Wagon Wheels, Wishing Wells, and Windows
Change is slow. Sometimes unbearably slow. But the wagon wheels of change, as opposed to the bullet train of life, gradually make their way to some indeterminate destination. The wheels do turn, as does the world, and eventually things become somewhat different. Not necessarily better, but different.
Wagon wheels. They have carried thousands of people to places unimaginable. And they have left hardship and devastation in their tracks, blindly rolling into the world of “what can I take”. All the while, taking the lives of those unable to stop them, and using them to roll on to places of blood-built power and prestige, sometimes in the name of God. Along with the destruction, with the wanton accumulation of wealth and position, comes the inevitable cycle of change.
Change often involves some sort of setback, failure or other trying experience. Were that we could choose to change without requiring the motivation of pain. If only we could see the path of change from the vantage point of love. What if we could help direct those very same wagon wheels toward a place where the lives of the people unable to stop them mattered more than the destination. I wish we could.
Toss another penny into the wishing well. Hope that things are different. Quietly turn my soul to a place where the change we desperately need becomes someone else’s responsibility, not mine.
The wishing well approach to life is familiar to me. At five years of age, I thought that just because I was a girl, I should be able to be one. That thought eventually evolved into the notion that if I just pretended to be a man, it would somehow come out right.
There has never been a breath enter my body where I did not know the truth about me. Countless breaths when I did not want to see the truth. But never one where I didn’t know. As a matter of course, I would spend many years tossing coins into the wishing well. Hope against hope that I could find happiness without being true to myself.
Here comes the window part. I spent much of my life looking out the wrong window. My friend Jill sometimes says, “Each of our lives is like a house full of windows. If you keep looking out the same window and you don’t like what you see, try a different one.”
The pain of living in my world finally became so bad that I tried another window. Jill is right. There are many windows and many opportunities to see how truly blessed I am. There are many different things I need to see in order to find a proper balance in my life.
Strangely, there is a window in my house through which I had never looked. It is the window of change. From that window, I can see how the wagon wheels are turning. I can also see how wishing wells are for wishes, ideas, hopes & dreams. The third thing I see from the window is that faster, more significant change requires action. That action can not be to get behind the reins of the same old wagon wheels. It has to be the path of change that can been seen from the vantage point of the window of love.
I can not force you to accept me. I certainly can not compel you to embrace me. I can allow you to see me. I can’t cause you to look through another window. I can only try to make sure that when you look through the window where I live, you see something that is an example of God’s love.
The more narrow the window we look out of, the less of the amazing diversity of life we are able to see. When we look through the peephole to see what’s out there, even that tiny view is highly distorted. Sometimes I forget that the only view available for some people to see me, is the peephole.
Without transgender visibility, will the change we need ever happen? I have come to discover that in my house, there are no windows in the closet. From there, it is not possible for me to see change or for people to see me. Change will happen when there is enough positive transgender visibility that no matter which window someone looks through, no matter what wishing well they hope from, no matter how destructive the wagon wheels, there is nothing to see but love.
Certainly, not everyone can be visible. For some of us, our very survival depends on not being visible. There are other ways to bring about change. Kindness is contagious. Love brings about love.
When will the world change? When people change. What will change people? Love.
© 07/15/2009, Stephanie Mott
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