It would be fair to say that it is our assumptions that hold our world back and keep our minds closed. It is often the case that even those that claim to fight for freedom and equality are just as quick to pass assumptions on others when it comes to how they look. Clothes, makeup, nail/ hair length and even the colours they wear are used to often wrongly pigeonhole and discredit people. These assumption are really outdated rude and sexist. FYI Women that attack other women because they make a living off their appearance are just as sexist as any man.
The guy that rolls down the window to wolf whistle the sexy long haired blonde in the tight jeans only to discover, in fact it is a male heavy metal fan bears out that our limited view of the world is deeply flawed. Our small minded judgements are the same reason true equality is still decades off.
Think about it, not all those bullied Sissy boys and Tomboy girls of the last century grew out of it, nor did they identify as, or become gay or lesbian. They were the others, the outcasts without a label, who felt and expressed life differently because human experiences simply aren’t or have never been that cut and dry.
So when you see a beautiful girl who is ‘obviously’ a boy, a strong looking man who is ‘obviously’ a girl, don’t assume anything about their sex or gender. If you do you will probably not only be wrong, but also even if you have the best intentions cause embarrassment and offence. This stuff is difficult for all of us, we can feel like we are all walking on egg shells, but if we take it slow we can start up meaningful dialogues with each other. If you don’t know if someone is a he/she/they etc, then simple smile and say hello how are you or hello how can I help you. Be friendly, be nice and assume nothing.
Humans have an Innate need to label things, it’s really not our best quality. Once a thing has a label we believe we know it, once we think we know it, all the wonder is sucked dry. We wander through the universe tagging and bagging everything. Everything must be pigeonholed including you. You can stamp your feet and scream till you puke, but once you’re labelled ain’t no one coming by for a long time, if ever to re-evaluate.
Like them bitches ‘fear and doubt’, your label will usually limit your life experience. For example, on exiting the womb you’re usually labelled boy or girl, that would be ok if it simply let people know what parts you have should you want to produce children. Sadly, genitalia is used by ‘the system’ to start a whole array of fixed programming patterns from colours, to hair cuts, emotional repertoire to even the material your clothes are made from. Despite the fact we claim society supports male and female equality ‘the system’ says otherwise. Thankfully for ‘the system’ at least most people don’t question their labels and those that do are just given another one which seldom does much to improve the situation. Let’s not forget the labels are usually handed out by traditional grey system men, who may mean well but simply don’t’ have much imagination or colour in their life. Even in 2018 boys that like pink and girls that like blue are still considered well’ special’ and it is typically hoped they grow out of it, or if necessary have it beaten or humiliated out of them by their peers.
I was given a label of boy as a child which my penis demands, my life, yes all 50+ years of it has been a rather difficult affair because very early on I figured I hated the boring life roles, not to mention the toys boys got. I was a hopeless boy and wanted to be a girl, as i aged things started not to seem so clear cut. Now I’m finally happy being Transgender, for me that means for me I embrace my fem side, as it’s early days no one will confuse me with being a woman, in fact I will never ‘pass’ as a real woman, but I am proud to be apart of transgender women. In time I will begin to look neither male or female and that is when society gets frustrated. People don’t like ambiguity, it requires that they treat everyone they meet as individuals which takes too much time and effort. However I think life is too short to be typecast into a role you never even chose.
Everyday I feel people will do their best to make Transgender a large umbrella label as small as all the rest. They will say you have to be A or B and look like Y or Z in order to fit the tag. I wish we didn’t have to have stupid labels, but sadly they are needed in our small minded world. At their best labels protect, bond and validate thoughts actions and feelings, at their worst labels alienate, segregate and lead to trains that take people to be gassed.
Today I’m publicly outing myself as Transgender, now you must understand this is just between you and me, it will be our little secret :). For some, correction for many being Transgender is just a big eye roll, it’s what all the Coolest kids are doing these days. The only problem is I’ve seldom been cool and it’s been decades since I was a kid. I’m 51 years old if you must know and happy as anyone can be married lol. I confess I figured out when I was a kid I was different in so many ways. All my life I have lived suffocating behind the persona of a ‘normal’ guy, while at the same time playing out a very different lifestyle in my head.
I believed in my head was the only place my difference could ever exist, but after years of pain and suffering on all levels, I decided enough was enough. Everyone around me seemed perfectly fucked up, miserable and lost, was this really anyway to live ones only life?
I was aware that I was becoming a very phobic and hate-filled person, I was also aware I had far less life before me than a had behind. My time of languishing in depression and self-loathing was over. It was time for the Transgender, happy, bright and loving me in my head to start running the show, as the ‘Real Man’ I presented to the world had really done a shit job.
So what does being Transgender really mean, and more to the point what does it mean for a person of my age, many people will say again, come on this is really just for the young and beautiful right? I have to say again No! However, I do concede it is probably easier for younger people to be taken seriously when they say they are Transgender. It’s still simply not the done thing for people like me to break from the ranks of traditional stereotypes. If one is brave enough to do so society at worse will hate and ridicule them or at best simply ostracise their ass out of there.
When I was a teen growing up near London, back in the dark ages if I had said to my peers ‘look guys I don’t want to be a Woman ‘ first they wouldn’t even of had a clue what i was talking about and after a few seconds of blank looks they would have said something like ‘YOU WHAT? ARE YOU FUCKING QUEER OR SOMETHINK?’ and then probably kicked my head in just to make sure. Sure you’re still likely to get beat up if you say or look the wrong way around the wrong crowd, but society, in general, is slowly accepting we are all different.
I know I didn’t answer the question, what does being Transgender really mean? Well that my friends is the whole point of this blog, to relay what it means to me, For me, Transgender has more to do with thoughts, feelings, and aesthetics than what seems to obsess the mainstream media, SEX. It goes without saying that many who do not understand will simply write being Transgender off as some ‘SEX Thing’. Ignorance on some topics take decades to fade and sadly sometimes they never do.
The field is empty. All the creatures have gone to feed the faces of the unthinking.
Where lambs and calves once leapt for joy simply to be alive, now there is nothing.
Not a single tree or shrub inhabits this stone walled desert of green.
No hare or rabbit and thus no fox bothers to tread here, just Woden the dog and me.
We shuffle the perimeter, as we both believe it’s what the other wants and needs.
The hills and mountains on all sides partake in yet more rain. For now, we are dry.
A partridge flies out of long grass. It startles us both. So, we aren’t alone.
Woden simply head flips the bird, he knows his limitations, his chasing days like mine are over.
Across the field I spy a heron sitting on the wall. He calculates our distance.
Then, we’re too near, like some tormented dragon of old he reluctantly takes to the air.
Shame I would have wished to chat, but I’m human and I know we can’t be trusted.
‘Bloody go around ’ I shout to the dog, as he enters the only muddy puddle in sight.
He looks back and shrugs. He doesn’t care, his slave (me) will dry him once home.
The field is ugly to my eyes, but the river beyond the wall sounds beautiful once noticed.
I force my suburban ears to go beyond my thoughts and hear natures music.
Relaxing into country life takes a long time. Mind still rebels against the concept of peace.
‘Leave it!’ a weathered sheep dropping is about to become a mid walk snack.
Woden stares at me ‘bloody kill joy’ and urinates on the pile, that’s his for another day.
Eventually our wandering is done, we reach our gate that backs onto the field.
Dog pants as if he had run a marathon, I weigh up if a sticky bun can be justified.
Looking back at the field, how I miss those sheep and cows.
If mine, they’d still be here, as it’s really rude to eat ones friends.
Till tomorrow old field, weather, health and motivation permitting of course.
Wrong & Right get into a fight, what if Wrong wins, does he become Right?
Don’t get me wrong, I like Right, but maybe this time he wasn’t.
They said DOWN was banned and that from now on everything was UP. UP looked down, saw nothing below it and in that moment UP became DOWN. –
Yesterday I drove past a goat and then later some sheep that had got through their fences and onto the road. Now as a person who cares about animal welfare my first reaction is always to help. However getting animals back to safety, on a busy road is not always possible and in fact sometimes you can make matters a lot worse. It is the farmers duty to care for his animals, but who are the farmers or owners of all these animals in these fields? I don’t think it is asking to much that every field should have a contact number plate on it, so if animals escape on to the road or are in destress, people like myself that actually care about our four legged friends can contact the farmer to let them know.
Now I know that their are many farmers who think their animals welfare is nothing to do with us, however on the flip side their are farmers that are only to grateful for a little help or info. I’m not saying that it’ always the farmers/ owners fault that animals get onto roads or stuck in fences, or end up confused and in the wrong field. Some Sheep are very good wall jumpers and simply refuse to stay put, walkers don’t close gates or often it’s simply a case that over time fencing breaks down.
I guess many people would call the police or RSPCA, but in truth often they will be just as clueless to know who owns what. Sure some animals are tagged, but lets face it these animals are never going to let us get up close enough to see what they say because their first impulse is always run away from ‘the stranger danger’. So a simple small plate on every field with basic info of owner, animal type and contact number should be required by law. Obviously in cases of neglect the RSPCA or police should be called straight away.
So that’s it really I think all animals should enjoy a safe and stress free life even the one’s that will end up on meat eaters dinner table. I for one will always do my best to help animals in destress if I can, some simple info on who owns what, would make that whole process of getting or giving help a lot easier.
Next week I finally get the keys to our new (to us) rental cottage in Scotland. It is everything we have been looking for, a farm cottage on about a acre of land, miles from anything that even resembles a town. The property stands near a single track ‘B’ road and is surrounded by fields, about a quarter of a mile from the property is a small river about three quarters of a mile on from this lies the ruins of a Castle. The nearest neighbours are about 1/4 mile in each direction.
The House which is almost in a complete Technology free zone, by that I mean not a single phone network works on our property, our internet speed will be as slow as you can get before you get nothing at all. I’m looking forward to just sitting and staring out into the middle-distance. My aim is to Create a cottage garden on the property, currently it is just grass, weeds and broken down sheds. It’s been a while since I have had some big jobs to do and I will enjoy every second of it. Another thing I’m really looking forward to is seeing how our dog will react to a less anthropocentric environment, I’ve always promised him a large place to run and play and finally I’m delivering on that promise and that is important to me even if it matters not to him.
It is my hope the cleaner Scottish air will help my wife to breathe easier and as a result stop her focussing on her disease (sarcoidosis) giving her more time to just be. I think it is important that we both just stop and chill out, For me Peace and quiet is far more important than anything else I can think of, without it I think eventually a form of madness takes hold. The icing on the cake is we will finally get to really see the night sky as we are living just a a few miles from some of the darkest skies (less light pollution) in the UK.
In my work as a digital artist I have little formal training, likewise in my hobbies of guitar playing, wood working and gardening I’m also blissfuly ignorant of the ‘right’ way to do things. It’s important to me that you understand I do no consider myself an authority on anything. I’m not here to lecture only relay to you how I see the world from my own perspective. For me life is about the joy of learning from personal experience not teachers or books.
So to the Willow
I don’t like plants or trees that can’t stand up for themselves, If something needs special treatment and tender care i’m really not the man for the job. I love trees over flowers and shrubs for this very reason, for me the willow is the Ultimate user-friendly, don’t worry about me tree. A Willow be it twisted or weeping has two traits I love, they are survivors and boy do they grow fast.
I believe anyone with water can grow a willow.
About 20 years ago, I picked up a small willow branch by a riverbank in Colchester, I took it home and left it in a bottle of water for a few weeks. To my delight it grew lots of thin white roots and small leaf buds, with little technique I transferred it to a pot filled with wet compost and just kept watering him. Caesar as i called him, is still with me, despite his age he is stunted in size. This is due no doubt to the fact he’s spent much of his life in large pots, he has been planted in the ground a number of times, but always ends up being moved. As of typing he is back in a pot awaiting his trip to our next home.
All my weeping willows are offsprings of Caesar he now even has great grandchildren lol. I can say that few trees could survive as eventful lives as my willows are given. They are moved, cut back, bent and seem to be reborn over and over again. It seems to me me the more brutal you are with them the more they prosper. I also have number of twisted willows in my collection these all came from another small cutting I ‘acquired’. From my observations these grow quicker than the weeping variety and generally seem to be healthier in appearance, my wife definitely prefers them.
I currently have about six twisted willows and 4 weeping varieties which are between 4 & 10 foot high and over 20 which are 7 to 15 inch branch cuttings that are doing well. When I move I hope to grow many more mainly in large pots until I find a place to plant them all once and for all. Sadly I will have to leave many of my trees when I move, given the fact that non of them are that big they will probably all be cut down by the next owner. I’m not to sad as they live on through all my cuttings. I guess my aim would be to grow enough trees to supply me with lots of branches for sculptures or willow biofuel.
For me there are few sights and sounds as beautiful as an adult willow swaying in the summer breeze by a river bank. The Joy of being able to sit in the shade of a tree you have grown from a cutting in just a few years is one of life’s most inexpensive pleasures. While their life spans are insignificant when compared to Oaks, willows are the perfect companion to the human who wants a tree to enjoy in a sensible time frame. Willows will happily live in large pots, just keep them watered, trimmed and have a chat with them once in a while they seem to like that 🙂
Many people simply don’t have time for trees in their garden anymore. In my street alone I have see most of the trees removed by those who can’t be bothered to prune them or simply want more light. I say light is all well and good, but in our suburbs and cities we need as many trees as possible to help with air quality and support our declining bird populations. Beyond the Scientific analysis we really can not know what a tree is, they have however proved very useful to man through history, without them the world we know wouldn’t even exist. So plant a tree today and if you can’t plant on give one a hug just to say thanks.
Man was never meant to live like this, packed into towns and cities like sardines. Even if you are lucky enough to live in a ‘quiet’ suburb you probably still have to fight to hear the natural world over the soundtrack of modern life. Screaming kids, emergency services, home alone dogs, not to mentions every conceivable form of machinery available to the modern DIY enthusiast. Annoying as these are they all pale into insignificance against the radio, perish the thought that anyone anywhere could do a job outside without distorted music blaring out at them.
I’ve been forced to listen to other people’s crap for almost 50 years and I have to say enough is enough. Sure I make noise, but that’s my noise so screw you if you think I’m being hypocrite. I yearn to walk out into a garden in the middle of nowhere and scream and scream and scream a lifetime of frustration away without some busybody calling the police. I dream of actually stepping outside my front door without the fear of activating the neighbour who will suddenly appear and want to tell me about all the ‘great’ things he’s been up to, I mean the nerve of these people.
Too much breeding has screwed (lol) the balance of humans on this planet from nice little manageable villages of strange but friendly folk, into mega cities full of self centred and self righteous A-holes. If we were rats we be calling the exterminator, the earth my friend has a infestation of bipeds and the situations is only going to get worse, because these bipeds simply can not keep it in their pants.
Take the UK if people had been evenly distributed across this green and pleasant land we would all have enough space to think, breathe and live. No chance the people that control planning thought it would be just fine and dandy not to mention inexpensive to pack us all into the same places, so we could all piss each other off and be generally miserable.
From my view human civilization is a EPIC FAIL if we had been less civilised we would have never overpopulated and those of us left could have got a decent night sleep.
So thats it , I quit, the for sale sign is going up and the wife and I are going north to Scotland. I’m looking for a place to rent where the store is a minimum of 5 miles away and you can only see you nearest neighbours if you look through binoculars. In short the adventure starts today, which is both scary and pretty darn amazing… Till next time
Some years ago I came to the realisation that both everything and nothing matters, I know that’s really confusing, so let me explain myself as simply as possible. This is the way I see non duality and not as many other do.
The fact is every thought we have is a perception . Even the most spiritual people are often unable to cast aside prejudgment’s and conceived ideas. People can love each other and live in peace for years and never agree, but at some point as painful as it is we all have to make decisions that will effect our life and the lives of others. Everyday we all display preferences even if they are as simple as having a glass of water over a cup of tea.
Now in order to understand my version of non duality you have to be able to grasp the concept of life being like a jigsaw. In a jigsaw each piece plays a role but seldom upon inspection makes much sense on it’s own. Sure it may have great form and colour, it may even hold clues and wisdoms, but no matter how captivating that piece is it will always be simply one thread in the vast tapestry. To draw any real conclusions from just pieces of a jigsaw is human nature but ultimately pointless. For what may look like parts of a sky may be a ocean or simply a garden pond.
So when I speak or write about anything I’m usually speaking about pieces and seldom the whole jigsaw which can not be viewed or known from our limited view point.
I’m sure many people will say this is just a clever side step as ‘oneness’ can not be proved and yes they have a point, but not a truth. You can and do make judgements on the world around you, often this is simply just to stay alive which we perceive as very important. The key for me is not to think for one minute i’m more or less than anyone else, I neither right or wrong, i’m just a simple piece in a jigsaw and I can like it or lump it, it matters not.
This is why I so often write ‘life just is’ or ‘universally speaking’ i do it just to hammer home the fact that I ultimately don’t know, and neither do you, or anyone those in society perceive as wise
Live life as you wish or as your told
You can do what you want today, buy a chocolate bar or blow your own brains out, it really matters not. You can change your piece of the jigsaw a great deal and the universe will simply reshape it’s self around your actions, unaffected . You can live your life to the word of your god, or simply make it up as you go along it matters not universally, but to your friends, family, county and country it may appear to matter a great deal. So I guess it’s all down to you and who you thinks important. I do not believe anyone is right, no one knows the ultimate truth people simply make judgement calls which they think will help them get by in this world or the next.
So for me Morality and what is good or bad is just a weak human summation on a small piece of time and space nothing more nothing less …Our views shift century to century once old men married 14 year old girls, once it was ok to sleep with the same sex, then it wasn’t and now it is depending where you live in the world. Some people say our ancestors where very very wise, others say they were very very stupid. Duality is in Constant state of flux, non duality is frame in which all this messing about goes on.
I still have duality in my life I’d rather eat chocolate than horse shit
It’s a fact Nondualism is a fringe belief system, probably because it really holds no answers and can be rather uncomfortable at times when people get all emotional about all the ‘bad’ things in life. Most people want clear define lines of good and bad so consequentially people that talk about ‘oneness’ are often seen as barking mad or tree hugging hippy types.
Within non duality their are those that claim to be so really at ‘one’ they have no preface on anything and if that’s true for them cool, but that is definitely not me. I see duality everywhere , but i feel/ believe that everything is linked and a part of a great Universal Whole or a divine matrix if you like. I can grasp that their is universally speaking nothing to do and no where to go, that up and down are just judgement calls based upon a current position and not fixed points. I know that nothing I do is right or wrong, good or bad, but everyday I know I take actions that in my limited sphere of influence can keep me alive or make me dead.
While death it would seem is simply the result of life and the reshaping of energy, for now I would rather be alive. So daily I do my best avoid death as far as i can I step out the way of trucks and avoid touching live cables or pissing off people with guns. One day I will conclude that life is no longer worth living for me, maybe because of ill health or an oppressive situation or government. I will then take action if possible to cease to live in the most pain free and convenient method possible.
So whats the point?
Well obviously apart from being born (done that) multiplying (didn’t do that) and dieing (on my list of things to do one day) life has no point that we can see. Despite all the books and all the thinking not to mention millions of years of struggle life it would seem is apparently pointless, which really can seem at times like a real buzz kill. Then again as we can’t see the whole jigsaw who knows, maybe just like all those small cells inside us we do a really important job in the universe, even if it is just killing planets. Maybe one day someone or something will hold our piece of the universe in their gaze and say WOW! did you see what all those funny little thing have done………or then again maybe they won’t.
So worry if that feels good, suffer if that feels right.. rage against the machine knock yourself out, or simply fall asleep on a beach with a good book. Do what you want, say what you like, just don’t ever tell me how to live my life or claim to have all the answers ……unless you do lol ….you know you don’t right :)….. it’s ok no one does.