Mindfulness II

There are things I should do. The most important is walking in the sunshine; but first a phone call to the Samaritans. This time, she gave me an hour and I ended feeling satisfied of progress. I need to think about that job, but I called because I was crying over that.

I want to be Normal!
-What would normal look like?

A fair question. It has varied. At one time I would have been a solicitor in Edinburgh with a wife and two or three children: the eldest would have graduated by now. Now, I suppose I would have a job, which though it would have a share of drudgery, tedium and stress, would also have moments of pleasure, either in human contact or a feeling of having achieved something; a partner, so  I would not be so lonely, and a sufficient income.

The oil-seed rape is fading to green as the flowers turn to pods. It is still overwhelming as I walk though it, as some is neck-height and the path is through a slight decline.

Sunshine. Bird-song. Engine noise, not enough to bother me at any time.

Where a tiny stream drains over the path, some effort has been made to make it passable. Logs are dug in to make raised steps, and old planks go round the edge. Water is flowing though it has been dry; it would not be easy in a wet March.

Several times I stop to watch a bird fly overhead.

The borage is spreading. Is it overwhelming those nettles, or the other way about? No camera, of course, but here is a picture I took last year:

butterfly 4

That distinctive leaf. Sycamore? Oak, Google images tells me now, I am not good at identifying anything. Still, it has my attention.

At one time “normal” would have been a heavy mask, clasped to my face with tight steel bands, with bits of Real Me, or shadow, oozing out from behind- visible to everyone but me, subject to my desperate denial and feeling of utter inadequacy. From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit moves…

This ecosystem is 3.5 or 4 billion years old- I don’t keep up with the journals, I don’t know the latest understanding- and it has produced this wonderful creature, her soft, yielding femininity, her gentle kindness, her heart full of Love. It is so beautiful, even though oligarchical capitalism might be hard put to set a value on it.

Two or three years ago, the wardens built a den here out of willow cuttings. Well watered, the cuttings took root and their branches are woven together. The path suits someone under ten, but I enter, as I want the experience, once- I stand surrounded by the willow, leaning in but not quite domed over me.

A woman stands off the path, holding her black spaniel back. “Thank you,” I say, then notice the milky discs. “Oh! Its eyes-”

Yes, he’s blind, she confirms, smiling. She is a few years older than I. I love her loving care for her friend.

Oh! This awful life! Yet, no- it has wonderful moments, and is bearable for me. The main difficulty of it is my fears for the future, and my desires.

In part this is inspired by Louise. Her lovely account of some frustrations and tensions in, well, being normal- marrying and having children- and the way the family works together- brought a moment’s resentment, as so often I hate being queer. I do want to be normal. I would have blathered on about how my great-grandparents’ families have produced so few in the generation below me, as some sort of excuse, or rueful exercise on the way to Acceptance…

-childlessness is just one of my failures-

Going, I held my arms bent, above the rape-plants. Returning through that field, I relax them and let the plants brush them.

This creature is beautiful. This experience- yes, all of it- is beautiful.

7 thoughts on “Mindfulness II

  1. I’m glad – from what I’ve read on your blog – that you didn’t choose differently in life and so “blathered on about how my great-grandparents’ families have produced so few in the generation below me, as some sort of excuse”.

    I think it is natural to want what you don’t have in life and to see the other roads you could have taken and wonder what might have been. There are times I’ve wondered how life might have been if I’d married someone else, or not married etc… It’s easy in those moments to only see the good in the alternate situations (a husband with more money, a writing career ….) without seeing the down sides (a workaholic whose needs would always come before mine…).

    I love the self-awareness in your writing here – it’s really beautiful. And I sincerely hope my post didn’t cause any unnecessary sadness beyond the fleeting “what ifs” that happen in life. You write about life with such beauty that I can’t imagine you in a life that didn’t allow for expressing/being who you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.

      You can sometimes be lost in the competing demands of ordinary life, and I never got beyond holding down a job, and lost in that. I have no partner or children, and that hurts. Here, a person notes how everyone is homophobic, even she, and feels oppressed:

      and everyone is also cis-sexist, and so am I. I speak to people who have children, people around my age, so some have grand-children and some their children are just leaving school, and I would like that relationship with another human being. So, well, each pair of my grandparents had two children, only one of whom married and had children, so perhaps it is “sins of the fathers” as well as me being trans.

      I wrestle with the vulnerability I feel and the safety of my life, for I have always been alright, but never quite believed it. People build up career and family, etc, and I haven’t. But I have been cycling into the wind.

      I have blamed myself. I have no house, job, partner, children, savings, pension-fund, and this is my abject failure. And, well, cycling into the wind, swimming against the current- the pain of my self-blame increases the pain of my sense of lack. I don’t want to move to a brooding resentment of The World, so wrestle with Blame self v Hate world-

      so, Mindfulness. It really is possible to love myself and the whole world, to love the present moment, to see all the beauty…


  2. So then I looked at my emails, and found I have a new follower. pcguy‘s kink is that he wears “male chastity” devices- little metal rubber and plastic thingies fastened over his genitals with a lock, so he cannot get an erection.

    Cis-sexist: my immediate reaction is, “ew”. Now I am thinking, well, alright, takes all sorts to make a world, if I want acceptance for me- for my identity is intimately linked to sexuality- I need him to be able to talk of his kink. Acceptance of self means acceptance of others. I want my own, as well as other’s, reactions to be “Oh. That’s interesting” rather than “Yuck”.


  3. You write beautifully, and your photographs are luminous. I have been reading that over half of all marriages end in separation and divorce, and a fair whack of the others contain partners who are very unhappy. We want what others have – often, I have ached for that so intensely – but they have what we have: frustrations, ideals they missed, chances squandered.

    We often feel two apparently contradictory emotions at the same time, though we need to find ways to keep moving through that, don’t we?

    XXXX 🙂


    • I wonder if we move through our feelings anyway. They pass, eventually, usually after acknowledgement.

      Here am I sitting with painful, difficult emotions: romantic attraction, actually, nothing I can do to arrange another meeting and while she appears to want one she always has other things to do. I find my frustration and desire so painful that I would sometimes rather blame her for my feelings and thereby manufacture hatred in an effort to escape them. I feel powerless- is powerlessness a feeling?- and accepting the feeling so it passes through me is a burden; and still probably better than fighting it.

      Unless you meant, by “keep moving”, carrying on with the quotidian activities, while still feeling…

      Liked by 1 person

      • You know what you feel, and are feeling that, so that you do not manufacture more difficulty: You feel pain, and are aware enough not to want to blame another. As you say, if we accept a feeling it passes through us. It is a spiritual discipline to keep doing that, and very difficult to maintain. You are amazing.

        And powerlessness is a feeling, yes, often coming from grief, or from fear or frustration of what happens when we express what we are feeling or thinking. ‘Keep moving’ as in, just keep on believing in ourselves, and don’t let ourselves be derailed by discouragement, but believe we are all Good and Valuable and Precious.

        XXXX 😀


        • Here is an excellent article, and while it is about kindness and paying positive attention to the other within an actual relationship, it may be a way of maintaining sanity when there is none. I have clearly indicated I am interested in further contact. She appears also interested, but has a full time job and various social obligations. If I can maintain respect or kindness, I might transmute my frustration at not hearing into a lively sense of why I am attracted in the first place, then admiration of her beauty

          for I can never possess any beauty but my own, if that, and the world is abundant with Beauty

          Liked by 1 person

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