Monthly Archives: March 2008

The Challenge of Friendship

I will often refer to the fact that I have many friends. Friends in different parts of the country, friends through the work that I do, friends that used to be lovers, friends that came into my life unexpectedly. There are friends who have been in my life for years, and others that I have recently met. Friends all around.

The concept, and I use that term intentionally, of friendship is a very complex yet interesting one. Friendship definitely means different things to different people. That is fine, as long as everyone is clear on the definition for themselves, and for those that they call friends. That is where it gets complex and a little hazy at times. For example, if my definition of friendship means that I will hear from my friend in response to a telephone call, email, or text, but that person defines it as getting back whenever they have a chance, that could create conflict. I like to think that I don’t expect that those I know drop everything when they hear from me, but at least, CALL BACK. TEXT BACK. SOMETHING.

I have gotten to be pretty saavy about figuring out why a person is in my life, cosmicly, I mean, and not only why, but what capacity they are to be in my life. So, I know that one friend in particular came into my life to help me to explore my academic side and to recount my history; I have one friend who calls to the activist in me; I have a whole slew of friends, internet friends no less, that call me to a higher level of learning and connection to the human race, to my spiritual side, to my nonviolent side. Others remind me to stay in today, have more fun, take care of your family, and have another drink. So, figured out that side of it.

The part that I read on, and am now pondering, is what role I play in THEIR lives. That is part that needs to remain a mystery. Yet, in the past, the times that I have gotten stuck is when I try to think I KNOW what purpose I have had in my friend’s life, without that friend sharing that info with me. Meaning: I try to read their thoughts/heart/process to know the TRUE reason them to want to keep me around. Truth is, that ain’t my truth to know. I can wonder about it, suppose about it, fret or obsess about it. It won’t help me to know it, unless that friend brings it to me, in gratitude, in anger, in sadness, in elation. I CAN’T KNOW WHAT THAT REASON IS; THAT IS FOR THAT PERSON ALONE TO DEFINE, AND TO SHARE OR TO KEEP WITHIN.

I believe in the truth, the spoken, written and heart felt word. However, many people don’t. Too afraid, too burned, too isolative. So, all that I can do is speak my truth, live my truth, love my truth, and trust that I will always know MY purpose. That is what counts.

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Saying goodbye.

I have recently been thinking on the idea that I don’t like the thought of death, of those that I love the most leaving this earth. There are many days that I feel very close to God, and to Jesus, and believe that in the afterlife, we are all well cared for. However, it is the idea of loss of those that I love being present here on earth, being able to call them on the telephone and hear their voices live, hug and kiss them in person. However, we are all called at some point, and my parents are aging, so I am trying to come to some peace about it, in some ways at least.

Yet, there is another part of my relationship with them that is equally as difficult to let go of, to say good bye to. My dreams, my dreams about them and for them. My dreams about them are that they will live healthy lives, make healthy choices, that my dad won’t drink every day, that he will understand how booze will kill him, that my mother won’t enable him or eat food in the middle of the night. That my brother will lose 100 pounds or more, so that he doesn’t drop dead tomorrow of a stroke, or heart attack. That he will challenge all of his demons from years ago head on, so that he can get rid of that control on him and live a happier, healthier life.

But, the thing is, those are dreams. Dreams of how I want things, or wish things to be. Things that may be, but will probably never be. The more that I focus on what I hope or dream that they will choose, the more struggles that I have with the way in which they currently live their lives. I don’t want to define who they are to me in that way. The thing is, these dreams come from a place of hope and love for my family; but to a certain degree, it is also a way for me to be in control of something that I have no control over.

So this weekend, I decided to let go of those dreams; put them on the shelf. Live my life and love my family just as they are in this moment. I may have them for years to come, or maybe not. But in the meantime, I want to love them as fully and gratefully as I can. Because they are doing the best that they can do, and I am loving them for it.

Radical dyke!

Okay, now I know that some days more than others, I think I am a little off center. A bit strange and peculiar. It is probably not any more peculiar than anyone else, but have you ever spoken to someone, and see the glazed stare come over then in the middle of you speaking? Well, I have to say that it happens to me fairly often.

I have come to understand about myself in the last few months that I am becoming quite radical in my older years. I have always been inclined to speak my mind, and to try to aspire to fully be myself, but that version of myself has been more open in the last few years. Not in any way more than in regard to my sexual orientation; hence, the word DYKE.

There seems to be times when this word is most appropriate. For years, I called myself “gay”, meaning I like women, and I am a woman. Gay did not seem to be affiliated with one gender or another; I never felt the need to ascribe to the idea that only men who like men could be referred to as “gay”, so it seemed to fit.

Then, I began to use the word “lesbian”, that yucky, uncomfortable word for most of the lesbians that I know. They hate to hear it, hate to say it, hate to be called it, even though factual. I mean, it is our own, personal word. I would never call a gay man a “lesbian”; it is strictly reserved for us women who love women…..

Now, “dyke” has not been a word that has ever been personally used against me. And, there are times that I have used it in a derogatory sense about other women that I have met in the LGBT community nearby. But, call me old fashioned or strange, I am taking a liking to this term. In describing myself, I mean. I like being a dyke (and I am a poet and don’t know it…).

However, the word “dyke” has to go with the word “radical” before it for me, because it seems to fully describe where I am at in this present time of my life. I feel the need to educate, inform and help others to have an understanding of who I am, and who LGBT people in general want and need. But, as peaceful and nonviolent as I can be in those endeavors, there are also times that I just want to be a radical dyke: WE’RE HERE, WE’RE QUEER, GET USED TO IT. That kind of radical behavior. I have days when I am just so sick and tired of those people that say they just cannot understand, that just want to believe how flawed and diseased and perverted we are. There are those that just don’t want to believe that for me, it is all about the love, the connection, the place of peace and serenity where I belong.

Radical dyke, hmmm.

I am liking it a lot. I am coming into my own. I am ready to speak up and speak out and not be afraid to say what I am out loud and proud, with no apologies and no exceptions. It is about being as self loving as I can possibly be, and shouting it out on the rooftops.

Is there a job description for being a radical dyke?

If so, sign me up.

I am all over it.

Life goes on……..

Last week, my partner had to have one of her cats put to sleep. The one that she has had the longest; she had her for eighteen years, since the cat was a tiny kitten. Abandoned. She had been getting sicker over the last year, and had a flare up last week that was just awful. So was the decision to take her to the vet. We are all still crying over it.

At first, we were all, the two of us and our daughter, reeling from the loss. Not sure how to feel better, seeing her all around the house, hearing her meow, waiting for her to come up on the bed for the night, hearing the purr. It was like an open wound, still is in some ways. We talked about and thought about new life, a new kitty to come in. I mean, we are total animal rescuers; every pet that we have besides the angel fish is a rescue (although, we did rescue the angel fish from the pet store!!). Three of the cats we had left were found in the street, dumped or left behind. One was adopted at the shelter, as was the dog AND the guinea pig. We tend to find the animals in trouble, or maybe they find us.

Well, the day after Pookie died, one of my partner’s coworkers told her about a stray kitten that had been spending a great deal of time on her deck. Calico, young, cute, needing a home, which she was not able to give her. At first, we both said no, we are not ready. But, then, the hole in our hearts felt so great, that we decided, why not?

We brought our new baby home on Sunday. Her name is Luna Tasha Lovegood. She is adorable and cuddly and friendly, and after three whole days, she acts like she has been with us her whole life. I know that there are some people who are not “pet people”; that certainly does not describe us. Even on the days when we are tired, frustrated, and the last thing we feel like doing is changing a litter box or walking a dog, they look at us adoringly, or cuddle with us on the couch, and then we know, this is our calling.

Life does go on, as different as it is the same. We love you Pook…….

The truth.

The truth of my life has been nagging at me for the last few years now.

Truth. What a concept.

Truth about what I want. Truth about who I am. Truth about what I stand for. Truth.

There are a great many people in this world who are not truthful. I don’t think what I mean by that is that he/she is lying about something, although, in some ways, he or she is. I mean the more subtle untruths.

Untruths about who we are, who we love, what our value is.

We have been told lies, and told our selves lies about who we are and who we love and what that all means. And yes, those are lies. They are damaging, hateful, destructive lies.

Those lies have cost the LGBT community lives and lifelihood. Sanity and good choices. Years of self-esteem. Relationships that seemed right, but were what society wanted us to be.

Lies perpetuated by a system bigger than ourselves.

I believed those lies once upon a time. Lies about who I am, and who society said I should, or should not, be. Not just society, religion too.

So, the truth.

The truth has always been nagging at the back of my brain. Whispering to me at first about who I REALLY am and what would make me TRULY happy.

At first, I couldn’t bear to listen. To listen meant change, struggle, pain, angst.

But then again, the lies meant change, struggle, pain, angst.

At some point, I kicked the lying voice out of my head and out of my heart.

The truth is no longer whispering to me: IT IS A ROAR.

And the roar says: You are worthwhile. You are vital. You are beloved. God adores you. You deserve everything. What you want, what you have the right to, MATTERS.

That roar has gotten so loud in my head, that now I have to ROAR.

And roar I shall. For me. For my partner. For our daughter.

FOR OUR SOULS, ALL OF US.