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Archive for November, 2011

Dust up …

Courtesy: Fancymonochrome

It is cold, wet and dreary out. A miserable night all the way around. It is 11c and very windy out. Umbrellas were snapping all over the place and people trying to stay out of the rain …

The night did not pass without a little drama.

I have a few rules that I keep regarding my friends. These are fairly cut and dry and very simple. I have spent years … Y E A R S cultivating relationships with certain people in my life. Don’t fucking LIE to me, that’s a biggie …

I don’t know about you but, if I invest ten years into you that is an investment of time, talent, trust and emotion. Don’t take me for granted. And then yell at me when you don’t get what you expect because of your own choices.

I am powerless over People, Places and Things…

And I knew it was coming. It was only a matter of time that an ego would rear its ugly head at our home group. I’ve been biting my tongue for weeks. Praying that recent events in the lives of some would pass without a dust up.

But NOOOO !!!

I got to the church on time for set up and I was finishing up chairs, with my music on and one of my fellows, the one who drank after 23 years of sobriety, came in and her hair was on fire. Or more like it, her pants were on fire as well.

And she started in on me. At the same time, my sponsor walked in the room and she started on him as well. So she is pitting me against my sponsor, moaning about how we have treated her disrespectfully and without gratitude or compassion after she came back from her SLIP and returned to the meetings.

FUCK ME !!!

I don’t know what she was expecting of me, but she comes to the meeting, she gets her hug and chit chat here and there. You better be sure that I was not pleased that she drank. It was her choice and after investing ten years into a friendship, she decided that she would omit the truth from our conversations where I was calling Florida every day to talk to her.  What am I chopped liver?

So she is bent that we have not been compassionate enough with her, that we’ve been ignoring her … RIGHT ! Let’s get one thing straight, you’re just a drunk, just like the rest of us. Now you get to do it all over again. From the beginning.

We did not throw her a joy party. We did not jump up and down. We welcomed her like we welcome everybody else to the room, no one is better than another and surely I am not better than any one else in the room. If she expected different, then I did not get the memo stating such …

You call me your friend, yet you could not trust me with the truth. And yes, it was her choice not to say anything about drinking. Yet, you expect me to jump up and down and dance when you walk down those 12 steps into the hall…

I am not supposed to have any feelings on the matter. And if I do have some feelings on the matter, they are unimportant??? My sponsor jumped all over my case because I defended myself in saying that she has no room to judge me based on her expectations.

I expected more from her, and I know this. And I think she expected something from me, that went unstated since she got back into town. And it just so happens that she is leaving town next week for Florida for another 6 months for the Winter, but not before causing a god damned scene at the meeting.

God knows, she won’t carry her ass to a meeting in Florida. I could spend hours looking for meetings for her in the meantime and get her bus routes and contacts to get her there. But if she doesn’t act on that information, there is nothing I can do for her 1500 miles away.

So I just called Ft. Lauderdale and found actual meetings she can get to while on her vacation. There is no reason she should not get her self to a meeting.

Christ …

All I know is that in 10 days, I will be 10 years sober… Thanks be to God…


Lesson #11 – Your Life Speaks to you in a Whisper …

Courtesy: PBJars aka Daniel

Listening to your life as the whisper comes, so that you don’t get hit with a brick or have the brick wall coming down on top of you.

Life whispers to you all the time. Every single experience is speaking to you.

If you don’t get the whisper it gets louder, and then the thump comes, then it becomes a brick upside your head and the crisis becomes a disaster and the house comes down on top of you.

Are you paying to the signs that are coming at you on any given day? Do you pay attention to your life or are you just going through the motions of living not giving a care to what is going on around you?

When you get that feeling that “Something isn’t right!” that feeling, hmmm…
means Pay Attention.

Everybody has it, we are all born with it. Anybody who pays attention has the ability to feel the feelings that are speaking to you. Who’s around you, what’s around you.

If you’ve never felt it, it is time for you to pick it up and start using it.

You know that voice, that itty bitty voice that speaks to you and for most of us we know it’s there. It is almost like a conscious contact kind of voice … It says, do this, don’t do that … Don’t go there…

It’s happening all the time every day of our lives.

What was the original whisper, what was the sign?

The voices of the world will drown out the voice of God if you let it, so that is your real job, is to pay attention to your life, to lift you higher and to live a better life.

Everything that’s happening around you are signals for you to pay attention. Get in in the whisper and the brick wall doesn’t have to come down on you.

If it doesn’t make sense … IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE !!!


Steps …

Courtesy: Ruffians

The day has come and gone. The rains are falling swiftly over the city at this hour. Where is Winter??? It is 12c outside and snow may come by the weekend…

I wrote a few letters tonight to some certain people in my spiritual circle. I don’t know but I guess I need to jot down some thoughts about the day as it happened so that I can look back at it later and see if we made progress or not.

I write to you on many levels. I speak with many voices. Depending on the mood of the piece I am pumping out and who I am at that moment. Depending on the subject matter, the voice varies …

And it also depends on the person I am writing to as well, the person you get to hear from. I rarely get to use my pastoral voice, but it appeared last night when I wrote a comment on one of my reads. That is when scripture or spiritual readings come to bear on something I have to say to you, I go into what I call “Preacher Mode.” I get to put into practice the Pastoral Ministry degree of which I worked so hard to earn, that gets no air play, but on the odd occasion.

It is also apparent that my Pastoral Voice comes when I am speaking to Pastors or Preachers for that matter, it doesn’t usually come up when I am talking to you here on the blog, albeit, rarely it may pop up depending on the topic at hand. if it is something I am passionate about or have strong feelings for you might get a dose of my Pastoral Handiwork.

This has all been set up courtesy of Mother Teresa. I’ve been reading her cause for sainthood and much of what I read from her stirs me to my very core of my being. She moves me to change, to act, to think and to pray. She moves me to want to adopt her nonsensical way about God. I so want a unyielding conscious contact with my God. So much that “I Thirst” will appear on my body very soon, in fact…

I talk to God. Every day. I pray to Him, every night. I want so badly for the 12 men whom are working their steps with me on Sunday Nights to come to know him like I do. And it was said to me the other night that “It was my job and duty to see that my fellows get to the place I am in my life by sharing with them the journey that I am on.”

Addictions is a bitch. It takes away from us our lives. It steals from us our families and friends. And it breaks our spirits and for some, they never really “recover” themselves.

You may be sober… in terms of time. But for some, you sure aren’t sober in the way you live your life today. And we should not be judgmental of anyone about time or sobriety. We must respect every journey, however difficult we find it to bear witness to.

Sometimes I wonder if I am the soberest person in that room at times. And I am not tooting my own horn by any means but it is a question I ask of myself in reference to the men who I sit with each Sunday night.

We have arrived at the Make or Break point in the Step Series. The dubious 4th Step … “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of Ourselves.”

We were asked by our moderator to stay steadfast and diligent to our bretheren because here is where most men fail at working their steps and go back out and drink, because they lack the courage to do this step honestly and steadfastly.

Our men are hurting. Their needs are so hungry. Their desire to change is apparent. Out of 12 men, only one is sober longer than myself. Debating sobriety is problematic. Because notations of sobriety based on how many step intensives you have done is immaterial to the spiritual condition you show at this point in your life… and like How it Works states … We are not saints, the point is we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection…

I may be the soberest man in the room. And I must pray that away. In the same breath I must pray that my brothers on this journey succeed in this task because the failure rate in step groups is fairly high. If they make it past this step, the success rate goes up exponentially. This, as they say, separates the men from the boys.

Then again, there is the queer factor. We are the minority in the group, but we are represented. And we have a voice. And we are there and we matter. Everybody deserves a shot at spiritual sobriety. The choice is there for our number to seize the opportunity, should they decide to take it.

We all have our crosses to bear, and troubles from our past and issues that we each deal with, some have things that others would kill for, and for most, we have things we would rather never see in our lifetime. We each have a life worth of lived experience, it is what we each choose to do with that life experience that matters. It’s what we do with it moving forwards that makes the men we will become from this point forwards.

Each one will rise based on the individuals abilities and spiritual readiness. Each journey is respected because it has been lived and deserves respect. But the time has come to step up and be counted. I just hope my fellows seize the day and take it and march forwards. But again, each according to his gifts and abilities.

All I can do is offer up my prayers to God for each one of them. I don’t know how each would receive a message but we will all speak with one another during the next week, and I will try to offer what I have to give them. But we know that we cannot give what we do not have to give so we must begin with prayer and ask for spiritual guidance.

All I have I can give. Which is ten years of sobriety, lived to the best of my ability. Living with my God of my understanding. Getting right with God and getting on with the living of life. I worked damned hard to get here. And harder than most because of my life history. But you need to know what that history in order to understand the gravity of that statement.

I am still alive … Those four words have such gravity.

That is why I take my sobriety very seriously. Because my life is banked on the fact that I am sober today. And not plying myself with drink and drugs, I should have died many years ago, yet God chose to keep me here for some reason, that is still unknown to me. Maybe I am working on some karmic issues.

I thought – in doing my course reading for tomorrow night, that I think I have reached a new point in my life’s work to understand my life as it has been lived and the life of my parents as I reflect on them in my reading of gender and sexual identities. I do understand more. And maybe I have even more insight to why my father was such a terrible vicious drunk. I think I have an idea, at least one that has coalesced in my minds eye. I can’t be 100% sure of this theory, but I am at least entertaining the idea. And it may come up the next time I am asked to speak at a meeting.

So it is 5 a.m. and I need to get some sleep now.

This has been a snap shot of what is in my head at this hour as I reflect on my spiritual condition and pray for my friends and fellows. That God would touch them and encourage them to persevere and to be valiant in this fight for life and sobriety. We should all get one good shot at real sober living, or this will all have been a big waste of time and effort, if progress isn’t made.

Good night from Montreal…


Listening to the Blessing …

Excerpts from Henri J.M. Nouwen. The Only Necessary Thing,

Living a prayerful life.

For me personally, prayer becomes more and more a way to listen to the blessing. I have read and written much about prayer, but when I go to a quiet place to pray, I realize that, although I have a tendency to say many things to God, the real “work” of prayer is to become silent and listen to the voice that says good things about me. This might sound self indulgent, but, in practice, it is a hard discipline. I am so afraid of being cursed, of hearing that I am no good or not good enough, that I quickly give in to the temptation to start talking and to keep talking in order to control my fears. To gently push aside and silence the many voices that question my goodness and to trust that I will hear a voice of blessing … That demands real effort.

Have you ever tried to spend a whole hour doing nothing but listening to the voice that dwells deep in your heart? … It is not easy to enter into the silence and reach beyond the many boisterous and demanding voices of our world and to discover there the small intimate voice saying: “You are my beloved Child, on you my favor rests.” Still, if we dare to embrace our solitude and befriend our silence, we will come to know that voice. I do not want to suggest to you that one day you will hear that voice with your bodily ears. I am not speaking about a hallucinatory voice, but about a voice that can be heard by the ear of faith, the ear of the inner heart.

– Life of the Beloved

 

Last night I spent some time in that quiet place. To make a conscious effort to spend a few moments at the end of the day in prayer, or reading spiritual texts and cracking open my bible for a bit of light reading.

I sometimes find my voice where certain topics are concerned and I can go to that place of prayer quite easily, depending on who I am writing to at the moment. The voice tends to come from a place that I don’t usually tap on a daily basis. But it comes nonetheless. And I find myself returning to those writings, wondering where that voice came from and why at this moment, should it appear?

It must be conscious contact. The tradition before you get any body mod done, is that you find a meditation and you spend some serious time meditating on what you want to have done, for what reason, and what type of mod as well.

The Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe is an old favorite series of prayers that are said over a nine day, month, year period. This will culminate on the 3rd of December. When I am due to get my next mod done.

Prayer is something I can do, whether here or there.

Insha Allah… God willing.


Friday Joy Rising …

Courtesy: The ever cute RawrDaniel

I got an email last night from a fellow traveler who said that “This is what God wants you to know today …”  And the quote was short and simple.

“Today, you are to work in helping your fellows to get to the place you are now!”

You have experience and life lessons to teach people all that you are and all that you have to offer them, to help them to get where you are today. And it is Friday and it is Joy Rising night.

On Friday nights I get to participate in a collective. To bring people joy and good news. We get once chance a week to extend ourselves to our fellows and to make joy rise.

When the opportunity presents itself the words will come and we will lead our fellows and friends to where we are on our own personal journeys.

It is apparent to me, in my limited scope, that God is moving through the field right now. And he is giving us our mandates as we approach this season of Advent. And he is speaking to his people and telling us that this is who we are to be at this moment in time and for the near future.

Mother Teresa tells us that we should abandon ourselves to God completely and without reservation, and secondly that God thirsts for our love, our suffering and our sacrifices.

Winter is coming and the long dark days of the season are coming, and we need to be prepared in extending our hands and hearts to our fellows here in our respective fields. And like a friend of mine wrote tonight that he has been doing his job whilst, he is searching for the next right thing to do, God stepped in and said to him… that he is a simple preacher and that is all for this moment.

If you are busy looking for the next big thing, what are you not paying attention to in your immediate surrounding? If you are looking too far outside yourself, you might miss the one thing you need to see right in front of you.

Let it be written in the book of life that this year, this holiday season that we resolve to bring joy into as many lives as possible.

You have it within you. And only you know what joy you can bring to another’s life. Pick someone, a group or a community and give to them. Abandon yourself to others this holiday season and bring joy to the lives of your friends, fellows, families and people you come in contact with.

You have to find happiness within consider for a moment Your Breath … Let that fill you up, and let that build up within you… And let the joy rise …


Itty Bitty Bad Ass …

Courtesy: Fancy Monochrome

The snow is all but melted. Little remnant puddles of water and here and there piles of snow are few and far between. It will warm up before more snow will fall. Looks like snow may fall again next weekend. We shall hope for a white Christmas.

Aren’t you glad you didn’t get involved in Black Friday Mania? Or did you? I have no desire to go near a shopping mall, and surely not before we put up the tree, which we have to do yet.

I am getting my ink on the 3rd next weekend. It was a good week. Things are coming to an end at school. My final exam is next Thursday night in Western Civilizations which is also the last night of class for that class. Sociology goes till the 19th of December. We are a week behind in lessons and so she is pumping us with reading and studies until the end of the exam period.

I got out of the house early for the Friday night meeting. It was a quick trip out into NDG and I arrived at the church around 7, and got the pots filled and perking by the time the set up crew came in. The group has a well oiled machine. We all have chores to do. I am the coffee maker/set up/person, then there are set up peoples, Chair and secretary, and kitchen people who serve up sandwiches after the meeting.

I almost totally forgot to mention Itty Bitty Bad Ass … Our speaker was a fellow of the city, some almost ten years sober in a few months. My sponsor commented on the way home that the meeting was thoroughly enjoyable. She talked about ME ME ME and the fact that she survived the insanity of drinking and drugging and is still learning how to live amongst people. It is easier to say a few choice four letter words than to listen to someone. It was a good share. Our women stick together and support one another, and it was apparent that she has many friends at Friday West End. And that is a good thing.

The group anniversary is on the 16th of December. Our women will be making their yearly intensive retreat the weekend of the 9th. And I will be taking my cake on the 13th. I am all fired up about my first tattoo coming soon. I’ve been collecting ink art from Tumblr, I fear once I get my first, that several more will follow. I’ve got two in the pike and hopefully an image later.

As for now, it’s the weekend. I need to get some dinner and chill with some tv.

Life Class will appear later on tonight, stay tuned…

It is Joy Rising Friday …


You are responsible for your life …

Courtesy: Homesick

Now is the time for you to look back at your life, to see what happened, forgive the past and move forwards in your life.

When you take responsibility for your life, things begin to change.

Say the Serenity Prayer… Stay off the emotional roller coaster with people and live your life to its fullest.

All of life is about energy. Based on the way you think about your life. Everybody is an energy field. Who you attract, who you draw towards you to remind you who you are to mirror you back to yourself.

People are energy. Who are you attracting to you? Good energy or bad energy?

Left brain is Doing ? The Right brain is the Being .

I’m in here, come find me.

Take responsibility for the energy that you bring into your space.

You cannot continue to move forwards in life, if the energy surrounding you is bringing you down. Watch out for those energy suckers out there, don’t buy into that.

You are responsible for the energy you bring into the room.

We all have an energy source and what you give out is what you get in return. Do people make you feel good around them or talking to them or do they make you feel bad? Pay attention to the energy around you.

Your instinct speaks to you in different ways. Are you paying attention?


When you know better you do better …

 

When you realize that the person that you were or the actions that you were doing were not who you were, then you realize that the time has come to make a change and become the person you are meant to be.

This is the time for change. We are not who we were or what we have done, I’ve typed this thought before, this is the time to become who we are meant to be.

One of the greatest teachers is doing something that you shouldn’t be doing. To teach you that there is another way to do things.

It is possible for anybody to awaken and to do better.

What does it mean for you, When you know better – you do better.

Figure out what you need to do to see change and make the change.


The First Snow of the Season … 23 Nov 11

It came quietly and without fanfare. The first snowflakes of the 2011 Winter season has begun to fall upon our fair city. And I was on the balcony to welcome the maiden of the silence. I bade her welcome and blessed her arrival as I do every year on this night.

This is the front of our building. If I were to go down and photograph it – the picture would be the same. So the batteries are in their charger and tomorrow we shall venture out into the snow and bring you more shots of what came down over night.

 


Conscious Contact …

Courtesy: Some Ponies …

It is Tuesday, and it was a good day for all. Oh My Goodness it’s gonna snow !!!

I wait for this night to occur every year. I watch the skies waiting for snow clouds to appear over the mountain. And usually I load up my player with some classical music and I wait. And on the first snow, go outside and welcome the maiden of winter. A little Ave Maria … A little prayer and a lot of walking through the snow.

So we read from the Big Book … A flood of feeling … We sat 25 folks around the table and the discussion went the entire period. What stuck out for me was the mention of the Third Step Prayer and turning it over.

I’ve been really proactive in my sobriety. I have moved from yeah, yeah, I know the principle and the words like rote, to really putting into practice what I want from my sobriety. And I think that entails getting really honest and laying everything out on the table. Talking to my sponsor and really allowing God to do what he is going to do for me because that’s what I’ve been praying for.

We are focusing on the Third Step Prayer this week for homework at the step group, preparing to begin writing our 4th steps. I’ve been reading Mother Teresa’s meditations and I am in awe of the conscious contact she had with her God. To the extent that she writes about conversations she had with God which lead to the formation of the Missionaries of Charity and their work in the slums of Calcutta.

And I’ve been seeking that kind of contact with my God as well, to the degree that I seek him in my prayers like never before. And over the past few weeks I have had issues come up that weigh on my heart and soul, and I just want them to leave me and I want to turn them over and truly feel like God has taken these concerns from me and put them on the altar in heaven.

And the other night I met my God over the burn barrel and I prayed a prayer and I let something go. And it went. And the difference this time, is that there was no residual. I say to God I let it go, go, go, go … And the whisper goes.

And usually I speak the letting go but I hold on to it emotionally, not really allowing it to fully leave me. But as of late, I turn things over and I give God my everything not denying him anything. And that is a constant prayer of Mother Teresa that she turn everything over to her God, not denying him anything. Under the pain of mortal sin, she gives it all 100 %.

And it has turned into clarity for me. Something I have been praying for in this period for me, the more effort you put into your sobriety the more you get out of it. I have changed and my life has changed in small ways, but noticeable changes are apparent.

What kind of problem do I have? A drinking problem, A stopping problem, A starting problem, an emotional problem? For me it has been recently an emotional problem, because I stopped and I have stayed stopped, for almost ten years now. Perceptions and emotions are the big offenders these days.

Little by slowly my perceptions change and my emotions soften and life seems to make a turn when I bump up my conscious contact with the God of My understanding.

And tonight it will snow, and the peace and serenity of God will fall upon the city. It is amazing the hush that falls following a snowfall. It is palpable. And after the fall comes, you go out and you stand there in the snowy cathedral that is our fair city and you come face to face with God himself.

In the peaceful quiet of the night…

We await the first snow and we welcome it into our lives…


I Thirst …

Hebrew script – I Thirst…

Hebrew is read right to left. So this orientation is correct.

John 19:28

New International Version (NIV)

The Death of Jesus

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”

*** *** *** ***

To the end of her life, Mother Teresa insisted that the single most important reason for the existence of the congregation she founded was to satiate the thirst of Jesus. “The General End of he Missionaries of Charity is to satiate the thirst of Jesus Christ on the Cross for Love and Souls.”

“I thirst,” Jesus said on the cross when Jesus was deprived of every consolation, dying in absolute Poverty, left alone, despised and broken in body and soul. He spoke of His thirst – not for water – but for love, for sacrifice.

Jesus is God: therefore, His love, His thirst is infinite. Our aim is to quench this infinite thirst of a God made man. Just like the adoring angels in Heaven ceaselessly sing the praises of God, so the sisters, using the four vows of Absolute Poverty, Chastity, Obedience and Charity towards the poor ceaselessly quench the thirsting God by their love and of the love of the souls they bring to Him.

Mother Teresa writes:

Jesus wants me to tell you again … how much is the love He has for each one of you – beyond all what you can imagine … not only He loves you, even more – He longs for you. He misses you when you don’t come close. He thirsts for you. He loves you always, even when you don’t feel worthy…

For me it is so clear – everything in the Missionaries of Charity exists only to satiate Jesus. His words on the wall of every MC chapel, they are not from [the] past only, but alive here and now, spoken to you. Do you believe it? … Why does Jesus say “I Thirst”? What does it mean? Something so hard to explain in words – …”I love you.” Until you know deep inside that Jesus thirsts for you – you can’t begin to know who He wants to be for you. Or who He wants you to be for Him.

*** *** *** ***

The above Hebrew script of ” I Thirst…” is the first of two tattoos that I will be getting. I identify with this passage and it resonates within me. So last night I went into Google and I translated the English into Hebrew, I thought the Hebrew was much more striking than English text.

I went to the Adrenaline Tattoo Parlor on Sherbrooke earlier to see how much it would cost me and they run $100.00 – $125.00 per hour plus tip. This will be my 10th sober anniversary body modification.

The first year I was sober, my then sponsor was into body modification and on  my first anniversary I got a piercing. I wanted to mark 10 years with something special, and in reading Mother Teresa’s writing, this jumped off the page to me the other night.

It will be cool.


November 20, 2011 (7 years of Marriage)…

At 11 a.m. on November 20th 2004, Peter, myself and 21 of our closest friends gathered at the Loyola Chapel at Concordia University for our wedding ceremony. Peter’s mum and dad, his brother and his wife were also in attendance.

Led by a United Church Minister Ellie Hummel, we were one of the first ten couples in Quebec to be married after legislation passed in our province.

 


The Burning …

Courtesy: I’ll be the sun …

Last night I came home from the meeting after talking to my sponsor and I had a lot to think about, and I was encouraged not to make any decisions right away about what I wanted to do with “the letter.”

I watched Oprah’s Life Class last night, “Joy Rising…” I just needed something good for my soul and to forget the pain that was in my heart for an hour. After that I tuned in some Military Channel and 2 docs on WW I.

It will be on my final exam for my Western Civ class so I thought maybe I should watch them. But there are so many parties involved in the Great War and the assassination that started the whole deal. I am not sure how one would approach the essay on this topic.

I got to bed after 3:30 in the morning. Forgetting that CJAD goes off topic from Coast to Coast at 3 am in opt for those infomercial vitamin specials. I usually pipe in AM 640 Toronto from the computer, but last night it slipped my mind.

I got into bed and curled up with a good book. Come be my Light, the Mother Teresa evidence for canonization.

I had started reading the book when I first got it, and about three quarters way through it, I wanted to throw it against the wall because she made me so angry. So I put the book down. And put it back on the shelf. I only picked it back up the other night and finished the read through, so I thought I would start reading it again from the beginning since I am in a righter mind to accept the message.

And with all that’s going on in  my head, I hear Mother Teresa saying to me that I have to give it all to Jesus, my life, my love, my suffering and my happiness and joy. Just give it all over, because Jesus suffered so much for us, that we should be united with him on the cross…

Just what I needed to hear at this point in my sobriety.

Family …

I was born to a 60’s couple of mixed background in the Northeast U.S. in a bastion of ultra conservative Catholic parishes. After my brother was born my mother had a tubiligation and was ex-communicated from the church because it was birth control. Doctors said she couldn’t have any more kids, so let’s tie the tubes shall we… It’s a good thing there were only 2 of us.

I was baptized and given a name. A name that wasn’t mine to begin with. He was a soldier who fought with my father in Viet Nam. He was killed and my father was never the same. I am making this all up from my lifetime’s observations and studies of the gay man, and the self hating gay man.

My father came away from that war with secrets. I am sure of it today.

Everything I learned about being gay as a kid, came directly from my father’s bathroom reading material and the collection of magazines he had hid in the garage. Thanks to a little snooping on my part I had enough reading material to last me months and months.

If my father was totally straight, and totally Catholic by the book, hell, fire, and damnation, why was he exploring variations ???

When my father began to heavily abuse me after drinking himself into a stupor he would recite this mantra with every swing of the belt … “You were a mistake and should never have been born…” This went on for almost twenty years.

I was supposed to carry a name of a dead soldier that had something to do with my father emotionally, and he was beating me, in the name of the man he named me after, what was going on in his head?

1. Was he in the closet and hating the man who died?

2. Was he beating me to exorcise his own demons?

3. Was he just an angry man all around?

4. Or was he just beating me to beat me?

When I turned 30, I was sick as a dog, and frequented my death bed. That was only four years into my AIDS diagnosis. I was still suffering in big ways. I had not leveled out yet. And I knew my parents were not on board. None of my immediate family was on board.

I sat in my living room one night watching tv, and I was reading my bible listening to Pearl Jam and it all happened just like that.

Jeremy’s Spoken …

I knew that had I died my family would have swooped in and taken my body and my life and condemned my eternity to some slum burial in some backwater graveyard without proper identity and recognition. It would have been as if I had not existed at all. I was dead, who would know any better ?

So I went to court and legally changed my name. To keep them from ever having any part in my care or burial. I had legally divorced my family out of my life. But that decision took on a life of its own.

So to date I was (1.)  Gay (2.)  HIV + (3.)  Legally changing my name.

I had nailed three nails in my proverbial casket…

It took me all these years to work out what it all meant.

It wasn’t my fault.

When people show you who they are the first time, believe them. I needed this realization 20 years earlier.

When I changed my name, in essence, my father’s beating mantra of “You were a mistake and should never have been born” became a self fulfilling prophecy. I had killed that boy, he wanted dead when I was growing up. I had given him the very thing he wanted so much himself.

Even though I tried to be the good son, there was no way I was ever going to make a dent in the damnation that I was facing from the very beginning. They were set in their ways. And I wasn’t going to change them no matter how hard I tried. Once I sealed the deal, it was done for me.

And it took me till today to make this connection for myself.

I have been waiting for lightening to strike. A miracle to happen. And like I said last night, sometimes the miracle comes from a direction you didn’t expect.

My prayers to Blessed John Paul II and to Mother Teresa were answered.

Long ago. In a universe far far away, I once prayed for my father’s death. I prayed that prayer for years. Waiting for God to smite him. So that I could ride in on my white horse and save my mother and reclaim her for myself. This before any of these changes took place. I was sick and had no where to go, and I assumed that if the old man was dead, I could move to Sarasota and take on my mother’s care as my life’s work. Ever the savior !!!

He didn’t die. I went on with my life. And here we are today.

Coming to Canada was the final nail in my coffin. I had spit on the heritage of my bleeding deacon U.S.A. war veteran father. How dare I cross the border and take my mother’s heritage? Because when he imported her she had to forswear her origins and deny her roots. She didn’t complete that task until 1974. Both my brother and myself were born with birthright Canadian Citizenship, because mum was still technically, Canadian.

Tonight after some prayer and meditation, I took that letter I wrote to them and placed in my fire can on my balcony, and I burned the letter and flushed the ashes down the toilet.

As far as I am concerned this issue is finished. I cannot change them. It is not my fault. And in the end I learned a few lessons that took almost half my life.

And some say sobriety is a cake walk … NOT !!! 23 days …


Thoughts in my head … 25 days …

Courtesy: Queer as me

It is 2c at this hour and they say flurries might fall from the sky … we shall see.

Hubby got me up out of bed well in time to get on my way to Friday West End tonight, nicely hopped up on flu pills that did the trick.

I got to the church and Lizzy was waiting for me to set up. The rest of the crew showed up early as well, as our coffee urns were being cleaned this past week in anticipation of our group anniversary party on the 16th of December.

With lots of worker bees on hand, set up was done quickly, which gave us all some down time to sit and chat over sandwich making in the kitchen. It seems that I have paid my dues for queen and country because the mood of some folks I had noticed earlier in the weeks passed was blessedly light and happy. Certain folk actually wanted to make conversation with me. It was a blessing.

I love the people at this meeting. Friday night is always an event for the week.

The room was full. And the speaker came to us from our Tuesday night meeting. A man long sober and wise in his own way. For every old timer, there is a different style of sobriety. Very few of them have walked the same path to double digit 20+ years of sobriety.

I was so happy to see my sponsor show up at the meeting. An unplanned reunion. I’ve been sitting on a pile of shit as of late. And it has been keeping me up at night and the roller coaster is running at full tilt.

Every year around this time, a certain family issues rears its ugly head and vies for space in my brain, and after completing the first 5 week Oprah’s Life class, I was deluded in my thinking that I could address this issue and get rid of it and have angels fly out of my ass and the light of redemption shine down on me.

Well, it isn’t that easy. It’s complicated !!!

Needless to say, I am well beyond in my step work with my sponsor, at the Sunday night step group, we are on step 4 for the next few weeks, and in my own personal sober journey, I am into steps 8 and 9.

I’ve been sitting on an incomplete 9th step amends that I haven’t had the courage to do because it has been more than 10 years that I haven’t seen or spoken to my parents and brother, and it is not by my choice but theirs. I have been made invisible and am currently in the dark because of family strife that has been a fixture in my family life for the whole of my life.

So Life Class ended and I felt my brain spin and the rat got on the wheel and the thoughts started running and I have been fixated on it for the last week. At the height of the hysteria I sat down at the computer and punched out a 2 page letter of what was on my mind. A little close to the meaningless post I posted a few days ago here on the blog.

The letter is sitting on my desktop. Before I did anything with it, I sent a copy to my aunt Paula, my mother’s sister. And she is strong minded and is being punished by my parents the same way I am. Silenced and put in the dark punishment for life. And she said that my father was an asshole and that my mother was a bitch and that I should not waste my time with letters because over the last 10 years nobody cared to call me or write or connect with me. A leopard cannot change his spots. I expected that reply from her, I just wanted to make sure she knew what I was up to.

The pain in my heart is breaking me in pieces. So my sponsor showing up at the meeting tonight was surely a move by my higher power to give me the opportunity to talk this all out with him – so after the meeting he dropped me off at the Metro station, and he gave me the time I needed to talk this through with him and to get his advice.

I’ve learned never to make big decisions before running them by my sponsor where my sobriety is concerned.

We talked for almost an hour. He gave me something to think about and an action to take and he told me not to mail the letter until I was sure that I would send it without an expectation attached to it.

That I should print out a copy and take it out to the balcony and pray and set it afire and burn it. The burning ritual is something we do with our steps once we write them out, we burn the papers.

It isn’t my fault, the position I am in. I did not bring this on myself. And there are extenuating circumstances that I need not go into here. But you add being gay and hiv positive to the family equation of a pro conservative Catholic parentage and you have the recipe for disaster.

Remember me telling you that the pre cake roller coaster is a bitch and that if something was going to happen, it would, and I was right, and it has.

He gave me permission to set this in motion and to try to work towards a sober resolution. Because sometimes we have to do things for us that for all intents and purposes do not result in redemption with others, but in the end we end up redeemed ourselves because it is not about me and them, at this point, but between me and my higher power which I choose to call God.

You can pray for a miracle – and sometimes the answer is no.

And sometimes the miracle comes, and not in the way you expected.

Let us pray for that miracle shall we.

25 days until my cake.


Brain Drain …

Courtesy: Queer As Me

I’m not feeling well at all. It was a brain drain kind of day. I was hopped up on cold pills to get to class tonight because I had to go to class. I got my Otzi essay back and I ranked 18.5 points out of 20. Which was very good. I just missed perfect marks because I did not expand my essay into historic readings from the textbook. oh well. I passed.

I just wanted to say hello for the night.

I am going to bed now and get some rest. Tomorrow is a big day and I need to be at my best. I can’t miss Friday Night, people are counting on me.

Oh, and just one more thing …

There are Christmas Trees decorated and lit in the Pepsi Forum.

It was massive walking through there on the way to class.

Goodnight.