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.”

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.

 

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.

I’ll fly away

Growing up in Appalachia , this tune is one I know from childhood.

I consider life a gift from a power, essence or spirit that I don’t understand. Part of that gift is that I don’t have to understand where the gift comes from. I get to experience the love and beauty without ever feeling in debt to do or return anything.

As I wasn’t here before my life, I will not be here after it. I will physically be gone from here and now, but not necessarily gone from what we understand to be a universe.  I don’t need to know anything more than that.

When I die I wish to be cremated. I wish for my ashes to be discretely dropped on a specific hillside above the sea on a nearby Southern California Island known as Catalina. No one is to know, but the couple of close loved ones who accidentally drop my ashes there, exactly where this spot is. As my ashes are dropped, they will start to fly out over the land and the sea. Those that find the land their home will continue to both blow into the wind as well as meld into the earth eventually eroding their way into air and the nearby sea as well.

Therefore my body and my spirit shall fly away, wash away and float away. I’ll still be here and there. I’ll be wherever I’m supposed to be.

Rising Appalachia – I’ll Fly Away – traditional live – 2012

Simple and beautiful, enjoy.

Note: If those whom I love and love me wish to gather for any type of memorial after I am gone, they are free to do so in any fashion just as long as it’s fun, celebratory, simple and this traditional Appalachian folk tune is played.

🎼 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.

Loving oneself

Growing up gay ain’t easy. Growing up gay the first things I learned is that I was wrong.

I was wrong for being scared the ball would hit me. I was wrong for twirling the baton. I was wrong for wanting to take dance lessons. I was wrong for having a knack for color and redecorating my room over and over. I was wrong for being in the band and wanting to be the drum major …right up front. I was wrong for knowing the answers and being a good student. I was wrong for crushing on boys. I was wrong for just wanting to hang out with girls playing mystery date and gossiping. I was wrong for simply being me.

I learned to hate myself. I learned to hide myself. I learned to lie. I learned to loathe, loathe myself. I learned that I should try to be something I wasn’t.

Luckily I found a way to appreciate who and what I was. Luckily I learned it was ok to be gay. Luckily I got on my feet before I harmed myself in any permanent way.

However the scars remain.

It was those individuals before me that took a stand and they cleared a path. A path that I could follow to live better. I could learn to accept myself and one day love myself. I could learn and allow those scars to become strength.

However it isn’t easy.

It doesn’t have to be easy. I just must remember to keep moving forward and to love myself. To keep moving forward and broaden the path for others behind me.

Pride month isn’t about flagrant narcissistic pride. Pride month is about loving yourself and loving others. Loving yourself for being simply who you are and loving others for simply being who they are.

Oh…and I must remember that I am enough.

Learn to Fly

Connection:

Life:

Connection enriches life. Life connects us. We are sharing a common experience right now. We learn, love, teach, understand, support, share, laugh, cry, hold, grow and feel.

We…

Feel.

I pause to feel. I pause to experience. I pause to connect. I pause to…

Wow, just beautifully fucking powerful wow.

May I learn to fly today, today right where I am.

…and may I have a sense of humor that I might not take myself too seriously…

Life, let’s live it …and together may we have a fabulous day.

I needed love today

Life.

Life comes at you.

Don’t get me wrong, life is good…good overall, but damn it can come at you.

I’ve had so many wonderful things happen to me in the past month, and I’ve had some confusing and bewildering things happen as well. I sure haven’t posted much and I have some great things to post about (such as an in person meeting with not one but three dear blogger friends…hint…it was in Philly). Overwhelm describes my loss of words, organization and time to actually sit and post. I need to post for me and my mental health so I start here.

I need  love today. I went in search of inspirational video to perhaps jar me into some sort of clarity. Below is the video that appeared when I clicked over to you tube. The message of love, of peace and of hope is exactly what I needed.

Beacons

Lighthouses serve both as a warning for hidden hazards laying just beneath a surface and as an indicator that a safe harbor awaits beyond.

Throughout life I have noticed beacons which helped me avoid the unseen, yet often due to various circumstances I overlooked a warning and found myself stranded on the rocks.

I am human, I am fallible.

However in each unfortunate circumstance when I have missed the warnings, or ignored them, I have found a safe harbor nearby.

In that safe harbor I can pause, reflect, heal, learn and grow.

Often it’s nothing specific that causes me to loose sight of the beacon ahead.

Life is. Life is busy. Life is distracting. Life is confusing. Life is exhilarating. Life is overwhelming. Life is fun. Life is troubling. Life is good. Life is hard. Life is sad. Life is hilarious. Life is love. Life is experience. Life is rewarding. Life is disappointing. Life is experiences. Life is unexpected. Life is unexplainable. Life is laughter. Life is imperfect. Life is. Life is. Life is.

My dear 17 year old Mitzi, our 5 pound chihuahua/poodle mix, is facing her next horizon. A horizon in which I can no longer watch her nor protect her. Each day with her has been a blessing from a power of love beyond any power that I can create. Each moment left is a treasure that I am grateful for. When her moment of transition arrives, I pray that I can set her free feeling the love that she, and her creator, blessed me with for all these years and continue to feel her love that will be with me always.

There are many hazards in the waters surrounding me at this time I my life. Some I am aware of, others I am/was blind to. I commit to learning to first forgive myself for my shortcomings and to open my eyes to the blessings, the beacons, the love, the gift of my life.

I commit to heal, to learn, to grow and to accept my imperfections.

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.