darker and curiouser
A few weeks ago, due to a fantastic coincidence of events and a generous friend willing to share the experience, I saw Kate Bornstein perform. She’s a force of nature, she is. She was standing before us, all 75 or so audience members, revealing to us bits of her head and heart with her own words. She used Keynote freely, showed us slide shows of family pictures, talked about her parents separately and together. These days his mom thinks he’s a nice girl.
She talked about living in the interstices of definition, defying it and longing for it or something similar, recognition of what she is, at any rate. “Look at me,” she half-invited, half-acknowledged. “I’m not a woman.” Then smirked, “I’m not a man, either.”
I mean, I’ve known for a long time that gender is a continuum, but I’d never been in the presence of someone so fluid, so grounded, so kind and generous and loving after having been through a hell of haze and doubts and danger — because we beat and kill and damage transgendered people, because we fear the absence of neat little boxes — that I’ll only ever imagine.
The end of her evening’s performance took me by surprise, and I stood there with Michel, shell-shocked, at words’ end. Later we talked with Kate for a few minutes, and I must’ve articulated something or other well, because she asked me if I was a writer. The question took me aback, and I spent most of the rest of the evening composing this post in my head, but that was weeks ago and is lost to time. Now I dust off dim recollections to make them shiny again for a moment.
This is why I don’t think of myself as a writer: to me, that identification comes with a need to write, and what I have is the occasional need to cook.
Been cooking… some. In the last month I’ve made kickass chocolate pudding (for the first time ever; what took me so long?), water chestnuts wrapped in bacon (thank you, fellow party goer, for the idea), bacon wrapped asiago stuffed dates (ditto), and a bunch of unremarkable meals, some involving bacon. I need a challenge involving reasonably priced ingredients.
Thanksgiving, though, oh! It was perfect. I dislike the holiday, I think it puts gratitude in bad historical company, but this year it was exactly right. Four of us, just my brother, sister IL, nephew and me. (Mom opted to stay in MA, as she and her partner were taking off for warmer places that weekend.)
We had no dinner table. We had things in the oven and other things on the grill, and no timing congruency at all. We ate food as it got done, cooked with wine glasses in hand and chatted. All evening. Then we spent most of the rest of the weekend sitting by the fire with tasty drinks, mustard seeds, mortars and pestles, other fiddly food tasks such as scraping out a dozen roasted squashes, and ice cream. It was pretty much my idea of idyll.
Emily and Jesse are settling in, and the house is homey. Emily’s cat Destroyer of Worlds (Mundi, for short) is getting comfortable despite Nochka’s grumpy growling. Life is re-acquiring a rhythm at SCD.
Work is the kind of chaos that makes you throw your hands up in the air and go with it.
Winter is undeniably here, in my ribcage. Copious amounts of vitamin D help a surprising amount, but winter still sucks.
Still, Equinox (wedding anniversary) is past, and November 17 (the day my marriage was pronounced dead) is gone, and we’re fumbling towards Solstice. Strange, that in only two weeks the days will start growing again. Autumn lasted so long that wintry weather is really only just beginning. The time of long sleep, warm blankets and tiny LEDs is upon us.