I was a conservative in my youth. It’s how I was raised. How I was indoctrinated. And it’s really odd. Because when I was young my parents weren’t religious. Their positions weren’t anointed by the false images of a god that never was. So they justified them with science and opinion. And my mom was fiercely feminist. Like hardcore feminist. So she would talk and I respected the strong women in my life forever because of her. They used to be Democrats. They’d declare it that after Jimmy Carter they lost faith. That’s how they described it. Like politics was religion. And that is the key, isn’t it? They viewed their politics as religion and they rolled into the 80’s doing well economically. So they’re religion became money and their presidents became saviors. Each one inviolable. The opposing party, a villain. The face of the adversary. And that’s how they raised us. I was never comfortable with it. I argued and that original politics as science is what sunk in. And science, science changes. It looks at the world. It looks at the evidence and it shifts. By the time I was 18, I’d shifted to Libertarian. The platform not the individuals in it. The people that are in it are fringe. The ideas fringe. Maybe, I read too much Heinlein. But my thinking shifted. And my relationship with my parents became double sided. On one side they were my parents, and on the other they were adversaries. But ones who I still had some things in common with. Those commonalities waned down the years. As my eyes and world grew wider. And science based politics forced my positions and opinions to change. I became far left Libertarian. Until 2016. Until the rubber band broke, and I could no longer affiliate with a party that had anything in common with the Republican party and the monster they endorsed and elected. And I’ve watched as my now so called practicing Christian parents salivate at the thought of doing harm to those who are other than them. Eating up the thinly veiled propoganda of Fox news. And far right radio. Believing everything that Trump says even when it contradicts the things he just said. And I find that I love them. Because they are my parents. And they have never acted against me. Seem to genuinely want the best for me. But, I know that they are my enemies. And that hurts. That loss of safety. Because I can never be sure now that I will be supported. And maybe it’s dumb for an adult to need them still. But I’ve seen them be better people. And I wish they would come back.
Noise drowns out rhetoric in the next room
Headphones cranked up
Drowning out voices repeating
Lies as revelation
Until the only truth is the lie
Closed doors and silent
Opinions asked anguish
Traps to pounce
They believe only facts which reinforce their hypocrisy
So no facts at all
Just profitable lies
Slung by earnest white faces
And fear cowering in a bunker
Hurt looks when told harsh truths
How their hatred effects the relationships with those around them
Thugs in blue uniforms
Armed to the teeth
Seething with hatred
Told they have authority
And no repercussions
Demonstrate in real time
Shouting to be heard
But now seen
Again and again
That old experiment
The worst humans aggregate to the place they can exert the most brutality
The best intentions stay silent
And the truest few quit rather than be a part
Rather than be complicit
In this river of blood
We can no longer unsee
Every year my family gets together to celebrate the holidays, Christmas and Thanksgiving. And every year they ask someone to say a prayer. This year they asked me. I said no. I was gracious about it, but I said No.
Because how do I say a prayer when it won’t be to their god. How can I say a prayer when it will first be spoken in the language of my prayers then again in their language. How would I explain that we don’t give thanks for what our god gave us but ask what we can do for our god. Not a god of blessings but one of a deeper path. How do I explain an entire lifetime of belief and structure and obligate choices. How do I even this prayer which is orchestrated would be an affront.
I don’t know. Don’t know how to tell them I’m not like them. In how many ways I’m not like them. And even when they grasp my paganism, they think that yule is a good thing, something similar to a celebration instead of a solemn affair.
It’s exhausting to stay quiet. To not broach subjects. To keep quiet on others. And still, there is always more. Lines that can’t be crossed and words that can’t be said.
My god would say, “The work is the work. You have to act before you can know.” And that’s true but how do you tell them that what they presume, even when told repeatedly otherwise, isn’t true.
It’s an odd feeling. To be included but excluded at the same time. To belong to something but not fit into it. There is a pressure and a sadness there.
I know how easy it would be to give in, to shred my self and conform. To lie and mouth their words in petty forgery of faith.
But then who would I be?
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When you are feeling particularly shitty and you just can’t stand feeling that way anymore, it feels natural to turn to sex/pleasure or pain. For me it was depression and numbness. I got to the point where feeling something, anything, was better than the numbness I was mired in.
I sunk myself deep in the ministrations of friends of Sara’s. Pain and pleasure became the only thing I wanted. If it hadn’t been for Eric, I would never have come out. I’d still be mired there. He loved me. And while the scene was a part of our relationship, it was the other parts that woke me up. That is something I will always be grateful for.
My family asks at Thanksgiving to write
down what you are thankful for then they share it at Christmas. Well, they don’t know my life. They are SO normal. I just can’t seem to tell them the truth. I’m thankful for Eric. I’m sad that he’s now passed. I have known love, real love, twice in my life. Both times, they saved me. I hope that I did something for them. For Sara, I will always believe I failed her. For Eric, I hope that he was happy in the last years of his life. I know he found love. I hope M knows that he was loved.
I hope that anyone in my life that needs to immerse themselves in pleasure/pain will come to me. I can help. And if, ultimately, talking doesn’t work then I can provide the service Eric did for me. It’s the least I can do for his memory. It’s the least I can do for those I love.
Love is a continuum,
Ranging from as easy as falling to a constant struggle to be understood and accepted. It exists in many forms
All forms requires a leap of faith or an action.
That may be part of my problem. Many of the people I’m interested in want to be friends and then see where it goes. Which is interesting to me because friendship for me is a slow process.
Further, I generally love my friends in an agapic way. So if you don’t want emotional attachment then neither friendship or dating is what is wanted.
What most consider friendship, I consider acquaintance. To me friendship comes with rights and obligations. Acquaintance is no strings. I’ll accept acquaintance from people I work with or share a single activity with.
But for someone interesting? Someone worth getting to know? I cannot understand why anyone would want less than true friendship, complete with agapic love. Why spend the time for less. Take a bloody chance. We are all so cautious with our hearts. We have all been burned. But pain is life. It is necessary for growth. And failing all else, it is experience.
Which is what living is all about. I’m not saying you should accept risks beyond your limits but we all need to have a little more confidence in ourselves and learn what those limits are.
Love, experience, learn, repeat. Life is devastatingly, brutally beautiful.
Risk and chance, chance and risk.
Sometimes it’s as easy as falling, sometimes we must screw up our courage and jump.