Who Am I?

Transcribed for Spiritual Connections by N. Corres

Most people don’t suddenly reach the seventh decade of a life and ask, “Who am I”? These things get sorted out, starting at adolescence, and pretty well settled by late teens, early twenties. Unless – like me – you’re caught up in your job or role. My job was/is protector and kind of damage control top dog. I’m the oldest of our group, certainly no father figure, but rather the final voice when things go awry. Who has time to wonder about anything but maintaining some semblance of control over kids, pre-adolescents, teens, and unsure younger adults? Just keeping some kind of balance, coping with daily reactions that can be individual crises depending – is totally consuming. Time moves as it will – or won’t in some cases – and I admittedly am not a soft-spoken nor patient person. But I found someone outside through the kids, that seemed open to my plight and I felt able to share without being told what I should think, should do in my role as protector and voice of reason. She seemed to have no qualms or problem seeing ME, a guy (old guy), trapped in a female body with this gang, but at lunch one day, she asked, “who and what do you want to be?” I was caught completely off guard. That in itself was astounding as I am always prepared in any situation to answer and control what an answer should be. I was speechless and she knew it. She was pointedly aware I had no answer, no defense, and no usual sarcastic reply. So she edged me into it by asking, “what clothes do you prefer to wear? How do you like to wear your hair? Do you ever decide those things?” I knew the answer was no and I knew I’d never considered it. That didn’t mean I didn’t have preferences – I just never pushed or voiced them. Slowly, I started telling her what I preferred in the way of dress, etc. Then she asked, “So why don’t you dress and all like you want?” Again, I had no answer, so I brushed it off with “It’s no big deal”, and one of the kids broke into our conversation, interrupting. Now, normally I would have chided the kid for that – but this time, I was grateful and relieved. The subject hasn’t been brought up again, but it lingers in my thoughts. Time has passed. Many, many things have occurred since that lunch – and yet I think of it often. It plagues and bugs me. Why don’t I voice my preferences? As she had noted, the body is female but appears safely androgynous. It wouldn’t be a “big deal” to choose to dress a certain way. But more than that, who am I? Now, my sexual identity is in question. Am I really a male? A male trapped in a female body? Am I willing to outwardly show my “maleness”? My gut tells me I am NOT female, but my mind says it would be a threat to the survival of all if I showed myself outwardly. God knows we’ve been forced to retreat and hide for much less! As the main protector, CHIEF protector, I have to accept it to keep us all safe, alive and mostly invisible. Who am I? I am Daniel. I am a man. I am strong and I am smart. I have kept this body and the people in it alive and as safe as possible. So my personal identity, who I am, is insignificant in the grand scheme. Yes, it will bug, and always be there. I will wonder what it would be like to shoe ME to the outside. But I can’t. And so it is. Maybe in another life – another time.

Cynical? Realistic? Hopeful

Transcribed for Spiritual Connections by N. Corres

Our grandmother awaited the end of the world as she birthed a child during the Great Depression. Our mother KNEW the end of the world was coming when the United States entered WWII. Prior to these two events, our great aunt and uncle bemoaned the end times during the Civil War. Knowing their family and friends were killing themselves violently. Jews, gays, people of color and those who support them have faced genocides, mass murdering at the hands of hating dictators and their followers. Reality of genocide plague cultures and peoples globally. Cynicism and conspiracy ideologies flourish. Yet, HOPE resides in the darkest times of history. Babies are born – some die, some thrive. Songs are written and sung, permeate the darkness as symphonies still inspire. Words are penned, burned, and rise like the Phoenix to motivate, inspire, incite action. Pictures are painted to show the soul as sculptures take shape as tributes. HOPE.

Always in the darkness a flicker of light, wavering, tenuous, can be found, if only by the desperate, that can be passed on. It can grow.

A great darkness has covered the world in the form of a virus. Evil darkness has spread as egos and power try to suffocate. People find themselves alone. In the isolation caused by the virus, no one can look further than themselves for the flickering light. HOPE. It sputters and it stays. It penetrates darkness. In fear of light – HOPE – darkness perpetrates hate. The light, the HOPE persevere, causing panic and desperation in the darkness. They know with HOPE comes dreams, compassion for others, bedfellows of goodness.

Cynicism can be good – saving us from scams, wild conspiracy theories. Reality is good. An awareness and ability to see what is going on. Both cynicism and reality are agents to illuminate, spread sparks of light. Ergo HOPE.

The end of the world may be coming – again. But with light and hope, we see it and as the Phoenix, rise again.


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