This piece, I suppose, explores something tangential to me…in the New Age ideal of Ascension. Though let’s face it, many things are tangential to me. I have so many tangents that my location based on their point of intersection is fairly clear (and while I am tempted to intentionally run off on a tangential diatribe to poke humor at this, I’ll spare you). 😉
Tonight, I had the experience of accidentally clicking on the Reader Tag, “psychometry,” through which I found a blog, interesting enough to me, if not to you.
Based on its location in my Tag listing, I assume that I have spoken about this before at some other time, probably years past. Actually, Googling myself brings up at least two separate instances of this, neither of which look content-rich. Psychometry…is a name given to the ability to discern information from an object based on its “energetic” imprints. I have what might be considered the beginnings of this…I don’t know how to zero in on specific information, but I do get clear “feelings” when I touch certain objects which are not explainable by ordinary means.
As I may have said before, however, the ability to feel things based on sensing something (what?) which one cannot quite put a name or definition to, in my family, crosses over into various other unusual responses to reality, and the realm of having a hard time staying grounded in “this” reality. Without saying too much; if I am energetically sensitive, this comes along with my creative abilities, which seem to also come along with my own mental troubles.
In The View From the Studio Door, Ted Orland quotes James Lee Burke’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek comment that “God might choose fools and people who glow with neurosis as his partners in creation — but he doesn’t make mistakes.”* (83) What I find interesting about this, as it reflects back on my life, my studies, and my work, is that a great number of neurodiverse people seem to be attracted to the arts.
When I showed a couple of paintings and drawings to one of my old team members, noting my illness at the same time as I felt inclusion in the arts community despite it, he noted that I had “Mad Skillz.” This, and “glowing with neurosis,” kind of shed a different light on what otherwise might be seen entirely as an illness, as versus one aspect of a larger human survival strategy. Other components of this strategy might include irrational hope and unshakable faith. After all, the first trait qualifies as delusional; and the second trait only evades that status because the facts regarding the actual situation can’t be proven, therefore one cannot technically be proven wrong.
I’m not sure if Van Gogh is entirely “to blame” for the humanization of those of us who at times (at least) feel otherworldly, but for some reason, there are a collection of us in the arts community. I am also certain that I am not alone in having my spirituality feed very much into my art, which in turn (along with the fear of having an effect on my society which is unintendedly deleterious — likely instilled in me from peers assuming I was subhuman, growing up), is the main thing that scares me away from it.
But it’s fairly evident that most people aren’t scared of doing the wrong thing for their society — especially those who clearly are doing the wrong thing. It’s also fairly evident that my creative drive is likely what has sustained me to this point. Hence, why I try — even if wobbling a bit — to return to the sheer joy and power and terror of creation.
Though it is still just weird for me to see things develop as I work on them.
Last night, in particular, it seemed as though I had been revving the (metaphorical) car in neutral, and then suddenly engaged the gears.
I don’t know how this creativity thing works. I have been given some tools to help me harness it, but knowing how to drive a car doesn’t mean you understand how the car functions. It means that you can get from Point A to Point B by using it. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy to block out the noise which comes when either you do well, or don’t. Nor does it mean that you won’t suddenly engage a gear and lurch forward and freak yourself out.
The easiest way to block a person from being creative is to convince them not to begin; beginning is the hardest part. After you have something to work with, even if it’s just a scrawl…you can start to see things in it, and what it might become. But beginning? It’s a leap of faith, and when you know you’re going to be terrified either way at the outcome (“oh no! it’s horrible!”/”oh no, I’m being reminded of my life purpose! [now what?]”), it’s hard to take that leap.
The difference is that one terror is the terror (or relief) of failure. The other terror is the exalted joy of success, and accompanying sense of direction and responsibility, which requires (guess what?): CHANGE. Bravery, direction, and purpose are not easy burdens to bear, but they become far easier when you’re committed to them, and embedded in the work already. Past a certain point, there is no going back.
Of late, this has weighed on me; particularly within the last 15 years, in trying to figure out what to do about my embodiment…though I realize now that there is no, “best-case scenario,” for me. I am not a, “‘woman’ who ‘wants to be’ a man,” or a, “‘man’ who ‘wants to be’ a woman,” and whether either of those things are even accurate ideas, is an obvious question. What my life is has gone far beyond black and white dichotomies; and maybe that is my choice, made while I was unaware it was a choice: to live in full color (yes, with yellow, in addition to red and blue [or magenta and cyan: you pick]: you get many more colors that way) in a society that has historically largely seen in greyscale.
Surgery would be superficial, for me. Hormones would require never-ending care. I’ve been in the transgender community in one form or another for at least the last 15 years, and I know now that I am clearly not transsexual. Remedies made for them will not work for me. At the same time, I doubt I could be happy in relationships where the fact that I don’t identify as a woman would be unknown or disrespected.
Particularly, I don’t identify as lesbian (to be lesbian implies, to me, womanhood; it doesn’t to all, however), and could likely partner with a man — but that man would have to respect me wholly, including the fact that I don’t see myself as a woman, and cannot bend on that point for his benefit. I stopped seeing myself as a woman as a matter of survival, and my survival comes before my relationship with him. (I’m thinking that this is a new flavor of genderqueer.) The same point stands for a significant other of any gender, by the way. Men are only the most commonly occurring options.
In talking about gender and sexuality and how I want to shape my future, I’m talking about self-actualization, which is another aspect of creativity. It is, to be certain, one of the clearest points I could assay to support my hypothesis that to change…is scary. Especially when what you’re considering changing is something that will alter your life from the ground up. (Yes, art does that for me. It changes me as I work on it.) But sometimes we change and we don’t know we are changing until the process is already well underway. Sometimes we take a third or fourth or fifth+ route that we didn’t originally see as an option, but which is the only way to survive while keeping ourselves somehow intact (that’s not meant to be a commentary on surgery; I can’t speak to the feelings that cause one to feel enough stress at their embodiment that physical transition is the only option).
Anyhow, I was talking about Ascension, or the evolution of our collective beings to a higher level of functioning (as I presently understand the term). It will be interesting to see if any of this works out in the ways I’ve seen predicted. I know (and know that I know) little enough about the universe and my own existential existence not to have ruled out messages of hope. After all, it’s one of those survival mechanisms.
*Orland, Ted. (2012). The view from the studio door: How artists find their way in an uncertain world. Santa Cruz, CA & Eugene, OR: Image Continuum Press.