March 30, 2012
I don’t know you, have no idea where you are, whether you’re living or dead, and you know just as little about me. But the thing is, I love you and I know you’re somewhere.
We’re made for one another so in the event that we finally meet, we’ll know.
The difficult part is trying not to sound rigid when I say this: one thing I know is that you’re female. You always are.
I’m female on the outside too at the moment, but I know you’ll look beyond my skin and see the man inside. And you’ll appreciate the woman in me too whilst I rest in the arms of your masculinity. Together, we’re no spectrum but a universe, a complement without the necessity of being complete.
Whatever we’ve both done in the past that has put us here were we are now, I don’t think it will keep us apart. If we don’t find one another in this life, we’ll try again in the next.
I’ll never give up because I have so much to give to you, and I need you more than anything.
I hope that we’ll cross paths in the next few decades (sooner rather than later) but until then, all you need to know is that I’m here and ready to settle and learn. I’m sorry in advance for how tough it’ll be, but i know you’ll understand and we’ll love each other all the more for it.
“Evangeline, hold me once more / and then never look back
Evangeline, kiss me like that / how will I ever forget?”
‘Into the Derelict Night’ from Explorer by Cerys Matthews
August 14, 2010
Apparently all of our woes can be reduced to a single source: our mothers.
I’d prefer not to get into the psychoanalytical, psychological and philosophical theories that deal with the positing of the feminine – if you want to know about it, look it up or take a degree in it, but in a nutshell: we don’t understand the feminine, we resent it but simultaneously want to return to it. Woman is sufficiently Other, no matter how many laws there are to keep her in a suitable place…
I’m repeatedly approached with the notion that the majority of my problems have their roots in the poor relationship that I had with my mother. It’s true – we had our arguments and things grated. We didn’t communicate properly and at times, I think we genuinely hated one another. But so what? I’m frustrated as hell that one of the most important relationships in my life went tits up on regular occasions – so bloody what?
If anything it’s made me more determined to be all the things I never had a chance to be when I was a kid – like both woman and man in one fell swoop – and also opened my eyes to the things I don’t ever want to become. I say what’s on my mind and I’m always looking to make clearer the things that fall from my mouth. If I love someone, I will tell them. If I’m attracted to someone, I will tell them. If I appreciate, am irritated by, dumbfounded with or even hateful of anyone, I will say so.
This is the legacy of that shit relationship.
But let’s go a tad further, shall we? Why is that maternal bond so important in the first place? If underlying symbolic structures despise woman so much then why on earth do they revere her? Someone once believed that I wanted a mother because I’ve always felt I’ve not had one. Um no? I’ve done pretty well on my own without that although I’ll admit I’m jealous of people who have a really good relationship with their mums.What I want is a woman (or two … several) in my life that I can spend my time with, share my thoughts with and enjoy periods of ‘extra curricular activity’ with.
My point is: maybe the mother isn’t as important as we think she is. Sure, raise a couple of kids and do a good job of it but why become a slave to emotional baggage and wild accusations of ‘you never loved me, you never supported me’? Who else other than our mothers do we throw these things at with all our hearts? Lovers at the end of a relationship? Well yes, but we don’t mean it as much as when we say it to her.
Sometimes my attitudes are formed in those arguments we had but they’re also formed in the way other people treated me too, and also how I treated myself by reacting so badly to things that have been said and done. Not everything is down to mums and it doesn’t have to be.
If it’s not about mothers, it’s about sex.
Why do ‘serious’ feelings mean sexual feelings? If I have serious feelings for someone (and there are pockets of them floating about for certain individuals), this does not mean that all I want is to knock about in the sack with them, that I even want that at all. One of the people I have these feelings for is male (you know who you are…) but I have no desire to sleep with him because I’m attracted to women – not men. And saying that, another person I’m all serious about is female but like my male friend, I have no real need to do the dirty with them. Although I’d not say no…
This isn’t to say that my feelings are more ‘pure’ than anyone elses because sex isn’t a primary factor that drives my connection with these people; my feelings for them are serious. Deadly serious. I’m dedicated to these people. They mean the world to me. Sex isn’t the seriousness of it but the real, burning love that I have for them is. That’s serious. Ask me about my sexual attractions to people and we’ll have a ball but ask me about my love for those I hold close and I will never jest.
This is a particularly irritating post to write about. No prizes I’m afraid, for guessing that I’ve gone back into counselling. And it’s just as shit as last time; same old questions being asked, same old conclusions being drawn. I’m sitting in a room again, trying to define the rules that I want to play by and being met with a vacant stare of disbelief. I feel that my rights get stuck outside the lock activated doors whenever I go there and I’m left to fend for myself.
I can say what I want all I want but it’s usually turned around into what they want. And screw it, I’ll name them. What the doctors want, what they think is best. Never mind what I know is best for me. Never mind the fact that I lead my own life, make my own decisions and grow in the areas and ways I want, regardless of what others may think. Never mind me.
This world needs to change.
February 14, 2009
You’re this indistinct image, a sort of gloss covering the surface of everything I see around me. Nothing is left untouched by the possibility of your presence. You’re a phantom that leaves strands of your hair on my pillow, an empty glass left with the faint print of your lips around its edge. The unrecognisable yet on the tip-of-my-tongue smell that I can barely remember from somewhere, a place that I’m yet to be. You’re there.
It’s hard to think of you.
You’re not an object, you’re not anything at all; only a gathering of thoughts and feelings and sensations that stir about in me, remaining wordless and formless until I take the time to push aside the things that get in the way of having you.
I sit down to think about you, to write you and I find myself getting nowhere; the only time when you’re really there is when I’m half asleep and trying to ignore the empty side of my bed, and what I think is the edge of a pillow pushing warmly against my back, becomes you; your shoulder curled into me, your chin resting just behind my neck.
You’re gone when I wake in the morning; I stay in bed trying to keep hold of the warmth you’ve tucked under the pillows, small bits of paper folded in two and quietly trace the outlines of where your hands have been before letting you go and getting up.
It’s still impossible to concentrate on any of this, to bring your far enough into my mind to reach out and touch you; you’re not concrete, not visible or physical. You’re indescribable and effortless, a series of corridors that wind about in all directions and mislead me, leave others unconvinced because half of your lights are blown out and they can’t see you.
I twist my fingers around themselves, squeeze them into the shapes of my distraction and flex the joints further than they’re supposed to be flexed and settle into work. You walk up behind me, silent and rest your arms about me.
I spend hours struggling, trying to overcome the disappointment of your absence and when I finally reach a stage where I can move to achieve something in my day, you turn up unannounced and rob me of any ability I had to form ideas and words and images and sentences and all the things that resemble a working mind; you strip me of my drive and make me abandon all convention, expectation and conformity. You make me leave the strain behind.
So don’t stop. Keep distracting me from the things I’m supposed to be doing because you’re not here yet and there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever arrive and I don’t want to go through any part of my life knowing that I’ve never felt you beside me. Pull the book from my hand and make me look at you, make me pay attention. Drag me from myself because there is nothing else that anyone can say about me, there are no more insults that can make me doubt you.
You’re still keeping back from me as I write this to you, waiting until I’m drowsy so that you can lay beside me and whisper into my ear, fragments of dreams that play out how we first meet and how for once, I am not the bravado I pretend to be. For you, I am shy and this is what you show me of myself; the things that only you know. I’m on the verge of screaming for you.
Don’t ever stop haunting me.
February 1, 2009
Two blogs in one night? Nah.
Love remains to be.
Love. Sits at my desk, holds my pen and writes to the cosmic ordering service.
Love keeps me awake at night with ghost arms around me and ghost lips upon me.
Love looks out over the mud flats in the freezing winds and watches the gulls hang upon the air.
Love stands in the kitchen and pours itself into cake mix so that it can warm and rise in the oven.
Love flows across the reed, one long breath that vibrates and brings my sax to life.
Love plays with the edges of the blanket, ignoring time and the television.
Love stops the surge and looks about to see that the walls are silent.
Love settles in my room and makes it warm.
Love warms me.
Love observes the ones who got there before it.
Love never stops wanting.
Love never leaves me.
Love regrets nothing.
November 19, 2008
… so here’s an experiment.
I forgot (just misspelled forgot turning it into ‘frogot‘) that I was a frog at some stage, and got into some trouble when I refused to jump in the pond, which would have led to my drowning – not an unusual occurrence because I can’t swim (not like a horse can anyway) – so I was expelled, and in being so, delighted in being able to sit and stare at the duck pond which I do occasionally, once a week, or at the river, six days a week.
It’s funny, isn’t it? How everything can change so quickly and all you’re left with are the remnants of what you were told to expect…
And change does come quickly, a sudden thrust of alteration – I can’t explain the physics, so I flip you off, kind (insert preferred gender reference here)- a sudden gush, a turbulence, like an orgasm but one you’re totally not prepared for. Spontaneous and in public – I laugh at the thought of dozing off and being abruptly roused by my arousal, to the disbelief of others around me. And that isn’t an unusual thing, because the very act of writing makes everything so much more pleasurable…
This sudden, rapid-fire alteration, this metamorphosis as you, I, we? burst from that crusty old chrysalis and say to ourselves ‘what were we thinking? cooping ourselves up in that just to – oh wait…’
Just a minute. Let me finish thinking about that sordid little thought before I give you an ounce of my attention because I wouldn’t want to put you out as you wander off down that path, forgetting me for the time being (because you know I’ll catch up) and thinking about what you need to get in town. Socks. Milk, some bread. And maybe some sorbet. A treat.
And nothing can distract her now as she weaves her way between people who are spatially unaware of the rest of the population, dodges cars that shouldn’t be driving down this way until after 4pm – they must be lost tourists – and briefly succumbing to the heart-wrenching swoosh of cyclists clever enough to make a quick exist – and without giving you a kiss to soften the blow of their leaving!
A pigeon disrupted from its pecking insists upon darting away ungracefully, thinking: ‘Smart-arsed flesh on wheels – don’t think we don’t know!’ If the bird had hands, it would be shaking a fist as it perches itself on those anti-pigeon spikes that don’t actually work but prove to be a good place to reach that unreachable itch, looking down upon the crowds, a neurotic creature and screaming
I glimpse the old woman paying for her sweets with a smile. I glimpse you nowhere to be found. I pace up and down with no memory of where I am or what I was supposed to be doing and so take a few moments to collect what thoughts I have and figure out where in this world I could be and wonder if it really even matters because I’m lost anyway, lost in a place that I should know like the back of my hand.
Forgetting you, I look plaintively at the back of my hand – which bit is the back anyway? You can’t tell because the bit on top, you see the most so that is the front, but the bit underneath when shown to others or turned upon itself is also the front, thus hands have no ‘back’.
Following the dual frontage of my hand, I navigate a way back, a way back to somewhere recognisable but still a bit weird to experience because how can we ever be sure that this is actually our life? We can’t but there’s also little to do about it. At least you can lead that life and if you fuck up, you can say ‘it wasn’t me officer, honest. Not even my life’ and then just walk away…
I still can’t remember what I was going to write about.
November 14, 2008
Literature. It’s a beautiful thing. It does so much for us:
*Saves us from boredom
*Delivers us to boredom
*Opens our eyes
*Makes us think
*Helps us sleep
*Distracts us from our problems
*Resolves our problems
*Distracts us from that annoying snotty-nosed kid in the doctor’s surgery
*Gives us an excuse to be anti-social
*Makes us laugh, cry, scream, shiver, sigh, grumble, smirk, panic etc.
*Brings us down a peg or launches us into the stratosphere
Yes, literature does a lot for us. All that and more. For me, literature is a sort of relationship. A difficult one, complete with a scorning ‘pseudo-mother-in-law’ who wishes to gut me in public and feed me to stray cats because I’ve taken her impressionable daughter, fresh from the wide, wide world and opened her up. Searched about and found the secret that Mummy and Daddy weren’t supposed to find out about: literature suggesting that a woman … could love another woman.
SHOCK! HORROR!!! Although not that uncommon…
I’ve spent the last couple of hours trying to find some literature along these lines. Three volumes of lesbian erotica sit proudly on my bookcase. Pages and pages of smutty goings-on, tastefully written I might add, for lonely nights when a bit of titillation is needed to remind me that being single isn’t so bad.
But sometimes a night of lovingly crafted tales about girl-on-girl romps just doesn’t push the right buttons, so to speak. Sometimes you want a book to talk to you about love. I want a book to woo me with the yearnings of others who have been in my position, are in my position; I want to be told of those women who have spent their lives unashamedly holding hands and ignoring the gawks emitted by the stiff upper lip of society. I want to glimpse upon their privacy and form my own.
Considering the popularity of lesbian literature circulating the free, empowered, out and proud world, you would have thought that finding collections of letters sent between women in close relationships would be a reasonable thing to ask of the myriad of online bookstores. But no.
The fruits of my search have resulted in suspended satisfaction. The dusty philosopher in me decided upon Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, purely because of my interests in language on a whole. The fact that it deals with the language of love in all its forms sprinkles my decision to buy with a reassuringly fuzzy warmth.
My second choice, one that I had to really dig around for, was Between Us: A Legacy of Lesbian Love Letters (ed Kay Turner). How long it will take me to get my lonely mitts on this book is debatable.
restricted payment options, ordering overseas and buying out-of-print texts all adds up to waiting ages for the book and possibly never getting it at all. I’m cynical about buying from abroad. It could get lost. And because a lot of sellers opt for cheap transit, postal insurance is often non-existent. You can kiss tracking goodbye too. You know how it is. You order a book, you pay, the money is taken from your account, you wait, you complain, you’re reassured, you wait, you wait, you become apathetic, you forget and then about 12 weeks later, a package arrive containing a book that you have no memory of ordering or even searching for.
So where does this all lead to? Another pointless blog rambling about pointless things in order to make a pointless (and lonely) evening seem less … pointless?
Have you ever notice how people’s expressions go from disbelief to shock to horror to comatose to near-death experience when they see that you’re reading lesbian erotica in public? Try it out. Just for fun. You can find a decent enough selection of material in Waterstones. At the back. Right under the Classics.
Note: Positioning of pornographic material may vary from store to store. If in doubt, ask a gormless looking shop assistant…