Wednesday, November 14, 2007

look at your life, who do you want to be before you die?

((Suppose I have to toss this one in under RP...))

Do you know who you want to be?
Do you choose who to believe?
Do you hope that one day you can leave?
Welcome to your life.

Sooner or later, in every relationship, we hit Shapeshifter 101. Sometimes it's just curiosity; sometimes, it's because I've lived through something that would kill another female. And then we talk, and go over what it is, what they can expect...what I can take.

Hearts break but they can mend.
The thing that matters is that you've got friends.
They'll be with you till the end.
Welcome to your life.

There's a lot of different shifter strains on the grid. Some hold to two, three main forms. Some have more. I knew a man once in Steelhead who had more than two hundred different forms, his essential nature being fluid.

All the things you wished he said.
All the times you wished you were dead.
All the tears that you shed.
Welcome to your life.

I'm not a fluid being, I'm a solid one. The rules for me depend on that solidity. But the form around that solid core is changeable.

Growing up but refuse to get old.
Don't look back, watch the future unfold.
Keep a grasp on the knife that you hold.
Welcome to your life.

I say seven-skin shapeshifter, even though I have more forms, both because it's nicely alliterative, and because it's descriptive. Mammal. Fish. Bird. Plant. Insect. Mineral. Ophidian. Fur and fins, feathers and scales, leaves and chitin and smoke--I have them, I know them.

No direction, no intention, no care in the world.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
But you keep trying. No thoughts of dying.

And, save for some very odd forms--the Jellos come to mind, the smoke form, things at the far edge of experience--the rules are the same.

You gotta open your eyes.
Don't let this day pass you by.
Give thanks to be alive.

Sometimes you make mistakes.
That's the risk you take.
The choices that we make.

The single most important tip is, whatever face a shifter wears, it's still them inside. Instincts may differ, abilities, definitely appearance, but the core of us, it's still us. People who only wear one face sometimes forget that, and it's not as if we don't help them to. My nekos, they're vastly different from my human faces, vastly different from my elementals. But they're all still me.

Make it worth it.
The smiles, the frowns, the ups and the downs.
When you're trapped in a corner with no one around.

I can take a lot of damage. Any shifter can. The trick to remember is that shifting to heal more than once? Takes a lot out of us.

The other trick is, generally, when I shift? I absorb whatever I'm in back into me, and that also includes what's in me. To date, I haven't gotten pregnant. I may not be able to. It's just something I accept.

Demonic attacks, even demonic love-bites, at times, they generally last on shifter flesh. I've shifted several times and still bore wounds from certain encounters.

Life's a seige. Victories.
The regrets. All the people that you've met.
All those times you wish to forget.

I'm not immortal. I can be hurt, I can be killed. But in general, I can heal from everything, given time, space alone if necessary, definitely space away from the damaging influence.

Life's a risk.
The hopes, the fears, the laughs, the tears.
The way your beliefs change through the years.

For me, shifting is largely dependent on mood. While I can and have changed out of instinct, out of unconscious desire, generally it's driven by emotions. My zombie forms arose out of pain, my new liger out of the desire to protect and be protected. My rock arrived because I so desperately wanted to be invisible, that week. My butterflies came from joy.

Life's a risk.
Your love, your hate.
The bonds we create.
No way to predict your fate.

I'm not a fighter. I'm not a mage. All my magic is in my hands, in my heart. But so far it's been enough.

Life's a risk.
Realize in life nothing is certain except the end...

Your biggest tip for dealing with any shapeshifter...accept us. Have preferences, if you wish them, and we'll by and large try to honor them. We'll try to hold to one face, if our loves prefer that face. But we much prefer the shifting state, the nature changed.

Welcome to my life. It changes like I do.

(Lyrics are Welcome To Your Life's self-titled song, "Welcome To Your Life".)


turnerBroadcasting said...

I'm a shapeshifter too, I think it comes from meeting you and really enjoying you as a female after I had just been raped by a brazilian at a Rave, that night in the dark gothic museum. I was bothered by the fact that I really enjoyed it.
And feeling dark. And you helped me into that natural, perfect darkness.

God makes weapons, Emily. We are chosen to be them, at times. And at other times the light. The world folds around us. Females can fold space.

Males invent war, to compensate for the fact that females can give birth. And we make war upon everything we see; our ability to kill makes us who we are. I am no more or no less a man, to be a woman. And likewise a woman to be a man. In the end, everything for me is less about mood and more about what I want to really do in the world. I really enjoy being left alone, sometimes. Or having absolutely no sex organs (as one of my skins has.)

I guess the real thing is. If you've ever heard the song "America" by Simon and Garfunkel.

I can never seem to get to the part that says

"It took us six days to hitch hike from Saginaw Island "

or the part that says ..

"Counting the cars on the new jersey turnpike"

without singing out loud at the top of my lungs. Man proposes.
God disposes.

turnerBroadcasting said...

PS. I really love this post. I think you're a fucking genius. I am glad you are my friend.

I will never tell you how many times. But now you know of at least two. So don't be a stranger.

And who knows, maybe one day I will actually be in-world.
I am waiting for your book.

And I will be the first to buy it.
Cold hard cash.

And I am willing to pay, just slightly more than I would for a happy meal. But if I do, I better damn well get a hardcover edition.

I will table dance for you if you sign it. or not.

emillyorr said...

Wau. Ponderous.

The thing my brain tilted at, though--women don't make war? Sure they do. We have women warriors now. We had them before. We have women enforcers of the peace. We have women serial killers. We have women who smother their children, drown them, poison them slowly.

The impulse to nurture may seem inherent, but mostly it's just socialization...