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.”

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.

 

Gratitude

I’ve found that anytime I begin anew that I am more productive, creative, fulfilled and successful if I begin from a place of gratitude.

The year two thousand twenty one is fresh, so there is no better time for me to put a new foot forward toward bettering myself. I hope to be a better husband, better friend, better real estate agent, better painter, better blogger and better person in the coming year.

So I choose to start with gratitude. Being that you are reading this on this here blog thingy called Fearsome Beard, why not begin with it.

You don’t need me to tell you that twenty twenty has been a dumpster fire of a year. However as all years go, there are milestones that happen. Yes bad shit happens but so does good.

Fearsome Beard passed the milestone of ninety thousand views for the first time in our 6 year history, 94,267 views from 28,724 visitors. Both of these numbers were all time highs. All time highs thanks to you my dear readers and also thanks to blogger buddy referrals.

Our number 1 referring blog was  I Should Be Laughing with 2,855 referrals, coming in at number two is Bosguy who sent us 2,319 referrals and to round out the top three we received 1,165 referrals from Riding On . Thank you to the three of you and all of the many other wonderful Blogger buddies I have who send readers my way by including Fearsome in their blogroll and linking back to this blog. Without the support of other bloggers over the years Fearsome Beard wouldn’t have become the important part of my life that it has. Appreciate all of you I do.

While we are on the blogger buddy gratitude train I simply must thank UrSpo over at  Spo Reflections as he introduced me to blogging and walked me through the process of registering with WordPress and right into my very first post. I cannot be grateful to blogger buddies without mentioning three special ones I met many years ago in the comments section of UrSpo’s blog who are  Anne Marie ,   Sassybear  &   Erik all who have been readers and supporters of Fearsome since our first week.

Most of all I want to thank you, each and every one of you who clicks, reads, follows, likes and comments right here on our blog. Fearsome and I are humbled. We hope that we at least bring a smile to at least one face per day. Each and every smile in the world makes this world a better place.

Fearsome and I love our journey that is our life and we are happy and most grateful that you are a part of it.

Don’t aim for the finish line

Aim past it!

Keeping with our friends Stephen & Rab, The Kilted Coaches, Fearsome and I have some attitude adjustment to do in order to keep us on track. Today we are reminded that in order to achieve our goals, we need to aim beyond them.

Now that Fearsome is at belly button, his next goal is belt buckle. Therefore he’s aiming for mid fly.

My next fitness goal is to regain the strength and muscle I’ve lost in the isolation and closed gym of the pandemic, so I am in my garage setting up my new home gym and am going to aim for 10lbs beyond my last lifting best, but will safely start lifting far below that and aim to gain slowly to 10 lbs beyond. My next financial goal is to pay 70% of the cost of my new Cybertruck in cash January of 2022, so I’m going to aim for paying 100% cash!

Let’s get this party started!

The Viking Mindset

Fearsome has recently been reminding me that I’ve been lacking in motivational posts.

Personally I need to feed my mind motivational video, books, podcasts and affirmations in order to stay positive, grow and move forward. I find it helps me stay on track and avoid stagnation. I agree with Fearsome that I’ve dropped that ball along the way and, of recent, have become stagnant.

Since we have a new year upon us therefore, not to be cliché but maybe to be cliché, I’m going to follow Fearsome’s suggestion and seek out motivational things to occasionally share on a more frequent basis. You have been forewarned. 😉

To start our little self motivational endeavor we turn to our old friends Stephen & Rab who are better known as The Kilted Coaches.

“A Viking never seeks hardship, but is always ready for it. The thing is…in order to be ready for it,  he must seek it out. This is the Viking mindset.”
…The Kilted Coaches

“Growing is never easy. If we don’t seek growth, there will not be growth.”
…Fearsome Beard

 

Reflections

Time to pause.

Gratitude is what I feel when I stop to reflect on the fact I’m a sober man. 

Gratitude for the fact that I’m no longer hiding from myself and others that I have a problem that I can no longer handle. I had driven myself to the edge of a cliff and had a choice. Thankfully I chose the choice to give up self destruction for self recovery.

Today I pause to remember, be grateful and to continue forward on my current path. It’s a path that is working for me. A path of growth, serenity and honesty.

9 years – November 7, 2011

I Believe in the Power of Love

Yesterday while driving the better half and I were discussing our experiences  with discrimination as gay men, his experiences as a Latino and my experience as a white male. Being gay men we can empathize about discrimination to a point, but we agreed we can never fully understand what it is to be black.

What we can do is acknowledge that we don’t have the same plight, but we can stand for what is right. We can speak out against injustice. We can love, support and stand with our black brothers and sisters. We can believe in the power of Love.

Power of Love – Deee-Lite – 1990

Why Love? The answer us given to us by one if our greatest inspirations.

Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everthing.

Start right where you are. Start right now.

Find inspiration in each other. Find inspiration in yourself. Find inspiration in good things. Find inspiration in love, character, righteousness, kindness, understanding and acceptance.

Stand up. Do good. Speak kindly. Be peaceful. Act graciously. Set a good example. Lead with honorable acts. Love thy neighbor. Accept differences. Respect others. Appreciate originality. Live together. Treat fairly. Understand. Simply be… and believe.
Do right. Do just. Just do it.

La Vie En Rose

Majestic Beauty

La Vie En Rose – Grace Jones – 1977

From Wikipedia: -The song’s title can be translated as “Life in happy hues”, “Life seen through happy lenses”, or “Life in rosy hues”; its literal meaning is “Life in Pink.”-

No matter the circumstance or challenge, we are always blessed with a choice of how we each view and interpret that very moment. Choose wisely.

Big Boys Don’t Cry

I was but a young pre-pubescent boy in the summer 1975 as I swam the pool at Hollow Creek Swim Club a few blocks from my home. I was usually there with my older brother, he would hang with his buddies as they all flirted with the girls. I would swim the pool, practice dives in the triple diving well and search for dropped treasures lost to the bottom of the pool . Once in a great while I would even work up the courage to try the high dive in the middle.

Hollow Creek was a popular and busy place on those hot southern summer days. I was a loner though. Younger than most of the crowd and felt different. All the boys were older and busy trying to impress the girls. I was busy looking at the boys.

Especially one boy. My brother’s friend Jimmy’s friend Kurt. Kurt was cute and Kurt would actually let me hang with him some as he chatted up the girls. He made me feel welcome and included. I realize today, that since I was younger, I was a prop to get the conversation started with the girls. It didn’t matter then because I loved being around him and close to him. It doesn’t matter today because I fondly remember being included and having my first man crush.

Hollow Creek had a jukebox located at the snack bar and the music was piped out to the pool via a couple of those white bullhorn shaped outdoor speakers popular in the 1970s. That summer’s hottest love song was 10cc ‘s “I’m Not in Love”. To this day I don’t hear it without immediately thinking of that community swimming pool, the taste of an ice cold Dreamsicle  from the snack bar and of Kurt’s handsome teenage smile.

10 cc – I’m Not In Love – 1975

The young boy I was that summer felt different. He knew he would always like boys. He knew he’d never feel the way about girls that he was supposed to feel about girls because he felt that for boys. That boy was a loner and frankly was scared of the unknown and scared he would be found out. He was scared that he would never fit in and would always be lonely. Yet that young boy loved life and hoped that one day he would either change and feel like other people, or maybe, just maybe one day he would find one other boy who was like him.

That young boy today is a full grown man who is happily married to wonderful husband and he just filled out his presidential primary mail in ballot for March 3rd Super Tuesday. On that ballot he voted for another man, who like him, was different as a boy and today is happily married to another wonderful man.

If I could say one thing to that boy it would be to keep being just who you are because one day not only will you find love, you will also learn to appreciate all the differences that make up a beautiful world.
Oh, and you will find others who are just like you.

🎼 Just say to me what you want from me 🎶

Often the illusion is that the easier path for dealing with problems is to run away from them, avoid them or ignore them.

In my experience avoidance is my default. I have found that I must remind myself daily that the true easier path is to acknowledge my problem, feel that emotions surrounding my problem and then to face the problem and walk through it. Not all problems are easily resolved. However I’ve found that the only way they are ever resolved is to deal with them head on. No matter how hard issues appear, resolution is always easier and better than running away.

Lil Nas X , Fearsome’s favorite out and proud rapper, dropped this new tune this morning. I found it’s message helpful in many ways.

Lil Nas X – Panini – Official Video – 2019

Visualize what you want. Say what you want. Move toward what you want.

The Choice

I am exhausted.

I pause to take a good look into the mirror and examine why.

Why have a stopped reading my blogs? I read only the news these days.

Why am I usually feeling angst, anger, frustration and fear? I read only the news these days.

Why am I tired and distracted? I read only the news these days.

Why have I started feeling defeated and depressed? I read only the news these days.

Why do I only read the news these days? Because I’ve allowed the fear and alarm that is being spewed every single moment to enter into my psyche and alter my thoughts, dreams and values.

I have a choice. I can choose to continue down the slope I’m on and into a bad spiral, or I can choose to make another choice.

This morning for the first morning in recent memory, I chose to start my day by starting a book I’ve been wanting to read. I got my coffee, spinach smoothie and plain oatmeal and read as I consumed my daily breakfast.  By no coincidence the book I started today is appropriately named The Choice  by Dr. Edith Eva Egar.

My day started better. I read, I thought and I felt better. I blog to share, but I also blog to reinforce. Reinforce, inside of me, the better choice I just made.

I am better equipped to help myself, my family, my friends, my community, my country and my world if I put my oxygen mask on first. My oxygen is positivity and the good that still really does surround me. Through that I can find light.

Just do right (reprise for today)

A repost of a previous video? Yes because I need reminders. -However the accompanying contemplation is new for this reposting.-

This is a clip I turn to anytime I need sanity. If I’m uncomfortable it’s is most likely because I either have done something wrong or am considering doing something wrong.

I have a choice. I can decide to do what’s right, or if I’ve already made the bad choice I can make a new choice to correct a wrong. I can do right and I can make right.

It’s easier, at least for me, to do right to begin with so will I strive to do my best and to try to do right, if at all possible, all the time in the future. If I slip and make a mistake, I will strive to correct and make it right.

“Doing right gives you the kind of protection even body guards can’t give you.” -Maya Angelou

Doing right enriches my soul. Doing right brings me peace.

Gentle Kindness

In my opinion we need more Mr. Rogers in our lives.

Fred Rogers was a HUGE part of my childhood. For him I will forever be grateful.

Watch and see how he uses kindness and respect to overcome adversity in this short 6 minute clip.

I remind myself the inspirational words of a certain Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”

I choose to be kind today. I choose to share love today. I choose to respect today.

Fearsome reflects

Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I remember a time where what I felt and who I was attracted to was a secret. I learned early that I had a secret and a secret it would remain.

Therefore today when I run across a video such as this one in which a famous young gay man lives behind his secret I can empathize.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish Elton and others had been out and able to lead thus showing me that I was ok. However, I understand. I understand now that for them the safety of the curtain allowed them to live two lives. One life in front of the curtain out on stage and another in secret behind it. Society actually demanded the separation.

Stars of the past who tried to live their truth found their careers ruined and were ostracized, rejected into oblivion.

Today Elton is able to live as an out gay man. He is married and has two children. After all those years in hiding, today he can live as an example. Unfortunately Billy Haines never made it to see the day where his lifelong relationship would be validated much less that he could live and work as an out gay man.

What Billy Haines chose isn’t lost on me though. He chose to live his truth and to live as an out gay man, but it lost him his career. In his own way he blazed a trail by refusing to live a double life, or in other words he refused to live a lie.

Elton chose to live the lie until eventually his truth started to be too obvious, yet fortunately for him the times had changed to acceptance. But I don’t fault Elton. He had much to contribute, and contribute he did through his work and art. He was fortunate that thankfully times finally changed.

Societal “norms” keep people from fully expressing and living their truths.

Isn’t it time we appreciate differences and continue to challenge societal norms? Isn’t it time we actually question gender stereotypes? Isn’t it possible that the actual organ isn’t the actual sex? Isn’t it possible that sex, or sexuality, doesn’t even fucking matter?

Peppermint & Cazwell’s video Blend has appeared here before. It’s worth a re-post.

If we all do not understand, empathize, love, accept, support, forgive and STAND UP for each other then who will?

Let’s celebrate each other. Let’s celebrate life.