Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…


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sublimation and the mind of god

having grown up in colder climes of northern minnesota, from time to time i feel a bit displaced…usually in winter. this is because my childhood during the long months of cold, was filled with sledding, skating, snowball fights, snow forts, snow angles, cross-country skiing, and more and more snow!

these are found memories for me. being the eldest among 7 children in a small house, once the snowplows had left behind massive mountains of snow on the curbside, an immediate remedy for having some time and space alone was afforded me. i’d rush to shovel the front sidewalk, then dig into the four to five foot snowbanks. a snow fort was a necessity for me!

after hollowing one out, i’d harden it inside and out by pouring water on it, which in the extreme sub-zero temps of the season turned into an armor of ice. an old piece of rug or towel was then brought out for a floor. and there it was! my castle of solitude.

of course, here in the deep south along the gulf coast of florida, no such opportunity avails. but this morning i was treated to another of my favourite things about winter…also an exceedingly rare occurance here: sublimation.

sublimation is a physical change in the property of matter, in which matter goes from solid to gas, bypassing the intervening state of being fluid. it is really quite magickal when you pause to think on it, and for a poet like my self, it proves as easy metaphor to describe all sort and manner of transcendent experience.

for example, sublimation can allude to physical love which becomes transcendant, and ethereal. it can describe enlightenment, whereby the physical world is seen for what it truly is, a vapour. it can even serve as a kinder reference for the process we call death. you can probably come up with many more examples of this, especially if you’ve ever witnessed the event.

so imagine my sense of anticipation when upon awakening this morning, before sunrise, while still the waning moon’s beams danced upon rooftops thickly glazed with frost! the prospect for sublimation was made even more probable due to the warming trend forecast for today.

i was not to be disappointed. as the sun climbed higher into the crisp blue skies, its golden touch upon the crystalline deposits on rooftop and lawn, transformed solid ice into gaseous vapor, right before my eyes! like a flash-flood, every allusion, analogy, and metaphor that this vision has ever birthed in my thought-stream filled my mind!

who cares that the sub-zero (celsius) temperature would delay my daily sauna? never mind that i’ll have to wear my winter gear just to step outside briefly…after all, such opportunity for reflection, daunting any mundane perceptions of life, overwhelming them with the glare of its beauty, with the genius of its allegory…well, its not every day one feels privvy to the mind of god!


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surf’s up

yesterday i posted two things on this blog.
one was a video of a transgender girl named jazz, whose story on a barbara walters special in 2007 started me on a path of research and understanding for my own transgender child. jazz’s story is a positive one; one that has encouraged me and given me hope.

the second thing i blogged about yesterday was the death of my friend and canine companion, benji. it was such a sad post that my daughter, who usually likes me to read her what i write on this blog, said “i’m glad that was a short poem, mom…it was making me sad.

life is like that.
it has those moments that bless us with hope and happiness and those that touch us to loss and sorrow. like the waves on the ocean that rise and fall, just so, our lives have their own waves. they buoy us up one minute, then wash over us the next, til it feels we might even drown.

altho this is completely normal, there are corporations that try to profit off our moods by convincing us we need to buy their latest product to be always feeling our best. big pharma, with its tentacles in every corner tell us that the natural lows are depression, and need to be medicated. the waves we experience are called ‘bi-polar disease’. but not to worry, there’s a drug for that.

children being children are diagnosed adhd and medicated to make the classroom tolerable for the teachers, and yesterday i read an article about the higher than usual percentage of foster kids that are on ‘something’ or the other, as a way to chemically restrain them. the article was about floriduh (intentional misspelling) but it goes on all over the place. and of course, nursing homes are excellent examples of the use of big pharma’s wares as a way to make their residents a more controlled population.

but life is ups and downs.
it is feeling, experiencing, processing and learning.
how can we grow our hearts if we shy away from these offerings, these boons, turning instead to a drug to dull our senses? how do we begin to know our innermost self if we are frightened to embrace our emotions? how will we ever learn to like ourselves if we are always accepting the message of corporate driven media telling us that we must be younger, thinner, cooler, richer?

the metaphor of a surfer comes to mind as i ponder my own ups and downs, the waves that course my own seas. with my back to the oncoming swells i ride them to their zenith then plunge down their depths to shoot the curl, and let the waves carry me, then wash over me and bring me closer to my own shore.

i am not sad today.
benji died, everything that lives dies.
i have said the same goodbyes to friends, lovers and elders.
someday, folk will be saying goodbye to me.

but death is only one small part of life.
its bittersweet taste becomes lost in the next ecstasy.
without valleys, no mountains.
without waves, what would the ocean be?


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on not going off half-cocked

well, we’ve finally gotten back home after this year’s celestial event cross-country roadtrip, so here i am, back at the keyboard.

it was a wonderful vacation this year. we got to witness the annular solar eclipse from the front yard of our home in the mendocino mountains, the lunar eclipse from roswell, new mexico where we took in an alien exhibit or two, and were transiting the north american continent just as venus made her transit across the disk of the sun.

it’s always pleasant to me…this travel thing.
since my youth i’ve been possessed by an insatiable wanderlust.
so it is that once the airlines decided to become a little too fascist for my liking in their post-9/11 policies the annual pilgrimage to our mountain home in california from our home in florida turned from flights of ‘not-so-fancy’ to incredible cross-country roadtrips.

altho, after moving to florida, the first couple of journeys west were by air, it seems i am always ‘singled-out’ for the special treatment of pat-downs and gropes. this is most likely due to the facial tattoos that might be construed as middle-eastern in significance. altho, i’m pretty sure that any group arming and sending out a suicide bomber via air would most likely NOT pick someone who stands out so blatantly.

the groping never extended to my child,(something i wouldn’t have allowed even were she not transgender) but i just wont take any chances that such a thing might befall her, especially now that she lives as the girl she is, and in light of the various news reports and blog posts i’ve read about issues with trans-folk and our ‘oh-so-protective’ TSA. but i must say, we have way more fun travelling by car, stopping at various places on our way, seeing the sights and experiencing the beauty from the ground.

there are many things that changed for us the day she was allowed to live as herself. some that i pre-emptedly opted for have since proven to be unnecessary. for example, the lawyer that sees to our ‘financial affairs’ is very christian. altho that doesn’t always mean ‘judgmental’, i had foregone our usual stop by to chat because i just wasn’t certain what sort of reception we’d find with the new circumstance of zion being ziona…my son now a daughter. but this year, after three years of only speaking by phone and only about such things as need legal attending to, we stopped by.

the lawyer and his wife couldn’t have been more welcoming and complimented ziona on how big she had gotten, how beautiful she is and how much her hair has grown. it was a most affirming experience, and one that forced me to reassess my own judgmental tendencies.

in my defence the presumptions i entertain don’t arise in a vacuum. there are plenty of stories and anecdotes of others that support this tendency in me, as well as experiences of my own. and so it is that i find myself more than a little apprehensive about our upcoming appointment with a pediatric urologist to address the issue of ziona’s undescended testes.

surgery is necessary, but i fear that the one she really needs, the one to simply remove the testes, will NOT be the one that will be offered. already i have been preparing for a battle; lining up a mental health assessment from a psychotherapist with inscrutable expertise in transgender matters, a lawyer whose organisation deals with rights of persons in the lgbt community, letters of recommendation as to the proper therapeutic response to the situation in lieu of her absolute dysphoria regarding the “spare parts”.

maybe it will turn out to have been unnecessary. maybe the urologist will understand that the way forward can only be to remove the testes, not to place them between her legs. maybe the florida department of medicaid on which we rely for her various medical needs won’t require legal wrangling to agree to the procedure that is the onliest one that is right for her situation. but as with the TSA, and our visits with our lawyer, it seems wise not to be unprepared.

our various trips and journeys are always well planned out. we know where we are going to end up and from where we will start but everything in-between is well thought out. we know where we will stay, what we want to see or experience along the way and how long the trip will be…approximately. it is much the same process with our path for ziona to become the girl she is. as with any journey, we have encountered the unexpected along the way. and so far, the unexpected has been pleasant surprises. but that doesn’t mean we wont be met with a storm or two at some point. and it’s best not to go off half-cocked.

so, i act on presumptions and plan for the worst in the best way i can. always keeping in mind the destination. after all, if you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up somewhere else. and it’s never a bad thing to prepare for disaster…altho it may be unhealthy to expect one.


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blazing a trail

tomorrow is mother’s day!

somehow, magickally, i find myself still in that honorable role.
it has been a 32 year running engagement. three lives, three girls
with whom life has entrusted me…for a time.

tomorrow we will go over to my mother’s house. one of my sisters, two brothers, my daughter and i. we’ll share family stories no doubt as is common for us to do when gathered. we’ll laugh, joke, and whatever pain we may still carry with us from our childhoods, from our children, will be forgotten for the time, in lieu of celebrating that most hallowed of relationships –

as i write this many things are on my mind.
the 3000 mile journey upon which my daughter and i will embark cross country to our other home; the things we will get to share along the way. and the thunder overhead tonight as i ponder the wonder of life.

sitting out on my front stoop, watching the skies grow nearly black long before the sun has set, feeling the wind rise violently to thrash the boughs of trees and drive the rain at odd angles, no sense of doom fills my thoughts. storms for me are always omens of good.

journeys and storms don’t scare me, they don’t give me pause, or imbue me with anxiety. instead they remind me of life, which is the great journey, fraught with many storms. some people have preferred their journeys to be along well-travelled highways, with guidebooks available to preview the way. some prefer not to get purposely lost, or frequent the roadside attractions. and while no one i know is anxious for death, the journey’s logical end (or is it?) many seem to have forgotten or lost the sense of adventure.

life is a grand adventure! no matter how predictable a day might seem, there is always something surreal in each one for me. i have been clinically dead twice, and revived, put on life support then survived the experience, only to pick up my rucksack and sally forth anew.

maybe it is this spirit of adventure that let the universal weaver know that my tapestry could include such things as my various children would require of me. especially true of my threads being woven into designs that allow me to be ziona’s mom.

she is special in every way and has taught me so many things. even without the fact of her being transgender, her autism has given me new eyes, a different aperature through which to perceive the world. she has opened me like a book and written my own story in words i could not have imagined.

together each mother, each caring parent, alongside their child is given the rare opportunity to blaze a trail. to go where no one else has gone! no matter how mundane the world and all its days might seem, no one moment or situation is ever the ‘same’ as another. as it is said, “you can’t step in the same river twice”

so here i am, a mother still, feeling all the newness of life despite the apparent sameness.

in two days, like every year ziona and i along with our small dogs (i call them accessory dogs)will again drive cross-country between the panhandle of florida, to the mountains of northern california. we never take the same way twice.

it’s just like life!


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of hope and dread

two things happened today. one of them filled me with hope. one filled me with apprehension and dread.

life is like that.

the thing that filled me with dread was some horrible news about my sister’s grand-daughter. she is only 5 years old and was just recently diagnosed with cancer in one of her kidneys. she was to be set for surgery to remove the tumor on monday. until it was discovered that the tumor is the size of a football. and has displaced internal organs. now nothing is set. nothing is known.

i tried to put my self in her shoes. but it is just too close to home for me.

you see zeeona has juvenile polyposis coli. and altho the pathology on the lesions has as yet come back benign, the longer her colon produces these pre-cancerous lesions, the greater the possibility of malignancy.

i have no idea what lies ahead for my sister’s grand-daughter. but hearing about it reminded me both of how lucky we are…yet how tenuous health and normalcy can be in this life. how we tend to take such blessings for granted.

the other thing that happened today, the one that filled me with hope took place in the local furniture store.

i had just purchased a new chair and table for zeeona’s room, and was being checked out by the older woman with whom i prefer to do business there.

she’s about my mom’s age, around mid 70’s. she’s sold us every piece of furniture that i’ve bought for this house, since 5 years ago when we first arrived. and so, she knew zeeona when she was a three year old boy named zion running around and playing hide and seek amongst the tables and couches on the sales floor.

it was natural for her to say, “is your little boy at school?”

i didn’t take even a moment’s hesitation when i answered: “turns out it i have a little girl.”

she looked at me with a quizzical expression, so i went on.

“she’s transgender”

what followed was a very nice conversation in which i explained to her what it means to be transgender, and a bit about some particulars.

like how i waited, probably too long, to allow her to be a girl, how i thought, even hoped, it was just a phase. how i researched and learned more about the whole thing and how finally, to spare her the psychic pain should would suffer did i not support her right to be who she is, i set aside my fear and ‘he’ became ‘she’.

the elder woman listened intently. her eyes showed an open and inquisitive soul, an underlying compassion shown through them. she looked at me with an empathetic expression and said,

“it’s better nowadays than before. people are changing. it’ll be even better in years to come.”

then she said, ‘he’ll be just fine.”

“she” i corrected the pronoun choice softly and respectfully. and the woman smiled and apologized for the incorrect pronoun. saying.

“i’m sorry, it’ll take me awhile to get used to it”

“that’s okay” i said “my mom still has a hard time remembering.”

this whole episode filled me with such hope! that a woman, not a close friend or family member, but slightly more than a stranger, was so understanding and open minded. and of course, what she said was true: it is better now than back then, and it will be better in zeeonah’s tomorrow than it is today.

there’s still a long way to go. transgender people are subject to discrimination, to ridicule, to harrassing and violence. but the world is coming around, ever so slowly. i have hope that someday, the gender to which one identifies, and whether or not this matches the natal reality, simply wont matter to anyone at all.

in reality, i’m far more worried about zeeonah’s juvenile polyposis morphing into cancer than i am about the fact of her being transgender. and i’m filled with way more dread and apprehension about my sister’s grand-daughter than i am about my own daughter’s future.

maybe i’m only an optimist.
or maybe i a dreamer.

but dreams are the things that give us wings. dreamers truly can change the world!


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life as it is

looking back through my photo files, i was taken by a singular thought: i love my life!

that’s not something that everyone can say honestly. nor is it something i have been able to say about my life at other times.

today, as the thought occurred to me, i took account of every aspect of my life.

a single mom, at fifty-five raising a transgender adopted child, living on poverty level income, homeschooling, writing my poems and stories, doing laundry and housekeeping, caring for three cats and three dogs, living close enough to my own mom to have a relationship that’s not defined by a phone record, planning for the spring gardening, the summer road trip to berkeley for the transgender children conference, simply ‘carrying wood and drawing water’ as the saying goes.

i love my life!
tho changes will certainly come, there is at this moment not one thing that i would change.

being able to say such a thing fills me with gratitude. to life and for life as it is