Sarahjanus's Blog

January 21, 2011

The pink fog and my dilemma

The pink fog began as a mist, swirling tendrils that sometimes blurred the sharp edges of reality around me. It hid nothing. It changed nothing. It was more like the shafts of summer sun that break through the storm clouds and illuminate something. It gave objects a new depth or perspective. And swirling, it was gone again leaving reality with all its sharp edges, its concrete, and its black and white.

One day, the mist became a fog. Suddenly the roads I travelled were not so familiar. I could see shapes and objects. I could avoid collisions but I was completely enveloped and when I passed by my reflection in a window, it was not me that I saw. It was not the me that had been. The clothes were not mine. They were foreign to me but they fit with the comfort and ease of something tailored. The pink fog is not dark. It does not shut out the light, and so the bouncing refractions of light created an aura around me. The aura gave me an inner warmth and peace. It was like I was wearing my soul on the outside. It was like I had transcended out of my mortal body to a higher level of understanding.

From my corner of the world, I watch the blacks and whites and grays hurry by me. They have their heads down, focusing inwardly on their own angst. They barely see each other and they certainly don’t see me. I don’t think they would understand me if they did. I think they may recoil with apprehension, with fear, as if I may infect them. I won’t infect them, and whether or not I even affect them is entirely within their control. I don’t know what they fear. I like the mist and I am becoming comfortable with the fog.

The clothes that enable my transcendence slip on with an ease and familiarity that comes from an inner naturalness rather than a learned societal norm. The transcendence becomes familiar and sought out ever more often. The pink fog becomes more like home and less like a foreign place. Like the proselytizing itinerant street preachers, I no longer so clearly understand why people step around me. I need to convince them of the rightness of me and the error of their judgments against me. I need to convince the world that it is wrong and I am right.

Now, the fog thickens and deepens and I plunge into with ever greater enthusiasm. I no longer know exactly where I am. I don’t know which road I’m on. I don’t know where it will take me or where it came from. I do know what the fog could cost me. I do know what the fog could cost others.

I am reminded of a cold, rainy morning of the summer just past. At dawn I was up and out with the dogs, heading for the beach to let them run loose before the buzz-kill leash police were out. As we walked through the woods as far away from the travelled route as possible, a storm came in from the lake. The wind was bracing, the rain heavy and lashing, trying to force me to bow my head, trying to drive me back. Ahead and coming towards me was a disheveled bundle of clothes that resolved itself into a young man, maybe in his 20s. In the city he would have been a homeless person. He would have had a shopping cart, laden with worn tattered shopping bags. He took shape in the rain, he appeared dirty, wet, unkempt, his hair both wild and matted.

As he came within hailing distance he began to speak. He was a preacher, a disciple of the Lord. He had found Jesus, (to which my inner voice replied, as it always does; I didn’t know he was missing) and he wanted to know if I had accepted the Lord into my heart. He had the fire of passion and true belief in his eyes. Spittle flew as he rushed to say what he had to say before I passed him by. He blocked the path to delay me.

My dogs paid him no attention which told me they didn’t sense any violence in him. The wind gusts were becoming ferocious as the storm moved over us. The rain became intense, driving through my clothes soaking me. Yet the preacher stood, oblivious to it all, offering to help me find my way. I’m sure he had no awareness whatsoever of the weather.

He had so much energy and passion that I couldn’t harshly reject him and move on. He truly believed in his chosen work. So I listened, and as I listened and took note of his look, his dress, his being, I wondered about those that loved him and worried about him. I wondered what he thought of them as he began down this road, giving up all worldly possessions to wander and preach, trying to save souls one by one. I wondered what they thought on days like this, sitting in their homes, looking out at the storm and worrying about where he was, had he eaten, did he have shelter, would he suffer violence at the hands of non-believers and disparagers. Eventually, as with the Jehovah’s Witnesses who come to my door, I had to cut him off and make my way. I went to the beach and enjoyed the ferocity of the storm as much as I might enjoy the warmth of the sun. The dogs, being pagans, gave thanks to the gods of storm for the waves that teased and chased them.

The pink fog has become, for me, analogous to that man’s faith. I edge ever closer to accepting the fog as being real. I know that once I do, my world will change. The world of those around me will change. There will be no way back, no undoing of what is done. This is not about religion but it is about faith. It is about accepting who you are in spite of what it may cost you. It is about confronting societal norms and confounding them to find your own inner peace. It is about accepting that, once upon this path, most of the world will avoid you rather than embrace you. Some will even hate you.

Faith is sometimes defined as belief in the absence of evidence. To live in the pink fog, I have to believe that I will be happier in the absence of any evidence that it will be so and in spite of all the evidence that it may not be so. I think this qualifies as a conundrum.

To any who may have read criticism of the preacher in my words, please be assured it wasn’t my intent to be critical or to judge. I simply observed and compared. I don’t mean to equate his passion to save my soul and spread the Gospel with my dilemma with cross-dressing and who I am, or should be. I simply used it as an analogy. I have a great respect for anyone who is prepared to sacrifice their own desires and creature comforts for the benefit of others. That respect isn’t restricted to Christianity or even religion. I am humbled in the presence of the young men and women of the Armed Forces around the world who are prepared to lay down their lives for even the chance that others may someday live with the freedoms and dignity that we are so lucky to have.

These are just my thoughts.


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