Dear Constance…I don’t know if I have told you…I am in a spoken word group in our city that consists of some of the nicest and most accepting people I have ever been privileged to be around. I went there, the first time, as myself. They have known me always as myself, and consequently are a haven and refuge for me when things get rough…not to mention their stellar poetry which feeds my soul.
Anyway, last meet-up, I made food for a lil 4th of July celebration, all based on Red, White, and Blue colors…things like strawberries, blueberries, marinated mozzarella cheese, and sliders with lil flag toothpicks stuck into them.
My baby and I worked 2 days on this! So by the time the event rolled around, I was walking on airs, as cooking fills me with just joy and happiness. I love to take ingredients, and put them together, and then live their change into a yummy dish…I love to create in the kitchen, try new things…I love to have family and close friends over and place before them my labors of love and wriggle with delight at the way that they take such pleasure.
Imagine that…a transgirl taking pleasure in the transition of elements! Giggles…
Anyway, I was dressed very nicely, my hair was just right, I had new earrings and was feeling so congruent and whole and in focus.
I got up to read…and looked out at the group, munching contentedly on the food I had prepared (we had prepared, as my darling had been a huge help together with me)…and I felt so ME, so THERE!
I burst out, before I even knew what I was saying, “Can you see me???” They have seen me since April, and I have seen changes, and I wondered who they saw…or what they saw…I asked some other things that I don’t remember right now, but it just popped out of me, like a check in with some “family”, how am I doing?
Well, as I was leaving, one guy who is super nice and writes very well, hollered out “Hey Charissa…I see you!”
Awww…how nice, I thought…he wants to bless and encourage me. I felt good about his kindness.
Well, last night the poem below hit my inbox…and I am sharing it here…whattya think, Constance…
…does he see me??? (Hint…I cried for nearly an hour after I read it!)
Can you see me as I stand before you,
in all my beauty in all my array
or are you mistaking outsides for insides
the form for the function.
Can you see the true beat of my heart
the color of my stone
the color I am meant to be
not the one I am expected to be
by family or by society.
Looks can be so deceiving
when we all wear masks.
My mask is slipping
elastic worn out from too much use
from stretching itself for others.
Do you see it falling
revealing the heart dream desires
as I find myself
no longer in the corner where I was painted
but in the center of my universe.
Do you see me now.
The sum of all the parts
Past, present and yes even the future.
That unknown space we all grow into
as we drift through time.
Can you hear me now,
when I whisper in your ear the secrets of a life
hidden so well it was more than forty years
before the key was found,
The secrets of the child full of wonder
before the layers of expectation began to form
like a hard crust around the soul
protecting it just as those layers also imprisoned it.
Can you touch me,
reach out in acceptance and love.
Even if you do not understand.
Even if you can not understand.
Allow me the dignity of choice.
Cradle me in your embrace
Keep me safe while I break free
While I am reborn
I stand before you naked.
Do you see me?