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This post is not really about shoes

June 24, 2009

shoesI have a thing for grey shoes. I currently possess snowboots, runners, mary-janes, flip-flops, and sport sandals in varying shades of grey. (I’m on the lookout for the world’s classiest pair of grey peep-toe heels, preferably with little bows on top; if you ever come across any such thing, please let me know.)

I like to think of my fondness for grey as a metaphor for my overall tendency to appreciate the in-between. Maybe it’s kismet, if you believe in that kind of thing. Born under the sign of Gemini, given a name that means “moon” – a celestial body that fluctuates between two extremes; maybe this is why I have such an aversion to pinning myself down with labels, or why I become so frustrated checking off boxes that only give you two options – yes or no. Right or wrong. Pick or choose. Never mind the subtleties. And you know what else? It’s really hard to find a good pair of shoes in a nice shade of grey.

Anyway, I don’t really want to talk about shoes. I had a conversation the other week with a dear friend that explored a crossroads between religion and sexuality – quite a weighty topic for an afternoon’s walk. I explained to him that despite the many beautiful virtues embodied in his community of faith, I have issues with the expectation to stick to the conventional end of the Kinsey scale. The discussion that ensued touched on ideas that I wish I could discuss with everyone; failing that, I decided to blog about them.

It seems obvious, but I think it bears repeating: people are complex. No part of human nature fits neatly into any well-defined dichotomy. But when it comes to human sexuality, we seem to very easily forget this. I believe that sexuality, for many people – though I wouldn’t say for all – can be fluid, can fluctuate over time, can find room for surprising exceptions. Personally, I am attracted to attractive people, regardless of their sex, yet this does not mean that my attentions are always equally divided. It definitely doesn’t mean that I “switch sides”, that I’m confused, or that I can’t make up my mind. I am a whole person who doesn’t feel the need to fit her affections into compartments.

Similarly, I explained to my friend that when it comes to faith, I am most comfortable in a place of ambiguity, where I can believe that there is a greater intelligence to the universe, and at the same time believe that I have no way of understanding or defining what it might be. I am okay with the mystery. I am mistrustful of any statement on universal truth that begins with the very human words I know. Certainly, I don’t believe in any higher power petty enough to judge me for who I might fall in love with.

And so this is where I find myself: in the grey area. I like it here. This blog is a place for me to explore it.

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4 Comments
  1. Blair permalink
    July 17, 2009 8:49 am

    Just found your new blog (obviously). Proud of you :)

    I share a lot of your grey philosophies on decisions. I often find I see both sides of each issue, each situation.

    Being black and white makes dealing with you much easier as people know where you stand. And I believe society really pushes us hard to be more decisive. And I do try to be in a professional sense, but in reality I too am very grey on most issues.

    Being grey is in my belief being open. Not pigeon holing your decisions, or choices to a pre-defined pattern you must re-create in everything you do. I pride myself in having an open point of view and reserve the right to change my mind on anything.

    But people don’t like that. Makes you tough to put in a shoebox.

  2. July 18, 2009 4:52 pm

    I must admit, I kind of mischievously enjoy making life difficult for people who want to put me in a shoebox. (And ooh, nice follow-through on my “shoe” motif, there.)

    Thanks for your comment – it was starting to get a bit echoey here in the grey area. :)

  3. **Jayme permalink
    January 14, 2011 11:44 am

    I have a wonderful friend that once told me ‘ love is true when we don’t judge it’.

    A lovely perspective to read Chandra. Thank you so much for sharing.

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