Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!


May those of you who still come here to read of Beck (and this one particularly important and vital aspect of who I am), find peace and serenity in your various paths in this coming year.

That is my prayer for you and me as we continue to figure this out together.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

A brief encounter...

CASE IN POINT: It's a gay thing, I guess...

The other night I arrived at the airport after a long business trip. The airport was seasonally busy with lots of activity in every direction. I was tired and anxious to get on my way, to be with family, to settle back into the warmth of home. Boarding the bus for the long-term parking lot, I got smashed in the middle of mostly businessmen hanging on in very tight standing-room-only personal space, shoulder bags and bodies mashing together.

It was in this scenario that I found myself staring into the face of a most exceptionally beautiful man. He was in his late 20s or early 30s. His eyes were piercing blue, with amazing lips and smile. His blond hair was neatly groomed and his nose beautifully proportioned. His neck and body fit and lean and strong. He smelled sweet and intoxicating and I couldn't help but drink him in. We bumped together and leaned in unison around the bends and up and over the overpass. Our eyes met a couple of times and we smiled with brief small-talk of being pleasantly crushed together.

He wormed his way through the mass of bodies and got off at stop no. 1 and so did I quickly following his path. He headed in the direction of my car and I followed closely behind, admiring his shoulders and buns and manly walk. I wanted to keep drinking him in and found myself enchanted by his mere essence. Before I knew it, I had followed him past my car and into the next lot. I found myself wondering what it would be like to kiss him. When he stopped at his car, I finally realized I had completely forgotten what I was doing, and came to my senses and circled back to my car.


I've pondered this since and wonder if I get so mesmerized and consumed and overwhelmed by such brief encounters with gorgeous men because of my gay celibacy or is it "just a gay thing"?

Is this normal?

Just wondering.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

An early Christmas Gift!

I received an early Christmas present - one of those parental pay days! My oldest graduated from college today! I wasn't sure how I was going to feel, but sure enough I felt pretty proud and excited as a proud papa should be.

Sometimes I wonder if I had never married, never experienced fatherhood... that was, indeed, a real possibility. But naively, I married and eventually parenthood followed. This child, in particular, has faced amazing challenges from the very beginning - physical, emotional, spiritual, and social challenges that would have completely stopped me (and most anyone else)but she's a survivor, a fighter, an amazing woman. What a blessing!

There's an emotional wave coming over me as I put all the feelings together of watching this significant achievement in her life. You worry and fret and push and pull and route for your children to grow and succeed and find their own path into adulthood... and you wonder if it will ever happen, and then it finally does. Now the waves of anxiety over the potential of future opportunities of where life will go from here come forward as reality hits that it's over and real life starts.

That's for another day. Right now, I'm just so excited and pleased for this, her personal goal, obtained. It's been a struggle with times when we thought this day would never be realized. But what an example of perseverance, hard work, self resolve and personal sacrifice to make it to the end.

And now a beginning!

yes... proud indeed...

What a great gift!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Peace is not the absence of conflict...

As my "inner Maurice" and "outer Clive" continue to act out their play in my mind's stage, and manifest themselves in real life, I continue to search for peace - peace between these two conflicting aspects of my being. Will my Maurice and Clive ever get together and work it out and come to terms and live at peace together?

Occasionally one hears something at Church and it registers enough to linger in the back of the mind, compartmentalized for future pondering.

One such pondering has been this:

"Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God no matter the conflict."

As one "conflicted" as I, this thought has lingered: the peace I seek and sometimes find, is not because of the absence of conflict in my life (be that from the pain resulting from serious family issues, or the stress from living a less than authentic life), but because I still feel the presence of God and his acceptance of me, the real me, and my family.

That's what I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving... that peace, despite or in spite of the conflict, internal or otherwise, that still comes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Locking the window...

There is another level to my feelings about the film "Maurice" that affects me on a daily basis, that pulls me back, that keeps me checked, even left to lock the window tight at night, though longingly looking out at others...

This is in the world of the MOHO community here.

I have been part of the Maurice and Clive world of meeting on a mountain rock, or grassy memorial ground and gently caressing a fellow MOHO's hand, fingering through his hair, or tightly touching his torso... that connection of bromantic friendship that Maurice and Clive experienced.

This stirred emotions inside me that were exhilarating, exciting and "stimulating", a stimulus that in other world would have been embarrassing, but in this time and space were miraculous and beautiful.

Holding him tightly, I felt the "excitement" expand to the point of him feeling it... whereupon he brought it to my attention, and I kept holding him whispering... "I know, isn't it wonderful!" My inner "Maurice" was outwardly expressing himself!

I wanted to go forward, pursuing even more, and becoming more and more "stimulated" to the point that I had to be checked... checked by my other self, my inner "Clive" where propriety ultimately wins out. I got scared. I backed off. I checked myself. I pulled back. I cut off ties. I broke the connection. I locked the window.

Fast forward to this weekend: I wanted so very much to attend the "Circling the Wagons" conference. I wanted to be part of that community, to open that window, to step out onto that balcony, to climb down that ladder or at least allow others to climb up to greet me.

Situations developed within the family that precluded me from going. Our child took some serious missteps that could lead to serious legal penalties and I had to be there to deal with the family situation, supporting my wife and child. I longed to be elsewhere at the conference with fellow MOHOs, but I couldn't. I guess I could have, but I chose otherwise. Family comes first, right? Sometimes it takes personal sacrifice. And sacrifice is defined as giving up something great for something better, right?

I couldn't sleep Friday night. I wanted so much to figure out how to do both - support my family and support the inner me, being fed by those of you who could help me to be more accepting of myself at this special once-in-a-lifetime self-affirming experience. Yet, I was scared. After being out to my wife and two of kids, it still is something that I don't openly express or allow expressing. I pull back. I fear the outwardly "excitement" or expression. I don't allow my inner self to have priority - so I hold back, I don't allow connections. I lock the window, and find myself looking out again, longingly...

I feel very sad to have allowed this to happen. I allow it to happen. I allow circumstances to make my choices for me, instead of creating my own circumstances and being in charge of my own life.

Yet, I did choose well. I don't totally regret my choice. I connected with a child who needed me in a unique circumstance. I supported my wife, not leaving her alone in a time of urgency and real need... and I found myself later on Sunday, "dancing with her in the kitchen" again (what has become a symbol of bonding commitment between us), holding her, loving her... sacrificing something great (my inner self) for something better (our family relationship), placing it above all else.

Is this life always a choice between "great" and "better"? Is there never a choice that allows one to experience and have both "great" and "better"? Is that possible? Or is there always the choice of one verses the other?

For now, I must live vicariously through the input and view of other bloggers who were able to attend this weekend's conference, but also symbolically watching how you live your lives and make your choices. I'm still locking the window, securing the house for another night, longingly looking out at that special mountain rock or grassy memorial ground, my inner-self left to watch and wonder...

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Maurice: EM Forster's Classic...

At the suggestion of a dear MOHO friend, especially with my current gay-themed movie watching mood in full bloom, I sat down and watched "Maurice", EM Forster's classic autobiographical gay tale of growing up and coming to terms with homosexuality in Edwardian turn of the century days as a student at Oxford. I had seen snapshots of the story on YouTube, but never had I taken the time to watch it in its entirety.

Until now.

The Merchant-Ivory beautiful period piece of pre WWI England captured me completely. A huge fan of "A Room with a View" and "Howard's End", I watched it intently and devotedly, and came away thinking how much I have been or am part of the two main characters, Clive and Maurice (pronounced "Morris").

In one scene, Clive is the pursuer of Maurice's affection, and Maurice is the innocent and affectionate friend, never imagining that their caresses or fondness for each other, their playing with each other's hair, or long embraces meant anything but bromantic friendship. How this was me with my Italian friend during my mission... he affectionately in love with me, and me incapable of recognizing his advances as anything more than romantic friendship. Nothing happened until he professed his love for me, and I rebuked him, still some 30 years later feeling the pain of having done so.

Later Maurice rethinks his friend's confession of love for him, and sneaks into Clive's window and hugs and kisses him and professes his love as well... This scene reminded me of being in my friend's bedroom after my mission and returning to the mission as a RM and wrapping myself on top of him and kissing him - and now him shocked, reminding me of my RM status, and that I was to be going to the Swiss Temple that next morning, and shouldn't I return to my own bed.

The roles reverse again and Maurice finds this discovery of male contact insatiable and desires to have it more and more, while Clive returns to the role of proper gentlemen, marrying, keeping up proper appearances, status and decorum. This is when I come to my senses, stop pursuing a life with my friend post-mission, and return home, settle into a proper, righteous role as priesthood holder, provider and companion to a wife, marrying within 1 year. My friend comes to visit before entering the MTC, he still physically wants me, hugs me, kisses me in that guest bedroom, my wife down the hall left to wonder, and I hold back his physical advances reminding him of his temple visit that next day in preparation for his missionary service, and that we must keep our relationship within bromantic terms of friendship, with proper appearances, dignity, worthiness of temple blessings, and decorum above all else - passion be damned.

Oh how I bounced between these two characters, sympathizing and truly understanding each.

Maurice seeks to be cured by a doctor who puts him in a hypnotic trance. I've sought counseling as well, in hopes of finding the cure, or at least the cause for why I'm this way. So far, for Maurice the hypnosis did no good. So far, for me, the counseling has either been of no use or self-indulgent.

In the end, Clive is resolute to a life of self-hatred. He resolves to be a slave to his position, or station in society instead of a slave to his passion. I, too, have resolved to be a slave to my family, marriage, church position, and job status and predominate culture, instead of releasing my reigns and being a slave of my passions for men. I have done a pretty great job of hating myself.

In the end, Maurice throws caution to the wind, potentially losing his status, career, and opening himself to public ridicule and abuse, and allowing passion to win in the end with a man he loves. This part I can certainly understand but haven't yet embraced. It's a nice romantic idea, but not very practical. The two had nothing in common, but their passion. Their interests, education, and common experiences were so vastly different that in "reality" it would have never worked... but the story ends with the observer left to wonder if "passion conquers all", and that being authentic in one's attractions of who one is, is the most important thing.

"Now we shan't never be parted..."

I'm left wondering... wondering if I will forever be the proper gentlemen, secure in my stately home of position, with a loving wife who always wonders who I'm talking to , or what I'm thinking about, and me locking the doors and windows tight from those outside intruders, but while doing so, longing looking to see if anyone may still be coming to steal me away. Or wondering if I could have ever found happiness with my Italian friend had we given it a chance, despite our differences of culture and experience, allowing passion to rule the day, recognizing that church membership, family, position in society, etc. would be lost due to our relationship... but would we be happy? Would the physical passion be sustaining enough? Or would we be on to other more suited to our likings?

"I was yours 'til death once if you'd have cared to keep me..."

Oh the questions. I will never know. My friend, upon returning home early, acquired AIDS and soon thereafter died a miserably painful death. And I, the Clive of the story, was too proud to embrace him in his time of need, of reaching out for my love and affection - leading him to a pathway to self-destruction.
EM Forster's "Maurice" was hidden from being published until after his death, and even upon being published, it was shunned as an inferior literary work in comparison to his other novels. Yet, this film's 1987 interpretation feels real, genuine, and thought-provoking. I want to read his words. I want to obtain a copy and read it for myself. For you see, like Forster, like his two protagonists, Clive and Maurice, like my Italian soul mate and me, we are lost in the world of homosexuality amidst a backdrop of intolerance and bigotry...

What did the hypnotic doctor state - something along the lines that "I would advise you to live in some country... France, Italy, where homosexuality is no longer criminal...Will England ever come around?... England has always been disinclined to accept human nature". What a great line!

It's interesting to read some of the YouTube comments:

"aren't we so fortunate to have been born in a day where it's less sucky to be gay"...

...whereupon another responds: "Man, how can we expect change when even all you guys are fighting about what the "right" attitude should be for homosexuals growing up during this time. Of course he wanted to be cured, who wouldn't want to be cured of something they are told everyday is wrong. When it's shamed in the house and in church. Now we have people to talk to, supporters, and support. Seriously, don't judge what you don't understand. We weren't there, we didn't live it".

Whereupon I respond with a chuckle... little do these commentators recognize the world that is mine that is still as Edwardian England here and now in the 21st Century Utah, as in 1913 England, where we are still and always will be "disinclined to accept human nature", where we still make choices that may seem counter-intuitive or incapable of living authentically... and where we "shouldn't judge what we don't understand."

I am there. I am here. I am living it still.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Catching up with Bobby...

I've seen bits and pieces of it, but never have I sat and watched the entire movie before now. I know, I know... I should have my MOHO membership card revoked for sure. But maybe I didn't feel ready for the emotions of "Prayers for Bobby", until now...

I was alone this past weekend and I really had so much work to get caught up on, but I felt so empty inside - I couldn't work. So, I took this "opportunity" and watched Bobby's suffering. Whether it was the exact time period represented of my high school and early college years that registered so deeply, whether it was the overwhelming self-righteousness, whether it was simply the loneliness of not being understood, even by oneself, or whatever, I came undone. I came completely undone.

I haven't allowed myself to cry like that for some time. I sobbed uncontrollably, (grateful that no one had seen me break down so terribly) shaking and blubbering to the point that it scared me. What was I crying for like this? I knew the storyline, and even the ending. I wasn't surprised by the portrayal of family misgivings, heart aches, and coming to terms with such deep tragedy, but I was surprised by being swallowed hole by the grief and angst within my own misunderstood soul.

I just let it come out... as if this grief and pain was coming up and expressing itself from within the secret depths of my being. Why was this happening? What is going on? Why do I feel so ashamed? What am I ashamed of? Am I ashamed of who I am as a confused gay man? Or am I more ashamed that I have allowed myself to refuse to express the emotions and feelings and anger of a hidden, frozen man - thus permitting life to happen instead of be lived.

Except for the fact that I would not permit myself to recognize these feelings of my high school self, this could have been me - the perfect, sensitive son of a "perfect all-American, religious" family, the son who could do no wrong, and desired nothing more than to please his parents and embrace their beliefs and make them proud and happy, to the point that forever, I would keep from them the longings of a grocery store stocker boy who drooled over the beautiful young men parading through the supermarket. The son who wanted to kiss a girl to prove to himself that he could, only to be found receiving a mission call never having kissed anyone (guy or girl) and a friend (who was a girl) who wanted to be sure I could honestly tell my companions that I had kissed a girl, laying a big fat one on me. The son who was the obedient, faithful missionary, who found out while serving at the end of his mission how fantastically amazing it was to kiss a man instead - and the amazing way it made this missionary son feel, until the time to return home and face the family - amazement being replaced by fear, guilt, shame.

Only once did I feel like taking my life, the despair and pain of "coming out" to my wife and the grief, frustration and hellacious agony it caused her to suffer... such suffering that made me realize it would be better for her , for our kids, for everyone, if I were to disappear from this life. I contemplated how to do it... it wasn't the freeway overpass in front of an 18-wheeler, but instead the leap from the hotel balcony window at the corner of 2nd South and West Temple. I parked my car across the street and contemplated how it would feel to jump and be free of this fear, guilt, and shame, and free those I loved from their agony over what I was, what I had become.

That was nearly seven years ago. Seven years! Seven years of suicidal thoughts. Seven years of driving my wife crazy with confusion, self-doubt and depression, sucking her into my closet, instead of opening up and coming out. Seven years of looking over my shoulder wondering what she is thinking or feeling as I might tough a guy or give him a hug beyond the 3-pat back slap priesthood quicky hug.
And so there is no relief. Coming out to her just complicated things. Yes, we are closer and understand each other better, and in some ways we are improving because of my coming out to her, yet, it has certainly complicated things.

Why didn't I jump? I guess, like always, I'm just as afraid to die as I am to live...

NOTE: there was a particular scene that struck me as funny. It was the one where the two religious leaders were sitting in hard-back chairs in front of the family on the sofa, trying to offer some condolences, but coming up short. One by one, family members left until the mother was left alone with the clergy. It made we think of home teaching and how often I felt like the clergy in the chair uncomfortable in being there and the family not really wanting me either. I chuckled a bit. There was another meaning, though, where I thought: What if those were their home teachers? What would they have said? Would they have been able to have compassion and offer sincere and meaningful hope of the unconditional Love God has for each of his children, including and maybe particularly for his gay children?

Would they? Could they? I hope so... Could I? Most definitely!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


As noted, while finding myself in the bachelor mode for a week or so, I've felt inclined to look into watching a couple of gay-themed films. I rewatched Latter Days and Brokeback Mountain. I've commented on these in the past and the only thing I can say now after a couple of years, is that how much I feel for the plight of these men portrayed in these films. I've noted before how real Latter Days was for me, having developed a bromantic / romantic relationship (innocent as it may have been) similar to Elder Davis' with a simple hug and kiss... Had it not been for a very understanding companion at the time, I'm sure I could have been sent home as well, and faced some sort of discipline.

With Brokeback Mountain, I was so emotionally charged the first time I watched it. This time I felt nothing but emptiness, even a void of emotions. It was like being suck dry. The only part that really gets to be personally is the deception played between Ennis and his wife and that she knows and when he is caught, what torture I feel inside with the portrayal of real deception.

Upon my search for some other films, I came across this short film called "Touched" that "touched" me more deeply - maybe because it was new to me and caught me off guard, or maybe because I can definitely identify and see myself literally in the main character (a 53 year old pudgy Mormon man with glasses, who was married for 23 years with 7 kids, coming "out" at 45 and now searching for meaning in his life - stopping in a gay bar for no other reason than an exploration of a "spiritual" journey of hoping to "touch" someone or be "touched"). Other than the gay bar and the 7 kids, this could be me most definitely!).

I typically don't clip videos, but this one may be an exception. (NOTE: WARNING - viewer discretion: the language is pretty rough).

What is amazing to me, other than seeing myself in the main character's eyes of a man being attracted to a beautiful young man with a gorgeous young beard and smile, a young man half his age, easily the age of children (now if anything sounds exactly like me - that is me!), is that the biggest desire is to connect, to hug, to simply be held, to be "touched". There is no sex. There is no nudity. There is nothing other than a hug, being held, connecting. As much as the young man needed it, it was wonderful to see the older man offer himself to someone who wanted to hurt him - and being rewarded for the "connection" he needed as well.

Maybe I'm the only one, but in my world, in my situation, with my circumstances of "lack of connection" and "lack of touch", this really registered deeply... more so than with Christian and Aaron, or Ennis and Jack.
How do I do this on my "spiritual journey"? How can I safely put myself out there without going to the "gay bar" or without the deception and hurt of Ennis's wife? Even the guy in this short film had to let his marriage and religion go, to be placed on this journey... I'm not ready to do that (if ever)... yet the yearning is still there.

I'd be interested in your comments as always...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Is he ever going to grow up?

Since I've become a bit more active in blogging recently, I have noticed that most of my readership, or at least most of those who choose to leave comments, are fairly new to me. And so you, the new reader, may stumble across this odd corner of the MOHO bloggosphere and wonder who this Beck guy is.

I feel the need to reclarify for you AND for me, why I'm still here, why I still blog and what is my purpose for still hanging around.

I "joined" the MOHO community before it was even called "MOHO". I started searching for connections to others in my situation about six years ago soon after coming out to my wife. I was seeking support from others who had faced such situations, particularly as married gay men to straight women.

Through the miracle of the Internet I found a few loosely connected bloggers who had begun to give voice to this "predicament" of being active members of the LDS or Mormon Church, finding themselves undoubtedly gay, and how to deal with those juxtaposed ideas. Again, I found a few men who were in my situation of being married and the complexities of that situation. This intrigued me and I soon began to blog myself. That was over 5-1/2 years ago!

Most of those first timers have either gone away to better things, or have moved into different, more quiet directions than blogging on a regular basis. I understand this. I, too, have dropped off the radar quite a bit. My first few years I was blogging two and three times a week, or ten or twelve times a month on average. But now, I'm lucky to feel so inclined as to blog once a month, though I've tried to be regular. I guess I felt like I had said what I needed to say, that life had settled down for me and that I had come to accept with joy, who I am, including my gayness and fondness and deep attraction for men.

I was content to take down my blog and move on, as so many others have... particularly with the MOHO community growing to vast and large and numerous that following so many is completely impossible, and so much more difficult than when the intimacy of a few faithful bloggers used to be. I'm grateful that there are so many of you out there. I'm grateful that this "community" has come together, informal as it seems. I'm grateful for all the support and opposing as well as supportive views and comments I've received. This process has opened me to much broader thinking, less judgmental thinking, and more acceptance of others as I've come to accept myself.

But as I've chosen to physically isolate myself from other MOHOs, a choice I do not take lightly, I find myself still needing an outlet to allow my alter-ego, my hidden self, my gay voice to be expressed and to allow this side of me to have expression, even if to voice "silly" emotions, immature thoughts, or confusing messages. And so I still blog... sometimes more, sometimes less. I still do this for me, in order to receive some self-therapy through the written word and interaction of communication - a communication that is silent in my "real" world.

Thus, I am still here. Thus, I still blog.

But, dear reader, know a few basics about me:

1. I am happily married, and have been for 30 year, to my best friend, a beautiful, supportive woman who loves me deeply and I her. I say "happily" because I really do feel it. I always haven't... 20 years of those 30 were literal hell, as we pulled away from each other - or at least I allowed myself to pull away from her, but we are coming slowly back together and I find each day a bit better.

2. I am a firm believer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have a firm witness in my personal Savior and know He is my Lord. I accept his plan and do my best, each day, to emulate him and serve those around me.

3. I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I hold a significant leadership position and find joy, peace and spiritual enrichment in that service, particularly with my connections in helping others around me where I feel I can offer help and encouragement.

4. I struggle with my testimony of all that the Church teaches and professes. I am currently really having a personal struggle with the prophetless leadership that I feel is going on, and I seek to understand why I feel this way. I struggle with the way the homosexual issues have been treated by leaders in the Church and I wrestle with personally resolving them in conjunction with the core beliefs I hold to be true in items 1, 2, and 3 above.

5. I have chosen to be faithful and completely devoted to my marriage, my family, my kids. This is my priority and I put them above all else.

6. I still desire very much to have emotional and physical touching relationships with other men. Sometimes the craving is so strong that I feel beyond the ability to cope. But the above keep me anchored. Why, because I have felt the Spirit assuring me that I'm okay, that my efforts are accepted, that God understands me and where my heart really resides.

If along the way, I blog about things that seem silly, stupid, repetitive, naive, or adolescent in nature, if I go in cycles or circles and you seem frustrated with the lack of progress, well, join the club. This life is a life of repetition and cycles. I am a work in progress. I may not be making the choices that are best for me, still living deeply in a closet, cloaking my thoughts and feelings and attractions in a facade that may seem fake, or lacking authenticity to some who may choose otherwise, and see my choices as folly.

So be it. I recognize my alter-ego I allow to give expression in this blog may be pretty silly, immature, or adolescent, and I need a good dose of authenticity and grown-up-ness. But, please, gentle reader, recognize that I am more than just this one side of me who, like a giddy school girl, longs to kiss a man... I am a whole and real person. I try to be as real and authentic as I can. I hope you can accept me for who I am.

Until I can come to the "unity" of my two lives withim myself, until I can find a way to bring it all together into the "real" world, until that time, I still need you. I still need your feedback. I still need love and support. I still need a good slap on the head, or a blunt wake-up call. I still need this community and its support for me. I hope, as this community has evolved to the numerous bloggers, with very view reflecting my exact predicament and circumstance, that there still is room for one like me in it. I sincerely hope so...

Thank you for listening and understanding. Like always your feedback is gratefully requested...

now back to the silly blogging...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hum a good hymn!

I hate it when this happens. It shows how little self-control I have... and how truly weak I am... and maybe how much a man like me needs to be married to a woman.

You see, my wife is out of town for over a week - and when that happens, the temptation meter jumps to the max! I feel overwhelming desires to do things, think things, that she wouldn't approve of (and that my core values wouldn't approve of either). I want to watch gay-themed films, and doing so will undoubtedly trigger desires to long for some guy to hug, which will lead to me really needing to kiss a guy. I know I don't have anyone in my life that will provide that connection (unless... um... any takers? :) ), and so these desires fail to linger in the real world, but instead, they linger in the mind - a dangerous place that destroys will power, positive image, self-mastery, self-worth.


I really need her here to keep me steady, sane, safe, in control...

Is there value in mixed-oriented marriage after all? Is it normal to fall off the wagon when the parole officer is looking the other way? Why do I feel like a playing mouse when the "cat" is away?

Or am I a just a slutty boy simply wanting to get it on with anything male that moves?

Why does this happen? Is this really my "core value"?

I hate this... got to stay strong... got to stay clean... I need to think of a favorite scripture or hum a good hymn!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

One last wish...

I love autumn!

Truth be told, I love all the seasons and look forward to each one. I certainly can imagine life lived without the changing of distinct extreme seasons, but I don't know that I could live such a life, even as spectacular as the tropical paradise may be.

There is something magical about the blazing beauty of the brilliant leaves caught in that brief moment of full jaw-dropping splendor, particularly with the low-angle sunlight of a fall late afternoon. Such a light caught the mountains out my window for such a micro-moment. I snapped a couple of shots before it was gone - a burst of color, of life shouting like the Whos in Whoville that it is still here all around us and to embrace it, wake up and notice and be thrilled, even touched by the spirituality of the miracle of life's cycles.

A few days ago I noted this comic in the paper and it gave me reason to pause...

I wonder! Yes, I still wonder if it is possible for me, once my "work is done", after I've done my duty and played my part well, that I will "get one last wish" to be what I "really want to be". I have a resilient hope that this is still the case. This hope is resilient, but maybe foolish.

I have chosen my path... and thus, this is my color, hidden behind securely closed doors, lacking the brilliance that can only be found in being seen in the sunlight. Is it too late? Some readers, as I've found out in recent comments, actually follow my slow pace of change, are still hoping, still awaiting that day when I get that "one last wish" to show my true colors. At this stage of life, is that really practical? Even possible?

I firmly believe that none of us is a finished product. We are all a work in progress, and that work is not finished. There is still time for improvement... there is still time to be better, to open the door, to come forth.

I sat on a plane yesterday and had a very interesting conversation with a fellow stranger - something I don't readily do, being much more intent to keep to myself, read, organize thoughts or sleep. But he was much more interested in having a conversation with me. He told me of his life, of travelling all over the globe on business, of being once a member of the church, of being recently divorced, and of having lost his daily connection with his kids. It was easy for me to tell him that it wasn't yet finished... there is always hope, and that none of us is a finished product - we still have much to do to be better.

He responded that I had touched his life, that he was going to give it some thought and re-investigate his options and look forward to finding spirituality and enlightenment again in his life.

I have pondered how easy it is for me to encourage others, but how hard it is to encourage myself, particularly when I face these inner struggles of authenticity consistently bubbling to the surface.

Will I allow my inner colors to shine? Will I see that living in darkness will never permit the real "me" to be seen in the light? And is that okay? Or really, in reality, it's just too late?... Winter is coming and that's reality.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The game continues...

This game I'm playing seems to get more and more complicated...

I survived Sunday in teaching the youth about "anchors" in our lives, and digging deep and searching for answers, and finding something inside of us that serves as a
"firm foundation" when all else feels like lake bed sands of liquefaction.

I had to dig deep and find something upon which to stand firmly, something I believe in, something real. When I get in these funks where I find nothing but void in the direction of the prophet, I turn to my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon, Alma 5, and I find a quiet place and slowly read those words addressed to the members of the church who are doubting or unsure, and I find wisdom in the counsel to remember how I felt, to dig deep and recollect the "mighty change" that occurred in my heart, to remember those that came before me and their "mighty changes" as well, and to ask myself: "Am I converted still?" I find wisdom in the teachings of that chapter in avoiding pride and envy, and instead, remembering the poor, the needy, the afflicted, and to remember the process of fasting and prayer to obtain personal revelation... all good stuff. Nothing in this chapter says that because the prophet said so, so be it. Instead, it's search, ponder, seek, help, lift, remember, find your own personal revelation and find again your own "mighty change" of heart.

Though I'm still funking over my disconnect with an ineffectual status-quo prophet (who, as as youth I held in such high esteem, waiting with eager anticipation for the day he would be prophet), I do feel deep inside the ping of remembrance of "change", though I need to dig pretty deep, and it gets harder each time... I need to fill the void.

I have found service is the way that fills my void. Trying to befriend and lift others, offering fellowship and brotherhood in ways that I can... but though that works to fill voids, I still am empty inside. This disconnect of my soul feels like a Carlsbad Cavern of sorts to fill, not a small cave.

And yes, the game continues... Tonight we, the leadership, have an activity with the youth where they are to ask "tough questions" to see if they can stump us (some questions have been written in advance for us to prepare somewhat intelligent responses). The goal is to find enlightenment with the discussion that will follow the tough questions. I hope we can admit that we don't have all the answers. Wouldn't that be a good thing to admit?

And I hope good things will follow... yet, I'm trembling to know how the Bishop or I will answer this question that we received yesterday:

"If the only sin of a gay couple is that they are not married, why would the church be so against gay marriage? Those getting married are only trying to obey the commandments, right?"

This question shows that the incredible youth of the Church today are thinking, questioning things, trying to figure out why the brethren are taking such a stance when logic and reason dictates that wouldn't gay marriage strengthen commitment and help stabilize relationships instead of hurt them? And it's interesting to see that the questioner does not see being gay as a sin as much as not being married is a sin. I find that very interesting and intriguing. In my day (yes, I'm not acting as one of the ancients), this would have been an abomination to even think such a thing, let alone ask it in a church function. These things were not discussed. You were an abomination to even have such thoughts of homosexuality. The closet door for most of us in the 70s was firmly shut and chained and locked with those Harry Potter vault locks, and keys or combinations thrown away forever. Why do you think it took some of us DECADES to come out to ourselves?

He asked me if I would take this one. I said "Sure, but you may not like my answer..." I think he'll end up taking it, but look to me for support. I guess I'm now struggling with the ethical internal battle of whether there should be a difference in what one "personally" believes and holds to be the truth on the matter, verses the "party line". And what changes when one is speaking "for the Church" in front of vulnerable, yet inquisitive and savvy youth, verses speaking "for oneself".

So any thoughts of how to handle this one? What would you do? Should there be a difference in the response based on the role and setting (Think President Hinckley with Larry King regarding similar questions)? Or should there be the personal answer first and foremost?

Oh the balance of playing the game of the one who is anchored, secured, tried and true, who knows all answers, while feeling untethered, unsure, and a bit empty. I'm so tired of hiding, or wearing this facade. I'm tired of being in these positions of authority and feeling such a hypocrite. I don't know how much longer I can play this game...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The angst unfortunately returns...

I find myself in the situation where I have to teach the youth of the church why it is so important to gain a testimony to anchor oneself in this world of amorality, not so much "immorality" as "amorality" - that moral relativity of no right or wrong, no absolute truth, no need to worry about anything as long as you don't hurt anyone else, and no consequences to any personal actions.

I've personally seen the disastrous affect in the life of someone very close to me who has declared his amorality, and how that position has pulled his anchor up from the rock and how is tossing helplessly in a rough sea of life. Watching this happen to one I love so much, has been painful and stressful as I seek ways to help anchor the anchorless.

So, I should be amply supplied with motivation to address this topic, no?

It is important to be anchored, to have core beliefs that provide that foundation upon which to build a meaningful life, right?

So, why then, am I so hesitant in approaching this assignment? I am an anchored person, a moral person with a firm foundation upon which I remain fixed though torrential storms of life pound upon me. So why am I in a funk...

I've been so these last two weeks since General Conference. I really sought for guidance and inspiration at the feet of those who have been called to lead and teach, particularly at this time when I feel like my family is coming undone at the seams, and that the lives of those I love are suffering so tremendously with pain and depression, loneliness and loss of hope. So why did I come away from conference so empty and void?

I particularly love Priesthood Session where I can feel of the brotherhood and enjoy the male bonding of singing and being taught together. Usually I come away uplifted, and I know what the spirit feels like inside me. This time I came away empty. Maybe it didn't help that I was distracted by the most beautiful guy sitting across the aisle from me. He was wearing a crisp black suit and tailored shirt and sharp stylish tie. His eyes were piercing blue and his blond locks cascaded to his shoulders, his blond short beard glistened through his tanned complexion... but I digress.

Yes, I was distracted... and I fought that distraction and tried to concentrate. I took copious notes in hopes of keeping my attention to the speakers' messages - but the spirit was gone. All I could think about was him.

I came home depressed. I couldn't laugh it off like I have done before. I pleaded with Heavenly Father to touch my spirit, to help me to know he was there, and that he really did understand me. I needed to know that the Prophet who typically spoke on Sunday morning, was in tune, and that he understood the bigger picture, and that he understood me. I wanted something more... I wanted to be assured that prayer was real, that my prayers were being listened to, that this was all real and true.

When I heard the prophet tell of the power of prayer, I had hope, but then that hope was crushed as his example of knowing the truth of prayer was centered around leaving a $5 dollar bill in his pocket and it was taken to the laundry and he prayed as a 12 year old boy that it would come back to him because he "really needed that money". And when it did, he "knew" that his prayer was answered!

I about fell off my chair! I audibly gasped a sigh of ultimate frustration! It was as if all truth fell away from me. I came undone. I walked around in total disgust. I know the stories in Fast and Testimony meetings of lost keys, of lost money, of finding this or that, and I can chalk those up as being what they are - limited views of the power of God in our lives and witnesses of his "love" for each of us to remember us and help us with the little insignificant things in comparison to the bigger issues. I get it: Heavenly Father finds our keys, our cell phone, and sends help and inspiration when we need it. But where is He when we face depression, loneliness, helplessness, and hopelessness? Where is He to help me to understand that my "attraction" to the blond beauty in priesthood is just the way I am and it's all okay (I've had that feeling before - and even in the Temple - in a very profound way that I've blogged about last year, but not this time - this time it was just a feeling of "you're really no good and unworthy" - that feeling of angst that I had for years and had moved beyond after that "profound witness of the spirit in the temple that I was loved and understood by Him", for this last year or so... well it all came back and consumed me in hopelessness).

And I became disgusted with the prophet - disgusted that he was no different than the little ones who worship the God of lost keys and money, but not the God of one who can accept me for me and help me to stay "anchored" as loved ones are being tossed to and fro.

I became disconnected with the prophet. I have spent the last two weeks struggling with the gulf of disconnect that has overcome me. I have become lost, my tethering rope to my anchor is gone. I feel afloat and hopeless. I feel alone. Everything has come into question again in my life. I feel that if the prophet doesn't get it, then who does? And if this isn't the truth, then what is? Or is there really no truth, no absolute, no anchor, no right and wrong... am I left not with morality or immorality - just amorality?

And now how am I to be an example of an anchor for these youth tomorrow when I feel so unanchored myself? when I don't feel like I'm guiding my family, my loved ones and giving them strength in their serious time of need when I feel so weak? when I feel angst returning and assurance fleeing? when I start asking the haunting question of who I really am?

I'm broken...

I guess I'll keep faking it. Un-authenticity continues to be my core mantra.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The role of agency...

Agency is a frustrating and ill-conceived eternal principle. How I would like compulsion to be the over-arching and governing principle of this life. I think Satan really did have it right in the Pre-Existence in that pre-mortal war in heaven. Except for who-gets-the-glory angle, the concept of "making" us choose the right and thus we return to the father, doesn't seem all that bad from this vantage point.

I started attending a group class to help me understand my role better. The first of 12 steps of helping loved ones to overcome addition is to "let go" and admit that one has no control over another person's life and choices. This is the hardest step of all for me. If this is just step no. 1, how will I ever be able to get to step 12?

I would much rather be in control. I would much rather use compulsory means whereby to "make others choose the right". For you see, I know better. I have the light and know what is right for others, particularly my loved ones, and thus, isn't doing right more important than desiring to be right? And I can see the decisions others are making for themselves are "wrong" and therefore I just help them to see the errors of their ways, no?

If not, what should I be doing? Particularly as a parent? And don' tell me all I can do is show "unconditional love". Of course I know this - but is that all that I am left to do? Ultimately, when all else is stripped away, are we really left but one alternative - to love?

I have asked that of them, my family, to accept me, and to offer me unconditional love as they've one-by-one come to terms with my homosexuality. And for the most part, such offering has been made.

So, now it is my turn... to love unconditionally, even those, and especially those who are now choosing different paths from my own.

Even with such turn of events, it ain't easy to do so. The unconditional love is always there as a parent, but the idea of not doing something more to influence the decisions of others, is very difficult.

I am sure others are convinced that I am deceived and on a path of inevitable self-destruction in my willing acceptance of my homosexuality, while others are convinced that I am deceived and doomed for self-destruction for denying myself and not embracing it fully and honestly with all in the open. The path I have chosen is my own, and all I ask is for love from those who know me. So, why then can I not ask simply of myself to love those family members who have chosen paths of their own self-destruction?

Oh the hypocrisy! Is there no other way to learn other than finding one's own path, even if that path is full of misturns, detours and dangers along the way?

The gate may be strait, but the path leading to it may take several different courses. And it is through those different paths of exercising agency, that we learn - as there is "no other way".

Why does agency always have to win out in the end when my way is better?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tapioca pudding...

It's interesting how inspiration or insights come to one who is seeking for some kind of direction in a difficult moment. Whether it's happenstance, divine intervention or just one's own mind seeking to fill a void, I'm not sure, but it's all good no matter the source...

Three recent examples:

* It's amazing what impressions may come while sitting on the toilet. The other day I picked up a book I'm reading about Lincoln, and flipped open to a random page, while doing my business, and my eyes were drawn to this:

"I have been very, very indulgent with my children - chided or praised for it. It is my privilege that my children are free, happy, and unrestrained by parental tyranny. Love is the chain whereby to lock a child to its parents." - Abraham Lincoln.


* Coming up the stairs, there was left a wrinkled up sheet of paper. I don't know where it came from (maybe from a lesson my wife was preparing), but I picked it up with the intent to throw it away, when I looked down at the paper and printed in huge 36 point font Swiss Roman letters was this quote:

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." - Mother Theresa.


* I had a very emotional day at church on Sunday. I guess it was obvious to some that observed my emotions very close to the surface. Afterward, a sister (who I am not particularly close to) came up to me to take care of some business. She stopped, stared into my eyes and said: "I don't need to know what's going on, sweetheart, but I promise you it will get better. Just go home and eat some tapioca pudding!" I burst into tears of both grief and laughter and we hugged. (NOTE: Interesting aside - that evening this ward sister (who has never stepped foot in my house after living here more than a decade)brought a huge plate of the best nutty brownies and said "I didn't have any tapioca, so I hope these will do instead..." held my hand for a moment, squeezed it tightly, smiled, and then left.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

House of Cards...

Why does life have to be so hard? Now that's a question that nobody else around here has ever raised before, right?

Where is the joy in making life so hard?

What's the big deal about self-denial and obedience first above all else?

Where does mercy outweigh justice? Shouldn't there be consequences to be paid? Drawing lines in the sand are not meant to be crossed - and yet, when they are crossed, then what? Is there mercy or justice? Does one offer more unconditional love by being empathetic and understanding? Or is that a disservice to the offense and that instead one should "pay" the consequences of one's actions? There are always consequences, right? And if not, then aren't we just enablers?

It's called tough love, no? You are supposed to show the way and it needs to be followed. And if it isn't followed, then what?

And why, when all emotions and anger and flare ups boil to the top, as they always do, does it feel like it comes back to one point... that you don't know how to love in the right way... you don't know how to love your spouse... you don't know how to love your children... you are a bad father because deep down, you're all screwed up yourself and really, you don't know anything about love.

So tempers flare... fights break out... family rules and "drawn lines" are crossed. Are there consequences to be faced - justice to be paid? Or is there forgiveness and empathy?

And even though others have their own choices to make that really have nothing to do with you, why does one feel so guilty? Why do you twist the situation to be so self-centered and selfish as to think that it's all your fault because your gay?

If you weren't so gay, maybe you'd have loved him better and been there for him, but you couldn't, or worse, wouldn't when he needed you, because you were so caught up in your own self-reflection. Where were you when he really just needed a father to love, to talk to, to share with, to have fun?

If you weren't so gay, maybe she'd have felt the love that she needed from her father and wouldn't have become so depressed, despondent, deluded.

If you weren't so gay, maybe you'd have loved her better, been a better companion and help-meet, someone who really is a partner for eternity who loves and knows how to love - but because you're gay, well... there really is just a facade - a house of cards - and sooner or later it just takes a little instability, a little lateral shear force and the whole incredible structure collapses into a heap of ruin...

Sure, you're the great provider - the one thing you do well - you "provide" for everyone, making sure all is taken care of and needs are being met - at least physical needs. But what about the other needs? The needs that make a person whole and complete without the need for anti-depressants and other stimuli to get by?

But this really isn't about you - you just twist it to think that it is. Your self-reflective, self-absorbed life leads you to think of it in no other terms. It must be about you. You're the problem.

Otherwise, why hasn't all that you've tried to do in "doing what's right" and staying on the "right" side of the line, and doing all that you're supposed to - keeping yourself from yourself, not revealing the authentic you because this other "you" is the "better" you that you believe you should be - why hasn't that paid dividends in helping those around you? Why are they hurting so much, feeling so much pain, suffering the loneliness and heartaches of lost hope, depression, and I-just-don't-care-anymore-isms?

It must be because of you, right? You and your totally screwed up, lie-filled, house-of-cards, unauthentic, incapable-of-love, anger-induced life!

There you go again - you're making it all about YOU again! You self-centered no-good!

So the "D" word comes up... you talk about divorce, and the inevitability of it all. Yeah, you're certainly a good provider, but that's about it. You're incapable of love because you don't know how and never will.

Maybe you don't and won't because you can't first love yourself enough to forget about it all and just let it all go. If you weren't so gay you wouldn't be so self-reflective and you'd be able to see the pain of others in the mirror instead of just your own, and what that pain must have inflicted on them. But because of the way you can't see past your own image of pain, you cannot see how to really forget yourself, forgive yourself, and begin to see others, know their own personal pain and grief, and forgive them, and extend mercy where mercy has been extended in abundance to you.

But, of course, it sucks to be you and because you are who you are, you'll never get to that point...

Yeah, life is hard. It doesn't have to be this way, but, it is...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Any suggestions?

Open question to anyone reading this:

Have you ever wished that if you were in charge, you'd just once wish that the conversation of a lesson would be on "fill-in-the-blank" subject?

If you were in a position to teach the 5th Sunday lesson of the combined Priesthood and Relief Society, and the Bishop was scheduled to be out of town, and he's turned it over to you, leaving the subject matter completely open and unstructured, entrusting you with that task, what would you teach?

With the amount of lessons recently centered on "chastity", "family values" and "marriage", reaching a saturation point (to the point of driving faithful single sisters away from church literally in tears, there must be something that is more of worth for the adult population of a very large and established (read mainstream Utah) ward to discuss.

This is your chance! No chains of sanitized curriculum! No mandated subject matter from higher authorities! Fling the door wide open and throw away the key! It should, however, be faith-based and faith-reinforcing...

Any suggestions?

Friday, July 08, 2011

Why are some relationships eternal?

We met 31 years ago this month. It doesn't seem as long ago as that sounds. We hit it off immediately. I was smitten completely. And the surprising thing was, I had never been so smitten by anyone in that way before. I was confused. I was uncertain of my emotions, and yet I felt deeply an attachment that went way beyond the norm.

We ended up working together that school year, which brought us together every day. And what followed was a natural budding friendship which grew into something much, much more. We had so much in common and shared the same passion for so many things. This friendship blossomed into love - and at first and we became scared, and I was even more confused than before. But then, in time, we came back together, drawn together in a connection that even our confusion and fear could not break.

We became inseparable. We became a couple. There was talk. Roommates speculated as to what was going on between us. Could it be? Were we really in love? Indeed we were, and a few months later we were engaged and then married. That was 30 years ago this last week!

That may seem an eternity to some that may read this. Others may not comprehend how we could have stayed married these three decades. To be honest, there were times when I, myself could not comprehend it either. It is a miracle that we did get married, particularly with my homosexuality always hanging around and never going away, and even a bigger miracle that we have stayed married.

To say that it has been all bliss and roses and beautiful memories would be untruthful. To say that it has been horrific and painful and depressing would also be untruthful. In these last 30 years, there have been many moments of all of the above. The heartache and coming to terms with "deeply hidden secrets" and coming to terms with myself so very late in life, has taken its toll indeed on our relationship. Since coming out to her, we have never been the same. It is true when they say that you can't take it back once it is "out" there. It's like that toothpaste that has already been squeezed out of the tube... it gets messy trying to deny any longer or take anything back.

And so we've moved on. The continuing miracle is that we have moved on together, side by side. Though there is a long road ahead with many bumps of understanding to go through, we are still willing to go along together and make this work despite it all. And we have become stronger and our relationship, nearly dead... no, more like extinct... seven years ago, is now vibrant and alive and blooming. I wouldn't say it is thriving, but it is very much a living union of love.

Is there still hurt and pain, confusion and grief? Of course. For us, this has taken a lifetime to get to this point and will require another lifetime to come to figure it all out for certain. But this I do know: I am better because of her. I am a better man, a better father, a better husband. She makes me smile. She fills my heart in no way that any other woman has. She is my partner, my companion, my best friend, and yes, within these last years, she has become my lover. We had stopped intimacy for nearly 20 years and this nearly killed her, and it gave me relief. But now, we are happily imperfect lovers again.

This last weekend we slipped away to celebrate this indescribably complicated life that has been our journey together. Despite my occasional bromances, my desires for love and a soul-binding and physical and emotional relationship with another man, despite even my most recent encounter with my friend mentioned in the last post, despite all the blogging, all the MOHO friendships and possible connections with fellow men who understand me and me them, despite all that I say or wish or do within these electronic pages, I am left with the conviction that I need to be who I am - the real me - the one that she still loves, at her side...

For it is, indeed, a beautiful thing!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Why do some friendships never die?

We met eight years ago by chance in Southern Utah. There was instant chemistry. We spoke the same language, shared the same height and eyes and hair color and smile. He, a dozen years younger, not decades. An unexplained and unexpected bonding followed. Long distance friendships are hard enough to maintain, but from just a once-in-a-lifetime chance meeting of two souls meeting on a red rock cliff admiring the same view for just a moment together... could there be a hope for a lasting friendship?

Emails shared, common connections expanded. Was this to be something more? Is there destiny after all?

Christmas gifts... then 5 years later a visit with hugs and kisses. What was happening?

More emails... work opportunities, followed by my visiting him a few months ago at his house across the pond on the other side of the planet... meeting his family, breaking bread, sharing together his town, walking the streets hand-in-hand, kissing in that oh-so-European way.

And then last week he came to my town. Walking hand-in-hand here in Utah, hugging, and kissing in that oh-so-European way! I didn't care who saw or what others thought. He was here. He was with me. We shared a bonding that keeps increasing. And now he is gone again.

I allow this pattern to occur in my life. I can't have what I want except with these little glimpses of "what if" sprinkled every now and again along the way.

And yet I can't help but think... why did we meet? Why did this meeting not die like so many others do? Why, instead, does it continue to get stronger? What's the point? What is in this connection that makes this bonding grow, even with 10,000 miles between us?


The story of my life... fleeting bromantic friendships that though real, powerful and beautiful, are fleeting and fruitless... and beautiful!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

When the belief is gone...

In the parable of the Prodigal Son, it was recently pointed out to me how the son demanding his inheritance while his father was still alive, was wishing that his father were literally dead. Despite that ill-will being wished upon him from his son, the father went ahead and gave his son his portion and he took his leave of all that his father had offered him.

I have been pondering this and can't get over the ability of this father to go ahead and let his son go. How does a parent do that? How does a father watch his son walk away, turning his back on his father and all that he stands for and believes?

And yet, that same father stands "watch" ever looking for the return of that son. It was the father who was doing that very thing, being the first to "run" to him and fall upon him at his return, symbolizing that he had never given up on that son no matter how terminal their relationship seemed to others.

I am entering a similar situation, and I don't know that I'm as loving as this scriptural father. I keep asking myself how this situation has become mine. Where did it come from? Why does a child no longer cherish or honor that which we believe as a family and what we believe we are eternally? How does a parent act when a child demands no part of the family, disrespects his mother and father, and moves forward on distancing himself from all that has to do with family, church, and all that goes with both?

I have gone through a lot of self-doubt, angst, and pain regarding my sexual orientation and all that that has brought into my marriage, my family, and my belief system. It has been a lonely journey, filled with guilt, confusion and doubt. But, I find myself coming out on the other end of this journey with self-acceptance, clarity and belief.

So, if I can make it through this journey, keeping my family together, and marriage even stronger, how now can I watch a child despise all that I am and believe and wish nothing more to do with what I hold sacred, and want to walk away, his inheritance in his pocket?

How does one respond to this? Can I "love" unconditionally as the Prodigal Son's father, always looking on the horizon for his return? Can I "never give up hope" when things seem so hopeless? Can I just watch this happen and not do anything about it? Should I force him to stay, to love us, to participate in church, to believe? Can anyone force another to believe when belief is gone and not even any desire remains? How do you restore a desire in one's heart when there is none? Is that proverbial flame ever fully snuffed out? extinguished? Why do I feel myself all of a sudden becoming a mighty fan of that pre-mortal alternate plan where I will "make him" obey and bring him back safe and sound in the end under my patriarchal wing whether he wants to be there or not?

Am I just proud, angry at how this is reflecting on me?

Do I love him enough to let him go?

I know this gay-gig has had belief-shattering and hope-struggling moments, but this new chapter(that I know many readers have gone through)has me shattering and struggling all over again...

Any advice?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The hunger that never goes away...

Reading Invictus' last post really got to me... The idea of being hungry, of the desire and longing that doesn't goes away. Sure, that's part of the human experience and it's just part of life.

I know personally of others here who feel strongly otherwise, but I've done well, I feel, in controlling my appetite and managing my hunger. I've been able to find a path that keeps things in balance for the most part, I've been able to build a family, career and fairly nice and respectable life, a happy life full of fulfillment and good will,and yet...

as much as I try to do what I believe is right and true and best for me and for my loved ones, as much as I try to serve and give and please others, as much as I try to stay in balance, and work hard and long and stay busy doing good things, as much as I give of my "time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed me or may bless me", as much as I strive to repent and endure to the end...

as much as I do all of the above (and as much as my wife hopes and wishes and prays for it to diminish)...

I just wanted to testify once and for all of one truth...

that that longing, that desire, as much as I try to control or manage, or overcompensate in other good things, NEVER, EVER GOES AWAY!

Will it ever?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Finding Balance...

It's been a while since I've blogged... I guess I'm allowing myself to get out of the habit of blogging. I've even allowed my bloggiverary to pass by without comment. It's been over five years now since I started this on-line journal. 2006 seems like a lifetime ago! How totally different this community was five years ago... so many have come and gone. Some things have changed with me; many things are the same - but both are mostly the way they are by choice, and being content with my choices has been a good development.

Being seriously busy with work and life has kept me from concentrating too much on other "aspects" of my life. It's like I get into these modes where I allow one part of my life to overrun all others. Right now it is the pressure of work that is running the show, dictating almost all else that is going on, even the drama and dilemmas facing my family. The "gay" hasn't diminished, but has become more manageable - not sure whether that is good or bad. That's proven to work for a while, but then it tends to catch up - funny how it finds a way to seek its own equilibrium whether I desire it to do so or not. Before I would describe this phenomenon as a volcano ready to erupt inside me with angst boiling to the surface. Lately it's been a mild rumble stirring below the surface. Someday I'm sure there will be another eruption - it's a bit dormant verses extinct - I'm just not sure when or with what form it will take... but I'm sure there will be more to blog about when (not if) it does...


I'm still not sure if coming out to my kids was a good idea or not. Neither wants to discuss it, and neither has become "closer" to me, though I haven't sensed any drastic pulling away either... maybe it's finding its own equilibrium as well. I'm trying to show that I'm not any different and hope they sense no difference from me.

With work taking me on the road a lot, my marriage suffers and I have to remember to rebond with my wife when I return home, even if it isn't the natural thing to do. I miss her, but not in the form of the movie-cliche of rushing home to her awaiting arms and swallowing her whole. Yeah, it's still work, but dancing in the kitchen, cuddling, and just talking through the stress of the family brings us together again.

Balancing! Someday I hope to obtain it. It's what life is all about - hopefully I can keep myself from turning into knots in the process...

Monday, March 21, 2011

A time to process...

Still not sure how to blog about what's going on... still need more time to process.

But, a quick update...

Son has come home and I've "outed" myself to him. It went fairly well, but because he doesn't have a problem with it and he "already knew" makes it fall short from the discussion of "the issues" that I wanted to result from coming out. There may be more to come, but it seemed so anti-climatic that why do I feel disappointed?

Daughter isn't taking it as well. I've learned that daughter has felt great pain and confusion over the reality that Dad is gay... to the point of distancing herself from me and even feeling like life is such a big lie and joke... there still is a lot to still discuss, but the time and right situation are very hard to create. Why is it so easy for one and so hard for the other?

Despite the upheaval, my wife and I are doing well. Dancing in the kitchen has become a daily ritual of joy! She stands beside me and is beyond supportive of the "good man" that I am, trying hard to teach said son and daughter that attractions just are, and no one should judge anyone for having such attractions. In my mind, that is huge!

Some good developments... still a lot of wrinkles to iron out... no quick or easy answers.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The need for a miracle...

Last week I somehow (I don't remember the link) came across a discussion at "Times and Seasons" that discussed whether the church still believed in miracles as described in the four Gospels as performed by Christ, or whether for some reason we have become a church of cessationists - meaning we confirm that such miracles no longer occur, even in the restored church. It was a good read in preparation for this week's Gospel Doctrine discussion on miracles.

What I describe next concerns me that I might be trampling on sacred ground - but in the hope that it will be received in the spirit it is given, I feel it is worth the risk:

What put this in perspective was last week's Fast and Testimony Meeting. In this meeting a brother from the ward appeared in the chapel after a six week absence. Six weeks ago, he suffered a spinal chord injury that paralyzed him from his shoulders down. The doctors were baffled as to what to do. A priesthood blessing was given and IMMEDIATELY, his right toe began to wiggle. Six weeks later, he walks to the podium, gingerly, but under his own power and stands before us bearing his testimony of the power of the priesthood and that miracles have not ceased. With tears flowing off the faces of the congregation, absolute silence filled the space and the spirit bore witness that something special was being witnessed of epic proportions.

Fast forward to yesterday's, SS class, and there was a discussion on the IMMEDIACY of Christ's miracles, and an interesting note was made that this IMMEDIATE recovery of the sick and afflicted bore testimony of the power and divinity of Christ to the Jews. There was a discussion about whether such "immediacy" was a requirement of a healing to be considered a "miracle" in today's church. Most concluded that it did not, though many feel that a miracle that took six weeks wouldn't have the "wow factor" of some to believe, but the "wow factor" of seeing this brother in last week's Fast and Testimony meeting was, nonetheless, a full-out miracle again of New Testament proportions.

Then, quietly, a humble man stood in the back of the room and began to speak. Heads turn and all discussion stops. He spoke in a way that everyone became silent again and the spirit bore witness that something special was happening. This brother reminded us that last year he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, his body overcome with the disease and tumors that filled his body, deemed inoperable, and they sent him home to die giving him three days to live. Several priesthood blessings followed, faith was exercised, and today this brother is healthy and whole, despite medical science remaining baffled at his recovery.

Both of these brothers I personally know very well. They have blessed my life as I have had the chance to offer blessings to them. Have miracles ceased? Does the restored church still believe in the gift of healing? Is God involved in our lives beyond helping us to find our missing keys in the snow or under the tire (the typical miracle quoted in our meetings)? I can only stand witness to what I saw, felt and understood.

As great as these miracles of healing are to build our faith and to strengthen our testimonies of the divinity of Christ and the power of faith in Him, the greatest miracle remains the one where our souls are healed...

Fast forward again to now: My heart is really heavy today. The foundations of my "house of cards" that I've built through the years is cracking and crumbling. I ache knowing the pain and confusion I've caused dear loved ones due to my own pain and confusion of who I am as a man attracted to other men. I do not deny who I have become by accepting this fact. Yet, I am pained at the suffering my hidden world has caused.

Is there a miracle big enough to put my house back together and heal our cracked and aching souls? If one kind of miracle is indisputably manifested before me that He is real and this is real, can there be hope for this other type of miracle to strengthen and "heal" my own foundations? And can such a miracle be deemed less miraculous?

WOW... sorry... this post is pretty heavy for Valentine's Day... but hey, I didn't pick the day this earthquake occurred in my life. More to come... (maybe)...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Don't pity me! We are our best together!

Lately I've blogged less, as I wait for something to happen that may be worth blogging about - and thus, I concentrate maybe too much on the perplexities (and therefore the implied miserable and pathetic existence) from my life's choices as a closeted gay man. In my last post I received one comment that called me a "liar"! And another who "cries for my situation"!

There is a pitied implication that I am a sad, frustrated, angry man. I am not! Just because my blog concentrates on this one aspect of my life in a direct way with often frustrating overtones does not imply that I am unhappy. I am full of gratitude for the goodness that has touched and continues to touch my life in so many wonderful dimensions.

I do not feel that I am a liar. I admit that I have been. I've made a lifelong career of hiding the truth of who I am from everyone, including myself. But whether I am "totally out, partially out, or not out at all" is not so important to me as being honest with and accepting of myself.

I am content with my choices. Whether you think I'm "settling" for something less than true joy is not for you to say or judge. I have not revealed, nor discussed all aspects of my life, situations that affect my decisions of what may be viewed as "settling". I want you to be content that I'm content with my choices.

Who are you to tell me that I would be better off making better choices? Or how can you say that I would be happier if I were, for example, to leave my wife and kids and family situation? Or church affiliation? Caspita'! Or more in a more appropriate Italian exclamation: Porca miseria! (Pig misery!)

Don't pity me! I don't need your pity! I'm neither seeking it nor requiring it, especially from this readership that I would hope would have a better understanding. And don't "cry for my situation"! I am happy in my situation. With every choice there are pros and cons, compromises to be made, and I've had well enough time to weigh those choices before me. I am thrilled with my life and count myself blessed.

If my choices are more reserved, less inclusive of what you may feel would be my "full potential" if I were only to... (fill in the blank), then I ask, instead, that you see the good in what I am doing and the steps I'm taking as I journey along this selected path. Celebrate with me this journey as I try to celebrate yours.

Maybe I'm feeling a twinge of jealousy as I observe you moving on with your lives?. Maybe an inkling of envy? Maybe, but I hope there remains room in this MOHO community for one like me who, against others hopes that the misery factor of a MOM will finally bring me to my proper senses. Not all MOMS are miserable existences! Mine certainly is not! I have found great joy and passion and love. Obviously my wife has, too. We are best together than apart. She makes me better, even my best, with her at my side. She is my better-half. She compliments and completes me. It takes work, it isn't easy, it isn't even preferred, but it is still wonderful. And as long as we create that miraculous romance-movie "magic" for each other, then don't judge our MOM to be some kind of torture chamber filled prison sentence - the only reason for enduring such a marriage is that false hope of some eternal exaltation.

Don't shake your head in pity or disdain for my continued devotion to my family, my marriage, and my beliefs. Instead, let's work together to lift, motivate, encourage, love.

Maybe I'm over-reacting. I tend to do that, so I'm sure I am. It's another characteristic of mine that needs a lot of improvement. I feel more and more challenged in my decisions as I fail to deviate from my path as I've witnessed others doing. Maybe that is more implied inside my head by my lack of assurance that what I'm doing is completely right for me? Maybe...