(sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) means to take a course opposite that of the sun, going counterclock-wise, lefthandwise, or to circle an object, by always keeping it on the left. It also means "in a direction opposite to the usual," which is how I choose to take it in using it as the title of this blog. We're all in the same world finding our own way.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I appreciate the people in my life whom I can say I love. Not just the familial ties or the romantic, but the platonic relations where I can look someone in the eye and say with the power of a thousand declarations "I love you." Say it like it's nothing, like it's everything.

Most often on this blog when I talk about love, it's that kind of love that I talk about. It's that love that I'm trying to nurture and foster in my life.

Because that love is contagious. That love is unstoppable. That love doesn't move mountains, but it does cross continents and oceans, building bridges across, through and around the very mountains in its way. It loves those mountains for being in the way and for making the journey worth it.

This is an old love, a strong love. A new love like a stain on my heart. It may fade, but it lingers, purpling the pulsing organ with prescient promises of uplifting tales.

When I say I love you I want to mean it with all constancy of the nine point eight meters per second squared anchoring us to this earth.

So when I say I love you, look me in the eye and see my light reaching out to brighten the spark that is yours.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Such is life

Sometimes like a slap to the face I am reminded: I am loved. I am love and it is my duty to remember this, to cherish it, to share it with the world.

Seeing friendly faces from a place and time of happiness, I digress into happiness myself, the power of memories overwhelming.

C'est la vie. "Such is life." It has become a mantra of my existence.

In this there is tension, for we often assume an essential negativity. A sense of "I accept that this weight exists in my life, that it holds me back, and I move forward anyways."

Such is my life. Joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain and all the sparkling in-betweens that color an otherwise bland existence.

Aye, c'est la vie, a kaleidascope of beauty unforetold by the passing of time. C'est la vie, a pain that time cannot erase. As one I take them in stride.

I am strong. I am resilient. I am growing.

I seek not to combat the negativity in my life, rather I want to embrace it, encompass it with all that I am, all that I can be. It is not wrong. The powers that oppose us are never wrong. I reject this binary existence. The powers that oppose me oppose me and I welcome them with open arms, for it is through them that I will grow. Through them I will transform and reshape myself.

C'est la vie, a revolution of self. The God on high and the god within communing for something beyond themselves.

This is what I aspire to.

Inspiration. Declaration. Intention. Dedication. Veneration.

I cannot share this with you. I cannot tell you about it or use it with/for/to you. No, I can only experience it actively and shine with it through the very pores of my body.

Take from it what you will. C'est la vie.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Why does gender-choice matter?

This was originally a response to Ben's note on Facebook about why gender-choice matters. Because my response got rather long, and arrives rather late in an ongoing conversation, I've decided to post it here on my blog rather than as a further comment.

Why is identity interpreted, reiterated and perpetuated through sex and gender?

It's a combination of factors. Identity as a social construct must rely on the historical influences that have shaped society to where it is today. If as Foucault postulates our current views (and here I feel I must express that I mean the predominant Western views in America or risk assuming that fact as a Eurocentric norm) of sexuality and gender identity are formed through eighteenth/nineteenth century psychoanalytical and psychological exploration of the sexologies that cropped up as an empirical response to primarily religious discourses naming, limiting, and persecuting people based on their sexual acts, then it is because of the focus put on sex and gender at that time that we still focus on identity through these lenses.

I agree with Jeff that Foucault did very little other than regurgitate history, but disagree that he didn't say anything new (for his time). The biggest argument that he made is that attempts to repress sexuality by empirically exploring each tangential "deviance" actually multiplied the tools (language/discourse) available. From these discourses stem identities. That's why Foucault is important to queer theory.

The short version of what I'm trying to say is that our culture focuses on those aspects because somewhere in the causal network of history, someone latched onto gender as a relationary model through which to explore sexual identity and it stuck.

In this respect though I also very much agree with what was implied in Jeff's initial assertion regarding identities as signifiers of personal pride in a shared heritage that this interpretation of identity is not static but must even now be looked at in current cultural contexts. In doing so, we see that contemporary sexual identities are not exclusively tied to gender and sexual acts anymore. To think of them as such is a limiting conceptualization of not only sexuality, but identity as well, which is I think why Ben seems to disagree with the idea so much.

The queer community as it currently stands is a spectrum of identity, as it has been from the start, but the expression and use of those identities is where we reach this critical mass of proliferation and differentiation away from sexuality as identities exclusively regarding sex. I would argue though that as it is perceived from outside the queer community, this may not be the case, and it is from this distinction that we see current political tension.

In the Weekly Night Series event I attended last night, "Twinks, Flamers and Bears, OH MY!" we discussed sub-identities within the overarching queer community: things like lipstick lesbian, twink, gaymer, et cetera. What these identities so beautifully illustrate is the intersections of the communities we (inter)act within and the formation of identities around these interactions.

Identity is not mutually exclusive. Identities are socio-cultural constructions around the intersections of a variety of political, historical, social (which I'm using here to include class, religion, and race), and geographical sources.

I don't feel like this adequately answers Ben's original question, but it's what I've got.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Five People I Met in 2010

How do you introduce a list of people who have had an impact on your life? How do you measure and quantify and calculate who should be on that kind of list? It's hard to imagine that I haven't even known some of these people a full year. So in no particular order:

Nathan Drake

Who knew we'd have just enough people randomly in common that we'd become friends. Between beating each other and ourselves up at the Rec, wandering downtown and just having nights in, this has been a fun winter break. You're wild and energetic and honestly hard to handle sometimes, but you're also a true friend that I know I can trust with anything, a friend who isn't afraid to tell things like they are even if it means calling me on my shit. You've given me fresh perspectives on aspects of my life I'd honestly never considered strengths before. I look forward to knowing you in years to come.

Jayne Godsil

Sure we've yet to meet in person, but that's only a matter of time. Sharing a (digital)room with you is a veritable steam room (because you know we're so hot). Other people inspire me artistically and socially, but you? You inspire me to kick ass. A conversation with you always reminds me that I don't have to take anybody's shit. I know this probably makes you feel old, but you're the kind of person I want to grow up to be (though the older I get, the less weight that kind of statement seems to carry).

Chelsea Hilborn

I met you officially in person mano a mano (or as was technically the case, breast to breast rather than hand to hand) when, like a kitty outside in the rain, I came pawing at your door one day to give a little bird a hug. You're proof to me that adversity builds strength, that being the better person is a choice. Thanks for the memories, for kidnapping me (with several hours notice) and being my lifeline to a different world while I was away.

JoeJack Kostylo

I'm not always sure about living with you, but you fill my life with music, with singing and dancing and the soundtrack that is the magic box. We're a strange pair to be sure, brought together by chance into this unusual apartment situation but on the whole I kind of enjoy it. I find myself disagreeing with the way you think a lot of the time, but that's good for me. The whole process of reconciling discourses makes me stronger in what I have to say and in how I think.

The Crazy-Haired, Glassed, Gender-Queer, Asian Poets

I probably left out a few adjective phrases here (or if I got them all, put them in a variable order), but at least a few of you out there know to which pair this is referring. You are what I'm all about. Life, change, it's about art, it's about creating something , creating life and living it. You inspire me. "You give me prophet vibes." Every time I read that, written down the side of a page in my Rendevous journal, I get shivers down my spine. I don't know what it means, but it speaks to something larger in me, something I'm looking to see grow. I don't want to be a prophet, I don't want to have followers, but I want to speak with the wisdom of one, to be a vessel for the messages of the Gods inside me. As an honorary Poet with you (the glasses part is my only deficit), I'm looking to the future.

Okay, so I technically had 6 people since the GHGGQAP is both Mandy and Henry, but I can't write about them singularly much the way I can't just write about ONE Power of Hoper. There are many names and faces missing from this list but these are the ones I've chosen to write about. I hope you all have a wonderful year and don't forget to look around you at the new faces you meet, you never know who'll end up sticking around.