Is it just me?

Is it just me, or does this guy make sense?

If you aren’t familiar with Pete Buttigieg check him out.

At this point I believe in hearing all possible candidates. A few are standing out. In my book Pete is one of those stand outs.

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Clawing out

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.

Whole Hearted

Living. Living life to the fullest.

Experiencing, learning, growing, loving, giving, sharing, teaching, risking…

Those who put themselves out there, those who risk, live.

I believe that those who expose themselves for who they really are, those who allow themselves to be vulnerable, live. They live life to the fullest. They live life with a whole heart.

Hearts were meant to be broken or else they wouldn’t break. Love.

Gifts were meant to be given and shared because if they were selfishly hoarded they wouldn’t be gifts, but would be burdens. Give.

Lessons and experiences only have value to enrich others when taught. Teach.

If one isn’t growing, one is dying. Grow.

Without risk there is nothing. Risk.

Will there be pain? Yes

Will there be joy? Yes

If we couldn’t feel pain, we wouldn’t feel joy. Feel.

To get to the other side of anything, we must walk through it. Experience.

My brain thinks. My heart loves, my heart gives, my heart shares, my heart teaches, my heart experiences, my heart risks, my heart feels, my heart grows, my heart lives!

I choose to live whole heartedly from this moment on. To live, live with my whole heart.

Radio Blessings

While driving to the gym today, a treasured song from my past found it’s way from the satellite airwaves through my car speakers onto my eardrums. As my tympanic membranes vibrated to the rhythms, and the vestibulochoclear nerve impulses transferred the information to my brain, my emotions became full of overwhelm. The flood of sadness, grief, warmth, joy, hope, gratitude and rage resulted in a stream of mixed emotional tears into the softness of Fearsome Beard.

Memories enveloped me.

I’m a survivor. I never contracted the HIV virus.

I graduated high school as a very sexually active young homosexual male. I had a ball. I even attended an all night orgy the night before my high school graduation. It was the early 1980s after all and I was a young adult. I was 18. I was one of 4 students who spoke on that graduation day before our class of 500 students. I give you, my dear reader, such a graphic example for a reason.

There was an unknown threat surrounding us males of the homosexual persuasion. A threat unknown to any of us. Even unknown to men 10, 20, 30 or more years my senior.

Apparently sometime during the sexual revolution of the 1970s a virus had turned up in our population. An undetected virus that was just about to reach a critical mass infection that would soon wreak havoc on our community.

We didn’t know. We had fun. We loved. We partied. We fucked.

Love is Love is Love is Love.

It was then. It is today. Yet then we had no idea what was about to happen, and then it did happen.

Those rare cases of an immune deficiency ticked up. They ticked up in the gay community of the U.S. and suddenly we had a syndrome. It was first named GRID. Gay Related Immune Deficiency they called it. GRID was rare. GRID was seen only in large cities. GRID didn’t affect us in smaller towns. Yet it was there, we just didn’t know it yet.

Keep in mind this was the early to mid 1980s. Safe sex wasn’t yet a known practice. Gay men didn’t use condoms. Two men can’t get pregnant. No one yet knew that the virus was spreading nor how it was spreading.

As this virus did spread it showed up in a few other populations, but not in the numbers it did amoung gay men. Researchers soon discovered that it was transmissible, probably from a virus, and thus it was acquired. The name changed to AIDS or Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It was still rare, but starting to scare us. Then it started to happen. People around me started to get sick.

One of my favorite sexual partners, Jerry, came down with it. Jerry was 38, I was probably 20. Jerry was in his prime. Jerry was succesful, owned several homes and was stunningly handsome. Jerry became very ill. I was scared. I went to visit Jerry. He was thin, pale, had wierd dark cancerous spots on his skin and was short of breath. Jerry looked like hell. He offered me a drink. I said I wasn’t thirsty. I was actually afraid I would catch it from the glass. I couldn’t wait to leave. I never saw Jerry alive again.

Within about 5 years of the night of that orgy celebrating my high school graduation, with the exception of me, every single other person that was there had died. I can still see each of their faces and remember each of their names.

The 1980s for me was a war zone. It wasn’t “if” I would catch AIDS and die, it was when.

In 1990 I fell in love and moved away. Far away. Even though I moved far away, that virus was still here on the west coast. I never contracted that virus. I still haven’t today. I don’t know why I didn’t as I was never, nor did I ever become, no angel. Today the virus is called HIV. The deadly disease that is a result of HIV is AIDS.

My flood of emotion was gratitude that I am here. Gratitude that I ain’t never contracted HIV. Gratitude that I knew those wonderful men I lost, who were not only sexual partners, but mentors and friends. Grateful I loved. Grateful that I could hear Bruce Springsteen’s words. Grateful I could feel. That I could feel all the emotions pouring from me of grief, sadness, love, anger, joy, warmth, disappointment, hope, fear, gratitude and rage.

Fearsome Beard absorbed my tears. I made my way into the gym as a healthy, grateful, loving, kind and hopeful 50 something gay man. A man who was now far removed from the 1980s and far removed from the origin and experiences of the song and memories that had just overwhelmed me.

I will never forget those men whom I lost. I will never forget the times I went through. I’ll never forget the joy, laughter and tears. Those men and those experiences made me who I am today. I look forward to what is to come. I am forever grateful.

I love life. I love who I am. I have been blessed. I am blessed.

The Beginning

I start today like I start every day and that is with a choice:

Should I play the same record over and over or should I change my world?

Growth comes through change.

Today is the beginning of the rest of my life. All I have to do to change the world is to start by changing my mind.

 

“The Beginning”

This is the beginning of the record you like
Over and over, over and over!
This is the beginning of the record you like
Over and over, over and over!Breaking up, fading out,
Holding on until tomorrow!
Shake it off, turn around,
Won’t be long, till is a brand new day!

[Chorus:]
This is the beginning, the beginning!
This is the beginning of the rest of your life!
This is the beginning, the beginning!
This is the beginning of the rest of your life!

You better get it – get it (get – get) get it – get it – right – right
That was then, this is now.
Here we go starting over

That was then, this is now,
Here we go starting over!
You decide, change your mind,
Miracles happen every day!

[Chorus:]
This is the beginning, the beginning!
This is the beginning of the rest of your life!
This is the beginning, the beginning!
This is the beginning of the rest of your life!

You better get it – get it (get – get) get it – get it – right – right
That was then, this is now.
Here we go starting over

Change the world, change your mind,
We defy space and time!
Change the world, change your mind,
We defy space and time!
Change the world, change your mind,
We defy space and time!

[Chorus:]
This is the beginning, the beginning!
This is the beginning of the rest of your life!
This is the beginning, the beginning!
This is the beginning of the rest of your life

 

2557 Days

Seven years ago today I got sober.

My seven year chip

Thats 2557 days of uninterrupted reality.

I stay sober 1 day at a time. May tomorrow be just another one of those days.

You see I don’t drink like regular people. If I take a drink I have no idea where I will end up. Once one drink is in me, I go to the bitter end of fucked up drunkeness.

Therefore I choose to not drink at all. Life is better for me that way. Not everyone is like me, but I am.

Hope

Raybeard inspired me to post this video of a young man addressing the Iowa House of Representatives opposing Resolution 6 back in 2011. Resolution 6 would have ended civil unions in Iowa (this was before marriage equality nationwide).

This young man is Zach Wahls who is today’s Beard of the Day and newly elected State Senator in Iowa.

Congratulations Zach! Thank you for being an inspiration. Thank you for your insight and your leadership.

 

Silence = Death

To say that this was a stressful week would be an understatement.

We must speak out. We must stand up. We must stand strong. We must walk through. We must bond together. We must embrace each other. We must appreciate differences. We must support justice.

We must be good civil upstanding citizens and we must vote.

We mustn’t tolerate violence or discrimination.

We must understand.

Most of all, we must love.

If you haven’t noticed

If you haven’t noticed, it’s Trans Beard week.

Due to current political unfair and unethical maneuvering I felt it important to post men who are men. Honest men who are men from what is deep within their being, not from what was between their legs when they were born.

I stand with them as we will not allow any human to be erased.

Challenge day 3

Today’s read pages 44-54, sections 18 & 19.

Short sweet and simple:

Whatever you create in life be it write, paint, dance, or… someone at some point will ‘constructively’ suggest that you can do better, thus implying you didn’t do well and with that one may feel shame.

Don’t. Don’t ever be ashamed of anything you create. If you briefly do, make it brief and don’t carry the shame. It’s all part of the creative process, even if it wasn’t your best or flat out wasn’t good. It is what will get you to the next thing and the next level, as long as you don’t let shame get you down.

Challenge day 2

Todays Read was from page 31-44 ending at section 18.

There is no magical story place, good story ideas come from literally nowhere. My job is only to recognize ideas as they show up.

Stephen King was rejected. He was rejected a lot. He didn’t stop simply because someone said no.

Capture encouragement, even when it’s received with rejection, and run with it.

Imagine imagination.

Opinion piece

I have an opinion. So does the maker of this New York Times video.

We both have the right to express our opinions. We also have the right to agree or disagree or even maybe find a grey area or common ground, or at least we do right now.

If we wish to be able to freely have our opinions, express our opinions, debate our opinions and work toward common good we all must vote in the November midterms. That is vote before it’s too late.

Oh and the video? It’s worth the watch.

An Inspiration

Verklempt I am.

Inspired  I am.

Courage. Vulnerability. Truth. Grief. Honor.

Leadership. Patriotism. Integrity.

Honesty. Reality. Respect.

Understanding. Cooperation. Humility. Equality. Democracy. Justice. Service.

There is a greater good. Let’s strive toward that.

We reflect with gratitude for the example given to us by Senator McCain as well as that shared by the speakers above.

Godspeed.

Guilty of being brown

Careful, my soapbox is out and I’m standing on it.

So it appears that our US government has started denying US citizens with Hispanic names who live near the border renewal of their already existing US passports.

Apparently claiming that their US birth certificates are forged.

Why haven’t they denied white people with European names passport renewals in that same region because they too might have a forged birth certificate? Because these white people aren’t brown.

Why the FUCK do I have to write this post in 2018? Why the fuck???

Read about it HERE, it’s really happening.

So what, or who, is next? Deny my white Anglo Saxon ass who has an Irish surname a passport renewal because I don’t fuck the opposite sex? Deny someone else who might have a Jewish surname a passport renewal? What, you don’t think it could happen?

Well you had better the fuck think again.

Unless you are a white affluent conservative “chr*stian” republicass, there is a target on your back and they are coming for you. Yes unless you are all five of those you have a target on your back too, and you will pay. Oh and  “chr*stian” is misspelled, lower case and has quotes around it because in this day and time it’s simply a necessary label and no longer a moral quality. Yes I did just say that.

What can any of us do?

We can speak (while we still can) we can vote (while we still can) we can protest, talk, discuss, support, call, march, write, work, engage, relate, and most of all we must let this idiotic amoral leadership bind us together to a common cause of greater good.

I’ve had my rant. Fear, hate and anger only create more fear, hate and anger. Love, understanding and inspiration are the way to a higher level. May the Youngbloods’ 1967 classic Get Together lift us.