Archive for January, 2008

Offerings 1.31.08

Posted in Buddhism, My Photos, Personal ramblings on January 31, 2008 by boychick1

Fulfilling spiritual life can never come through imitation, it must shine through our particular gifts and capacities as a man or woman on this earth. This is the pearl of great price. Jack Kornfield

My mother is catholic, my father was a methodist – and she tried, she did, to raise me to be a good little catholic girl. I can remember going to church dressed up like a little Shirley Temple doll. Dress, gloves, hat, the shoes that had several straps going up your ankle and these retched textured tights. I’d sit on the pews and think about how uncomfortable I was with those tights digging into my legs on the wooden pews, how silly it all was, how much I just wanted to get home again.

I was born skeptical, independent and unlikely to fall into line with any “group” and for those reasons I have not lead a religious life but do lead a spiritual one.

Terry Tempest Williams, a marvelous, inspiring writer best summarizes for me the differences between religion and spirituality when she writes-

Religion brings us into community with a shared set of beliefs, symbols, and songs. We can choose to be internally engaged or not. The religion moves forward whether we are present or not. The religion goes forward whether we are present or not. The rules are written. Those in authority tell us what do do. It is, for the most part, comfortable and supportive. We are known. We belong to a congregation and we are taught to worship a creed “the result and fruit of many minds… Purified from all the oddities, shortcomings, and flaws of individual experience.” There are answers to be found. It is a peace we can borrow. We learn compliance, cooperation, and sacrifice. We can bask in the warmth of feeling part of an organism that knows its place in the world.

Spirituality is solitary. Its compliance is conflict, a gnawing at the soul that cannot be ignored. We are engaged. There are no rules. There are no maps. We live with the discomfort and ambiguity of our own authority. At times, it is lonely, often informed by pain. On other occasions, it is the body submerged in a phosphorescent tide, every movement sparking a trail of illumination. Afterwards, we sit on the shore in moonlight. No candles are necessary. Spirituality exists when we are present, buoyed up by the waters of attention. We learn the courage of faith. It is peace that is earned. We can take solace in the heat of doubt knowing that is the pulse of poetry.

Offerings 1.30.08

Posted in Buddhism, My Photos, Personal ramblings on January 30, 2008 by boychick1

We must make good use of this life for the time that we have left, this brief flash of light, like the sun appearing through the clouds.
– Kalu Rinpoche

I could not get a shot of the sun appearing through the clouds – it would be possible to get a photo of the wind which is fierce, the weather is very dramatic and the winds roared all night and continue today. We’ve gone from 45 degrees yesterday to less then 15 this morning. Walking clients dogs is not going to be fun today.

This morning I’m moving slowly, am about to make some breakfast and head to the studio. I’ve begun to work in clay with my artist friend (see her work here) and a gallery owner in the area. It’s been so fantastic and has become the highlight of my week. Soon I may even have some pieces to take some photographs of – right now the work is somewhere between the pinched ash trays we used to make for our fathers in art class and a masterpiece.

I feel myself revisting, embracing and moving forward in so many authentic aspects of who I am and one of these areas is working as an artist – I have felt like an artist all my life but recently one not producing any art. So it’s nice to pick these pieces of myself back up again.

Somewhere along the path of choices that we make practicality won out over passion, now I am pursuing my passions.

We don’t experience anything remotely resembling a “mid life crisis” — it’s clarity when we wake up and pay attention. This is a great moment in our lives, it’s the birth, finally of our authentic selves.

Peace-
MLC

Offerings 1.29.08

Posted in Buddhism, My Photos, Personal ramblings on January 29, 2008 by boychick1

If you do not make good use of this free and precious life, What good does it do to possess a human body? – Shabkar

I took this photograph when I was hiking in the Coronado mountains in southern Arizona — I was in Arizona at a conference with HSUS. I spent every spare moment after the day’s agenda exploring. I also arrived early and stayed late to wander around the Tuscon area – primarily hiking through the Senora desert.

I love the desert it’s so elemental and quiet – I was there in October so the weather was perfect. I’d love to return when it is all in bloom.

The Coronado mountains are south of Tuscon, the landscape was so interesting as I was hiking up the mountainside cactus reside next to pine trees – the scenery was familiar and yet completely foreign to someone from Michigan.

Offerings…a beautiful gift.

Posted in Buddhism, On Poetry, Personal ramblings on January 29, 2008 by boychick1

Ann sent me a beautiful book today “Offerings” Buddhist wisdom for every day. It’s just inspiring in terms of the text, as well as the lovely photography of the Tibetan people. I shall use it as a vehicle to keep myself on course with my life and on track with my blog. Each day I’ll at least post a photograph I have taken along with an excerpt in the book.

I feel very remiss when I am not getting something posted on the blog – – and it’s busted loose here for me, in regards to my training business. Now I am working seven days a week and teaching classes six of those days. All work and no play…leaves one dull blog.

And play of course includes playing with words and posting here. And thanks again for the comments – I’m grateful for each one and plan to get to responding (even to the dog training question).

But for now from Offerings…

Terrible or not, difficult or not, the only thing that is beautiful, noble, religious and mystical is to be happy. -Arnoud Desjardins

And those lines remind me of some from a poem by Mary Oliver, “happiness when it’s done right is a kind of holiness”

Poppies

The poppies send up their
orange flares; swaying
in the wind, their congregations
are a levitation

of bright dust, of thin
and lacy leaves.
There isn’t a place
in this world that doesn’t

sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,
but now, for a while,
the roughage

shines like a miracle
as it floats about everything
with its yellow hair.
Of course nothing stops the cold,

black, curving blade
from hooking forward-
of course
loss is a great lesson.

But also I say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
Inside the bright fields,

touched by their rough and spongy gold,
I am washed and washed
in the river
of earthly delight-

and what are you going to do-
what can you do
about it-
deep, blue night?

Careful you might get sucked off…

Posted in Humor on January 25, 2008 by boychick1

I think if our mass transit system would adopt a similar policy — many more citizens of the United States would live green by using public transportation. Instead we are simply green with envy at European innovation. Sigh.

I have been down (with a migraine) …and I am OUT. And I will be back soon – with witty remarks or mind numbing confessionals. Thanks for all the great comments I’ll reply soon (even to the dog behavior question).

Toodles-
MLC (a.k.a. Janet)

Tagged…which is better than pegged.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23, 2008 by boychick1

Old Crone tagged me – I’m it.

The rules of this meme are:

Link to the person that tagged you.

Post the rules on your blog.

Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.

Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

1. I hate broccoli.

2. I’m fascinated with L.A. Ink but I don’t have a tattoo (yet).

3. I love my cowboy boots…when I wear them I feel like at least my feet are in the southwest.

4. One of my favorite things about going to the gym, is ending up in the dry sauna. I take the iPod in the sauna and listen to Melissa Ferrick or Lucinda Williams and pretend I am in the southwest. Or perhaps they make me sweat even more profusely, I don’t know.

5. One of my favorite authors is Pam Houston. I love her book “Waltzing the Cat” – brilliant. I am determined to reveal her inner lesbian.

6. I am horribly, horribly messy. Scattered, disorganized.

I am going to tag… let’s see whose blogs do I enjoy and so I can reward them by tagging them with this meme? It’s about as much fun as a chain letter or a root canal.

Hahn At Home

Recovering Straight Girl

Awakenings

The Wishful Writer

Suburban Lesbian Housewife

House of Jero

…I love your blogs and now YOU’RE THE ‘IT’ GIRLS!

Shades of Grey.

Posted in My Personal Views On Queerness on January 22, 2008 by boychick1

Shades of Grey: Out of the box.

Why, why, why, why, why – one of the conversations we have with ourselves, those of us that come out in mid-life we ask why?

Why, why, why, why, why – for fuck’s sake why didn’t I realize this sooner? How deeply was my head buried in the sand, how dark was the closet – how much denial can someone live with and for how long?

He says: I’ve wasted my life on our stupid legend When my one and only love was the wicked witch. She said: What is history? And he said: History is an angel being blown backwards into the future.
-Laurie Anderson

But I’ve always lived in shades of gray, and have always been someone more comfortable with questions than answers. So answering “why” does not come easily – why not sooner?

There is a therapist whose writing I enjoy at the Bilerico Project blog, her name is Michele O ‘Mara – she was writing about something completely different then I am working through in this post tonight. But she mentioned that we can’t believe something to be true until there are receptors in our brain to receive the information.

My receptors weren’t on – I was aware of lesbians, I was after all an athlete in high school headed for college sports. Did I simply not meet the right woman? Hard to say, easy to speculate – to go back and fix things, to repair the things in our past that were broken or never realized.

I realized I had infatuations with my friends but really cannot say I had sexual feelings for my friends – in fact my sexuality was not turned on period. Perhaps being molested had something to do with that, my mother was also sexually molested and never conveyed a healthy attitude towards sex or sexuality. Who knows.

I know in my early 20’s I met R (he – yes a he) was not my first but was really the only significant relationship. We were both so ambiguous. R was a pretty man, a sensitive man and a very feminine man. He loved music, and Katherine Hepburn, and driving gloves, and argyl socks – he wrote poetry and took ballet classes. I was his boyfriend (oops I mean girlfriend) but I did always feel the more masculine half of our partnership.

Thinking back on our relationship and friends – male and female. Well we were all various shades of grey but not one of us was on an extreme end of a heterosexual or homosexual scale. We were all residing in the middle of the scale.

And during the time that I dated R (3 years) I also knew J. (a woman) a fascinating, fun, artistic, dancer who I took an immediate liking to and she to me. We spent a great deal of time together working together, partying together with our friend David, who was gay – and dancing to all hours in gay bars in the area. We’d end up drunk, and high and fall into bed together. J. and I but I was not gay, not a lesbian – of course not.

Why, why, why, why? For fuck’s sake… but I can recall dating R (and he had gay friends – I used to sometimes wonder when we were dating if he was gay). And in reflection I think he had similar thoughts about me but we were great friends and the sex was great – it was passionate, and sensitive, and frequent.

Where was I? Oh I remember spending a weekend with R and being so eager to send him off – at the end of our relationship he was in law school about an hour away. I’d be so eager to wave goodbye so I could rush over to see J. – so we could eventually end the day by falling into bed together. J and I never had sex, it was an emotional closeness that we shared, a comfort.

I always felt “acted upon” having sex with men whereas with woman I feel in communication with. It’s never mattered how sensitive the man was, I felt acted upon. I could have sex with men but I could never really sleep with one in my bed…I wanted them out, I didn’t want to share my bed with men.

With J. I would sleep. I now realize I was more thrilled waking up with her hand on my cheek or a leg touching mine then I was in the most passionate lovemaking R. and I would engage in.

I ended my relationship with R. when it was clear he was moving towards marriage with me. I knew something was wrong and that I should not get married. He married someone else we remained close, close friends for another decade. It was perfect as he could never stay with me long.

J. got married and has two boys she moved across the country and we drifted apart. I think of her often – her humor and her big, big, loving heart. She is just full of kindness and an almost childlike loving nature. So good.

Why, why, why, why?! It’s funny to me now (at least that is one way for me to look at it) funny. What was wrong with you? How in the world did you not realize you were gay? How, how, how?!!!

But I was a shade of grey – ambiguous and androgynous I never felt feminine or masculine. I felt for most of my young life hard to define, as if I was a third sex.

The receptors never turned on not until my late thirties, in my late thirties I realized I am a lesbian, a woman and a lesbian – I have no idea why it took so long, I did meet a woman who I had a strong attraction to and affection for. But while I have had dates, and sex – I have not had the “big girl love” that I jokingly say “takes you to the dark side”. No happy ever after tales. My coming out stories and experiences so far, well frankly they would be a tragic romantic comedy. Or perhaps just tragically comic.

Why, why, why – we can keep ourselves up at night or we can arrive at a place of peace and absolute clarity. Because it doesn’t matter why, what will be doesn’t matter.

What matters is the present moment. What matters is now – you needed every moment you spent, in exactly the way you spent them, to arrive here.

To arrive here. To arrive here which is a very happy, fulfilled and authentic place.

“And the angel wants to go back and fix things. To repair the things that have been broken. But there is a storm blowing from Paradise and the storm keeps blowing the angel backwards into the future. And this storm, this storm is called Progress. Laurie Anderson

I want to marry Laurie Anderson is she gay?

Love-
MLC