The circles. The clubs. The community profiles...
Mine is not a thorough experience by any means. In fact, I purposely withdrew from many of the stereotypical TS environs, especially those in which a large contingent of the transgender community ensconces itself in an attempt to maintain a level of comfortable acceptance in a world so apt to odium without preamble. My reasons for such a conscious detatchment have been primarily based on character.
Or, really, the apparent neglect of it.
It seems that the race which we run is replete with those who run to be seen. It's not the glory of the finish line which motivates them, but the attention of those on the sidelines cheering them on. They live for the plaudits...the acknowledgement of their participation in this oft-percieved-as marathon of habitual dislocation. They wear the mere fact of their association like a ribbon.
So where is the starting line? Is it, possibly, realization?
Once we initially become aware of our need we are heavily compelled toward actualization...sometimes at any cost. The image is all; projecting that image becomes the vanguard of our identity. Even our friends, leisurely and occupational pursuits, political leanings, spiritual beliefs, et al are drawn into the gravity well of our newly advanced singularity.
It is at this stage the problem usually arises...self-obsession.
Predicated upon the innocent exhilaration of rising through the air swiftly, discovering the vastness of the world around and below you...much like that excitement nee fear coursing though you during that first dive from the cliffs into the crystal waters below...it can all too easily reveal itself to be an addiction, and as such require substantially more each time to satisfy it.
I have seen the results of just such an advance (decline?)...extreme indulgence or extreme disconnect.
One seeks to fulfill the skewed perception of just such an addiction by overemphasizing the attributes needed to maintain the image by way of surgery and it's compliment. The other seeks a pernicious swan song. Both amount to the same thing...complete loss of self.
The need to be recognized by others tends to be crucial within the context of establishing, or having established, a healthy relationship, but beyond that is merely a symptom of narcissism. Lest we forget, Narcissus of legend fell disastrously in love with his own reflection; is not the desire for mere recognition by myriad and random others similarly reflective?
It is no accident that "Narcissism" - the degree of vanity extrapolated from the example of Narcissus' emotional disconnect - derives from the Greek root word narke, meaning "numb"...the same root of the word "Narcotic", the example of which I have already proposed.
So the question becomes not "do we cease our journey if only for the sake of truth in perspective?", but, more realistically "what truth can be salvaged from a life misconcieved?"
Narcissus, enraptured by his own image to the neglect of all others, died - by either curse or suicide - in his own self-desire and was transformed into a flower bearing his final posture...the stem bending near the blossom giving it the appearance of gazing into the pond next to which it often grows. "A transformation of vanity and self-centeredness into the humility of a more individuated and spiritual self", as one author noted.
Yet, it is this insight, of yet another author which brings to light a much deeper assertion, one that resonates with this soul..."One glance, and he was lost. He had made the great discovery: his passion, his god, his one true love...and it was his own image. I am perfection, he thought. The world begins and ends with me. All others in this world are phantoms, fleeting and devoid of meaning. They count for little, yet I endure.
"Pity this love affair was not confined to mirrors and lakes; but from that day Narcissus first saw his reflection, he began to see everything as it related to his own image. The world was his looking glass. His insatiable appetite for himself took him all over the globe, and he was invariably pleased with what he saw. He left in his path a troubling wake which slipped like a fever through te people who saw him. A West African tribe whose encounter with him led them to create a new verb, [the meaning of which is] 'to look into someone else's eyes and see the reflection of oneself.'
"The sad truth is that Narcissus was right. When he looked at his image, what he saw was, in fact, perfection; but he was wrong when he attributed it to himself. What he saw was the perfection of humanity...of creation itself. He saw it in himself, and so thought it belonged to him.
"But it belongs to no one. It is the robe of the spirits, a grand design of blood and bone, of intellect and memory, of beautiful suffering and tragic-yet-unrelenting hope. These robes are borrowed, and when we return home to the mansion of the souls we leave them at the door."
Life In Balance,
Saturday, March 04, 2006
The circles. The clubs. The community profiles...
Posted by Alysyn at 10:24 PM
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