“You're the sun, you've never seen the night
But you hear its song from the morning birds
But I'm not the moon, I'm not even a star
But awake at night I'll be singing to the birds”
— Mitski, Your Best American Girl —
“Defeat begins with the fear that one has lost."
— Kobo Abe —
I never used to put too much stock in wishing— Talking to god, or whoever else listens to quiet desperate voices in the dead of night. I remember being in grade-school, dreaming before sleep that life was different; that I had a another body to wake to. But the morning would come and so too the cold light of just another day.
Not that I wanted out of the game.
The world was still too beautiful and I was just too strange, stubborn, and loved to leave it behind.
Gamman: we endure.
But in April of 2015, I decided it was time. Time to embrace that small voice that I had carried with me on this strange journey and fulfill the dream that had eluded me all my life. So I took my grandmother's unused, blank staring daruma off the shelf and made a wish. I was thrilled to feel like a silly child again as I sketched in one of its eyes with sharpie. This past August, after nine months of HRT and over a year of methodically coming out to my family, friends, and community, I drew in the other eye.
Your wish is granted.
I don't know when the word transgender entered my vocabulary, but once it did, I learned that I wasn't alone. Just like other helpful labels like hapa or spoonie, this word had the power to affect change thru self-acceptance and acts of radical self-love.
I am the stubborn nail. I am a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'd like to think that my grandmother would be proud of that.
"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
— Muriel Rukeyser —
So it's time for a reintroduction of sorts:
My name is Danielle Musashi Tanimura (she, her)
I've been here all along and can't say how much I love you, for all of the support that I've gotten from you who have been here with me thru this strange journey called life.
Art. Chronic pain. Redemption. Identity. Miscarriage.
And now for another type of Transition.
Luckily, the show is just getting started, and there are many more worlds to create.
I hope you'll join me on this next adventure.
"Music in the soul can be heard by the Universe."
— Lao Tzu —