A wise man once told me that the World is a thought in the mind of God. We are aspects of his imagination, within each of us dwells the divine, our lives, opportunities to seek truth and share in creation.
In my younger years this statement would have made no sense. To me the World was a place filled with either danger or opportunity for pleasure. I saw it as a playground and myself as something separate, isolated within my own body, a prisoner of my own thoughts.
In transitioning I had invested much in the idea of this form, the ultimate object to be purchased and worn, my body no more than a tool for sensation. This path took me to some very dark places. If you see yourself as a thing and the World as a playground, harm will very likely follow. Such extreme superficiality will either lead to an early demise or a miraculous reversal. Thankfully mine was the latter, although along the way I did have many close encounters with death.
My journey through surgery was a revelation, becoming what I wanted to be still is a powerful memory of excitement and overwhelming relief. Is there any more extreme physical and emotional transformation that a person can undertake. Yet that change that felt so vitally important – life or death – now must be let go or become an anchor to this body. As a Transsexual Woman, objectifying oneself is an easy diversion to take, this attachment to appearance can be a huge pitfall. The desire to prolong the joy of transitioning becomes a trap, a search for self acceptance, extending that process into a life of surgery and caricature. Reassuringly, as I’ve aged I have been surprised by how little I’m bothered as I witness this next transformation. Grey hair, wrinkles and lines are strangely comforting, evidencing my participation as life flows through me.
Although my need to embody femininity runs deep, in time I’m sure this too will fade. Still, this body is a persistent reminder of the joy and pain of emersion in the physical. Breathing, I am aware of the rise and fall of my breasts, absent male genitals this body feels sleek and smooth, free from the masculine flesh that once protruded between my legs. These sensations remind me of the pleasure and rightness I feel in this body but at the same time I also feel weighed down, condensed and reduced by the choice that I made.
Transitioning showed me that no matter how much I searched for myself in this form, the deeper I looked, the less I found. What I did find was an act, a construction, a defence built on fear. Ideas of a person that I wanted to be. A Woman, strong and sensual, an embodiment of the feminine mystery, a childhood fantasy of escape from all that I was as a little boy.
The truth is that even though I may look like a Woman that does not make me a Woman. I remain in essence unchanged. Surgery simply rearranged the existing flesh, stretching, stitching, forcing the body to accept and repair. It is an illusion that reminds me of that fathomless mystery I so yearned to capture for myself, but at the same time it is a reminder that I am not that and never will be. Even so, I am grateful that I have been able in some small way to experience a little of what I longed for.
Questions that I ask myself, can I ever know the Man I would have become, am I still him. Have I committed a great crime against nature, bodily and spiritual self mutilation, the ultimate rejection of the gifts of birth bestowed upon me by the purposeful Universe. At what cost did I refuse this gift. Does any of this matter anyway. No matter the twists and turns the journey of life may take, it is the Soul that learns and grows, I am quite sure that this is the purpose of our time here. Whether I am Man, Woman or Soul, now, with age, ideas of self are held more lightly, the graceful beauty of decay reminds me that everything is temporary. Life is so short and youth, a fraction of our time here.
The urgent explorations of my younger years now seem so long ago. Time has gifted the glaring truth that I will die but as this body ages a parallel process is at work. Another kind of becoming, this one is not physical yet is birthed by the physical. With age I have become aware of the subtle yet powerful feeling that the I behind these eyes is a part of a relationship with something larger, something greater than myself.
Perhaps the world is a thought, if this is so then we must be too. Unfixed within this shell the thinker evolves, thinks new thoughts and is born over and over within each lifetime. Am I the thinker or am I the thoughts, am I this body, this mind or am I something else, something more.