It was late December as my birthday was approaching number of years ago in the late 1990s, I was starting to pack for a weekend away to Palm Springs to celebrate the passing of another year. While I was packing my Better Half walked into the room with an envelope. He handed it to me and said “I think you had better open this as it may help you pack.”
I opened the envelope to find a round trip ticket to my favorite city on earth, Paris. We would be leaving in 48 hours. Wow, what a surprise! A week in Paris, a week in Paris the first week of January. Yeah, I guess the bathing suits I was packing weren’t going to be useful for this trip.
I had only been to Paris once before but it had already secured that special place in my heart that it still holds today. My first trip there had only been probably some 18 months before. On that trip it was high tourist season. Getting even close to Notre Dame was almost impossible on that first trip. However I remember my first glimpse of that imposing structure that was also one of the most beautiful works of art I had even seen. Still to this day I can feel my breath leave my body as I turned the corner to look up and see it’s magnificence.
I was transported to another time. I knew this beauty. I knew this cathedral like I knew the back of my hand. I knew deep inside of me, having never even paid attention to photos much less studying anything about it, that I had been there before. Whether it was some dream or maybe a past life experience I’ll never know, but I had been here. I knew her grandiosity to the point of intimate comfort. I could not wait to get inside to re-visit the interior that I knew so well. However this story isn’t about that trip. That was the first trip there. The trip where I actually laid eyes on a familiar place for the first time. The first time at least in this lifetime.
This trip, this special trip that the man who would one day be my legal husband gave me as a birthday present, was in the dead of winter. Turns out tourists don’t go to Paris in the dead of winter, or at least not the first week of January. It was cold but it was magnificent. It was the two of us freezing Southern Californians and a city with its doors wide open and no one in our way.
We walked right up to the ticket counter at the Eiffel Tower, with not a soul in line to buy a ticket, and walked right up to step onto an elevator. An elevator all the way to the top with only two others aboard. We walked into The Louvre only to walk right up to the Mona Lisa, when before we couldn’t even get into the room where the Mona Lisa was. We walked right into the magnificent work of art that is Notre Dame and spent hours enveloped in the beauty, history and majesty that I adored. I adored not only from my previous trip but knew from some other time, some other experience that was still a mystery to me. We walked right over to the corner, where we previously may have had to wait outside in line all day to even hopefully possibly access, only to take our first step into her infamous towers and walk right up to the top.
Seeing Paris from The Eiffel Tower is incredible. Seeing Paris from the towers of Notre Dame is life changing.
Look I’m not generally one to use what some consider profanity in a blog title but sometimes it’s appropriate.
Beards are great. Real Fucking Beards are even better!
I cannot fully explain what it’s like living with a Beard like Fearsome but I’ll try.
First off, Fearsome ain’t no regular trimmed and styled Beard. He’s a big Beard. A real Fucking Beard.
Everyday I am am rewarded by the soft touch of Fearsome against my naked skin when I wake up. Yes during sleep I occasionally have to wake up to get him out from under me, out of an armpit or just to simply turn over, but it’s worth it.
Each morning I am blessed with the ritual of his care. The shampoo and conditioning feel wonderful between my fingers as his folicales untangle and lengthen. After blotting his frocks in a soft towel, I get to lovingly apply his leave in conditioner and massage in fragrant Beard oils. We finish with a thorough combing from roots to tips from side to side, front to back and under to outer. The rewards of such care are reaped every time a wind catches and lifts him over a shoulder, around behind my head and even when he lifts into my field of vision.
His movement is one of the greatest pleasures he brings me. I feel every turn of my head. We feel every breeze. He rests softly on my chest giving me a caressing touch even through the fabrics of my shirts. He is simply a divine gift.
He provides comedic relief at most all occasions and interactions. He’s quite social inviting most anyone into an easy conversation. He loves attention and making others smile. Why even at yoga as I am in downward dog he’s jokingly laying on the floor beneath me and can be found mischievously obstructing my vision when in a headstand.
I cannot fully express my gratitude to the powers that gave me life and blessed me with the luxuriousness that is Fearsome Beard. I am grateful to myself for allowing him to blossom into the massive full Beard he has become. It has been more than 4 years since his last trim and he’s still growing longer day by day. There are no plans for any future trims either as that last one was a mistake from which we learned. Trimming does nothing but destroy the potential that any Beard has to become exceptional.
My advice to any man is to let it grow. Do not trim. Allow your Beard to become its potiential. Shampoo, condition and love your Beard.
Go ahead grow a Beard. Any Beard is worth growing and having. However if you’ve got a taste for adventure, grow a Fucking Beard.
ZZ Top Real Fucking Beards!
Sometimes, in order to get out of a hole that which I have found myself, it feels as if I am clawing my way out of the darkness even though I cannot see any light. I have found that as I claw my way it is important for me to be open to see any cracks, or even pin holes, of light and appreciate these as inspiration to keep clawing my way out. Keep clawing even if these pin holes aren’t the solution or direction in which I should go.
Inspiration lifts me. I must allow it to do so.
The pit of darkness in which I have found myself is of my own making. I make it through overwhelm due to the choices I make as to how I perceive the world around me. Choices as to how I react to others, to politics, to situations, to emotions, to comments, to work, to stress, to joy, to sadness, to love, to criticism, to direction, to you, to my thoughts, to weather, to …
Perception, like everything else in our revolving universe, cycles. This, too, shall pass.
I can choose to hasten this passing by allowing little things to lift me. This morning I choose to allow my locality of living’s politics to shine a pin hole of light inspiration into my life as I claw my way back into the light in which I prefer to live.
As I sit in the United lounge in the San Diego airport awaiting my delayed flight out I read our local paper. To my delight below the coverage of last nights national prime time spectacle of absurd news, I find that my local government has voted to take it upon themselves to assist the asylum seekers awaiting at the international border into our city.
Pin hole of light I see.
I allow it to uplift me.
I smile. I feel better.
I believe that good overpowers bad. I believe that love beats hate. I believe that kindness conquers intolerance. I believe that light eliminates darkness.
I believe that vulnerability allows us to be seen as we truly are, as the truly the imperfect flawed beings that we are. I believe that through exposing our own vulnerability we demonstrate the courage it takes to be, to be ourselves.
I am me and I’m not perfect. However I am worthy, I am courageous, I am beautiful, I am and I can.
I can do anything. Right now I make a choice. I choose light.
In a United 737-900 ER
It’s here, Comic-Con San Diego
Some 10, 11 or maybe even 12 years ago I started reading Spo Reflections. Little did I know that a friendship was in the making.
I read, he blogged. I read, he blogged. I added a comment, he responded. I read and commented, he blogged and responded. So it went.
Thursday of this week I went out to visit him and a few others in Palm Springs. A jolly good time was had by all. Ron was among them as well as Someone, Doug, Leon & Pat. Food, conversation, laughter and fun shared by all.
This here internet thingy doesn’t have to be isolating. All we have to do is get out and meet up.
Cheers to those I’ve met in person and those I’ve yet to meet.
My surgeon found no tear in the right rotator cuff once in there with his scope. No tear had showed on MRI, but then again no tear showed on the MRI of the left a year and a half ago when they found one once inside with the scope. Therefore this surgery was much less involved. My surgeon simply removed the bone spur, cleaned up the impingement and drilled the bone to stimulate my stem cell release to reduce any arthritic inflammation.
Last time I couldn’t shower for a week and was completely immobilized for 5 weeks before starting physical therapy at 6 weeks. Today at two days post op I am out of the sling and already had a shower. I return Friday to have the stitches removed and start physical therapy. I am already using my arm for easy light tasks. Movements are limited but improving already. Pain meds are at a minimum.
I was prepared for the worst and I am relieved. Compared to the last surgery this one has been a walk in the park thus far. Fingers crossed I’ll be baking my coconut cake for Christmas dinner!
At 7:15 this morning I check in at my assigned outpatient surgery center. The Acromioplasty will begin about 8:45. I actually look forward to getting through this and into recovery. Shoulder pain isn’t fun.
Fearsome will be tied up into a tight pony tail as he has a tendency to get into everything. We don’t want the surgeon saying he needs a trim before they can start.
Fearsome and his family take on The Big Apple!
This morning on our way to Philly we had a stopover and as we landed at San Fransisco International SFO we had the honor of seeing United’s last 747 on the tarmac before it’s final farewell flight today from San Fransisco to Hawaii.
I love 747s and thankfully have flown several of them over the years. Godspeed my friend.
Then after arriving in Philly we, Fearsome & meself, had the greater honor of re-uniting with an old friend and meeting a new one face to face for the first time. It’s been a wonderful day.
Six years ago today I woke up a broken man. A man that didn’t yet know that he was about to go 2192 days without a hangover. A man that had no idea what lied ahead only that I could no longer live as I had been living.
Today I woke up and received this six year token for living six full years of uninterrupted reality. I am humbled.
May tomorrow be day 2193.