Latest Event Updates

love come down

Posted on Updated on

Love come down
all the way down
no sleep last night
been dreamin’ of you
please hold me tight
’cause i can’t help the way that i feel
i just can’t help the way that i feel
thief in the night
you took my heart
now danger’s in sight
’cause i can’t help the way that i feel
i just can’t help the way that i feel

there are aspects of being a “sissy” that have caused me grief my entire life. i am not speaking of being gay, but more about being somewhat effeminate- less now than when i was younger. today, on Pride Day, i find myself thinking about what it has meant being gay all these years. i know that “coming out” was a real event and i was thrilled when i had stepped beyond the glass closet and found myself inside with the rest of my tribe. at the same time however, i found myself distanced by many because of my  effeminate mannerisms and characteristics. i would imagine this is most easily explained by internalized homophobia. but on a spiritual level, this understanding takes time and work to reach. initially, it just felt like more hate pointed in my direction, and reaffirmed the notion that i was, indeed, unlovable and not what others wanted.

this is a poignant place for me to arrive on this Pride day. i still struggle rigorously- even after 36 years being out- with this same theme. and sadly, i have turned my insecurities outward and aimed them at others over the years. maybe, i still do periodically. i hung out w/ a friend last evening that i dated for a very short time about 16 years ago. never has there been a question that he cares about me. never have i felt judged or as if i might be an embarrassment. to the contrary, he seems to admire and respect the parts of myself that i have struggled with all these years.

this perspective that he seems to hold about me is where i would like to find myself, too. the deep-rooted shame that has accompanied me through this life may no longer be of service. maybe  it is long overdue for a departure. i don’t quite know how i will work toward this, but i do completely believe it is the direction i have to go.

SHAME AND GUILT



Shame is not the same as guilt.
When we feel guilt, it’s about something we did.
When we feel shame, it’s about who we are.
When we feel guilty we need to learn
that it’s OK to make mistakes.
When we feel shame we need to learn
that it’s OK to be who we are!……… more about shame here

as i sat with my friend, i realized what a gift this across-the-board acceptance is to me. i didn’t ask him for it, but he has it completely- no questions asked. and i realize that i need to strive towards more of this naked acceptance in my world. truthfully, i struggle quite a lot with my own self-judgement as much as i am challenged by the rest of the world. now all i need is another 50 years or so…:)

Prayer to Overcome Shame


There are dark places in my Being, God. There are memories, circumstances, and scars that are unspeakable to me as I come before you. Heal my broken places, Dear God, and help me to feel my Wholeness. Bring me into the Light with You, God, and let me feel my fullness of Being as a Child of God…. from the prayer goddess

OK GO

Posted on

thanks to Lady Bunny for this one….

Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Chicken with Croutons

Posted on

I had this for dinner last evening.. I can’t remember being so pleasantly surprised by a meal in quite some time.

Lemon Chicken with Croutons

Recipe By : Ina Garten – Barefoot in Paris

1 roasting chicken — (4 to 5-pound)

1 large yellow onion — sliced

Good olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 lemons — quartered

2 tablespoons unsalted butter — melted

6 cups bread cubes (1 baguette or round boule) — (3/4-inch)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Take the giblets out of the chicken and wash it inside and out. Remove any

excess fat and leftover pinfeathers. Toss the onion with a little olive

oil in a small roasting pan. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle the

inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the lemons inside the

chicken. Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels, brush it

with the melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs

together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the

chicken.

Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut

between the leg and the thigh. Cover with foil and allow to sit at room

temperature for 15 minutes. (The onions may burn, but the flavor is good.)

Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until

very hot. Lower the heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing

frequently, until nicely browned, 8 to

10 minutes. Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon

salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the croutons on a serving platter.

Slice the chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices, over the

croutons. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.

round here

Posted on Updated on

Step out the front door like a ghost

Into the fog where no one notices

The contrast of white on white.

And in between the moon and you

Angels get a better view

Of the crumbling difference between wrong and right.

And I walk in the air between the rain, through myself and back again

Where? I don’t know

Well, Maria says she’s dying

Through the door I hear her crying

Why? I don’t know

have been very busy working 3 jobs these days. i work as a substance abuse counselor at a public health hospital here and work with persons with hiv. i also teach DUI classes 3x week and work with highly ambivalent people who may be seeing a substance issue in the light for the 1st time.  i also work with as a cater waiter with private chefs around town. of course the catering is the most lucrative position. it pays the best and the work is fairly steady for part time. i work with some extremely talented people, eat very well, and get to visits homes and neighborhoods that i normally wouldn’t see.

i actually love this diversity. i don’t think i could ever revert to being a server on a full time basis and retain my sanity. but i also think that working parties and small events affords me the luxury of letting go of some of the serious qualities of my day job. there are definitely people with problems and many of them cross my path. i love this job- or at least the possibilities it holds. my co-workers are mostly eccentric and that is very comfortable place for me to be. and the people i work with as a counselor continue to touch my heart.

i am still learning that “being there” sometimes needs to be enough. this continues to be a lesson that challenges my “fixer” sensibility. but i’m tryin’…

i  heard this song last night at a party and remembered how much i liked it….

play ball

Posted on Updated on

in the camp film “twilight” bela is invited to play baseball with the cullen family during a thunderstorm, as that is the only time they can really play during the daytime not only because the cracks of thunder drown out the incredibly large “crack” sound their bats make hitting the ball, but also as the dark clouds block the direct sunlight from landing on them. i find this particular scene from the film not only very stylized with a monotone colorized quality, but it also connects to something in my psyche.. now i can see that there is more than an obvious reason why.

i have been constantly had ptsd triggered since i got sober. it is powerful, it is numbing, and it’s almost completely crippling for me. the feelings that shroud me during these periods cause me to withdraw almost completely from my life. i become obsessed with personal safety and a cloak of anger circles me which keeps adrenalin flowing and helps to keep me in a watchdog state. and when i am paranoid and angry i feel safe somehow.

god, ain’t this twisted? seems so to me. so many times these “triggers” have come and i have continued to try to play my game of life without any of the sunlight of spirit present. i am acting on instinct, and my brain is leading the way. i have pre-determined how these limbic pathways travel, and on cue, they perform like a domino setup.

it kinda goes like this. i will be in a regular kinda state and then some strange thing, usually a remark or an action by someone else will cause me to go numb. i will sit in the situation for a few minutes, but start to detach and almost as if a cloak of invisibility covers me. then i will physically withdraw and isolate for a bit. i will go over the situation over and over in my mind. i will justify by own words or behaviors. and i will find anger and when i find this anger, i feel as if i have found home. it’s not physically comfortable, but the uncomfortable qualities are very familiar… almost primal. 

and i may stay like this for days or weeks.. sometimes longer. the rest of my life will come back into focus, but the interactions and my relationship with that person will stop living and become still life, just like a fetus in formaldehyde at the state fair freak show.

only now, after several years of clean time, am i able to simply recognize this pattern. i am not clear what all causes it. i know it is primal and began at a very young age. i am sure this is how i survived most of my tween and adult years. it is hardly a wonder that i turned to getting loaded to ease my way through. but now the challenge is to find new ways through it. not unsurprising is the fact that my old coping technique eventually failed and i feel blessed that recognition of this pattern is commencing. one upside to all this is the existence of a desire to let it go. now if i can only find a map to get me out of here.

and so here i am, periodically lost, with sanity sometimes slipping away into oblivion like the mists of avalon. and when this happens, it is very much like having to play baseball in a thunderstorm. so many distractions and very little sunlight to help guide my way. thank goodness for hope.

a tiny flame arose tonight
and in it spoke of deep sorrow and pain
a tiny flame arose tonight
it started off as one
then grew to two and three and four
the tiny flame of sorrow and pain
grew into a light of love and peace and tenderness
and now together the flame will purge the sorrow and burn the hate
and send it all away
so that for this night the tender of the flame
may rest in peace

Dana …. reposted from http://www.hopeforhealing.org/

i love this scene from twilight and i love the accompanying song from “muse”

Invisible Light

Posted on Updated on

Light can be gentle, dangerous, dreamlike, bare, living, dead, misty, clear, hot, dark, violet, springlike, falling, straight, sensual, limited, poisonous, calm and soft. ~Sven Nykvist

Scissor Sisters Take Me Away……

Festivus 2010

Posted on Updated on

Celebrants of the holiday sometimes refer to it as “Festivus for the rest of us,” a saying taken from the O’Keefe family traditions and popularized in the Seinfeld episode to describe Festivus as “another way” to celebrate the holiday season without participating in its pressures and commercialism.

The year 2010 marks the 41st celebration of Pride. Our celebratory practices have changed little over the years. We, as Gay and Lesbian citizens of this nation (and the world) still take to the streets with the spirit of Festivus and liberation where it all began. My observation is that each year we still “come out” with our real selves after years of denial and living in the shadows. Street celebrations, marches, parades, and block festivals mark this rite of passage that most of us have gone through in our journey to find our tribe(s) of choice.

I came out in 1974 (I was 16) with just a suitcase, low-rise hip-huggers, platform shoes and enough train fare to get me to the large urban center nearest me. I no longer felt that I could masquerade as something else and the inner desire to run with my pack was just too hypnotic to resist. I left home and never looked back until 25 when a death in the family called to me almost as compellingly to return to my tribe of origin.

I now find myself moving through yet another quadrant in the medicine wheel of life. My needs for celebration and homage have gentrified. I will be 36 years openly gay and feel no struggles or challenges with most of the accessories of that lifestyle. My Queer sensibility is no surprise to anyone in my life- work, family, neighbors, friends, business associates. I have worked diligently to acquire this peace of mind in my life.

that’s me  in 1985

The same is true for my HIV Positive status. I seroconverted in 1985. It is no one’s business, I understand. And if people don’t want to know, then they should forget it or not listen. But I have learned living in Denver that if I don’t speak its name (HIV) then perhaps very few people will. And I don’t believe this is healthy or helpful to new persons testing positive every year or those putting themselves in at-risk situations. People acquire HIV mostly by NOT discussing it, so supporting THAT practice of silence seems incredibly foolhardy and negligent.

Besides, HIV Positive Americans have contributed greatly to the LGBT movement. I think to GMHC, ACT-UP, Pedro Zamora, Peter Staley, Larry Kramer,  Rock Hudson (albeit without intention) to name a few. These brave and determined individuals moved us as a culture from victims to empowerment with anger, desperation, and determination as the fuel. The intimate doctor visit forever changed because of the concept of individual responsibility when dealing with one’s provider. Activities such as asking specific diagnostic and treatment option questions, waiting for explanations, and offering feedback to primary care physicians were rarely seen pre-AIDS, but are now commonplace due to these groundbreaking predecessors. They believed and saw often that Silence most certainly Equaled Death.

I have co-existed with a culture of silence both about homosexuality, HIV, mental health issues, and substance abuse and seen that silence create great damage. This year as I partake of Festivus, there will be room for not only LGBT citizens of all shapes and colors, but room for these others too. I expect my community  to stand with my family of choice around issues very personal, just as I stand in solidarity with them.  Pride represents a world with NO STIGMA and NO SHAME for both lgbt citizens AND for my poz brothers and sisters as well as those in recovery. And I celebrate this wondrous occasion without the sponsorship of a corporation or a product.  Happy Pride…I will celebrate with Pride the legacy I enjoy that was left so graciously by my predecessors. Those brave and bigger-than-life souls that paved the way for my easy path did not face their fears so that I would be afraid to move forward. They fought back and shouted and marched in the streets so that they might live and that I might live too. And it worked beautifully in some cases! This is where I find Pride this year!