Monday, August 18, 2014

Bea*lin II(i): The Voyage

Dear Readers,

I'm sure you've all been eagerly anticipating the day we'd finally reach Volume II of trans*posing pearls presents: Bea*lin.

Today is that day.

Tomorrow I embark on a 22-day voyage through four countries (you may remember me mentioning some fears about the trip).  I begin with an eight-and-a-half hour train to Krakow, principally to visit Auschwitz, followed by five days in Austria and five more in Slovenia, spent chiefly in small Alpine towns, and ending with a whirlwind 9-day tour of Italy before flying back home to finish up the last bit of my research (only two interviews to go!) and finally, to quote Christopher Isherwood, say Goodbye to Berlin.

Everything I write in this time for trans*posing pearls will comprise Volume II of Bea*lin. For those of you more faithful readers who remember the EL NOROESTE series of Argentina llamando detailing my trip to the Andes—those emotional, incredible eight days through the mountains just after admitting to myself that I am trans—I wrote all the posts in my journal and typed them later.  Which is to say, you may expect a hiatus in the next three weeks, as I will not be bringing my laptop on my travels.  But do not fear: you can take the opportunity to catch up on some old posts, and the stories and photographs I will bring back from the pilgrimage will more than merit the time spent waiting.

And a pilgrimage is exactly how I see it: originally I had planned to walk a week of the famed Camino de Santiago in Spain before deciding to create my own route through cities and towns I find meaningful to me.  Being in Berlin has given me the opportunity to reacquaint myself with my spiritual side, which the daily pressures of life and the daily fears of discrimination tend to overpower.  The increased solitude of my lifestyle here in Berlin has brought that side back to the forefront once more, and I eagerly anticipate the chance over the next three weeks to reorient some of the priorities that have been lost along the way.

So wish me well, as I certainly do all of you, and I'll see you in twenty-three days!

Check your privilege & xo,

P.S. Book-wise, I am only bringing the Lonely Planet guide to Italy and Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex.  And if you already clicked the EL NOROESTE link up there, you'll recognize the connection:
Qué apropiado, pienso, para viajar en este tiempo de mi vida. Me siento como los abuelos en Middlesex por Jeffrey Eugenides, una hermana y un hermano que aprenden cómo estar casados en el barco desde Turquía hasta Nueva York. O quizás su nieto, nacido con genitales indeterminados y crecido como niña hasta la edad de catorce, cuando decide a abandonar su hogar, a su familia, su ciudad mientras se convierte en un hombre para la primera vez. El viaje físico refleja el viaje interno, y qué apropiado, entonces, que me voy a los Andes.
But this time instead of the Andes, I go to the Alps.
Life really does happen in circles.
But we have always changed by the time we come back.

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