Saturday, December 25, 2010

Mery Christmas




Merry Christmas to all;

and to all, a good night.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Alive and trudging

Had I made this post last week (or even earlier this week) it might have been a bit bleaker.  But things move, shift, awaken, recede.

Christmas is coming!  Ugh!  My children have been a help in keeping me a bit focused, doing the seasonal tasks that need doing.  It's the shopping that I hate.

I don't mean i detest doing any shopping qua shopping.  It's buying presents that will never be just right, good enough, etc.  And, it's spending money.  I am rather cheap frugal, like Mr. Scrooge, a good steward of my paltry resources.

But I'm getting buy by.

Meanwhile, here is a picture from a month or so back.  Turkeys in the yard at our house in the woods.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Darkness & Light

Sorry for the lack of posts.  The days are getting shorter.  And the Darkness descends.  This time of year has always been difficult for me, and this year is no exception.  But it is not all darkness.  There is light, as well.

I am getting some things in my life together; I'm not letting the darkness overcome me.

My back is still a bit troublesome but better.  The weather is getting cold; it may sleet or snow today.  There are many work responsibilities requiring attention.

Enough for now.  I am here, I am still moving, journeying, living.

The light shone in the darkness.  The darkness did not overcome it.

And in other news . . . . 

The picture is of my room in the House of C & S.  It's small, but it's home.  Looks like I'm going to be here a while.  They are wonderful, welcoming folk with whom to live.  I am grateful.  My laptop sits atop a bookshelf (when it's not in bed with me).  The towel and such on the bed is for Pippy the cat who stays with me.   The windows look out onto the garden.  The house has a wooded setting, so there's little need to clothes the curtains.

I'm making some new friends, slowly, carefully.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Horizontal prayer

I've had a big meeting to go to, a bad back, and a bad cold.  Ugh.  Monday was for me a day of vertical prayer.  When so much stuff happens at once, I get into my "dark place" and start whining.  For me, all there is to do is to be simply with it all.  Ignoring the details, the voices that want to pull me under, just sitting with it, letting it be, trusting that the darkness will not over come me.  And it passes.  sort of.

Though the back still hurts a bit, and the cold is fading, I'm back into the thick of things at work.  It's going to be a long week.  It's not a question of keeping one's head above water but of how to snorkel.

Maybe I'll have something of interest to post next time.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Thanks for all the responses on retreat ideas.  Keep them coming!

I've been watching some of the It Gets Better videos.  They are so touching, moving, sad, happy, and glorious.  One of the LA Gay Men's Chorus singing True Colors moved me to tears (as so many of the videos have).




I think for many of us, there is much stored-up grief.  Tears always help me let it out.

Enjoy.  And weep.  And celebrate.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Your Ideas and Suggestions are welcome (and needed)

This working-for-a-living thing is for the birds!  Ugh.  Only kidding.  I am thankful to have a job, and a great one, at that.  Hectic it has been. With my back still hurting some, it means I'm moving a little more slowly than I'd like.  But I'm hanging in.

Bear with me and help me out, folks.  I've gotten myself in to something, and I'm not altogether sure what I'm doing.  Your ideas and suggestions are welcome (and desperately needed).

The Basics:  If you were to go on a church-sponsored weekend retreat for GLBTQ people, what would you want to happen?
  • What would you want to talk about?
  • What activities, topics, ideas/
  • Music, worship ideas?
  • It will be drawing from basic Christian tradition, but I'm sure a wide variety of spiritualities will be discussed and practiced.
  • What would you want to hear from "the Church"
Realizing that no one (not even the pope) speaks for the whole Church.  And no one can even speak for a particular denomination.  But hang with me, go with the flow, try to think what you'd want.

Something like what I've talked about (a weekend retreat) will happen the first weekend of April 2011.  And I'm to be involved with it.  Who could imagine such?  Why me Lord?

Help me out.  You can post a comment, or email me directly:  beartoast@gmail.com

Cheers. 

Photo credit to BG, again.  I didn't mean to close my eyes. If you embiggen it, it gets scary!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Slowly better

The back is better.  I'm moving slowly, but I'm moving.  Thanks for the support.

Today is a tough day for a back ache, for feeling my age.  Because today, I add a year, complete another circuit of the sun, begin again with new numbers. Today, of all days, I didn't need to feel older.

But, aging is the only way to live.

There is, for me, much for which to be grateful. I know, I keep saying that, but it's true.  And, it keeps me focused on all the good stuff that is there for me.  Still, all kinds of feelings rush in.  I'm trying to practice how to welcome them and let them go.  Not welcoming the yuk stuff, just the feelings of frustration, anger, hurt, confusion, or helplessness that comes with them.

Letting go is such an important part of life.  Not just saying goodbye, or living with constant grief, but setting free ourselves from stuff that may weigh us down.

The leaves have changed.  This picture doesn't begin to convey it.
I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Back to Back

I've hurt my back.  Again.  Thursday, there was this big thing I had to carry at work; that 'set it up'.  Then, a wrong move on Friday, and wham!  I hate when this happens.

And, as housemates (actually, my hosts) needed the spare room, I was staying with another friend.  So, I'm not even in my own bed (so to speak) to be laid up.  Now, I'm at another friends for a night or two.

Feeling old, broke, homeless, and alone.  These things combined for a major meltdown on Friday.  Blessedly, I was already scheduled to see my counselor-friend on Friday.  I cried and wailed, releasing some pent-up grief.

Moving very slowly, I'm able to rest up a bit.  Time to get back on the ice packs, take the drugs.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Full Moon Funk

I'm in a full funk, and it ain't good.  Maybe it's the full moon.  Surely that's got to be it.
Leaves, river, and moon

Some job stuff is weighing heavily.  And I'm not having fun, today.

I'll get over it, I suppose.  But in the mean time, apologies to all my blogging friends whose blogs I've not looked at in at least a week.  I'll get back to reading soon, I hope.

Still, there is much for which to be grateful.

Meanwhile, funk on through the storm.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Odds & Ends

I have shed many tears over videos on Dan Savage's "It gets better" project.  Watch them.  Weep, and rejoice.  As a teenager, I had no information to know what I was.  But in my 30's, I did come close to suicide.  I'm so glad I didn't.  It's gotten SO much better!
C'est moi.

There is more information for youth, and the rest of us, today.  But maybe not enough, or not enough info out there for them to find.

Last week, with an opportunity (working with my regular 'customers' who happen to stop by on Sunday mornings) to speak on the subjects of bullying and on accepting gay and lesbian folk, I was scared sh**less to say anything.  But I did.  And with very positive results.  Once again, they didn't fire me.

And in other news . . . .

Dating life is not going so well.  The guy I have seen several times, over a month or two is just the greatest guy!  He is nice, kind, considerate, not pushy or pressuring.  And fun to be with.  I told him last week how much I want to fall in love with him.  But I'm just not feeling it.  It's simply not happening.  While I'm able to accept this, I also have this commitment to being honest.  I can lead him on, drag this out, continue to pretend.  Though I hope we'll see each other some more, I had to tell him how I was feeling.

Meanwhile, he is ready for me to move in with him.  Smitten.  God knows I don't want to hurt anyone.  But I recall a friend of mine in a similar situation.  He was head over heels for a guy, and they were together for a year or more.  though they didn't live under the same roof (as I believe they were in different, but not distant, towns) they spent a great deal of time with one another.  My friend was smitten, in love, over the moon.  But I'm not sure how much was really talked about.  His lover comes in one day and announces he has met the love of his life.  And then he could not understand why my friend was thrilled for him.  Friendship for one was love for another.

I don't want that to happen.  For me, for him, for anyone.  Ugh.

Maybe something more will grow?  But I don't want to deepen the hurt or prolong the end.  Time will tell.  Who knows?  I, too, am trusting that it gets better.  It's not just for teenagers

That was more than I meant to say about that.


Photo credit: BG with thanks, even though you think I'm angry 

Aside:   Somewhere there is a joke about a proctologist and a psychiatrist going in to practice together.  They were trying to come up with a creative name for their medical office.  While I don't remember the punch line, two of the suggestions were "Nuts and Butts" and "Odds and Ends"

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Angry

I'm so angry I could spit.

All the teen suicides of late seem to point to bullying and teens struggling with their sexuality.  Many of us can remember the pain, or still feel it.

As a teenager, I was too isolated to know what "gay" was.  When I was (occasionally) called a "sissy", I do not think I understood the full import of the taunt.  But I was never taunted much, never really bullied because i was the biggest kid in the school - not just overweight (which I was) but big.  Taller, bigger, stronger.  So, I was just left alone.  I felt the isolation, but not the mean, sadistic taunting and bullying that so many have endured.

And for those who could no longer endure it, I pray for the repose of their souls.  As an adult, I have entered that darkness that isolates us from everything and everyone else.  The only way out seems death; that feeling that the world will really be better off is just weren't around.

Oh, God, it's an awful feeling.

If you are part of a church or spiritual institution that remembers the names of those who have died, remember them this Sunday, October 10th.  The day before National Coming Out Day.

Pray for those who never had the chance.   Work like hell so that others will know they DO have the chance.

  • Billy Lucas (15) September 9, 2010. Indiana
  • Cody J. Barker (17) September 13, 2010. Wisconsin
  • Seth Walsh (13) September 19, 2010. California
  • Tyler Clementi (18) September 22, 2010. New Jersey
  • Asher Brown (13) September 23, 2010. Texas
  • Harrison Chase Brown (15) September, 25 2010. Colorado
  • Raymond Chase (19) September 29, 2010. Rhode Island
  • Felix Sacco (17) September 29, 2010. Massachusetts
  • Caleb Nolt (14) September 30, 2010. Indiana
listing courtesy of Jeremy, and the New Civil Rights Movement

Friday, October 01, 2010

Just Thinking & Pride

Thanks for responses, especially regarding job stuff.  I've written about it before (I think), but this is no where near "the end" of anything.  As has been said,
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Sir Winston Churchill, Speech in November 1942
This is all just thinking, praying, discerning what may be.  In my line of work, it takes forever to make a change.  So, it's just something rolling around in my head - or my heart.

And in other news . . . .

Tomorrow is our local Pride celebration and I get to participate!  A division of the non-profit with whom I work is having a table/booth there, and I'll be staffing it - in uniform.  That may cause a ripple or two, but I hope not.  Or maybe I do.  And then, there is the after-party!  I do have to work the next day, and early, but have reduced duties this week as someone else is making the main presentation to our 'customers.'

I'm making new friends, here and there; still meditating every (weekday) morning; and being grateful for all I have.  (Oh, I did miss Tuesday morning - because of Monday night.  Goodness, I'm not telling:).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Merrily we roll along

It is emblematic of my week that I've neither posted nor read many other blogs.  It's just been like that!

Long days.  Long evenings.  A few nights without a lot of sleep.  I'm not sure why, I just couldn't sleep.  So, part of one day had to make up for that.  Ugh.

But life is good, on the whole.  Much busy-ness, but good stuff.  Nothing "over-the-top" good or bad.  Just rolling along.  Eldest has job; youngest in school (and the roommate issues worked out).  So, it's good.

Linville Falls
The religious non-profit for whom ('with whom') I work is hitting the financial downturn in a big way.  Nothing catastrophic, mind you, just 'tough'.  I may have to take salary cut for the new year, but I've seen that that might be coming.  Or, we may have to lay someone off, and that's not a great option.  For lots of reasons, particularly some political ones.  Don't you just hate politics in the work place?  Ugh.  But that's what's real.  We navigate carefully, slowly, gently through it all.  My time here may be beginning to end.  That's not too bad a thing, but there is the question of what next.  And I've been pondering that for a while.

Things in my organization seldom (if ever) move quickly.  So it may be a few years.  I know, in the business world you thing about things happening in days, weeks, or months.  Big corporations open new outlets only to close them in a few months because something changes at corporate.  Hah!  We take years, decades, centuries (it seems).
Glacial pace (global warming notwithstanding).

It gives one time to think.  And pray.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Alright Ok

Yes.  I'm alright and OK.  But  busy!  And, I've started a new discipline.  Ugh, yes, I said the word, discipline.

I'm not a disciplined sort of fellow, which may seem odd to some, given my profession and the discipline which I've undertaken.  Praying.

Along the Blue Ridge
Every weekday morning, a few folk (3 to 6 or so) gather for prayer and meditation.  The place is called Servanthood House.  A few programs, meetings, etc., go on there from time to time, as well as a counseling center that uses some of the rooms as offices, a sabbath circle gathering for a meal and worship on Fridays, and this group that gathers weekdays at 8 am.

There is little format or no formality, really, just silence.  Some read, some journal, some (like me) sit in silence.  I'm trying to practice Centering Prayer (which takes far more practice that you'd think), but not sure how well it's "working."  But "working" isn't what I'm there for.

There has been such craziness in my life of late, I have been closer to the edge than I want to be.  But I cannot control any of it.  It seems I'm going to be owing thousands to the IRS.  I already owe a lot to credit cards for expenses that had to be paid for my children.  With alimony, etc., I'm down to not much.  (Look, I'm not whining here, just reporting).  There has been a lot to do at work, and I've not handled that all so well.  I've been lonely, trying to date some and not so sure how that's working out.

So much that I cannot control.  But then, I wondered, "What is it I can do something about."  You know the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I've spent so much energy, time, spirit, worry on things I cannot change.  Finally, I've garnered a wee bit of wisdom to know what I can do something about.  But, it won't change my finances or work load.  But at least I'll go off to debtors prison with a most serene spirit.  Well, that's something, ain't it?

Too long have I been avoiding God.  Too long made excuses.  I'll just do it.  What could it hurt.

There have been no astonishing revelations or huge spiritual awakenings, but there have been good feelings, a calmer spirit, a more settled me.  And for that, I am very thankful.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Date with Elk

Elk are big.  Really big.

On Monday, I went with a friend to Cataloochee, part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Elk once roamed freely there before being wiped out in the late 18th century.  A few years ago they were re-introduced and are now flourishing.  And they're big!

The drive over the mountain to get into Cataloochee is on a steep, winding, gravel road that follows the path of earlier tracks.  Imagining what it was like to cross those mountains on foot or horseback is quite a stretch.  Those early settlers must have been made of very stern stuff.  Even today it seems very remote.

Of course, I forgot my camera.  But I got a few shoots with my cell phone which I'll try to download.

And in other news . . . .

Dating is going slowly.  I think I'm too afraid to let myself feel.  Or maybe the man I've seen a few times just isn't "the one."  His company is quite pleasurable (indeed!).  We have fun.  But, I seem to be the kind of guy who just does not make room easily for another person.  I don't think to call, to plan ahead, to do thoughtful things.  I live in the moment in such a way that I don't see beyond the end of my nose.

Plus work and other crises seem to keep getting in the way.  There is a lot of fear running loose in me.  Again.  But I'm working on it.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Shaken, not stirred

Since we last left our hero (me) the world has turned upside down.  Well, my world has.

Call from my accountant:  I owe the IRS thousands and thousands.  Yes.

So, my finances were supposed to change in September with a big decrease in alimony.  But now that must all go to the Government.  No moving to housing of my own.  Possibilities of paying rent for myself are dashed.  C & S are stuck with me a little longer (and they continue to be so very gracious).

Call from genetic off-spring, her new (used) car has died.  Ends up it a catastrophic engine failure.  Over-heated, bent, warped, cracked,  dead.

Good news!  It's all Honda's fault: they will replace engine, extend warranty, we're back on the road (soon).

And that was just the weekend.

But I am not beaten.  Weighed down, but not crushed.  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Irregardless

No, it's not a word.  But it'll do for a post title.

Some time in reflection helps lower the anxieties of the moment.  I'm on a far more even keel than I was earlier in the week.  'Bout time.

And, a visit with a good friend helped as well.  Goodness me, a good visit.  Thank you G., for kind attention.

On the left is a picture from the Blue Ridge Parkway of the amazing bridge that skirts the side of Grandfather Mountain, known as the Linn Cove Viaduct.  An incredible structure, built to do as little harm as possible to the surrounding environment.  You feel as if you're hanging in the air when traveling its brief span.  Links will give you better photographs, but this is one I took myself!

Then, on the right is a bear.  I know, you can see that.  But it's a bear at our porch.  We haven't seen as many bears this year, but we've seen plenty of the evidence.  If the bird feeders are brought in at night, they are likely to be in the woods by morning.

Of course, the bears don't always wait for the night to do some foraging.

Click on the pictures to embiggen them.

I say "our porch" but in fact it isn't mine.  It belongs to my dear friends, C & S who have housed me (and often fed me) for over a year.  I've paid a bit, sure, but not nearly enough.  All the money in the world wouldn't be enough to express my deep gratitude to them for their very kind hospitality.  We get along quite well, and they have been very understanding of my situation.  It has been so great to come home to some hugs and company in the evenings.

My commute to work is over 30 minutes.  (Don't laugh. I know there are many of you who'd love to have only a thirty minute commute!  And the traffic isn't even that bad). I am so blessed! But the time is coming soon when I will need to have my own place, something closer to work, and some place I can put my stuff in. (It's all in storage at my place of business.  And we may need that room back.  Plus, I've missed some of it).

My work is odd and my hours unusual. So that makes the commute a bit strange sometimes.  No two days are alike, except when they are.

Monday, August 23, 2010

No Vacancy

I'm reflecting on why today has been one of "those days."  I've gone over the abyss.  Just so much seem to hit me the wrong way, I just couldn't manage very well.  At least I didn't manage very well.

A boat in a tree.  yes.
Details are unimportant.  Extended time off is called for; some silence, alone time, and no problem solving. I need, more than vacation, some vacancy.  Vacant time, space, and thought.  Time to "veg." As one with big-time ADD, down time is important:  time to let the brain unwind or dis-charge itself - like a just-unplugged computer.  The little light does not go out immediately but slowly dims and dies as the power within the transformer dissipates.

I am weary of all this gloom and stress in my life, as I am sure you (faithful readers) are tired of it, too.  Let's hope the Muses will strike with something more innocuous for me to write about.

In other news . . . . .

Youngest child has returned to college.  Oldest child has returned home from summer travels.  Next for her, a job.  She'll be hanging around here, giving me more time to connect with her and build a stronger relationship.  After four years away (and the family turning upside down), it is important for us to do that.  More importantly, I want to do it.

Nothing of exciting, romantic, or salacious news to share. Not that I would. . . .

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Speaking of life speaking

Below are some quotes from Parker Palmer's book, Let Your Life Speak.  I'm still working on the listening part.  These words have meant a great deal to me, helped me on my journey, aided me toward coming out.

High Falls, DuPont State Forest, NC
Instead of more whining from me, read this.


Before we tell our life what we intend to do with it, we have to listen for what it intends to do with us.  Before we tell our life what truths and values we have decided to live up to, we have to let our life tell us what truths we already embody, what values we already represent.  In other words, there is an inner life that wants to live through us.  By listening to our lives, we can better discern what we are meant to do and what we are meant to be, what God wants us to be and to do.
Today I understand vocation quite differently – not as a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received.  Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess.  Vocation does not come from a voice “out there” calling me to become something I am not.  It comes from a voice “in here” calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original self-hood given me at birth by God.
It is a strange gift, this birthright gift of self.  Accepting it turns out to be even more demanding than attempting to become someone else!  I have sometimes responded to that demand by ignoring the gift, or hiding it, or fleeing from it, or squandering it – and I think I am not alone.  There is a Hasidic tale that reveals, with amazing brevity, both the universal tendency to want to be someone else and the ultimate importance of becoming one’s self:  Rabbi Zusya, when he was an old man, said, “In the coming world, they will not ask me: ‘Why were you not Moses?’  They will ask me: ‘Why were you not Zusya?’”
I'm not sure of the page numbers or such.  The link above give a much larger excerpt.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Showers

The housemates are gone for the weekend.  It's just me and the cats.  I'm home alone. 

Tonight the Persieds are beginning.  I went out with blanket on the drive.  But the clouds are moving in.    It's been a lonely night and there is still some sticky stuff all over my belly.  I've had too much to drink.  It's a cool summer evening.  I'm hoping, wishing to see.

And I did see one!  A meteor.  A falling star.  And there upon I wished.

I wish for the life of which I've dreamed.  Not some far-out fantasy, just the real thing.

I wish to face the darkness I dread.

I wish to be not the jerk I sometimes act like.

I wish for the me that longs to be.

All right.  A bit dreamy, I know.  But I've had too much to drink, it's late, and I'm in a wishing mood.

To quote HammarskjöldFor all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, Yes!

Okay.  I'll go to bed now.
:

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Post haste

A week since a post! egad!

Supposedly, I am on "vacation."  But not having left town, the emergency situations have been piling on.  And, there has been work at the home of C&S, where I reside.  Bathroom renovations: painting, new light fixture (which will not cooperate), new flooring, etc.   Work and work.  I need to help with the second coat today.

Deaths, crises, etc. have kept me hopping.  Next time, I'll leave town.  But who wants to do that by one's self?  It is loneliness and isolation that bring on the darkness.  And, in work with my counselor-spiritual director (and he is the best!) I've discovered (re-discovered) how I keep waiting.  Waiting for something.  Something from the outside, some external force, person, or situation to pull me out, to decide for me, to tell me the next move.  I want and external force or  being to push or pull me into the next place, the next level, the next . . . . . whatever.

Not fair to me.  Not fair to them.  I can do better.  I am doing better.  Back in January, that sense of trust and that force of self brought me out of the closet at my place of work.  Over the last five+ years, I have seen (without seeing) and known (without knowing) that I must come out, or die 9either inwardly or otherwise).  I must become true to myself, to the One who crated me, to those around me, or continue the slow-motion-suicide-of-the-soul that was pulling me into an abyss.  I can.  I am.  I will.

But we must sometimes learn lessons over and over and over again.  Not because we are 'slow' or stupid or not-very-clever, but because those lessons are of such breadth and depth and height that they cannot be learnt all at once.  It's the journey.  And each step, each place, each learning, every revealing is itself the destination.  "All the way to heaven is heaven," as saith Catherine of Sienna.

Ugh.  When I get wound up, I just start writing.  I should edit most of this out.  But not now.

and in other news . . . .

I'm in a bit of a quandary.  I've made some good friends.  Good friends.  Two in particular who are local, and very, very nice.  With one, I feel a wee bit of a spark.  Is it that?  Or what.  With another, I feel a pleasant comfortableness.  Which is what is whom?  I want to tread carefully.  But I don't want to wait on some external something (see above, paragraphs 3 & 4).  I am trying to move slowly.  But not even sure how to do that.  I'm also trying not to over-think it all.  I'm coming to realize that emotive one that I am, I still live in my head all too much, or all too often.  And fear often leads one into one's head.

I've over written all this.  But there it is.  Certainly there are sexier things to write about, but those things are easier to figure out.  I am not.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

the Date of the Day

Well, I've played with the blogger template some more.  A little change here and there is nice, every once in a great while.

I've got some time off and hoping that I'll enjoy it.  I'm not good with lots of unstructured time.  I'm bad.  Which may be better.  Or not.  More staycation as little vacating will occur.  Unless of course, it does.  With me, you just never know.  Never.

And in other news . . . .

So.  I have had a few dates. With guys.  And I've had some conversations.  And, I have hooked up with a few.  And, with some, I've had all three.  Look, you could count all this on one hand; maybe with half the other hand.  So we're not talking as much as it sounds.  I guess.

What am I looking for?  How do I decide, figure out, discern?  And what is it I'm deciding, discerning, or figuring out?  Do we do a piece of newsprint on the wall with 'pluses and minuses' for each? Am I opening myself to something or just shopping?  Or none of the above.

I'm working to give up on searching and just wait to be found.  Maybe.  But there is one guy. . . . . . .

Maybe.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Keep me company

I'm excited about have a bit of company this weekend. (Well, for 24 hours or so).  Dr. Benton Quest and husband are dropping in for an overnight.  I love to have company and meet fellow bloggers.

My mood/malaise/merde is better.  Still many things to sit with, work through, embrace, be transformed by, and all that stuff.  Life can get so serious sometimes!  But never too we hope.

Work is a place where I have not been able to focus much.  Ugh. In order to provide some direction and relief in that quarter, I am taking vacation the next two weeks.  Don't know that I'll go anywhere (as that costs money), and I want to spend time with youngest child before the return of college days for her (and tuition days for me).  Maybe some day trips or overnights, here and there.

So life goes on.  The beat goes on.  cha cha cha.

Perhaps I'll have something more interesting to write another day.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Better than yesterday

OK, well, as much as I liked the "all black" template, I suddenly noted how many others are using the same thing!  I couldn't have that.  So, another template change.  Maybe a bit cheerier.  We can all use that.

Several kind, supportive comments have come my way, and I am very grateful.  I get way too serious on occasion.  Forgive.  Oh, it's all still there, but naming the struggle helps.  Lordy, I'm not all that bad off.  I'm managing.

Today I nearly lost it with mail-off prescription jerks I must use with my medical insurance.  Not such a big deal but complicated.  Details.  Explanations.  Things done clearly and in linear fashion.  NOT my strongest gift.  And, I hate dealing with folk telephonically.  I much prefer face to face.  Alas.

A friend visiting this weekend should help my mood.  I'll try not to spread my morose mood.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A new template - maybe

So, we will have a new look for a while.  Wouldn't it be easy if we could rearrange life as easily, with the click of a few "virtual" buttons.

Electrons on a screen rearrange so easily.  Life, not.

I've been in on of those moods. Depressed?  Well, not exactly.  More morose? Reflective?  Pensive.  Not sure. (I didn't know this was going to turn out to be multiple choice).

Life isn't always multiple choice.  OK. some words of a spiritual / religious / transcendent sort-of nature.  If that's not your bent, it's all right to leave now.

Darkness.  It seems to crowd in, sometimes.  All our short-comings, inadequacies, things-left-undone, self-doubts, etc. come crashing in.  Perhaps "creeping in" is better.  They sneak up on you.  You face the darkness.  And it ain't pretty.

Trusting in God seems a troublesome thing.  Where the hell is that holy and mysterious One?  I know, it isn't all about comfort, and nice feelings, and warm fuzzies.  It's about God.  And God is not what many think (not warm fuzzy, comfort, problems-solved, etc.  --  that's more toward magic:  The ATM god who gives us what we want when we do the right things, enter the correct code, follow the rules).

The Presence of God is just that:  Presence.  Knowing we are not alone. (Perhaps "knowing" is too shallow a  word - grokking?)  There is a comfort, assurance, a "resting" in God - but it's still not always (or often?) "happy happy joy joy."

Trust is that believing in Presence is in the midst of Absence.  Beholding Nothing, but trusting that One is there.  Here.  Now.

Look, I know this probably sounds really "out there."  Well, that's where I am right now.  Finances, loneliness, decisions, the Future, all my inadequacies - all these things seem very present to me now.  And that's not the Presence I'm needing.

Somehow, somewhere, someday.  I am held. I am not alone, nor abandoned.  But I am lonely.

maybe I should get a dog.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Good books make it better

The cold is better.  Still drainage, sniffles, etc., but I have more energy.  But being sick always "brigns me down."

And, with the work stuff, I can sometimes plummet over the edge of the chasm into a real pity party.  Some time, distance, and a walk by the river always help, and they have.  Up and down.

Time to myself with a good book always helps, too.  I think I've mentioned finishing up A Clearing in the Distance about F. L. Olmsted.  Also finished Grand Avenues, about Pierre Charles L'Enfant.  It's that thing with planning / design / engineering stuff that I just love.  I'm weird, but fun.

With some Barnes & Noble gift cards to be used, youngest child and I went on a spree.  A now-in-paperback Steve Berry novel was one of my purchase, along with something new in the biography/memoir section:  The Bucolic Plague.  OK. Two gay men from Manhattan start a goat farm in upstate New York.  Sounds interesting?  So far it's funny and charming.  They've started a business, and with all the connections they have, it's turned into a marketing mania.  I've checked out their website, watched some of the videos, and would love to see the "reality" TV show (The Fabulous Beekman Boys).  I've seen enough to know I'm in love with Farmer John.  Woof.  Note to Sean and Jeffrey:  They're not far from you all.

Even though I realize it's a big marketing thing (hey, they've got to make a living, too), I've enjoyed reading about a gay couple making a life.  There are so many of us out there, it's good to see it in the media in a positive way.  Yes, that they are gay is "part of the plot" because it's unexpected.  But they are there, working, making it.  Out there.  Out there.

I hope to be out more and more.  Now I just have to find the partner.  And be found.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Sniffle, snort, ugh

By now I'd hope to share a bit more of the big adventure.  But work has been very full (of shtufft) and a bad summer cold has got me snorting, coughing, sneezing, and sniffling.  Ugh.

And, I've been in a reflective mood, and a bit down.  The non-profit with which I work is (as are so many) running out of money.  So, the big weekend meeting to say "We're running out of money," was a big downer.  Ugh.  And I felt like ~zx%df.>rt()@<#, to boot.

Nonetheless, we persevere.  Onward!  cough cough.  snort sniffle.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The paws that refreshes!


Sorry about my spelling there, but . . . . . .

Being true to one's self has such wide-ranging effects I could never have imagined.  Embracing and befriending the fear can turn it to joy.  And so it has.  I had the most fun!  As I come to be my authentic self (no small task, no easy journey - but it's getting easier) things come more easily, more confidently, and more joyously.  The fear has been so much in reaction to perceived "musts, should, and oughts;" the joy is living my life as the one I have been created to be, and called to fulfill.

Oh, my goodness!  I can't thank Sean and Jeffrey enough for the grand hospitality they shared.  It was wonderful to get to know Jeffrey, as he and I have some amazing parallels in our stories.  Sean was his always-effervescent self and (despite his protestations) a good tour guide.  And, Sean drove me around to find an affordable camera to replace the one that bit the dirt (literally) in Albany's Washington Park.  The sight of Moses parting the waters was just too much for me.  Gravity took hold.  thump.

New York state, through its rural areas, is beautiful!  One so tends to think of New York as "the City," but that is such a small part of it all.  While I knew this intellectually, I'd never been anywhere else in the state (and, to the City only twice, each time for a mere couple of days, and in mid-winter).

Thanks, Jeffrey, for the camera guide; and Tom, drop me an email. Josh, thanks for the plug.

The drive down the state, into New Jersey (where I'd never been) and into Pennsylvania was actually relaxing.  I enjoyed the rural scenery and made my way to Lake Gonebelow (a little known place that appears out of the mists when you cry Woof.)  This be the home of the great Lemuel.  He treated me to a delightful lunch of Philly cheese steak and home made fries (at a local establishment with license to provide such eminent fare).  Desert was particularly good, as well.

Then, on to the wilds of Bowie, Maryland, where Jeff and Isaac (and their greyhounds) were warm, friendly hosts.  Y'all hang on to my Birkenstocks.  I'll get them on my next big adventure.  Isaac drove me into DC on his way to work.  There, I was able to arrange to meet with old friend and colleague, Frank, whose story parallels mine in so many ways.  He treated me to lunch and good conversation.  We walked in the sweltering heat through the National Zoo.  I wish I could remember to take pictures.

And there's more.  For later.

I've had the most fun in the last week than I can remember having in years!  And it's not what you think.  Or, maybe it is, but that's not all, I mean, well.  Never mind.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Having a wonderful time, wish you were queer"

Ha ha.  Well, that's the cleverest title I could come up with.  Sean and Jeffrey have been wonderful, gracious, accommodating hosts.  Sean has news, info, and pictures at his blog.  So glad he didn't post the picture of . . . .  well, never mind.

Sean wrote about my camera's encounter with gravity, so it may be a while till I have some pictures.  But I shall.

Albany was great!  Washington Park was designed in the style of Frederick Law Olmsted by John Bogart (who had worked with Olmsted and Vaux), and by John Culyer. But it looks so Olmstedian! And, we got to stroll along the Hudson River.  I didn't know the Hudson was estuarine up that far! Again, amazing!  There are some great examples of Richardsonian Romanesque as well as Beaux-Arts style in downtown.  I know, you probably never thought about any of those things. And may never have cared! But I am easily amused!

You see, this is all such a big adventure for me because I'm getting to do things no one else much wants to do (at least, few and far between).  Usually, I've traveled with family - and they seldom want to see such things (and have had little patience with me).  And, supreme graduate-level pleaser that I am have been, I always put those things aside.  Except for a bit of a rushed schedule, I've not had to make excuses and miss such in order that we might find just the right chicken nuggets for lunch.  This is a big adventure!

Today, I've made my way through New York, into New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, stopping to visit with Lemuel for lunch.  Then To Maryland and a stay with Jeff and Isaac.  Bless them for their hospitality!

Tomorrow, some stops in DC (with no one to tell me that they've seen enough of the National Gallery).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Joy & Sadness - and PRIDE

Rainbows should never be missed.  This photograph is a rainbow that appeared over our fair city last week.  Never, ever miss a rainbow.  Happy PRIDE!

and in other news . . . .

There's a lot of sadness in me.  Still.  Oh, but there is some joy, too.  I don't want to over-emphasize the sadness, nor do I want to dismiss it.  With me, as with most of us (I guess) there are competing emotions that go tearing around our hearts and souls.  You can't figure me out easily.  Well, I can't, anyway.

Tomorrow is the day i leave on the Big Trip.  I'm excited and apprehensive - it's that sad and joy mix-up again.  Maybe it's more fear than sadness?  Hm.  Sad to be alone.  Joyful to be out.  Sad not to know all the details of the trip.  Joyed to live with spontaneity.

The joy is far easier to live with than the sadness. But sometimes the tears just need to come forth.  I let them; never a real problem for me.  Except when it is.  No, the sadness will not pull me into a bottomless well.  though I sometimes fear that.  No.  I will make it through.  And some joy will show up.

It also helps being ADD - I see something shiny and I'm off in a different direction.  Look! a rainbow.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Breaking bonds - breaking away

So many years of so much fear have kept bound up in one way or another.  It's been much grist for the therapy mill!  Going somewhere, traveling on my own, being adventurous - none of these things have come easily or often.  Oh, my wasted youth!  Then, I wallow in my inabilities to venture forth.  I'm not good at planning, or even just thinking ahead;  And I'm too cheap to spend much (usually because I'm too broke - as is now the case).

Fear can be such an insidious, strangling, invasive vine - tendrils creeping in to parts of life and thought, undetected, till we try to move or stretch.  Then, we feel that catch, that thing that grabs, unbalances, trips us up, tips us over.  Soon, we just freeze up, stop moving, stop trying.

But I shall not be bound (he said, with a quiver in his voice, not sure he believed his words).  So, I shall fake it till I make it, then.

Though still trepidatious, I'm venturing out, a bit.  There is some family component to part of it - that's the impetus for the trip there -ah! but the return trip is mine!  For reasons various and sundry , I have to go to upstate New York (Schenectady) to deliver someone to something.  Then, I am on my own!

As of Sunday afternoon, I am sprung free for a bit.  One blogger friend is offering hospitality for the trip back!  I'm so excited to be able to meet him and his partner!  Hoping to line up another get together.  Anyone between up there and down here, I'd love to get together with.

If you're along the way (basically Albany, NY to Asheville, NC)  and we could visit, let me know.  I'll only have a few days, but I'm excited to get away on my own.  Almost never ever happens.  Maybe this will be the start of something.  ("Yes!" he said, giving no hint of his equivocations, "I shall begin again.")

I feel so brave - well, for a few minutes! 

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Random ranting and changing the world

Wanting to post more often, I think I should quite my job.  Then maybe I'd have time for a life.  Things have been hellacious at work (ha ha).

What I do with my religious non-profit involves many things.  Many various and asundry things.  Such a wide variety of things you wouldn't believe.  today for instance, I've played social worker, planner, permission-giver, editor, and delivery boy, counselor.  That's all I can remember from what's already happened, today.

Woman in need.  Three children (4 yr old, and twins). No transportation.  And no diapers.  Husband (are they really married?  Does it matter?  Well, they're straight, so who cares, eh?) works, gets ride to job.  But working in landscaping/lawn care means no work when it rains.  So, no money (or not much). If you can't pay the rent, etc., how ya gonna save up for a car???  There is little or no "safety net" for folks like this.  And I've met them, worked with them, etc.  They are really are hard-working, doing the best they can.

So, in WalMart (I hate WalMart) to buy diapers, juice, snacks, and a gift card.  And deliver them.  She tried to get a ride to pickup something here at our religious non-profit office, but she'd have to bring all three kids.  And folk want cash for the favor.  And I don't have cash to give.  So, I'm on the road again.

While attempting to shop at WalMart (I hate WalMart, did I tell you that?) I come upon a physically challenged man in one of the hated WalMart's electric shopping carts.  What's his story, I wonder?  In his basket, some hemorrhoid cream; and he is having trouble reaching the snack bars.  There go I, but for . . . .what.

When I think what some folk spend on trifling stuff - and what these folk don't have in basics.  How much does Fred Phelps spend on his web page and traveling to demonstrations?  How much does "Focus on the Family" spend on defending "marriage" or Pat Robertson on condemning Haiti?

There is so much I cannot do - so many things I cannot fix, repair, or change.  But one thing I know, there are some kids with clean diapers, some juice and snacks.  And those kids are going to be able to get some shoes, too. (That was one of mom's priorities with gift card).

Take that, you hate mongers.

Now I'm tired and going to a fabulous gay pot-luck.

Art work stolen from the work of the fabulous GAY author-illustrator Maurice Sendak, 
from Where the Wild things Are. But you knew that, didn't you.

Monday, May 31, 2010

"What am I gonna do . . . ."

I'm in a reflective mood, right now. Today would have been my 24th wedding anniversary, were I still married.  I'm having a heavy sad spell.
What am I gonna do, when the best part of me was always you"      from a song by the Script
Right now, that seems so true for me.  My wife was a wonderful part of me, usually the best part.  If only I could have made it work.  If only I turned out to be the nice, straight boy I wanted to be.  And sometimes still do.

I'm not really talking regrets here.  I'm just talking sadness.  I'll get through it.  Don't know if I'll ever get "over it."  For all the ways in which I have hurt her, I am deeply sorry, and deeply sad.  Of course, there were (and are) ways that I've hurt me, too. (Maybe this is one of them).  And maybe, it's just the way it was, and is.  Maybe it just is, and I should let it go, leave it be.  Some things are laid aside that easily, though.  And I did not leave my marriage easily.

She was (and is) such a great woman.  Thanks for loving me as best you could.  Not an easy task, I know.  And, as I've said, I wish that all of me could love you as much as most of me does.

Today, I'm not so happy about being gay.  I want to be.  Being gay is about more than hot gay studs with bodies, looks, endowments, and endurance I'll never have. And (in my best self) don't really care about having (well, that's not totally true).

I remember falling in love with her (and I really did, you know).  I can remember thinking (in some sick, twisted way) that I couldn't be gay because I could fall in love with a woman. Now, I wait for the other side of the coin, the obverse, the deeper truth (at least I hope it is).

I hope he will be as great as she, and that I can be all that I wanted to be, and real.
And I hope she will find someone far better than I ever could be.  (Though it's not like I was that bad, you know).  I've thought about her a lot, today.  I hope her day is going not-so-sadly as mine.

Tears come too easily tonight.  Enough.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blogger gathering

Forgive the lack of posts.  I have actually had to be working for a living (novel thought, that).  Long days and much "stuff."

Biltmore Bloggers gathering was great fun.  Worn out from seeing the gigantic crib of the rich and famous we did gather for a picture.  It was wonderful to meet (face-to-face) with some blogger friends.

Not only have I neglected to post anything, I haven't taken the time to read many things out there in the blogosphere. So, dear friends, forgive my lack of comments and contact.  There really has been a lot going on.

Plagued with distractability (and a touch of dyslexia) reading is slow going.  Enough for now. . .

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Successful Transfer of Stuff - and Compnay comes to Town

Graduation and all attendant festivities were fun, successful, and are now complete!  Yea!
All "stuff" has been returned to home base.  Yea! 
It's over 500 miles (one way) to attend my eldest's graduation.  the packing, loading, moving, and unloading took time and strength (I am so butch).  And it all got done.  Yes!

And in the mean time Larry and Greg have come to town (from Ohio) to visit my fair city and the beautiful mountains and forests and waterfalls and hiking trails that surround it!  They treated me to dinner last night (thanks guys), which was most welcome after unloading all the "stuff."

Tomorrow, Java and UltraDave are joining us for a tour of the House in the neighborhood.  Great fun!  I'll try to get some pictures of us all on our big trip.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Road Trip

OK, first off, my date was very nice.  It's a guy I really like and want to see again.  Not sure if he's the same on that score or not, but I think so.  He talked a lot; I listened a lot.  Maybe their will be some more "mutuality" in that regard next time around.  I am a good listener, but I want some air time, too.  We'll see.  Friday evening, we had dinner and walked around downtown.  This is one hopping little city, so downtown is very, very lively on a Friday evening.  It was good.  I know you're wondering . . . . .but it was just dinner and conversation.  Not that it's any of you business, and not that I'd tell you, anyway.

Eldest daughter is graduating from college this Saturday.  Yeehaa!  So tomorrow I leave for the long trip out (510+ miles there - then back again on Sunday).  It will be good to get her home, give her some TLC.  Dad's coming out process has weighed heavily on her, and some depression has set in. It isn't so much my being gay as separating from their mom, leaving the house, upsetting everything she had known as "real."  So, what is real now?

Though I believe my living authentically, telling the truth, and being who I am is very important, for me, and for her, it is going to take some time and work for her to get use to that.  We will take the time.  We will do the work.  It will be good.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

High Falls

Today, youngest child and I had a fun day, venturing to a nearby state forest with several waterfalls.  We went to the highest one, uncreatively named High Falls.  Here are a few pictures.  It's really much bigger than it even begins to appear in a photograph.  You just gotta see it - and hear it - for yourself.

The folk in the picture are probably 100 feet or more in front of the falls.  Click to really embiggen it.


That's me near the base of the falls.  You can't even see the top tier of falls from this angle.  I'm still farther away than you might think.  There is quite a bit of spray from the water, too.

Of course, there are many more spectacular waterfalls in the world.  This ain't no Niagara or Iguassu.  But it's right here in our back yard, and I love it. 

And in other news . . . .

I had a date last night.  A real one.  It was quite nice.  Indeed.  This is a different man from the last date on which i reported.  I really like this guy.  We've known each other a year or so and actually had a meal together before (but that didn't count, exactly), and seen each other at gatherings.  Somehow, for whatever reason, this was different.  Less eventful than you might (like to) imagine, but that's fine.  It was good.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Seize the Derby

Well, the Derby party was very nice.  Indeed.  Lovely.  I did not wear a harness, nor was it hosted by any of my "customers" (to respond to Dr. Benton Quest's furry question).
But it did get interesting.

I'd been asked to pick up one of the party goers, as he did not drive (something about a seizure disorder, or something), and it was on my way.  No prob.  And he was (is) not bad on the eyes, either.

After arrival, it was time for the requisite mint juleps.  I brought fresh mint from the garden of the home of C & S along with the hors d'oeuvres (with which C helped me greatly. Merci!)

Said guest (whom I transported) was very nice, but drank a wee bit too much.  Not that much, mind you, but it didn't take much (combined with pain medication) to counter-act his seizure medication.  You know what happened . . . . 

Band Bump. "What was that?.   Raising children contributes to one being a quick responder.  Being raised by a critical care nurse also prepares one for many things.  So, off I go.  Curled up on the floor, blood spewing out. A small seizure, but a seizure, nonetheless.  And a room full of queens.

"Please get me a cold, clean wash cloth.  Now. And a large towel."  Stretch him out carefully.  Watch the neck. Where's the blood coming from?  "OMG! should we call 911!?"   "That'd be a great idea.  But tell them not to use sirens. Could you check his wallet and see if he has a medications list." 

Meanwhile, the first responders arrive, secure his neck, check vitals, etc.  [Firefighters are so hot. And this time was no exception.]  They call the ambulance for transport to the ER.  "I'll follow."  "Oh my, do you know how to get to the hospital."  Oh, yes.  I'm very familiar.  I visit there often.  (Part of my rather strange employment.  I even have a little badge that gets me in to things.)

It rather shortened the party atmosphere.  But while the EMTs were working with him, I got the chance to finish my dessert.

Actually, it had some grace in the situation.  He needed some medications adjusted - big time.  Having suffered a stroke of some sort many years earlier, our friend has a mild seizure disorder and some other issues.  I just didn't have in mind to find out all about them quite that way.

He's better, home from the hospital.  And my horse lost.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Post time

I've been invited to a Kentucky Derby party today!  Interestingly, or amazingly, I've never attended one before.  Should I wear a harness? 

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Backwards and Forwards

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.  Soren Kierkegaard -Danish philosopher-theologian (that happy guy who gave existentialism, sort of)
I spent so many years in "a funk" that it has seemed the default mode for me.  But there is life beyond it.  And I'm coming to realize that in small ways.  Folks who've heard of my big coming out story often asked, "How's it all going.  How are you doing."  I stop and think.

I'm doing well.  I mean, I am really doing well.  At least today is a good day, so why not enjoy it.

For all my whining, I am doing well.  At lunch with a friend today, he asked about the anti-depressants. (He seemed to think that I was "heavily medicated."  Well, it wasn't that much).  But yes, for years I was on anti-depressants.  I've been off them now for five months.  And I'm doing well!

Medications are wonderful things, and I highly recommend them, when necessary.  While still in the closet, it was a good thing to help me manage and get through life, get the job done, still keep my head above water.

Coming out has freed a big chunk of my mind to focus on other things. (And my mind is kind of chunky).  I am so grateful.  Believe me, there is still lots of "stuff" to wade through, in to and out of, but I am managing.

I am re-training my mind-heart-soul-life to have a new default.  Not the funks.  In the midst of it all, I don't always see it.  Too easy it is to fall back into the old, default pattern of "funk."  But when I stop, look back, I understand.  It's just not that way any more.

Thought I'd let you in on all that.  I'm letting myself in on it, too.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day Off, new day, different day

Today was a day off for me, and I took it.  Not always easy for me to do.  It's not that I work so hard (I really don't think I do) but my line of work involves a lot of "emotional labor."  It can really weigh you down, drain you, suck the life out of you.  Well, out of me, anyway.

So, some walks.  There is a very large home, complete with very large gardens, in our small city.  It's a really big house, and they invite tourists, for a small fee.  So, I renewed my yearly pass (a dent in my budget) and went for part pf the day.  Nice.

Lots of tourists, couples, etc. One couple looked as if they just might be family.  And they were.  I offered to take a picture of them together. They had just gotten married (in DC) and were on their honeymoon!  After 28 years together, they were finally able to tie the knot in their city.  It was really sweet!

They discovered some connections I have to the District of Columbia, and my "company."  We played "do you know" and sure enough, they knew a few folk in my company in that area!  Small world!

I'm still pondering my Tuesday evening experience, over-analyzing it, over-worrying.  I'll get over it.  But I hope I don't have to wait too long for another date.  With him.  Or anyone.  I'm available, you know.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dated

Well, it was a date.  Nice.  I have much to think about.  How I acted.  How he acted.  How I responded.  There are occasions when things take a course quite different from what we, in our best selves, planned, wanted, desired.

I did not go on this date with deep expectations, but I admit to some (unrealistic) hopes.  I understood that they were exactly that.  I was OK.

But those occasions when our less-than-best-self gets in the way - or I allow it to.  What is this telling me about me, about my judgment, my wants.

Needless to say, I'm a bit disappointed.   In him?  In me?  In both?  But it was nice. 

I guess.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Amazon jungle, and more river

I was asked about amazon.  Yes, my daughter got the book.  Two of them in fact.  Order 2 and 3 arrived.  Wondering if order 1 will be lost forever. 

And, here's another picture of our river, at a calmer spot. 

It seems I may have a real, actual "date" for tomorrow.  Some lesbian friends are setting me up with someone they think I'll like, he will like, etc.  God, I'm nervous.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

a River runs through it.

The mountains are beautiful with spring doing its thing.  Within our community (as in right down the middle, so to speak) runs a river.  Gracious, wide, rocky, rapids, and full-flowing right now.  last summer, the water got low.

I was out by the river this week, taking time to be.  Some kayaking / rafting folk were out practicing.  Here are some shots.  And some others, for run.







And, appearing for a short time only, me. 

Uh oh.  I've disappeared.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Update

So, Amazon sent the book, but it was to have no charge for the shipping.  SO, they charged me full price plus shipping.  Then they charged again, full price no shipping.  They charged me twice.  For the third book.  Let alone the other two.

The book (apparently) did arrive at the school on Saturday, as promised.  The package pick-up facility is opened from 8 a till 2 p on Saturdays.  Except for this past Saturday, when they did not bother to open.  No explanation.

We will see today if it indeed did arrive.

I am going to go ballistic.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Amazon Hell

Well, it's not so uplifting, but it ain't the usually stuff.

Today was spent in Hell, with amazon.com.  Oh, and FedEx, too. Plus, i talked with the Post office, but they couldn't help.

College child # 2 needs book - desperately - for a course.  Not available in stores.  So, Amazon.  Ordered a used copy from one of their suppliers (an independent, used book dealer.  ships from their shop).

But HOW does it ship?  Postal service address for college child is a college PO Box.  FedEx does not deliver to PO Boxes.  But I didn't know it was going FedEx.  So, I gave the PO Box.

Book does not arrive.

Easter Day.  No Book.  Order a second used one.  From amazon.com.  Ask for expedited shipping.  That will be UPS or FedEx, right?  So, give the college package address (completely different, different format, etc).

They shipped it Postal service.  But the PO doesn't deliver to that address.

Today:  call, email, call, email.

 two hours on the phone.

After two calls to FedEx, I finally discovered that I made a strategic, major, inordinately large blunder.  i put the wrong zip code.

Still.

I emailed my apologies to the book supplier for whom i gave the wrong zip code (and whom had received two other "less-than-pleasant" previous emails from me) asking their forgiveness and offering to pay any additional charges to get this book out of a post office back room in the wrong town with the wrong zip code.

If the third order (from amazon.com, directly, not one of their used-book suppliers) does not arrive by Saturday before 2 pm, I will be in danger of upsetting the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Waiting for something New

I'm not feeling it this year.  Like most years, most holidays, I'm just not quite there, yet.  
This is supposed to be about new life, New Life.  Jesus, raised from the dead, giving new life where there was death.  Not just the same old stuff, brought back, but something completely new.
I have much reason to feel this new life thing.  After all, I came out in my place of work and have been accepted with little (visible or audible) fallout.  It's worked!  But I'm still dragging a bit.  Still reaching for it.
I know, I Know, it will come.  Be patient.  Wait for it.  Hang in.  Hang on.  And I am.
Alleluia! Christ is risen.  The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.  This is the ancient cry of celebration from Christianity's earliest days (originally in Greek, of course).  And I'll make that cry tonight at the Easter Vigil service at my parish.  And tomorrow morning, too.
But I ain't feeling it yet.
Of course, Jesus' friends didn't know what to do about it either.  It was completely out of the realm of their existence, their belief, their knowledge.  This resurrection thing was completely unexpected.  Everything had gone down the drain; they lost; it was all over.
But not.
And it isn't over.  And I'm not done.  I'm waiting, hoping, expecting (even), something new.  New.  NEW.
It will come.
And I promise to post something more "fun", one of these days.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Catching Up

I am reading Michael Thomas Ford's book Full Circle.  A fan of his work, I am finding this the best yet.
The main character, Ned, reflects on his life, growing up gay in the 60's and onward.  Ford weaves a great tale.  Ned would be the age of my oldest brother, not much more than me.  
What would it be like, growing up gay, and knowing it?  I can't imagine.  Though I know I am not alone, sometimes I feel it.  I know a number of gay men around my age (I'm 54), but most came out when they were younger. Even those who, like me, had been married.  I feel like, "What do I know about this?"
I guess I haven't earned my "street cred."  I just haven't had much time to fully embrace all this, embrace me.  I know, it will come. 
As I seek to begin to think about the possibility of the idea of being in relationship, (beyond friends, beyond "playmates", into the deep stuff) I get scared.  But also, I don't know where to begin: with my heart, my mind, my spirit.  The body part I got figured out.   That I can do.
Knowing where to draw lines, where to cross them, what they encompass, what that restrict.  Is this a "date" or just having a meal?  Are we talking friendship, or open to more possibilities?  Making love? Or just playing around?
And, are we still friends?  just friends?  More than friends?
I am trusting this will work out.  I will learn.  I do trust.  But I ain't got lots of time to work all this out.  Not lots of time for hit and miss, learn-as-you-go, next times.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gay Wisdom

Finding about about gays and lesbians down through history has been helpful and encouraging for me.  I urge you to check our Gay Wisdom.  You can reaceive an email everyday with bits about famous (infamous) GLBTQ folk,  Plus occasional articles and news.  Publishers of White Crane Journal, these folk do a great job. 

The daily emails are free.  And, you can subscribe to White Crane, if you want.  Or just give to support this valuable resource.

And in other news . . . . .

Regarding my last post and comments I received, let me comment on a comment from Lemuel.  His advice is wise. 

I don't want to get too "pushy."  I know the balance is delicate.  Part of the irritation for me is that some "customers" may just disappear, and I know I have no control over that.  How do I balance talking about it, and leaving it be?  I want folk to talk instead of just avoiding me, or the issue. 

But I can't control any of it.   Wait, watch, and pray.