A Little Story about The Purpose of Life, Chickens, Dragons, and Dark Chocolate
Jennifer Angelina Petro
Chapter One: The Ending
My parents were dead before I was born, and so was I. Hate to break it to you, but it’s the same for you too, dear reader. It’s the same for all of us. Thing is, it’s a fact that’s hard to remember. Once we infuse ourselves into a body, we’re already so delighted over the sparkling journey, that our so-called-past-becomes a distant, nearly fully unconscious memory. I say, “so-called past,” because, as the chickens tell us—there is no true beginning or end. The debate as to which who came first, is like arguing over which is better—dark chocolate Oreos or dark chocolate nonpareils—silly.
At any rate, let’s get back to me. As I mentioned a paragraph ago, my parents were dead before I was born, and so was I. Hate to break it to you, but it’s the same for—-oh, sorry, said that already. I’m trying to focus, please be patient with me. It’s not easy to be a ghost and keep your focus. Think of it—everything is radiantly timeless and sugary like cotton candy, and so it’s hard to remain focused on whatever is in front of you—not to mention the fact that you can pass your hands through everything you touch and that’s pretty cool, but nevertheless annoying.
I should probably define what a ghost actually is. It’s not what most people think. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary (which remains my favorite website after all these centuries) in the original Old English, the word, “ghost,” was, “gast,” which meant, among other things, “breath; angel, demon; person, human being.” The fact that the word has devolved over the centuries to simply mean the spirit of a dead person, is a travesty. Most words today are devolutions of much richer, more wondrous meanings, and, as time goes by (which is really a very profane expression, since time doesn’t “go-by,” but more on that later—which is another word related to time that also baffles me), the human mind became less able to hold all these various meanings in one mind (which is, as you guessed it–the idea of “one mind”–a silly idea as well) and thus the intricate complexities of all words distill down to definitions that any old human intellect can tackle.
It’s entirely possible you might be thinking that I’m attempting to avoid relating the actual story I started out to tell—the one about my parents and I being dead before we were born—and you wouldn’t be completely wrong. You see, it is a challenging story for me to both recall and to tell. It brings to surface, like an underground lake suddenly seeping across the land, many painful experiences that must, of necessity, be brought to light. Not the least of which involves a hungry (but vastly misunderstood) dragon, the challenging descriptions of incarnating, and the hot-button-topic-of gender identity—sure to rankle the feathers of many small-minded fundamentalists.
All that said, let’s jump into the vegetarian meat of the story: My parents were dead before I was born, and so was I. Now, as I eluded to earlier—any word that is used in reference to time— “before,” “earlier, “after,” and so on, are really misnomers, and highly inaccurate and misleading. For the sake of you, dear reader, we will stick to the conventional, human terms for time. This is not to say you are incapable of grasping such concepts, it is more to say—your heart can, your soul can, your spirit can—but your mind—well, your mind will get all tangled in philosophical debating and you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the yarn I am spinning—or, at very least, about to spin. The broader, more cosmic definitions of “time” are going to be left for another, non-existent day.
As I was reminded at church today, Mother’s Day may be hard for some people. Some, like me, have lost their mother’s–in my case, six years ago. And while I can still celebrate her life she isn’t physically present to go out to lunch with or something like that. Others never had a mother–in the sense of one being present in their lives. Others couldn’t have children and desperately wanted to. Others have lost their children to miscarriages or other tragedies. Still others have had mothers who were abusive or negligent. And still others have a strained relationship with their mothers, and some mothers have a strained relationship with their children.
There are also people like me–people who lived most of their parenting lives as “Dad.” I will always be Dad to my kids–I know I was a father to them and I am glad for that. I am also their mother. So, for me, Mother’s Day is very special. I get to parent in a whole new way and in the same ways I did before coming out. Luckily for me my kids are amazingly supportive and I have already received Mother’s Day greetings from them. However, I am also one of those people who has always (even before coming out as trans) ached to be able to have children—I was always deeply envious of pregnant mothers. I have always ached to be able to nurse a child. I have come to accept neither of these things will ever happen–and I am no less a mother. So, to all the non-binary “Moms” or people who act as mothers to others–regardless of their gender. Happy Parent’s Day to you.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the people out there who mother other people’s children—teachers, nurses, doctors, librarians. Blessings to all the foster moms and moms who have adopted children from around the world or their own communities.
And to all the grandmothers and aunts who have taken on the role of mother again because of special circumstances. Blessings to all the grandmothers who simply get to grandmother grandchildren, and do so with wisdom.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the single Dads who serve as mothers all day, everyday.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the people who have consciously chosen to not bear or raise children. I am willing to bet there is someone or something in your life that you mother, and do so with grace, dignity, and love–be that a pet, a plant, a poem, or a person.
And of course, Happy Mother’s Day to ourselves–no matter who we are–for we all, one day, must begin, and never stop, mothering ourselves. It is just the way that it is–we all become our own mother’s one day–giving birth over and over again to ourselves.
To wrap up I would like to lift up all those for whom Mother’s Day is a hard day. Your soul and spirits are Mothers. You have been mothered by the world. You are Mothers of the world.
And also grieve, or be angry. Seek safe support to be with you today as you move through any difficult or challenging feelings and memories.
You are loved. You are special. And you are held in the hands of Mother Gaia.
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