Thursday, July 14, 2011
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...
Friday, July 08, 2011
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
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!