Being Part of an Avalanche of Love

I have a confession to make: I don’t think this country is going to survive the next several years intact.

But I have decided to put that feeling on hold – to pretend I don’t believe it. I’m going to pretend that a difference can be made – that we can manage to emerge from this dark time a country that puts people, not money and power, first. A country that actually takes care of each other, and the planet. And perhaps, I am mistaken, and that can happen.

In the (now many fewer, I’ve tired of it) online arguments with right-wing people that I’ve had, I actually enjoy being called a snowflake. Because of course, individual snowflakes easily melt. But when snowflakes come together, they are quite powerful.

I’m spending 2018 focused on democracy. I feel like this moment calls me to that particular path. I know it calls others to other paths, and I as I’ve said before, I think we need to do all of the things, and not have arguments about what the right strategy is – just do anything we each are called to do.

I’m going to adopt a few candidates, a couple in CA, and a couple elsewhere, who are challenging GOP candidates in districts that are (at least vaguely) winnable. I’ll find out ways I can support those candidates (financially and otherwise.)  I’m going to also do what I can around getting the vote out, and combating voter suppression. I created a Facebook Group to gather other folks interested in that effort.

It’s true, avalanches are destructive.  But we need that right now. We need to destroy a culture that ignores children killed while they attend school. We need to destroy a culture that ignores unarmed men and women killed by police. We need to destroy a culture that privileges billionaires over people who have little. We need to destroy a culture that is destroying our ability to survive on this planet. These things need destroying.

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Healing

One week ago today, I stood in front of my plastic surgeon as she drew on my chest. I felt like she was performing her art on me, which, I guess, she was. Next thing I knew, I was waking up, groggy and out of it, looking out of the window on the unfamiliar hills of Richmond, CA, where my surgery was performed.

Ultimately, our transitions are about our bodies, whether or not we actively do anything to change them (although most trans people do something.) Our bodies in some way don’t fit us. This manifests in many different ways for different people. For me, one thing I felt strongly (since they appeared in my life in my late teens) was that my breasts didn’t really belong to me. And now, finally, I’ve let them go.

For most people, that might seem unimaginable – that a part of your body doesn’t feel like it’s yours. But it’s the reality of most trans people. Why that happens and where that comes from is still a bit of a scientific mystery, although it’s being slowly explained over time. But it has been the lived reality of my life for a very long time.

During the groggy drive home with the dear friend who stayed with me for a week, and for the last seven days of pain, discomfort, and, frankly, suffering, in the Buddhist sense, I’ve been in a healing process – but not just from the surgery itself. This whole transition process for me has been part of a much bigger, much broader arc of healing.

It was a part of the package I didn’t expect – the surprise, really, that deeply embedded in this process of transition was a surprising healing of my own inner and outer life – a mending of wounds and sloughing off of scar tissue.

What remains is still tender, like the scars on my chest will be for months. But I’m beginning to see the larger picture, and it looks more whole than I expected.

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