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Thoughts and Actions

Field Notes In/On Transition

 Thoughts and Actions

So far the 2013 summer months seem to have lead to less posting, perhaps, than the first few months of my transition. 

So I am trying to get some momentum going for some myself by posting with a few new pictures of myself in recent purchases, every day Josie wear. The First picture is my basic uniform, flattering top and my favourite skirt that I wear as often as anything I own, these sandals I got last summer from my favourite Postal carrier, Kimberly. They are my go to shoes all summer. 

Others come out when it rains or I’m going out on the town (which is almost never)but in the summer these sandals rock. This is how I look most days at work. I might be wearing a dress like you see in the other two photos. The one with the “O” pattern is “what it’s all about” as far as I’m concerned. It’s my new favourite dress.  I have some pretty new clothes, my first awesome purchases in a while. The one dress I might need to take in, but then I might leave it just in case... :p 

I have put on 15-20lbs (sorry young ‘uns, I’m just old enough to have learned imperial in school) of “transition weight,” I’ve got to hypnotize myself into getting just a bit more regular exercise and get back to where I was, and where I felt pretty darned good being, actually. I don’t feel like I’ve gotten too huge (yet) that I can’t get it under control with some more discipline in those areas traditionally lacking discipline in my life: FOOOD! I feel positive though and am trying to go slow pace myself, everything I’m doing these days is a slow ongoing process.

I feel I have so much on my plate, I’m finding it hard to prioritize, which makes me nervous I’m forgetting important things by being distracted by whatever new shiny idea pops into my head... Things I am allowing myself to do again, kind of thing. I’m publishing my poetry again, and I have another thing, (I sometimes feel like I’m cheating on my blog!) that I can’t seem to stop writing.

It’s one of those Big Projects that need to stay under wraps (and will) until I have some substantial work done. But it keeps interrupting everything else I’m doing. I keep having to pause from my media viewing/reading/gaming/inspiration hunting and jot down my “big ideas” about this thing. 

It’s exciting, but I’m trying again, to pace myself and make sure I remember to see other people and interact with life while I get the writing bug moulded into a routine, that allows me to fit in all my photo taking, RPG game creation, Transition blog writing, and most often lately, my voracious reading habits.

Also I have been rehearsing, trying really hard to find my “Josie” poetry delivery. Joe was good, Josie needs to be as good, and will be; this is why God’s Stage Manager (if you don’t have a good SM on these big shows you are screwed) created rehearsals. This is in preparation for my very first (and umpteenth) poetry reading coming up soon. 

I’ve been reading my poetry on stage for almost 30 years, but this will be the first time I will be doing it as myself, as Josie. Well that’s not really true, I don’t regret any of my adventures being a reading poet in Winnipeg, and Vancouver. I haven’t really written much poetry in these last few years as I slowly edged towards and finally started my transition (which maybe I need a better word, as I feel “transitioned” already, and I haven’t even been doing it 18 months, and really I’m not fully there at all, I just feel good.)

I wanted to give not just a slice of life: looking at my clothes I wear everyday, and what I do with my spare time (write, create, absorb art, narrative) but also some actual “field notes?” 

I’m trying very hard at work and in my daily life to dwell as little as possible on the crappy stuff, and occasionally maybe confront the crappy stuff and transform it into non crappy stuff. 

The most recent example of this came the other day the local Queer arts Festival sent an email to my “Josie account” that I recently set up, it was a mass email, and addressed to “Joseph” which yes, used to be my name (that absolutely no one ever called me, except when called from a government sponsored queue), but the weird thing is, my “Josie email” is not the email address I use for groups I don’t mind getting group emails from. I have one i use special for that. Josie is for friends and work only. 

Anyhoo, they must have got an updated email from me, or for me somehow, and not updated whatever profile they might have had on me, years ago when I first let them send me emails, know what was going on for the fest, which I go to every year, at least one show. This Dear Joseph irked me, if they got my updated info, they should have it all... I asked them to update my info in a bit of a snarky way. I get how it may have happened, but, not the folks I want to even be having to ask to gender me correctly.

The very positive thing that came out of this snarky reply, was that they quickly responded to apologize and reassure me, they had fixed it. this satisfied me. I felt really good about being just whiny enough to get the gears moving. End of story? Nope, I get a later in the day email, They had discussed it at the Pride Society, my small snafu, and decided to comp me two tickets to a theatrical performance, that I was probably going regret not going to, out of lethargy, laziness.

Above and beyond, to fix something that I had already taken as well apologized for, very nice. I joked when reporting this on facebook. (if I live blog it’s there) that I carry grudges(before getting a response), and I do kind of, but I’m also keen on forgiveness when there are two sides willing to have empathy, and maybe do more than simply apologize, maybe they learn something. I know that I did learn something.

The main thing I took from this, and it took me most of the day and night of dwelling, cogitating, zoning out; is that you’ve got to spend more time dwelling (or perhaps thinking about, or meditating on are more positive ways to put it, but, hey, baby steps) on the beautiful things that happen in your day to day, than on those bad things. For most of the people I know, the goods do outweigh the bad, even those down on their luck, can still laugh, joke, and make you (me) feel better. 

But for whatever individual reasons, many people, myself included, often dwell (and here the usage works) on the negatives; those few “Sirs, Buds,” that are an ongoing hornet buzz in my work day. What I’ve recently begun to grok (there’s that word again) is that those few beautiful moments actually make better stories, and keep me smiling and feeling good about the world (despite the world) when I go to sleep at night.

It’s almost a self hypnosis, and I’m just starting to have enough self awareness to deal with my day in this way. Here are some recent examples of the only things I remember, and take away from different days of my last week:

Last weekend I was at Value Village for some strange reason ;)... looking at the depressing lack of shoes that made me swoon. This “older” Italian lady tugs on my blouse and hold up a pair of nice wedges that she found across the aisle in the small sizes.... 

“What do think? Is it comfortable,” she asks me. It does look comfortable, nice padded sole, and not to much of a heel, 2 inches.  

“I think so, they look very comfortable!” I replied in my softest possible delivery. She nodded and turned the shoe over, the bottom was a bit scuffed, and had a minimal tread.

She then asked me; “What about this?”

Kind of stuffing it under my chin, reaching way up,

“Is it rough enough, I don’t like to fall, no. I’m old not like you, spring chicken.” 

She touched my elbow, musing about the tread, and in a very “Eureka!” moment, she asked/told me “I’ll get ‘The Man’ to fix this, some...”

Here she made a scuffing motion, and traced where something would be put... some sort of sand paper.

I replied, “good idea, let the man do it.” She touched my elbow again and said, “Thanks, Darling.”

As she shuffled down the aisle she shouted in a big outdoor voice for her daughter, hollering the daughter’s name, and the fact that she’s her daughter, talking to herself, “Where’s my daughter?” 

I left without buying anything.

A couple of days later I met the most well spoken confident 10 year old girl who gives me hope for the future. I had been having an average day, as far as retail goes, busy enough to keep from feeling the heat too much, just sitting there, but not so busy you couldn’t chat with customers, local who just wander in for a chat. 

This young gal (who I recall being a baby at one point) comes into the store sans parents, or slightly older sibling, who she’s usually with. Asks me where to find a few different movies, all of which were appropriate for kids...(rare, so often kids on their own, predictably, want to look at “older rated” stuff) she found a couple that we had in, and called her mom to check if it was okay for her to watch them. One was, one wasn’t. What got me about this kid was how confident and seriously well spoken she was, no airs, she just spoke like an adult, without trying to, if you know what I mean. Meeting young people who are way more articulate and responsible than I was at that age, gives me hope for the future. 

I have no recollection of anything that day other than feeling an “Auntie-like” pride in that girl’s ability to go to the store for herself, in this helicopter parental era. I deleted the 2 dollar outstanding late fee, without telling the kid, or parents simply for raising their kid to be well spoken, polite, and respectful. 

The next day, I was having kind of a run of people being weird over $2.00, $1.00 late fees, feeling kind of crappy from something I ate the night before (that’s a whole other story) when this acquaintance of mine comes into the store, reminds me of who she is (lots of mutual friends) and then proceeds to tell me that she only came into the store today to tell me that I’m Beautiful! Yes I cried, am crying writing this.

The next day was “electrolysis day”. I am at the point now in the electrolysis/Laser treatments that I’m really noticing how much easier it is to get a clean shave. But, It’s still early days, and I’m still having to shave every day, except for "the day of", when I don’t shave the moustache, chin areas, so my Electrologist can get the little bastards. 

I won’t lie to you, sometimes it hurts (both laser and the electrolysis) a lot. I mean a lot. More than I ever imagined. The last two, however have been inside my tolerance zone, and apparently it keeps getting easier, and, I’m really happy with the effects so far.... but anyway, I’d sold her one of my new poetry books, last week, and she told me how one of the poems had made her bawl like a baby. 

She found the poem right there before the session and read it to me, tear filled and voice cracking. This of course brought tears to my eyes as well. It really moved her. It’s one of the most amazing reactions I’ve ever had to one of my poems, and I’m so glad that at least one person has found something they can hold onto from my words. Maybe it helped with my own pain under the needle, being blissed out by having such a great reaction to a piece that has long been one of my personal faves. 

I feel blessed.

Here’s the poem:

In The Blue South Of Sunbury County

In the blue south of Sunbury County
a child with cherries    
spinning knives
                  teeth paint screams
ghosted trains within 
                pink fingers
rusted nails in the deep green
              mother's morning dreams .
flesh of aquamarine   
silent St. John River
with the gaspareaux through 
the rapid water  
words fly & fall 
with these fish   so slumbered 
                     in red & brown   
                     lazy a part   
from   the   trees
sky a part from
turquoise & green afternoons   
                    sparse clouded memory   
memories of mine 
of  Sunbury County .


purply watered
pass each dream & drown
                   quiet dimples   
other children ring round me
one by one
(burnt roses helpless 
thoughts virgin puddles)
everyone sings down 
among the violets &
              clover .  
tears borrowed maybe stolen 
                              twirl down  
mother's fish scale glittered skirt 
wearing mirrors 
that catch each glimmer 
blue green red brown 
             swirl down & 
grasp playing Mr.  
           & Mrs. Dressup  

30 years ago in
the blue south of Sunbury County .  

© 2013 “The Wickedness Of Flowers” by Josie Boyce

I’ve sold 10 books in the short time I’ve had them in my hands. I’m hoping to sell out in the next few weeks and have enough money to buy a new batch (with a few edits, there are one or two in the wrong sections, and maybe a blurb from a well known author friend) for the second run. 

I will be reading from my book “The Wickedness Of Flowers” on August 3rd, at this event, sponsored by the Vancouver Pride Society, and created/curated by my friend, Drew. There will be another poet, Lana Leitova, a buffet dinner and dancing, music from DJV, lots and lots of dancing. It’s all ages, and dry, FYI.


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