Transparency: listening to yourself.

It’s snowing here on the New England coast today. Great day to stay in and catch up on the Amazon Prime series “Transparent,” which is streaming free of charge today. I’m not so sure about a Prime membership right now – I wish Amazon treated its workers better – but I’m not above a free binge-watch opportunity for this great show.

I rewatched the “Transparent” pilot last night. Each character was dealing in some way, skillful or not, with some issue of authenticity. Maura, played by Jeffrey Tambor, was struggling with how best to come out as a woman to her family. Unspoken, but palpable, were the years of tension and alienation in Maura’s family, to which Maura’s long-silenced need to live as a woman probably contributed. For example: Maura’s ex-wife (the ever-interesting Judith Light) speaks frankly of her complete lack of trust in her ex-husband. Their three grown children seem to be waiting for their father to die so one of them can grab the valuable real estate that is the family home. Eldest sister Sarah is married to a wealthy man but clearly is still in love with her lesbian ex-partner Tammy. Maura feels the distance from her children very keenly, and you sense that one of the linchpins of a closer relationship to them might be to come out to them as a woman. I look forward to seeing how the characters interact in subsequent episodes.

I continue to assess what my right livelihood is. For someone like me, there may be no one right livelihood. I have a very broad skill set, the deepest wells of which are probably in writing and research. I’ve had several job titles in different fields and there may be more to come. But it’s fascinating to me to see how the quality of my work rises when something really engages my spirit. Conversely, if there’s something about a situation to which I’m moderately averse, I might still work at it, but the verve may well be lacking.

So, as I assess, I look forward to seeing how Maura’s efforts to be more transparent to herself and others play out. Perhaps I can learn something.

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