The Looming Sunshine…

They sat on the porch, together.

They sat on the porch, quietly. He invested deep within his book, and she, equally so in hers. Not a word was spoken, nor a head even raised as I walked briskly by. They were each totally engrossed within their own little worlds alone, but together.

The porch they sat on was not nearly big enough for the two of them, let alone their large-format print books, nor the cat that apparently shared their life. So to make space, he at least scampered down onto the lawn just before I arrived, stalking about almost as if to imply that he too was looking for a book in order ignore the rest of the world with. 

The scene got me to thinking randomly (don’t they all?) and what I got to thinking randomly about was this:

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Have you ever been engrossed with a book?

One written expertly, with characters so alive that you could almost pinch them, and a story line so well crafted that you could swear it was divined, instead of merely written?

And then all of a sudden, smack dab deep within the goodness and glory of that book, the whole thing turns rather sour, with the Author making you read through page after page of utterly distasteful activities and scenarios.

You read on, because you know that surely the Author didn’t suddenly lose all their skill, talent and story-writing ability. You’re certain that the Author simply MUST be forcing you through this section – most usually occurring shortly after the chapter that follows the halfway mark – in order to teach you something critical about the characters in this tale.

You’re certain of it but still, with each page passed, you keep glimpsing forward anxiously, wondering when the chapter will end, hoping that the next will bring you back to the delightful yarn that you had been enjoying so much so up until this point. You’d even read a short stanza or two from the pages to follow, and you know that it’s soon enough to be true, just after you can slog through this one black sheep of a bastardly and evil, yet wholly required chapter, first.

That in a nutshell, it suddenly occurs to me friends, is where I find my life right about now. But just for exactly right about now. Having worked my way through most of the chapter I wish I could have skipped altogether, I can see the number of pages remaining continue to dwindle. And while that does cause me extreme joy, it also gnaws on me, similar to the clawing cat that knows with desperation that it’s losing its litter-encrusted grip upon you. I keep finding myself having to fight the urge to try to read faster, or skip whole pages, for I know that I can do neither anyway. I must wait patiently and read through to the very last word.

The next chapter is already looming bright, begging to greet me with open arms and sunshine. But it can not start in earnest until this one first ends.

And sadly that, word by bloody distasteful word…

•••

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A Life Straight(ened)

It’s time, isn’t it? Time to write it down, spit it out, give it up.

Yes.

But I don’t want to.

You have to.

But I’m scared.

None the less, its your bed made. You have to.

Are you ready?

No.

Go ahead anyway.

OK…

There is a thing still lying in wait.  A something – ever-hungry, heavy, dark, and leech-like – looming just beneath my surface.

I can feel it there always.

This thing, this Bastard, howls in foreboding glee. Safe in the assumption that I am too scared to ever acknowledge it. Satisfied in knowing that I am piss-fearful that if I ever did, it would surely decimate me.

Leave me for dead.

This thing, this Poison, is the same thing I have felt gnawing with greasy lips before.  The very thing I have previously – with eyes tearfully squeezed hard shut – ignored, all in the hopes that it would simply go away.

It didn’t.

This thing, this Sin, is the director of my nightly ‘mares, the driver of my attacks of anxiety, the detriment to my finally being able to straighten my life, my faith, my forgiveness, my moving onward.

My growing upward.

This thing, this parasitic Fuck, is the last thing I must give to Him. The thing that only He can destroy. I believe this to be true, I want it to be done. And yet this thing I can’t even name. This thing I need to hand over, I can’t see, nor yet look in the eye.

I only feel it, know that it is there.

Lord, please take this thing from me. I don’t know its name, but please rip this overly fattened tick from my soul. I am not strong enough to give it to you. I know this, and I’m so sorry for my weakness. But if I ask You to take it instead, will that count?

If I ask You, will that good enough?

If so, then please. Please, and now.

There is a thing still lying in wait. A something that is slowly bleeding me, and if I hope to be complete again, this thing has to be removed.

This something has to die.

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The first time I’ve ever used a prompt prior to the actual post, within the introduction. This one coming from the good people over at the Write On Edge community.

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Dear me…

There is a shameful secret that I have held for many years now, and it goes a little something like this: At one point in the bible, Jesus advised that we should “love others as we love ourselves.” To me, there had always been a sense that there could be no greater insult delivered upon another of God’s creatures. To me, this was a blasphemy beyond reproach.

This week, The Blogging Lounge tasked us with writing a letter to our younger selves. What follows is that which poured from my mind to mine…

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Hey.

Do me a favor, OK?

Look into the mirror.

Yeah, that one.

Now, look into the eyes you see in that reflection.

Go ahead, look deep in. Gaze deeper than you’d like, deeper than you’ve the strength to. Deep enough to see what truly lies behind.

See the being that resides within those eyes? He’s beautiful, right?

No?

Well, then I guess our little chat here is over.

OR…

Or, you can look again. And this time, you could try it with an honest and open mind.

See?

He is beautiful. He’s beautiful, and he is YOU.

Now, I’m going to tell you something. Something that you won’t believe. Something that almost sounds insulting on the surface – partially because it is. I’m going to tell you that you will spend a large portion of your life trying to avoid this Truth, relying instead upon the retarded opinion of those around you who’ll want to deny it themselves. Those few whom you seem hellbent on assigning a credence they simply never have earned, nor even now deserve.

In fact, I am going to go so far as to tell you that you will willingly seek out those who will greedily clip your wings, simply so that they (and you, to a certain extent) can deny you your flight, use you to their own ends, and then simply discard you as they would the bone of a fatted calf, after they’d sucked its marrow dry.

And you? Well, you’ll allow it happen of course – both professionally and personally – you’ll almost hand select, and give your unwavering allegiance to, those best poised to fulfill your erroneous prophecy of self-defeat. And you’ll do so simply because flight is scary.

Because beauty is scary.

Because Truth…

Well, you get the point, I’m sure.

Hey. Do me a favor, OK?

Please, don’t let your Beauty scare you.

Don’t let Truth – your unique Truth – scare you.

Please, don’t allow your fear to corner you into simply accepting What Is, instead of What Could Be.

Take flight. Don’t stay grounded merely for “safety’s” sake, for another’s sake.

I’ll tell you something else. You will realize your dream of being a father, of being a dad.

And even though certain wing-clippers – those untrustables whom you did anyway – will try to steal even that Joy from you, your Apples will need you to be a strong tree. A tree that truly loves itself as it does others.

So look into the mirror again.

As long as you can look into the eyes reflected there and acknowledge the Beauty that truly resonates within, then those cherished Apples of yours, along with the others you love – they who already see your Truth, and love you in return – and even you yourself will come to find the perfect space.

I promise.

I promise, and I look forward to meeting you there one day, high above the fray.

Love,

t

•••

Lose This Skin.

Admittedly, Eustace was a prig.

But of all of the Narnia characters, he is my favorite. And not simply because he’s allowed me the opportunity to finally use the word “prig” in a post either.

No, of all the characters, Eustace is my favorite because he was transformed. And unlike Edmund, he did so without even the promise of a greater good to come in the process. There was no talk of a future crown or a greater glory for Eustace, but he saw the need, and transformed anyway.

He did so shortly after his old ways had turned him rather abruptly into a dragon.

Assuming you haven’t read the tale (and if not, you really should), Eustace found some dragon’s loot, and in stealing a piece, he in turn became a fire breather himself when he placed it upon his wrist. His new dragon arm was much thicker than the previous boyish version, and as a result the bewitched gold could not be removed. He was stuck. Forevermore to be cursed – and alone – with his new dragon persona. As so often happens in the Narnia tales, Aslan came along and – after a bit of earnest and deserved begging from Eustace – saved him by stripping all the dragon flesh from the boy. But only after first commanding the boy to do so himself several times instead (a task that the boy tries and ultimately fails at, in each and every instance).

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Of all seven of the books in the Narnian Chronicles, this is the singular scene that spoke to me the most. So much so in fact, that several years ago I found myself beginning to pray that I too might have the good pleasure of having my scales removed. You see, I knew that who I was, wasn’t who I was. And I knew that there was something greater within – something more true, more inline with the creation that He envisioned when first He crafted me. Of course, much like the book, I imagined that there would be a moment of pain, a tear of the flesh causing a tear to the eye, and then I would be provided with great big (((Jesus hugs))) before bounding merrily upon my new and improved way.

None of that happened though.

What did happen was this. First I buried my father. And then my brother’s marriage. And then I heard that I would have to do the same with my marriage as well. And then the children, The Little Things, who were in our protection had to be removed from my care as a result. And then I lost daily contact with my own children, as they stayed with their mother while I moved out. And then (and this is no small matter to people who care) my cat died. And then, in early December, I found myself restructured rather abruptly (the 3rd, at 11:02 AM, to be precise) into the world of unemployment. And finally, that resulted in me losing my car, my family health insurance coverage and my financial security. Never mind any falsetto self-worth I had foolishly built up along the way based upon these superficial achievements.  And that is where I am now.

And it dawns on me… All the scales have been removed.

All the dragon flesh has been stripped from me. I am raw, in tears, naked and pink. I received what I prayed for, I just never realized the immensity of what it was that I wished. I am sore, and scared, and at times feeling (though I know it’s not true) terribly alone. And although there have oft been times when I simply felt the urge to go to Sleep, I am filled with the promise of a wholly new being emerging. One who will be loved by those who love without condition or expectation. Finally, and for the first time in 44 years, a “me” that is one of my own making instead of others begs to come forth. A “me” that will hopefully come closer to fulfilling the beauty of the creation that He envisioned when first He crafted me.

Who Am I?

I’ve no idea.

But just between you, me and all these discarded, hard shorn and useless scales, I simply can not wait to finally find out.

•••

This post was created in response to my Life as it stands, and to the prompt provided us by the beautiful people over at The Blogging Lounge.

Love Is Stronger…

“We meet no ordinary people in our lives.”

~ C.S. Lewis

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2013 - please click image for more information

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2013 – Please click image for more information.

I believe that we find ourselves feeling the need to perform annually, rituals such as the Transgender Day of Remembrance, only because we continue to allow ourselves to live in a world where it is literally easier to take a God-given human life, than it is to permit them to simply live their own.

We find it easier to live in ignorance and hate, than we do in the Truth and Love.

Listen, I’ve no idea who I truly am today, but I do know that people – good people – have been brutally slaughtered, simply because they were not afraid of being who they knew they were. That is wrong, and that has to stop. And that has to stop now.

Love IS stronger than death. Isn’t it about time that we proved that idea to be true?

•••

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth — only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.”

~ C.S. Lewis

 

Briefly…

Listen, it’s my fault.

I mean, I chose the damned song, now didn’t I?

Regardless, I stand by my choice. There are about a bazillion and one different directions you could take, what with The Clash’s “Car Jamming” as your song prompt. It’s a beat-full, lyrically rich track to play off of, but I still found myself totally surprised that I ended up where I eventually did on this one.

Below is this week’s 100 Word Song. Hope you enjoy, and please, play along!

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He realized that any signs of kindness would be merely accidental.

Wondering why they were so constantly and brutally mean, he carefully dabbed a stubborn tear away, smudging smoky eyeliner in the process. Rifling the tissue to the desktop, he muttered “Dammit!” while inspecting the mishap.

It wasn’t enough that he was abused for being true to himself, he now looked like a weepy rank amateur to boot.

Lauren Bacall wouldn’t have let them get her down. Nana said he resembled her when he was dressed “that way,” maybe it was time that he started acting like her as well.

•••

This week’s song was chosen by Lance’s brother from another mother: “Car Jamming” by The Only Band That Matters.

500 Words Plus A Sentence, And One More After That

No self-imposed word count this week kids, as the conversation required much more breathing space than that.

Here is week # 8’s submission for Master Class 2013, who’s twist involved two prompts* being used, one at the start, and the other at the end.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

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The past cannot be cured.

“That’s how you always lived dad, but that was on you, not me. And definitely not him.”

“I’m only saying, some day he’ll look back on the days of tramping around the house in your wife’s high heels, pretending to be a drag queen, and he’ll be mortified. He’s my grandson – I don’t want him to live in shame.”

“Now why would he feel like that dad? Again, please don’t attribute ‘your thing’ onto his life. You were the one who could never let go of your past, never feel good about who you were naturally. He’s a totally different being, a being of Light versus darkness. You and I, we’re the opposite of him. And dad, our family has had more than its fair share of our ilk, don’t you agree? Let’s give his approach a try for a spell, shall we?”

“You’re not listening to me. And you’re once again trying to fill the conversation with a whole bunch of flouncey words that don’t really mean anything.”

“Slew, dad.”

“What?”

“Slew. I would have chosen ‘slew’ over ‘whole bunch,’ dad.”

“Whatever, smartass. Listen, it’s a sin, OK?”

“No dad, it’s not OK. You see, I don’t recall anywhere in the Bible where Jesus busted on any of that. He DID, however, tell people not to judge others. He also told us to love each other, and He told us to live by His example, not Rome’s. No dad, there are all sorts of sins in this world, but my son’s orientation isn’t one of them, and it upsets me that you would feel that way.”

“But do you think I would actually feel that way? I mean, if I were alive to be there? If you recall, I was the one who bought him the Baby Doll he wanted. Do you think I would now choose my ideology over his? Would I choose myself over him?”

“I don’t know dad. I would hope not. I would hope that – like so many other times in your life – you would eventually change your mind for the love of your family, begrudgingly at first, and then in full-out abandon, to the point of being a public embarrassment. You know, like you usually did.”

“Hmmm, most likely. As we’ll never have this conversation, I suppose we’ll never really find out. Hey, are you going to tell your mother?”

“Are you insane????

“Heh, I didn’t think so.”

“Dad, do you think I’ll handle this correctly? I really don’t want to fuck it up.”

“Listen to that girl, what your friend Mary said – you won’t. You don’t give yourself enough credit, son. You’re much more a being of light than darkness yourself, you know. I’ve told you, you’re a good father. I’m proud of you.”

“Thanks dad.

Dad, I miss you.”

“I miss you too Troy. And I’ll be right here, waiting for you when you come over. But not just yet, not until many years from now, when you have entered the winter of your life.

•••

A note concerning today’s tune. It doesn’t have a direct link to the above per say, other than the fact that it is the song that has been stuck inside the heads of both myself and my beautiful, heel-hoofing darling boy as of late.

Don’t listen, unless you want it getting stuck in your head as well…

* The first quote was from “Shadow of the Night” by Deborah Harkness. The second, from “Winter Journal” by Paul Auster.