The wisdom I have not yet reached

I read this quote from Abraham-Hicks:

We would like you to reach the place where you’re not willing to listen to people criticize one another. Where you take no satisfaction from somebody being wrong. Where it matters to you so much that you feel good, that you are only willing to think positive things about people. You are only willing to look for positive aspects. You are only willing to look for solutions—and you are not willing to beat the drum of all of the problems of the world.

And my heart says, Yes. Yes, absolutely. And I am trying to do that in my life. See solutions, and worthwhile action. See something that is less than optimum (rather than wrong or bad) only as an opportunity to raise it to optimum. And also, get rid of ought and must as a whip for myself- change “I ought to do it” to “it would profit me to do it”.

And then I read this one:

Living a better-feeling life really comes down to one thing only: coming into alignment with the Energy of our Source. Abraham reminds us that we are truly Source Energy focused into our physical bodies, and that a conscious Connection to that Broader Non-Physical part of us is necessary if we are to be the joyful Beings that we were born to be. Abraham calls that wonderful alignment Getting into the Vortex.

And I think, well, er um. I am a physical being, feeding or resting as other animals do. And I get a bit suspicious. Is it Reality? Is it gibberish, twaddle, snake-oil? Well. Possibly it is rubbish, and possibly it is the wisdom I have not yet reached, and I will see the truth of it in time.

Ikon

father-pefkis-icon-madonna-and-child

The photograph does not do justice to the thing itself. It is lustrous. It is an “Exact copy of the strict Byzantine style created by Father ‘Pefkis’, qualified hagiographer of the Athoniados Ecclesiastical Academy in Agion Oros at Athos, with the genuine traditional colours with gold sheets on canvas on aged wood”. I got it at St John’s, at the west end of Princes St. They tell me they are at the mercy of their suppliers, they can sell only whatever the suppliers send. It is far more beautiful than the other pictures they have, which are prints.

Fr. Pefkis’s Christianity and mine appear very different. How do I approach this beautiful thing? First, by delighting in its beauty. The gold, the wood. Then, by considering it from a place of appreciation rather than denigration. Do people have haloes? Well, yes, some people have such force of character shining from them that they might appear to. Here is a mother, with her cheek pressed to the cheek of her child, an archetypal image which will move almost any human being. The child’s head is out of proportion, a baby’s is far bigger: this, for me, only serves to emphasise the vulnerable humanity of Jesus. I love the clear, limpid gaze. I want to know more. What is the symbolism of the colours in the clothes, covered in black for the mother, exposed in the child?

Tony Castle in his book “Gateway to the Trinity” tells of a Roman Catholic priest who commissioned an icon. He expected the Orthodox monastery to put it in the post, but instead they sent a nun to deliver it, who fasted while she was out of the monastery. I am not sure about showing such respect to an object: but I am convinced of the value of showing respect to something outside ones self. And the respect shows the belief in the object’s ability to mediate God to the person who sees it, if that person’s heart is open.

Roger Scruton writes in this month’s Prospect magazine, “icons stand at the border of forbidden things”. I do not know God. Contemplating this icon may allow my mind to roam free among the ideas of God my species has had, glimpsing reality.

Searches for “Pefkis Ikonen” and “Agion Oros monastic” have reached my blog. If anyone can provide a translation for the Greek, I would be grateful.

The bible

Yes, yes, I know- doubtful historicity, God appearing vengeful and not very nice at all, and all that Doctrine and Heresy-finding and oppression and war-

And. If you take a verse and make it your own, the Bible is the pure Spirit of Life, the Uisge Beathe, the Vodka. My first was from Genesis chapter one: “God saw what God had made, and behold, it was very good”. Indeed. Very good. That is me. That is you.

And sometimes it helps to see it as descriptive rather than prescriptive. For example, God visiting the sins of the fathers on the children unto the tenth generation. If that is God being vengeful, making a decision, then he is horrible and I want nothing to do with him. If it is just a description, well, it is how it is.

They who have ears to hear, Hear! And we do, more and more of us all the time.

What of the Broad and Narrow way? That has been used for two thousand years by people who sing,

I am Right.
You can be too
If you see everything
as I do

Jesus can get twisted and misunderstood, and I think the story of the broad and narrow way is ripe for this, used by heresy-hunters for centuries to claim that they are blessed and everyone who disagrees is damned. But what if the Broad Way is just the fashion, the norm, and if you follow it you destroy yourself: and the narrow way is to be entirely and idiosyncratically You, like no-one else, a path for you alone. That would be narrow, and would just fit you, be right for you. It is striking that good arguments may be made for two separate interpretations of one Jesus saying, which have opposite meanings.

Notes

The saying is in Matthew 7:13-14. NRSV:  “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  I think, perhaps, more are finding it now.

Angel

“So, why’d they build that then, eh?”

I am not sure I could answer that questioner. This is my best shot.

Yes, I know, that money could pay for a military helicopter to hunt down “insurgents” in Afghanistan for months; or a hundred ICU beds for so many weeks; or even for Simon Cowell to groom Geordies for stardom, an investment which might bring a return. Instead, they spent it on a statue. Why? For the sheer joy of it. The exuberance. You don’t spend every penny you earn on serious, functional, sensible, useful things, and why should the Government?

As a society, we need beautiful things to uplift the spirit, and seeing this statue from the A1 when I go to Edinburgh uplifts mine. So I had my lunch on a bench near the foot of it, looking up at it, yesterday, and heard that questioner. Not everyone likes the Angel. Some sneer at it.

And if that argument did not work? Well. Look at the constant stream of people, wandering past, looking up, taking photographs. Look at the delight on the faces of the children. That ice cream van, the owner knows what he’s about, he knows he has a good pitch. We love it. That is reason enough.

You know, some people would still not get it, after that explanation, but I like to think most people would. And for those who say Gormley is not a major artist, the Frederick Leighton de nos jours, I would use a similar argument.

I blame my parents!

Or not.

For a long time I was a goody-goody as far as my parents were concerned, aping their opinions and ideas and ways of being. And then, in my early thirties, I realised it was time to do teenage, which I had never done properly, and separate myself a bit. I discovered my emotions. They were anger, frustration, resentment and fear.

I think this was a good stage to go through. I had been hurt, and I did need to self-protect. And. Now I know that my parents did their absolute best for me. Knowing what I do of their circumstances and antecedents, I think they did wonderfully well.  I love my father’s enthusiasm for his work as a teacher, always seeking out new ways to engage with each child. Now he is retired, 86, still dancing.

I have decided that my most important memories of my mother are two particular wonderful hugs, expressing, perceiving and sharing love both ways. And. She worked so hard, all the time, and wanted the best for me the best way she knew how. And. Born fifty years later, she would have absolutely and completely got all this Personal Growth, and flown with it.

For years, I could have told you a story of my mother and then wailed, “She didn’t understand!” with as much emotion as if the incident had happened an hour before. And then, it clicked. “Oh, Riiight! She didn’t understand!” Relief, liberation, joy.

God

I don’t know what I believe in, but I believe in it.

Or, as a friend put it, the fundamental paradox is, There is no God. God exists.

I fought atheism for months, and then about a week after I admitted I was atheist, I went into a church and was brought to my knees by the Holiness of it. Of course it makes no sense, there are synchronicities, but there are unpleasant coincidences as well, and what about all the suffering in the World? Er, dunno.

As I seek to follow my Calling, I do not know whether God is just in the minds and hearts of humanity, or is in everything- the leaf, the rock, the skyscraper- or is Transcendent, whatever that may mean.

When I know I know nothing
God is what I do not know
And-

The Field of Love

The Field of Love, run every year by Tim Broughton who also organises dancing in Norfolk, Suffolk, St Albans and Kew, is highly recommended.

Of the three camps I have attended, this is the one I would be most  likely to attend again, because it seems the most likely to move, delight, inspire and grow me. During morning meditations I have been in Blake’s state- “to see the world in a grain of  sand/ and heaven in a wild flower”. In sharing circles we have held serious conflict, and grown through it. In dance, I have related to others and brought forth new aspects of myself.

ÂŁ300 for ten days’ camping seemed a bit steep, but there are professional musicians to dance to as well as a reasonable sound system for recorded music, a good site crew doing a fair bit towards the communal cooking and keeping the hot tub and showers hot, and Tim himself organising exercises to enrich and grow spirit and community. We built that community, and I connected with each other person there. My hug bank is full.

And- when the weather is dreich, what better way of keeping warm than dancing in a marquee? A whole week of Dancing- wonderful. My only regret is that I did not take enough beautiful clothes to show off!

Pupating

I still have not explained what I meant by saying I have pupated.

I have seen being transsexual as a curse, despite having had for a long time the idea that I need to see it as a blessing. I got as far, this year, as this: one of the first thing anyone, from tiny babies up, notices about another person is what sex they are. If I am both or neither, then one of the most basic rules is broken. Then, there are no rules, and anything is possible: for me, and for everyone.

This was not enough.

But then, I was at the theatre, yet another scene in which a man and a woman argue. It was a brilliant production, my disbelief was suspended and the audience were totally involved. And as I watched them express their hurt and their anger, I realised, my heart moved with both of them. And then I realised,

I am a man
I am a woman
It is blessing to be transsexual
It is blessing to be me

An address to the Inner Critic

Dear Inner Critic,

You express my fear, and my fear is real, and needs to be heard. And. Love makes me happier. Fear has held me back,showing me barriers where none exist, or making me think they are much greater than they are. Love shows me opportunities. Love shows me Opportunities. Love enriches my soul. Fear blocks out, shuns. Only Love can see beauty. Love builds connection. Fear starves, Love nourishes. I need Love to flourish. I know, dear Inner Critic, that you want me to flourish, that you seek to care for me as well as you can, and: Love really is the more excellent way.

Or, consider evolution. It is all about Survival of the Fittest, Competition, right? Well, no. Ancient single-celled organisms took in Mitochondria, other single celled organisms, as symbiants. There are no multi-cellular organisms without mitochondria. So, before competition, Co-operation.

Not just another tranny blog

OM97.6If you want tranny photos, CLICK HERE NOW!

I am transsexual, and it has taken me years to accept that. That is what I meant when I wrote in my first post here that I have pupated.

Lots of us male to female TSs try to make men of ourselves. We go into the Army or police. One I met had joined a criminal gang. I joined the territorial army for two weekends. I stopped reading Jane Austen and started on Clausewitz and The Good Soldier Schweik, but then they found me “insufficiently military”, which I found hurtful at the time and now find a huge compliment. In the 70s, a friend of mine had aversion therapy, stuff to make you vomit and electric shocks. I thought of this as suppressing my feminine side, locking it in a chest, locked in a cupboard, locked in an attic, locked in a house, locked away in a place where I never went.

It was liberating to see it differently, not as locking my feminine side away but as self-protecting, until I felt ready to come out. And when I did come out, I was surrounded by love and acceptance. Not from everyone, and not all the time, but the greatest proportion by far of the reactions I got were accepting. It took me a long time to accept my femininity. I have accepted it at last.

I was so afraid. I was afraid to go into the supermarket, so I went in repeating my mantra, “These are ordinary decent people minding their own business”. I was afraid, and I still did it, and now I am proud of my courage. I assigned far greater importance to the occasional objection, a few insults in the street, than to acceptance by almost all the people I met whetherAt the Tate they knew me or not, and now I am learning to give the rejection its appropriate weight, and no more. Anyone may do his process with me if he likes- just don’t expect it to stick to me.

Then I started going into work expressing myself female, and never presented male again. The world changed from monochrome to colour. I went with friends to a public garden, expecting to be bored, and was entranced by its beauty.

One reason for writing this is that I want you to know about my condition. When people talk about a “sex change”, tell them that a M-F has always been female, that certain parts of their brains are sex-differentiated in the female way (F-Ms are male), and that the proper term is genital correction therapy.

Wikipedia has a good article. I think the brain differences comprehensively refute the idea that my condition is a perversion, even if they are not well enough known to establish causes. And if it is a perversion, so what? I get to do my sex thing all the time. How cool is that?

Hundreds of people have got here by searching for “Tranny blog“. Welcome. You may be looking for photographs: there are some gorgeous tranny photographs on the page snap snap grin grin. While you are here, have a look at some of my posts about what transsexuality is like from the inside. I also write about pictures I like, and about the difficulties of being human. The page Introducing Clare says something of what I am about.

If you got here by searching for “Tranny blog”, I would be very grateful if you would have a look round, then leave a comment saying what you were looking for. “Tranny” is a slur, used by hate-filled bigots among others, and most of the pages you find with that search are of porn photos. The reason for keeping the title of the post is to engage with people who use that word. I want to show you that I am a human being, deserving respect.
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