kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
As We Know, there are a lot of respects in which I am entirely comfortable talking frankly and publicly about bodies and disease and the effects thereof.

There are also a small number of minor ailments and afflications that I'm fine discussing in the context of other people but I really don't talk about their relevance to me, because it turns out that I've managed to internalise cultural memes that say that they're things to be embarrassed and ashamed about. Not things that other people should be embarrassed and ashamed about, of course -- just me. Thinking about this last night, it occurred to me that the "problem", such as it is, might be that for the big things that are Wrong With Me my body is so far beyond what is Normal and Appropriate and so on that I just don't think those rules apply any more, and so I can ignore them and be kind to myself and to my body, which is, after all, doing the best it can. I don't think any of the big things -- the endometriosis, the connective tissue disorders, the migraines, the wonky brain chemistry -- are its fault. It is trying its best; we'll manage.

Whereas with things slightly closer to the parameters of "normal", slightly closer to "minor ways in which normal bodies go slightly wrong and get treated with faint societal disgust", I end up feeling profoundly betrayed and miserable and unable to cope, and consequently trying as hard as possible to ignore my body, which of course doesn't help anything -- so having said all this, I'm now going to actually talk about them briefly.

Read more... )
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
I think one makes belief as one makes love:
think drystone walls of balanced masonry--
think of the hand that fits and shapes the glove--
think every stone cradled by gravity
secured in place by virtue of its weight
and no two are alike, but each is key.
I find I shy away from all the freight
attached to "anchor" as a term of praise--
but still each kindness settles into place:
a piecemeal ballast for my listing days,
or bearings set toward a kind of grace--
something to trust when cast adrift in haze.
So: tell me who I am, as seen by you.
Tell me a story; I will make it true.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
(Cis friends, by all means ask me questions to clarify, but maybe consider sitting out of actually having an opinion in comments on this one. Anon comments are permitted but will be screened; I expect to unscreen unless otherwise requested.)

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kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
(Quick notes to self, more than anything else, because I'm clearly not going to get this done any other way. Self-injury discussion; breathing stuff.)

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kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
VOLCANO SHARKS (actually that should maybe go in [community profile] capslock_dreamwidth as well, anyone feel like sorting that out for me)

10 things I wish I'd known about gaslighting. Quotation. )

[personal profile] happydork posted a thing about introversion, social anxiety, social skills, and change that made me feel very soothed and much calmer about some of the stuff I do. Hurrah paradigms that help.

Speaking of things that soothe me, [personal profile] recessional has posted another small commentfic about Bucky (in your blue-eyed boys-verse, which is actual MCU canon as far as I'm concerned), about trauma and safety and sleep and hypervigilance and how astonishing the people around you can be, in embodying traits and behaviours and beliefs you hadn't realised were possible but want to fold into yourself.
kaberett: photograph of the Moon taken from the northern hemisphere by GH Revera (moon)
Defining my terms at the top of the page. )
The part where I wryly tell anecdotes so you can gauge your interest in reading several thousand words on the topic
I've been talking intermittently over the last little while about shit like theology as repository of psychosocial extelligence (e.g.). Thursday lunchtime I realised with some dismay that I needed a purification ritual and I needed one fast and all of this is stuff I'm cobbling together as I go along, but I ended up with: sorting out my hair; showering even though it was hard; scrubbing my face and hands with some of the nice salt we keep in; moisturising with the E45 that I stuck a couple of bay leaves in lo these many years ago; eating half a teaspoon of honey from a friend's parents' hives; and then I spent the journey over to the tattoo shop meditating, and now I have symbology etched on me, and it is good -- but I have also realised that I've been doing most of my talking about this stuff via chatting with people one-on-one and I might perhaps benefit from going into a bit more detail, a little more formally.

So. )
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
So a few weeks back I acquired the twinkiest jeans, as discussed: blue metallic sparkly "super-skinny" jeans with an enormous blue faux-rhinestone button fly. I was wearing them for the interaction with the splendidly queer nurse, and I mentioned to my mother that part of the reason I'd thought it might be even a tiny bit okay for me to ask him about his partner was that I was wearing clothing that read as sparklegay too.

My mother, who had been great up to that point (and as we know is generally great these days), said something to the effect of "Ugh, I don't think it's fair that any one group should get the monopoly on bits of clothing and what they mean."

That's the context; this is my attempt to put my thoughts in order enough to e-mail her an explanation. (It's extremely focussed on the context of choosing to make legible otherwise invisible characteristics; obviously I'm leaving a very great deal out for the sake of Explaining Stuff To My Mum.)

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kaberett: Sketch of a "colourless, hamsterish"  animal having a paddy. (anxiety creature)
(Copied from Facebook, where I expected it to have more of an ~~~impact~~~, See Also the bit where my Problematic Fave Aunt has kind of-sort of apologised to me. Ish. It's not entirely clear what she thinks she's apologising for; I can't face engaging.)

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kaberett: Blue-and-red welly boots on muddy ground. (boots)
See, right, the thing that annoys me even more than People Criticising Christianity Wrong is lazy, compassionless theology rooted in shame and fear, especially when it's coming from sodding priests.

This is how bad today's sermon was: I walked out after the Peace and my mother joined me after communion, and was genuinely surprised I hadn't walked out while the guy was still talking.

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kaberett: Yellow gingko leaf against teal background (gingko)
Among my other activities of the last few days, I managed to stick my head round the door of the Whitworth, an art gallery set in a park in Manchester.

Whereupon I promptly fell in love.

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... and then it was time for me to head home for dinner, but if you're in the area I strongly recommend the gallery and I will definitely be going back next time I'm up there with my chair (this time I was stick-only, which makes art Hard). The curation is excellent, the staff are friendly and helpful, there's a sculpture trail through the park (and on leaving I saw a couple of dudes playing music & dancing beautifully and fluidly in ways I totally don't understand underneath and around Christine Borland's Hippocratic Tree) and there's lots of light and seating and such. I fundamentally think of myself as someone who Doesn't Get Modern Art and I am still going back ASAP.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
The Disc is a world and mirror of worlds, so naturally stories about the Disc are in fact stories about stories. This is, I think, what my mother fails to understand when she complains that Pratchett never wrote a single original thing; he takes stories and puts them together differently, shows you the parallels and the differences and the power to define the world depending on the story that you tell about it. They are stories about stories that reflect us back to ourselves, and tell us there's no such thing as fair or easy; or at least that they're rare and we don't get to expect them but fair, at least, we have to believe in in order to be human. That we will make hard choices and we will choose wrong and we will screw up but, also, we can muddle through; that if there isn't space for us we can tell stories that create it. Mirror and lens both: to bring into focus and to cast light and to show what is hidden, to show us that we are real, to show us an unfamiliar view of the everyday that permits that we see it anew in all its detail and its brightness. And, perhaps most importantly for me - at least right now - that being a monster does not mean you are constrained to re/act within the shape of others' belief of what your kind of monster is.
kaberett: Reflections of a bare tree in river ice in Stockholm somehow end up clad in light. (tree-of-light)
It was Discworld, I think, that taught me it was okay for me to be a monster, and that being a monster didn't mean I had to be what other people thought that meant. It was Discworld that first managed to communicate to me that we work so hard to believe the little lies because it makes it possible for us to believe in the big ones. It was my first real fandom and it gave me somewhere to exist and it talked about worlds that had space for me in them. Pterry told me I could be a witch of the land and a teacher and that I could endure and make hard choices. He made and makes me kinder.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
It's all too easy to dismiss, diminish
your sharp-edged individual brilliance
as untidiness, as more work than
you're worth. Try this:
Needs direct sun with good support,
for preference, south-facing walls;
and well-drained soil and fleece in frosts
and water when the weather's hot.
Slow to flower, rarely fruits;
give the thing at least five years.
Mind the thorns, the strangling vines;
mind the poison the sap bears.
Grant me leave instead to make this promise:
yes, you're brash and loud and take up space;
perhaps you're snide, opinionated, lacking grace;
but darling, what you don't quite seem to grasp
is that your weaponry can be defence
and ornament at once; can, in point of fact,
be precisely why it is that you're beloved.
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
Words are the piecemeal sacrifice I make
upon the altar of humanity:
I'm half-convinced that if I merely take
sufficient care in choosing them, there'll be
some minor miracle. I'll burst awake
from dreaming myself lost and, lossless, free.
This could be all. What else is there to say?
Well, everything, of course -- unless I mean
to halt. A truth: I've learned the only way
to changelessness is death; to be unseen,
ignored, unmade. Fear craves silent decay
of self. Of hope. Of all we might have been.
So we'll know loneliness; we will know grief.
Now: here begins the hard work of belief.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
1. I had a lovely leisurely breakfast with my mother this morning, sat watching the birds on the feeders and the patio. Zitronenwasser and croissant and conversation and restful watching of tiny terrifying dinosaurs.

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kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Okay, so periodically I play the game of "I would like to meet the jewelry or elsewise art (preferably wearable) that goes with this name". Because armour comes in many forms and habits, and so on.

THEREFORE I am going to write them down so they are not simply rattling around my head or as disparate tags on this here journal:

my true name [which needs to have inherent the danger & recklessness of bearing one's true name openly]
mythologising the self/automythopoeia
the self as landscape
patchwork scraps of grace
the self as statuary

-- which will do for now (though by all means play in comments).
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
1. Okay, hold onto your hats, folk who've been around for a while: middle brother and I haven't argued yet. Not only that, we have cooperated in moving furniture for my mum (and despite having worked construction over last summer he didn't think crippy ol' me was totally useless, which was nice ;) and have managed to talk about science in a way that didn't end in bloodshed! I am... kind of astonished, and really hoping it manages to hold for the next few days. (I leave on the 27th, you see.)

2. I swung by college when in town running errands earlier, and spent a little while sat in the chapel and a little while sat on the back wall swinging my legs over the river. Seven or eight years ago I stood on that bridge and looked into the library windows and said "I'm going to be one of them"; it turned out the floor I was looking at was the sciences one. So -- yes, I sat on the wall with my legs over the river and the punts dry-docked behind me and watched people walk over the bridge and listened to the single solitary punt guide and -- yes. This, too, is home.

3. DRD HAS PUBLISHED THAT ONE PAPER I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR HIM TO GET AROUND TO PUBLISHING. Seriously pleased about this. It is A Big Deal in terms of mantle plumes, and I think his work is solid.

4. I have played the piano some! Really badly, but less badly than I did this weekend. My hands and elbows and shoulder blades really bloody hate me and, well, this is why I don't play any more, and it's extremely bittersweet to be stumbling over playing stuff that is fundamentally still in my muscle-memory and completely incapable of sightreading, but -- I made music, I made music, and I didn't end up crying on the sofa like I did this weekend just gone, and -- it is a comfort and a blessing that I still have this. Also, I am starting to remind myself how to sight-sing.

5. I have had a lovely time interacting with baby brother also. We have been being gently rude at each other and very affectionate (hugs! hair-ruffling! sarcasm!) and he popped his head round my door earlier to be all "SO I thought of a PRESENT for you do you want a slow-cooker" and I was all "that's very sweet but thank you no my housemate has one" and he was all "awwwwwww I was gonna say, coz I want a blender, and if we both just had to go to the same shop..." -- so I provided him a list of DVDs I'm after in decreasing order of priority (and I think he's picked up lots of them?!) and then I was mildly profligate but it is a blender that should last him a good long time, so. I also acquired gjetost for my mother and consequently we have a mildly ridiculous cheeseboard, which makes me very happy. (It is my major contribution.)

6. My mother is making tiramisu as we speak. :-)

7. I am hoovering up Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis series courtesy of my housemate's copies, and am Forming Several Opinions. Some of them are favourable; some of them are really not; but I am at least enjoying thinking about them.

8. I appear to have been wearing Liminal and only Liminal pretty solidly since Friday. It feels right for this time of year, and for reorienting myself and taking a moment to be inwards, and so on.

9. My mother made a somewhat involved and very tasty dinner, and we had it with wine from one of my favourite Austrian grapes that I very rarely actually get around to drinking, because it's not really worth getting a bottle when it takes me well over a month to get through one if I am working at it, and I think of it as A Special Treat To Be Savoured because it's slightly hard to acquire and therefore wince at people gulping it; perhaps the moral of the story is that I should host more dinner parties, but in any case, it was tasty and I am happy and contented.

10. Kinda intimidating emotional work/conversations have been going well, and it is a relief and a comfort. AND I SOLVED AN ENTIRE GRAUN CRYPTIC CLUE ON MY OWN. ONE WHOLE ONE. Now to try for a few more. ;) (Why do I list them together? Partly because I have run out of ten, but also partly because they feel like similar amounts of thinking sideways around a corner to work out solutions.)


kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

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