Intimacy with the reader; fear of judgment

It’s midafternoon, and I’m trying not to go back to sleep.  I have plenty of work to do, and plenty of time to do it within.  However…that’s not what I want to talk about, at the moment.  Yesterday, I remembered why it was that I had stopped writing (fiction).

I’m not sure if I will or can actually get around to admitting that reason in the course of this post, but it essentially had to do with the fact that my writing style starts off being intimate and nuanced, and only gets closer from there.  It also had to do with the fact that I was dealing with a lot of things regarding sexuality and gender identity and expression, as a youth.  I am not certain I had the experience to fully express this, then; and even if I did, this is difficult territory to navigate even for someone who isn’t a minority.

The major issue, for me, with being a writer or artist is that to be a writer or artist, one essentially has to express oneself.  If one is afraid of being judged for one’s expression (or worse, for the elements of oneself which give rise to that expression), it’s going to be difficult to do anything touching on these hidden elements in either of these fields.

This is partially why I’ve been trying to be as intimate as I have, in my writings here.  (Practice.)  It’s probably also a large reason why I’ve been drawn to doing work in which the reasoning behind my drive to create is less evident (jewelry, ceramics, abstracted visual art).

In essence, I write more skillfully than I speak (or as someone told me recently, “or so I think”), and in absence of very many close friends or lovers, my need for intimacy becomes expressed through writing.  Because the medications I’m taking for my (abstractly related) condition have basically taken away my libido…on one hand, it becomes easier to express myself, because I can avoid the point of overt sexuality.  On the other hand, it means that my need for psychological/intellectual/emotional intimacy becomes visible and primary, as my need for physical expression of that intimacy becomes less important.

Or, perhaps I should say; not less important, but inherently flawed.  I don’t have the body I would wish for in these circumstances, and being in sexual situations where I’m being interpreted as someone I’m not (“woman,” “lesbian”), pretty much destroys my desire to engage.

Of course, though…to have a “correct” or “corrected” body would require surgery and lifelong dependence on outside medication, which is not something I desire (especially as — with my genetics — it would likely eventually kill me, in one way or another).  The happy medium (a muscular, capable, fast, lithe, flexible, trim body) is something I do feel like going back to, but again; becoming visible as a gender minority…is kind of a scary option.  Maybe it wouldn’t be so scary if it were visible that I could easily defend myself, though.  😉

Which then brings up the question of martial arts — again — though I have (or had; I’m not sure about myself at 162 lbs.) a body type which is not well-known for brute strength, but rather for speed and agility.  At my most capable, I’m better at dodging and running from and evading trouble, than directly engaging it.  In a force-against-force battle, I’m likely to lose, meaning a hard (as versus soft) martial art like karate is not optimal.  (Hard martial arts focus on force-against-force; soft martial arts depend more on manipulation of center of gravity, evasion, pins, and joint locks/breaks.)

An empty-handed gymnastic martial art requiring lots of speed and flexibility, like tae kwon do, is possible; but the sparring (i.e. the fun part) is likely to be something that will exacerbate my illness via repeated mild head trauma.  (I did tae kwon do for a little bit in undergrad; it was fun, but the stretching was scary [like when you hear your lower back snapping in two to three places at once].)  There is also the question of how your joints age when you’ve done tae kwon do for years…

Then there are jujitsu and aikijutsu…neither of which I’ve tried, as they’re fairly violent; but aikijutsu would be the logical transition for me (I trained in an ultra-nonviolent form of aikido for years as a teen, and eventually got tired of the “nonviolence” portion of it, along with the cultishness; but I outgrew what got me into the class in the first place).

And as I’ve heard, 120-135 lbs. is optimal weight for my body type — or at least so, for my height.

Hmm.  Brings in the idea of running track, during the Summer…I do need to be devoting more time to upkeep of my body (sometimes I forget I have it).

Before I forget it, naginata practice was just brought up to me, again, which would be great for balance and upper-body strength.  The main drawback is that a staff is needed for practice (and there is the question of how naginata-jutsu or -do will transfer to empty-handed combat); then again, I get to play with a staff!  All right!  *busts out a window*

(The difference between -jutsu and -do are basically that -do arts, like aikido, are more philosophical and focus on a way of life; while -jutsu, like aikijutsu, are more practically-oriented and focus on self-defense.)

Anyway…there is also the fact that my body as it is, is not “wrong.”  Other peoples’ interpretations of who I must be because of what my body looks like, is what is actually “wrong;” I shouldn’t have to punish my body just because people in general, “don’t get it” (to put it kindly; when you want to hurt a person because they don’t, “get it,” and continue not to, “get it…” well, my solution has been to break up with them.  I’ve never tried to “fix it,” other than with close family).

Then again, I haven’t had many intimate relationships, and pretty much none of them were relationships in which I had a strong attraction to the other person.  Though in two out of the three which were not familial, at least I can say I was “seen.”

In any case…I was meaning to write about…giving up on art and writing forms right when I start to be able to express myself.  Could be why I was thinking on getting back into Ceramics; and why I’ve been through so many art forms, in the first place.  Perhaps, instead of going after a new(ish) art, I should try to develop more in one of the many in which I’m already accomplished?  Even though that’s scary.  I know when I was younger, I would draw conclusions about authors and what I saw to be their twisted minds, from what they had written; no one told me that this would be extremely destructive if (when) it was turned upon myself…

I think I’m awake enough, now.  I’m just looking at my bookshelf and trying to figure out where I can put the books I’ve just gotten and the books I will have to acquire…I’ll have to move, give away, or sell a number of them…

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paintedstone

Haru ("Codey") is a second-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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