brick dust and buttermilk and self-made men

I started this posted this summer after acquiring a signed copy of John Jacob Niles’ poetry book, Brick Dust and Buttermilk. The book is named after the components of the pigment Shakers used to paint their furniture. I’m not sure what significance that had to Niles, or to me, but the words themselves are beautiful. Take beauty where you can find it. The post I drafted was nothing special. It spoke of the book and my on-going journey to understand my connection to the soul of this land. It entertained principles of masculine and feminine energy. I get sick of reading myself write about gender sometimes.

Today I return to this title because of its beauty, because of the tradition that colors my life and for my personal experience as a self-made man. Finding that beauty evaded me today – reminders of past successful captures are a blessing.

Today my view of myself fluctuated until I thought I was going to break. Memories of myself prior to transition wrestled each other to the forefront of my conscience. Of course, I smiled through the whole thing. I hate that I have such a hard time with feeling feminine. I need someone to sit me down and tell me that feeling any sort of gendered energy is just feeling like myself. Or, I could ‘man-up’ and do it myself. Self, you are purely and simply yourself. Done. Not crazy at all.

For everyday that gender threatens to evict me from my senses they are many more that are grateful for my courage to question gender in the first place. Change never comes easy.


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