Today was weird. The best way to explain my gender was that it felt like I was driving alone at night in an unfamiliar place and my GPS kept redirecting and loosing signal, but the speed limit was 60 miles an hour so I was going too fast to read any street signs in the darkness. Everything felt wrong and confusing and broken. I know it isn’t really possible for gender to be broken. It’s not physical or tangible in any way, but also there is no real standard or measurement of what it should or shouldn’t be like. Well, besides the standard of the gender binary but by those standards I am always broken which is so far from true. Nevertheless, despite the evidence that gender can have many forms and mine fluctuates and changes with the seasons, today it was wrong. I couldn’t place who I was or how I wanted to be received by the world, and therefore I spent the day feeling dissociated and disconnected from everything. I said earlier my gender changes with the seasons, and I am beginning to realize that isn’t just a figure of speach for me. Every September as summer turns to fall, every life transition in the world seems to happen at the same time. So much is ending, so much is just beginning, and the weather is frustratingly indecisive. I never really understood the concept of January bringing in a new year and change. Despite the fact that I no longer adhere to the academic calendar, in my life everything always changes at the start of fall. Including, it would seem, my gender. I would love to have a weather vane for my gender, something to at least point me in the direction of the new shift, but until I make one I am just stumbling in the dark. All I know is the wind changing and so am I. — Dress: Gap Sweatshirt: Toca Boca Pleather Belt: Vintage Costume Shop Hat: Forever21 Boxer Briefs: American Eagle Socks: Deer Mum
Source: DIY Body By Oliver Leigh
I was published in the Rising Phoenix Review last month. The poem is still so real for me, especially since my gender is a mess lately.
Tonight is the full moon, the first full moon in this new apartment, and the first first full moon of September. A month that always seems to bring so much change and transition even though my days of academia and ‘back to school’ are over.
I have been having a lot of thoughts about the moon tonight as I prepare my water and crystals to be cleansed and charged by her light. For the purpose of writing this I am going to address the moon as her, though personally I do not assign gender to any part of the universes nor the gods and forces that watch over.
Over an hour ago I stood in the parking lot of my old apartment, holding a tall artisenal glass bottle filled with water that I had gone out of my way to find at a home goods store because I am hella extra, and if I’m going to be charging water it has to fit my aesthetic. I can’t just put out any plain old plastic water bottle and ask the moon to fill it with strength. So there I was staring up at the moon asking her to cleanse and fill my glass with her strength to last me through the month, and I began to think about my relationship to the moon and how different we are.
The moon exists without limits, she passes between grey areas with the calm strength that she always embodies. Me, I hate sitting in grey space. It’s all or nothing. I set my boundaries like brick walls, you are either on one side or you are out for good. Dealing with trauma and abuse this kind of clarity gave me strength. For a long time I did not feel I could set any boundaries, and now I have erected solid stone walls around those who hurt me, those who have done nothing but poison my life. But life isn’t always that polarized, and I struggle with forming glass walls and doors instead of brick walls that are by their very nature forever closed.
The moon is also calm and level in her power. She is contained despite her imense strength, and should something be in her way, she simply moves it. Me? I burn more like the sun. I feel so much all the time I don’t know how my body survives, and if something is in my way I don’t move it, I punch my way through until I either succeed or burn out trying.
I think it is because we are so different that I have always felt that pull of energy and safety of her strength. I hate the night and the dark, it feels uneasy and often scary, but the moon has always felt grounding even on the darkest nights.
I should probably clarify that I like being like the sun. I like that I burn instead of glow; that the emotions I feel and convictions I have are forever heavy and powerful, even if it makes me sensitive and often overwhelmed. I am imensly connected in ways I am still learning to guard myself against but that is who I am. It took me a long time but I have claimed my sensitivity with honor and an aggressive level of pride. Still, nothing functions without balance, and the sun and moon are two great polar forces in this world. So while I am much more atune to the ways of the sun, I need balance and grounding in order to thrive.
The night of a full moon is a chance for me to reflect and pull the strength and balance I will need through out the coming month. And while my practice involves charging water in an artesenal glass bottle, and laying out my favorite crystals on the window sill, those are just the methods behind something I think is important for all beings, spiritual or not. Finding and allowing ourselves to accept the strength and skills we need to make it through the day.
Sorry for disappearing this past week. I am in the middle of a move and things have been so hectic. Also, my new place doesn’t have internet yet and blogging on my phone is not my favorite, but you can keep up with some of my apartment shenanigans over on my Instagram @oliver_lockwood
5 Things that have happened since I last posted:
1. Ten minutes ago I gave myself a haircut outside… In the dark, without a mirror. It’s actually pretty okay.
2. We went furniture shopping and bought a silver velvety high backed armchair, and a large gathered velvet blue pouf to lounge on. They make me feel like the rococo fairy witch I have always dreamed of being.
3. My new apartment has an apple tree in the backyard with edible apples. I feel like my life is a fairy tale.
4. My obsession with micellar water (especially the ‘Yes to’ Coconut one I’ve been using) has reached new levels. I’m talking about me parading around singing songs about “my micellar water” without even realizing it. If you don’t know what it is, it is a magical facial cleansing water that is super gentle and also removes make up. To be honest I have no idea what it really is… But I will find out and report back because it’s amazing.
5. We are going to a shelter to meet a cat named Brixton tomorrow. He is all black with orange eyes except for the smallest tuft of white on his chest. I want a fur baby in my life again so I am really excited.
That’s all for now, I will be back to posting regularly when I am unpacked and have WiFi.