Every Piece Of Chalk

Feeling numb to experience is caused by the false perception that you are caught in the wrong experience, as in if a predicament. This perception is caused in turn by the false belief that you need to pursue experience. You do not need to pursue experience. You are experience.

J. Jennifer Matthews, Radically Condensed Instructions for Being Just as You Are

Old hurts beckoned me and I went to them, searching the subterranean labyrinths of my heart. The memories come broken, twisting toward wholeness. I unlock their secret meanings and let them fly away. I have the sensation I am getting to the bottom of something. Age 12, staring hard at my face in the mirror, thinking, “When will I look like myself?” Unable to picture how that self might look. I think of myself as a depressed, insecure teenager, an overwhelmed 9-year-old. I think of myself now, a man with a transsexual body. I realize that for my whole life, my greatest dream has always been to be normal, to live a normal life. It seemed so out of reach. Then I get to the core of it, to the single thought that has tormented me so long. I’m not how I’m supposed to be. Sudden tears warm against my cheeks. Then, sudden laughter. It’s only what I know all over again. I am trans. To be trans is to know in your bones that something is very wrong–that somehow you were supposed to be different.

Everything is wrong, and nothing is. This is the truth of the experience–to remember the mistake over and over. I laughed then, giddy with freedom. I’m still trans; that’s all. In that moment a few weeks ago, I felt I had finally accepted it.

What is truth for the transgender person? The truth is we are really and truly trans. We’re weren’t supposed to be different. We are the ones who walk across/between genders. That is one journey our spirits make in this life.

Spiritual questions related to the artifice of the ego or self speak directly to the trans experience. But which self is false? As transsexual people we can get caught between competing false selves. We are haunted by twin ghosts: the cisgender son or daughter we were asked or forced to be, and the cisgender girl or boy we wanted to be instead.

The truth is that neither is us. We are real, and we really are trans.

I had a strange thought. Make no sense of it; it is a spiritual truth that defies ordinary logic. I thought, God must have really loved me to have made me trans. In that moment, I felt my transness as a beautiful gift from the eternal, an endless kiss, a point of encounter, the memory of wholeness, intimacy itself. It is no better and no worse than any other kiss. It is only the particular kiss that we receive, we few who meet life at this unusual angle. In some strange way, being trans is how I know I exist, since everywhere I go, there I am, trans again.

When I was small, whenever I broke a piece of chalk–a common occurrence that greatly distressed me–my dad would make it whole again. He would take the two pieces, hold them together, get very quiet, and then hand me back a whole piece of chalk. By some sleight of hand, he’d pocketed the shorter piece; I accepted the longer half as the whole thing. A whole piece of chalk.

Of course, it is a whole piece of chalk. Every piece of chalk is a whole piece of chalk. And goddammit, I am a whole piece of chalk too.


  1. hayleesomeday

    This is really beautiful. I’ve never felt like this is a beautiful gift up to this point in my life but I really would love to get there someday. I hope I can experience that. Thank you for sharing that on here. Your description of dysphoria and looking in the mirror at a young age and not feeling like it was you looking back really tugs at memories and emotions. I really liked the twin ghosts picture too. For a long time, those were the only two options I allowed myself to recognize. Realizing that both are impossible for me, one because it just isn’t survivable and the other because of, well, physiology, was a really difficult and painful truth to grasp. At least for me it was. I want to feel like a whole piece of chalk too!! :)

    • rimonim

      Thank you! I was never able to recognize the gift in being trans til after transition. I suspect that gratitude and wholeness await you as you continue on your path. :)

  2. krisalex333

    You have exceptional writing talent, thank you for this beautiful post that echoes in my soul as well.

  3. leo1997mj

    Every time i visit your blog , i get inspired . And it’s due to the fact that i feel you pour all your emotions out in your posts , giving us nothing , but the blunt truth.

    Since i’m close friends with a trans person myself , i identify with your stuff . I wish you happiness and peace of mind for the future, mate ! :)

  4. Tam

    Reblogged this on One HuMan's Journey and commented:
    Learning to feel whole is one if the hardest parts of this journey for me. I am resigned to the reality that the fifth surgery in November is my last shot at getting to the closest approximation of what my body should have been. If it fails I know I have given this my all. I have walked a difficult path and did my best to learn what I could and hopefully enlighten a few others along the way.

  5. Pingback: Forget About Gender | Today I Am A Man

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