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Showing posts from 2013

The Changing of the Seasons

It has been nearly six months since my partner of 16 years passed away.  I thought I would not survive this.  But I have.  However like the old story of wrestling with the angel, I have not come out of this unscathed.  I am changed. I have lost 90 pounds having changed my diet and sedentary lifestyle.  I have friends and get out and do things. I don't glamorize nor demonize the relationship that has passed away. I see now we were in a rut and really the relationship before he got sick was in a bad way. He had even told me in the hospital that prior to going in he had taken off the rings we had exchanged several months prior and I had not even noticed.  Yep. Things were not great.  We loved each other but were in a rut and a bad place. 
So now I am looking at my radically different life.  I went from upper middle class to near poverty level.  I live with two roommates.  I moved from my four bedroom 2750 sq ft home to a single bedroom.  I realize that my job is not going to really be…

Update

It has been a while since I have posted.  I even took the blog down for a while.  I guess I simply cannot stop writing. I have no idea if folks even read this, and I suppose it does not matter. I will write regardless.  So here is an update into a window into my life.  I have started a few projects over the summer.

Lose weight.  I have lost 50 pounds so far and am nearing my target weight.  Most of this was done through healthy eating and portion control. The past couple of weeks I have started at a gym to help me tone up and lose the last bit of weight. I am moving in with roommates I had ages ago.  The very ones who introduced me to my partner.  I have gutted the room floor to ceiling.  Working with my hands has been amazing. Sanding painting, staining etc has been very therapeutic.  One challenge has been dealing with the emotions of loss.  I saw what the loss of her husband did to my mom throughout the past year and did not want that.  Unfortunately I made the mistake of shutting d…

Different

I am sorry I have not posted.  As I mentioned in my last post, my partner died.  We had 16 years together, some easy, some not so easy, but they were 16 years.  We both believed in staying together for better or worse.  Now that he is gone, some days?  times?  hours? are easy while others are hard.  I notice for whatever reason driving is the worst.  I am stuck alone with my thoughts and his passing is always waiting in the shadows of my mind for the opening to come through.

My dad passed last year right around the same time. My mom had been married to him for over 30 years and it changed her.  I can see this already changing me.  Things I struggled with spiritually are dealt with, and with all the dross burned away, I come away changed.  My mom told me she know longer believes in miracles, at least the type of radical healings one hears about second hand or in the Bible.  I think I believe in her.  With my beloved's death, the concept of the Christian God died too.

Passing

My partner passed into eternity last Sunday.

God in the Midst of Suffering

I remember when I first read the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Rabbi Harold Kushner many years ago.  I was shocked by his premise that God could not do all things and thus could not save us from our suffering.  Gnosticism too seems to have a similar premise that God is spirit and this physical world is not his making and domain.  The Christian mystics such as Teresa of Avila share "Christ has no body on earth, but yours.  No hands, no feet but yours."

     With the explosion at the fertilizer factory and the bombing at the Boston Marathon,  I ask why these things happen. Where is God in all this?  I honestly have no answer.  However, I think the Divine is present with us during these events.  God is present in "the least of these" and what bit we do is enough...our little offering to God.

     My theology has been shattered over the course of these four months.  Sitting day in and day out with my Beloved in the hospital, saying goodbye to him t…

Night

During the day I work with underprivledged kids which is a fantastic though exhausting ministry.  From there, I go to the hospital to sit with my Beloved.  By the time I get home at night, I am pooped!  I take my dog out  for a walk under the night sky and the dark, coupled with the waxing and waning of the moon, the stars and clouds and my soul is utterly refreshed.  It is here that I hear the voice of the Mother, the Divine Feminine singing over me a song of peace and refreshing.  I come in and finish my day's chores and then when all is done I visit my altar.  I light the candle, the incense, and ring the bell and look at the images that point me to the Divine Presence that is in all things and yet beyond all things.  It is a perfect ending to the day...some days I cry, some days I pray, others I sit in silence, reflect or simply just do this little duty as an offering and go to bed.  I am so thankful for the blessed night.

The Divine Twins

T Thorn Coyle has written a great article talking about the Divine Twins or what Starhawk in her book The Fifth Sacred Thing, "the Good Reality and the Bad Reality".  The Divine Twins, the bright and dark twins show up at various times in our lives.  In sitting with my spouse,  there are times when the bright twin shows his/her face...in my love's laugh, in good news, and just the appreciation of the time we have together.  But other times we fall through the ice into the bad reality, when his pain is overwhelming, when we receive bad news, or we are tired and grumpy.

What I loved about Thorn's writing today is she really hit home she talks about sitting with both twins simultaneously.  Here is the link:
http://www.thorncoyle.com/blog/2012/01/29/the-divine-twins-occupy-and-us/
And
http://www.thorncoyle.com/blog/2013/04/14/what-a-wonderful-world/

Universalism

I received some great news today. The biopsy from my partner's abscess have revealed what type of bacteria it is and that the regimen of antibiotics he is on will take care of it. He will survive and heal. Though the process of recovery will be slow, at least it will not be fatal.

Through all of this, I have really wrestled in my relationship with God and really trying to understand who God is. With all this also questions of the afterlife are right there with me.

One thing that stands strong in me is that I am a Universalist. In the Gospel of Thomas, the reader is challenged to go within and realize they are a child of God...a spark meant to return to the fire. The Bhagavad Gita reminds us too that no one will be lost and even a leaf offered will be accepted. The Gospel of Matthew too speaks that in serving another they are serving God even if they do not know it. What these things point to is an incredible God who sees any goodness as done to God's self. In the Go…

My Husband, the Guru

I swear I think my husband has become my guru.  As I have written, he has been in the hospital with a mass on his brain.  We are running on 3-4 months now he has been in the hospital.  With all this has come an unexpected change.  His personality and worldview has changed.

I have to admit initially, I was not sure about this...wondering if this was even the same man with whom I fell in love.  Before he was quiet, reserved, very private, did not like to go to new places, nor try new things.  Now he has a passion for life, new foods, new places, exploring and enjoying life for every succulent drop.

My life has changed in the past few months as well.  I get up, go to work, then go to the hospital until it is time to go home and go to bed, only to repeat this the next day.  But being with him day in and day out, outside of our comfort zone of our home has been a purifying fire.  I am learning to love and serve him as God.  In turn he teaches me how to live and approach life.  For example, h…

Drops Returning to the Ocean

Through this time in my life, I have been shoved into the fires that burn away karma and put one face to face with reality.  In running the risk of losing my loved one, I have been learning the lesson to live only in the moment and appreciate each moment and experience as a grace.  It is not easy.  At times every fiber of my being wants to rage against this.  And yet this revolt really does nothing.  I can only be here..now. 

Being a gay man at risk of losing his partner in death, I have also have had to face my issues with the church.  Do I stop holding his hand when folks come in because they might be offended?  Will the nurses treat him worse when they find out he is gay?  Will the doctors?  If he passes will we find a pastor/church to bury a gay man who is survived by his partner or will I be expected to hide during the funeral of my beloved of the past 16 years?

I have been thinking about civil rights and the experience of people of color in our not too distant history of slavery …

Dreaming Reality?

I had a dream last night.  The dream itself is not that important.  In the dream. I was restoring an old failing, falling apart restaurant.  People were redecorating it after I had let go of workers who were lazy or inept.  They were using designs from India to beautify it.  It was gorgeous.  Then I began to wake up.  In that half awake/half asleep point,  I am aware of a voice saying (or it could have been my own mind) saying :  all these people in the dream were you, playing many parts..but upon awakening they were dissolved into you, so too do we dissolve into God upon our death.

Wrapped in the Arms of the Mother

My beloved is in the hospital with a mass on the brain and barring some miracle, will never be the same again.  Several possibilities lie ahead almost none of them desirable.  As I sit with my beloved, I pray.  A few times over these weeks, I have felt Her Presence near.  Wrapping us in Her Mantle of love.  She grieves and weeps with me.  She is with me in my rage at this situation, and when I weep at entering an empty house.  She is the Queen of Life and Death and while ever loving and compassionate, she is not a deity that I can make demands of.  She is with us through this, but makes me no promises about outcomes.  Images of Mary wrapping me in her love transform into Sante Muerte and Kali...She is the Queen of Life and Death, and is present in my rage and solace.  Please continue to pray for my Beloved and for all of us here.

Prayer

My spouse may be dying.  If you are a praying person...please pray!

Prayers

A lot has been going on the past couple of months.  My spouse has a mass on the brain and could use your prayers.  It has led to memory loss, the need for constant repitition, and someone constantly monitoring.  Just yesterday we left the hospital, and wow I am exhausted.  Now comes the long wait to see if the mass has caused any long term, permanent damage.

God of a Thousand Names and Ten Thousand Faces Spirit of the Tree, the Sky, Land and Sea You are God/dess of Life and Death. I pray for my loved one. I plead for the life and healing of my loved one. Help us both through this time, where our only hope rests in you.

Theological Mastubation

It feels good when you do it.  It is something you do when you "feel the need."  However, it produces no fruit, just merely self pleasuring.  I have to admit...I love theological masturbation.  In fact, a large chunk of this blog is simple self-pleasuring.  My fascination with the Gospel of Thomas and even Christianity and the Bible have been a long theological wank for some time.  It feels good and is fun to do, but has no real bearing on my life.  In fact much of the Gospel of Thomas is filled with things to think on or know, but next to nothing on praxis.  There is no lineage of Thomasine teachers.  Those who utilize it either try a reconstructionist approach or simply try to incorporate it within their current religion.  We know next to nothing about the ancient Thomasines, and let's face it- the GoT lends itself to many very different interpretations which each devotee often reads their assumptions and/or beliefs into the text.  I have done this.  I have tried …

Why I Am an Universalist Pt. 3

I am a

Why I am a Progressive Christian Pt 2

In my previous post, I commented why I am a Thomasine, though I should probably mention all a Thomasine is, is a person who loves and really appreciates and even tries to follow the teachings of the Gospel of Thomas.  There are no great unbroken lines of Thomasine teachers, no liturgies, no rituals, no ancient commentaries on it.  In fact, one probably should have some knowledge of the Bible to gain insight into some of the things mentioned in the GoT.  It is what leads me to this post.

I also consider myself a Progressive Christian.  I believe in Jesus.  Was he born of a virgin?  Did he literally physically resurrect?  I was not there.  I do not know.  In reading the Bible, one will find contradictions, more than one story about an event with more than one story about it, that do not coincide.  You will find approaches to people of other religions, women, slaves, and such that are downright wrong.  However, this book is a part of me.  It is the writings of the "tribe" that a…

Why a Thomasine? Pt 1

I should start out by saying that I am a Christian.  I am a follower of Jesus.  However I am a Thomasine Christian.  The scripture I try to follow is the Gospel of Thomas.  While I am inspired by the Bible as a bit of insight into what the Hebrews thought about God in what is commonly called the Old Testament and find a lot to inspire and even be compatible with the GoT in the New Testament, I cannot believe nor even give a kind of gentle nod to much of the Bible.  The genocide, treatment of women, GLTB people, other races and religions in the Old Testament and the idea of exclusivism, the idea of God requiring a sacrifice as well as more sexism, homophobia, and supporting of slavery in the New keep me from returning to Christianity as I knew it.

I know and love many progressive Christians who have been able to move past these stories as well as literalism, however when I left that old fundamentalist paradigm I did not embrace the progressive mainstream view initially as because so mu…

Prayer and Silence

I have noticed a change taking place in my prayer life over the past six months.  My prayers have been much less of me talking and more of sitting in the presence of God.  In the Gospel of Thomas (Sayings 6 and 14) Jesus advises against hypocrisy in prayer, among other things.  In the other gospels he warns of being like those who pray to be heard by others, and making long prayers to appear spiritual.  I was part of the larger church movement and know that type of prayer...heck I was one of those who pray that way.  Also in these sayings in the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus suggests for them to not do what you hate...this could be taken a couple of ways....don't act like those who do the things you hate (false piety), but also don't pray simply because you are "supposed" to.

     Prayer from the heart is not false.  At times I am angry and vent to God, other times I plead with God, knowing I am utterly powerless.  Still others I am absorbed into Silence..the very pr…

Prayers

When I got up this morning, my beloved of 15 years did not recognize me or the dog.  We are not very old.  I find myself angry at God during this, and angry at the world.