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.