Liebster Award

Many thanks to tripleclicka for nominating me for a Liebster Award that tries to draw attention to new blogs and/or ones with fewer than 200 followers. The award involves the nominee answering ten questions from the nominator and then finding another ten blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and prompt. First, my answers to tripleclicka’s ten questions…

1. What is your favorite ice cream?

No contest. Mint chocolate chip. Nothing is more refreshing. Just thinking about it makes me feel happy and sweet and cool. 🙂

2.  If you had to give up either Ice Cream, or Bacon, forever, which would it be?

Bacon. But that’s cheating since I’m vegetarian. 😉 So I might be forced to give up ice cream. 😦

3. When it comes to gift giving, do you wrap, or use a gift bag?

Gift bags. I’m not a skilled wrapper. I like gifts bags better too since you can reuse them. So they’re less wasteful.

4. If you could give just one more gift in your life, what would it be and who would you be giving it to?

I have one ready to mail as I type, in fact. It’s for a dear friend of mine who I met in college. She often likes to walk through the world barefoot. So I’m sending her a mini bottle of Barefoot merlot along with a Tibetan yak leather sandal key ring and an acrostic poem using the word BAREFOOT.

5. Toilet paper, over, or under?

Over, but I’m not the kind of person to make a big deal about it. Just don’t leave an empty tube on the holder.

6. Star Wars, or Star Trek?

Star Trek. But I hope I don’t have to choose. I try to live my life according to both the Jedi and Vulcan codes, after all. 🙂

7. Do you believe in love at first sight?

Not “sight.” But maybe there’s a complex, subconscious instinct that can detect compatibility from mannerisms, the way a person dresses and other cues. Granted, true love requires commitment too. So whatever happens “at first sight” must be maintained.

8. Do you like tent camping?

Depends on the tent and the people in it. 🙂 But yes, I have enjoyed my times camping in a tent. Hell, I’d live in a tent, if I could. Keep on the move. I have a nomadic soul, I guess.

9. In your own words, can you explain the concept of pineapple on a pizza?

“Something that shouldn’t work but does.”

10.  Would you/have you ever gone to the movie theatre just to get movie food, i.e. popcorn, slurpee, candy, without any intention on seeing a movie?

I’ve never done that and probably wouldn’t unless someone I was with wanted to. Concessions are always so expensive. Plus, I love movies so much that I usually prefer just to “eat” the film up sensually, as free of other distractions as possible.

And now onto my list of nominees. I only have four currently. Most of the blogs I follow (and I need to follow more) have more than 200 followers. So I will spend the next couple days finding more blogs to follow and update this list accordingly.

1. Stained Glass Doubts

Because I have great respect for someone willing to shed old traditions and embrace a path toward authentic spirituality. Plus, she is all about discussion and mutuality, which I admire, getting her readers to “think for themselves”.

2. Native American Concepts

Mainly for her “Glossary of Translations” which I have printed out and intend to carefully study, embody and express in my life as much as I can (and, of course, in my own way).

3 & 4. katpleiadeanmandu and The Voyager Journey

Two blogs on planetary ascension, a concept that fascinates me with my love of science fiction and how that can open us up to new kinds of spiritual understanding.

Edit 3 June: adding two poetry blogs.

5. Mikel Kelly

Beautiful, touching words. Simple, straightforward language. Sometimes brings tears to my eyes and sometimes smiles. Lovely.

6. Maria McManus

Maybe it’s my Irish heritage (on my mom’s side), but I find this woman’s perspective enlightening and her poetry well-balanced and quite simply brilliant. I’ll be spending a lot of time her in the near future I think.

And, in keeping with my nature as a somewhat lazy rule-breaker, I will not ask 10 questions but TEN questions.

T. Tell me: why did you decide to dress the way you did today?

E. Electricity goes away tomorrow—so how will you still thrive?

N. No catches, no consequences, one selfish will be granted you…what is it?


You’ve Got Male

In order to prevent the mistakes of my previous blog (namely, information overload), I plan to limit my posting to Mondays. A day associated with the moon and its phases seems appropriate for describing one’s transformation.

Anyway, tonight I’m wearing women’s shoes (I guess I’m starting from the bottom and going up) while I type and trying to figure out a way to overcome the loathing for my male physiology that just will not seem to go away. I feel like it is important for me to accept and appreciate my male body even as I begin to transition. What I have taken to telling myself is that my male body has kept me alive for 36 years. I even thought to myself earlier today, in answer to the question I’m sure many transgender women ask—”why was I born male?” —that perhaps I would not be alive now to transition if it wasn’t for my male body. How many times has my male body kept me safe in situations where a female body would not have? Perhaps my male body has been Superman to the woman within me all this time, getting me out of situations and circumstances that would have led to more unfortunate ends otherwise. Now, perhaps, my instincts sense that it is safe to transition. It does seem to be reassuring to think that way, at least, and ease the impulse toward self-loathing.

Also, I always seem to want my life to stand for something, why I guess the Superman myth appeals to me. What I don’t want my life as a transgender woman to stand for is any kind of derogation of the masculine. I would hope that, no matter the extent of my transition, I will still value my masculine aspect. I see strength and courage (at least the active kinds) as belonging to one’s masculine aspect. It is only our hyper-gendered society that demands masculinity be tied to physiology. Why are we so obsessed with physiology? Surely identity comes from the brain foremost and the body only secondarily. Mind before matter, you could say. At least, I have always felt that way.

So where do things stand currently? Woman’s shoes (just for wearing at home for now), shaved legs and pits, more feminine smelling deodorant. Also, starting to walk a little differently and talk a little differently as I imagine myself a woman. Next step will probably be jewelry of some kind, and I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my hair.

Oh, and OCD does not make for a fun first-time leg-shaving experience if you have a VHMB (very hairy male body). Ingrown hairs are not pleasant, I must say, like having had acupuncture performed by a drunken orangutan. 🙂


Under the Body Tree

So, in my previous blog life, I was Sombra|Sol. In that life, I explored the cosmic and philosophical but became overwhelmed and experienced enlightenment too soon, which is not at all pleasant, I must say. I had to “kill” that blog, in order to regain control over my real life, which had spiraled out of control, due to the flood of ideas coming to me (only a fraction of which made it onto the blog). Fortunately, getting back to living my real life has allowed me to understand enlightenment better and, more importantly, to understand myself better.

In this blog life, I am Blind Willow Sleeping. The reference is to the collection of short stories by Haruki Murakami, one of my favorite authors (I just got 1Q84 and am looking forward to taking my time with it). The last word in the book title is left off deliberately.

This blog will reflect my exploration of my own gender identity and what changes I find helpful in allowing me to be more comfortable “in my own skin,” as it were. You see, for some time now, I have felt that I was not really a man. Physically, of course, I am male. Mentally, though, I feel more feminine than masculine, though not very. Tomboys seem to express the kind of gender identity with which I would be most comfortable. A passive, receptive “girly girl” (no offense) seems like a terribly boring way to experience femininity. However, all you “girly girls” out there should absolutely feel free to pamper yourselves and get mani-pedis and mud baths and “shop ’til you drop” and wait for Prince Charming to come along and sweep you off your feet. If that’s what brings you happiness, go for it. I prefer to experience the Warrior Woman style of femininity myself.

Anyway, the last few days have been quite difficult. What was once just an abstract idea in the back of my head (I am not a man) suddenly seemed to overcome my entire physical being. Not all of it was bad. I experienced something like divine ecstasy while contemplating being filled by the light of love. That only seemed to make sense in a feminine mode.

Yesterday the loathing for the male physiology set in and in full force. That was unpleasant and depressing, the feeling of being trapped in a body, of having body parts that just don’t feel right. Then a walk this afternoon on the beach in which I suddenly saw myself as a woman with long red hair (either from reading Anne of Green Gables growing up or watching Florence + the Machine videos recently).

So, what is a man who does not feel like a man to do?

I don’t know. That’s what this blog will be for, to help me figure that out. Part of me, though, has been asking the following question:

What could a woman do with a man’s body?

Or put it into a modern mythic context:

What if Lois Lane IS Superman?

Maybe there can be Real Power in uniting a male body with a female brain. Maybe there can be Real Love too. That is to ask: what is lesbian love like if one of the lesbians happens to possess a male body?

For now, the only changes I’ve made are to take warm baths (in which I feel the male physiology slip away) and to start smelling nicer, specifically in my case like apricots. 🙂

Oh, and the title of this blog post refers to both the tree under which Siddhārtha Gautama experienced enlightenment and to the fact that trees are both male and female.