Monday, April 23, 2012

I don't think I'm in Kansas anymore...

A big thank those who responded to the last post. In a world where one feels trapped between all things straight and gay, it is reassuring and sustaining to reconfirm some are out there finding something worthwhile in this foolishness I write. I'm not sure I can live up to the "inspiration" that comes from this drivel, as it is what it is... That said, a thought from this week... On Friday, I finally got down to visit and take in the new urban environment recreating downtown SLC called City Creek Center. I found myself coming up out of the parking structure below and felt lost and disoriented,
having been transported to a different world. For one who deals with space planning and a fair share of urban design and architecture, this was a visually stimulating and exciting experience. I enjoyed immensely the richness of the urban social gathering and sharing I was witnessing. It seemed to me that most everyone there was just enjoying being in this amazing space and hardly anyone was really there to shop. I must say, however, that it took a while to get myself oriented to the city of my birth. This wasn't the Salt Lake City that I had come to know. I could have been anywhere in any city... there wasn't a great sense of space that said "this is Salt Lake". It took me a while to stumble across a
view to the church office building or the temple at Temple Square to finally tie this new fabric with the familiar grid and monuments of a more rigid city grid. I don't know what I was expecting, (and I don't mean to be negative at all as the architecture and outdoor community spaces were incredible indeed!) but I felt out of place, out of sorts, confused and disconnected while being so visually stimulated and excited with a sense of community all around me. I was oddly transformed like Dorothy in Oz! This was definitely not my father's or grandfather's city anymore... As I walked it with my camera, I stood back and observed. I love to people watch! I loved zooming into the faces and imagining their lives.
The couple giggling at their very wet but exuberant son dancing in the fountain, drenched and dripping with delight.
The prom dresses on parade with their tuxedo counterparts proudly and predictably prancing through the piazza! And the gay couples everywhere - in the food court,in the bathroom, at Tiffany's, and even strolling along the "creek", gladly glowing, and fearlessly and courageously holding hands... It was as if I were transformed into one of those reverse themed movies, where everyone was gay but me and I couldn't help but wonder what's wrong with me as a heterosexual! Why wasn't I holding hands with my best buddy? It was another layer of transformation. I was transformed to the thought of the "what if" game I play in my mind: What if I had taken a different path after my mission with my Italian boyfriend? What if I had never married my wife? What if I chose to follow my heart beating to a different rhythm of male bonding? What if? What if? What if? I stood back and watched for some time a cute gay couple: he was very lanky and tall and strikingly blonde, at least 6 inches taller than his more compact but stylish partner. They sweetly held each other's hands and occasionally smiled as they fondly looked at each other. They shared in the joy of new discoveries in each display window, their earrings sparkling in the sunlight. I marveled at how much I envied them, an envy that once would have consumed me in bitterness and emptiness... now an envy that simply brought a sense of satisfaction and hope. Indeed, this is not my father's or grandfather's city anymore... I'm surprised it's even mine!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The 7th year begins!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the 7th year of this blog! When it began, I really didn't see this far into the future. Actually, in some ways, I thought I would have moved on by now, either:

1. moved beyond the hate and guilt and mistrust in my feelings and attractions and come to face the reality of my gayness, embrace it and all things 'gay', abandon my marriage, and never look back, or...

2. moved beyond the need for a blog and all things MOHOspherish and accepted myself for who I am while embracing the other parts of me, including my marriage, in a way that brought me fulfillment and joy, and no longer required some touch with this community anymore as I would have figured it all out and have nothing more to ponder out loud to a cyber audience.

Well, here I still am... and I still find a need to be here. The path I've chosen through these six years has not taken me through Door no. 1. I have chosen Door no. 2, and yet, that "fulfilment and joy" part, though sprinkled with happiness, is still lacking. There remains a hole in my heart, an emptiness that sometimes consumes me, a void that cannot be filled.

I am well beyond the "woe is me" mode of self-pity. I feel I have progressed somewhat in the direction of self-acceptance and self-assurance. You be the judge and tell me what you think. I feel I have internally come to terms with the essence of who I am and always have been. I have come to willing accept this as a wonderful part of my eternal being. And this blog has documented how I've received intimate and personal revelation in the Temple - a voice in my head as a clear and powerful message - from the Holy Ghost confirming that it's okay to be who I am, it's even okay to laugh about being distracted by beautiful men in the Lord's House, and that the Lord is laughing WITH me, not AT me, lovingly and gracefully acknowledging me - the whole me, the me that I've come to know and accept. I find peace and comfort, even progress in that.

Yet, I'm still stuck. I'm stuck in a rut. I'm trapped. I sense no real progression. I am not able to go forward, nor backward. I'm not OUT and so I'm still a prisoner in my own skin and circumstance. I have progressed to this point, but cannot progress any further. I've hit that hard ceiling of my closet's firm lid. My commitments, circumstances, environment, covenants, sacred vows, promises, keep me anchored for sure, anchored in good ways, but anchored nonetheless in this box. My convictions and personal witnesses are many and I am indeed grateful for the numerous tender mercies that keep me connected to that rod of iron, yet iron nonetheless around this ankle.

I've heard it said that if one is not moving forward, one is actually moving backward. Progress is only when one takes steps to change.

In some ways I have changed. I used to beg the Lord for the healing power of the atonement to HEAL me and make me whole from these afflicting attractions. I used to plead for the strengthening power of the atonement to STRENGTHEN me to resist these attractions and temptations. I now beg and plead for the Lord to HEAL my empty heart and feel the void that remains from years of self-loathing and guilt. I now plead for the Lord to STRENGTHEN me to be fearless in my self-acceptance, and to fight the fears that continue to plague me, each day wondering when I will stand up and be counted among the brave ones who don't shun their eternal true nature.

But I am not healed, nor free of guilt. And I remain fearful and weak, very weak, indeed.

In the coming days and weeks, I hope to write some more. I hope to find the inspiration that has recently been lacking, to place my thoughts again on this page. For you see... I still need this blog! Even if just for me to get it out there to be seen and heard by no one else but me! I still need to reach out, even be understood.

The readers of six years ago are mostly long gone, having moved on, progressed forward and upward to better places and better stages of life. Who is left? Who is out there? I need to know you are there. I don't chat anymore. I don't reach out to you as I did before. I don't meet you, break bread with you, embrace you. I hardly embrace anyone anymore, which is sad. I catch myself and stop myself from "doing what comes naturally" and each time I do, I do so consciously and purposefully limiting my reach, my touch - thus expanding that void.

In the real world, there's a shell, an empty man of lies and confusion, still in great need - six long years later!