Ex uno plures

Red-MoonOut of one, many… Out of one, many… Out of one, many…

It’s the middle of the night, the moon is full, and my mind and heart are full also. So this will be a weird moon-tale.

Making connexions, as I do, all the time – because my mind is acutely associative. I’m thinking about Love, about Gender, and, well, other things (because it’s all intertwined) but those will do to begin with.

I’m thinking about how you can say “woman” or “man” or some other such gender label, and each person so named is so different from the next one, the differences always outweighing the similarities, in spite of the oneness of the word.

About how I’m willing to be called “woman” because it’s so much closer an approximation to what I am than “man” or any other familiar gender-label, but it doesn’t describe me very well at all. Hence Womandrogyne, which is still a sticky label stuck over a peephole looking out on a broad ocean.

But this isn’t really the subject of tonight’s goat-footed reflections. Love is on my mind, and Love is just such a label, one word for a peacock’s-tail of feathering meanings, blossoming out like a bursting firework – or like the absurd but glossy array of metaphors in that last phrase. Bird, flower, beautiful bomb.

Love is so many different things at once, isn’t it? I have this friend. We’ve known each other for around 3 years, but anyone who sees us together assumes we go back, and back, way back.  I think of her as my friend-belovèd. Let me count the ways. I love her like a friend I’ve known since school. Yes. I love her like a sister, not having a sister. I love her like a fellow artist. I love her like someone whose lover I want to be, somehow. She knows all this, and she feels all that, except the last one. This has never been easy.

It just got harder, because for the first time since I’ve known her, she’s seeing someone. And this is how I know I have all these loves, because I’m feeling them all at once, and most of them are making me feel happy for her, because she’s happy. And then alongside of all that sympathetic joy, a great sorrow I don’t know what to do with. I don’t know what it is I want from her, I just know I don’t get to get it. And then alongside all that sorrow, a great joy I don’t know what to do with. I know what it is I’m getting from her, and with her, the thing that isn’t that other thing, and it’s so lovely, and I’m so enriched.

This is one of those key moments. If I can be with all of this at once, not try to clasp or kick away, not try to change, something new will be born, instead of something old.

See, I’m feeling something, thinking something, it is unfashionable to feel, to think. It’s somehow connected with what I want from my friend-belovèd that I’m not getting, that’s nothing to do with her at all. The Approved Edition™ says thus: the love that you didn’t get from your parents, that you look for from other people, you can’t get from other people; you have to get it from within yourself. Everyone says this.

But I feel, I think, something else. I feel, I think, that the love that you get from parents, as a child, you either get, or you don’t. And if you don’t… you don’t find that within yourself, you mourn its absence, because it’s not something you can get except when you’re supposed to get it. You mourn, and then you step beyond and find different love, within, without.

My intuition, which I have of late learned to pay great attention to, tells me that this is Very, Very True. That I could, if I am able, stop looking within or without for this love I missed out on… could find something else instead.

I don’t know how to do that yet, and I don’t know what happens if I do that, but imagining it doesn’t make me feel sad, it makes me feel unbound. It’s like clambering out of a mineshaft and finding a pungent forest. Meanwhile, there is love between me and my friend-belovèd, of some kinds, many kinds, and that’s very, very true too. So it is.

[a red moon rising, and ramson – one, many…]


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