Their eyes were watching themselves and reflected within that view is perspective.
There is a theory about details.
The more I tell you,
the more you understand.
Metaphors equalize our experience.
Styles of prosody evoke phenomenal communication.
Haptic messages are their own discourse of truth.
I want to study the paralinguistics of this city.
Exploring the affective emotions of neighborhoods, I want to absorb its expressions.
Lured by the universality of circumstance, I solicit details.
I watched a man reverently talk to a mirror, his lover, and a young girl giggle as she read words that had been transmitted through the air.
Articulations and illustrations are shapes of desires and contours of impulses. The distance it has taken to get to this understanding swallows me whole.
Is it deviant to want and seek refraction?
We wear our opinions stretched over static structures, quiet expressions of distorted resurrections.
Below is a list of good things that have happened as my days turn into months. This project of finding a thread to hold has allowed me to build a structure of my own, a crystallization of a positive proof of existence.
These fifteen good things are in no particular order except for the order in which they occurred:
- sisters and kittens
- saying what I want
- building callouses
- phallacy: hard/soft
- dirty dreams
- righteous anger
- the rawness of vulnerability
- remembering to breathe
- ice cream for lunch
- ashes from a phoenix
- not owing anyone anything
- joints and metaphors
“You chose your journey long before you came upon this highway.”
– Leonard Cohen Winter Lady
It turns out reoccurring dreams of hallways actually means something. The hallways I’ve sleepwalked have been long but surprisingly well-lit. Even in my dreams, I march.
For most of my thinking life, I have privileged the mind because I believed my body to be a source of betrayal, transgression, and, for a long time, a place of jeopardy. The somatic evidence cultivated through reinforced fundamentalist myths (god bless the tight mechanics of a Southern Baptist repression machine) and physical violations made this belief concrete. My dichotomous life was established and safe. I feel more comfortable circumscribed by theory and words.
Yet my body introduces itself and all those heavy gendered prescriptions before I even have a chance to form vowels and articulate my consonants. This strategy of tangental communication isn’t effective. In an essay entitled, “Fucking with Fucking Online,” from Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?, Michael Faris and ML Sugie have succinctly captured the journey I am currently on.
“If what we want is intimacy, if we want to feel connected, if we want to experience sexuality then we have to actively participate in it. … Part of this takes a radical interrogation of one’s own desire.”
This radical interrogation has required me to map the false continental divide I have maintained between mind and body. I’ve had to acknowledge the dynamic contours of my desires and chart the choices that led me to this location.
As the last traces of your touch evaporate into epitaph, I add the weight of your influence to the cartography of my corporeal self.
What you give, you get.
Thursday I ran my fingers over the white picket fence posts so I could feel something solid. Like the first signs of spring, it takes a while to recognize life returning from a winter of discontent.
I sat up, spine straight, in the oasis of the Redwood park. It felt good; right. The ferns danced from the wind of man-made machines. The landscape is preemptively changing. I choose to see joy in change, in evolution.
When I am lost, I return to what I know.
This current journey of (re)discovery has yielded results unexpected. To quote Gloria Anzaldúa, “For if she changed her relationship to her body and that in turn changed her relationship to another’s body then she would change her relationship to the world.” Anzaldúa was a seminal force in my understanding of the potential and the power of having a sense of self shaped by feminism.
When I first found her words, Gloria’s naked honesty about del otro lado resonated with how I was beginning to make sense of how my childhood landscape of isolation did not have to equate desolation. I found a language and an epistemology that planted seeds of joy in the shadows of my repressed desires and restrained possibilities. Her intimate and radical belief in an inclusive identity, a rejection of fragmentation, was revolutionary. More so as an identical twin. I returned to her words a month ago, through an impulsive purchase in a Portland bookstore, and once again found solid ground to stand.
When I was in Portland, a stranger asked me, “What’s the upshot?” I think the answer is change, which implies transformation.