Inspiration is a compliment.

To be inspired by a writer as passionate, open and humourous as Ivan E Coyote really isn’t a surprise to me. Ivan’s tales in the book Missed Her are not only an adventure for me, some are prophetic and identifying, light yet profound. It makes me wonder if in some way, all Butches travel the same paths at times in their lives.

Recently, a friend posted on a forum thread a quote from one of the tales in Missed Her. It made me smile as a memory flashed through my mind, then it made me shiver … over the same memory. Back in 2001, I underwent non-elective top surgery. In other words, I lost my breasts to cancer. In the years that followed, I grew to despise, loathe, hate the scars I was left with. Then in 2008, a beautiful German woman did something no-one else had done. She asked to see those scars … and then, reached out and touched them. Not in a poking, prying way, but in a gentle, caring and tender way. If I had not already fallen in love with her by that time … I certainly would have then.

The quote that was posted goes as follows:

I want you to know that I know it is not always easy to love me. That sometimes my chest is a field full of landmines and where you went last night, you can’t go tomorrow. There is no manual, no street map, no helpline you can call. My body does not come with instructions, and sometimes even I don’t know what to do with it. This cannot be easy, but still, you touch me anyway.

This quote touches me in a profound way. It takes me to a place in time that was painful and is now priceless. A wise woman once told me that bad memories can be replaced with good ones. That fears need to be faced head on.

My body didn’t come with a manual, a roadmap, a helpline or instructions either. But my chest is no longer a field of landmines. It is no longer something I do not want to look at or have others look at. I have faced that fear and overcome it. My skin holds within its memory her touch. The beautiful German woman is still in my life and for that I am eternally thankful. She created her own roadmap and showed me how to read it.

So you see, inspiration is truly a compliment.

Thank you, Ivan …
and thank you, Angelika.

*Quote from: “Hats Off” a piece included in the book Missed Her by Ivan E. Coyote, published by Arsenal Pulp Press

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