Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pumpkin Pie and Driving

I was dreaming at 3:30 this morning when the alarm went off. Usually I'm half awake when it goes off, and I get out of bed quickly. This morning I was caught in that dream state, tangled between the here and there. I was dreaming I was watching a middle aged couple and their son, like the perspective of the intrusive television eye, and she was kissing the neck of her partner. They had recently fallen in love, and were quite taken with each other. The teen in the room was rather appalled that grey headed people still had sensual, sexual energy. He was objecting to shows of affection when the alarm rudely intruded.

I've been read the Change series by S M Stirling. If you haven't read it, do so. It challenges my perceptions of the world in wild and uncomfortable ways. Yesterday I read a very pagan account of ritual, of the horned god channeled through the hero. I went to bed thinking of the turn of the wheel, the coming of fall, the shift in the world and the smell of the wind. I've also been thinking of my own shifting sexuality/sensuality. Being the partner of a transgendered person, being in recovery from rather serious PTSD, being a grad student and now graduate of a marriage and family program, has challenged in these ways and more.

I've missed my own sexuality as it took the back seat to study, exhaustion, working full time, attending school full time, and an overburdened caseload. I've worked hard to heal from mental/physical/sexual abuse. I disavowed my sexuality, reshaped it, and struggled to take it back. My identity as heterosexual woman transformed to identifying as lesbian. Then it transformed again, as my partner identified as transgendered. Funny, my spell check doesn't even recognize the word "transgendred" and yet it defines so much of who I am.

I digress. So what does that have to do with pumpkin pie and driving? 4:30 in the morning I drove to work, still in a world not quite made of this one. It's 60 something degrees and humid as I drive, window partly down and heat on my toes. I scanned the roadside for deer, but didn't see any this morning. I thought of the dream, of the book, and of my lover who is suffering a sinus thing that has left her coughing and exhausted. I wonder at the pronoun I just used, because while I use the feminine pronoun, I don't think of Cameron as female very often. But I don't think of her as totally male, either. Wish we had a transgendered pronoun. One that leaves space for becoming.

But I digress. As I grabbed my prepared breakfast and lunch from the frig (I have two days a week I eat all three meals away from home, returning only to sleep), I saw the pumpkin pie. On a whim, I cut a piece. The in-laws sent it home with Cameron last week and we forgot it. I've never been a big fan of pumpkin, and especially not pumpkin pie. But I associate it with fall, with harvest, with the Horned God of sacrifice and bounty. I tried to eat it mindfully, as I drove, tasting the pumpkin, the nutmeg, the cinnamon. It was surprisingly good. Perhaps my taste buds have grown and changed again, accepting tastes as pleasant that I used to simply tolerate. Perhaps my taste buds have become another symptom of the transformation of middle  age, the moments before I become a crone, as I wait post-menopausal and changed at the gate of cronehood.

Something was different about my drive to work, and this quiet moment at work when no clients have yet tapped at the door. Something shifted in my metaphysical awareness. I usually mourn the loss of summer, of heat, of green. This year I find myself grudgingly embracing the fall, the cooler weather, the taste of pumpkin and the ambivalent love of things male. I stand here at this moment of becoming, recognizing that another transformation has presented itself, and wondering at the journey that's about to begin. Wonder where this one will go.


  1. Well, wherever this journey goes, enjoy the scenery along the way!

  2. Its no secret that fall and winter are my favorite times of year. Spring is gorgeous, and I have usually been cold enough long enough to welcome the returning warmth, and you'd have to be stone hearted not to respond to the exuberant joy of life and beauty and the world comes back to life with flowers and color! I have to admit though, I endure summers. Once the heat locks down and the fireants and the mosquitoes, and the yellow jackets come out in force, I am from there on out looking forward grimly for that first hint, that breath of cooler air, that faint touch of color that says the wheel is turning again. Don't know why, but everyone has their time or season. You mention the stunning Dies the Fire series by S M Stirling, which I also heartily recommend to anyone looking for an entertaining, thought provoking, powerful read. The fictional series that is in my mind is the equally as powerful and stunning Lois McMasters Bujold's Chalion books. In these books, as you know, Dreamweaver, the inhabitants of Bujold's world believe in 5 deities, The Lady of Spring, The Mother of Summer, the Son of Autumn and the Father of Winter, and the Bastard, the god of things Out of Season. Each person belongs to the appropriate deity in their time - the young man to the Son of Autumn, the young woman to the Lady of Spring, etc. And the some people by their allegiance or service to certain deities, their souls belong to them irregardless of their gender or their place in the cycle of life, such as the character of Caz, who though sworn to the Son in a lay military order, belongs to the Lady as her saint, or Ista, who despite having bourne children as a wife, which should have placed her under the Mother of Summer's care, wound up in her latter years in service to the Bastard. Now, this is fiction, yet it is compelling fiction, particularly for a pagan reader! And it shows how our hearts are given to the things that compel us. Anyone would look at me currently and on a strictly cursory glance, define me as a middle aged woman, approaching menopause. However, really looking at me skews that sideways, as it is impossible to miss the male energy, body language and gender that I express just by being. And through this, I am a third degree Priest - thats PRIEST...sworn to the Lord in service of the Lady. Autumn and Samhain is the Lord of the Hunts time, and it is the time of year that has always resonated to my bones. My response to the coming of Spring and the Goddess is that of the Lover who gives himself in the ring of flowers in the woods as an offering of love. Fall and Winter are times of deep introspection...and that has not been an easy thing for you for a long time. Not that you haven't had anything to think about or meditate on, but that you have always had too much, and much of it dark - invitations to the edge of the abyss, irregardless of how necessary it has been for you to go there. Spring, with its shift from introspection turning outward to rebirth and returning life, has been a symbolic and literal release for you from thinking really deep thoughts that are far from comfortable. (and really, how much deep thinking can one do. working full time and in gradschool - all your brains were taken up by the required thinking for classes!) But the seasons aren't the only thing shifting. You are moving out of the shadow of those years, we have some hopes and dreams that will carry us forward that we did not have back then, and thoughtful meditation and time for it may be returning to being a blessing rather than a curse of too much.

  3. As for sexuality - ah, me. Nothing is ever easy around a transgender, is it? Most people, who by birth, genetics, experience, etc fall close enough to the "norm" of the heterosexual gender binary, never have to rethink ANYTHING about themselves regarding orientation, gender expression etc. Anyone who collides with the norms and has to define themselves in relation to NOT fitting the societal constructs we live in, suddenly has more thinking really deep thoughts to do then they ever wanted to! Add in a transgender partner to turn every bit of progress you've made on this journey completely topsy turvy, and things become really complicated! All I can say is that for that journey, involving sex, sensuality, touch and all its varied glorious expressions - take your time. That is one journey I will walk with you, respectfully, at your own pace, and honor and follow your lead on, entirely. If we are using the metaphor of the Lord and the Lady in the Jungian sense, in the pagan sense, the Lord awaits the Lady's pleasure, to give to her, and to receive her blessing, not to take and demand. All acts of pleasure and love that are respectful, loving and honorable are her Worship. And so, as the Lord awaits the Lady, so I will await on you. Blessed Be!

  4. Love the Bujold books, especially since you read them to me! Not many people can say their lovers read to them!!