Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Angels in Training

I’m wondering, given my slightly addictive and obsessive personality, if signing on to FaceBook was a good idea. I used to spend an inordinate amount of time posting to this blog, checking to see if anyone was reading it, commenting on other blogs, etc. Now I’m spending an inordinate amount of time posting to FB, checking to see if anyone is reading it, commenting on other postings, etc. (I think I’m seeing a pattern here.) My FB friends run about 70/30: transwomen/feminist spirituality, with a couple of cisgendered males to even things out. (This isn’t counting three Middle Eastern males who sent friend requests out of nowhere that I’ve kept in FB Limbo.) I want to concentrate on transwomen right now.

I’m seeing a broad swath of this sisterhood. I’ve been friended by artists, lawyers, homemakers, educators, activists, doctors, women who work with their hands and girls who just wanna have fun. What impresses me beyond the eclectic makeup of this group is the almost universal sense of altruism. When I called this a sisterhood, I wasn’t kidding. If anyone states that she is feeling upset, if anyone is in trouble, if anyone is hurt, friends come flocking, some with words of comfort and encouragement, others with physical help.

I’ve always felt that connecting to my womanhood was connecting to my higher and more nurturing self. I see this in spades in my sisters. One couple comes to mind whose names I’ll not include out of respect for their privacy: transwomen who are married to each other, one is a lawyer and one is retired from construction, I believe. Part of their Christmas holiday was spent taking underprivileged children on an outing (and this was only one of several altruistic acts). One comment read: “You are Angels!” I have to concur. But I see this kind of giving behavior all the time, and I do not count it an act of egotism when it is posted on FB; it is a sharing of love.

I had a friend, a fellow storyteller, a cisgendered woman who was tragically taken from us nine years ago this coming May. Lora had this kind of giving quality. In one of her personal stories she referred to herself as an “Angel in Training.” I miss her even now. But I see her in so many of my sisters.

I’ve been looking at angels quite a bit over the past weeks. They are beautiful creatures, close to the creator, who transcend the boundaries of male and female. They can be fierce, like St. Michael fighting the Devil, but they also embody the female qualities of compassion and nurture.

We are not perfect, physically or morally. Many of us have understandably rejected religion. We’re not angels, but I see all about me Angels in Training.


Gillian said...


Samantha Shanti said...

Great post Jill! Numbered among those Angles in training is you! You're awesome.

Gillian said...

You too, Hon.

Anonymous said...

Hello My name is Helen Chapel I found your blog from a recent 100 ranked blogs on the subject of transgender. This is not a spam message I promise. I have my own blog and I have been interested in looking at some of the blogs on the 100 list.

I was very drawn to your blog because I am also intereted in art, photography, stories and I am a Christian. I will be back to read more I hope we can get to know each other more.

Helen x


Gillian said...

Hi Helen.
I'm so happy you were drawn here. I would have never suspected your comment of being spam. I'm always pleased to meet others with whom I share interests, and I would love to share thoughts with you.

I'm constantly in the process of exploring my faith. I refer to myself as a "Zen Catholic" particularly because I have been very moved by the wisdom of Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh. On the whole, though, I respect all faiths and have friends in the whole spectrum.

I've been a little swamped over the past few months, and have not had as many opportunities to post as I would like.

By the way, what was the list that brought you here? I'm gobsmacked that I would make a list like that.

日本的夢想 said...


Gillian said...

日本的夢想 said, Happiness isn't the key, only the ladder. Thank you, that was something I'd forgotten. It is very a welcome and wise thought right at this moment.

I've also got to thank Babelfish, since I neither read nor speak Chinese.

I'm not complaining, by the way, I love getting the translations.

Gillian said...

日本的夢想 - Japan's Dream.
I beg your pardon.

Shauna said...

Great post Gil, I have to agree with the FB thingy I spend quite amount of time there. This is also true of the ladies I am in contact with.

To me you all are angels, cause your words of encouragement help me on my worst days.

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