As a Mormon bisexual man I live in the "other circumstances" mentioned in The Family: A Proclamation to the World where "Death, disability or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation."
May you yearn and strive to engage with the people, places and things that will strengthen you. As you seek and find support and encouragement, may you be able to give it freely and authentically to others. May you feel loved and able to express that love to others by what you say and what you do. May you grow in your ability to integrate your knowledge and experience, creativity and intuition, serving and being served, loving and being loved, seeking answers and questions.
May you discover again as if for the first time that you paint, you create, from a large pallet of many colors and many shades of gray. May you find beauty in the pallet and the world around you and the works you have in progress.
If it sometimes seems that there is more longing than belonging, more giving than getting, more sadness than joy, may you accept these realities as seasons that change. May you be grateful for all the seasons of your life, knowing that spring will follow the sometimes frozen moments of winter, knowing that fall will follow the sometimes oppressive heat of summer. And may you find seasons of relief and restoration in each day, if only imagined and if only for a few minutes or moments.
These wishes may not fit for you today or ever. They don't always fit for me. But to me they offer hope for what may be. I hope they may also bring vision and solace to you.
Someone I care about is leaving town for a few days. I told him "Have a safe trip." What I didn't say is that I'll miss him and I'll pray for him and I'll be glad when he returns.
Such are the dynamics between me--the fellow who is out as a bisexual man to his family and very few others--and my good friend who is unashamedly out and proud as a straight man, a husband and father.
We are both married to remarkable, intelligent, creative, beautiful, talented, strong women. We would both assure you that we are the fathers of truly remarkable children who are now and will continue to be engaged in making the world a better place.
My buddy and I have much in common and many differences as well. Trusting in our common ground and the ways that diversity and transparency can strengthen a friendship, perhaps someday I will confess that I care more about him than I say, that I miss him, that I pray for him, that I'm glad when he returns. And perhaps he'll look me right in the eye and say, "I know. How could I not have known. So how have you been and what else is new?"
"...Moroni went to the city of Mulek with Lehi, and took command of the city and gave it unto Lehi. Now behold, this Lehi was a man who had been with Moroni in the more part of all his battles; and he was a man like unto Moroni, and they rejoiced in each other’s safety; yea, they were beloved by each other, and also beloved by all the people of Nephi." (Alma 53:2)
I sometimes feel like I just blend into the crowd, not that I'm totally invisible but just not easy to be seen. I sometimes feel that while I am liked, I'm not quite loved. But if it is either/or world, it's much better to love than to be loved.
But then I rebel against these thoughts. I tell myself there's only one of me, just like there's only one of you. We are both to celebrate and be celebrated.
I tell myself that if I feel invisible, maybe I ought to question those feelings rather than my ability to be seen. I tell myself that it's not an either/or world and that I am both loved and one who loves. Throughout my life. Since birth. Right now. Today and tomorrow. Just like the sun comes up. It's there. You just gotta see it.
And sometimes this kind of thinking leads me to write stuff like this: You can improve. You can move forward. You are improving. You are moving forward. You can seek and find. You can be sought and found. Who you are, what you do, what you say, who you love--it all matters. Don't worry about keeping score. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the journey.
"Sometimes in my tears I drown but I never let it get me down."
May you seek and find accomplishment, beauty and creativity this day. May that quest yield delight and enthusiasm. May you move and think freely and gratefully and with health and healing in your mind and heart. May your intuition and sense of fair play and justice kindle increased love of yourself and others. May movement and music nurture your moments and your opportunities. May you find renewed purpose in your quest and your questions. May you savor the creation that is a part of recreation. May you feel blessed as you see your talents unfold. May all of this revitalize your sense of wonder and excitement and may your yearnings fill your soul with zip and zeal.
I haven't written for more than a year, but I do care. After all I still imagine, I still want to believe that you're the one I'm going to run into some day and we're both going to be astonished that after years of a few fine friendships and yearning, we've both finally found someone, perhaps the one and only one, who is willing to reciprocate, to give and take, to find and be found, to be loved and to love.
Where and when do you think this meeting will occur? Tomorrow at the grocery store? Next week when we both get on the bus? Next month on one of those perfect April days? Later in Spring when it's even warmer?
Perhaps in the dog days of summer when we're both hot and tired and hungry, but then rather miraculously there will be a sense of calm and relaxation and a hunger that's been there for years will morph into a giddy sense of expectation.
Maybe it will be even later in the year when we're hiking and enjoying the blazing colors of fall. Perhaps then we'll both be cold only to discover a welcome warmth. That might also happen in winter. We'll be in the snow, but there will also be an undeniable glow.
More likely it won't happen this year or next year or even the year after. But then, when we've both given up all hope, our meeting will be that much more unexpected and unforgettable.
And what if there is no meeting at all? What if you and I never meet? What if I reach the end of my life and the myth that is you never materializes? Will that still be OK? I hope so, because that my friend may be the most likely scenario.
Or maybe we'll be in the last moments of our mortal lives and like Steve Jobs saying "Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow" or Brigham Young saying "Joseph" the last word on your lips will be "Ned" and the last word on my lips will be "Ridk"? No, no, no that's just your placeholder name.
You'll be Abe or Adam, Ben or Bart, Christian or Caleb, Dan or David, Elli or Ethan, Frank or Fred, Gabe or Glen, Harry or Henry, Ike or Ian, John or Jake, Keith or Kyle, Marlon or Mike, Nate or what if we were both named Ned?, Otis or Ozzie, Peter or Patrick, Quinn or Quentin, Robert or Richard, Seth or Stephen, Tim or Trevor, Urban or Uri, Vincent or Vlad, Wes or Woody, Xan or Xorn, Yogi or York, Zach or Zeke.
The truth is your name won't matter. Neither will the color of your eyes or hair, your height or weight. Or the sound of your voice or how much hair you have. I won't care if it's curly or straight or non-existent.
Because in that moment, whether it is real or imagined, you'll be the one for me and I'll be the one for you. That's when the ancient and the infinite will somehow join the dawn and the dusk, the heat and the cold, the sweat and the tears, the savory and the sweet and we'll both take a deep breath and awake to the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls.