Updated: Jul 20
I have obviously taken a big step back from all of this, but am so very grateful that the seed planted in Nadia grew into her beautiful insight. I have approached a few about shooting these last couple months, but ended up having the same conversation and dealing with the same misconception, so I just stepped back even further. The Universe is really just relentlessly kicking my ass right now, and I am learning so much about myself, my purpose, my usefulness, and my worth, which involves finally understanding that I need to take the “my” out of everything.
I have felt separated my entire life, forcefully, like it is my place to be punished by everything, but I have realized that I no longer need to worry so much about telling my story; I need to use my story to help tell a better one. That being said…
I was told the other day that I write like a girl, and I just thought… good. I was advised to read more Bukowski and Hemingway to get all the Greek poets out of my head, so I began trying to figure out a way to sort all my work in the galleries on this site under Greek headings (Θάρρος, Ψυχή, Χορός, et cetera), you know, like a girl would do.
Hemingway would just go on and on about bullfighting and Bukowski was a fucking pig. Maybe I should write like Miller and just say “cunt” every other line, or go into intimate detail about incestuous orgies? Would that be a better masculine voice? Would this community appreciate reading that?
Maybe going the Burroughs route and just vomiting drug induced and grotesque homo-eroticism all over this already drowning in toxic masculinity world would be more beneficial for everyone who needs a bit more Greek heart and soul? That was an awkward sentence; pretty sure there should’ve been a comma or hyphen, or ten, in there somewhere, but I don’t really care. Of the advised reading, Hemingway wasn’t all that bad, in his grunting and poking and fist-fighting, but he also ate a shotgun, so clearly that character worked out great for him.
The only thing Bukowski really had going for him was that he never gave up; the man who has “give up” on his gravestone never gave up; but I’m pretty convinced that anything remotely beautiful in his work was purely accidental because there was so much of it, like a chimp locked in a room with a typewriter. I often wonder how many times he read something he wrote, in some obscure publication that had given up on accomplishing something beautiful with their platform, and thought, “when the fuck did I write that?”
He was so mind numbingly wasted 110% of the time that I guess his greatest accomplishment isn’t that he didn’t give up, but that he was able to form coherent sentences while pissing himself and throwing up in the waste basket that probably had all his good work in it, but he was too stupid and “manly” to realize it. Most of the masculine voices I read are borderline offensive, usually annoying at best because of the “manly” things obsessed over, in a world where heart has become a place where men are not supposed to venture into, and if they do, it should only be attached to shallow physical attributes or activities.
It’s ok to have your “heart in the game,” but it is a sign of weakness if you make decisions in your life with your heart. You don’t hear many “men” say that their heart is telling them to do something, and if they do it’s because they’ve learned the benefit of being vulnerable with women. Men don’t talk with each other like that. They talk about instinct and intuition, manly things separated from emotion, because it’s not ok to feel anything with your heart; it is not ok for your heart to hurt, unless it has been “broken,” but even then it is severely misinterpreted, usually pertaining to losing something that “belongs” to them, when the only thing that really belongs to any of us is how we choose to perceive things.
Even our own bodies are simply borrowed molecules that are kind enough to do what we ask of them, mostly.
We are the gods we worship, so if you worship those voices and attitudes what are you becoming; what have you already accidentally become? Funny thing, I am perfectly capable of writing in those voices. I played those characters my entire life. I’m bloody good at those characters. I have also been fighting myself and my reputation for decades because I am not those characters. I’ve never been those characters.
It is easy to assume the worst of people when so many of those mindless, heartless, grunting cavemen are relentlessly in your face, bred by this society and given no other option or escape from MAN. I had to learn to play those characters when I was very young to defend myself from what I was surrounded by, but the primary reason I have always fought expectation and all this societal bullshit is because I was never that, and I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’ll never be that. In all of this pandemic scare, stepping back from my work and climbing out of my creative rabbit hole, I have realized that I have put all my worth on what I can do, because I can’t be what society told me I was supposed to be.
I was always good at what I could do, and I was always praised for it, so I grew up in a world where that was my only value. The twist to that is in heart: if ever I was good at any of these “talents” I collected over my lifetime, it was never because of technical prowess or practiced skills, it was because I would close my eyes and feel it; feel the music; feel the character; feel the dance; feel the photograph; feel the words; which is heart, deep heart and soul, and that, ladies and cavemen, is a feminine trait, which the Greeks et aliae (ooh, a feminine joke NO ONE will get) understood to be a valuable resource, especially in little boys. There, a mildly offensive masculine joke.
You are welcome. I was never proud of the asshole (see what I did there?) character I played, but I was always pretty proud of how effective I was with it. I am tired of fighting what I accidentally became. It was all in good fun for decades, but I have not-so-gracefully evolved past that, and I will continue to evolve until I transcend time and space. That is what I really want this community to be: evolution and growth through vulnerability and support, for everyone, regardless of who you think you’re supposed to be, and without the fear of being called a “retarded faggot,” which I might as well have had on a name tag when I worked in a kitchen, and I was second in command, but it was that aforementioned heart that got me so many compliments on my “retarded faggot” food while my “boss” (who wasn’t really my boss, but he thought he was) stood over the fryer with his arms crossed in the typical manly, king-of-this-domain pose.
If a woman in or near the kitchen were to complain about being treated like that, it would quickly be addressed, or it would be written off as “kitchen talk,” which is a “man’s” place, so if you don’t want to deal with the pigs, get out of the pig pen. If I were to complain about being treated like that, I would be relentlessly made fun of and looked down on because I wasn’t man enough to handle it. No one should have to deal with that, on any level, and that’s what all the “toxic masculinity” talk is referring to. So much of my creative work was reduced to giggles and grunts and mindless “boobs” comments, and it was disgusting and sad. When I decided to quit that kitchen and move into the brewery, they were actually surprised, but the kids in the kitchen ditched out pretty quick when they realized the balance of heart was completely thrown off without me there. Everyone quit after that, even my boss and the dear friend who took his place after the boss left, and I watched it all happen behind the safety of the brewery glass.
This obviously got a little too personal, as I am apt to do, but it is a great example of the kind of attitude that destroys things by accident, because MAN. I am still relentlessly berated with masculinity and the proof thereof, but I have nothing to prove to anyone. I give no shits. I know who I am. I know what I can do. Maturity is having confidence in that and not feeling the need to prove it or brag about it. Why would I allow myself to be ashamed of existing in heart when most of what I do wouldn’t exist without it? My primary audience is women, and my primary goal is helping women let go of the societal bullshit that I’ve hated my whole life. Why wouldn’t I learn to communicate a little less masculine by societal standard? I can also point out the obvious here, in that nothing I do is even overtly feminine, because I am not a friggin woman, it’s just not manly enough to be left alone or accepted by some.
No one should have to pretend to be something because they feel like they’re supposed to, and everyone deserves to be loved because they were born beautiful, whether that beautiful be a girly man or a manly girl, and no one in this world gets to set that standard. It is the standards set for us, which we agree to live up to, that make us miserable. If we were to confront, define, and truly understand those standards and their value, we could destroy them, and everyone can just enjoy their life in peace and happiness, without ever trying and ever failing to be something that they aren’t, until they realize they’ve wasted their lives away trying to be something that they don’t want to be.
Truth is I love the man who told me that, and would do just about anything for him. He is in my life for a reason, and I appreciate that. Everyone and everything in my life exists for a reason, and I spend most of my time searching for what there is to learn, and how I can grow into the best possible version of myself with what the universe has given me, because the universe doesn’t make mistakes. We can better ourselves and understand on a deeper level, or we can choose to complain about everything and perpetuate all the pain and suffering of the old story that we are currently drowning in. Look around. That old story has given us an ugly reality to live in, and if you look deeper, and really feel everything around you, you will find the souls with that beaming energy who are swirling around in the new story. Right now, I’m just trying to enjoy my time in this dark void, and am waiting patiently for that energy to illuminate the path I need to walk down, ready to sprint in the right direction, then stop to rest because I can’t breathe, then sprint some more, ad absurdum, until I can just keep running.