Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ignoring the "No Hugging" Sign

It's taken decades but I'm finally making a some long needed changes. I'm starting to touch people again. I'm sure I did it as a child. But most of my adulthood seems to have been ruled by a "no hugging" sign. Oh it's still there, but I'm just not following it as much as I used to.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Solla Solew - The Quest for the Celestial

From Seussical the Musical

There's a faraway land
So the stories all tell
Somewhere beyond the horizon.
If we can find it
Then all will be well,
Troubles there are few,
Someday, we'll go to...
Solla Sollew
Solla Sollew

Solla Sollew
Solla Sollew

I've lost my poor Whos
And we've traveled so far.
Oh, JoJo, forgive me
Wherever you are.

(We see JOJO at military school, writing a letter. MR. and MRS.
MAYOR are home, reading his letter.)

Dear Mom and Dad,
I'm thinking of you.
And wishing we all were in Solla Sollew

They say breezes are warm there

And people are kind.

Maybe it's something like heaven.

I close my eyes
And I see in my mind
Skies of bluest blue

Solla Sollew

I've had so much trouble JOJO, MAYOR,
Finding my way there. MRS. MAYOR &
When I get close, CIRCUS ANIMALS
It disappears. Solla Sollew
If we can get there,
We're gonna stay there
If it takes us miles,

If it takes us miles

If it takes us years.

High on a mountain
Or lost on the sea,

Sooner or later, I'll find it

I have a picture
Of how it will be

On the day I do

Troubles will be through
And I'll be home with you.

Solla Sollew
Solla Sollew
Solla Sollew
Solla Sollew
Solla Sollew
Solla Sollew
Solla Sollew

I'll be home...
With you

Solla Sollew.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Marriage and Patience

I took this photo last year. I discovered the quotation a couple of weeks ago. Marrying them only occurred to me a few days ago. Sometimes I have to wait a long time for things to fall together. I'd like to think I'm becoming more patient. Some days are better than others. I'm grateful this night for those who love me and those I love. I'm grateful for our creator who loves us unconditionally and urges us to do the same. I'm grateful for love unfeigned. I also grateful for love that requires cultivation and husbandry. I love both wildflowers and planted gardens.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday Hike

Went hiking with "Mo" my moho friend Saturday. Asked him if it would be OK to share this in a post. He said, "If you don't blog about it, I will." So here you go:

10:17 AM

mo: okay?

me: just got better :)

mo: :) whattssup?

me: Really glad to touch base with you...I was feeling down yesterday.

mo: Why were you down?

me: Reality of kids leaving home. Job stress...feeling overwhelmed.
Oh, and then there's this other matter. I missed you.

mo: Is missing me a bad thing?

me: of course not, all of these things are good, if put in perspective, kids growing up, better job, friendship :)

mo: I spent most of Thurs with my son. It's here. It's a reality that he's leaving. I feel some of what you are feeling. It's part of life. They grow up. But we don't.

me: So I wonder about today? With this rain we can't do yard work. So how about a hike in the mud?

mo: You would do that?

me: I'll put my boots on right now if you like.

mo: ummmm...I need to make a phone call. Can you wait a moment?

me: no prob

10:40 AM
mo: Hey

me: Hey

mo: We can go anytime.

me: Great! I can leave in about five minutes.

Have you had breakfast or lunch? I haven't. We could pick up some powerbars and drinks. Or I can just eat some cereal on the way. Do you have any thoughts on that?

mo: I'll throw something together. Just come.

me: See you in a few.

So we hiked and talked, and it was only muddy in a few places. When we reached a sunny rock with a view we stopped to eat apples and power bars, to drink water and breathe in the mountain air made even sweeter by the morning rain.

We talked about our families, work and what life was like when we were 15-year-old kids trying to deal with feeling so different. We talked about people who helped us out along the way. The sunshine dried our wet clothes. We shared some hugs and shoulder rubs and headed back down the mountainside. Mo told me that in Europe two male friends--straight or gay--could hug and show affection and no one would think twice about it. So after all this I didn't attend the kiss-in on Saturday, but I'm OK with my decision.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Processing the Castro

My trip earlier this summer to San Francisco remains vivid in my mind. Perhaps because I've got photos like this one on my screen saver. It's taken me a while to sort through my feelings, and here's what it's sounded like:

It was just a business trip.
It was more than a business trip because I met with a former colleague and his partner and the three of us enjoyed a great dinner together in the Castro.
But it was just a business trip.
No, actually it was a bit like a family reunion. You enjoy being with folks like you that you don't normally see. You might not feel close to all your cousins, but still it's nice to be with your own people from time to time.
Fine. You saw some people you identified with. But that always happens on a business trip. You're with people in your business. It is like a family renion.
But I'm not talking about the business meetings. I'm talking about walking through these busy streets and somehow feeling more accepting of myself and others. I'm talking about walking through the one the gayest areas of the world with a friend and his lover and feeling OK about it. 
Ok. So you had a nice dinner and enjoyed it with a happy couple. But you were there for business. You had your meetings and got on the plane and came home. Nothing all that differernt from all your other business trips.
Look, this isn't a debate. Yes it was a business trip and a great dinner and an eye opening stroll through at part of the city I wouldn't have visited alone. And it was a chance to feel some brotherhood and acceptance.
So you came out to your friend?
No. I could be wrong, but I think it's just understood. We're both Mormon boys. He's been out most of his adult life. For more than 30 of my almost 60 years, I've been closeted and even now I'm only out to some family and some friends. 
And you're not out to him?
You know, I don't really think I have to be. He knows me well enough. He knows I'm a married father who is active in the church. But he also knows I'm comfortable with him. And now he knows I'm comfortable with him and his partner eating dinner in the Castro. That's enough for now. 
You talk a good game. But let's be honest now, if this were really as resolved as you say it is, would you be blogging about it?
Good point. I had to write--well I wanted to write about something and to be honest with you I thought I'd just choose a photo and then see what comes to mind. 
Maybe you were right the first time. Maybe you had to write. Just like you know you know whe you have to pray even when sometimes you don't. And speaking of being honest, it probably wouldn't have hurt if you'd been just a little more candid with your friend.
Question for readers: Do you ever have conversations like this with yourself?