Does biography begin with biology? Being begins at conception — that is simply settled science. I’m endowed with XY chromosomes in my DNA and my development has generally followed a conventional XY path of expression. Draw your own conclusions.
I am more circumspect about racial heritage. Can you guess the colors and proportions of my features from the way I write? Does the shape of my nose shape my person? Does the amplitude of waves in my hair determine who I am? Is the distribution of melanin throughout my body the measure of my character? Is it obvious when you see me where my ancestors mostly arrived from — from wherever they were before? Who is “black?” How is brown differentiated from black? Is white not a color? Are “whites” actually white? What happened to yellow and red? Is brown the new red? Who decides how I identify? If I tell you am black and then you see me, will you allow it or will you deny my self-selected identity to my face? To me it’s never obvious.
In terms of my duration in this body, I belong to that tiny, unfortunate generational cohort called Gen X. At the time of this writing I’ve been stumbling around for a little over half a century. It’s starting to get old — as am I.
It can be argued that geography is intimate with biology. I was raised in landlocked western America — arid mountains and wide open spaces everywhere. Our family lived on the suburban edge of a little city out there. The weather is usually great and the region mostly insulated from typical natural disasters. I’m still here, even though I am sick of it for decades already. It is always my home, even when I’m gone.
My upbringing was of a modest middle class, traditional family modality that does not aspire to affluent opulence. My parents selected an evangelical fundamentalist Christian church, where I accepted Jesus into my heart and was baptized, where I took communion and where I rededicated my life to Christ. Like that church and Christianity, public school and American liberal secularism were major dynamics in play.
The decades that followed high school graduation are a litany of self-inflicted personal disasters that seem to bear no relation to my formative experience, but certainly speak to questions of competence and worthiness. I am several times a father and several times an ex-husband. I can happily report that I am single now and forever, and that my youngest child is nearly grown.
Qualifications & Disqualifications
The only significant credential I have earned is a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Before that, right after high school, I studied the Humanities at first, then later joined the creative writing program. But between those two schools, I auditioned and entered the college of music for a semester. Finally, in my early thirties, I achieved that fine arts degree at a small local college. My professional life since then seems to have somewhat validated my $70k academic investment.
My professional experience covers a wide range of creative services. Writing, editing, graphic design, illustration, website design, animation, 3D modeling, video production, audio production, events, publishing, marketing, advertising, PR — I just threw up in my mouth a little. Some of this experience is from companies I worked (and still work) for, some from freelance, and a lot from seven years as a small business owner — I just threw up a little more.
I have studied Christianity and, to much lesser degrees, western philosophy, Taosim, Buddhism, certain forms of yoga, and the occult. I may actually be a leading scholar of the writings and activities of Carlos Castaneda. I have played guitar most of my life, but I am only a guitarist in the sense that I practice Guitarism. I studied a form of Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate for several years as a teen, and later studied Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, and Pa Kua Chang.