Saturday, April 6, 2013



As Pat once wrote to me, that is Latin for Strength, but not physical strength.  Strength of Character and Courage.

I don't speak Latin.  I really want to learn.  I've always been told it's the mark of an educated person.

Random Keystone Pic with Lisa Empanada to fill space

I've thought a lot about Strength these past few days.

When you meet a living Transperson, they are, by definition, Strong.  They have to be to have made the realization that they are Trans, and to live with it.  As is often quoted, 41% of Transpeople attempt suicide.  Many succeed.  I didn't- I got help.

It takes so much strength to face each day as a "Normal" person.  Add to that being Trans, being outside the societal norm, usually without rights and protections...

But if you're reading this, you already know this, don't you?

Some say "Steel is forged by Fire."  And while this is true, here's a bit of history for you.  In the Middle ages, smiths worked with iron.  To make steel, one must add carbon to this iron.  The most common method of doing this was to submerge the hot iron into... bird droppings.  Yes really.  Then they would pack it in charcoal and heat it for days.  Then shape it.  Oh, and they cooled it in honey, not water.  Water would've made the metal brittle and possibly have shattered it.  Honey absorbed the heat more evenly and slowly, as well as adding a little more carbon.  So smiths were often bird-keepers as well.  And honey?  Used for smiths and for brewing... it was liquid gold.  But I digress.

So I would say that Steel is forged by Fire... And Sh*t.  Which makes more sense.  One develops strength by surviving hard times.  And sometimes wisdom.  Y'know, "Wisdom from the pain" and all that.

I've been thinking about Strength because one of the Strongest people I know has been experiencing hard times.  And I wish there were a way to help her.

I wish I could give her what strength I have.  I wish I could give her the Happiness she so truly deserves.  She has a wonderful family who accepts her.  A beautiful and accepting wife.  Her own beauty is the envy of so many.  Her writing is passionate and fiery.  When she attends an event, the room lights up and sizzles.

Y'know, after this description, she better write me a check!  ;)

Are there any knives sticking out back there?

We ALL have hard times of course.  Some more than others.  Everyone's strength has limits, and as transpeople our strength is tested every minute of every day.  And by surviving these tests, we become stronger.

But by being stronger, sometimes we become "calloused."  Our "armor" becomes so thick that it becomes impenetrable to all foes... and friends!  This is strength's double edged sword.  I know it well.  I shut out most people from my deepest thoughts and fears.  And most people in my life don't know of my deepest secret- that I am a Woman.  Armor works both ways though, while protecting, it also isolates.

But being Strong doesn't mean we have to suffer alone.  Most people know the old fable of the bundle of sticks.  By standing together, our strength is multiplied.  We become Unbreakable

So why don't we stand together more often? 

I know that if we were asked, if we were allowed, many of us would surround her with Love and shield her from pain.  Reinforce her with our strength.

Bruce said it best.  He often does.

"May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love."

Feel better soon, my friend.  You have my prayers.


1 comment:

  1. Sophie,

    Many thanks coming your way.

    First, while using 'virtus' as a sign off often applies I have become more partial to 'pax', Latin for peace.

    Second, you will always merit a thanks for any quote from "The Rising". When it came out in the wake of 9/11 I must have played the CD non-stop for months. It moved me to violate my preference for seeing live music in small venues since the only way I could hear him do any of those cuts live was to go to the Meadowlands. It was a great show.

    Third, thanks for the lesson on iron, steel, fire, honey and guano. One just never knows what tidbits of knowledge will flow from this blog.

    Pax et Virtus