My Meagre Life

Now there's a word. It means "deficient in quality or quantity." My life is not deficient in either. But then again, some might think so. I am not wealthy, yet I am very rich. I have very little, yet I would be hard pressed to list the abundance. I grew up in a modest home, full of my mother's paintings. To me, that's just one small example of how rich I am.

So, here's the thing. I live in a two-bedroom place. There is not a bit of furniture in any room, except the bedroom. I already had a mattress set (queen-sized of course) but I was looking for a wrought iron frame for it. You'd think that I would spend the extra money I have this payday on at least buying a little furniture for... say... the living room. Or you'd think I'd save my money for the sake of emergency. But nooooooooooooo... I am of a mind that when you get home every day (even if you were gone only ten minutes) you should walk into your bedroom and say to yourself, "God, I love my bed!"

So today, I went shopping at the estate sale showroom mentioned in a previous post. I found a beautiful antique iron frame for my bed. It was a steal at six hundred and forty bucks. (Now remember, six hundred bucks in my world is a LOT of money!) It was delivered around 1 p.m. I made the bed and then went out for a bit. When I came home just now and walked into my room I thought to myself, "God, I love my bed!"

That's exactly what I was after. Remember, folks. The BED is the most important piece of furniture in your home! Here's a picture of mine. (Yes, the walls are all bare and the bedding leaves much to be desired, but that will come too, in time. And I am only going to have original art in my little dwelling. Hung from picture rails! I have fucking picture rails!)

Movie Quote

People should not be afraid of their governments.
Governments should be afraid of their people.

What Do Men Look At?

I don't really care. I don't dress for men. I dress for me. If I like how I feel wearing something, then I wear it. I suppose some women dress for men, but I've not heard of that as being generally true. What I hear is that women dress for other women. They know that men are fucking clueless about fashion, and a man is certainly happy just to know that you are naked under your clothes! Well I'm no fashion plate, so I don't dress for women either.

My OMG-LOL-BFF (she'll get a kick outta that) bought these shoes for me. We have matching pairs, but we don't wear them at the same time. (Of course it helps that we each live on different coasts!) Recently, we had occasion to spend a little time at a reception at the Capitol Building. You know THE Capitol Building. I was wearing some other shoes that my OMG-LOL-BFF had purchased for me to wear for that event. Very nice shoes. Quite comfortable. But also five-inch heels. After five hours on my feet, I was near fainting. I asked another attendee (a darling English woman) for directions to the ladies bathroom. She said, "Go down these stairs and... blah blah blah blah blah." I didn't hear the rest. All I heard was STAIRS. I said, "Oh, I won't make it if I have to take that many steps in these shoes." She said, "Well take them off." So I did. Before I walked away she added, "And next time, wear sensible, flat shoes. Men don't even see your shoes. They look at your eyes and your boobs!"

Too cute.

Skeleton Woman Defined

The story expresses the way that a man might find a “good catch” and get all caught up in thinking how this one will change his life! He’s now found the good thing he’s been waiting for. But it doesn’t take long to discover that what he thought was beautiful and promised great benefits for him might be ugly and scary deep down. A man always stumbles onto a woman’s deep darknesses at some point. And it usually scares the shit out of him! He will likely run. But really, when he runs to what he thinks is safety, he is still confronted with the problem that, in order to have the sweet things in life with a companion, he must see the tangled mess in a softer light. His tender untangling will find a great reward.

This is what I learned from a wonderful story-teller in her book. Her explanation is much better said and encompasses much more. I find this book to be an essential bible for the spiritual health and growth of the wild woman. Anyone who does not have a copy, let me know and I will PROMPTLY be sure you get one!

"A person who has untangled Skeleton Woman knows patience, knows better how to wait. He is not shocked or afraid of spareness. He is not overwhelmed by fruition. His needs to attain, to 'have right now,' are transformed into a finer craft of finding all facets of relationship, observing how cycles of relationship work together. He is not afraid to relate to the beauty of fierceness, the beauty of the unknown, the beauty of the not-beautiful. And in learning and working at all these, he becomes the quintessential wild-lover." (pp.158-159) ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes ~ Women Who Run with the Wolves

Skeleton Woman

There is a story told in folklore, set in Alaska. It is of a man who went fishing one day. He chose to fish in a secluded little cove which didn’t seem to be too often visited by other local fishermen. In fact, they never visited it. For they all knew the story. The story of a girl who fell in love with a boy from a tribe other than her own… many, many, many moons ago. And not just another tribe, but one at odds with hers. Her father forbade them to marry, but she snuck off in secret to do that very thing. Her father apprehended her in the midst of her escape and he took her and threw her off the cliff into that secluded little cove, to her death. The people had passed this story down through the generations, and no fisherman was to ever draw life from that water, as it was thought to be full of the evil of that terrible event. This poor fisherman knew it not. He didn’t have his line in the water long when he felt a great tug. Oh my! This had to be a big one! As he fought with the creature to bring it to the surface, his mind wandered to all the great riches this great catch would bring him. He had struggled for so many long and weary years. It would be great to have some relief. But as the creature came into view, he realized it was not a fish at all… it was a mass of bones and hair… and a skull! And it seemed the eyes of that skull were looking right at him! He panicked. He set his pole down in the boat and immediately rowed to shore, looking back to be sure that the monster was gone. But it wasn’t, as it was still attached to his pole! But, as it is with panic, he didn’t realize this. He just frantically rowed to shore, seeing behind him the dreaded thing bouncing on the water, appearing to chase him. Once on shore, he grabbed his pole and ran for home… again, looking over his shoulder to find that he was still being chased! He dove into the darkness of the little cave he called home and sat there panting, hoping the ordeal was over. He lit a candle and in the dim light, saw that the thing he had hooked was amassed in a pile in the corner. The soft light softened his fears and he approached and began to untangle the mess. He realized these were the bones of a woman and, after untangling her, he wrapped her in a warm fur and went to lie down on his bed to sleep. During his sleep, a tear escaped from his eye. She approached him and drank up the tear, drawing some life from it. She then put her hand on his chest and began singing a song to the beat of his heart. As she sang, all of her sinews and flesh and skin began to recover her body. And when she and the song were complete, she crawled under the covers and she and the man warmed one another. They warmed one another heart and body and soul for the rest of their lives.

(Anyone care to try to interpret that one?)

The Origin of Love

A musical. I saw the movie a good three years ago and have listened to the soundtrack a good thousand times. And I oft quote the lyrics here.

He was a young man by the name of Hansel. He lived in communist East Germany and had a childhood that could be called nothing short of “very troubled.” He was seduced by an American G.I., who persuaded him to have a sex change operation in order to become his wife and go to America with him. Hansel wanted so badly to escape to the other side of “that wall.” His mother convinced him that this was a very good idea and that in order to be free, one must give up a little part of oneself. (Little?) She gave him her passport and her name, Hedwig. Unfortunately, his sex change operation got botched, his guardian angel fell asleep on the watch! Now all he’s got is a Barbie doll crotch! He was left with a one inch mound of flesh. (Six inches forward, five inches back!) In short, he was left to function as neither a man or a woman. Yeah, this would piss anyone off. Made his inch kinda angry!

So he said bye bye to mommy and East Germany. Went to live in a trailer park with the lovely man he married, who lost no time in finding another playmate and left. Hedwig is left to sit and watch the tv, where the news is showing the Berlin wall coming down.

He looks back at his life and at the future he has before him. He ponders the woman he’s become and how the strangest things seem suddenly routine. He decides to delve fully into becoming the caricature version of a woman. Fine! You made me a woman, and I'll be a woman, God damn it! (Note: I choose to call Hedwig a “he” throughout the story, because I am under the impression that he never really felt he was a woman. I don’t believe he would have pursued a sex change operation. He would likely have been very happy as a gay man, but I don’t think he felt he was a woman, except in the sense that he was an amazing person who engendered both sexes beautifully. But I have to choose one! Our dear and purrty friend Jami, on the other hand, I refer to as a woman, since she is one. And likely, as Hedwig, an amazing person by any measure. She was interviewed and clarifies the transgender issue better than anyone I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot! I read her interview to my family when I was in Utah and they loved it.)

ANYWAY, embittered as he was, Hedwig moved on in the world of musical passion, maintaining a deep, albeit hidden, sensitivity. A truly gifted songwriter and performer, he obtained a cult following. As with many a slave who has become a tyrant themselves, Hedwig married a Russian woman who was desperate for help with her own citizenship, and used this to control her. He forced her to dress as a man, giving her the same bondage he found himself in. Victim begets victim.

Hedwig sings the song “Origin of Love” to express his belief that there is some half of him in the world that he has yet to find. It is an unbelievably moving song and is full of the philosophies/ideologies/theologies of several paths of thought. But the jumble makes sense. It’s based, for the most part, on the Platonic philosophy that we were once made of two. And God, or the gods, split us apart. This is the explanation for that desperate attempt we make in finding our other half.

Hedwig finds his other half in an agonizing young man who admires him and wants to absorb all he has to offer. This other half then takes the good stuff and runs. He takes the musical talent that Hedwig offered and makes a name for himself. A big name. And not only that, but a name that Hedwig, in his brilliance, gave him. Tommy Gnosis. Gnosis being the Greek word for knowledge.

In the climactic end of the movie, Hedwig must come to grips with the fact that he has become what he hates. He has twisted the beauty that lived in him into wretched bitterness. He realizes that it is important to be whole all alone. He lets the woman he has wrapped in masculinity free. He lets Tommy go. And then he is free.

Why do I love this movie? Is it not obvious? I am ever preaching freedom. I think that those who have been in chains have the greatest appreciation for freedom. I have come to appreciate the place where I am today. The freedom I have is not able to be taken away from me. You could tie me up, put me in a box wrapped in chains and send me to the bottom of the ocean, and I’d still be free.

And again, I refer you to Jami, from whom we have much to learn.

Sidenote: I adore John Cameron Mitchell, whose purrfection created Hedwig. I have mentioned him before, but I’m sure no one knew who he was, or even noticed. He’s a beautiful man, and makes a beautiful woman, too! (Sort of like Patrick Swayze, who is also a beautiful woman! Hee hee.) If you have not seen “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” I would suggest you do. And see "To Wong Foo" while you're at it! :)

Here is my JCM singing a casual version of "The Origin of Love." He's just so darling! I wanna kiss him! AND, thanks to Purrty Jami, here he is in all his Hedwigian glory singing the DVD movie version.