Saturday, May 19, 2012
I'm in California this week. The last time I came to California and watched a sunset on the Monterrey peninsula, I wanted to write a blog post entitled, "I Love Gay Men." I didn't have a blog then but now I do and Palm Springs has rekindled my inspiration. Some of what I love about gay men is cliche and obviously not true for all gay men. A big one: great taste. I'm talking taste in general: fashion, hair, car, food, drink. We were out to dinner the other night and heard a couple arguing Flirtatiously over who should eat the last bite of dessert (neopolitan ice cream). I love it! Part of the reason I love it is that I live in rural Idaho where anyone gay is certainly not out to a lovely dinner with their partner giggling over ice cream. It's comforting to me to see people act their normal selves in public (as we all should always be able to do with the usual caveat that our actions not cause a problem for ourselves or others). Another reason I love it is because I wish for all my friends, gay, straight or otherwise, that they have the chance to sit in a great restaurant and eat and drink and be in love and thoroughly enjoy themselves with no care or worry. The joy of watching people in love is catchy! It makes me do fun things like buy complete strangers dinner and go home with a happy feeling in my heart. A couple of days later, Dave and I were the subject of someone else's joy. There we were at an outdoor cafe on El Paseo, enjoying a post-run iced latte. A lady walked out and, drawn in by our absolute happiness and ease of being, started to chat. Unfortunately, she was a total right-wing hyper-religious woman with a major lack of tact. She went just a couple of steps too far and told us how she devalues education, doesn't want to pay taxes on her millions and doesn't approve of the fact that Dave and I are not married. She did also tell me I look pretty and young and she held onto Dave's hand extra long while telling him she could never marry again, she had had the love of her life for 39 years. For that I am happy, because love is love no matter what it looks like. Some of us require marriage to make it real, some of us require partners of the same sex, some of us require the occasional long dinner over a great bottle of Chianti and our mutual undivided attention. So take what you want from love, love who you want with all of your heart and mind and soul. And leave everyone else to their love, respecting that your version of love is all yours; what works for someone else is theirs and, really, is none of your business!
Monday, May 14, 2012
I saw the movie Marley yesterday and it inspired me deeply. I love the energy of a person doing exactly what he loves and doing it fully. The effects are not just incredible beauty, but a rippling effect of inspiration that demonstrates to others that doing what you love is, indeed , very worthwhile. Bob Marley died in 1981. His life's work reverbs through all aspects of past and present culture, even as it builds momentum into the future. This is what truth does. Whether you 'like' reggae music or not is irrelevant. As creatures created all from the same source, which is the source of everything good, bad, beautiful, ugly, tragic, divine, and everything in between, we know truth when it presents itself. Whether we acknowledge it or not is a choice. One of the most instructive tools I've learned through yoga is to look for the good, look for the beauty. Sometimes it is obvious like when a green tree bursts bright red flowers at the tips of its branches in the desert - almost everyonr would agree in the beauty of that. The beauty of a screaming child? The beauty of the stream of angry thoughts in my mind when 'things' aren't going my way? Well, this reminds me of a time when I was seasick - I was on a small fishing boat near Homer, Alaska. After I had puked out everything available in my guts and could finally see land, a man of great inspiration in my life, John Friend, said to me, "can you find the beauty in this? " my initial response was, " that it's almost over?" No. The truth is that it is beautiful because I can experience it. I have a body, guts, a sensitive vestibular system. I have the capacity to experience the world and I have a choice in how I respond. Choosing amazement over frustration, choosing to flow rather than grip, choosing to fully feel without creating a big, long, sad story about how hard I work or how hard life is, etc, etc, etc - that is the beauty and that is also the truth of life. Hold on to what feeds you, let it go when it no longer does. Love yourself and others, including plants and animals, and other people's children, plants, and animals, and just see if it's easier to access the beauty in the world before you see the yuck. A big fat thanks to Bob Marley for living, for creating, for inspiring, and for bringing his bright and colorful version of reggae to the world!