Hi, and welcome to my little exercise in amateur punditry. My name is Madeleine St. Clair. I’m 51, transgendered, live in Denver, Colorado … and make beautiful jewelry. If you need to know more, go get a job at Homeland Security.
So I suppose you want to know what this blog is going to be about. That’s kinda hard to pin down, but for starters, it will not be much about my private life … ’cause that’s, you know, private, and I don’t believe in telling you random stalkers all about the many cups of coffee I drink at coffee shops you’ll never visit, or my insecurities about my hair and my makeup, or my slutty adventures, if I happen to have any of those.
What will it be about, then? Certainly I’ll have some things to say about gender and sexuality. But I’m interested in almost everything (other than football), so I expect to range all over the map.
Well, actually, no. Because here’s the thing about my life: I seem to have fallen right off the map. In my parallel quests to understand myself as a transgendered person (woman? maybe), and to develop a livelihood outside the corporate box, I find myself in a space without signposts, and without pavement, let alone lane markers. Even if I knew where I was headed, there would be no obvious way to get there. And indeed, I feel increasingly that my life is a microcosm of what’s going on in the world at large. Oh yeah, the politicians think they’ve got it all mapped out. But if we are to look honestly at the state of our earth and its creatures, and at what homo sapiens might need to do to get ourselves out of the horrible mess we’ve made … we really need to be creating something new, something not yet known.
So, if there is an overarching theme here, it will be that: the struggle to develop new ways of thinking and acting–new ways of being in the world–in a vast, unmarked wilderness.
Oh, and that’s what the name of the blog is about. As you’ve probably heard, medieval cartographers were wont to decorate the edges of the map with scary little phrases like “There be dragons” and “Here be tygers.” Or sometimes they drew imaginary continents to cover their ignorant medieval asses. Actually, I don’t think they did those things all that often. Mostly they just punted with “Terra Incognita” (Unknown Land). But hey, it’s so much more fun, isn’t it, to think about imaginary lands full of ravenous tygers, because they might tear an unwary traveler limb from limb and snack upon her nummy flesh? I hear you are delicious with Sriracha sauce.
Almost done. But first I want to apologize for something: I have a bad habit sometimes of touching off controversies and then walking away. As in, I will post some inflammatory opinion, and you will want to debate me, and I won’t respond. Or sometimes I will, but only if it’s really important to me. The thing is that I’m really not very good at argumentation, and it can take an enormous effort to defend my opinions, so sometimes I just won’t. I’m a busy girl, and nobody’s paying for my junk (hint, hint!), so that’s how it’s gonna be.
One last thing–without apologies: some of you may be too young to remember, but back in the day, before teh interwebs, we had this thing called The English Language. Well, that’s the language I write in, and I choose my words carefully, and have been known to consult my Chicago Manual of Style for cApiTaliZatiON. That’s how much of a word geek I am. Oh, and I beat almost everybody at Scrabble. And sometimes I deliberately misssspel words or mis-grammar sentences for rhetorical effect. So if you think you’ve caught me in a mistake and want to lecture me about it, go ahead, but I’ll probably just write back to explain at tedious length exactly why I did that, and belittle you for your small-minded pedantry. So you’re better off letting it go. Just sayin’.