Friday, May 24, 2024

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Lonely Artist Whine

 Sometimes I panic with loneliness. 

I know, I'm surrounded with people. I run a cannabis store, so I see people all the time. I have a partner. I have two teenagers. They are my favourite people and if not for them, I might not see the point at all in anything. So who am I to be lonely?

But I am. I am a creative presence on Earth. I am full and brimming over with the need to create, with ideas and even some skill. I am fully primed but all alone. No one gets my work. No one cares about my work. No one encourages, supports, or collaborates. No one engages or gives ideas or helps or even takes the time to really look or read or notice. It's like an embarrassing mole everyone ignores, or a cute strangeness they pat me on the head for. But my work is deep and strong and important and undone. Over and over I try to shift this and over and over I find myself right back where I was. Alone. Panicking with the overwhelming aloneness. I long for creative partners, for someone, anyone, to stay with me awhile, work with me awhile, help me get better, help my work become fuller and produced and available, let me help them. Invest together. Take time and work together. Not just a moment, not just a quick feedback, not just an acknowledgement, though those things would also be better than nothing. But really actually work together on something we both care to see happen. 

Stay with me awhile. 

But no one stays. No one participates. No one actually cares.

So why do I? I don't know, but I do know it breaks my heart every day. 

Saturday, May 11, 2024

My Drag Race Tribute Part 1

During the makeover challenges I often imagine who my drag persona would be if I were put in drag. I really believe I would be a completely different persona depending on who my drag mother was, what styling she chose. Here is an incomplete list of drag personas by drag mother as I have imagined them (and some Midjourney renderings for visual pleasure). 

Jinkx Monsoon, if you were my drag mother I would be Charm Barrage 

Charm Barrage
Imaginary Charm Barrage (Mother Jinkx)

Sapphira Cristal, if you were my drag mother I would be Azure Cristal

Azure Cristal

Tina Burner, if you were my drag mother I would be Gloria Blazing

Gloria Blazing
Imaginary Gloria Blazing (Mother Tina)

Raja Gemini, if you were my drag mother I would be Sage Gemini

Sage Gemini
Imaginary Sage Gemini (Mother Raja)

Jada Essence Hall, if you were my drag mother I would be Luminessence Hall

Shangela, if you were my drag mother I would be Holly Loo

Willow Pill, if you were my drag mother I would be Aspenite

Imaginary Aspenite (Mother Willow)

Plane Jane, if you were my drag mother I would be Shadey Sherryl

Shadey Sherryl
Imaginary Shadey Sherryl (Mother Plane)

Trinity the Tuck, if you were my drag mother I would be Holy Holy Holy

Detox, if you were my drag mother I would be Rejuve

Morphine, if you were my drag mother I would be Meness

Imaginary Meness (Mother Morphine)

Shea Coulee, if you were my drag mother I would be Maple Coulee

Jorgeous, if you were my drag mother I would be Canna Queen

Farrah Moan, if you were my drag mother I would be Bea Moan

Bea Moan
Imaginary Bea Moan (Mother Farrah)

Dawn, if you were my drag mother I would be Whorizon

Imaginary Whorizon (Mother Dawn)

The Vivienne, if you were my drag mother I would be Vies.

Imaginary Vies (Mother Vivienne)

Plasma, if you were my drag mother I would be Placebo I.V.

Imaginary Placebo I.V. (Mother Plasma)

Q, if you were my drag mother I would be I

Imaginary I (Mother Q)

Jimbo, if you were my drag mother I would be Super Sillious

Imaginary Super Sillious (Mother Jimbo)

Pandora Boxx, if you were my drag mother I would be Clarity Bell

Clarity Bell
Imaginary Clarity Bell (Mother Pandora)

Shanelle, if you were my drag mother I would be Sherrelle

Nymphia Wind, if you were my drag mother I would be North Wind

Alyssa Edwards, if you were my drag mother I would be Praise Bea

Praise Bea
Imaginary Praise Bea (Mother Alyssa)

Victoria Scone, if you were my drag mother I would be Freida Love

Imaginary Frieda Love (Mother Victoria Scone)

Crystal Methyd, if you were my drag mother I would be Whymsy Way

Whymsy Way
Imaginary Whymsy Way (Mother Crystal)

Yvie Oddly, if you were my drag mother I would by Ivy Evens

Trixie Mattel, if you were my drag mother I would be Charlatan Price

Gottmik, if you were my drag mother I would be Pretty Punch

Pretty Punch
Imaginary Pretty Punch (Mother Gottmik)

Eureka!, if you were my drag mother I would be Eunomia
Imaginary Eunomia (Mother Eureka!)

Monee Exchange, if you were my drag mother I would be Trade Chambers

Imaginary Trade Chambers (Mother Monee)

RuPaul, if you were my drag mother I would be Honey Do (she better don't!)

Honey Do
Imaginary Honey Do (Mother Ru)

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The time is now

Mother Eunomia


Your legacy can't be this. To die the most hated, as the world falls to pieces, in the name of your game of profit. The meanest, the worst, the most vile. Do you think the problems are not solvable? Is that why you continue to enact your cynical amassing and hoarding? But please, take heart, because it is all solvable. With the right foundations and emergent models, with the information we already have about how people behave and how systems work. Three generations, a hundred years. Or seven generations if you prefer the conservative estimate. But your legacy is to begin it, right. To put in place the foundations and the vision and the safeguards for ethical implementation. To use your funds instead of bombs and bullets, bombs of funds, bullets of funds, to eradicate the enemies of poverty, oppression, destruction, and exploitation, as you root out an enemy. Create an industry of peace. If you don't know how, ask me. You took all the resources of the world under your wing, so you have chosen the responsibility to use those resources to save the world you've destroyed to amass them. You need to shift your game, now. NOW.

All that is left when any of us die is dust dissipated into this planet of life, as long as it lives. Please let it live. 

Thursday, April 4, 2024


Tangled (CAI 2019)

There is not a direction my mind turns that isn't laced with worry. I think every person I care about has reasons I worry for them, from close to distant, to the world as a whole. I reach around in my mind and I can't settle on anyone who is just doing well. There is no safe haven for my thoughts, no space in which I feel secure in good feelings, not even sleep anymore. My painting is filled with angst, my writing is stalled by inadequacy, most of my days are filled with repetitive maintenance trying to stave off erosion, and I'm tired and in pain most of the time. Too many of the people in the world seem to be in a self-destructive thrall that is more and more threatening to just general peaceful coexistence. I feel like my voice is unhearable, I am invisible, and only platitudes ever even try to assail that sense.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Contextualizing a lifetime


Account (Midjourney-generated 2023)

This is the download today, rough-hewn and unedited as I have NO TIME FOR THIS:

The Body and Spirit require several layers of translation as their comprehension of reality is very different. Body has Mind and Spirit has Wisdom. Generally speaking, Spirit only decides about important things, consulting Wisdom, which is bringing the knowledge of mind, body, and experience to a place Spirit can begin to understand and act upon. For most of our lives, Mind and Body make most decisions, overseen and nudged by Wisdom. 

Mind and Wisdom can speak directly about some things. Body and Spirit can speak directly about some things, and decide without Wisdom or Mind at all. Spirit can listen to Mind without the input of Wisdom, especially if Body is in favor, and act rashly or decisively (judged by our relation to the outcome). But generally, Spirit decides based on Wisdom, Body decides based on Mind, and their own whims of being. 

In each decade, the Spirit is at a stage or cycle of the lifetime, which then translates itself into the being to inform and guide choices and decisions that come most often during those periods. Body similarly informs Spirit, translating through Mind to Wisdom, which can affect how Spirit responds. 

If we are lucky we get 8 or maybe 9 periods of our lives, often measured by decades.


Body - gestating (evacuating)

Mind - developing (stunting)

Wisdom - building (distorting)

Spirit - noticing (tuning out)

1st 10 years

Body - developing  (stunting)  

Mind - building (distorting)

Wisdom - noticing (tuning out)

Spirit - open (protective)


Body - building  (distorting)

Mind - noticing (tuning out)  

Wisdom - open (protective)

Spirit - asserting (insisting)


Body - noticing  (tuning out)

Mind - open (protective)

Wisdom - asserting (insisting)

Spirit - expressing (doing)


Body - open  (protective)

Mind - asserting (insisting) 

Wisdom - expressing (doing)

Spirit - evaluating (coasting)


Body - asserting (insisting)

Mind - expressing (doing)

Wisdom - evaluating (coasting)

Spirit - integrating (ignoring)


Body - expressing (doing) 

Mind - evaluating (coasting)

Wisdom - integrating (ignoring)

Spirit - attending (suppressing)  


Body - evaluating (coasting)   

Mind -integrating (ignoring)

Wisdom - attending (suppressing)  

Spirit - honouring (dismissing)


Body - integrating (ignoring)

Mind - attending (suppressing)

Wisdom - honouring (dismissing)

Spirit - deepening (disengaging)


Body - attending (suppressing)  

Mind - honouring (dismissing)

Wisdom - deepening (disengaging)

Spirit - focusing (limiting)


Body - honouring (dismissing)

Mind - deepening (disengaging)

Wisdom- focusing (limiting)

Spirit - preparing (avoiding)


Body - deepening (disengaging)

Mind - focusing (limiting)

Wisdom - preparing (avoiding)

Spirit - ready (afraid)

Thursday, February 8, 2024

I am not for you

Over Shadow

I am not for you.

My talents are not for entertaining you.

My works are not for you to consume.

My love is not yours to have,

My time is not yours to claim.

But, I may give those to you anyway, for love, for fame, for fun

as a good host will offer her best pastries to the guest.

I am for Earth. I am for Peace. I am for Myself and my Family 4 and Our 

Good Life. 

We may intersect, support, help, enjoy

that's my joy

We may decide to hold cause in common

that's my passion

We may choose to share intimate understanding

that is my life's breath


I am not here for you.

We may choose to stay out of each other's repellent field

or disinterested way

and that is my loss, to not be for you, as I am, as you need.

But I am here, dealing too late with the weight of denials

hoping to shed some pounds and maybe lighten the uphill load for my last days of chances

to be here for a reason, after all.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Hope's like that

(CAI 2023)

Sometimes a wave of hopeful certainty washes over me 
like a sun-warm current brushing by in the lake, like 
 a warm breeze catching my cheek 
 on a cool day; like a loving ghost 
and I realize that this feeling is the closest I have come to peace 
so I savour it and I ask my spirit and body  to memorize it 
how it tastes and smells and tingles through 
how it swells and lightens too 
a glimpse to recall later when I need it most.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Coping. Hoping.

Hope to Cope (CAI 2023)

 I think we often lose sight of the point of this game. 

Peace. Peace on Earth. A happiness resort. An enjoyment park. Earth, the life-giving planet, a place to experience Heaven on Earth.

So why are we building Hell?

It's a choice. The 8 people in charge of the world could, together, use their billions, their power, their so-called genius, to force the world into a Heavenly state. Or a place where life matters, at least. Where we care about each life as the precious, one-time experience that it is. 

I cope. I cope by regular reset. I just got here. Just now. Everything I know, remember, feel, is Back Story to this avatar I inhabit. It feels so real. But it's only immediate, it only exists in my programming, in my character. And these people around me, most of them are NPC's - non-player characters. They are not even aware that they are in the game. But some of them, everywhere, there are people who are also me, also the same player I am, but playing thousands, millions of us, at once. So some of us are me. And some of us are the Other Players. Figuring out who is who would be a lot of work, so I just play. I look for a reason to love you. I look for a reason to show you me, to work our purposes together into something helpful to Peace. The goal. The only point. Peace on Earth. A beautiful celebration of life, every life. Not in the lifetime of this character, for sure, but since that's the focus of my play, what can this character do, from here? Maybe 20-30 years left, in a body going downhill. What will I do with this play? How many Karma Points will I earn for my Entity, my Team? How much experience will I add to the pool of Being that Being is Doing by Doing this form of Being?

I cope. I hope. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Daily cry

Grief's Tender Hold (CAI 2023)

Every day I cry.

For a short time, in a controlled way, in a private space 

I let myself feel 

all the things about all the things

I lower the shields, allow

confusion, anguish, frustration, futility


the straightjacket free-fall of life on earth

lava-burning tributaries searing through me

roiling and boiling over into moans and groans and whimpers and growls

and tears

facing the state of hate and fear of the world

seeing a future of pain unfurl, knowing

inside me is just too small to contain it all

without killing me.

I make time and space to move it through, expel what I can

because you know what they say:

better out than in

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

The taste of medicine

Power is as Power does (CAI & Midjourney, 2023)

I never promised I'd be sweet.

Maybe I am the taste of your own medicine
dosed by the universe today 
through the play on words that is our exchange
your experience of me
is what you asked for, what you need
and I am just a tool of your subconscious evocation
the me you see not real at all
not even me, you see, not at all
just what you called, what you need someone to be
right now
If I've allowed a confrontation
what a gift! what a cost to me. 

You're welcome. 

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Working through something

Early Days (CAI 2023)

When words are as exhausted as I am
When even paintings seem too verbose
When the people with the most understanding misunderstand substantially 
and like their version better
Does it even make sense to express? 
So it must be for me, I guess
I must want to for me or I wouldn't be here, typing
I wouldn't be here, trying 
when trying hasn't gotten me as far as one might expect. 
I'm working through something, that has nothing to do with anything
but my own experience, my own gut, my own integrity 
in a body of limited lifespan on a planet at a moment of history 
in a place I've chosen
cloaked and hidden in my warren
expressing through the illusion 
my own little versions of truth
Not for you, but maybe for you
if you're here, if the universe sent you.

Out loud is the price of my privilege to speak. 

Monday, September 4, 2023


Negative Space (CAI + Midjourney)

Disappearing seems to require

some kind of announcement 

because it's not about disappearing

it's about our absence



Sunday, August 27, 2023


A perfect day as envisioned by Midjourney
and also my nightmare

I never re-read what I write. You know my aversion to backwards. 

But I imagine if you happen here unexpectedly
for no reason I can think of but Chance 
you might wonder at my wallowing
which makes sense, after all
this is where I wallow 
Wallow and push. Wallow and push. 
Like Labour, which taught me more than just how much pain I can take, like

anything is possible 
achievement comes at cost
with grief and loss and gain
everything ends 
but it's just a change of the same
pain comes in waves
relief demands sacrifice but commits to no promises 
just dangled potential that glimmers in and out of focus.
dignity is impossible.
having literally no choice is the best driver when 
what I am doesn't cut it and
who I expected is still a stone's throw away
but now is happening today and everything is nothing
like I thought and I couldn't have guessed what I would do
until it's done. And that's what I did. 

Here is where I bite and tear and chew and swallow and expel
leaving behind
the breadcrumbs and excrement of my cored self
in case they are ever helpful for you. 

Listen to Happy Rhodes. Here's a familiar song to get you started: https://youtu.be/WoNGpa9tJkg?si=azfqeWSjVT4nhV1n

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Advice to the young and to myself

Ya Comin'?

What I try to tell my kids

what I wish I could tell myself, is this:

pay attention to the glimmers where you feel most free to be

where you draw yourself in, what you're doing when

you forget the day the week the planet and just do it

the thing you're doing - that's it, that's something

you can learn to see

like a formula or constellation

build your life around them 

center them and focus from that hub

learn the landscape of others on your hunt

don't be deterred because you can't see what job will own you

don't be deterred when doubted by your friends

don't be deterred by skipping common milestones 

don't be deterred because you can't see around the bend

just centre what calls you, what you melt into, what feels like purpose

get curious, play, learn the soft edges and sharp curves 

imbibe what it takes to embolden your nerve

find and learn the tools that let you shape and express back

into the world. 

and if you can avoid the longing for things you might never have wanted if you knew what it cost to get them

and focus on staying with what matters to your heart

a living will follow the art you inevitably build through 

focus and 

practice and 

pure curious intent

a living as secure as, and maybe more secure than, an eroding traditional path

and a life, oh, a life that's full of what you love most, most of the time;

if you must strive, strive for sublime.

Friday, August 11, 2023

An Open Letter to Michelle Visage

Dear Pretty Lady,

In all the hype you are probably one of the smaller parts of the Drag Race machine but for me, from the first moment, you're the biggest. I love you because I found you so weirdly pretentiously annoying until, like a veil lifted, I saw you DOING you, and you do you so precisely. I love you because you go from inscrutably icy to suddenly vulnerable and back again in a blink, so quick most people probably miss it and have no idea why they love you. I love you because you are blunt and scary but not scary because you are never, never unkind, and your words are gifts you give even when it's hard. But mostly I love you because from the moment I saw you I thought I saw HER again, my best-friend-on-our-way-back-again, until she died from a deadly combination of bipolar and the patriarchy's hatred for "the crazy bitch." She's been gone for two years and I still don't believe she left me here. But now, there's you - the way you hold your mouth, your brash vulgarity, your gorgeously knowing how gorgeous you are, your next-to-brutal honesty that feels like a rough caress, your several laughs, your bold gestures, your affection, your flattered smile. You embody so much of what made her, her. You conjure her. You help me conjure her back, for a moment, as if she made it to where she could have been, if only, just where you are. 

Thank you for showing up out loud, and giving me a taste of who you are that wafts a scent of her my way. I painted a painting for you, if you want, I hope you're one of the 8000 people in the world who might like it. I think she would have gotten it too. 

with love and gratitude. 


CM Simard 1971-2021

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Just be logical

The Inbetween (CAI)

If you just look at it logically, leaving feelings aside - 

leaving feelings aside? 

just look at the ground, ignore the sky?

Feelings are a huge part of who we are. Separating from our instincts, looking only at logic and not valuing the information of feeling, is what prevented us from making decisions that would benefit all life on the planet at every step through every generation that tried it, to the tip of destruction, yet we still worship at the alter of logic, or instead, ignore logic to worship at the alter of feelings; either way we fail fail fail fail to see the ground and the sky and EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN WHICH IS WHERE WE LIVE. 

But then, I see it, so you see it, so everyone sees it and still here in the inbetween we are told look up or look down but don't see what's in front of our eyes. 

It's time to take the gun out of life - Badly Drawn Boy https://youtu.be/qYdLoCt3tRs

Monday, August 7, 2023

Helping Hands

Help Yourself (CAI with Midjourney 2023)

When a person offers help it's natural they

imagine they know what will help;

imagine what the person receiving help  will feel when they are properly


and from that deceiving entitlement

to a nebulous outcome they may feel

terribly affronted

by any deviant end to their well-intentioned, oh-so-generous


Monday, July 31, 2023

You have so much potential!

Raw Potential (CAI 2023)

Why not tap into your greatness?

What do you fear?

That's clear. I am afraid

that opening myself to what's in me

will break my heart with impossibility

rendering life an intolerable 


the resulting explosion maiming all those around me

leaving them broken; leaving me 

with nothing at all.

It's not small, this fear

It's not nothing and it doesn't lie

I know all too well how truly committing to I

explodes the world. 

Wretches Gone Awry (CAI 2021)

(ps. potential has a shelf life - CAI)

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

An Open Letter to Martha Wainwright

Martha Wainwright, 2023 Northern Lights Festival

Dear Martha,

I keep thinking about how I let myself not meet you, and now we never met. 

How I didn't consider that meeting me wasn't just for me, it was for you, too. That if I had nothing else to give I could have given you my stone

that my heart-sister brought from Vancouver Island when she improbably came to renew me, the stone

that I carried when I travelled alone for the first time since
my body failed me, no cane, triumphant to the heart of America where I swore I wouldn't go

to attend a show that I thought would never happen, the stone

that I gripped when the airplane stifled, the stone

that I held warming in my hand through Happy's every song, gift after gift, my tears streaming I never thought I would see her live her music changed me and still unlocks my soul, holding the stone

that I thought I had lost at the airport

but found again at the bottom of the bag that holds my horizon and grounds me home;

and you probably wouldn't have thought I was some deranged stranger handing you a rock from the ground and wanting it to be special

you probably would have understood that I was giving you a thousand songs

and the heart of my musical heart

you probably would have been very glad to meet me, after all. 

But I held that back from you. I played small. 

Twenty feet away and I let myself  be washed out with the crowd into the mundane nextness of the day after you sang your soul away to a mediocre crowd with your family and your wholeness and even still I didn't make myself known, I didn't offer you my service or my smile

I thought I was shy but I was nervous and playing myself like a quiet instrument that doesn't deserve to be heard 

by someone who has made themselves you. You. As if Me is no one at all. 

It's my habit, to seem small, nothing special, pre-empt the presumption I'm not worth the time I'm taking. 

Still, and all

I want a second chance to let you know me, take what is here in me that's for you, to agree that I can be of value too, to you, as you have been to me. Your music and movement set something free. Maybe something in me could have done that for you, if I'd stepped up, come through, if I'd passed the test, been there for you

who knows but even so, I want to give you my stone 

that stone, and my promise that you are not alone

while I'm here. 

Sunday, June 25, 2023


Running through Life (CAI & Midjourney, 2023)

To say I walked into the world unprepared

would assume there was a way to prepare me

to prevent me from mistaking me

for human

from expecting me to be like them, and 

- the true blind side -

expecting them to be like me;

that there might have been a way for me 

to hide; 

to spare me 

from reducing me to please;

from pulling my skin to pieces trying to make it fit better

for the ease and comfort of literally

anyone else but me;

that I could have been more ready to face them

to face me, even thrive if I'd gone in expecting

knowing and prepared, to be

an alien in human skin

playing to stay alive,

trying to have some fun

a million to one.

(Listen to Happy Rhodes: One Alien )

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Stepping carefully


Watch where you step!

In the field my giant feet wreak havoc

each step trampling more unseen life than I can count

be accountable to

accountable for

more than I could ever pay


So I give more care in how I go

place heel to toe, nice and slow

apologizing as I go

giving everyone plenty of time

to get out of my way.

And, hey, isn’t that just how I live?

I’d sure love to play 

in your meadows

running roughshod with the glee of being me

with you

but I’d trample your tender wings before you even had a chance to fly

so I try to be careful

I try.

Friday, May 26, 2023

In case you wondered what the hell they're thinking

People are animals with a temperament to match so we shouldn't be surprised that they behave in ways we don't like. However, there is the expectation of those engaged in the "civil societies" of humanity that we learn, develop, grow, strengthen, and exercise a certain level of self-control, of restraint, to maintain peaceful co-existence. Some people really resent that expectation. They see any request about learning or strengthening or growing their self-discipline as a direct attack on their humanity and their preference that they be allowed to react and behave just as they feel, authentically, in line with their temperaments. It feels like an attack on self to be asked to hold oneself in check. They already resent that they are expected to be polite to the bumbling cashier, not shout at the annoying children, choose more careful words when addressing some people, put aside their distaste for others and act like everyone is equal. When they do begrudgingly try to conform to the constrictions of "civil society" they are told it's not enough, more is required, ongoing learning and developing and growth and exercise, more restraint across more categories. They feel overwhelmed, attacked, unvalued, and afraid, because if they can't live up to the required level of "civility" that keeps shifting and moving further from comfort, they may face social consequences, and we are trapped in the social systems in which we live without alternative, with those systems increasingly controlling and starving us. So they go on the attack. They demand their right to be just as they are, human in temperament, and act just how they feel, and be accepted without any work or modification on their part to accommodate people whom, when they are truly honest about it, they don't really care about and in fact, disdain for needing "special treatment" and resent for highlighting yet another way that civil society can demand a constriction and a growth. So they forget, in all that, who they really are, what love looks and feel like in their hearts, and empathy is banished unless it applies to them and their own. And from that context they believe and act in the only ways that make sense in that context, and cling to that context because it encompasses their identity, now, and is required to allow them to feel okay. 

But people do better when they are not in scarcity and fear. That is what needs to be tackled first. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Right Here

CAI (a self-portrait with Midjourney)

So much of love is proximity

would you love me

if I were closer
if I were right there
would you care to know
me deeply truly madly as I am?
Would you see what no one sees and
be mine?
Or pass me by as too familiar
not quite special
close to home?
Is it me or opportunity that keeps us so unknown when we both contain the multitudes of being in our bones and it's calling calling calling us to join hands and walk home
What if I were right there?
Would you love me then?
Here I am. 

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Too much

Filled past full, overflowing a dance between nothing and over the top, a constant ensmalling, perpetual dousing, ongoing constricting, trying so hard to be enough but not ever please never 

too much


Monday, February 6, 2023

Pretty enough

My Mirror (CAI with Midjourney)

The body I got is a middling model, nothing special. Normal. Pretty enough to stand out in a room with only a few pretty girls, but overlookable if there's a beauty or two around. Prettier than plain. So I spent the first half of my life feeling average, not unattractive but nothing special, imperfect in unattractive ways, while at the same time, finding out I was still pretty enough to attract the unexpected and unwanted attention of Men. Not the prettiest girl in the room, but maybe the prettiest one he thinks he can get somewhere with. Or, a colleague who suddenly notices I'm prettier than he thought, and changes how he sees me to sexualize me. I felt like hiding whatever beauty I did have, so it wouldn't be dangerous, while simultaneously wishing to feel desirable, beautiful, attracted to. Being young really sucked my life force in so many ways in a woman's body.

Now I am not young, not pretty. I'm beautiful in a way that shocks me in the mirror. Not because I am more beautiful now than I was, when I was young and pretty enough, but because I am better at seeing beauty, my beauty. Better than most people. I can see it, now. I'm startling to myself. I see myself like I see a photograph - the humanity, the unique structure, the expression. My eyes meet my eyes. 

Maybe I feel the safety of the cloak of age and imperfection - for most men, I have strayed beyond comparisons of female beauty or sexualization into a neutered territory of aunt, teacher, "older lady." Maybe I am not as afraid to be "maturely beautiful" as I was to be pretty, because I know most people won't even see me at all. 

Maybe I just stopped feeling like other people's opinions had any relevance at some point. Maybe I shifted my standards, shifted my view from my deviations from the beauty standard to just seeing what's there. And what's there is more than enough. 

Pretty enough for me. 

The Universal desperately wants to know itself through life. That's the purpose of life. As me, as you, as them, as grass, as molecules, as bacteria, as dogs. Desperate isn't the right word - passionately? encompassingly? yearningly? The Universal is being itself. We are cells in that body. 

The Universal takes joy in knowing itself by being. 

The Universal takes joy in knowing itself by being
from Midjourney

Earth is a tender morsel, a tiny delight that fills the mouth.