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play ball

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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

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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

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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!

revived

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today’s post rings in a new chapter for me. and it is a needed new direction. so i hope to bring some of myself that has been hiding in the back of the closet. i found myself in somewhat of a public eye in my professional life and suddenly my truth seemed unacceptable, or at least not appropriate. and part of me knows that unless i live in my truth, i am not living at all.

this is the challenge. the marathon-triathlon, decathlon, whatever, has begun. so i hope that there will be readers now and again to witness my life for me, at least in written form. i will write when i can. i will write when i am inspired. i will write so i can figure out what to say.

i got sober-clean about 5 1/2 years ago. my life has been a patchwork of incredible miracles and opportunity as well as the uncovering of shadowy parts of my past that i had never allowed to be brought to light. i have somehow managed to cut a path with my journey, but have definitely incurred some sharp blows and opened old wounds at the same time. it’s exhausting and exhilarating, but i save time for great food and fantastic music, and love to admire a good photograph whenever i can.

no longer the living dead, i have been revived.