Posts filed under ‘God’

Night musing

3:54 A.M. and the world is asleep. Well at least most of it is. The house is quiet, the boys are at their dad’s, the cats are finally done rumbling through the house playing tag, and Sydney, my dog, is out for the night. And except for the deep contented sighs from my Sydney and ice falling into the ice maker on the fridge, silence greets my straining ears.

Well at least I think it is silence. Have you ever noticed that if you listen hard enough there is always a sound of some sort? Ah there goes the ice maker refilling the trays so more ice can tumble down in due time. I hear the copper tubing bounce with the pressure of the water starting to flow and stopping, just in time to keep from overflowing and making a mess in the freezer. More of what I would call silence but then again, what is that small tiny whish whish sound I am hearing? Could it be the blood rushing through my ears as they work and strain to find a connection in these dark wee hours of dawn?

I go out on the porch to look for the moon and realized that the night outside is never totally quiet. I can hear the wind rushing through the weeds in the woods and I can hear the barren trees crack and sway in the dark. From far away I hear a dog bark, what wonderful night creature has gained his attention? Maybe a raccoon or even a skunk, proof of that should be swelling in the breeze any second. The distant hint of a scent proves to me that I am not alone in this night. I catch a quick smile dart across my face, thankful it isn’t my dog learning that valuable lesson concerning skunks and giving them wide berth.

I finally find the moon, or at least the half of it that showed up for work tonight. Even the moon is feeling the draw of sleep as it lays quietly on its back, slowing sinking to the horizon. Soon I know the sun will be fighting its way up into the dark sky, but for now, it is just me and the night. A comfortable silence follows as I watch and wait to see what new connection I find next.

I guess one could say quite truthfully that I am alone because of the lack of another human awake and watching my small part of the world. But in no way am I lonely. I find I have many thoughts to keep my company this night. Or is it day? It is still dark but I know the farmers and shift workers are waking up from a night’s sleep and getting ready to face another day. There is something to be said for watching this time of day from the night before and not having to face it after too short a night’s sleep. Watching the night end and day begin gives one pleasant thoughts, not grumbles and groans, but the realization that a new day is dawning.

A new day to dream and plan and visit with loved ones. A day full of promise and excitement. A new gift from God to be thoroughly enjoyed and savored. Maybe later when my wonder wears off, I’ll be tired and cranky. But for now, I am truly blessed. Blessed with the thoughts and prayers that cross my mind. And blessed to have been a quiet but thoughtful witness to the night and to the silence of my world well in order and peace. Ah, that is it. Peace.

April 4, 2009 at 4:26 am 2 comments

Magazines in the mail

I have a dirty little secret that I feel compelled to share.  I know, I know, I should resist, but every year at this time I start feeling drawn to the mail box in anticipation of those  wonderful magazines that come each year at this time.  Oh and I like them all.  Each and everyone of them.  But I do have to admit that I have a favorite, my heart beats faster and my palms get sweaty every year when it finally arrives, it is …. The Burpee’s plant and seed catalog.

What?  What were you thinking?  Well I can’t be held responsible for the direction your thoughts took, I was only talking about the Spring seed catalogs that grace my mailbox every late Winter.  And oh, how I do look forward to them every time.

Oh the joy that comes from looking at page after page of seeds and plants all ready to be ordered, paid for,  and shipped.  Oh the dreams that slowly form and take shape in my mind.  Yes this will be the year that I grow a garden again and yes I want that neat  tomato guaranteed to grow as big as my hand, and yes I want the hill cucumbers and the beans that don’t need to be staked.  Oh and look, I can grow my own Kiwi and where could I put those strawberries that look so divine?

And as much as I hate it,  I do have to admit that the last few years dreaming was all I did.  When I lived on the farm the calves would always get out of their nice little fences and jump into my garden and wipe it out in a single afternoon.   And last year, I was new to living here and didn’t know where the phone lines were buried or even where the electric wires were, so I was reluctant to start digging around too much.

Ahh, but this year?  This year I am going to cash in some of those dreams.  I am going to start a small garden and grow just a few things.  I really do miss the Spring time ritual of digging up a patch of ground and tilling the soil and planting the tiny little seeds that seem to take forever to sprout and grow.

I miss the long quiet times of kneeling pulling out the weeds.  I miss the warm sunshine on my back, but most of all, I miss the satisfaction of watching the tiny seedlings pick and fight their way into the bright new world.   And I miss the harvest, the fresh salad at dinner that was growing just 20 minutes ago.  I miss the beans canned and the peas frozen and the watermelon on a hot summer night.  But of all the things I miss, the one thing I miss the most is that connection with God and his wonderful planet.

There is a part of God that can only be truly understood when in communion with his Earth.  It is the stopping of the fast paced, run everywhere, forget to see what is around you.  It is a soft whisper to my heart calling me to stop, to listen, to see every blade of grass, every new sprouting seed, to really connect and quiet my mind.  It is a promise to me, yes a promise from God to me, every time I plant a seed.

You see I was once like that hard dried out seed.   I was hardened by life and there were little signs that I could ever be brought back.  I felt brittle and dead inside.   I was thrown into a deep dark place that held no light.  I felt like God and everyone abandoned me.  It was a cold, lonely time fill with questions and fear.

But ever so slowly, I felt myself growing and one beautiful day I burst forth into the light.  The light of knowing God and knowing myself.  Oh it wasn’t easy, there were a lot of weeds that threatened to choke me out and threathened to steal away my light, but I did survive and continued to grow.

I was that small, hardened, brittle seed.  But now I too am growing and coming closer to my harvest.  So maybe that is why those Spring catalogs always excite me.  Maybe I understand the pain of new growth but also the bounty.  Maybe those catalogs represent the dreams I have and the tools to make them a reality.  Or maybe I just like playing in the dirt.  But the what and why doesn’t matter.  What matters is that it draws me closer and closer to God.  Thank God for Spring and those neat little catalogs.

February 23, 2009 at 10:59 am 5 comments

Mix together and chill

Things have been a bit up in the air around here lately. Two people that I care deeply about are facing some serious health issues and my head and heart are in a constant battle. My head tells me that they will be fine but my heart is reserving its right to worry till it knows for sure. So some moments I am very optimistic and other moments I am chewing my nails down to nubbins. I get frustrated when life doesn’t follow my plans in the timely manner that I want. But I learned a great lesson while cooking with my son the other day.

I was mixing and measuring and he was reading the recipe to me as we went along. He got to the end and said, “Mix together and relax.” Well since I have never run across that particular instruction while cooking before, I looked over his shoulder and read, “Mix together and chill.” Of course I had a good laugh at that. But he got me thinking. Life is like a recipe in some ways. We have directions given to us by our Heavenly father and our earthly parents. We get instructions from school, work, and even when we play. We decide where we want to go in life and follow the directions to get there.

And life is full of ingredients. My family, my friends, my worries, my fears, my faith, my sisterfriends who are my prayer warriors, my God, my Love, and heck, even my enemies. But as much as it irritates me at times…I am not the chef. Yes, my life is full of ingredients but that does not make me the chef, because I am an ingredient in other lives too. I could never make so many sweet dishes without messing it up and thank God I don’t have. God is the great chef, he weaves all of the ingredients together and in the process makes a beautiful banquet for all of his children. I just have to remind myself that it is God who is doing the mixing together. All I need to do is chill.

January 17, 2009 at 6:25 pm 2 comments

The Gift

I have lived a blessed life.  I know it and I am grateful.  That is not to say that my life has been easy, but whenever the hard times hit, I am surrounded by wonderful people and God.  And what has continued to amaze me time and time again, is that the things I think are curses, actually end up being my greatest blessings.

I was sexually abused from 7 years old.  I am the first to admit that that part of my past has left me with some scars…..but it has also left me with some blessings.  From my experience, I was able to understand and connect with other people who faced and dealt with or were trying to deal with the same issue.  I volunteered at a local assault hot line and I found that in my being able to say, “Yes, I was once where you are at and I not only survived but thrived,” gave hope to the people I was talking to.  My experience gave me empathy and caring, it made me more aware of those around me who may be suffering.  Maybe not from the same exact life experiences, but suffering all the same.  I learned compassion for those who act out because just maybe they were hurting like I was.  I would never wish that particular experience on anyone and I am not jumping up and down with glee that I experienced it, but I am grateful for what I learned from it.  I will never be able to say that I am glad it happened, but I am thankful for what I learned from it.

I was the odd man out in school, especially high school.  I was different from the “norm” and I paid for it.  I had girls threatening to beat me up and making fun of me.  I hated it at the time, but from it I learned that people are not always what they appear on the outside.  That punk looking girl sneaking smokes in the restroom between classes was actually a lot more like me than I wanted to admit.  That boy who smoked pot every morning was hurting just the same as I was.  It just came out in different ways.  But through those experiences, I learned that I had absolutely no right to judge how someone else lived their life.  I had no right to make judgments on someone without living their life.

As hard as High School was for me, I also learned how to love.  No I never told her I was in love with her, and to this day she doesn’t know, but I learned the bitter sweet feelings of love.  No I am not talking about lust.  I was so far in the closet at that time that I couldn’t even begin to imagine being gay, no I am talking about loving someone.  Loving her for who she was and knowing she had my back.  We could talk on the phone for hours and not run out of things to say.  I could and did tell her everything.  The pain from that first heartbreak was horrid, but the lesson learned was how to love.  A wonderful lesson to learn.

That gets me to thinking about being gay.  For most of my life I hated it, denied it, ran from it, and pleaded to be made straight.  I wanted to die, planned how to die, and was rather distraught at the whole idea of being gay.  And even today, I still have times where I question my beliefs and my place in this world.  But even in the dark times, I can’t help but believe that my being gay is a gift from God.

How many people have you met that believe exactly what they were told to believe?  How many people have you met that rely on a book and not God for their understanding?  How many people hate people they have never met because they happened to fall in love with someone of the same gender?

In writing this blog and through other avenues, I have been blasted many times just for the fact that I am gay.  I have heard horrendous things said in the name of God that I know he would frown upon.  Even if God really does hate fags like the signs carried say, he would not want that hate to be spewed out upon his children.  I actually have been told that I am not blessed, but that I am cursed.  Cursed to live a life of celibacy or rot in hell.  Now my intention is not to get into a biblical argument, yes I know Leviticus and Romans et all,  my goal is to try to explain why I think being gay is a gift and not a curse.

1.  I never had the comfort of just buying into everything I was told about God and Church.  I had to, yes I was forced, to go to God on a personal level.  I had to ask what he thought about me.  Not what I was taught from childhood on, but what he wanted for me in my life.  If I hadn’t been gay, then I would never have been forced to find my own belief system.  I could have swallowed and regurgitated everything that I was told.  I never would have had to dig deep.  And I mean deep into my own self and my beliefs and my relationship with God.  I never would have stood before God and begged him to take my life before I disgraced him.  I never would have heard God say, very loudly and clearly I might add, that I had no right to hate what he lovingly created.  If I were born straight, then I would never have had the turmoil that I faced, but then again, I wouldn’t have had this personal one on one relationship with my creator.  I never would have had to move beyond the expected to the unexpected.

2.  I never had the pleasure of just being “normal”  I had to learn how to be myself and accept myself and in that process I have learned so much.  I am gifted by the fact that I had to look at every aspect of my life.  I got to know myself intimately and on a level I would have never reached if I weren’t gay.  Yes I know, straight people do the soul searching thing too, but I was forced to.  And what I learned is a blessing beyond belief.  I learned that I am who God created me to be, I learned that God doesn’t fit into a little box that humans continuously try to put him in, and I learned that God likes it when we question.  It opens up real dialogue.  Not memorized verses or chants, but honest conversation.

3.  In accepting who I am, I am much more open to accepting others as they are.  Take my two sons for example.  The oldest is very smart in common sense and fixing things.  He is great with his hands, but he has trouble with “book learning”  He is very smart but he will never be a straight A student.  He won’t.  But I celebrate his C’s as much as an A.  Because he works his tail off and he earns every grade he gets.  I never had to work in school.  I was in the gifted program and I never had trouble until I hit high school.  We are completely different.  But I can accept him for who he is.  He doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of me.  He is who he is and that is a wonderful person with a quick wit and more common sense than I have.

My youngest is so brilliant that he is social poor.  Do you know what I mean?  He sees the world in a completely different way.  It wouldn’t surprise me if he discovers great things one day because he is willing to look at things differently than anyone else.  He was born with a great sense of self.  He doesn’t care what people think.  In his mind, he is right with the world and if they don’t agree, then the heck with them.  But in seeing my boys and how very different they are, I have to accept them.  Because I have finally accepted myself, I am able to accept them.  They both know that I love them no matter what and I know I am more accepting because I accept myself.

4.  In admitting to being gay, I have met some wonderful people who challenge me on a daily basis.  They ask the questions and state their beliefs that force me to revisit my own.  I have met some wonderful people whom I may never meet face to face, but I know in 40 years we will be in different nursing homes emailing each other because we truly love one another.  I like all of my internet friends, but I do love some of them.  And it is a real love born out of the commonality we share but I also love my straight friends.  It isn’t about being gay or straight, it is about caring, and worrying, and loving friends.  In being gay and searching my soul, I learned about agape love.  I learned about the love of friends, and I learned about what true friendship is.  Today I spent hours with a very straight friend of mine.  We worked on putting up trim and such things but what we really worked on was supporting each other.  I know she has my back and I have her’s.  Do I love her?  Yes.  Very much but I love her as my friend, nothing more.  Yes gay women can be friends with other women.  J and I are a good example of that.

5.  I have been dropped into the fire and I came out whole.  I am who God created me to be.  He didn’t create me to burn in hell.  Can I still go there?  Sure but my chances are the same as my straight friends.  If I go to hell it will not be because I am gay.  It will be because I once turned away from a homeless person in need.  Or I failed to be there for a friend.  Or I acted in hate and not love.  My being gay?  It won’t get me to hell.  My being human might.

6.  One time when I was in grade school, a teacher of mine recognized that I was different and she took me under her wing.  I can remember the day she told me that if God wanted everyone  to be alike, then all flowers would be blue.  She told me that God loved me and she was and is so instrumental in my life.  She is about 70 ish??? Maybe closer to 80’s but we have remained good friends.  One night I felt the need to come out to her.  I don’t know why,  but I did.  And her reaction stunned me,  a member of her family had just came out and she didn’t know how to react.  In talking she came to an understanding and her family member was accepted for being who he is.  And that gives me hope.  Because if this grandmother of, I don’t know, at least 10 can come to terms and deal with a gay family member than so can the rest of the world.

7.  I am going to stop at lucky 7, but I can think of a thousand reasons to be grateful that I am gay.  But #7  is I am grateful that I am gay.  It doesn’t matter if it is nature or nurture, hormones in the womb, a choice or destiny.  What matters is how I live my life.  I am very happy to be in a wonderful monogamous relationship with the woman whom I love more than life itself.  Yes we have issues, What couple doesn’t?  But she fills my days with laughter, my nights with passion, my soul with love.  I have learned to love without prejudice.  Without ulterior motives.  I have learned to love wholly and deeply.  I have learned how to live.

Being gay isn’t a curse or a punishment.  Being gay is a gift, just like being straight is a gift.  But it is a gift that we must accept to live fully and freely.

January 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm 2 comments

Winter

This time of year is always hard on me.  The leaves have fallen off the trees, the air is getting that winter bite, and the days are growing shorter.  The work outside is done or at least put on hold till next Spring.  The lawn mower has been cleaned and put away and all the animals are finishing their winter coats.

The shorter days lend themselves to lower moods.  The cold wind lends itself to thoughts of ice and snow and dangerous driving off the side of my hill to get to town or anywhere else I may need to go.  But the worst part of all, is losing the days of working outside in the warm sun.  Of course winter lends itself to plenty of back breaking snow removal, but it isn’t the same as working in the warm sunlight.

Every other season has it’s benefits.  Spring brings about the promise of new growth and rebirth.  Summer days are filled with enjoyable work and plenty of play.  Fall brings the harvest and beautiful colors of the leaves and those clear blue skies.  But what is Winter’s claim to fame?  When I was a kid it meant snow days and sleeping in for two hour delays.  Snow meant snowmen and sled riding and hot chocolate.  But now it means my fingers hurt every time they get cold, I am shoveling the snow, not playing in it, and I am the one wiping up puddles of dripping snow off the kitchen floor while heating up hot chocolate.

Not that I am complaining, I am glad my boys find the same fun in Winter that I used to.  I hope they can look for the fun for a long time to come.  And I don’t even mind the puddles or the endless cups of hot chocolate, it’s just harder now than it used to be.  It is harder to stay interested in the other areas of life.  I know the lower lighting affects my mood and the colder temps make my bones ache after 10 minutes outside.  I find myself wanting to stay curled up in bed longer and less likely to start new projects.

But this time of year also has some redeeming qualities.  My favorite holiday is fast approaching and I mean Thanksgiving.  What other holiday was formed strictly for feeling thankful and for naming all of your blessings?  Thanksgiving is the time to gather with family, tell the old stories once again, and eat until the buttons threaten to pop.  Thanksgiving is the time to slow down and look at all the faces around your table and be grateful that each of them are there.  It is a time of seeing the blessings of the last year and even mourning the faces that are absent for the first time this year.

But for me, Thanksgiving is also a time to reflect on the last year and note the growth of myself in more ways than one.  Yes it is true that my jeans size has grown over the years, but so has my compassion and understanding.  My self worth has grown and my ability to love others as myself.  My circle of friends have grown, even though I may never meet some of them face to face.  My children have grown and matured.  My family has grown with the addition of my ex’s new girlfriend (who is a welcome addition).  And I have grown in my understanding of what it means to be truly thankful.

It is easy to be thankful when you are on the mountain top looking around and seeing all the beauty that surrounds you.  It is hard to be thankful when you are in the dark dank valley looking up at the cliffs that surround you.  It is hard to be thankful when you are enveloped by the stale stagnant air and there is no end to the valley in sight.  But I think that is the lesson I am to learn this Fall and Winter.  I am to be thankful on the mountain top but also in the valley.

That doesn’t mean that this season will be any easier on me, just that I need to find thankfulness no matter where I am at.  It will still be a chore to get my lazy butt out of bed, but I need to be thankful that my feet hit the floor and I move on.  It will still be a chore to shovel the snow and freeze my fingers, but I must be thankful that I am able to do it.  It will still be an irritation to wipe up melting snow for the 10th time in one morning, but I will be grateful and thankful that I have my children to track it in.

So while I see the valley looming before me, I also am taking with me supplies, the thoughts and prayers of friends, my family, my health, my children, and my willingness to try to be thankful in all things.  Notice I said to try, I know there will be days that I fail, and days where God will just shake his head and say, “can’t you see all I have done for you?”  But I pray everyday that God will open my eyes to all of the blessings that surround me and I pray that I will remember to say, “Thank you.”

Because isn’t that what Thanksgiving is about?

November 10, 2008 at 3:30 pm 4 comments

Gay Marriage

With Nov. fast approaching, I can’t help but think of all of my friends that may be, no will be, greatly affected by the vote on prop 8 in California. There are countless lives out there that will either have their marriages upheld, or once again be told that they are second class citizens. Or once again be told that, ” Your life, your love, and your commitment isn’t the same as mine and therefore wrong.”

What is a “real” marriage? That is hard to say. Not because I don’t know the legal definition, but because marriages come in all shapes and sizes. Marriage has been a financial arrangement between two families. “Let’s talk, drink some wine, and in the end, I’ll give you my daughter, 100 head of cattle, and 200 head of sheep. In return, I want your loyalty to my tribe or family.” Marriage has also been ” mail order brides”, no that is not just a saying. There really was a time men could order a wife (unfortunately it stills happens today). Marriage has also been two people forced together by family because birth control wasn’t used or even rape had occurred.

Marriage has been an escape for young women to get out of abusive homes. Marriage has been a punishment for virginity lost. Marriage has been “child (and yes I mean child) brides” being forced to marry much older men. Yes this still happens around the world today and even here in the U.S. Don’t be so naive that you think that happened only in years gone by.

Marriages have been performed where there was no love. Marriage has been used to defend a man’s right to rape his wife. It may not be legal anymore, but just try being a wife and “proving” your husband raped you. Marriage has been used to give man dominion over woman. Marriage has been used to trap a wealthy husband. Marriage has been bastardized for generations. And this is all considered heterosexual marriage and therefore good and right in the sight of God.

It may sound like I am against marriage. I’m not. I think it is a beautiful covenant between two people and God. It is the public statement that this is the person that I love and I promise to work beside them and carry them and be carried by them. It is a promise of a future together and a pact of faith in each other and in God. It is a commitment that shouldn’t be entered into lightly. But how many spur of the moment marriages are performed in Vegas?

The funny thing is, I could meet a man tomorrow, decide that I am just tired of being alone, or poor, or just too scared to remain single and be “legally” married in a few days. And not a soul would question it. There would be no Bible thumpers standing outside the courtroom. No one would blink an eye. No one would be shouting that this “marriage” was against God’s law or Biblical teaching.

Of course it isn’t. Biblical marriages were contracts between families. Biblical marriages included multiple wives. Biblical marriages were set up, not for love, but political gain or social standing. People didn’t start to marry for love until the colonies. It just wasn’t done. A woman was lucky if she grew to love her husband and the husband was lucky if he was fond of his wife. Getting married just because you love someone goes against the normal Biblical marriage, and yet no one complains.

I know a lady was has been married 4 times, is in the process of getting divorced, and is working on #5. Where are the protesters? Where are the screaming crowds? The fact is, they don’t care. They don’t care because divorce affects them or their loved ones personally. Where are the Bible thumpers when a 17 year old girl is forced by her family to marry her boyfriend who got drunk one night and forced himself on her? Where are the Bible thumpers when a 12 or 13 year old girl is illegally brought into this country to become a plaything for a 40 year old man? They are busy screaming at homosexual adults for being so bold as to want a piece of the marriage pie.

Yes, I agree that marriage is in trouble. Many people everyday enter into it and make a mockery of what mainstream America believes is moral and right. Many heterosexual marriages fall way short of this mythical, ideal, state of union that is being held up as the “only” union. So my question is this, why aren’t they out there fighting as hard to fix heterosexual marriage as they are to prevent homosexual marriage?

The truth is, your marriage and your family is in no way dependant on mine. Your marriage isn’t being affected by your neighbor’s (unless he wants your wife because he is unhappy with his own). Your marriage is in no way strengthened or weakened by the marriage of the man who lives two blocks from you. If your marriage is so weak that it can be torn apart by what someone does behind closed doors, then I am so sorry for you. If your marriage is so weak that my orientation can destroy it, then I pity you. If your marriage is dependent on keeping me from marriage, then I will pray for your union. Maybe couples counseling would help. Or maybe paying as much attention to your own marriage and forgetting about mine would help to strengthen it.

If my getting legally married affects your morals and values…, then wow, that is just a really sad thought. Does the fact that your neighbor beats his wife affect your values? Does the fact that the cashier at the local store helps herself to a little out of the tin everyday affect your values? Your values are yours. My values are mine. You don’t have an effect on mine so why should I have an effect on yours? But if your value system is so weak that I can tear it down, then maybe you should spend the time you are using to protest and taking away my civil rights to work on yourself and your value system.

I have an idea, I hope you like it. If you believe that government should dictate who can and who can’t get married, then let us allow everyone that same right. By this I mean, if you feel that the government should be able to tell me who I can marry, then you deserve that same right. The government should be able to tell YOU who you can and can not marry. I think the same rules should apply to you as to me. So what should the guidelines to marriage be?

People should marry only people of their same social-economic class. The differences between classes would only weaken the union. There should be a limit on age differences, too many years and it just won’t work. Of course in keeping marriage pure, different races and religions shouldn’t be allowed to marry. I think that if you screw up your first marriage then you shouldn’t get another try. Or maybe two strikes and you are out of the wedding scene forever? How about you can only marry someone within a certain distance, because you know, kids need to know their grandparents. Or how about if you have children you HAVE to stay married until the youngest is 18, it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. Or you can’t marry someone because there is mental illness in her family? Wow, this could be fun figuring out who has the right to marriage and who doesn’t. I know this is an unrealistic example, but I still think if the government has the right to choose who I enter into that legal contract with, it should be for everyone living in this country.

Yes there are a lot of problems in our country, both with marriages and families. If everyone would spend as much time and energy on searching for solutions as they do creating problems, then we wouldn’t be in this mess. But it boils down to personal choices. I may not agree with yours and you may not agree with mine, but because we are free citizens, we have the right to make our own choices. And that includes who I decide to marry.

October 22, 2008 at 8:51 am 6 comments

Coming out

Coming out. Such innocent little words until you are faced with doing it. Of course I mean coming out of the closet. How did that tiny little boxy area filled with clothing come to represent being gay? I find it fascinating the way we think about and describe things in our lives. But I do have to admit, it is very accurate.

Think of the average closet. It is pretty small in there and stuffed full of things. It is dark when the door is shut and the air can be stale if not enough ventilation is present. It reminds me of a time my brother and I were playing hide and go seek as kids. I ran and hid in my bedroom closet. It was so dark and cramped in there. I wasn’t comfortable at all. I was really wanting to find a new place to hide but I could hear him out there already looking for me. I was scared and I was alone.

The funny thing is, the longer I stayed hidden, the more comfortable I became. My eyes adjusted to the darkness and it wasn’t so scary. It was tight and there was little room to move, but I was surrounded and somewhat protected by my things. In fact, it started to feel safe. It was like the world (or my brother) couldn’t find me. Sure my feet went to sleep after a while and I was starting to get tired, but it was comfortable all the same.

Then he opens the door and finds me. It hurt my eyes and I had to blink a few times because they were watering from the sudden intensity of light that flowed into my dark little haven. I had to slowly untangle myself from all the junk on the floor. I had to adjust to the sudden feeling of being found and therefore vulnerable to losing the game.

And that is exactly how my journey has been. I remember the day I had the thought, and I quote, “Damn, I’m gay.” I ran and jumped into that closet so fast and it was a terrifying place to be. It was dark, I was lost and alone, and I was terrified. It was so very cramped in there being surrounded by years of being “churched”, family beliefs, community beliefs, and my own fears and concerns. No one needed to know I was gay and I could keep all of my things with me.

And it started to become comfortable, hiding away pretending to be what everyone else wanted. Of course I had to deny basic truths about myself and staying in that dark place, I quit growing. I became stagnant and stale. I was trying to keep who I was so tightly hidden that it pinched and it hurt. But it is better to stick with what you know right? As uncomfortable as it was being in the closet, it was safer than the great unknown. If I opened that door, what would I lose? Would my family, friends,community, and church disown me? Would I lose my security and everything I have known if I opened that door even just a crack?

To this day, I am not completely sure how I found the courage to open that door up. But somehow I managed it. I opened it up enough to sneak out under the cover of darkness and find Anita’s web site. (Sisterfriends link on the side) And through that site, the light started to come in. Oh it hurt, and I was very uncomfortable admitting to another person that I was gay. I stepped out in faith that she was who she said she was, and in turn, I was richly rewarded.

I found out that I didn’t have to stay hidden from everyone. And once I became accepting of myself and my orientation, that closet wasn’t comfortable anymore. I am in no way saying that everyone should jump out of the closet tomorrow, it is a personal decision that should be given time. I am only speaking to my own journey. But I couldn’t hide myself anymore.

That is not to say that every single person who knows me, knows I am gay. I am out to my family and close friends, it is sort of on a need to know basis. A lot of people really have no reason to know. But I am not hiding. Coming out was a hard journey and it is still one that I am on. But in no way do I regret coming out of the dark cramped place to a room full of light.

October 12, 2008 at 10:38 pm 8 comments

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