Leaders

We here at Fearsome Beard the blog thingy believe in recognizing and even promoting those who we feel are working not only to improve themselves but the world around them.

Yesterday we had the honor of witnessing a break out moment for a rising star of our future. We were so moved by Amanda Gordon that the moment we could find a clip of her poetry reading on YouTube we posted it. Today we learned more about her from Anderson Cooper. We hope to learn lots more about her in the future as we watch her rise into a leader. A leader worth listening to.

She gives us hope.

 

Inaugural Poet

Amanda Gordon / Youth Poet Laureate 2017 – The Hill We Climb – Presidential Inaugural Reading January 20, 2021

Spellbindingly beautiful.
“For there is always light if only we are brave enough to see it, if only we are brave enough to be it.”

Appropriate

Emotional doesn’t even start to describe my feelings. My feelings are appropriate.

I think I’ll just let myself feel the emotions as these tears of joy still stream down my cheeks as they have off and on all day today.

Filled with hope I tuck myself into bed tonight, for tomorrow will finally arrive when I awake.

It’s been a long cold lonely winter. Thank all of you for sticking with me through it, I couldn’t have done it without you.

The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun – 1969

A Weight is Lifting

I awake this morning filled with hope. A hope that has me shedding tears of joy. A joy that comes as a weight that has been hard to bear is being lifted. I’m finding it hard to express the depth of this hope.

The hope that I feel comes from my belief that inherently humankind is actually kind at it’s heart. While I recognize the faults, folly and imperfections of us, I see that kindness, love and understanding prevail over time.

I believe in sharing, promoting and focusing on the good. I believe this because I value that you get what you focus on the most.

There is a lightness to my shoulders this morning. There is an easier feeling than what I’ve felt in the past 4 years. My angst is receding. A feeling of relief, calm and serenity is coming over me.

There’s a kind of Hush – Herman’s Hermits – 1967

This tune is one I enjoyed as a child. It’s a tune that takes me to a simpler place. It brings me joy today.

Peace.

We Reap What We Sow

This is a monumental week for me as a liberal left leaning democrat. I must remember to be careful, careful of my expectations. Utopia cannot happen at once but must be built. Patience and an open mind will benefit me as we move forward.

I am ready to lay this burden of angst down and lift my wings and fly. However I will remember that I do reap what I sow.

Annie Lennox – Little Bird – 1992

Hope

Hope can be a complicated word for me. When one looks up the definition of hope the answers lean toward wish, or wishful thinking, however to me hope means more. Please don’t get me wrong as there is nothing wrong with wishful, but to me hope runs deeper.

Given that I am not a scholar, nor English major, I often look to the dictionary to help me refine the meanings of a word that I want or need for my expression. The typical definitions just don’t pinpoint the feeling I have behind the word hope.

To me hope is a very deep feeling, trust, desire and expectation for good. By this I mean good things that bring value. Values such as trust, honesty, equality, justice, kindness, service, humility, empathy, understanding and even love. Hope is something I feel from my being, my heart.

This morning I turned on this here iPad thingy to find news of hope coming from the election results in Georgia. Hope that restores my faith in us as a society. May this hope  live and grow.

 

Leaders

Well it’s 2021. We are still here.
There is a light at the end of this here tunnel and on this here blog thingy we hope to inspire in the coming year. It is time we got back to our roots, took stock of what we have and commenced to grow into what we wish to become.

Fearsome is still growing, I desire to follow his lead.

John Lennon has always been a leader who inspires me, so I’m handing it to him to kick us off on this very New Year’s Day 2021.

John Lennon / The Plastic Ono Band – Instant Karma! ( We All Shine On ) – 1970

Traditions

The little boy within the Beard that is Fearsome loves A Charlie Brown Christmas. Therefore we continue the tradition of our yearly Christmas Eve post.

Peace and goodwill toward all.

May the light, love, peace, happiness and joy that is the spirit of which our winter holidays are intended be yours.

Merry Xmas!

 

May Peace Be With You

It’s a beautiful winter solstice evening here in San Diego California. We’ve just returned from a 4.7 mile walk as the sun set over the Pacific ocean to our west for its final time before our earth begins its tilt northward marking the beginning of winter. Today was a stunningly beautiful 75 degree F day here with crystal blue skies, warm but with a refreshing nip in the air. Simply the optimum Southern California winters’s day, kind of a cordial welcome to longer days that are on the horizon as we march toward spring.

Moments after arriving home we found this a cappella recording of Veni Veni Emmanuel. It’s simple yet refreshingly stunning. We found it an appropriate to welcome winter.
Enjoy!

The Gesualdo Six – Veni Veni Emmanuel – 2014

Happy Winter Solstice…

May peace be with you.

I Still Believe

Dolly has been a guiding light throughout my life.

I still vividly remember the very first time I heard her sing Jolene through the speaker of the AM radio of my mother’s white 1967 Buick Electra 225 as we drove through the back county of Tennessee late at night on the way to my uncle’s house in Missouri. I also remember being at my friend Melissa’s house when she played Dolly’s new 45 of Two Doors Down as we danced to it in the living room of her mother’s small apartment, as well as hearing Dolly and Kenny Rogers sing Islands In The Stream while running the cash register at my very first “real” job at the corner convenience mart gas station.

I consider her a blessing to not only my life, but to our society as a whole. She’s a kind and giving soul. May her message of hope light up your holidays as it is lighting up mine.

Dolly Parton – I Still Believe – 2020

I still believe in Dolly Parton.
Peace.

A humble reprise

Today as I walked Ft. Lauderdale Beach Boulevard I listened to the breeze. The breeze through the palms and the cypress trees sounded as if the trees were whispering to me. Other than an occasional car or person along the way the only audible sound was that of the waves in the distance.

FT. Lauderdale Beach 10/27/2020

In my solitude I couldn’t help but to continue my reflections of yesterday. I couldn’t help but to feel a bit of shame for some of the superficialities easily associated with some of the dreams. From that feeling I must take it to the next level. For me that next level must be to find some humility. I find humility through gratitude and learning.

First I must forgive myself for being human. Being human I have ego. Having ego I can look for security, or assurance, through attention. Needing attention I can gravitate toward the shallow and superficial.

For the most part my dreams have been realized and are still being realized, but I have never gotten them on my own. I’ve had help, direction, inspiration, support, love and generosity along my path. My gratitude for these gifts is deep and genuine.

I’ve been blessed to learn that the truly meaningful and fulfilling realized dreams are most often the simplest of all. The kiss of a newly rescued dog, the smile from a newborn niece, a reassuring glance from my husband, a hug from a friend, a tear wiped away by a co-worker over a seemingly devastating mistake, a smile from a stranger let into traffic and the laughter of a group of friends enjoying the simple telling of a humorous story.

You, yes you dear reader, are a blessing to me. My hope is that one person is touched in some positive way by this post and my dream for today will have been fulfilled.

Boulevard of Realized Dreams

Back in 1984 there was a rather popular poster of Gottfried Helnwein’s interpretation of Edward Hoppers iconic Nighthawks. In it Helnwein replaced Hopper’s characters with Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Elvis Presley. The poster was titled Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Gottfried Helnwein – 1984

Nighthawks – Edward Hopper – 1942

Earlier today as I strolled along the A1A, aka Ft. Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, I was taken back to my first trip to this special place. I was but a young gay buck of 20ish years in that year of 1984. The world was my apple and I was taking my first bite of it.

Oh the dreams I dreamt as we cruised the crowded street along the beautiful beach. Expensive cars, beautiful bodies, palm trees, sea, sand, luxury condos, stylish clothes, designer glasses, garish jewelry, massive yachts, love, sex, endless nights of dancing & debauchery, exotic vacations and an openly gay lifestyle. Shallow I know, but youth and inexperience often allows young gay bucks like I was to be led astray into dreams of superficiality.

Yes those dreams all flooded back into my memory as I strolled this beautiful boulevard.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach Boulevard 10/26/2020

I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced this stretch of road and beach so empty of human activities in all the 100s of times I’ve strolled it. If there is any silver lining to Covid at all it’s the ability to experience such a moment at 11 am and 82 degrees F with a nice breeze. Such a quiet moment allows one to remember, contemplate and to dream.

Helnwein‘s interpretation of Hopper’s famous painting always gave me the empty lonely feeling of lives cut short and dreams not realized. Feelings of disappointment, loss, loneliness and sadness. As I strolled this empty stretch of typically busy avenues, I realized just how many of my 1984 dreams I’ve realized over the more than 30 years that have a passed. As I acknowledged my dreams, I started to sense how many of the dreams of those four souls in Helnwein’s interpretation had actually realized. Lives may have been cut short, tragedy may have struck, but dreams were realized and did come true for each and every one of them. My feelings about that poster which was so prevalent in 1984 shifted.

I never owned a copy of Hoppers painting nor of Helnwein’s poster. I did, however, own a copy of Michael Bedard’s interpretation of Helnwein’s interpretation. Bedard’s is entitled Window Shopping.

Window Shopping – Michael Bedard – 1989

Reflection of the 20ish boy’s somewhat shallow dreams as I strolled this morning revealed that the sheltered boy from small town Virginia has traveled the world, danced the night away on the open decks of cruise ships, met and conversed with rich and powerful people, lived and owned luxury & investment properties – even right here on this very  Ft Lauderdale beach – in various cities, found love that has even celebrated a 30 year anniversary, sex-lots of sex, lives an openly gay life as a married gay man with a husband, has owned expensive cars, worn designer clothes, has had and experienced beautiful bodies, can see the Pacific Ocean from his very own house including from it’s newly constructed guest apartment in his back yard, has a beautiful and growing family of nieces and nephews, has made lifelong friendships that deepened beyond that ever imagined, has a fulfilling career, rescues dogs, is a philanthropist, has owned loved captained and since sold his very own yacht, has the blessing of bringing his mother to live out her golden years with him as he is blessed with the ability to care for her, owns expensive beautiful art, is blessed with the talents to actually paint beautiful art, has some expensive watches and wears a Platinum Tiffany wedding band on his left hand, grows beautiful flowers in his yard, has been a drunk and found sobriety, helps his neighbors, is currently sitting sans clothing by a swimming pool in Ft. Lauderdale on this 84 degree afternoon, so many dreams…many more… the dreams keep coming true.

Material and meaningful dreams really do come true.

Dare to dream.

What dreams have you realized?