-- No matter how long you may have known someone, no matter how comfortable you may be around another's company, the truest sign of a strong relationship is in the continual discovery about the other, the things both similar and different from both yourself and your perceptions of the other. The little insights that opens more windows, that reaffirm convictions or changes an opinion towards a better understanding.
-- After 20 years, I am still being surprised by how similar my coug'r and I think, the things that catch both our attentions in the same way, how much joy he brings me in the littlest things we do together. May this be a sign of several more decades of such wonder, that we may never become complacent or take our relationship for granted as we start a new chapter in our lives as a legally married couple. We're already mates in every other way, this is merely a legal formality that both our traditionalist minds view as both right and natural to let the world know what we are.
Shared Pain is lessend: Shared Joy is increased.
The only true blasphemy is the refusal to accept joy.
-- Circles within Circles: Part I
Some perceive my general lack of aloofness as a symbol of my favor upon them, as if I am telling them some unspoken acceptance for more in-depth interraction where there is none. Oddly enough, there are others who (because of their own concern for maintaining good social manners) defer to assume they have no part in my private life when they are much closer to me than many others. So, on the one hand there are folks who make much to appear "in" with me, and others who make so little of it that the outward signs appear less "in" than is real.
There are times that I see this obvious display and get confused by it.
I have an intimate circle I call my family, people to whom know me best, in all my bright and dark aspects, and still think I'm worth the time to hang with. Most of my family has known me for almost two decades, although on rare occassion someone new appears in my life that fits like an old glove and might as well have known me for years who become part of my family.
There is a much larger circle of 'companions', my friends liberally scattered across the continent that I care about. Folks I share a good deal of my private life with in various ways, but never all or completely as it's inappropriate (distance, commitments, emotional equalibrium, etc). Friends are people I can trust not to talk when necessary, to be a sounding board when helpful, and I lend my support in any of the myriad small ways I can. All those things everyone considers part of 'friendship' are there; commeraderie, similar interests, social interraction. Friends can be close or distant, tight or loose, old and dear or young and exhilirating. They can engage me at many different levels, and seem to enjoy the riparte I bring in return.
Beyond that circle is the greater multitude of acquaintances, the communities that I've chosen to be associated with -- techno, geeks, artists, musicians, re-enactors, science-fiction, fantasy, furry, gay/bi/lesbian, leather, etc... all the various 'lifestyles' that intersect my interests contain people of various familiarity. The interractions are nothing more than they appear, the occasional ships passing by and signalling to the other before passing from view again.
But it is this sphere that seems my biggest quandry, and the members within the circle react in unexpected ways: for in this myriad group are people who want to know more about me than they necessarily should know, and people who I want to know more about but dare or fear not approach. As Annie Lenox put it "Some people want to use you; some want to be used by you; and some want to abuse you..." Feelings get tangled and often bruised by such social miscommunication, and it is often a long and difficult process to sort through the mess to find a resolution or at least understanding of where the failure happened.
-- Circles within Circles: Part II
It appears that many people do not see how their outward manners and behaviors can be perceived. Like a child, they assume that the being outside will naturally understand intents and emotional states because they do not actually separate the outside from the inside within themselves. So they present a mask, but don't necessarily see that it is just that -- a mask. Something that is not real but projected, that covers the reality.
Not that I don't create masks of my own -- we all must create images that focus a desired aspect of our personality to a specfic outside event/situation. But to recognise that is not a given skill.... and it hurts me a little each time I have to slap an overly enthusiastic 'suitor' into their place by pointing out what their words are *really* suggesting, and not what they may have believed they were presenting. So, I try not to slap real hard the first time, just return a friendly but non-committal reply. I am starting to realize now that my friendly manner is in fact part of the problem.... as I don't just go out and say "Fwck Off, I have Enough Friends" and sound like a total sociopath, my simple "No" is taken as a "Maybe". I'm too nice when I should be shutting them down down early and hard.
It still amazes me when I get email from a total stranger who sees my art and/or my picture and decides to try ingratiating themselves into my private life simply because they have some misplaced belief that there's ANY CHANCE I might actually respond in kind. Poor desparate souls starved for any emotional contact, they act like moths to a candle. But I'm not a candle, I'm a raging bonfire. I'm not theirs to tame, nor can they ever actually gain the attention they would wish of me.
I have affected many lives in my score-and-15 years upon this plane, many have been a little brighter from the encounter, others have been scarred and burnt from the reality of what I am and not what they thought I was. Maybe I'm more aware of that than most people, but I firmly believe that each encounter with another soul leaves behind a change in both.
I never wanted to hurt anyone -- sadly, all I've ever wanted to do is add a little sunshine into each life I've touched, but for some that touch wasn't enough, and the gentle warm sunshine became a focused beam of light. Some have basked in that light before writhering, others got the warning shot and cleared out before finding just how much power there was. Some have obsessed upon the scars instead of letting them heal and learn from the experience. I am no longer the faery queen but the malevolent sorceress, my gifts of warmth merely traps or worse. *sigh*
What am I?
I am never bored.
I am always busy doing something, even if that something is loafing around.
I am a dreamer.
I am a creator.
I am a catalyst.
I am a functiional empath, possibly even a telepath if such can be proven.
I am skilled in many things, know many things, yet always willing to learn more.
I am not afraid to change my opinions.
I am not a victim. I do not carry my misfortunes as a cross.
I have been molested, raped, and abused, but never broken.
I am responsible for my own direct actions.
I have no need to prove my worth by reducing another.
The sum of all my experiences, perceptions, memories and talents, of all the component parts that create that separate and singlular entity that is ME form something that is unique. But while I'm special in certain definable ways, I'm NOT SPECIAL in any other way.
I am not a witch.
I am not manipulator.
I do not play mind games.
I am not here to punish anyone for any past, present, or future karmic crimes.
I am not here to burn myself out in altruistic martyrdom for others who don't (or won't) help themselves.
I do not wish ill of anyone who has encountered me and left a negative experience behind, save individuals who obviously, consciously and deliberately harm my friends.
I am so fully involved in my life that it is easier to simply remove problems that are not mine rather than try fixing someone else's mess.
I'm not some messiah or blue lady walking the land in secret, I'm not a prophet or sybil, I'm not even a visionary. I have not been ordained by any higher authority to dispense wisdom (or vindication, or punishment) to anyone.
In spite all the wonderous mysteries of life I've encountered, at no time did any event or encounter tell me what my role is, if there even is a role to my life. My personal beliefs include the notion that we are constantly creating ourselves and the universe around us, both the objective and subjective worlds that house our bodies and minds. In that respect, perhaps my peculiar 'local reality' may have more impact on the local realities of others than may be expected, but I don't see why it should. I am just one universe bouncing around other universes called my fellow homo sapiens, perhaps even beyond that to every cognitive mind that exists (Khromat Philosophy, a story for another time).
My personal view of the world is not any more IMPORTANT, nor TRUE than anyone else's view of the world. It may or maynot be any more accurate than another view -- that's what social interraction is for, both showing the dissonances and the harmonies of different worldviews. I would like to think my worldview is a good one, and I have many people who seem to agree with me. Beyond that, I have no ambitions to sway, coeerse, or convert anyone to my specific worldview, because I know intrinsically that it cannot be everyone's's worldview. We are not clones, nor machines. Each person is individual and unique, filled with the potential to do whatever they will with whatever faculties and resources they possess, tempered by the worldview they created for themselves to deal with that great unknown that is the world outside our minds.
That others like the peculiar node of reality I inhabit is often pleasantly surprising, but that doesn't mean I believe for one instant that I must therefore be a perfect ... something. Anything. I don't hold any power over anyone, merely respect given and received. Beyond that is nothing... nothing I can personally affect nor would I want to. It's not up to me to change another, it is always and ultimately up to the invidual to affect change within themselves.
All I have ever asked is for mutual acceptance of responsibility, of owning up to our feelings and motives no matter how dark or selfish they may be, because without accepting such responsibility an individual cannot effectively change anything negative they may have within them, cannot seek the causes and cure the ills, cannot fix their internal viewpoint that it may more clearly see the outside world. And thus they cannot ever truely understand why people like me exist, and they will forever reach out to grasp the stars without ever believing they can touch them, when all they had to do was recognise that they are themselves stars and as such need not have to touch another to shine. Someday, perhaps, they will shine on their own and add another color to the multitude. It is a dream of a dream, and as such I will always be wistful but never blind, hope for the best but prepared for the worst. For that is as it has always been... and will always be. Potential.