Friday, July 11, 2014

Backlash

The fight for Marriage Equality will be won.  Maybe it already has been, essentially.  Now there is the wait until it moves around the country, state to state.

While I am happy that it is happening, I don’t know that I want to get married, right away.  (Of course, with no partner or even a boyfriend, it will be a wait)!  Just because we can (or will be able to) doesn’t mean we should, right away.  There is a reason so many straight people are waiting.

Marriage is a legal contract undertaken by, and with, the State.  (As a clergyperson, I don’t want to be the officer for anybodies’ weddings, gay or straight.  But that’s another matter).  It has benefits and responsibilities.  It’s really much more than just “I love you.”  

The Backlash is coming.  People do not fear change so much as they fear loss.  And straight white male privilege is crumbling.  Many frame it as being “under attack.”  And so it is, and needs to be.  Retrenchment is taking place. It will be severe.


And, while we may “win” rights to marry, there are so many other “-isms” out there that will tighten up, hunker down, take strangle hold where they can.  Sexism. Racism.  Patriarchy.  Economic privilege.  If we want justice, it must be for all.  That cause is one we must continue, expand, and embrace.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Viewing problems; problems viewing

No one can "push our buttons" or "jerk our chains" more than parents, or children.  I am sandwiched between both.

View from Room 411
Still in ICU with my father.  He can be mean and ugly.  So can I.

In so many ways, we are nothing alike.  But of course, actually, we are.  Yeah.  He brings out the shadow in me.  To see it, own it, learn it, accept it: that is the task; to turn that power toward benefit; to use that energy, instead of letting it burn me.

The view ain't much.  But my vision is increasing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Time out

When in critical care units, elderly folk sometimes get a little crazy.  Or a lot crazy.  When one is a little crazy to start with, it can be . . . really interesting.  And not always in a funny way.  My father does not suffer from dementia, but he is a little crazy.  At the best of times, he manages OK.  He's able to find the pause button.

The past two days, not so much.  While he has a better side, can be quite engaging and charming, he also has a mean side.  With the "ICU psychosis" going on, he doesn't bother with the pause button.

He is very angry today at me; and being very mean about it.  While I know this is about him, and not about me, still it ain't easy to take for long.  He has dismissed me from court; "get your queer ass outta here."  Oh, well, OK.

The angry looks, and words, and gestures are all coming from his anger over life, the universe, and everything.  It's not about me.  In fact, I have been told that I have a really nice queer ass of which to be proud. (That is not an observation he has made, nor do I wish to hear from him).

Nonetheless, I need to take care of me.  While my head understands, my heart hurts.  The well-trained, very kind, and competent staff in the critical care unit can take of him for now.  I'm taking care of me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Difficult

The past few months have brought forth in me some serious re-appraisals of life, the universe, and everything.  Some big shifts are beginning.  And this is a good thing.

One serious endeavor that I've undertaken is to stop drinking.  This has proved to be more than I can handle by shear willpower alone.  And I've sought help and found it.  This is a good and positive thing.  Not what I expected, not where I'd "planned" to be.  Does anyone?

And it has been going well . . . . .
And then, in the way that families seem to work, the spirits move, things shift and other things seem to want to drag you back where you were, doing what you were doing.  In Family Systems Theory, if one member of the system seeks to make changes, the other parts of the system will attempt to pull that one back into the established homeostasis.

It is not conscious, it just happens.  Nobody is thinking, "how dare you change."  The funny thing is, none of them even know about the changes I've been making.  It is the spirits, the humors, the angels, or demons.  Who knows which.

So, my 90 yr. old dad becomes ill and is admitted to the hospital.  And gets worse.  Now, in a critical care unit.  While dementia has not been one of his health problems, he is suffering from some "ICU psychosis;" not so unusual for elderly folk.  But it is maddening for me.  He wants to leave, but he is not begging.  He is demanding.  He has always been a demanding sort.  Not always a nice guy, really.

Damn, this is pushing my buttons.  Remaining calm, cool, and non-anxious is difficult.  And, Oh would I like a drink.  Several, actually.  But that will only make things worse.  That I know.  I'm hanging in.

It's going to be a long night.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

And now we begin again

Well, friends, it's been years.  I am still alive and well, and even better than that. I hope to start blogging again, so thought I might aw well see if I remembered the pass word!

This being a (somewhat) anonymous blog, there are things I feel safer sharing than on, say, Facebook (oh, the scourge of it).

Finally, I accepted myself as gay, around 2004.  Separated from my wife in 2007.  Came out at work in January 2010. What a decade this has been.  I have learned so much, and learning still.  Experiencing so much.

Always there are thresholds to cross; the closet threshold was a major step.  But there were more, and are more.

The latest threshold in into sobriety.  More later.  Cheers.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Why would I follow this?

Sorry to have been away from posting for so long.  Life gets busy, and Facebook gets in the way, too.

Today, I got this comment message. Sadly, it's "anonymous", but perhaps a response here may be helpful.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Still there. Home soon": 
Hi. I was going to follow you, but read on your bio that you are a christian. For the life of me, I cant understand (on any spiritual level), why you would follow this faith? With so much more spiritual (kindly) leanings, why? I have nothing against you at all, but I would like an answer from a Gay person. It feels to me like there has to be a strong submissiveness in you? I mean you only kindness. I hope you understand. 
 First let me say I am grateful for your kindness and understand your dilemma. But, trust me honey.  I'm as gay as it gets.  I'm happy to chat.  I'm not what you seem to think.

The public face of Christianity in this country (maybe in the world) is of those who make the most noise, get on TV more, make headlines.  The loudest voices are the ranting, brain-dead, fundamentalist.  The Roman Catholic Church with its sad patriarchy and rigid theology makes the press, too.

That's not all there is.  Many times, I wonder if some of those noisy, condemning, rigid, judgmental asses even believe in the same God I do. But there I go being the rigid, judgmental one.  Hmmmn.  It ain't easy.

I, too, sometimes fear calling myself a "Christian" because of the comment (and judgment) such a claim elicits.  Perhaps it would be more accurate to say "I'm a Jesus-Follower."

But, dear anonymous, please know that being Christian does not mean being stupidly submissive to a rigid set of rules and judgments.  It doesn't mean that to me, or for me, or in me. In fact, it's quite the opposite.  It is a call to use my mind, to struggle with the Holy One of Being in deep relationship, and to live a life of acceptance, love, peace, and justice.  I can't do those things without that relationship.

I do not feel smugly superior or have some "product" that I want to sell you or think you "need." I will say (and I think I hear it from you) that as human beings we are spiritual journeyers.  And, I don't place judgments on what spiritual journey you may be on.

I don't know that I can or need to justify to you why I am Christian.  It's not (for me) something to "convince you" to accept or a debate to "win."  I believe true Christianity is very kind, gentle, challenging, frustrating, joyful, and life-giving.  I can sure understand how that may be very difficult to see in the public face that is put forth by so many who call themselves Christian.

It's not about submission, but surrender.  It's not about rigid religion but relationship with the Holy.  It's not about judgment, but justice.  It's not about loathing, but love.  Well, that's as alliterative as I can handle.  Most spiritual journeys are about those things.  But any of them can get really f#$%d up.

Let's talk more.  Don't dismiss me out of hand.  My email's in the profile.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Still there. Home soon

I'm still in South Africa and been blogging about my trip.  It's been quite a journey.  Spiritual and otherwise.

While I won't say it on the other blog, I can say it here:  There are some really woofy men in South Africa!  I've not gotten to know any personally, but I can observe and rejoice in the wonders of Creation!

On an outing today, to a beachside town, while admiring, a little "woof" escaped my lips.  One of the brothers with me just said, "down boy.  Behave yourself."  Good to have understanding monks.

Cheers, all.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

I'm there

I made it.  I'm in South Africa!
You may want to check out my goings on here:  Wild Sabbatical

The new blog is open to the world while The Mind of a Bear continues to be anonymous.  Help me out with this and don't cross-reference things. Though all are welcome to read and comment.  Though it may be boring.

Cheers all.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Preparations

On Friday, I leave for six weeks in South Africa.  Imagine.  I can't.
I'll be staying on the outskirts of Grahamstown.
Because of the strangeness of my job, I get to do things like this.  There is even a special fund that is paying for this.  This is grace.  I am grateful.  It will save my life.

Today has been another flurry of activity getting things ready.
Shots at the health dept. (which I should have done 3 weeks ago).
Some footwear for me (not easy to find what you want in a size 14D).
Contact and chats with some friends.
And then . . . . . something I have long wanted, but been too inhibited to do.
I got my ear pierced.  Just one - the right one.

Now, if you've read this blog, you may remember several years back, I had another piercing, but in a place nobody could see (unless invited, so to speak).  {Sadly, it is no longer in place; and still missed.}

But the ear, ah, that's a public piercing.  It makes a different kind of statement.

I am "on sabbatical" till the end of March.  When I go back to my usual place of employment, I hope to have the courage to keep it in.  There will be pressure to take it out.  But, for two months, at least, I can play.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sacred Dance

Here is a post from Richard Rohr.  His writings have been teaching me a lot, of late.  Not your typical friar, he.  Unexpected, perhaps.  I am, too, I think.
The original is here.

I am seeking to move more deeply into my Sacred Dance.


Richard's Daily Meditations 

LIVING A WHOLE LIFE


Bill Plotkin speaks of the first half of life as doing our “survival dance.” The second half of life can then become our “sacred dance.” Most of us never get beyond our survival dance to ask the deep concerns of the soul (we are too busy “saving” our souls, whatever that means!) to do our sacred dance. Money, status symbols, group identity, and security are of limited value, but to the soul they are a distraction, and finally they become the very problem itself.
However, don’t misunderstand me—and I say this as strongly as I can—you’ve got to go through this first half of life and its concerns. Every level of growth builds on the previous ones. The principle is this: transcendence means including the previous stages. Then you can see the limited—but real—value of the early stages. But you will no longer put too much energy into just looking good, making money, feeling secure at all costs, and making sure you are right and others are wrong. That’s what it means to grow up, and Christians need to grow up just like everybody else.
Starter Prayer:
Help me grow up by going down.