Thursday, December 31, 2009


Happy New Year everyone! 

Blessings, cheers, new possibilities. 

Life.  Health. 

Good stuff to all.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Our internet connection went crazy.  Hope the whole post makes it up this time.

I've got a busy evening ahead with two big shows to put on, at 5.30 and 10.30 pm.  It will be glorious and wonderful, maybe even for me.  Honestly, I'll be glad when it's done!  Oh, yeah, then there is another small time show for tomorrow, too.  But that will be for only a few folk.  And intimate production, very easy going.

My children and friends have helped me through this season.

This "being gay" thing can really get me down when I see how difficult it is for so many (like me) to come out, to live their lives, to be free of the shame.  Fearing the rejection of others, loss of job (maybe), etc.  But I want to reach for the joy, the centered-ness, the freedom.  And I shall get there.

There is a lot of darkness around.  Inward, outward.  But tonight we celebrate some light.  The Light.

God so loved . . . . and all that stuff.  And God so loves us all.  Even me.  One candle, one light, Lone Light.  As our eyes adjust, it lights the whole room.  The whole world.  My whole world.  me.

Merry Christmas to all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Out of the Rugby Closet

I came across this story today (from Wayne Besen's site) about Rugby player Gareth Thomas coming out.  I don't look anything like Gareth Thomas (don't I wish!), but our stories are similar.  Maybe your story, too.

I can so relate to the pain, anguish, shame, the whole thing.  Can't most of us relate to it?  Especially those of us who did marry.  If only the brain-dead conservative could believe.

The dominant culture, the ones with the privilege, still hold to the expectation that everyone should be like them.  And even that everyone wants to be like them.  The danger of White Straight Male Privilege.

But we are different.  Gifted by Otherness.

I understand more and more the concept of gay Pride.  It is not about flaunting anything or saying "we're better" (we are, however, more fabulous).  It is about claiming, accepting, and living our lives in the face of such anger, hatred, and opposition.  In the face of the dominance of the White Straight Male culture.

And, our Pride should open our hearts to an understanding and acceptance, compassion and mercy.

Still, I wish I looked like Gareth Thomas.  But, maybe next year. . . . .

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Snow going

Happy Days of Holiness to all!  Busy-ness prevails around here.  And, there is a prediction of snow, sleet, or worse for tonight.

We don't get that much snow, and it's always wet, heavy, slushy stuff that makes driving very difficult.  It's not the nice, powdery snow others get.  And, being in the mountains, it ain't flat here.  We aren't that accustomed to driving in it, there is limited road cleanup, and many roads have deep ditches on the sides.  If you slip and slide, it may be all over but the shouting. (as we say).

So, the grocery stores are mobbed with folk getting milk, bread, and other essentials.  (That reminds me to get to the ABC store).

I met with my regional executive person on Tuesday about the coming out stuff.  he is supportive, and I think he "get's it."  He's not sure that my constituency will get or whether I'll (ultimately) keep my job.  In this strange company, it's not up to him but the "customers."  He is concerned that I balance coming out needs with financial/family needs.  In other words:  if I lose my job, can I support the children and former wife.

Unless I find a rich sugar daddy (and soon) I can't.  So, timing issues are in the mix right now.

It is slow, but it moves.  Glacial, but maybe there is some warming.  I'm getting through this depressing (for me) season.  Slogging along, but grateful.

PS:  Yes, we got snow.  8 to 14 inches worth, depending on where in the mountains you live.  Our house: 14".  Brrrr.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Still Doing

Thanks to all for supportive comments and emails.  Much appreciated.  I am not irretrievably undone; I am still doing.  Moving.  Working.  Though it goes slowly.

I've come out to my staff, and now to a few, well-placed, trusted "customers."  So far, so good.  Next week is a meeting with the "district executive" to talk about what next.

Focusing on work in the midst of this season is tough enough.  With all this going on.  Ugh.  And now, money is running out.  Fast.  And I have yet to shop for anything.  I have no time or skill to make stuff.  So the panic is beginning to set in.

There are these old messages (oh no, the Voices! aaaaaaah!) that are hard to shut down.  Old memories of childhood and presents that weren't "good enough."  Wanting everything to be perfect, but a near-total inability to plan ahead or remember what needs doing when.

I want a spouse, but I probably need a handler.  Ugh.

In spite of everything, there has been some holiday fun.  Yes.  At my place of business, we tried a new thing this year that has been a huge success and great fun!  December 6th is St. Nicholas Day.  As the culminating event of my organizations sesquicentennial, we decided to have a big dinner.  The menu was simple and inexpensive, with volunteers doing the food.  Folk signed up to decorate tables for the celebration.

St. Nicholas himself showed up for the feast.  We told some stories about the legends of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of anonymous gifts. My, oh my, how the legend has changed.  (So sad that great legends were turned into shaming lessons to get kids to "behave.")

Anyway, it was a great feast!  Needless to say, my table was fabulous!

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Going gets tough

And indeed, the going is tough.  It's all breaking down:  all the assurances, the faith, the structure of things.  They all seem to be breaking down.  Coming apart.  I am undone.

But I ain't done.  Not yet.

I know that the way of faith is not the easy road many think.  Faith is not some commodity we have or can get or earn.  It's more of an openness, a receptive-ness. It is not a wall that encloses carefully laid sturctures but the opposite.  It is the door in the wall.  It is the space, the opening, the nothing (not the something).

Perhaps I am moving through the opening.  I am not without hope.  I believe that I am held.  I'm having trouble seeing how Way will open.  But I think it will. At least, I believe it will.

Monday, November 23, 2009


In our small Southern city there opened today a showing of panels of the AIDS Quilt.  I cried.  I've never met any of the folk memorialized on the quilt.  All of them are strangers to me.  But the sight of it moved me to tears.  Loving remembrances, famous and not famous.  Parents, children, lovers. The panels are 3 feet by 6 feet:  the size of a coffin.

I did have a small connection to one panel.  My friend Ch. had invited me to the opening night of the Quilt's arrival in town.  His partner Doug died nearly ten years ago of AIDS.  His panel was part of the display.  Ch. showed it to me and explained all the parts, all the symbols.  He'd brought with him pictures and shared remembrances and love.  They were so much in love.

A little bit of grieving releases in me a whole lot of grief.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Still Standing -- -- still

I've been busy and neglecting the blogosphere.  Shame (shit, forget the shame.  Had enough of that to deal with).

I'm still standing, but it feels as if I'm standing still.  For the time being.  Things will move again in a few weeks.  I hope.  Coming out more and more is the plan.  And shall be the reality.  But it is taking time.

In the mean time, I'm in a holding pattern that is using up fuel.  Focusing on work is difficult.  Getting the energy to come to work seems difficult.  I am wondering what my reluctance to come to work is about?

I'm wondering, why can't I just "box" this for now and focus on other things, and bring it out again in a month?  It just doesn't seem to want to be boxed.  Every now and them, some fear rears its ugly head.  But I'm not undone by it. 

Life is good.  I am grateful.  Just thought I'd check in.  More later.

Friday, November 06, 2009

BearToast Explains more: Why Come Out

I've been asked the "why come out" question.  Of course, I've been asking myself that one for years.

Since I finally came out to myself, accepting that I am, in fact, gay, there is always a question of to whom one should come out.  Of course, my (now ex-)wife was a first. I came out to my boss (the regional executive).  I told my brothers (who were not amused), and I have told my children.

Why come out at work?  Is it anyone's business?  No, but it's my soul that can't stand the feeling of hiding.

Brent over at A Journey by myself put it very well in a recent post: 
Today I got to thinking about how when I'm out with straight friends that don't know I'm gay or gay friends that don't know I'm married, I tend to be reserved. But the few times I've been out with people that know my situation, how comfortable I feel. . . . .    I guess the lesson here, is that hiding a secret like this plays havoc on your soul. 

As I've said before, about not coming out, it was slow-motion suicide of the soul.  I mean no judgment on anyone else or his/her situation.  I can and do speak for myself, alone.  I just couldn't handle it.

With my job:  I am in a strange kind of profession that involves who I am as much as any particular skills or task that I may perform.  I cannot relate well to folk unless I am who I am.  Other jobs, professions, etc., are different.  Maybe it's not a big deal.  Each must judge and decide for himself or herself.

Here is a quote from the book Disclosures:  Conversations Gay and Spiritual by Michael Ford (2004, Cowley Publications).  The author is quoting psychiatrist W.G. Sengers.  The "first level of resistance" is when we deny those gay feelings within oursleves:
The second level of resistance emerges in contexts where the homosexual understands his feelings but is tortured by the fear that anyone else should detect them.  As a result, he experiences social isolation, even when he is in the company of others.  He uses up energy in constantly pretending he is "normal."  he never feels relaxed enough to express his true feelings.  This can lead to obsessive tendencies.  He becomes so preoccupied with the fear of being recognized as gay that his sexual feelings are constantly in his mind, haunting him day and night.  They force him to sexualize his total existence. Every situation becomes filled with danger as he remains in a constant state of vigilance to prevent anyone from discovering the truth.  His sexual life, therefore, stands little chance of forming a unity with the rest of his personality. (pp 30-31)
 I know this is probably more than you wanted to hear.  And, there is more great stuff in this book I'l love to mention.  But my typing ain't that great.

Sexuality (gay or straight) is something that is an essential part of our being.  It is something woven throughout the texture, the fabric of our lives.  To try and hard part of that fabric means that, in some sense, we hide the whole thing.  I am weary of hiding.  I desire unity with myself, authenticity, honesty, wholeness.

But there is more.  Claiming this part of me, acknowledging it, accepting it, embracing it, (or trying to do all those things) gives me opportunity to acknowledge and embrace my "tribe."  All of the LGBTQ folk out there are a chosen family to me.  I haven't been out long enough to move into a "post-gay" period.

I know some who are "over it." And I think I understand why, and what that means.  But I am such a newbie, I want to relish in this newness.  Having spent so many years in isolation, I am embracing this new family.  i want to come out for "all of us."  The more the homophobe world realizes we are everywhere, in every profession, in all walks of life, of every age, the more they will have opportunity to understand and accept us.  Some will.  Some will not.  But I've got to try.  I think we all should.

Do I have a plan if it all falls apart?  If I lose my job, my income, etc., what will I do?  Should I wait and think about coming out when it won't "hurt" anyone?  Well, that is an idea . . . . but I'd be dead by then.

I want to come out consciously with my place of business.  If I do not, I will be outed unconsciously.  I fear I am becoming the new elephant in the living room.  (Everyone knows it's there.  Everyone ignores it and just dances around the obvious).

My children have expressed their undying support for me.  Though that has not been severely tested, it may be.  I've done too much to shield them from adversity all along the way.  They are strong, or they will be.  Love means more than just providing for them.  The most loving thing I can do for anyone is to be me.  All of me.  The whole of me.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

BearToast Explains it all

I've said in my profile that folk should feel free to ask me questions.  A few have.  I might have responded directly to them but don't have their emails.  So here it is.

Steve at the Helpful Elephant asked some questions in some comments.  
  • Is the reason you don't have photos of your face because you're afraid of being 'out', even on a blog?  Do you think you're unattractive? Or is it for a more practical reason? Like...You don't want weirdo's to be able to know you for...weird reasons...???
I've not shown my face on the blog for fear (yes, it's fear) of being outed.  I could lose my job, and maybe a lot more.  I long to be completely open, but that's just not where I am yet.  I don't think I'm unattractive, and I know that I'm not exceptionally attractive.  I'm becoming more and more comfortable with me: who I am, and how I look.  I'll send you a picture, if you want.
  • You mentioned you didn't have birthday parties when you were a kid. How come?
My mother has been dead for six years now, you might have needed to ask her.  Our family did not have much money and there was too much dysfunction going around.  I think my mom was too focused on helping other people to notice my brothers or me too much.  And, I was always a good boy, trying very hard never to get in the way.

  • Who's taking the photo's of you in each shot? For example, the one on the beach or the recent one of you looking out into the ranges...
The beach photos were taken by one of my daughters.  The shot of me in the mountains was done by using the timer on the camera.  Lucky shot, actually.

I'll answer some other questions in another post.  Keep them coming.  I'm glad to answer what I can.  I do appreciate email addresses, though.  If you'd prefer an answer directly to you or if you'd like me to post on it, let me know.

I don't know that I'm really that interesting, but I can be creative!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Silence and PRIDE

My days of silence were refreshing, nourishing, and troubling.  You get silent for a few days, your mind stops shouting, things settle down, and deeper things emerge.  That's troubling in a good way.  I did some reading, praying, walking, sleeping.  Good stuff.

Then, I stayed with friends in Atlanta and was able to attend Saturday's PRIDE in Piedmont Park.  The rain held off long enough for me to enjoy being around a lot of really out gay people, doing things straights take for granted:  holding hands, kissing in public, just being themselves.  Exhibits, booths, supporters, organizations, and some great scenery, too!  Woof.

To read and pray and give thanks for being me, and being gay, and for grace, strength, and courage;  these are good things.  To be out and proud and encouraged by "family";  these are good things, too.

To be able to have both within the same week.  That was great!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Grateful B'day

Today is my 54th birthday.  And I am grateful

Fellow blogger Dale sent me a note sharing some of his story.  We're about the same age, but he has been out a long time.  It made me think of all the folk, younger, my age, older, and  gone before, who have helped change the world, making it a bit easier for me.  Slowly, but surely, we are making progress.

It could be easy to be envious of folk out so long.  And, it is easy to look at my life and regret that I didn't do this sooner, or beat myself up for not having figured this out decades ago.  But instead of all that, I will stick with being grateful.

I am so grateful to all you long out-of-the-closet folk because you have paved the way for me.  You've made is easier than it might have been.  You've given direction and advice, shown me the path, and taught me all kinds of new tricks.  (Goodness, me;)~

Tonight, my housemates are having dinner for me and some friends to celebrate my big day.  C has even made me a big chocolate cake.  I'm excited.  I never had parties as a child, so it's not a big "expectation" on my part.  But with my children off to college, I didn't want to be by myself, pretending it didn't matter.

Tomorrow, I'm off for a silent retreat.  Four days with no talking, a little thinking, and a lot of be-ing. Just being.  I'll be outside Atlanta for most of the week, but hope to make it into town on Thursday, and maybe Friday.  Or even a little bit of Saturday.  OMG!  It's Pride weekend in Atlanta!  What ever shall I do?

Thank you.  All.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


This week there was a meeting of "managers" for our "region".  I met with the "regional executive" boss man.  It was a very good meeting.  I told him how important it is for me to come out in my place of business, with our "customers."  This isn't about what I want.  This is about living with honesty, integrity, and authenticity.  This is about being faithful.

He was with me all the way.  He's going to check with other "regional executives" about how they've handled such a thing as this, a "local manager" coming out.  Then we will meet again so we can "talk about how we are going to do this."  Yes, he said "we."  He's with me.  This is big news.

I am thrilled but humbled, and a little scared.  But I'll get over all of those things (well, let's hope the humility holds out).  There could be a yawn and "tell something we don't know," kind of reaction.  Or it could be a much less friendly kind of thing.  No way to know.  No way to really control  that.  Time to let go.

Have you experienced a change in folk when, even though they probably assume you are gay, change when you say the word?  Why is it that when we come out, when we name it, when we acknowledge that we're gay, then attitudes change?

What do you think?  What's been your experience?  I'd be interested to know.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

How green is my valley

Well, it's not really my valley, but it's the one I live in.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Indeed.  A lot has happened the past few weeks.

I am the boss.  I have a staff of three full-time, in office folk; one full-time out of office folk; a couple of part-times.  Me, as the boss?  Who would have thought . . . .

So, I came out to my office staff this week.  Big step.  Was there shock?  Were they surprised that the boss they've worked with, lo, these many years is queer?  Is the pope Polish?  Not any more.

There was, on their faces and in the room, a sense of relief.  No shock, no surprise.  They've know I've been sort of "lost in space" for some time now.  And now they know why.  Already (in just a couple of day's time) the working atmosphere is better, real, open. Honest.

Relief was my main feeling.  Deep relief.  One small step for a man; one giant leap for queerkind.

Honesty.  Integrity.  Authenticity.  The truth is the only thing that sets us free.

I know that I am vague about my work situation, and I will continue to be so.  Let's just say I work for a religious non-profit, and I work weekends.    It is a peculiar kind of job; one might even call it a vocation.  Figure it out, or ask me privately.  My email is on my profile.

There are many in the LGBTQ community who don't like my "parent company" or like folk of my "ilk."  It is difficult calling one's self "Christian" in this day and age because of the hate-mongering, narrow-minded, bigoted, brain dead folk out there who call themselves "Christians."  I am not one of those and do not work for an organization like that.  Thankfully.

That doesn't mean that coming out at work will be "no big deal."  For some of our "customers" it could be a very big deal.  It is the unknown (and the uncontrollable) that causes some anxiety. And, the Spirit moves.  And all shall be well.

And, yes, that's really me at the beach this summer.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tempest or Teapot

This may all be a bit disjointed, but bear with me.

Some friends are helping me with some discernment in my life. It’s about coming out at work, and such. Risky Business.

Do I really want to do that? Come out? I have a particular role in my organization. The person, me, is out. But the persona, the role, ain’t there yet. How do I continue to do my job, “play” my role (I don’t play at it; I don’t like that term, but it will have to do for now), and stay in the closet? Does anyone really care?

With what I do, there is more involved than just a set of skills or tasks I perform. It involves who I am as a person as well as skills, gifts, talents. To keep myself at some distance from others because of this “secret” is very difficult.

God is putting the screws on. I feel a sense of things “tightening down”, forcing the question. Oh, God. It may seem like no big deal. Maybe it is less of a big deal than I know.

I am afraid of God calling me somewhere I don’t want to go. Calling me to some things I don’t want to do. Like, possibly, behaving myself. Don’t want to go there, that’s for sure. Am I looking for the freedom to do all kinds of things I’ve never done before? Am I looking for the freedom simply to be me? And, exactly, who am I? That’s a question, too.

One of the friends helping me in this discernment has been out for years. He has a partner. The same one for 28 years. Twenty eight years! And he’s not that much older than I am.

He’s said he is in his “post gay” period. It just doesn’t matter (in some ways) to him. He is who he is. Just as he is. He is.

I’ll be 54 years old next month (25 October. Send cards, letters, and large expensive gifts). I’m just getting started. I’ve only been out to myself for about 4 years. I mean really out; when I could look and enjoy the sight of a beautiful, sexy man and not feel shame. I have struggled with this so long. I want the struggle to be over. But then, new struggles will emerge. Am I ready for those? I think so. It couldn’t be any worse, could it? At least the struggles would be out in the open.

I fear rejection; causing upset to others; losing face; not being taken seriously. Some of my constituents will feel a sense of betrayal. Some will “stop shopping with us.” We will lose “business.” Perhaps others will come. Perhaps there will be great support for me. But I don’t want it to be about me. And it isn’t all about me; it’s about what is right. It’s about living one’s life with honesty, integrity, and authenticity. But it’s my life we’re talking about here.

Serenity, Courage, Wisdom. I could use some of that stuff, right now. Now. Right now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reprogression / Proregression

Ever feel like you were walking backwards down the stairs?  If only I could "moon walk."  It looks like I'm gong forward, but. . . . .

But, on the other hand, maybe I am moving forward and it only looks like I'm moving backwards.  Whatever. Who knows what it comes from.  All the questions, the "why's" and "what if's".  I don't get too hung up in that.

What I'm getting to is that the downward spiral got deeper, faster, scarier.  So, I've started back on the anti-depressants.  And I'm glad I have.  Though I still hold the goal of "if you can't feel it, you can't heal it,"  I have to function to hold down a job, to get the laundry done, etc.  I want to live without the drugs, but this is not the time.  Too much happening, going on, swirling around me.  The stability seems more important, right now.

Maybe it's a crutch, maybe it's all in my imagination.  But I don't think it's that simple.  So, I am beginning to "feel better."  More focus, a bit more energy to get work done, less isolating, more interacting.  I can be a bit more "present" when I'm present.  That's a good thing.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Out of Focus

Though over the flu, I'm still not feeling up to snuff, as we say.  And, I'm not so sure why.  Some down, some tired, some busy.  Focusing at work seems to happen more easily when I limit my hours.  Plan on staying half a day, and for that amount of time, I get more done than many days when I stay the whole day.  Go figure.

My internet connectivity has been limited lately, and I haven't read many blogs.  Forgive my not getting to your blog.  I am grateful for those who continue to read mine, tedious as it may be, right now.  I'm hoping to catch up on some or just read the latest posts.  Reading is a time- and focus-consuming task for me. 

Actually, I've needed a lot of quiet lately.  Maybe more than usual.  And I've tried to take some, but not always with good result. Being without agenda, with no one demanding my time is hard for me to take.  I just don't know what to do with myself!  I know, many of you would kill for some free, agenda-less time.  And here I am, fretting over it.

Focus is the thing.  Somehow, I need to focus on planning some unfocused time.  Time when my only agenda is to sit with some silence.  Take a hike, and sit.  Take a book and read. 

E'en now, I'm fading.  Later.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Thanks, I'm mending well

Thanks for the kind notes, thoughts, prayers, etc.  I am mending well from Swine Flu.  It comes on fast, but then it's over in a few days.  But the exhaustion last a while.

September has arrived, the weather here is cool and crisp.  Leaves just beginning to get started changing color.   I live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  Really.

Off to bed.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


With much busy-ness, I've gotten a little run-down. I got the pig plague. Swine flu.

Yes. H1N1. For real. I shall not die; I'd have to get better to die.

I am feeling vaguely human today. First time in 4 days. I have barely been out of bed. Everything ached. Everything. Every joint. Every muscle. Every bit of tissue, and bone, too. Shear exhaustion.

Go wash your hands. Do it now.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Take me now


Craziness reigns. Trying to get offspring sprung from the nest. Trying to get through huge stuff at work. trying to keep body and soul together in the midst of it all. I could probably benefit from those anti-depressants i stopped recently.

I'll just have a drink instead!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Here and Now

I had a wonderful visit with blogger Birdie who so graciously wrote about our visit. Meanwhile there has been much busy-ness with getting children off to college, being part of big doings at work, and it's all happening at the same time! Ahhhhh!

Money is running out, time is running short, energy level is declining. I'm just ready for the grave, eh? Hah! We're just getting started. (He said to himself, hopefully, trying to flag his failing spirits).

This will be my first semester not traveling to one public school or another on a daily basis (and usually twice a day, or more). My children will have flown the coop! An empty nest! I've not pondered this much. Hmmm.

Here is a picture of a bear in our yard, again.

With August here, there is lots of fresh food from all over. At work, we've been getting fresh tomatoes, cucumbers (as pictured here - stop that!) as well as squash. We've also gotten fresh stuff for the food pantry at church.

I've been thinking a lot on the concept and reality of Privilege. For us white male, we've got it made in the shade. But being gay adds its challenges to that. But maybe that's why we are so feared (more than lesbians, say).

To see things from a different perspective is something many (straight) white males cannot do (easily, if at all). It is hard to let go of our closely held beliefs and stereotypes and role models and ideas. Of course our way is the best way, can't you see that? Huh?

To quote from the indefatigable Sean: "Everyone keeps telling me to look at the big picture, but they don't understand that I'm looking at an entirely different painting."

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Camp Followers?

I noticed that there are a few more folk "following" my blog. How flattering! So, I checked them out. Well, how interesting - a few of them (very few mind you) seem to be "user advised" blogs. You know, with the content warning thing.

SO, if you are one of those "following" along on my (very interesting but generally boring) blog, speak up. I'm wondering if there is hacking/spamming/etc. going on.

Friday, August 07, 2009


Just back from a few days at the beach with my kids. Their mom spends a few days there, and then we trade off. It's worked well for us the last several years as we make adjustments from life together to life apart. It was fun, hot, humid, with a little rain. And too much air conditioning.

Living in the mountains, I'm used to cooler, less humid conditions. My housemates (my hosts) don't use the AC at all. But since it goes down to about 60 degrees at night (seldom more than 65), things cool way down. It's wonderful.

Here are some pictures.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Feeling and Healing

I know it's been a while. But I am here, alive, and moderately well.

There are "up" days and "down" days. Ah, Life. To be expected, eh?, when you taper off the anti-depressants? Only Dr. Spo knows all (well most, anyway). Partly from desire, part economics, part forgetfulness (did I take that pill today?), I have ended taking my anti-depressant.

I've been on them for years. Years. The idea that I could stay back from the Edge without them seemed remote a few years ago. It was remote. But that was then.

Emotions seem closer to the surface. I'll cry at the slightest thing. Sometimes I start some of that "stinkin' thinkin'" that says I cannot do it, I am not good enough. But it does not last as long. I pull away from it, I retreat from thinking NO. I move back toward YES.

Anti-depressants are valuable tools (along with a good therapist) for getting us through the darkness, over the hump, or out of the woods (choose your metaphor). For some they may be ongoing necessity. I'd thought so, with me.

Years ago, I consulted informally with a psychiatrist I knew from church. He did not jump to medication. His motto was "If you can't feel it, you can't heal it." Wise.

I'm trying to go that route now, and I'm grateful I've got a good therapist/counselor to be with me through all those feelings!

Monday, July 13, 2009

High points and Hotlanta

Visiting Euro-wonder boy B. has returned to his normal digs in eastern Europe. I hope he had a good visit! It was great to get to know him, to spend time with him, and to listen to him.

I'm not always a good listener. Sometimes, my motor-mouth (and brain) get going to such degree that the running commentary on everything becomes non-stop and everything said needs correction, advice-giving, a history lesson or language lesson. See what I mean?

One of the great things I am grateful for in B's friendship is that he told me to hush and listen. I was embarrassed when I realized what I'd been doing. I never let him finish telling something before I'd have to jump in with advice. Hah. As if I knew. . . . .

Thanks, B, for the honesty. That shows me you love me enough to engage in the hard stuff: confronting someone. Indeed, I want to listen better, and you helped set me on that path.

We had a day at eastern America's highest peak, Mt. Mitchell. There's a picture here somewhere.

The trip to Atlanta to return B to the airport was eventful and fun. After stopping by the wonderful LGBTQ book store OutWrite (where we purchased more books, especially some titles by Michael Thomas Ford) and a bite to eat, we went to the Atlanta Eagle. I'd only once been dancing at a gay venue - in fact, a year ago in Atlanta - and wanted to go with B. So away we went. It was early for the crowds which was a good thing. Thursday nights have rather bad reputation for "misbehaving" at the Eagle (so I'm told) and we weren't looking to get into any "trouble." The music started a little early and we spun and twirled and danced around in the lights. Great fun. Amazing fun. Indeed, life is too short not to dance.

The place began filling up, and the hour was late. Off to bed at friend W.'s house, our kind host.

On Friday, B. got on the plane back to Europe. I was sad to see him go. I miss you, buddy. We hope to re-connect here next year (before his visa runs out) or with me going there. That means I might need to plan ahead. Daunting task, that.

Saturday on my own, I visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Gorgeous (dare I say) fabulous orchids and a display of sculpture by Henry Moore.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Happy Fourth +2

Well, that's me all over. A day (or two) late and a dollar short. Nonetheless, a happy Fourth of July to all. Let's keep working for Equality, Justice, and Liberty for all.

I've been having a great visit with friend B who hales from Europe. C&S (my kind hosts and housemates) have gladly welcomed yet another visitor whom I had invited to come back when I had my "own" place. It has been great fun!

Here is a picture B took at a local (gay owned) restaurant (that has the best homemade pies you has ever had!). Similar to Kelly's picture from a couple of years ago.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The way, paved

I remember 1969. I had just finished 9th grade. Only vaguely do I remember news about Stonewall. I was very far from knowing who I was, let alone what to do about it.

It has been a long time, and much progress has been made. But not enough. And I long to do my part.

Even though I am in the position of having to lead a very guarded life, I long to be out and proud. With some folk, in some places, i am. But too many will be hurt. And, I'd prob ably lose my job.

I will not always be in such a schizoid sort of existence. And when I am not. I intend to be very noisy.

Thanks to all of you who are out, and proud, and talking about it, and working for us all. Thank you for doing what i can not yet do.

And thank you to those brave folk who, out of some kind of foolishness, refused to back down. As Spo has said so well, only when we stop being victims will others stop being persecutors.

Thank you. All

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Tough weekend with lots happening. The graduation of the youngest, with attendant family visitors went well. (Thank you, God).

Meeting tonight the Board (Bored) of my organization went well, and we even finished early!

But, I have to work again this weekend. Ugh. I most always work part of every weekend, but lately it's been the whole weekend. Ugh!

And, here's news in the TMI department: I've had to ditch the PA. And I'd just gotten up to a 0 gauge, too. I am mightily disappointed. You don't want to know details. But it was the wise thing to do. For now. It will be back! But it's like starting all over.

It was my way of being outrageous, but not too much. It was for me. There is this part of me that wants to make a kind of "F--ck you" statement and something really "out there." I'm feeling like a failure, but I know it wasn't my fault. Maybe I moved too fast to gauge up. i don't know. But I'll find something else. Any ideas?

Oh, and the bears still come around most mornings.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Impulse Shopper

OK, I dealt in some retail therapy (sort of) a few weeks ago. I didn't purchase a tangible item, but a service, but it's just as bad. Or good.

I joined a gym! OMG. I cannot afford this. But they were having a sale. Or were they?

Did I comparison shop? No. Did I wheel and deal? Not much. Did I feel like I was buying a car, or something? Yes. Did I explore similar options with a local vendor? No. I went with a chain; I got bowled over; I caved in; I signed the papers.

I can't believe I did that. Where is my ex-wife when I need her? She was always the wheeler-dealer. She read books on car buying before a purchase. She read books on real estate before buying or selling. Me? Well, sweet innocent little me couldn't bargain his way out of a free food line.

At 6'2", 250 lbs, you'd think I'd be intimidating. But I am a little wussy pussy cat. Putty in their hands. Cash on their bankrolls. Ahhhh!

Of course, I always ask myself the questions of "do I need this?" and "do I deserve this?" as well as the "can I afford this?" question. Dragging my self-esteem out of the cesspool takes some effort, but I don't regret doing that. YES. I deserve it. YES, I need to do something to get into better shape. Even though I live in a beautiful area for hiking, I don't get out much. (Hey, I don't get out much in a lot of ways, but I digress).

Yes. I am as deserving as the next person. And, I need to "get a life." That's part of what this journey out of the closet is about: finding myself, discovering myself, creating myself. And I need more than just some "cardio" workout stuff. I want to strengthen arms and chest [and look like a real muscle bear] and be a healthier person.

So, how do all you in blogger-land manage going to the gym? How do you make it a habit? When do you go? Do you like to go?

So, tonight I meet with the trainer person. (Uh oh. I'm wearing my Atlanta Bucks t-shirt).

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Remain Calm

After my last post, with picture of the bears, I had several comments to "be careful." I do appreciate you concern.

Let me note that the picture was taken through the glass door! No, I wasn't wandering around on the deck with bears; especially not a mama and her cubs! Now that would be asking for trouble!

Meanwhile, the search for housing needs to get ramped up a bit. Ugh. While I really enjoy C & S, (and the bears), I need a place "of my own" where my girls will feel comfortable coming over to visit. While they might want to meet C & S, they want to spend time with me.

This weekend will be the big graduation festivities for youngest. This fall she, too, will be off to school. I need to make the most of time.

The stresses and workload of late have been heavy. Ugh. So, let's de-stress with a picture of the garden in bloom.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bears in the garden

The house where I live is populated by bears, inside and out! Inside, there's C and S, and me. Outside, a mama and two young cubs stop by for breakfast.

Monday, June 01, 2009

In the Garden

Here are some pictures of my new digs. My gracious hosts, S & C are wonderful and welcoming (as well as handsome and friendly). C is quite the horticulturalist (truly) and has planted and nurtured this beautiful garden.
Things are more in bloom now; I'll try to get some new pictures.
And here is the lily pond, complete with artwork.

Friday, May 29, 2009


I moved at the end of last month, and I had to move in a hurry! Here is a picture of the last bits from the living room.

After it was all packed into a truck, it got moved to my place of business and stored in an extra room. Blessedly we've got the storage space. That's saving me some bucks!

It's all there. In that room. Well, there is some in the basement, too, but most of it's right there.

It isn't as much as one might think. You can really see most of it in the picture. I'm glad to be traveling as lightly as I am. (May the poor of the world forgive me).

Next, I'll post some pictures of my present digs. Sharing a house with folk comes with ready-made garden.

Life goes on. Life is good. Busy, hectic, stressful. But I am glad to be alive, to be me.

Tonight, some friends are coming to stay over for the weekend. In between work requirements, we'll get to visit. I'm so glad to have friends.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Darkness is as Light

My friend died yesterday. God rest his soul. We'll never know what darkness he felt; now he is in the Light.

Psalm 139.11-12
11 If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night’,
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

May his soul, and the souls of all the departed, through the mercies of God, rest if peace.

Thanks to Birdie for offering reflection on her father's suicide. She is most wise.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Turning, turning

I've been up to my nostrils in stress. And I'm not sure the snorkeling is going so well.

A friend shot himself, attempting suicide, I guess. There are no notes, seemed to be no planning. It seems so f**cking random. And stupid. And tragic. I am hurting from this one.

The bullet fragmented in his brain, doing significant damage. But the body lives on. His family decided to remove him from machinery, and this afternoon that was done. I was with him, and them.

But the body lives on. So often people think "pulling the plug" means someone dies instantly, as with unplugging the television. But it ain't that simple. He may go soon, or he may last for days. There is no way to know. (Though, my experience with stubborn people is that they continue to be stubborn, right up to the last. We'll see.)

The waiting is very draining and emotionally exhausting. Makes it difficult to focus on much else. If it were some tragic accident or some extenuating health issue, that's one thing. Those are tragic enough. But suicide.

For now, we have to set aside all the unanswered (and unknowable) questions and focus simply on being with him, and with God.

In the last month, I have had to move. I have traveled far to retrieve eldest child from college and tried to bolster her. (I fear she's near some kind of breakdown). I've been with 68 teenagers and several adults on a five day school trip; fun, but exhausting. i come home and have this difficult situation to deal with

I've had enough stress for a while. Please.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Does not compute

The laptop computer which I have been using for six years has finally bitten the dust. Ashes to ashes, electron to electron. Actually, it "belongs" to the non-profit organization for which I work. (Yes, I clean all the history stuff, carefully and often).

Now, I'm off for a week of errands, field trips, retrievals, etc., with my offspring. If I have the chance to use a random computer somewhere, I might get in a post, otherwise it will be next week.

There are still pieces here and there and all over. But the core is holding. Solid.

I hope they buy me a new computer.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Let me rest in pieces

Seeing most all one's worldly possessions crammed into one room is a bit disconcerting. And somewhat disheartening, too. When the flying monkeys dis-assembled the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, he said, "well, that's me all over." I'm feeling a that way. All over.

The condo in which I was living was rented and I had to move. Now all my stuff is in storage (very oddly at my place of work. We had an empty, unused room. The price is right).

I'm crashing with friends for a while until a Way opens for something more permanent (which may be crashing with friends.

I never need fear being truly "homeless." Though my spirit feels a bit un-moored.

I'll post some pictures of the move and all my stuff. when I can.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Moving On - somewhere

No, I'm not moving on from blogging to something else. I'm just moving.

I've wanted to email some folk directly but have not had the chance. Forgive. I'll write.

I've been living in a condo at the kindness of some friends. They own lots of property. But nothing sells, so cash flow has tightened. The condo has been for sale for months with no nibbles. Someone looked at it Monday afternoon.

I get a call on Tuesday morning. The owners are renting it. Could I be out by May first? I had no idea they would rent it. But I am paying very little rent. A bargain. A steal! They need the income. I understand, though I'm stunned, shocked, numb.

I have to find a place to live that I can afford. And I can't afford "market rates" around here.

First, I will not be homeless. Friends have offered long-term hospitality. I cried.

But there are many, many factors and issues that go into the mix. It really does get very complicated on many levels. I'll explain more when I've time to write.

Suffice it to say, I am still here. I will thrive. Way will open. God will provide.

Damn. I'd sure love some providential lottery numbers, though . . . . .

(I guess I would have to buy a ticket).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Random stuff

Done: The last week was a grueling ordeal of work. I'm glad it's done, and I have a few days off. Now, I just have to get me arse in gear to get something done. Anything! I don't deal well with unstructured time.

Job: I mentioned in last post that I'd been asked to apply for a new position. That's true but doesn't mean anything will change or even occur for months. I work for an organization that moves at a glacial pace, global warming not withstanding. There will be a multiplicity of hoops (of various types, heights, sizes, and shapes) through which to jump, slither, careen, and step.

Followers: I've noticed I have several "followers" of my blog. I am honored and pleased! There are a few of which I know naught. Hey y'all, email me.

There are so many ways to have a blog list, followers, connections, accounts, profiles, etc., etc., ad nauseum. I hardly understand half of it all.

I have more stuff of randomness I'll post later. Cheers.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I'm Just an April Fool

Yesterday marked the ninth anniversary of my present position of employment. Oddly, I got a call today about applying for a new position. Same kind of work, different state, etc. Hmmmm.....

Nine Years. That is sufficient time to feel "at home" in a place. And leaving this beautiful part of the world would be difficult. But. . . . .

Moving here from a small town in a more rural area of another state was supposed to be a "good move" for the family. Better schools for the kids, more opportunities, more "openness." It has been all those things. My children (rising 4th and 7th graders at the time) were furious at moving. Not so much coming here, as leaving there -- the only place they'd ever known. (Now, they can hardly remember what that little town was like. They have fallen in love with this little city as so many others have).

But it has also been here that my life (our lives) have taken such dramatic turns. Who would have imagined it?

As I reflect, I first thought this has been one of the most trying periods of my life. But thinking again, I realize that's not the case. Though it has had its trials, tribulations, and sadnesses, it has become one of the best times.

There was outward "happiness" in those older times, but the inward terror and turmoil were death-dealing. I was, inwardly, miserable.

Now, there could be said to be some outward misery, but, oh the relief and the joy.

Why didn't I come out sooner? A question with no real answer. And, it cannot be changed. It happened when it happened, (perhaps) as it was supposed to. This is now. And it's a great now.

Spring. Even the older flowers still bloom.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


As I said in my last post, I'm only beginning to think about commencing in getting started with thinking about the possibilities of dating, or something. Not desperate. Yet. And there is a very important sustaining element in my life, and that is friends.

I have been very blessed with some great friends. Most of them are partnered (and happily so), but they have invited me to go bowling, over for dinner, out for a movie, etc. I have not really suffered from lack of contact with some well-settled, (more or less) normal gay folk.
Also, there is a monthly gathering of gay men exploring their spiritual sides. I am a (more or less) orthodox Christian (except when I'm not) but very open to the spiritual explorations of others. This has been a great group to be a part of.
Blog friends (hey there, y'all) have been supportive and helpful through comments and in corresponding (I'm always happy to hear from folk). This sustaining group of people has brought some real joy and challenge and delight into my life.
Thank you, one and all.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Yes, it is here. How I'd love to go and find some bear with whom to perform the Rites of Spring. Not sure what all those rites are, but I'll bet we could improvise!

My back is SOOOO much better, but still a bit sore. Maybe I'll wait a week or so before bear hunting. Mmmmm.

With the divorce done, it has crossed my mind to think about the possibility of beginning to think about getting started with the idea of dating. I haven't really done much of that in my whole life, let alone with men. Or maybe I have and didn't even know it!
I live in a relatively small city. Too many circles that interconnect. If I'm outed at work, it could be curtains. But then again, maybe more folk have "figured it out," and as long as I don't say anything, I'd be OK? Hmmmm, too risky.

How to get started? Where to look? What to look for?

  • 6'2"
  • 250 lbs
  • 53 yrs. old
  • Beard, hairy, buzzed head
  • big feet, big hands, big heart
  • easy going (Really), and just plain easy
  • honest (Really), seeks to live with intergrity
  • spiritual? - I'm seeking. Orthodox, and yet not.
  • great sense of humor, but sometimes a little boring
  • extroverted, but shy. Except when I'm just over-the-top
  • don't even ask what I do for a living, it's too weird in this context, and you might not believe it anyway.

I don't know what to say. I can't sum myself up in a few words. Such a muddle I'm in. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pain in the Back

The is always connection between spiritual and physical, body and soul, mental and physical. And the weight of the past week got a bit too heavy, I suppose.

On one of the most important days in my career, when the supreme high poo bah of my organization comes for a visit, and my back goes out. Shining my shoes, I leaned down, and crunch. I roll onto the floor in pain. Excruciating pain.

With out belaboring you with details, i got help and drugs to make it through this very big, very important meeting. I mean, it was like the Queen was coming for a visit. Big stuff.

She was wonderful and gracious, very impressive, did a great presentation for my folks; everyone oohed and aahed, and it went smashingly! Many thanks to Dr. S., an osteopathic physician who really does family practice, but knows enough bone manipulation to crack my back. And, he brought me a little bit of prednisone and muscle relaxers to get me though it all.

Now, it's just time, and ice, and heat, and waiting. But divorce, once-in-a-lifetime gathering with the Pooh Bah, and now it's done. Rest.

Hey, as long as I don't move, it doesn't hurt much.

Monday, March 09, 2009

'Tis Over

My divorce was finalized this morning. Arrived at the courthouse at 8.45, out by 9.30. 'Tis done. May 31st would have made 23 years. That's a long time.

To G. (my ex-wife): Thank you for two wonderful, beautiful children. And thank you for many wonderful years. Thank you for being as understanding as you have. Yes, you've a right to be angry. This is not what you signed on for. Neither did I. But here we are.

Even with all those tough years of me in such a depressed, withdrawn funk, it wasn't so bad. And, it's not your fault.

I wish for you to find the most wonderful, caring, loving husband who can love you in all the ways in which I failed. And I wish the same for me: a husband who will love me in the midst of all the ways I've failed.

No one can "fix" another. No one can "make" another be happy. Happiness (such a shallow sounding word) is something we must find, and choose, on our own, for ourselves. It is too much to think another can be responsible for my happiness. But I can do that myself.

Here's hoping, and praying, that I will.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sad, but true

Now the date is for next week, for my divorce to be finalized. We have to show up in court, sign some papers, and it will be done, barring another snow day.

I'm the one who left, who wanted the divorce. And I still do want it. It is right and proper. But I am nonetheless, sad.

It marks the ending of 22 years of marriage, from a legal standpoint. Though the "marriage" was over a few years before. I wanted to end it. I'm getting what I "wanted." Yet, I am sad.

I battle sometimes between regret and gratitude. Regret that I didn't figure out who I am (and what I am) much earlier in life. As I look back on my life, I wonder how I didn't figure it out, come to terms with it, have a name for it. But I didn't. Call me pathetically dense, but there it is.

All the moves I made were to ensure that I would be "straight." Surely, I had to be straight. That's what I wanted. That's what I played at for all those years. Except when I didn't. But that was only sex, not understanding. It amounted to mutual masturbation with other men. Denial was strong. I shoved those thoughts/feelings/experiences so far back in the closet that I hoped they would just disappear.

It was sick stuff. All of that I regret.

And then there is the gratitude for all the years my wife and I had together that were good. She will never understand the awful battling that was going on inside me. But still we had some very good years. I loved her. And still do, though I know differently now. As I've said. It's not about my knowing how to love, it's about knowing how to be loved. Never got there. Maybe I will now. I wish all of me could love her the way so much of me does.

And, we have two wonderful, exceptional, beautiful, loving children. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Not for all the pain.

If I'd come out in the early '80's, I'd probably be dead now. That's something to think about.

There is grace in it all, and I know I am finding some. But still, the pain I have caused others weighs heavily on me.

And, I'm just sad. Not because I think "it's all my fault." Not because I regret it all. Not because I would want to stop the divorce. Just because. It is, if you will, like a death. There is mourning to be done, even if it is a healing death. Even when there is relief in a death, there is still grief.

I will survive it and triumph. Not triumph "over" anyone, but over my fears, my pain, my sadness, and my regrets.