needing to be supported, but trans is not a political choice and therefore political solutions have limited benefits while demanding high costs.
Many, many, many times over the last few decades I have expressed these views, offering cogent theological, political and emotional arguments, but my impact has been negligible to the point of being unmeasurable.
All this means that there is nothing left that I really want to tell you, because I don’t believe that there is anything most people really want to hear.
A place of healing is always also a place of sickness, be it a hospital or a recovery group or anything else.
As humans, we live with sickness, often because it seems to be the best way to assimilate, to fit in, to play small. Our sickness, pain and futility is ours and that makes it comforting. We started making those choices to comfort and protect ourselves.
Until we are sick of sickness, understanding the price it demands, how it stops working for us, we cannot move beyond to claim growth and healing.
Everyone heals and grows in their own time and their own way, even you. This is the most frustrating thing about being in relationship, as we see how moving beyond limiting behaviours could benefit people around us, but only they can heal themselves and they won’t do that until they are ready, until they are so sick of the sickness that they cast off the illusions to take on the challenges of divine surprise.
Engaging with people means engaging with their own comforting beliefs, pushing at the boundaries of what they are willing to embrace. It’s a fight, the kind of fight that parents and children have, filled with irritation, growth and love.
I have been engaged in that kind of fight all my life, though without much ego. I don’t want people to be like me, don’t want to be the centre of attention, don’t want to make people like me, to play for their affirmation. Very early I learned to live on the edges, a sharp eye replacing a needful heart, and that approach never changed, no matter how much my heart bled. The costs and failures of living for others was clear to me from my earliest memories.
There is nothing I can tell the world that I haven’t said many times in the past. Polishing and sharpening my message is possible, finding new language to go deeper, words that may help convey meaning with a bit more detail, but that hardly seems worth the effort.
Nowadays, all I do is try and express my own feelings, capturing the fleeting bits that go through me, the residue of a life spent as a transperson who lived though a set of specific circumstances that don’t seem to be easily engaged by others. They just don’t get it, the jokes, the delights, the visions, the pain, the love.
So this is what I want to tell you, that I have nothing to tell you. Live a good life, ready to step into a tomorrow where the divine surprise offers lessons which ask you to move beyond comfort and into transformation. Use your energy well and the vision will open to you.
Keep going, and when you are exhausted, well, do what comes naturally.