Scenes From My Feminine Transition

I had a brief text conversation with a family member yesterday. My trans-feminine explorations are not sitting well with them. They haven’t exactly disapproved, but it is clear it makes them uncomfortable. I think anything outside the box gender/sexual makes them uncomfortable. They indicated that, as a woman, they aren’t interested in makeup or getting their nails done. They can’t relate to my interest in them as symbols of the feminine. Furthermore, they feel that feminine comes from within. It surprised me that they seemed to lack the very feminine quality of empathy, the ability to see things from another’s perspective. I told them I had strong feminine currents inside me and that the outward expression of feminine through nail polish, lipstick, jewelry, etc. was a way to connect what I feel inside with the outside world and reflect it back to myself.

Last week, I attended a literary event featuring Lucy Sante. I bought and have been reading Lucy’s autobiographical account of her transition, which she undertook at age 65. I was 68 when it started to surface that I wanted to present femininely. I am a few months into my 69th year now. She seems to have been more fraught about it than I have been. She also seems to have experienced full-blown gender dysphoria. She is doing hormone therapy. I don’t know anything about the changes that one can expect from hormone therapy, but Lucy looked to me largely like I look to myself. A man presenting femininely.

Hormone therapy, so far, doesn’t appeal to me. My body will have enough challenges coping with getting old. I don’t think adding hormone engineering to the mix would be doing my body any favors, and my psychological health around my feminine emergence is just fine. I am content with feminizing my body with clothing, accessories, makeup, etc. As much as I would like to have woman breasts, and I would, I don’t feel the need to fake them or get surgery. Getting my nails done. Wearing women’s clothing. Wearing lipstick and jewelry. Whatever promotes a feminine impression to the outside world and, most importantly, to myself, is where I am at. Basically, I am a cross dresser. It’s ok if the world sees me as a womanly man and not a woman. Of course, I don’t mind it if anyone wants to acknowledge my womanly presentation with a “mam.”

An important realization for my wife in all of this was that, fundamentally, I am still the same person I have always been. Yes, I am presenting femininely. Yes, this exploration has made me a little more feminine on the inside, too. But I have always had feminine inside me and have never presented as anything close to macho masculine.

Lucy Sante talks about coming out to her partner who felt betrayed, lied to. Lucy had been so repressed for so long, that she actually was living a lie and the breakage of trust was a real thing. My wife had a similar reaction initially. I explained to her that I hadn’t been hiding anything from her. That I had shared it with her as soon as I started feeling it. Which was true. In a series of blog posts that turned out to be precursors to the “cracking of my egg,” as the trans community seems to call it, I wrote about what was emerging, though I didn’t realize it when I wrote the posts. I shared all of them with my wife before publishing. I was preparing both of us.

I have, to this day, a collection of beaded purses and hat pins that I developed during my first marriage. My wife carried one of the purses when we got married. She acknowledges there were indications of my feminine nature back then and that was probably part of what she fell in love with. I didn’t present femininely back then. I didn’t present femininely at all until it began to surface last year. So I can truly say to my wife, I didn’t lie or hide anything from you and I started letting you know as soon as I began to know, before I was conscious anything was going on.

Lucy seems to have burst out in a big gush. I am blossoming in a steady flow. Taking careful steps. Testing each new escalation carefully. I am now fully rolled out to family, most friends, and the public. I am pleased about it.

Just now, I read a section in which Lucy talked about dealing with her fascial hair. Laser removal wasn’t available as her beard was gray, and the machine can’t find the gray hairs. She had to do electrolysis, which took a year of weekly sessions in which each individual hair was pulled and the follicle cauterized. That is a kind of dedication and expense that I am not up for.

On my way home from the coffee shop where I was refining and adding to this post, I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in a while. I was in full feminine mode, which they hadn’t seen before. Even a few weeks ago, this encounter would have made me tense. I am much more confident and relaxed now. I opened up the space for him to ask about it by saying it was ok to ask about my feminine presentation. We chatted about various things, and he did circle back to ask me about it. He gave me a hug as we parted.

I have come a long way.

an update on my feminine blossoming + my fear of men’s capacity for violence

… i continue to grow my feminine out into the world… my rollout has been measured… i think carefully about each step and work out half steps if any step seems too scary… each step is marked by a question, “do i have the courage to do this?”

… last weekend i came out to my family… i had been thinking about it for a while… waiting for the right moment… i sent them a link to a post i wrote in January of this year, saying i had been going through some changes and i’d been wanting to share it with them for a while… they all read it… they were pretty cool with it… i talked with my mom about it the other day… it turned out she was imagining me as a drag queen… i had a good chuckle about that… “no mom, it’s not like that… in fact, i wore a sweater dress the last time i visited… just add lipstick and some jewelry to that memory”…

… becoming a person who expresses themselves differently from most of the people around me is fraught with fear of rejection… i am aware that there are places i probably shouldn’t go in full feminine bloom… i choose carefully when and where to present my femininity… i am finding acceptance for the most part… people i know are curious, i can tell by the way they look at me when they see me in feminine mode for the first time… they are reluctant to ask me about it… they don’t realize i want to be asked, so i have decided to state the obvious so we can talk about it…

… the other day, my wife and i went shopping for cosmetics at Sephora… i wanted to start experimenting with eye shadow and she wanted to find a new blush and lipstick… i suggested the joint adventure… she was all in… i know it can be weird for her sometimes… but she has been way more supportive than i have any right to expect…

… as with each of my steps forward into feminine presentation, i will start subtilely with the eyeshadow… i wore it for the first time the day after i bought it… i barely noticed it when i looked in a mirror… i doubt anyone else did either… i will slowly work up to bolder shadow statements… i am hot to try shiny metallic shadows… Shye, the saleswoman who indulged and educated me at Sephora, showed me a wonderful color pallet from Danessa Myricks… it’s on my want list… but first, the basics…

Love Is Love eye shadow color pallet from Denessa Myricks Beauty

… the day i started writing this i wore a black linen mini dress from Everlane… it stops a few inches above my knees… for the first time i wore no leggings underneath… leggings, even though worn mostly by women, give the left brains of people who see me an out… “oh, he’s wearing a long shirt and pants”… a mini dress and bare legs is impossible to construe as a pant and shirt combination… in the brutally hot weather we’ve been experiencing, my minidress outfit was soooo comfortable… and can i say, i have very good legs?…

… each escalation of my feminine presentation is planned carefully… i have to imagine it in detail for days… until it becomes so much a part of who i am that i have to do it…

… i was nervous walking down Main Street in my minidress with bare legs… especially when i passed men… i am anxious when i pass men in a way i never was before… most mornings i pass the entry to a martial arts studio… often, there are a number of pickup trucks parked on the street outside… samurai war lords loiter on the sidewalk after class yakking… i haven’t walked past them in full feminine bloom… i think i will avoid that…

… it is strange to be so anxious about what men might do… i fear their potential to be violent… women, i think many of you know this anxiety well…

… i have had a couple of close calls with cars at a particular intersection… both involved male drivers… one was definitely being aggressive… the other… hard to know… It’s not impossible that it was distracted driving…

… the other night my wife and i met a friend at an event featuring Lucy Sante… Lucy transitioned to feminine presentation late in life, as i have… in fact, we are about the same age and her transition happened only a few years ago… during the event, she described true gender dysphoria which she had been experiencing since childhood… i have been aware of the strong feminine currents of my being for a long time… i have always been comfortable with them, though i don’t think they ever rose to the level of true gender dysphoria…

… at the end of the program i walked up to Lucy and told her i was in the process of finding my feminine and that it helped me to see another trans woman who has undertaken a similar journey… i thanked her for being public and frank about that experience… she thanked me and wished me luck with my journey… i bought her book and look forward to reading it…

What Am I?

I have been thinking a lot about what it is I am becoming. It seems more and more that it is less about becoming a she, than a feminine he. When I think of myself in the third person, I think of myself as he. He is wearing lipstick. He is buying necklaces and wearing them. He is buying dresses and wearing them. He is wearing colors more often associated with she. My longings sometimes run to being a woman. Like when I see a beautiful dress that would require having breasts, hips, and a waist to wear, but mostly I am he in my mind. At least for now. I continue to evolve.

The women’s clothing I wear is feminine, even when I wear it. But it is almost unisex because whether I wear it or a woman wears it, it has substantially the same drape. I have a cotton shirt dress which is really an oversized, overlong, crewneck cotton shirt. It fits loosely on my body, as it would on a woman’s. It is really comfortable. Of course, on a woman it hangs differently, off the breasts for example. But when I wear it, I don’t need breasts to get a good hang.

The gender implications of clothing, jewelry and makeup are interesting. The culturally defined messaging of various forms of dress and adornment are just that, culturally defined. As are the expectations of what gender message one is to send with their clothing and adornment. In the United States, we are steeped in a myth of masculinity and femininity represented by the Marlboro Man and Marilyn Monroe archetypes. It’s an extreme and, let’s face it, toxic masculinity and femininity. In reality, we play out in a much more diverse way. But the basic myth of what man and woman should be remains Marlboro Man and Marilyn Monroe.

As I have said before, I am not the Marlboro Man. I have never been and have no desire to be. I prefer feminine to masculine, in my expression of self, in the things I am happy doing and in the people I surround myself with. I don’t seek to be a woman, so much as I seek to be a womanly man. Of course, in toxically masculine/feminine society, this is a display of extreme weakness by a man. It is the incomprehensible-to-some preference of emulating the femininity of Marilyn Monroe instead of possessing and fucking it. I love smashing the patriarchy!

Coming Out to a Larger Circle

Last night was my friend’s birthday party. I went with my wife in full feminine mode. As I wrote last week, I was both excited and anxious about this party. Even though I have been presenting my feminine self for eight months now, it was the first time we have socialized with our friends with me in full feminine mode. I wasn’t sure how this would be for my wife or how it would be received by heterosexual friends. I think my wife might have been a little anxious too. We quickly relaxed once there. I came home feeling it had been a successful evening, and my wife said she thought so too.

Trans feminine person with wood bead necklace, black cotton top, bold green crystal frame glasses, black and white batik headband, hair cascading in curls to her shoulders and red/pink lipstick.

The photo above was my look for the evening, though I did change my lipstick to something more subtle and peachy. My garment is a black cotton shirtdress. I also wore dark gray leggings, black leather sandals from Banana Republic, a buffalo horn bracelet on my left wrist and a guitar string bracelet on my right wrist.

I chose this party for coming out to a larger circle of friends and acquaintances because my friend is lesbian. I figured the crowd would be a mixture of straight, gay, and lesbian people. That is, it would be a friendly audience. I also expected there would be a few people that we have socialized with over the years, before I began presenting femininely or even knew I wanted to. I was right. A woman my wife regularly goes to the gym with was there. She was the first person I talked to at any length. She took feminine me in stride. If she missed a beat, I didn’t see it. I was glad she was there. Last fall, when my feminine presenting self began emerging, my wife told me she had no one she could talk to about it. Hopefully, my wife now has at least one friend in on my changes and can talk to her about it.

A heterosexual couple we have known for some time came too. I spent a good amount of time talking to the husband, and my wife did the same with his wife. They didn’t miss a beat either.

A woman artist friend rounded out the people we saw who knew me in the pre trans feminine days and hadn’t seen me present femininely before. Several years ago, she and her husband divorced. At a party about a year ago, she showed up with a new girlfriend and last night she told us they were getting married.

At the end of the night, my artist friend’s fiancé and I had a conversation about an article I had read that morning making the case for lesbian separatism. It suggested it was good for lesbians to form lesbian only communities, separate from the dominant, hetero-patriarchal society, to be in a safe place free of its oppression and thus be unfettered in establishing their lesbian identity. We mutually agreed that we preferred the stance of being who we are within the context of the dominant culture as a means of holding space for that self. I certainly have no desire to spend my time only with other trans-feminine people. I have carefully and deliberately been weaving my feminine self into my community with the hope that I will be embraced, appreciated and loved for who I am. I also want to exist as a demonstration that there are other ways of configuring one’s self. I intend to help smash the patriarchy.

As we were leaving, my artist friend’s fiancé asked me what I planned to do for pride month. I told her I hadn’t thought about it, but that now I would. It was only a little while ago that I came home and realized that the pride flag we have been flying for years supporting the LGBTQ+ community was now flying for me as well. I’m not sure if I can join a parade yet. I am still a work in progress and still rolling it out to my friends and acquaintances. But I will find a way to quietly celebrate my entry into this community and to honor those who came before me and created the space for this new me to be.

PS: I have decided two things to do in celebration of Pride Month. I want to bake some sort of pride cake and have some friends over to help me eat it. And, I would like to come completely out to my family, which is my Mother, my brother and my sister at this point. I don’t think it will come as a total shock to them. On my last couple of visits, I have worn “sweater tunics,” aka sweater dresses, and other casual tops purchased from women’s clothing sources, as well as wearing my hair in more feminine ways. There has also been an essay or two shared with them which certainly pointed at it.

My Feminine Blossoming, An Update

When the soul wants to experience something she throws out an image in front of her and steps into it.

–Meister Eckhart

There couldn’t be a more perfect quote to describe what has become a daily routine.

Every morning I shave to something approaching feminine smooth, spread moisturizing cream across my face, select clothing, jewelry, hair accessories and lipstick. When I am satisfied with my look, I sit at my studio desk and search for images of women on Mastodon, Deviant Art and Fashion websites. Fashion images, makeup images, portrait images, erotic images. I install these images on the daily page of my journal in a Feminine Mystique section set up to receive them, my virtual alter to the Divine Feminine. I take a few selfies and save my look to the journal too. Here is my look the day I started writing this post…

Here’s a grid of recent looks…

I spend hours scouring online catalogs of women’s clothing for feminine looks I can emulate and women’s clothing I can wear. I am getting good at knowing what will look good on me and what won’t. Here are some dresses I am currently considering…

A dramatic statement, I know, but I love it and I think my large frame would be able to cary it off.

This has been on my list for a while. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but may soon.

I like the bold print here.

This one may be a little too “girly” for me.

This one might be a little too slouchy, but then again, maybe not. It has a subtle weave texture pattern that I like.

When new clothing arrives, I test drive my outfits at my favorite local coffee shop, where the baristas are young, hip and tolerant. One of the managers spotted my transition early on and has been very supportive. She usually has something positive to say about my look for the day. We compare notes on fashion, accessories and hair styles sometimes.

I began my feminine self rollout late last fall, under the cover of early morning darkness and cold weather coats. My initial steps were tentative. I wore the most feminine item of clothing I had, a cardigan sweater that was minidress length, over slim leg jeans. The lipstick I started wearing was almost the same color as my lips, easily missed.

It is spring now. Dawn comes earlier and earlier. There is no more cover of darkness. Soon I won’t need the knee length, light weight coat i have been wearing. Whatever I have chosen to wear for the day will be fully visible from a distance. I have been wearing some dresses that will be provocative to people I regularly see in the morning, or so I imagine. I prepare for this by imagining myself walking confidently down the street in all my feminine glory.

By the time I cross over a new threshold in presenting myself, I have been picturing it for months. Buying a new item of clothing is the result of hours of browsing online catalogs. I bookmark items I think I can wear, get my wife’s opinion on them, return to look at them some more. As I zero in on favorites, I imagine how I will accessorize them. Then the moment of placing my order comes. Waiting for a new dress or blouse or pair of leggings to come can be a little excruciating. When it finally arrives I immediately try it on to see if it works as well on my body as I thought it would. I try it with various accessories I have on hand. Which jewelry? What hair look? What color lipstick?

As warm weather approaches, I picture myself walking down the street in carefully assembled outfits. Wont I be beautiful! This is scary and exhilarating, as all my coming out steps have been.

Expanding the circle of friends and acquaintances who know about my feminine turn is slow going. I have to overcome my own fears of rejection and my wife needs time to acclimate herself to my changes. If I progress too fast it can freak her out, though she has coped much better than I feared she would. She now helps me shop for jewelry and reviews clothing I am considering purchasing with me.

A friend has invited us to her birthday party. She has been very supportive of my feminine turn. I told my wife that I want to attend the party in full feminine mode. A dress, jewelry and lipstick. Maybe eye shadow and mascara. There will be straight friends in attendance whom we have known for years. It will be my first coming out to that circle of friends. I tingle with the thought of it. I worry too. I worry that not everyone will be ok with this new me. I worry that my wife will feel embarrassed in front of long time friends. Still, I want feminine me to be known, loved and appreciated.

It’s Always Been Michael, Never Mike

Self portrait of author in black and white.

Whatever calls you, whether it’s the ocean or art or family or democracy, isn’t out there. It’s inside you. Like all the cycles and rhythms we describe in this book, it comes and goes, accelerates and decelerates, falls away and rises again. Like a tide, inside you.

— from Burnout, by Emily Nagoski, Amelia Nagoski

I am assembling an outfit to express feminine me. I am building it around a lovely “Petrol/Teal” funnel neck sweater dress. I have spent hours on the internet shopping for accessories to go with it. The right shoes, the right leggings, the right pair of socks, the right bracelet. Masculine me settled on a basic uniform years ago. Black crewneck long sleeve t-shirt, black slim leg jeans, Hoka sneakers, black leather belt with silver buckle, grey or black over the calf socks. Masculine me isn’t into makeup and is happy with a five day stubble.

Feminine me is tossing masculine me’s uniform aside. Boring! She has brought purple, magenta, blue/green, and blue into the mix. Her preferred clothing purveyors are J. Jill and Poetry. She likes contemplating questions like, what color lipstick looks good on me? Should I get purple highlights in my hair? Should I get my brows done? What sort of eye makeup should I wear? She reads articles on hair styles, makeup tips, facial cleansing and moisturizing routines. Masculine me doesn’t seem threatened by this development. He seems, if anything, a bit amused, and quite willing to sit on the bench while feminine me blossoms, though he’s prepared to step forward if circumstances warrant it.

This makes it sound like I have split in two. That’s not how it is. My masculine and feminine are a continuum. They coexist in a yin-yang sort of way, moving to the front and back again in a fluid dance of gender expression.

It is hard to describe the feeling of letting my feminine flower. It is often intense. When I first started wearing lipstick. When I first wore a dress. When I first did these things in public. Each of these moments came with feelings that washed through me, sometimes as a gentle wave, sometimes in a raging torrent. Do you remember how it feels to fall in love? That’s how it’s feeling to me to get my feminine on. It’s scary too. I know some people won’t understand.

It is tempting to view this as “coming out of the closet,” but I haven’t been in a closet in any kind of difficult or conflicted way. It’s just that sometime during the past year, feminine me started asking for more space to be. In my mind. On my body. Amongst my community. I am lucky to have the luxury of giving her that space.

In retrospect, I can see she has been with me from the beginning. Michael, until the 1990’s, could be a boy or girl’s name. That means that from the day I was born, room was made for feminine me, in my name. I have always been Michael, never Mike. Mike is the Marlboro man as far as I am concerned. I have never wanted to be the Marlboro man. Perhaps the death of my father, an overbearing patriarchal figure, set her free. Perhaps being at a stage of life where I don’t really have to care what people think helped too. Perhaps, even, she sees that now is the political moment to smash the patriarchy.

I don’t know where feminine me is taking us. All I know is that she is presently at the wheel and determined to immerse us in the feminine.

This post starts with a quote from the book Burnout. It was revelatory to me when I read it. It helped me realize that my meaning-core is calling me to a hero’s journey to the divine feminine. I will read about her. I will write about her. I will make art about her. I will express her. Connecting with her will be the touchstone of my being for a while.

Joseph Campbell claimed that women had no need to undertake the hero’s journey because they were already in the place where that journey winds up. This seems to me to be a conflation of biology and gender, as well as a failure to understand the masculine-feminine continuum. The hero, Marlboro Man, and the divine feminine, Marilyn Monroe, are the yin and yang of Western Civilization. The divine feminine is not the goal of all hero’s journeys. And I believe that women often have need to undertake the Hero’s journey which may return them to the divine feminine or not. All men and women are capable of being the hero or the divine feminine. We need more women undertaking hero’s journeys and many more men connecting with the feminine divine.

May the divine feminine receive us all warmly and shepherd our growth. May we be among her many beacons of light to a world so desperately in need of her.

The Truth of Me

The man who is aware of himself is henceforward independent; and he is never bored, and life is only too short, and he is steeped through and through with a profound yet temperate happiness. He alone lives, while other people, slaves of ceremony, let life slip past them in a kind of dream. Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.

— Virginia Woolf1

The other night, at photography salon, a young woman blew into the room after we had started reviewing work. She was lugging a pile of material. There was a framed something; there was a massive book; there were images in protective sleeves. She set them down on a chair and walked over to pet Charlotte, the pit bull/boxer mix that had accompanied a salon member. We were reviewing female nude images by one of our regulars. As we were wrapping it up, the photographer asked the young woman whether she thought the images were sexual or sensual. She said she thought they were neither. She told us she’d been the subject of nude photography since she was 2 years old; that she modeled in the nude herself sometimes; that she was a member of a nudist colony; that she was genuinely interested in photographing people, mostly women, in the nude; that her work centered around the female nude and the landscape; that her life was in turmoil; that she was being forced to move from her home/studio; that she was forced to take down her website because of accusations of child pornography (shades of Sally Mann); that she had come to the salon because she had been meaning to for over a year and needed a break from packing up her studio/apartment.

When her turn came to share work, she spread out an array of imagery in a variety of formats. The centerpiece was an enormous, one of a kind, hand made book, coptic stitched together. A scrapbook, artist notebook, whatever. There was also a framed photograph of a nude black woman standing with her back to the camera in a v shaped rock formation in a rocky landscape. The black woman became the vulva between the thighs of the rock formation. Later in her presentation, we would discover that she had a vulva series, which were cropped closeups of a vulva, probably hers, but she didn’t say. She had positioned these closeup vulva images near the center of large pages and drawn and painted all around them in a beautiful, colorful, flowering way. She shared an image of a nude woman lying in an undulating landscape which, on closer inspection, turned out to be the bodies of other nude women. There was a nude woman swimming underwater, laminated to a piece of wood with a thick polyurethane coating and shards of glass embedded in the coating. These, she explained, were maquette samples of much larger works, made for porting around to galleries. There was an image of a circle of nude women lying on the ground in a star shape, heads to the center, feet to the perimeter, faces, bellies, breasts, and vulvas up. She told us her life was a mess; that she was in transition; that she wanted to get her MFA at either Yale or RISDI, which suggested she had money, or wildly impractical dreams, or maybe both. The work, and her presentation of it and self, were suggestive of a chaotic woman creative. What one might call a force of nature. I could believe she would get into either of those colleges. I don’t know if we will ever see her again. Her life was spinning her out of town. She said she’d be back, but who knows?

We show the world what we want the world to see. For some of us, too many of us, what we want the world to see is a reflection of what we believe it wants to see. For this woman, it was unquestionably what she wanted the world to see. Not reflective, but the radiant source of a fundamental, if chaotic, honesty. A solar, or perhaps lunar, flare. She seemed unapologetically, herself, a tempest, which might be spinning out of control, might be barely and forever just under control. It’s hard to know from one brief encounter. Yet, she brought something home to me.

I have been operating at the edges of the territory of reflecting what others want to see for all my 68 trips around the sun, constrained by the powerful star, then death star, of my father. I defied him constantly, but never fully escaped orbit. I was unable to reflect what he wanted to see, but also unable to break free of the mirror and frame imposed on me. It would have, I think, been news to him that I was in any way bound by his expectations of me.

I am a man. Now you may think I’ve made some kind of silly mistake about gender, or maybe that I’m trying to fool you, because my first name ends in a, and I own three bras, and I’ve been pregnant five times, and other things like that that you might have noticed, little details. But details don’t matter… I predate the invention of women by decades.

. —Ursula K. Le Guin2

So here I am, 68 years old, struggling to smash the mirror and escape the frame. I am stuck. Not s/he wolf enough to openly live my truth, not domesticated s/he dog enough to hide behind the reflective mirror.

We are on Block Island, enjoying a change of scenery. I wondered before we left, and continued wondering in the first few days of being here, what intention(s) I should set for this time away from the normal background of our lives. I feel the need for a reset. My life seems a jumble of mediocrity and successive near approaches to something like truth, without getting all the way there. None of it seems deep enough, or fundamental enough.

Lately, I have been seeking out erotic imagery of women, in writing and in photographs. Not the nasty and demeaning to the people involved stuff, but the soft core, sensual/sexual stuff. I am particularly interested in imagery, written and photographic, of intimacy between women. I am writing a story about physical and emotional love between two women. Does this erotic imagery drive towards some truth of me? Or is it a longing for things I have aged out of being able to have? I am way beyond the inflamed, sexual youth, whether it be male or female. Is it all longing to be what I can no longer be? Like a deep space probe, I am on a oneway journey out from the center of blazing passions; past the subdued, gently licking-flame passions of the mid-regions; out to the dying ember passions of the outer regions; soon to depart the realm of passions altogether. My connection to that blazing core is increasingly tenuous, my relevance ever diminishing. “Do not go gentle into that good night!” Dylan Thomas advises. I am too far out to be heard, even if I did rage.

Everything I do now seems a longing for something reachable only through memory and imagination. This aging body is of decreasing use to me and anyone else. It can’t fulfill my longings for that youthful blaze in anything like the way I remember the fact of it. I am an increasingly metaphysical being.

Simultaneously, I care less and less about what people think of me. I wonder if one of the things my father hated in me was the s/he wolf prowling around inside.

Metaphysi-me has been experiencing the application of lipstick to his lips as a deeply feminine thing. He has a fantasy about a woman lover who applies the lipstick to his lips, then kisses the s/he wolf that he is. Physical me feels good when metaphysi-me fantasizes this.

There is thunder outside. Is that the god I don’t believe in speaking to me about metaphysi-me? Repress, repress, repress.

Writing what I have written here has, for the moment, freed my mind. I feel relieved. I have welcomed metaphysi-me to the surface of my being. I don’t need for physi-me to manifest these things. What would be the point? It is enough to welcome metaphysi-me to the fold.

I am yin, I am yang. I am the blazing sun of day, I am the waxing and waning moon of night. I am woman, I am man. I welcome these complimentary parts of me to the fullness of my being.

  1. The Courage to Be Yourself: Virginia Woolf on How to Hear Your Soul – The Marginalian ↩︎

  2. Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man ↩︎