Monday, September 28, 2009

Belated Yom Kippur...

Lately I feel as though I've been reaching out a lot, trying to make connections but not getting far along the way. I've extended a couple invitations a week to my house. I've posted a craigs list ad or two and even signed up for an OK Cupid account. I sat entranced by the endless barrage of questions... How often do I keep promises? How often would I expect my ideal mate to? How important is it to me? I find myself once again stead-fast in what I demand from myself but floundering when it comes to defining what I might expect from (an)other(S).

A little less than a year after my first romantic relationship ended, I find myself calling my ex about 3 times a month. Sometimes she answers. Sometimes, I have intense dreams where we are part of one another's life at some pivotal moment (her having a baby or me coming out to my family), but most of the time I'm just glad to hear her voice and know that we still care abut each other. Most of the time I'm glad that I can love her without having to be anxious that it means I should want/need/ask anything from her.

Lately she hasn't been as good about answering when I call. I question whether or not I should continue to call her. Clearly, she is more important to me than I am to her. We talked about how this would happen before we even got together, and it has.

I contemplate whether or not I am pushing forward where I am not wanted, and I wonder if I am just being insecure. The moment feels so ironic when I think back to how aggressively she pursued me when a romantic relationship was the last thing on my mind. And then it hits me. It wasn't just her.

It was also all the other people in my life with whom I've had serious relationships. It's my best friend when I came to college and the girl that I got close to after arriving in Chicago. All people I grew to love, after the told me they loved me first. I realize that most of my relationships have been imbalanced, but I never noticed because I was always the safe one.

I am grateful to those who have taught me to love in whatever reckless or ill-fated ways they have done so. And I'm sorry for never having said that before. Gmar Chatimah Tova.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

update on me

I've been having the most intense dreams lately. They featured people who have wronged me, people I aspire to be, people who confuse me. We are never in notable settings doing notable things, but each scene has so much tension, so much history (real and imagined). I feel these scenes the way I've rarely felt real life. They move me to tears more often than not. Last Sunday I woke up so happy, I couldn't describe or understand it. The word limitless pulsated like a metronome across the inside of my scalp, and I was practically convinced that we were gods.

I day dream for hours. It's becoming something I have to build into my schedule. My imagination running laps around the bed springs. They get tighter, more dense and then push outward. Small explosions bleeding into my mind. I'm more emotional, than I can really comprehend these days.

I'm attracted to more people than ever before in my life. Sometimes a couple a week. And in my last semester at college I have my first crush on someone I don't know well. My fifth in the past three and a half years. My second in the past 4 months. That's practically girl crazy (for me).

So I dunno what any of that means or how long it will continue. It blows my mind just a little. But it's also a relief. Maybe there are things about myself that I am only beginning to explore.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Testing Our Skin

This week I moved back to VT for my final semester of college, and I've been spending a lot of time thinking about testosterone. I began making phone calls to therapists and insurance companies and naturopaths. One to my ex girlfriend who I wanted to be the first to know about my shift in plans.

It feels so strange that something I qualitatively denied only months ago feels more familiar by the day, like coming home. I've been meditating on what body modification, BDSM and Transexualism have in common. I've been thinking of all the ways we inscribe meaning onto our flesh, of all the events in my life that have marked me against my will. What drives some people to veil those markings and others to display them brazenly?

I think of a scrawny genderqueer lifting up their shirt to reveal the phrase "Faggots Kill Fascists" etched across their pelvis. They told us if they ever go to jail, they want us to raise money to get the tattoo covered up. We joke, what about if we can only raise half? Our our nods build rythms like shudders when he responds, "Let's be honest, the word "Fascist" is what matters here. The others are inscribed over and over in ways I can never erase."

I pause briefly to contemplate what happens in the space where needs converge... the need to make what is felt real, the need to make what is imagined imminent, the need to make what is marked visible. Then, I find a piece of paper as I unpack with a phrase scrawled across it--Where our imagination cannot stretch, we must test our skin--and I wonder if I ever left this place.

Hammers, Roofs, and Radios (The Podcast)

Location: Marlboro VT, 05344

This is a podcast created by a student-led group during a five-day orientation trip. Andre Perez led four college freshman on a voyage to learn about housing justice that took them from Brattleboro, VT to Northampton, MA to Boston, MA. Along the way the group learned interviewing skills, recording skills, story boarding, and editing. Not only did the group interview experts in the field of affordable housing but they also spent their time doing service learning projects that actually benefited the neighborhoods and individuals featured in this podcast.