It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. I had planned a whole 3-part series of posts about the meanings of Easter, putting together and balancing the interpretations I heard in the Baptist church and at the Sufi dances, and exploring the meanings of Easter for my own life. Well, those posts (along with any other writing projects I had going two weeks ago) never got written, due to an interruption of life. But my original vision was for this blog to be more about the day-to-day spiritual journey and less about abstract theorizing, so I’ll write about my process as I live it — messy as it is, petty as it no doubt will sometimes seem. This blog is designed to be a place where I can sort things out as they happen.
The interruption — or perhaps irruption is a better word — of life is that my partner was fired from his job as a professor of Women’s and Gender Studies. Surprising and emotionally devastating to my partner, this would be disruptive enough to our life together, but it’s much bigger than that… As I mentioned, my partner is transgender (specifically, female-to-male transsexual) and numerous aspects of the review and termination process he went through made it evident that discrimination was taking place, whether intentional or not, and that he was negatively impacted by trans invisibility and lack of knowledge about trans issues (transgender studies being also the field in which he’s beginning to pursue research). First a student and community letter-writing campaign, and now an international protest by trans, queer, and allied scholars and academics emerged to protest his firing. It has become a full-time campaign.
I mention all this by way of update — I’ve written elsewhere about my opinions on all of this and the reasons I believe it’s a trans issue (and a gender issue generally) — and the reasons are many. But this blog is not a place where I want to bring those arguments and discussions — though I’ll probably talk about them in relation to my own values and passionate commitments. Instead I really want to use this space to talk about marriage, partnership, disruptive life events, and the ways these trigger my emotional processes (for the purposes of healing, I have to have faith) and the ways I’m dealing with the emotional and practical upheaval. In other words, how it all affects me and what I’m doing to cope and, in my better moments (sometimes woefully few) to flow.
Selfish? Perhaps. Self-indulgent? I hope not. I want to share my experience honestly — not whining, but illuminating the ways we humans are interconnected (especially in our intimate relationships) and events that supposedly “happen to” one person touch off or initiate processes in others around them — processes which are both related and independent, another seeming paradox of our simultaneous oneness and uniqueness.
This is also not the same as saying that I am a victim of someone else’s actions or of circumstances beoynd my control that don’t even have me as a target. None of this is meant to imply an abdication of personal power — my own responsibility for my own life. Rather it’s to say that none of us is an island; that many seemingly unrelated events in our lives show up to further our own “individual” soul growth; and that the more we open up to intimacy (intermingling of energy flows) with any other beings, the more we complexify the array of influences on the winding course of our life path.
This seems like a good time to introduce my partner by his very own pseudonym (of course, if you live in CoMo or are aware of this story then you know who my partner is — but it seems to be standard blog protocol). He suggested “Frank” because, well, he doesn’t hold back when he has something to say. (After he had written and submitted a book proposal for a memoir about his sex change, it occurred to him to ask me if I minded him telling all my business. I said, Ha ha ha! Wait until you read my blog.)
I couldn’t really imagine calling him Frank on all occasions good and bad, though. I think I’m going to call him Hawk instead. I know he strongly identifies with birds of prey like hawks (and eagles) because of their high, soaring flight and their clear vision, and that the hawk is a special totem for him. It seems to suit him as a pseudonym, simple and dignified. Also it reminds me of Hawkeye from M*A*S*H — not really that much like my partner in personality, but I always had a big crush on him. And like that Hawk, my partner can be very fun and silly. And he stands up for his values, which are values of humanity and compassion, although his nontraditional methods are often not recognized by authority. Okay, come to think of it, he iskinda like Hawkeye. … Hot!
All right, on that note, I know this is already a very long post so I will bring it to a close. There will be more to come on this topic. Until next time,