This morning I felt a sadness, contemplation did not bring any clarity, so with a quiet mind I walked to the sea shore where I sat nestled in a nook, just above the water. There I stayed, sheltered from the wind, hood up, knees against my chest, my bare toes just touching the waves as they crashed and rolled against the barnacle covered rocks. Something in my posture triggered a memory.
Years ago at the beginning of my transition, hormones had already begun to change my body and my will was set to continue my journey as a Woman. I remembered one night when I was driving, I began to cry, tears rolled down my face, stopping the car I just sat by the side of the road and wept. I knew that my tears were tears of pity for the boy that I was but they were also tears of relief.
Since I began to write down my thoughts there have been many profound changes in my understanding and relationship with self. Writing has helped me lift the past from the glass case where I kept it preserved. With care, I hold it, turn it this way and that, in my hands I feel texture previously unknown, see detail once too small or too obvious to notice.
Today I mourned the young Man that I was.
That Man of my youth feels like someone I used to know. An old friend that I knew so intimately, I can remember his every thought and feeling. His guilt weighed so heavy on his heart. Guilt for what though. For being born, for being wrong.
Today it is me that feels guilt. Not the guilt I’ve carried since childhood but guilt for not giving that Man a chance to grow older and kinder, or the time to learn how to feel.
Did I turn my back on him, did I abandon him in favour of escape.
I feel as though I have been born twice within one life, an ambiguous gift. One life ends and another begins but the echo of the Man that I was remains, though now becoming faint. Today his presence diminished to a whisper. Today I felt a separation and in this separation, that I have betrayed him. If I no longer carry him in my heart, heavy though he is, will he cease to exist. His life, his joy and suffering, all for what, to fade into nothingness, to be a stepping stone on my journey.
I know I am him and he is me, but his presence is fading and with it a part of me is falling away. This is the journey. The story, sometimes held lightly, sometimes grasped too tight, ultimately must be let go.
Today I grieve for a Man I used to know.
Here on the island, there is no place to hide. All baggage must be claimed. I thought I’d already dealt with this particular suitcase full of sorrow, yet here I am. Grief is a double edge sword, pain and freedom, back to back.
Perhaps my guilt is because my heart feels so much lighter for this loss and this is my betrayal, freedom from the burden of his sorrow.
With what do I feel, my heart ? If this is so, then within this vessel what space is now free. As the past falls into time, there is an invitation to the present. I am here, free to be, not Maya, this is just a word I chose, just another part of the story.
From here on, what fills that space now vacated, is unknown.