Saturday, 9 December 2017

Sacred music

“We LOVE chorale music. Especially if it's pagan!”

My neck hurts, my throat is sore, and my head is pounding. But I'll be damned if I'm not brimming with joy and life.

What a concert. So much energy. And seeing a violinist, a harpist and a hurdy-gurdy player headbang in unison is a rather majestic sight.

To think that I have ears and eyes and legs enough to experience such music. If that's not bliss I don't know what is.

Sometimes I am the happiest dragon in the world.

Love and music,

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The flood

Things are under water which should not be under water. Beings are dead who should not be dead. Thoughts are in my head which should not be in my head. The flood is deep and muddy. The current is strong, and the water is awfully icy.

But who's to decide what should be and what shouldn't? My sense of right and wrong is very strong, but I might be wrong. Once upon a time the desert canyons on Mars were rivers. And the path which is now a lake used to be the bottom of a sea.

Things change. That's the one thing to which we can truly cling. One day this too shall pass, but for now the bridges are still standing. Not everything will be swept away by this flood, and one of these days the entire lake might freeze over.

Life isn't fair, things just happen, and sometimes the heart is so heavy it seems to desire melding with the Earth's core. But music, and the power of creation, makes it a little easier to carry.

Love and water,

Monday, 20 November 2017

Celebrating transgender day of remembrance

I'm sitting here celebrating Transgender Day of Remembrance by eating cake. This is a day where we're supposed to remember and honor all those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence, so this might seem a touch morbid. But yes, I'm fucking celebrating.

I'm celebrating that I am transgender (words which accurately describe me, arranged from general to specific: genderqueer, non-binary, agender), and that I am still alive. This is a triumph! A huge success.

So cheers to all my transgender friends for making it through another day! Our existence is worth celebrating. Because despite the state the world is in, we have to do our best to live with hope in our hearts. 

Despite the fact that there are people out there who want to see us dead for no better reason than that we exist. Despite the fact that some of these people might know our address.

Despite the standard waiting-time for medical help to transition is being measured in years, and that some are denied entirely.

Despite the fact that our existence is constantly denied. Despite the fact that children are raised into thinking there is something wrong with them, that teenagers are thrown out by their parents, that grown-ups are abandoned by their significant others. Despite the fact that we're outlawed in many countries.

Despite the fact that many of us have no reasonable alternative to spending our whole lives in the closet, hiding our hearts behind identities forced upon us.

Despite the fact that most of us are to some degree suicidal.

Despite all this, I mean it with all my heart when I say that things really do get better. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not for each single individual. But in the grand scheme of things, and for us transgenders as a people (we're millions), it serves a purpose to live with the conviction that a brighter future is ahead.

We will turn things around, because we're not alone. There is support and understanding to be found in other transgenders, and we have allies.

Want to be a good ally? Want to be a force in the world to counteract the hate which is literally killing us in the streets? Here's a bunch of things you can do.

  • Educate yourself. Read up on transgender terminology and facts. Start with Wikipedia rather than pestering transgender friends/acquaintances/strangers.
  • If you have a transgender friend or family member, join an organisation for allies. Offer to escort your friend to the pride parade or queer happening of the week/month/year.
  • Realise that words have power. Do your best at using people's preferred pronouns and names. Practice goes a long way.
  • Stand up for your transgender friends so they won't have to spend all their energy defending their identities. Correct other people using the wrong pronouns, join demonstrations, argue against people saying stupid or offensive things.

I will end this day lighting a candle for all those unfortunates who have already been lost. To the violence of others, and not least to suicide.

Then I'll finish my cake, and go to sleep in the hope of a brighter tomorrow. Thank you, transgender friends out in the open. Your courage is inspiration. Thank you, transgender friends still in the closet, for making it through another day. Your existence takes a very special kind of courage. And lastly, thank you cis-gendered friends who through your actions prove yourselves allies. Your taking a stand is a matter of life and death.

Love and power,

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

In your mind, in the world

At this time, when the night is embracing the day ever more tightly, 
I'd just like to say to whoever might be reading this: 
Yes, there is room in the world for you 
and it is unbelievable how enough you are. 
Look up: the stars are smiling at you. 
Look down: the Earth is there to support you. 
Look around: there are people who give a shit about something.
Look inside: your heart is still working
despite all it's been through.
The air is ripe with possibility
and there will be time enough to sleep.
So go somewhere
in your mind, in the world
and keep on telling your stories.

I wonder if I'm allowed
just ever to be

Love and a feeling of going,

Thursday, 9 November 2017

See all the love that's in me

6701 words. I'm behind, but not hopelessly so. With some discipline and an effort, I can slay the beast of procrastination and do this thing. I'm still recovering from a cold and one hell of a party last week, so I guess it's no wonder I haven't managed to keep my wordcount up. Not that I'm complaining in any way. I love my job and I experienced such marvellously deep connections to people this past weekend that my soul is positively thriving. There is hope and love will conquer fear and there is such an abundant joy within me that I'm surprised sunlight isn't seeping out through the pores of my skin. And on top of it all, it's november, and a smell of winter is in the air. So if you're feeling a sting of melancholia at the season, I guess that must be because I'm hoarding the delight. I'll likely give it back when spring rolls around, but right now life is fucking grand.

You've got so much to say 
say what you mean 
mean what you think 
and think anything
why not?

Love and joy,

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

NaNoWriMo—so we meet again

And so the madness begins. 1669 words, and off I go. That's a decent start. NaNoWriMo, that's what I'm talking about. An international competition where you challenge yourself to write a 50000-word novel in 30 days. The November insanity which has had me writing a trilogy of fantasy books. This year there are no freaking studies in the way oh my gods what an unbelievable relief and I am free to begin an entirely new story. So I'm writing erotica! Not exactly for the first time, but certainly at novel-length for the first time. Queer erotica, because let's be honest, who isn't fed up with the ever-present heterosexuality?

So yeah, that's gonna be my life for the next month or so. Feel free to join me in the writing madness, and please understand my prioritising words above socialising. Not dead, just writing. Who else is joining this year? Let's write until our fingers bleed!

Love and writing,

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The deafening noise my heart makes

It's as if you're pulling your fingers through the darkness within me
with all your words and your voice and all of that art
and the desire
to burn all my bridges, to sail all my ships
to completely surrender in the face of the deafening noise
my heart makes whenever I'm around you
and I'd like to run out
to scream at the stars, to cry at the moon
to damn the sun for setting without taking me with it
this shortage of breath, these tears burning
so secretly behind my eyelids
are they symptoms of hope
or a prayer (don't leave me here alone)
wasn't love supposed to taste like freedom?

Far worse to be Love's lover than the lover that Love has scorned


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Writers are such peaceful creatures

What harm could lie behind our features?
No, writers are such peaceful creatures
We might indulge in words and wine
With purpose clear as if divine
We might just string you all along
And have you think we don’t belong
But we are human just like you
With eyes of red and hearts of blue

What tears could ever blur our features?
No, writers are such ugly creatures
Turn words against you on a whim
Then tear your body limb from limb
Turn poetry into a flood
Words written with a splash of blood
And if you were to make a sound
We’d write your bones into the ground

But then we would redeem our features
For writers are such lovely creatures
We’d reach Nirvana in a verse
Squeeze beauty out of every curse
Our words would open Heaven’s door
We’d write where no-one went before
We’d be the voices of the lonely
We’d make our lies come true—if only!

Love and relentless poetry,

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Running and why it's worth it

Somebody told me I have a runner's body. My first thought was no, a runner's body would have strong bloody joints that could withstand the mild, repetitive shocks that impact with the ground entails. I've come far enough in my training by now that it is essentially my knees and ankles that stop me from running as far as I'd like to. They tend to protest loudly long before my breath or general stamina runs out. But then again, I am working on that, doing exercises pretty much every day. And apart from my treacherous joints, I suppose as a runner I have a lot to be thankful for in terms of genes.

Even so, I'd venture genes is a rather minor part of it all. I believe most (generally able-bodied) people could to some extent master most kinds of physical activities. Some people are born strong or fast or vigorous, but discipline will usually make much more of a difference. It's about taking whatever you have to work with and building your body into a place for your soul to enjoy residing in.

It's not easy, mind you. Taking care of your physical well-being in this day and age requires active effort. But it's so incredibly worth it. Once upon a time I got fed up with being sickness-prone, perpetually tired, and assailed with heartburn and dizziness if I ran so much as down the street. Then I resolved to learn how to run. I did, with a lot of benefits, and eventually I even learned to like it. I won't pretend it solved all the problems of my life, but running has granted me a lot of peace over the years, both physically and mentally.

I've taught my feet to step lightly, my breath to be steady, and my heart to beat vigorously but slowly. I've learned to be thankful for every bit of wind, sunshine, rain, sunrise, sunset or starry sky that comes my way. I've learned to overcome the revulsion of dragging myself out of bed for an early morning run, or forcing myself out the door when a cozy evening on the sofa beckons. If I get sick or injured I find myself counting the days until I can go out there and once again let my body float across the ground.

To each their own and whatever works for you, of course. Far from everyone enjoys the slow, almost meditative way of running which has become my preferred way of exerting my body. Or even running at all. Just do something. Don't have enough time? Oh, please. It's all about priorities. Make some time by taking away something you could live without, at least for half an hour a week. Together with someone, or alone. For a challenge, or the sheer delight of feeling strong. And don't underestimate the power of habit. That half an hour might turn into an hour, for two or three or four days a week, and before you know it, exercise might not be as much of a struggle anymore.

Go for it, because it will make a difference for your mental health. Build your body, into a fucking temple or just a cozy little cottage. Not for looks but for the feeling of power that comes with it.

Love and strength,

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

I will never tell you not to cry

What sorrows do you hide behind your eyes?
Come, tell me what you’ve tasted of despair
Cast off the smile you wear as a disguise
Let loose your demons and let down your hair

What curses have you bellowed at the sky?
Come, tell me all your hatred, I implore you
For I will never tell you not to cry
I will adjure you: drive your rage before you!

What passions have you buried in your heart?
Come, tell me what you’ve tasted of desire
Release all that’s been tearing you apart
Forget your shame, go set the world on fire

Instead of getting lost in devastation
Let anguish be the source of your creation

My life right now should contain more sleep and less writing of poetry. But how can I deny the words  their manifestation on the paper when writing feels more like channeling than creative work? I didn't ask inspiration to force itself upon me, but there I am, wide awake with an exquisite line of verse I've been ruminating on for months finally finding its company among syllable after delicious syllable.

It's not always like this, mind you. Most of the time I have to fight for inspiration and trudge through the marshes of wording and revision just like anyone else. But sometimes the spark of creation ignites my soul so thoroughly I have to scrounge something together from what's inside me lest I burst. While I hold a deep love for music, creating even the simplest melodies is quite beyond me, and painting I gave up seeking to master a long time ago. Words, however, I've made into my element, and now I find them summoning me more often than the other way around.

I might be a tiny bit obsessed, but what of it? Isn't life worth a little pain and exhaustion when there is art on the line?

Love and blank verse-compulsion,