Monthly Archives: July 2009

Find your courage

“I really like that tattoo of yours.  Does it mean something?”

 

mytattoo 

 

 

I paused for a moment, mainly because I am not accustomed to anyone asking about it.  I was in the grocery store, checking out, and the cashier was asking me about it.  As many persons as I meet that comment on the beauty of it, rarely ask the meaning.  The rest of the pause was the deciding moment; what do I say?

 

So, the subject of courage. 

 

Do I just say, “It’s personal”?  Do I tell her the multitude of meanings it has for me?  I jump right in, because truth is truth, right?  I tell her that it is about love, and peace, and being proud to be a woman, and being proud to be gay.  And, she doesn’t flinch.  Not one bit.  She continues to comment on how great it is that I was able to design it. 


Courage.

 

In that moment, and in so many moments of my everyday life, I teach myself about what courage is, and what it is not, at least from my life perspective.  Courage is not about life or death situations much of the time for me.  It is not about fighting a terrible foe and risking my life and limb.  Courage for me is not about jumping out of airplanes or racing cars. 

 

Courage is in the seemingly simpler tasks of life, that are often not so simple.  Like talking about who you are with pride and self love.  To fully love and appreciate oneself takes great courage.  To go to work and make a living, even if the work you do is just making a living and not a career, takes courage.  It takes courage to tell someone goodbye, and to tell someone hello.  It takes courage to speak up, and to stay silent.  It takes courage to tell your child that you love them, or to tell them that you expect more of them.  It takes great courage to believe in your own inner voice, the one that resides in your gut, and tells you the real truth about many situations.

 

We all have such capacity for great courage, yet we rarely acknowledge it in ourselves.  Only after this brief encounter with this beautifully friendly cashier, did I recognize to myself what great courage I have to just be who I am.  To feel confident and secure and contented in it.  To be able to declare it to the world, without boast or remorse, just because it is truth, and truth deserves to be spoken aloud.

 

Where in that self of yours do you find your courage?  Have you looked for it lately?  It is lurking, deep within, or more on the surface.  But it should be acknowledged, and treasured and revered, for it is what makes us human and alive.  And, it is about everything that we do and all that we are, and can take great pride and gratitude in. 

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A giant eclair and three forks….

I am reposting this one of mine, one of my favorites, actually.  I wrote it last year in honor of my beloved’s birthday, and so am posting it again at her birthday time.  We did the same ritual again this year, and it was as terrific as last year!!!!  Enjoy, everyone!!!

 

 

This weekend was my beloved’s birthday.  It is a big milestone birthday this year, although she was not looking forward to it at all.  We had a big surprise party for her a couple of weeks ago, which she absolutely loved, but on her actual birthday, our usual tradition is presents, cake, and a special dinner of some sort.  This year, it was lunch out at a restaurant, presents, and a giant eclair.

 

Jamie absolutely LOVES chocolate; actually, LOVE is not a strong enough word, she REQUIRES chocolate.  For those of you reading who are chocolate lovers through and through, chocolate is not a treat, it is a necessity; it is actually its own food group I think.  I like the stuff, but can do without it…….for true chocolate addicts, the thoughts of doing without it are unbearable.  For those of you that think I am not serious about this, ask a TRUE chocolate lover, and you will know…..

 

We have bought chocolate cakes for the birthday occasion, and made them at home also.  However, one of her favorites is the combination of chocolate, pastry, and bavarian cream that is ever present in an eclair.  And, when I say giant eclair, I mean GIANT eclair, like I am talking three pounds or more.    And, they are very hard to cut, so we improvised a bit.

 

We pulled up three chairs to the table, and each came with our fork and a position around the plate.  And dug in.  No worries of germs or spit or splatter.  It was about so many things that day; our love back on the right track; our family connected by a kitchen table; sharing; connecting; LOVING.  You see, the planning for the party, for her birthday, for the treats, for the gifts, was and is all about the love that we all share.  We have days when we need space from one another; we look forward to quiet time when we can steal it; we each have our own loves and interests and pursuits; but, when it comes down to it, when we are at the end of our day, when we want to share something with those that matter the most, it is about our love and connection, that which brings us back to our home every night, together……..

 

The following night, we sat ’round that table with three new forks again, because we had more of the treat to savor.  And it tasted just as good, just as sweet, just as lovely.  Later that evening, we lost our beloved pet guinea pig, who was just too weak to live on, who was ready to pass to Heaven.  That night, long after the crumbs of the eclair had been consumed, we all laid on our bed, together us three, and held each other and cried and comforted one another.  We loved one another, were there for one another.  Supported and cared for one another.

 

So, whether it is three forks, three places on the bed, three sets of tears or laughs, we are there for each other, we embrace the joy, and pain, of each individual moment that we are so privileged to have together.

 

Thank God for our family……..

The life buffet

As a family, we enjoy the occasional visit to a local buffet, usually a Chinese food buffet.  However, we usually avoid them at all costs.  Why?  Overindulging.  Too much of a good thing.  Everything looks, smells, and tastes so good, it is hard to stop.  Even when we are so full that are bellies hurt, we seem to want more and more and more.

 

How many of us view our lives this way?  Not enough, in my opinion.  I don’t think that there are nearly enough people as would satisfy me, who view life as one big buffet table.  Where overindulgence is not only encouraged, but celebrated.

 

Think about it:  How many times in your life, heck, even in the last few months or year of your life, have you denied yourself an opportunity to really have a feast of life?  To really just take in a variety of delicacies, and to savor each and every one?  And, to go back for more or different parts of life, even when you may already be full? 

 

For me, when it comes to a life buffet, my appetite is never satisfied.  I never feel like I have experienced or embraced or taken in too much of life experiences to be full, with no more room.  My appetite is insatiable.  I want to experience all that I can; I keep dreaming my dreams and then even dream new ones; I want to try new things as often as possible; I want to challenge myself with the unfamiliar or the unknown.

 

Now, we all know that another reason to avoid buffets is the danger of germs, of the nonsanitary way that food sits around for hours at a time.  So, as it is with food, with the life buffet, there are dangers.  Things go wrong.  We make poor decisions.  Maybe we put more on our plate than we are ready for, or maybe we are just afraid to try new delicacies.

 

The thing is, life is no fun from a distance.  If we find ways to be afraid of embracing our lives, if we talk ourselves out of just jumping in and enjoying it, then we cut ourselves short on what it can really come to mean to us. 

 

And, it doesn’t always mean that we will get it right.  There will be delights we choose from the life buffet that we absolutely detest; choices that turn out to not be for us; new adventures to embark on that we know we won’t be able to finish.  Some parts of life are just not our cup of tea.

 

Yet, if we had never tried, we would never have known, right?  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

 

Life is always there for us, waiting, like that Chinese food buffet.  It is in the wings, but we cannot fully partake of it unless we actively go to it and make our choices.  Take a few different selections, try items one at a time, sample something new.  Fill up your plate and eat until you are satisfied, and then eat some more. 

 

Whatever you do, don’t miss out.

Living my life, loving my wife

 

 

me and my beloved

 

Some days, I wonder and glow at the idea of how ordinary our un-ordinary life is.  Wait for the smell of the coffee brewing automatically in our kitchen.  Opening up all of our shades and curtains to let in that natural light.  Walking our dogs, feeding our cats, and getting ready to face the work day.

 

Ordinary, in so many ways. 

 

In other words, I am just living my life.  And, loving my wife.

 

I am gay.  There is no doubt about that.  And, I no longer hide in shame from that, although I have in the past, and the hiding seemed like a good, safe idea at the time.  Safe for others maybe, others to not have to face it.  Safer than having to look at myself with loving honesty in the mirror.  But, the shame was devastating,  and I see it slowly destroy the souls of so many that believe that they cannot be out.

 

Being gay is not the only part of me, but it is an ESSENTIAL part of me.  I not only accept it and embrace it, I openly and lovingly CELEBRATE and announce it.  And why not?  Why not rejoice and pay tribute to every wondrous part of my self? 

 

So many persons that I know that are gay, and in various phases of coming out, don’t tell or become more open about it because they don’t believe that it is anyone else’s “business” about who we love.  I disagree.  I want to make my happiness and bliss and love for my beautiful soulmate the story of my life that gets told, not locked away in my heart somewhere.  Love, my friends, is meant to be shared in my way of thinking.

 

So, I am living my life and loving my wife. 

 

And, for those that say that it doesn’t “matter that you are gay; that doesn’t matter to me”; I want you to do better for me than that.  It should matter, because it is as important a part of me as all other wonderful parts:  my gayness.  It is okay to think about it, talk about it, pray about it.  Believe me,  I am totally okay and free and joyous and proud to be every inch, every fiber of who I am.  SO, you can feel really good about it, too.

 

Love me, love my wife.  For, she is my wife in all ways, you know.  Except the license.  But, that will come someday, I know it.  Come over for a barbeque, share our joy, laugh with us, help us when we grieve, join in the dance of life that we dance each and every blessed day.

 

Ordinary, but not.  Perfect.

 

Getting along with my life

Lenny Kravitz really knows how to get to the heart of the matter.  He sings truth and does it musically, but also is very effective at singing dual meanings.  This line is one such story, at least to an avid listener of him, like myself.

 

In the song, “I Wanna Go Home”, he sings “I wanna,  I wanna go home, I just want to get along with my life.”

 

As usual, it got me thinking…….

 

To get along with my life means two different things to me.  First meaning:  Get on with your life.  Live it here and now.  Don’t put your life off for anyone or anything.  If we choose not to get on with our lives, then we remain stuck in self doubt, resentment, regret… and we go nowhere.  I don’t even know if we take steps backwards, we just stay stuck.  And, I think when we stay stuck, the longer that we are stuck, the more frustrated, angry and resentful we become about many things, including those that ARE getting on with their lives.

 

The other meaning from this line that strikes me is literally, getting along with my life.  Like, we strive to get along with people in our lives, our coworkers, friends, spouses and neighbors.  Our lives are not intended to be source of contention for us.  We have to have a willingness to get along with our lives, to come to terms and peace with our lives.  That means that we accept our lives on our own terms, but it also means letting go of expectations and suppositions, and accepting what comes at us that we have no control over.  Having the wisdom to accept that which we cannot change, the courage to change those things that we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.


When we have persons in our lives, or circumstances in our lives, that we might not feel totally okay about, sometimes it helps just to do our best to get along with those people or circumstances.  To make the best of them, or to bring out the best in those persons.  Get along as best as we can.

 

So, go out into your life, get on with it, and, get along with it as well.

 

Love ya, Lenny…………….