Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. AIDS – THIS IS MY PRIDE – SURVIVAL !!! A Wordpress Production

Graduation

Why Wouldn’t I ???

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Courtesy: Heath (Iheefz) Chicago Photography

It rained … all . day . long …

Enough rain to warrant carrying an umbrella. And Lawd knows how I hate carrying my huge umbrella anywhere. But this morning it was necessary because we had to travel in . the  . rain.

A few days ago, hubby mentioned his graduation ceremony was coming up but he wasn’t expecting me to attend because it was, in his words, “long and boring!” The topic came back up the other night and he once again intoned that he wasn’t expecting me to go … and I replied “Why Wouldn’t I??? ”

Two years work. Watching him toil night and day pounding out his thesis and defense for his M.A. I went to his defense. We were all so proud of him. And so today was the culmination of all that work, a 15 second walk across a stage in front of his peers to get his M.A. Diploma.

The program opened with bagpipes, piping in the graduates, then the faculty.

And One very special man – LtGen. The Honorable Romeo A. Dallaire (Ret’d), O.C. ,CMM,GOQ, MSC,CD, B.ES., LLD , Senator.

He was presented with an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters.

And he gave a short speech for the graduates and encouraged them to step up and be change in Canada. Because in politics and government, he spoke, they have not risen to their ultimate abilities.

2017, is a special date and there are a confluence of dates and events, anniversaries and commemorations that will come during 2017, and Canada does not have a plan to mark the occasions.

Offering questions in the Senate and to the M.P’s in Parliament, what is the plan and what are we going to do ? the answer was – We Don’t Know !!!

This is our time to rise. To become active in the affairs of the nation be it in your community, your home, your job or your country, He encouraged us all to become change.

He spoke a bit about the children in Rwanda and the deaths and situations he witnessed. He spoke of a young boy, sitting in the road there in Rwanda distended, poor and in need (in a bad way), looked in those boys eyes, and the vision of his sons eyes came to mind.

He encouraged us to go abroad and work in developing countries. To see, witness, feel and participate in the lives of those who need more than they have today. They have very little, compared to the have’s and the have not’s in the developed world.

It was a tall request. But not out of reach. If you know where to look.

I know of people in Europe and the U.K. who actually go to Africa and other trouble spots in the developing world to work for charities helping those who need it most.

It is part of Gap Year work, Charity work, and just a great character building exercise to spend time in a place that will change the person you are, just by your presence.

We don’t often think about traveling so far away – it isn’t a North America thought, just because it is “over there” out of sight, out of mind.

But numbers of Canadians do great work in Africa and areas beyond.

If I could do it, I would. But the time needs to be right.

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

Once hubby did his walk across the stage, he was in the first two rows of graduates, he texted me. I was sitting about ten rows behind him on the aisle so we could make a quick getaway. The ceremony started at 3 p.m. and I needed to be at the church at 5, so we made our way out shortly after the B.A.’s started their march to the stage.

We took some photos with his cape and gown and degree for his parents, turned in his robes, and we came home. We got back around 4:30. And I was back out the door at quarter to Five.

And . It . Rained …

I arrived at the church, a little damp and the hall was a bit damp and cold. I cranked out chairs and tables. My sponsor showed up a few minutes after I arrived to make coffee and help with set up.

Little gift …

At the roundup a couple of weeks ago, all the shares were taped for mass consumption and sold on site. For quite a chunk of money. So a few folks bought a master copy of all the shares. And now they have been duplicated and are being shared amongst us.

I had mentioned that I wanted a copy of them, and one of our sober women did the duplicates and brought them to the meeting tonight. But there were a few women who have not heard them, like we got to hear them live, so I told her to give them to someone who hasn’t heard them yet before I get them.

I was sitting in my chair waiting for folks to show up and one of my friends came up and handed me a cd, with all the shares and more on it. Just because !

Then I was standing near our literature table talking to some folks, and my sponsor walked up and had a gift for me. He was given a cache of Big Books and other texts we use regularly. And from a private collection, he has already given me a copy of the original manuscript of the Big Book. Tonight he had another book for me … A Second Edition of the Big Book.

Which has an extra large collection of stories in the back of the book.

There are four editions of the Big Book in circulation. First editions are rare and cost a pretty penny. Seconds and Thirds are in circulation. But for the most part, unless you need a 2 or 3, Inter-group sells Fourth Editions, solely.

The Book, Experience, Strength and Hope is a collection of stories from Editions 1 , 2 and 3. We read that book on Sunday Nights some time ago.

But now I get to read all the stories from the book in the Second Edition.

The meeting was packed. Which was good. Lots of newcomers. And great opportunities for our girls to get out there and pound the pavement.

We read from Living Sober, page 10 – Live and Let Live …

A good topic. Lots of good shares. Many people all over the place on the slogans.

Live and Let Live
Easy Does It
But for the Grace of God
Think, Think, Think
First things First

You see them posted at every meeting we go to in the city. Keeping our side of the street clean. Not getting into other folks drama. What people think of me is none of my business. I am powerless over people, places and things.

I can’t change you – I can only change me.

And people are struggling with this slogan. On a daily basis.

It was a good night. Fun was had. I walked home.

A good day over all Me thinks.

More to come, stay tuned…


Master’s Managed …

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What a day !!! What a day !!!

We hit the sack early last night, because bright and early this morning we were up preparing to go listen to Hubby defend his Master’s Thesis on the Tea Party.

But before that all happened, I did not sleep much at all last night, and I got out of bed around 5 a.m. because I got a bug up my ass … And I should know better than to get up out of bed to do what I thought would be easy and painless …

I’ve been singing songs from old movies lately, to myself. And I thought, why not download the tunes for my phone. So I did that. Now my SD card in my phone, a 2 gig SD, is very itchy. It is tempermental when I try to add or subtract music from it, and I should know better then to try doing this while hubby is still in bed, or when he just goes to sleep late at night.

After several failed attempts to get the two files moved from my hard drive to the sd card, my computer crashed and fucked up my sd card. I don’t know what I did to it, but it wouldn’t work. Hubby was not having any of my drama this morning because it was all about him.

He set off around 8:30 for the college and I went over about 9:30. It was a small gathering of panelists and guests. Hubby had printed out his 20 page presentation to follow. And it was a full stop SUCCESS !!! He blew his readers and his adviser out of the water. There were two rounds of questions from the panel and on the first round, one of his readers just twisted him up and was on this “Debbie Downer” trip.

Needless to say, Hubby fought tooth and nail for his defense. The second round was much better. Lots of compliments and kudos. In the end they granted his Master’s Thesis Defense. His supervisor said that he did far better work than an M.A. researcher, and it was good enough for PHD work. And after their consultations after the presentation, they accepted his thesis fully and without any needed revisions. Which is quite a feat of academia.

We were all so proud of him !!!

After the ordeal we went our separate ways, I had errands to run to drop off our rent for the month of May. It was lunch time, so I missed the secretary. But it got paid. On the way back through the tunnel and the mall, I stopped at the Telus store to try and get my sd card fixed. That was a no go. They said that I could reformat the card on hubby’s laptop, but he didn’t have a reader converter. UGH!!!

I did some sundry shopping on the way in, had some lunch and went to bed around 2:30. It was a great nap because at the end I was having this massive technicolor dream about Christmas and as someone asked me a question like, “are you coming for Christmas??” I woke up.

Actually, hubby was woken up first. Me thinks we have a ghost in the apartment. Because things happen, the tv turns on by itself, not all the time, and not predictable. So about a minute before my alarm clock was set to go off, the tv turned on by itself again !!!

I got dressed and departed for the evening event, which was a trip out to St. Michel to pick up our new cabinet for the group at the church. The cabinet is beautiful. Just what we needed. And just the right size.

On the way out I stopped by the Telus store because I had called them to see if I could buy an sd converter card for the laptop, and they said that a brand new sd card comes in the packet. They don’t sell separately. The girl that helped me earlier was still there and I asked for a 2 gig sd card, and she sold me a 4 gig sd card for the price of a 2 gig sd card … SCORE !!!

Hubby left me some directions on the way home to shop and get groceries and now we are home, he is having Chinese food for dinner and I am having Subway.

Later on, I need to reinstall ALL my MUSIC AGAIN !!! UGH Kill me now ! Albeit on a larger sd card so that should be painless, Let Us Pray !!!

All in all it was a great day.

More to come, stay tuned …


Graduation day

Isn’t he angelic??? Graduate with Distinction and Honors in English Literature.

The Sky light at Place Des Arts…

The Convocation Stage

Now, He’s happy !!!

On the stairs at Place Des Arts

It was a good day, today was hubby’s graduation from Concordia University. A good time was had by all.


Meltdown…

One never knows when the dam is going to burst and the flood of emotions that will follow are going to occur. Over the last few weeks I have been trying to help hubby deal with his rejection by McGill University in the most helpful ways I can. Alas, I have failed in that effort.

I don’t know how to help him cope any better than I can, with all that resources I have at my disposal and people for him to speak to. How do you keep someone safe from the world? It has been a very upsetting day because hubby came home from his routine day of school and errands and he was a psychotic mess. Today we broke furniture and came to blows and I was the target of his assault. I guess I am not doing enough to help around here and that my efforts are useless and I do absolutely nothing to help him, in his own words.

We warned him of this happening. We tried to stave off the disappointment, but he is going to deal with his misfortune as he will, you can talk, talk, and talk, but as I said yesterday, people are going to have to figure it out on their own time and in their own way. So I have been sitting back watching this all come about, and they say silence gives consent right? He says that I do not talk, which is untrue. He thinks that I won’t listen without judgment, which is untrue. He has flown through this cycle very quickly and to damaging ends.

All this work he has done, has been for naught. The climbing the mountain has brought him no accolades, no scholarships, not acceptance by his peers and in his mind this has been a total outright evil rejection by a system that does not want him. We must add that as a mature student the stakes are different. We are much older that the regular university student – we may get good grades, and we may have to work harder than the rest to get ahead, but in hubby’s mind there is no difference. But there is…

Now he has to start from the beginning again and work on a second BA because his BA in English does not qualify him for very much and all of his friends got further academic acceptance including financial promissory notes of support for schools ‘out of province.’ So we talked about moving…

There are not many choices left to him to consider and the best viable plan is to return to Concordia this summer and continue his studies in communications where he has been studying for the last three years, this is not a choice he made easily, and it came with much revulsion and gnashing of teeth. How could he achieve such academic greatness, graduating with distinction and at the top of his game and not get one iota recognition from anyone further? Although on a personal level, all of his advisers told him that he is brilliant and smart, those words have fallen on deaf ears. He doubts everything that is being said to him because there was no pay off in his graduation. There isn’t going to be a huge celebration for him…

I don’t know how to help him cope any better than what I am already doing, because every time he gets angry he comes after me. and Fuck me for trying right??? In the Big Book it says that there are no justified resentments and that expectations are something that we cannot afford to have to a certain degree. Anyone knows that when you sets your sights too far up and your expectations find themselves in the stratosphere that the fall from those heights can be fatal. Hubby has had a fatal fall from heights that even I cannot save him from…

His attempt at surmounting McGill university was an exercise in futility and we all warned him of that, he did not listen. He was going to do things his way and be damned the ones who tried to deter him from starting the climb. They say that when climbing Everest [Sagarmantha] if you do not approach the mountain with respect and reverence and you do not honor the time told traditions of the climb, that you will fail at summiting the peak. McGill university was the closest to Everest that hubby was going to get, and he came at the mountain with expectations, an ego and a handful of really virulent resentments. And what did the mountain say to him…….. “You shall not summit my peak!”

He doesn’t want to attend any functions with other students because he has been humiliated at the highest degree, he only told his best friend and myself what happened. And graduation is going to be another upsetting event in his litany of fuck all events of this academic year. Many of them are moving forwards, where hubby, it seems, is only moving backwards with his going on to another BA instead of MA work.

All of his friends will be moving away and beyond and he will be stuck here, doing it all over again, and for him that is such punishment that even he cannot seem to bear at the moment. I am powerless to stop this from happening and I am not God, I cannot change the time line we are on. I am powerless over people, places and things.

So I am useless, All I do is sit here and do nothing, I contribute not enough and I am not pulling my weight around here. fuck me!!! I am without words for what happened today. I’ve been assaulted, insulted and read up one side and down the other for remaining steadfast and solid. At least I followed the program to the best of my ability and I only thought about drinking once today…

God grant me serenity…


Thinking out loud…

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I guess I should get in the habit once again of writing at the end of the day and to do my lists as I used to. It is very gratifying to know that people are reading the stuff I post here, as it seems, once again, there are readers who do not comment much of the time, but from time to time they appear and say thanks for a post or a thought. You never know how people are going to react to religious writing.

I skipped class tonight to go to church, because it was asked of me to attend. The Rev. Canon told me, through her intermediary that if I was going to be part of a Church and write about that church, then I better get my ass into the church.

Rolheiser writes about the four pillars of Christian practice and becoming a concrete part of a church community is the area that I am lacking. I left early enough to have time to sit and pray before the service started and to read my daily devotional for Lent.

I usually attend services at the Cathedral on Tuesday’s as it is my recovery day and the day that I take to care for my needs aside from everyone else’s. My church buddy is in Florida until April, so I go alone, but I am not alone, because there are others that attend daily mass as well.

I spent time praying for my friends, and my family, for the community that is this blog and for all those who I read on a daily basis, and yes I do mention each of your names to God when I pray. But tonight’s prayers were troubled. Because I am praying for one soul in specific who is in such a bad way lately that I don’t think she will ever get out of the darkness, and that is her choice. Which leads me to my next point.

I have served as a trusted servant for my home group going on seven years. Every Tuesday like clockwork. I have sat with my friends at coffee talk every week like going to church, only this church is in a diner at the mall up the block. I listen to people, I minister to their needs and I offer them pastoral care and a prayer here and there.

My good friend Ms. Nikki is in such a rut that her misery is starting to get to me. She sits in the dark and laments her past, the men she loved and the sex she cannot have any more. At fifty seven she is still spry and when encouraged, she can talk a mean game…

She has issues and I know this, but now she has pulled back from some of her duties to our home group because she just cannot commit more time, I have no idea why, she doesn’t have a life outside of Sunday mass, work and Tuesday’s with me. Yet she is miserable and like I said, misery loves company. She won’t leave our coffee clutch because I think that if left to her own devices she would go insane, without another set of eyes on her issues.

I honestly do not know how to help her. God if I did, If there was a miracle cure to get her out of the dark, you bet I would take it, right now in fact. So I pray for wisdom and guidance. I suit up and I show up as I would any other day.

I am chairing the 6:30 meeting this month and at 6:30 I bang the gavel on the table and I announce “It’s 6:30, let’s have a meeting.” Yesterday I did that and one of our long term members, a wise old man, with time under his belt and years of stories to offer the newcomer, says to his companion, “what an ass, he has to tell us what time it is?” I heard what he said because he said it loud enough so that I would hear him, and so I looked at this old man and replied across a crowded room “Marvin you are always the smart ass!”

He didn’t say a word the entire meeting and was outside with a friend when I left. I bring this up because I am powerless over people, places and things. The fact that I was quick with a comeback surprised even me that I said it, but I don’t regret it. I run a tight little ship at my home group I’ve been at this for some time. I don’t take shit from anyone, be that shit pointed at me or anyone else in the room. It just bothered me.

So we pray for Marvin tonight…

Did I mention how unimpressed I am with my Introduction the Theology class? And that it did not phase me one bit to skip class tonight because I am so bored with the material! I am a bit critical when it comes to professors, and the fact that some of them are droll, they stand up front and read from papers, occasionally write on the board, but that spark is missing, and after four years at Concordia I can tell you within days what kind of class this is going to be, just by the carriage and demeanor of the prof…

*** The Secret ***

Oprah has Louise Hay and the authors of “The Secret” on her show today. I saw The Secret [movie] but I did not read the book. I am all for the power of intention and the wealth that positive thinking can do for you, I just don’t put much stock in the laws of attraction when it comes to money and finances. But if you have a spare $100,000 to give away, I would surely accept your donation…

I did my list when I saw the Secret, and I posted it here on the blog, then I thought that that was not my style and presumptuous to tell you all what I want in the ways of the laws of attraction and financial freedom. I don’t make bones about money, that is the one area of our marriage that we still struggle with six years later. There isn’t enough time in the day to do everything I can for my kids, my husband and for my chosen few. There isn’t enough money coming in that, we didn’t have to worry about food and medications every month, or paying ALL the bills on time, and negotiating with the bank every month with our loan payments.

If you go to school, the province gives you financial aide to do that. But if you work aside from that financial aide, they take away money from you. If you work full time, you can’t get financial aide at all. And us two being disabled students, AIDS is still a disability, and I don’t call on it much, mind you, I haven’t been really sick in a years time (knock wood) and hubby has his medical issues as well. So we are balancing bills, life, medications and food and the balance is shaky to say the least.

I don’t need a million dollars, although I do play the Lotto 649 on occasion when the jackpot rises above 25 million dollars. I don’t play every week though. I do a lot of work with people just because, just because I am an anglophone in a bilingual province where I refuse to learn the second language. Because Spanish is my second language. I have this god forsaken Religion Degree, and what has it done for me, Not One Fucking Thing…

I want a job, on my terms, working the hours that I can and will. I am not working for some clock punching asshole who is going to begrudge me or judge me based on my orientation or disability. I want to build my own office where I can work my own hours and see who I can, when I can, and by my own rules and on my own terms.

I want to work for myself because I am worthy of that work because I give selflessly to everyone in my social circle, and one day that work in my circle is going to pay off in real financial dividends. But you see, these are not expectations, because I know what expectations do to someone in recovery.

But these are my terms.

I don’t need a mansion, I like where I live. I just need a bit more space. I would love, one day to be able to walk into a bank and get a loan for a house. A place for my kids to come visit without being on top of us. I don’t need a car, I do right well on bus, metro and walking around the core. I don’t need a car. We live pretty spartanly. We live a happy life, albeit, we are always on our toes around here.

I want to publish a book, this project that is in online form in the pages of this blog, I would like, one day to find my writings here on every gay boys bedside table. I want my AIDS memoirs to find themselves in the collection with the great AIDS writers of the 80’s and 90’s who are all long since dead now. Lessons, tools, guidance and wisdom that was hard earned, does not come cheap. I don’t make a penny writing my ass off on this blog. And unlike many reads I know, I’ve stayed away from talking about ministry and donations. Because that would jinx a good thing going here.

We give freely of what was freely given to us.

But one time, someone did ask me about when I was going to start charging for advice, and my answer to her was this? What gives me permission to charge for advice? Yeah I write, I’ve got this degree and 40 years of wisdom and hard fought life in my head and heart, is it worth enough to say ok, if you want what I have, you’re gonna have to pay for it…

No that’s not how the rooms work. I don’t know how that works. I can’t imagine what it would be like to transition from this writing space to a space of my own in an office where I am making money for my family and for myself. I cannot imagine what that day will look like or if it will ever happen.

It’s after 4 am and I really need to get to bed, so that’s all for now…


Labels … Let us Reflect on them …

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Krystalnacht – The Night of the Broken Glass…
The Beginning of The Holocaust

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Work Makes You Free …

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A Survivor from Buchenwald

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Yad Vashem – Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial

 

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Auschwitz – Concentration Camp

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Red Ribbon

The Red Ribbon – Synonymous for AIDS

Pride Flag

The Pride Flag – Proud Symbol for all things Gay

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The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt – For all those who died from AIDS
My friends,My family, My brothers and sisters…

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The JEW – The Star of David used during the Holocaust …
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You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter

Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,

Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz

 

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The Homosexual – Also Used during the Holocaust …

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A Young Man – Hungarian Jewish Boy –
From Fateless, the Motion Picture

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The Label Chart Used By the Nazi Party within
the Death Camps and Concentration Camps to
Identify people…
Location, Ethnicity, Area, Orientation, Religious Affiliation

 

There weren’t only Jews in the Camps…

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The ACT UP slogan for Gay and AIDS circa 1980

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What Would Jesus Do???

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This is my Label – I earned every hour of it, with Pride…

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We Should Be Proud, but we should remember what labels have done to millions world wide over the Decades. I think it is time to move past them, to stop labeling and Outing people. I think we need to learn to live together PEACEFULLY in order to stop the killing of ALL people around the world…

THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER – SO THAT WE NEVER FORGET!!


Custodians of a Living Earth …

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I’m reading again, “I Heard the Owl Call My Name” and I am in the mindset to write about the custodianship of the living earth. The earth is in a shift, I think we can all agree on that – and attention is now on prevention and maintenance of the earth as it exists today. I have written recently about the fact that many people in my own community are not “Being Maintained” by anyone, they are lost among the crowd, banished to sidewalks, doorways and shelters. What can I do to change that? Write…

What if the governments of the world decided to stop warring and fighting amongst themselves? How much money would we have to spend on other things like food, shelter and water? I heard a comment on late night radio last night that

“There will be wars fought over drinking water!”

I am sure that there are some who think about the Order who seek to bring down the number of earths inhabitants by the millions. There is a surplus in population in certain areas of the world, and for some that is too much, and they would rather see them eradicated than to house and feed them.

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The earth is sputtering on its axis. Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Hurricane, Oceanic changes to salinity and food source and the cooling of warm water fisheries all over the globe are causing catastrophic changes to major areas of the worlds oceans. How many more signs do we need from Mother Earth to tell us that something is wrong? And if we don’t stop with our preoccupation with war, division, killing and ignorance, that when “IT” happens we will not survive whatever IT will unleash.

I know better than to sit in my what if’s and coulda, woulda, shoulda! I can look out my windows from here and see trees and grass and the mountain off to the North. We can look out at our world and know that there are forests and people and animals who live amongst that forest. Forests are burning – trees are dying – infestations of beetles are killing swaths of forest across Canada, borne on the winds moving West to East. But I wonder what haven’t we done as custodians of the earth to try and mitigate these things from happening.

What if, The Almighty came down from heaven and told warring factions to lay down their arms, and those in power were removed and power was granted to the masses to govern themselves and the wars stopped all over the earth, not just in certain areas. All the warring areas on the globe. What if we heard from on high that “they” believe that wars fought over ideologies and factions needed to end today, right now, for us to stop killing each other and become custodians to one another. How would that change the face of the earth?

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Is there a way for the world to get up and state unanimously that the wars should end? Can we impeach presidents around the world, in countries that are sponsoring, funding and are waging wars on other peoples? Do you see what I am asking here?

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We truly need to depose several key world leaders, and the American President AND his entire cabinet need to be removed from office, sooner than later. Because America has been hijacked and “Nazi Control” is becoming an adjective to explain George W. Bush.

Mr. Bush, we are not With you –
And We Stand Against You!! It is time to leave Office…

 

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DO WE want to maintain another Hitler in office? Do we want this man making law and imposing unconstitutional amendments upon his people and the world? Because if he does it – the world is watching and you know, the only reason Hitler was so successful at what he did in the Holocaust, was because the people listened to him, and if the American President can do what he is doing, that gives free reign to other leaders to do the same!!! Bush still has the ears of many world leaders, who are not MAN or WOMAN enough to say NO! We will not follow you. So what do we do?

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There are some in power who would see people determined to be locked down and subjugated. That is already happening all over the globe, in many countries. Darfur, Sudan and in other areas of Africa, people are corralled into camps, with no water, electricity or better yet SHELTER. People are being slaughtered by militia men. We need to stop them and the killing needs to end. Genocide is happening in OUR time once again, and on many fronts, we must stop the genocide because:

 

 

 

“We Have Failed to Remember
and We Have Failed to Never
Let It Happen Again”

In the Middle East, the most contentious area of the globe, not to mention Iraq and the Fertile Crescent area of the world including Afghanistan, the militias and the Taliban are trying to eradicate (on a mass scale) entire peoples akin to the likes of Adolf Hitler. If we prayed for the savior to come again and save us, this would be the time and the place.

We must now act, decisively and verbally. We need to lobby those who are in power to do the right thing. We need to Impeach the President. We need to stop the killing in Darfur, we need to stop the wars in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. We need people on the ground who can be trusted to help reconcile the factions that are fighting with each other and those factions who have fighting going on within themselves. We need ambassadors to get in the game and negotiations must be made to end the worlds strife and wars. If we don’t start this now, WHO is going to take our place later to hold those in office accountable for

“Crimes Against Humanity”

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It’s not about who – but What is in this photo, read on…

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There are too many people around the globe, being ignored. There are entire continents and nations of people that need to be cared for, not to forget those people in warring countries who need to be fed, re-housed and repatriated back to where they came from, those who had to flee to save their own lives. Rich countries sit back and say “we are doing all we can for those inside our borders.”

Yet on the European continent we know for a fact that there are disenfranchised peoples, in the millions, who are not being cared for properly because of the arrogance of status, ethnic superiority and ignorance to accept everyone for who they are not what form of dress or religious affiliation they identify with.

It comes down to the people to start the tide of Anarchy and Dissension. It is time to take back our land and our government from those who have taken it from us. They have been poor stewards of the land, the environment and of peoples. We must stop this – there is too much conflict in the world, so much that any “other” needs are being ignored at the expense of the whole, for a chosen few.

It Is Time to:

Bring the Soldiers Home – Stop the Wars. You either follow certain prescriptions here: (1) You bring ALL warring leaders to Justice, (2) Let them kill each other and save us the headache, or (3) You bring ‘Just’ Diplomatic Solutions to Warring Factions and Areas – and Sit Down and HAMMER out Peace Agreements and Co-Existence Clauses.

Isn’t it time to sit down and think and come to the realization that what war has done for the last 4 years has NOT worked, so let’s allow the Diplomats to work on Peace.

The Mission is NOT Accomplished.

Peace and Democracy has not been attained and WON’T be attained with the present course of action. WAR does not create Democracy – it Breeds Contempt, Rancor, Hatred and brings Division instead of creating Unity.

In Stopping Wars, Governments Agree to Equal care to all Soldiers repatriated home and for their families. And Agree to Rebuild war torn areas with the funds used to carry out war, and Care for those most affected by the war in their Respective regions.

This applies to Canada and the United States and All Countries involved in wars worldwide. It is NOT Unpatriotic to stand against WAR!! It is NOT Unpatriotic to stand against a President or a sitting Prime Minister.

 

 

Democracy is built on the premise of government for the people by the people !! Well People need to start speaking out for Change…

 

 

The ‘People’ are being AND have been hugely ignored, save those who support the puppet in office and his cronies he protects. The Ship is Sinking – and is Going down. Who is going to save us? It comes down to us, those of us who are writing around the world, to speak up and ask each and every one of our readers to join this movement. To call your leaders and rulers to task, to make them accountable not only to you the citizens of the country that you reside in, but also to the immigrants who have resettled there as well. Leaders need to be accountable to the earth as well.

Or We Shall Pay when Catastrophe Occurs

 

We cannot remain self absorbed and self centered. We must step beyond the borders of nationalism and ethnic superiority. We all must be made equal, in that we must begin to love and take care of each other and to become custodians of the world at large, and it begins with me. It begins with you. It continues with US. We must, with a resounding voice say “we have had enough of this…” It is time to end this.

Before We Kill Each Other Trying to create Peace !!!

 

 

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We must become better custodians to the earth. If we stop the raping and pillaging of the land, we must stop the wars, we must stop the killing of innocents. We must stop the tide of suicide bombers. West and East must come together. The West and The East must agree NEVER to wage war again, however possible that is… We must find peaceful and RIGHT means to the future sustaining of the worlds populations. We MUST find an earthly solution, if we must, a heavenly solution.

“We Have Failed to Remember
and We Have Failed to Never
Let It Happen Again”

 

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You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter

Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,

Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz


As close to Canadian Idol – as I will ever get!!

This is Sass Jordan Performing LIVE here in Montreal at the Street Festival going on today in the downtown core. Ste. Catherines street is shut down and an immense stage was erected outside the HMV. We happened upon this concert and I took these photos. I think I am a good photographer, don’t you agree??? I guess you’ll be the judge of that! There are 41 photos in this set, which are all going to be put in my Flickr account so you can go see them soon. Click on the Flickr box and go to my photo stream, there are 140 photos up now. I’ve also added 11 photos of the city from the Penthouse Pool area views that you haven’t seen yet of the South Shore and of Downtown Montreal.

So here they are:

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Flick’r …

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I have updated my flickr account with 64 new photos. You can see them on my Flickr page on the sidebar at the bottom of the blog…


Flick'r …

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I have updated my flickr account with 64 new photos. You can see them on my Flickr page on the sidebar at the bottom of the blog…


Recognising grievances

Brian Taylor — 2 Jul 07, 07:08 PM- Hyperlink to Blog

For politicians, it’s a real quandary. An exceptionally sharp dilemma in a generally tricky business.

Put yourself in the place of our politicians. Say you’re a front bench spokesperson. You want to condemn terrorism without equivocation. It is criminal, abhorrent, utterly wrong. Yet at the same time you may want to spotlight – and seek to alter – circumstances in which you believe such terrorism might thrive.

How do you do that, how do you highlight the culture, the soil in which terrorism exists without appearing, to some degree, to exculpate the acts of terror themselves?

In the Commons this afternoon, Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats tiptoed towards this quandary. He argued that, while we condemn terrorism without reservation, we should also recognise the grievances that exist in the wider Islamic community. Those might include Iraq and the conduct of Middle East policy.

Let me stress – as Mr Clegg did – that he was in no way condoning those who targeted Glasgow Airport or the London night club. Rather he was arguing that it is naïve to consider the extremist responses without also considering the political circumstances in which such responses may develop.

It had been an occasion of unity. The new Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was warmly praised on all sides for her steadfast and calm response to events. She told MP’s that Britain would not be intimidated by terror.

And, in response to Angus Robertson of the Scottish National Party, she extolled the value of the co-operation she had received from the SNP executive, mentioning Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill.

In an impressive contribution, David Davies of the Conservatives endorsed the efforts of the police, the security services – and the public, including the civilians who intervened to help officers at Glasgow Airport. He said: “A real hero is someone who runs towards danger whilst others run away.”

To repeat, Mr Clegg did not depart from this united approach. Indeed, he nodded vigorously when the home secretary intepreted his remarks as seeking to isolate extremists from the wider, law-abiding Muslim community.
But perhaps he raised an intriguing political – and philosophical – point.


The Graduate

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So this photo came in the mail inside a “Buy a Photo Package” mailer from the people who took our photos at school the day I picked up my robe. So I took a web cam copy of the paper print and touched it up a little bit and morphed it to look somewhat presentable. Rest assured that the real photos will be up probably this weekend. I need to finish a roll of film first. But you get some idea of just how LARGE I look in this photo!! I wish there was a “skinny button!”


Is this all there is???

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If you remember as graduation approached that I felt nothing. And I waited for something to happen that would make me feel ‘something.’ I’m still waiting…

I waited for my grades to come in and eventually they did. I was not pleased with some grades and I even made issue of one of them, to no avail. I was nowhere near the level of ‘graduation with distinction.’ After the grades came in, I waited for my conferral to appear on my skool webpage, that came on May the 25th. And when that happened – I felt nothing.

So I counted the days until today, waiting for something to happen, for me to feel some sort of feeling of accomplishment or gladness. I got to bed late last night because I was restless, not so much nervous or excited.

I felt ‘indifferent.’

I went to graduation and watched all those people before me walk across the stage. I listened to the cheering and screaming, including my own for some people I knew, and for those who made ‘distinction or Great Distinction.’ Which was all well and good. Then it was time for my row to move towards the queue to walk the stage in front of all those people.

I was stopped on stage right wing so that the reader could be changed out and the computer prompter to move forward with the next department, which happened to be Religion. I whispered my name to the speaker at the podium and started my walk across the stage. There was utter silence. Not one clap was audible to me, not like the audibles I was hearing up to our row. No cheers, No screams – it was me walking across that stage to the chair of our department. I was the lead off student in the department of Religion.

Even before the ceremony started we were queued in the rally area to get in numeric order for seating and for our Marshalling Cards. There is what I call the ‘bitch squad’ those girly girls who are arrogant and pissy – the real ball breakers who eat men for breakfast in our department. I hate them, vehemently…

Try to carry on a conversation to get the mood going or to try and celebrate some gladness and these women are cold as ice and can’t even be nice to converse without the dagger mode in full swing. So as I was walking to the stage queue I passed by some of my (classmates) who were sitting with cast iron bitch of the universe and he cheered me on as I walked by. That was it.

I walked off the stage with my diploma and set it on my seat and asked my seat mate to keep an eye on it while I went to the bathroom. I missed the rest of them walking across the stage – really, I couldn’t give a shit for any of them. There is no love lost on the Department of Religion. After the ceremony ended I turned in my gown and cape and set off to find my husband for some outdoor pictures, then we set off for the Department reception.

We were a bit early and the bus stopped at the top of the hill at the General, so I decided to stop in and see Ms. Nikki to show her my diploma, because she works at the general and she had called me yesterday to congratulate me. I wanted to invite her to join us today, but she couldn’t get off her shift. So we stopped in to have an impromptu celebration in the reception area at the hospital.

Which was the best part of the afternoon.

After that we walked a block down the hill to Dr. Penfield to the reception. Firstly, I have to say that I’m a gay man with HIV. I am really good at reading body language and/or the lack thereof. I’ve made these observations about certain staff, ministers, professors, and fellow students. I don’t have an ego – and I don’t NEED anyones approval or accolades.

But I must comment on the fact that some of the female professorship have great big sticks up their asses. The gay boys in the room – while the entire time we were there, said not one word to me. They did not look at me, nor offer one single word of congratulations, which struck me. Not to mention the cast iron cold hearted women of the department who have utter disdain for me because I won’t put up with their shit or the fact that they grovel and look like animals begging for table scraps.

I am a lot older than most of the students who were at the reception. I identified more with some of my ‘adult’ classmates, those other adults who are in the department or are in my Theology department as of now, who were there. I felt cold. I felt ignored. I spoke to a few professors at the reception, but Donald was the only man who was in any way, shape or form proud and excited for me, and that right there was enough for me.

I didn’t feel anything.

I don’t hang with my fellows at the pubs or attend beer and chili parties because I don’t drink and I can’t be bothered to attend group functions where I know I am going to be ignored anyways, so why bother? I guess the reason that I have felt nothing is because I didn’t have a “friend” in my grouping who I could trust or call a friend that I had any identity with to celebrate with because – for the most part, it’s all lip service really. Oh let’s act like friends because we have to present a good show for the others, but I am reading “I really don’t like you and I could care less about your achievement because really, it is all about me!”

It is one thing to be a mature student – and I get that. It is another thing to be part of a department that tolerates ones presence and deal with the fact that I am self sufficient and the only person that I count on for advice or support is Donald. You know when someone looks at you and smiles out the sides of their mouths because they have to, not because they are genuinely happy for you or want to show any sort of preference to liking you. That shit just turns my stomach. But this reflection is important because if I came away with this feeling of numbness and indifference, then there must be more.

The director of chaplaincy opened the convocation and I had to walk past her to get onto the stage from where she was sitting, right at the exit point onto the stage and she didn’t even acknowledge me when I was standing there. This whole thing just makes me sick to my stomach. I’m sad that nobody that I know – student wise gave a shit to celebrate with me or make a move to show conciliation or support of any kind except for the political posturing one has to do in front of others to put on a good face for everyone to see, because it isn’t about me, but it IS all about them!

I‘m just disgusted… really

I was kind, I was supportive and I was a good member of the department. I did what I could for everyone there, to the point of disagreeing about spending excess department money on beer and partying. There have been years of feminine strife between the faggots and the feminists. It is a dog eat dog world and I was an outsider, and I accept that of myself. But when it called for – for me to be present, I was. I did everything I could to be a nice guy – a Christian, a friend, a fellow and a participant in my department.

So I end this Religion Degree with the thought that, I felt nothing but disgust on the way home from the reception. Nobody cares to remember that I lived 13 years with HIV and lived to tell the tale. That it took every ounce of strength I had at times to get out of bed and get my work in on time. That I had my health issues over the years and still maintained a graduation date ‘in time.’ That I went back to school at age 35 to get this degree and I busted my fucking ass to get here, and nobody stopped to notice…

Nobody could give a damn about this achievement.

Except Donald.

People can be so cold and distant that it struck me that I had to initiate conversations that were at times, strained to say the least. T.A’s I’ve known ignored me and professors did their best to avoid me and hubby which struck me as well. If I was sensing the disconnect, then surely he did as well. So after we executed proper protocol, I had had enough and said, let’s go home. We said goodbye to Donald and we left. I didn’t give a shit about saying anything to anyone. Andrea did her best to be social, but that ‘clique of girls’ just make my stomach turn. And I told her that.

It is one thing to say that we are friends, but lip service is just that, lip service. If you cannot put action behind the thought and word, then please don’t bother, because I don’t want to feel guilty that you put yourself out for me or my husband.

I got my degree and that’s all that matters.

Tomorrow I will take that diploma to my home group and we will celebrate there.

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I confess to almighty God
and to you my brothers and sisters
that I have sinned through my own fault
in my thoughts and in my words
in what I have done and what I have failed to do
and I ask blessed Mary, ever Virgin
all the angels and saints
and you my bothers and sisters
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

May Almighty God have mercy on us
and forgive us our sins and bring us to
everlasting life

Amen


Graduation Diploma

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well these pictures are worth four years of study and millions of words spoken and typed. The celebration was amazing. I survived the experience. I wept singing O’ Canada and I clapped and screamed for my friends.

So here is my qualification to think big, to dream big and to go out into the world and make a difference in my community.


In a little while …

We will be leaving the house for Place des Arts for my Graduation…
Let us all say ‘AMEN’

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Now let’s sing some Amy Grant…

Got a ticket coming home,
Wish the officer had known
What a day today has been.
Then I stumbled through the door,
Dropping junk mail on the floor.
When will this day end?

But then your letter caught my eye,
Brought the hope in me to life,
cause you know me very well,
And I bet you wrote me
Just to tell me,

In a little while,
Well be with the father;
Cant you see him smile? (ooooooh….)
In a little while,
Well be home forever,
In a while….
Were just here to learn to love him;
Well be home in just a little while.

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