Healing, Art, and the Show “Transparent”

The best way I can think of how to describe my experience with my healer is that it’s like reiki but with sage, massage, meditation, some drumming, and a few stretches. Oh, and it involved the making of prayer ties. In other words, not a lightning bolt experience, no burning bushes or visions. The hand of God didn’t come down from the sky to convince me of my purpose in the world and with a message that my mother is still my biggest cheerleader and guardian angel standing over my shoulder rooting me on and providing guidance for specifically what I should do with my life in terms of a career or otherwise.

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Prayer Ties

It’s not what I wanted but I’m okay with it. Although I tried to have no expectations, in a corner of my heart I’d hoped for glittery, etheric dust floating in a beam of light centering around some indescribable higher being followed by a vision of my mother’s face smiling down on me to tell me everything’s going to be okay. And everything will be okay, but there are still moments when it feels like my world is falling apart and no one to save me.

My favorite character on the Amazon prime show “Transparent” is the mother played by Judith Light because she reminds me of my mother, and of me. She has a big inner world, her own dreams, her own inner self that’s dying to get out, while everyone around her is too concerned about their own needs to notice hers. To be fair, the other characters could easily say the same, because isn’t that often the case, that we are each so concerned with our own needs that we don’t notice the needs of others? I’m certain that the people in my life have felt I ignored their needs at some point, some times more than others. Still, I think Judith Light’s character is different because she’s the mother, and as the mother she often gets overlooked. Her role has been defined by who she is in relation to them, not by who she is as an individual.

One thing I have learned is that you can’t rely on any person, place, or thing in this world to fix your problems. No relationship, job, or house will save you. People die, houses fall apart, jobs come and go. Everything and everyone is temporary. The pain feels enormous and almost unbearable at times, but what are you going to do. I used to wallow in self-pity for days, years. And what did that do? Made it worse. No one magically understood after witnessing my self-pity, no one said here let me help you with that, no one said let me fix it for you. When you’re little, mama can put a band-aid on it and kiss it and make it all better, but I’m not little anymore, and Mama is gone, in a bodily sense. I can no longer resort to my back-up plan (run to Mom) when my fear of abandonment kicks in and I think my boyfriend will leave me (which he’s not; my perception is not reality). So now I just feel my feelings and say to myself, This is painful, frustrating, infuriating, and I feel sad and angry in this moment. Reliving all the things I should’ve said or not said, replaying it so that I say the right thing, rehearsing what I’ll say in the future, all that just adds fuel to the fire and makes the bitterness that much more bitter.

The most useful advice my healer gave me is to no longer do things that serve me. Seems like common sense, and like I’d have already been doing that, but it occurred to me when I started to watch “Transparent” that I really could not take watching Ali’s intimate moments with a much older Leslie, or Sarah’s BDSM sessions of getting spanked, both of which feel so inauthentic to their true selves, and are just plain uncomfortable to watch. What is Jill Soloway trying to say here? Does she see it how I see it, or is she pointing out that these forays into sexual deviance are healthy, and that we need to accept them as ways of being? While Sarah’s ex-husband’s affair with a much younger woman is also gross, it’s less so because it’s more socially acceptable; I’m more used to the idea so it’s less uncomfortable (though still annoying and gross, don’t get me wrong). Maybe she just wants us to get the conversation going about it—I hope so anyway. And it’s not beyond me that when I am disturbed something is wrong with me, that we see things as we are, not necessarily as they are. All of this annoys me to think or write about. The only likeable characters in my opinion are Shelly (Judith Light) and Vicki (Anjelica Huston), so I opted not to watch the show in favor of a much more compelling TV viewing experience, the show called “Life” on Netflix.

“Life” is a documentary series about wildlife, a beautiful divergence from human conflict and terrible decision-making that goes with being human. That being said, the witnessing of the leopard seal’s voracious attack of the sweet, recently-orphaned juvenile penguin, leaving all but the penguin’s head and wings, was devastating, and not the peaceful, soulful experience I had hoped for. But then, it’s TV. While TV can be unbearable most of the time for me at this stage of my life, it’s something to do when I don’t have the energy or space to do anything else.

So while my healing experience wasn’t exactly healing, especially after coming home to a distant boyfriend (and to be fair, he has his own shit to deal with that is completely justifiable and valid), it wasn’t exactly not healing either. I went outside that night and cried in the dark while looking up at the stars, feeling, for a few moments, utterly alone. And who’s going to take care of me now? But then my inner resolve kicked in, and the words I am on my own now carried a new meaning. Not the meaning that I’m all alone and poor me, but more like I am strong and I can do this, no matter what happens.

Below is the painting I made for my healer, as payment for her services. This exercise inspired me to do more painting, a creative endeavor that I abandoned for the most part over the past 20 years. Apologies for the non-editing of the borders–I cannot access the edited version, so this is what you get:

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3 thoughts on “Healing, Art, and the Show “Transparent”

  1. So much here to remark on however…serving others above self was a clear bell in my head as I read this post. Recently, I made a presentation which referred to it. You are aware of the signs, you are definitely not alone, and what’s more, love surrounds you. Not being mystical or cryptic or even spiritual in relaying these facts. Read again…it’s all there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True words. It’s easy to get wrapped up in ourselves, but if we can open up a bit and look at how we can be of service to others, life absolutely gets more peaceful. Thank for your comment, z3ng33kgr7.

      Liked by 1 person

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