Magik
Magik - Enchanting the World One Word at a Time Podcast
How We Happen—Like Yeast
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How We Happen—Like Yeast

Some Transitional Thoughts on Who We Are, As We Happen
Transcript

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There are no manuals for the construction of the individual you would like to become. You are the only one who can decide this and take up the lifetime of work that it demands. This is a wonderful privilege and such an exciting adventure.
To grow into the person that your deepest longing desires is a great blessing. If you can find a creative harmony between your soul and your life, you will have found something infinitely precious. You may not be able to do much about the great problems of the world or to change the situation you are in, but if you can awaken the eternal beauty and light of your soul, you will bring light wherever you go.
The gift of life is given to us for ourselves
and also to bring peace, courage, and compassion to others.
~John O’Donohue. Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong.

I’ve talked at length in my writings about who I presented as before transitioning, about what I was like, about how far I’ve come, and even about the mercy I’ve learned to grant to my previous years. What I haven’t talked about is transition itself. What it was (and is) like.

Part of that is because while I was transitioning, I had to, um, transition. Analyzing it would have halted it, while I analyzed the fuck out of it instead of getting on with it. The rose doesn’t pause its blossoming to note how far it’s come from the bud. And the yeast in a sourdough starter don’t measure their progress from once floating on air to landing in a jar of water and flour, to eating, fucking, and spawning thousands of new generations. They just do it.

While I was transitioning, I had to, um, transition. Analyzing it would have halted it, while I analyzed the fuck out of it instead of getting on with it.

A Fool’s Errand

Nonetheless, I can fool myself into believing that I can, at the same time, grow and analyze that growth. Ah! A fool’s errand if there ever was one. I can’t go back to my transition period. Hell, I can’t go back to a moment ago. I live my moments now. What I go back to is a memory of it. And memory can be deceptive, much in the same way a photograph can deceive. Oh, yes, because a photo captures things at a precise moment, granting a seemingly “realistic” image of the subject. Yet, it’s still an image and not the thing, the moment, itself. Far from being an objective glimpse, frozen in time, a photo records the subjective, as in “subject” to everything that was happening in that precise moment—the way the light hit, the flow of air, the interaction of shadows with shades, tones, and hues and the aperture of the photographic device, not to mention the medium of record, whether digitization or chemicals on film. The subject of a photo doesn’t even capture the subjectivity of the photographer. Rather, it’s an image of that person’s subjectivity, much like writing, music, dance, painting, sculpture—and any art, really.

Where it goes beyond subjectivity, where subject and object cease to be an illusive binary, is where the viewer/reader receive the image. This isn’t an exchange in which the artist hands over their work for consumption. It’s an event that shows we’re all shared events.

Perhaps that’s why, in the West, we’re so wound up about sexuality. Obsessed with binaries like “before and after,” “subject and object,” and “matter and spirit,” we have trouble analyzing the event in which two seeming opposites are one—ourselves and all that we fear as “other.” Uniting sexually with other human beings is something that can’t be had by analyzing it. For that breaches the event horizon. The uniting is the being done, the event. Analyze it later if you want, but don’t stop happening with each kiss and caress.

That’s what transition is.

This isn’t an exchange in which the artist hands over their work for consumption. It’s an event that shows we’re all shared events.

We Are Uncatchable Moments

Yes, the photo makes its mark because it’s so similar to what was there when it was taken. But that thing, that moment, isn’t there anymore. It’s different. Infinitesimally different from what the photographed thing is now and what it will be the next moment.

Just like me and you.

Me and Dino Happening

Being subjective isn’t bad or worthless for all that. It’s us living in the narrative of time. So, in transition, my memory in every moment played a glimpsing role in what I was becoming even as it plays a role now as I look back on my transition. Reflecting on it helps shape what my reflections on it in a moment’s or a year’s time will be.

None of us is given an instruction manual because nothing like you and me has ever before been previously built. We aren’t even “built.” We’re us, happening. Unique. And we’re not us, as in we’re not what we were a second before, and in the next second won’t be what we are right now. But we constantly happen.

So, we can painstakingly try to mark how we go about that. But that is a taking and a pain. Yes, we can think about what we want to be, but when we get there, we won’t necessarily be what we expected or intended.

And that’s quite fine. An adventure, even.

None of us is given an instruction manual because nothing like you and me has ever before been previously built.

I Know What I Like

The focus should be on what we like, love, and feel most at home with right now.

We don’t do that in a vacuum. Yeast don’t grow in outer space. They need air, food, and moisture. They’re algorithmically programmed to gravitate to what they like. Indeed, they’re like those things because yeast are an ever-happening relationship with them. Yeast float on air and consume water and food to make more of themselves by making air, water, and flour more themselves. We and all things in the cosmos transition by transformation—transforming the needful things that in turn transform ourselves.

We and all things in the cosmos transition by transformation—transforming the needful things that in turn transform ourselves.

I’m learning, recipe by recipe, that such is my ever-happening life.

Damn, I’m grateful for it!

Love,

Bethany

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Magik
Magik - Enchanting the World One Word at a Time Podcast
I’m a witch who writes, paints, and bakes for the world as I feel it, from where I stand, where I’ve been, who I am, who I’m becoming. Papa Culture fears Magik.