My friend shared a quote by Maya Anglou, saying, “I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”-Maya Angelou
It really struck me in a few different ways as I have been struggling this year. Struggling. Emotionally, physically, spiritually. I’m in a place of acceptance and gratitude again, but the season is climaxing and if you sit quietly enough you can sense it. I digress.
I responded, “What about the ones who are Learning to love themselves and others as the same time?”
I respond, “What about those who have a hard time loving themselves, but wish to reflect back the love you shine.”
I feel the underlying truth of Maya Angelou’s words, but if love begets love. If love responds and grows and encompasses all it touches (which I see and experience regularly), then perhaps accepting the being’s offer of love, nurturing it and returning it can ripple out in revolution.
I am weaving my shirt. I will use the sleeves to hang my heart on.
Part two: The space we sit in. I have been emptying our space at home of things that are broken, things that no longer serve us. The trick is to not replace it with more things, but to leave space to breathe and play in.
Likewise, I often fill my hands with community work and engaging my young. Not earning a paycheque drives me to work harder to demonstrate my worth. It’s a modern illness that I struggle with. I have decided that I am going to dedicate my extracurricular time to one cause for one year and focus the rest of my energies into my home space and allowing rest and daydreaming and other things that will lead to production. Or into employment, depending on what happens this month.
Part three: I have openly invited folks to come out and help me break concrete on a future date; it’s a reclaimation project to plant drought tolerant plants into roundabouts. I aim to influence the replanting to include herbs. None took me up on it. I am looking for a companion to do random community projects with. Someone to be playful with. Someone who enjoys outside and activity and affection. My wife does many things with me (More so now than ever), and she is an awesome mate. Community stuff is not her bag and she supports my going out and doing stuff. I bring my kiddo with me, because he’s human shaped and wants to be involved in the things I’m involved in. The folks who I meet at the events are generally much older than I am, or monogamous. #polyproblems
And now we move toward the harvest season
My teacher gave me a compliment of the highest order this afternoon. She told me that from our original conversation she had considered me a visionary. Think about that. It was intimidating and flattering and I handled it fairly awkwardly. Because I do. But, it really flattered me and I am feeling like a poser. Here’s to trying to connect the dots in order to strengthen the kingdom.
There are several overlapping areas of my life that light up my “happiness board”. Gardening. Geeking out. Anything my baby and my beautiful wife. Social Justice and intelligent resource allocation (Putting stuff where stuff goes best).
I went to a meeting the other day with a group of amazing individuals who are part of a larger local network, working so hard to bring about the changes I want to see in the world. It’s a mini-Nirvana. They’re the Puyallup Watershed Initiative. (PWI). I’ll post more about the connections later. For now, you should see what they are doing to build Cascadia.
I am feeling the connective spark again and it’s a big sigh of relief.
Good news, everybody! Jae came out to her family. She spoke to my family. She went to HR and has begun putting together her medical care team. I’m a proud wife.
For the most part it was a non-event but I am shocked at some of the emotional turmoil I’ve gone through over it. The anxieties that I’ve carried and didn’t even realise include being rejected by the straight community, and being rejected by the gay community. Does that surprise you? Well, I’ve had some less than stellar reactions to being bisexual from women I’ve hit on for their various reasons – none of which had to do with a personal relationship with me. It was a very limited experience (we got married really young), so I’m keeping my heart open to the experiences as we emerge socially.
I can’t imagine what Jae’s been going through, and hopefully she’ll post it out for us all. Here’re the top questions I’ve been asked that I didn’t see coming and have blown my mind. Here are my answers, for better or worse. On the flip side, no one has asked Jae any questions, whatsoever, which we both find really odd. Not even questions like “When did you first suspect/feel this way?”
Are you okay with her seeking out a male partner?!
Wait, what? I said that my husband wanted to transition to being female, not that she was straight. We’re still happy. In fact, I’d say this has opened us up to a new level of intimacy and joy that was missing due to a rather large emotional barrier. On the other hand, as one half of a newly polyamorous couple, If she decides that is an avenue she’d like to experiment down, I’m happy to give her a safe environment to pursue exploration. As long as it’s safe, sane, consensual and everyone is respectful, then, great.
What if the pumpkin gets bullied/teased for it?!
Kids can be cruel….humans can be cruel. Hopefully we’ll find the support system and community to help give him the tools to react in a thoughtful way that will prevent any out of control situations from occurring. He’s blessed to be living in a changing world where recognition is being given to a wider spectrum of experiences than that of the binary gender system we were raised with.
Was this a surprise?!
Yes and no. Based on our relationship there were flags. When I asked her, she denied it and I let it go. It was a surprise when she finally sat me down and had that conversation.
I think this experience has highlighted how out of touch we are with modern sensibilities when it comes to dating/courting/”sexting”. You’d think we were an older couple for all of that but I’ve only started my 30s! Still, it’s been interesting. I feel blessed for the acceptance and love that has met us from our family and friends – most notably my father who told Jae he loved her as his son or daughter.And Jae’s sister who said she’d always wanted a sister and was glad to reconnect.
This lazy evening, with the traffic rushing heavily down the busy road we live on, my wife remarked to me how the plants in the aquarium had anchored and rooted around the heavier boulders adorning the bottom of the tank.
You see, Jae had recently replaced about 2/3 the tank water in a major cleaning of the fish environment. Once the water was distilled and chemically balanced, she added new plants and replanted the plants and re-introduced the fish. One of the plants became distressed and released a number of leaves. Somehow, the leaves managed to put down roots through the muck and algae that encrusted the boulders. I’m quite impressed at this and have no idea how the plant leaves arrived there because they float so freely along the filter-made currents. But, alas, there you have it.
We admired the beauty and resilience of life and the ways in which randomness happens. If nothing else is taken from the experience, it is an awesome reminder that there are always currents and we are resilient.
I’m wilting, heavy with burdened soul,
troubled with thoughts untold
the thoughts of my lover who
feels the thoughts, heavy, too.
Am I selfish in loving more?
to not my own love, explore?
To not appreciate the sweetness there?
In laying out my soul too bare.
Love is not with rhyme or reason;
Love extends beyond one season;
my heart is full, but can hold more still;
grateful for one more to fill;
Love returned is better yet;
love that hearts combine and let
grow and create a richer story
that’s the place of sweet glory.