Here's what I did today instead of writing. Yoga class with Coraline. Church. (I know it's hard to believe I go to church, but there really are churches for people like me.) Lunch with Coraline and getting her ready to go swimming with her dad and other grandma. Nap. (Fuck me, but 4 hours of sleep isn't enough.) Texted. (Unlike talking on the phone, texting requires complete dedication. I used to get so much more done while I was talking on the phone. Nobody does that any more though.) Scrolled through Facefuckingbook and felt like total shit. Three-plus-mile hike with Drake and Montana and the dogs over rocky terrain that was all uphill while listening to a marching band practice in the near distance. Washed the dog. Picked 200+ burrs out of the dog's hair. (A 90-pound poodle can collect a lot of burrs.) Poured a glass of chardonnay, popped some popcorn and sat down to write .... but turned on The Danish Girl instead because it's overdue from the library. Put clean sheets on the bed. Showered. Made notes for this week's blog posts. Nurtured the self-loathing that is endemic to all writers, regardless of their talent or output.
And here I am at almost 3:00 am finally writing. The Danish Girl was gorgeous, poignant, horrifying, tragic, and heart-breaking. I don't want to write any spoilers, because if you haven't seen it, I want you to rent it or check it out from the library and watch it for two reasons.
First, the cinematograpy is brilliant. I wanted to pause the action and just gaze at the screen as if it were a painting in a museum. And that's ironic, because it's the story of two artists. The colors are so rich and vibrant, you could watch this movie simply for the images.
But there's also the tragic story, based on the life of Lili Elbe, a transgender woman who was born around the turn of the 20th century, and who was one of the first transgender people to undergo surgery. Of course it's terribly relevant today, not because such things are any of our business. Really, the gender of other people is not our business. But we have to pay attention because some people have made this an unsafe world for transgender people -- mocking, bullying, diagnosing, and even killing them -- and that's not something we should ignore.
I've known several people who were in various stages of transitioning, and here's what my experience has been: In every case, I could honestly say, "Now you are yourself. This is you. I can see this is the real you." It's like a terrible tension is broken. Something has been set right. The movie captures both the inevitability and the difficult journey most transgender people travel to get there.
Lili's story is not easy to watch, even with the gorgeous imagery, but I highly recommend that you do watch it. And also read this article about the real Lili Elbe, which is possibly even more interesting than the movie, although not more beautiful.
And now that I've given you something to watch, here, in no particular order, are the posts you can expect to see here this week. Or maybe next, depending on what weirdness catches my eye.
- Art and Miss Serendipity
- More Coralinisms
- If we were sharing a glass of wine (or coffee or bourbon or name the potion of your choice)
- Why I don't go bare-chested in public, but I want to
- Shit I saw on Facebook
- The weight of a little girl
- Something about vaginas
- The disturbing world of the Craigslist platonic-only personals, and why you should check there before you go on a date (I know! I know! I shouldn't look there, but sometimes somebody sends you a listing that you simply have to look at.)