Archive for June, 2013


Queer Talk: “Exodus International” Closes, With a “Sorry”

Queer Talk: “Exodus International” Closes, With a “Sorry”.

Interesting. Very, very interesting.

I’d like to go into a little rant about how nice, or should I say, “nice,” it is that people suddenly find support for equal rights for homosexuals when they find out that their son is gay, or their daughter is gay, or that ohmygodIactuallyknewthisthewholetimebutdidn’tdaretoadmititbecauseIwasafraidofhowtheworldmighttreatme he himself (never a she, why never a she?) is gay (never mind that he himself has been vilifying and tormenting and discriminating against and blah blah blah gays himself for years and years and years).

And “loving father” over “scolding big brother”? Seems kind of family specific, doesn’t it?

And I know it’s always good to apologize when you realize that you’re in the wrong, but sometimes an apology just isn’t enough. Is he going to spend the rest of his life trying to undo the damage his organization, and other organizations like his that continue to operate, has done?

I doubt it. But maybe. I guess time will tell.

Anyway. Read it, think about it, comment on it, print it up and burn it. Whatever floats your boat (as my mom used to say).


just lying there, listening

Had several sleepless nights this week; not really sure why for the most part. I have adopted a “move at least an hour every day” policy so I’ve been exercising more, and my legs get a little twitchy, but even when I take extra calcium and they aren’t twitchy I’m still kind of awake half the night.

Lying there listening to the whir of the ceiling fan and the really loud “tuck-tick, tuck-tick” of this new clock/picture frame Husband procured from somewhere and some nights the wind dances through the leaves of the trees over my house in such a way I’m not sure it’s not raining. There’s also this really resonant hoot owl in our woods and sometimes Dexter the Dumb Dog decides that he needs to bark at the grill or back to the owl or at whatever random shadows move outside the kitchen window; Second Son is also a night owl and home for the summer, (except for this week when he has been touring the midwest/east coast with his band, which is kind of cool for him and worrying for me while they drive from city to city through the wee hours of the night) so we hear him downstairs, or moving around in the kitchen.

Anyway, lots of time lying there in the dark, listening, listening, thinking, listening.

I start to write poems sometimes while I’m lying there, but I’m either too lazy or too sleepy to actually write them down, so then I lie there trying to devise mental tricks that will allow me to remember them when I wake up the next morning, but then of course I don’t. Some pretty good stuff, if I remember that much, which I probably don’t.

Stuff about the difference between being in love and loving and which is better and why sometimes you think one is better but then later you realize it’s actually the other.

Stuff about wishing you were better than you are — a better parent, a better pianist, a better person — and then realizing that you are actually usually pretty much doing the best you can (at the time) and that your parents probably were too and that all the stuff that you’ve been spending a lot of time being pissed off at them about you should probably just let go because it’s not doing you any good and it’s certainly not doing them any good and you sure hope that someday your kids will cut you a break and do the same for you.

Stuff about your professional disappointments and who stabbed you in the back and might even be stabbing you in the back still and whether your pursuit of inner peace and Happiness (rather than “happiness”) means they get away with it or just that you get to stop carrying that particular load of garbage around for at least a little while.

Stuff about friendships that didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, and friendships you’re grateful for; stuff about whether it’s worse to have been overlooked when one friend threw another mutual friend a party and you weren’t invited, or whether you were considered for the invitation list and then expunged; wondering why it matters and then wondering if maybe that can be just another one of those bits of garbage not to be carried around any more.

Stuff about whether it’s “fair” that I get to live in a cozy and humble but comfortable and beautiful home and cook whatever I want for dinner and sip gin fizzes at a cute little desk in the corner lit by a funky lamp bought for me for my birthday by my (now-deceased) mother in Nashville, Tennessee while we were celebrating her birthday, while elsewhere in the world women are raped on buses and child brides are married to men in their 30s in India and the people of Syria kill each other and those guys keep standing on exit ramps with their “Homeless. Please Help. God Bless.” signs and what does “fair” mean anyway and why does that matter so much to me and everybody else?

(Sheesh. Is it any wonder I can’t sleep?)

But the funny thing is, it’s not like I’m lying there all twisted up with anxiety and unhappiness.

It’s just all there, floating around me, while I get to feel lucky and grateful and regretful and sad all at the same time.

So not a poem really. A rant? Maybe.

Maybe I should have just stuck with what I put on my “Not a Guru” blog yesterday.

I’m scared, but I’m grounded.
I’m sane, but I’m overwhelmed.
I’m lost, but I’m hopeful.

I’m sad, but I’m laughin’,
I’m brave but I’m chickenshit,
I’m wrong and I’m sorry baby.

But what it all comes down to,
is that noone’s got it figured out just yet,
but I got one hand in my pocket, and
the other is givin’ a high five.


a new kind of blueberry

Second Son’s birthday is today.

The tradition is that your favorite meal and favorite dessert are prepared for you as per your request.

For dessert he wanted, and I quote: “Sugary, really bad for you blueberry pie with at least a stick of butter and none of that whole wheat, organic, free-range blueberry crap.”

Can’t you just picture the little blueberries, running free, frolicking in the sunshine?

I had no idea.


salt of the earth

When a farmer is shipping out his crop simultaneously with the harvest, coordinating and timing the trucks is a tricky business.  If the farmer estimates low and the harvest is going well, the farmer may have to end the day earlier than necessary, dragging out the harvest and risking adverse conditions later. If the farmer estimates high and the weather turns bad, or a tractor breaks down, or any of the dozens of calamities that can occur without a moments notice, the driver(s) has to sit there until the farmer can load the load for him or her to haul away. The driver doesn’t get paid for sitting there.

Farmers know this, my dad knew this, and was therefore always as careful as he could be about how many trucks he would request, would work through rainstorms and high winds and into the wee hours if necessary to get them on their way as soon as possible, and would loan the driver a pickup to drive into town for a meal, or even to be able to go home for the night if they were unable to fill the truck that night.

There was a young driver many years ago who often came and went with loads of potatoes for my dad. During this stretch of time, he was divorced from his wife and she and their three young sons moved a ways away, creating even more hardship for the young driver in his efforts to spend time with his sons.  My dad was at one of his favorite restaurants one day at lunch (kind of a greasy spoon diner out in the middle of nowhere), and the young man and his three sons came in. They exchanged light conversation across adjacent tables, and when my dad finished his meal he said good-bye and left.

When the young man and his sons finished eating, and he went to pay his bill, he found that dad had already paid it, and left three candy bars on the counter for the boys.*

I can imagine this whole exchange. My dad, all gruff exterior, with a twinkle in his eye; probably teasing the boys a little or stealing their ketchup bottle. And paying the person at the counter with a point and a grunt, and leaving so as not to be thanked.

This is just like my dad. A lot of good, not a lot of fuss. I imagine there are dozens more stories like this. I miss him terribly.


*My oldest brother just ran into this “young driver,” who had heard about my dad’s passing and shared this story with him; this happened many years ago.

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