I am a travel writer.
Sure, most of my journeys may be shamanic, exploring the great inner realm, but they are trips none the less.
When I go places, I write a note from there and tuck it into a safe, leaving it for other travellers to find. It may help them find bits they might have missed, seeing in a different way so that we can both share a vision of our stops. It may suggest other destinations or may just offer a bit of language which codifies and clarifies, for me, for them, for others.
The episodic nature of my writing means that there is no simple path through it. We don’t all start at the same place, don’t all have the same list of destinations, so trying to follow in a linear manner may well mean you catch me speaking of things you haven’t yet experienced, things that are still off your awareness.
If you aren’t a traveller, though, not on a personal journey of exploration, play and awe, well, my words not only won’t make sense, they may be downright irritating.
People who work hard to stay stable, for status, for family, for fear or for any other reason often try to silence me. They believe that I don’t understand why they tenaciously hold on to what they value, why they have stayed rooted and fixed for what they know are very good reasons.
They then use the same techniques they have used to resist engaging change, to avoid swinging the pendulum wide, to not open to challenge and examine their choices to remove my standing. They fight for the status quo, work to avoid opening and exposure, create sympathy for the abject, broken, silent victims.
My work is to help people on their own personal journey. I empower kids to believe in themselves and take agency in their lives. I assist seekers in facing the blocks they hold which keep them from joy and power, suggesting that miracles are just new ways of seeing with heart and love rather than with ego and fear. I offer glimpses beyond and encourage others to dive into the scary, the unknown, moving beyond their own pain and imposed limits to claim authentic actualization. It is only in the light that anything can grow strong and healthy.
Much of this means removing the cloaks we use to hide ourselves, our desires, our choices and our fears. Anonymity is only useful as a path to exposure; if it doesn’t help us feel free to show our deeper selves, it just provides camouflage for the ways we work to sabotage growth and enlightenment.
Travel demands abandon, leaving behind our expectations and preconceptions to see with new eyes. The magic of inner travel is seeing the same place in a different way, opening our vision to what has always been around us but that we have been blind to. Moving from negative vision, identifying what is different, what is wrong and what we should reject, to positive vision, seeing similarities, new possibilities and beautiful facets that were once hidden is at the heart of the experience of enlightenment.
There are all kinds of journeys. Mothers help their kids on a journey which requires taking a different one for themselves. Some travel in time or distance by reading. Art can help you travel, putting yourself into works of expression. Service is can be a journey, entering different worlds and learning how to understand and care for people. Anytime you strive for mastery and the essential transformation that always comes along with it, you are on a journey.
I know why people stay stuck, not entering the conversation. After all, the experience of the closet, which most LGBT people of my generation share, is the essence of denial, the attempt to stay looking normative and appearing to follow the rules and expectations of those we care about. Even now when there is growing acceptance, many of us work harder to be “good,” fitting in and assimilating, than to be wild, true to our own unique and powerful heart.
“You may well be correct,” I would reply in the days I was trying to stay stuck, “but you certainly don’t expect me to agree, do you?” Agreeing would mean I would have to change my choices but I was not yet ready to do that.
Instead, I was a Balloon Burster, trying to help people by pointing out where their dreams were just unrealistic. I knew that the point of many trans support groups was to vent a little of the passion and be reminded that we had to fit into normativity or be destroyed. If you couldn’t pass, you couldn’t be a success in the world, because out and trans was only for the young and pretty.
Now, I have travelled enough to know those assumptions are not true. You can own your own nature and be very effective in society. People who still find the need to dismiss others, their accomplishments and dreams, are saying more about their own fears & beliefs than about the truth of a diverse and brilliant world.
Everybody grows and heals in their own way and in their own time. I needed to grow and heal by opening to the lessons of the journey, being present enough to learn from conversations that challenged my choices. Where I stumbled, felt pain and anger, I knew there was a lesson there, a jewel I had to excavate and own for myself.
I am the only person that I can directly help heal and grow. That journey to awareness has been very hard, much of it helped by expressing myself in writing, creating a rough kind of art that helps me consolidate what I am feeling, see my own interior life and make better choices. Choosing again is the only way we can make change in our lives and in our world.
When my words can help other travellers find their own growth and healing, I am pleased that I can share my gift. They will never think and feel exactly like me, will always have their own unique view shaped by their own unique journey, but we can find points of sharing & connection inside our shared continuous common humanity.
When people find the need to resist engaging what I offer, writing it off as crackpot noise, not searching for shared meaning, I know that their reaction reveals a great deal about where they are, about the challenges they face in moving beyond the comforting walls which offer blocks to them. Holding the us versus them, the me versus you separations, defensive, fearful and small, is where they need to be right now.
Travellers know that being willing to explore beyond comfort is the only way to find new insights and connections, finding the empowerment and passion which lies beyond what we hold as normative & proper. Resisting & sabotaging change, in our own life or in the wider world, may seem to keep us stable but it denies us the life lessons offered, revealing where growth and healing can bring rich rewards.
I am a travel writer, at home with other travellers. For me, that just means I open to the queer in the world, the unique individual gifts which open my eyes, my mind and my heart.