Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Holy Trinity (my Easter tribute to eternal love)

Yesterday I was talking to Chel about our sons. She was describing a very specific attribute that her son has and was sort of wondering where that comes from. I jokingly said to her “He gets that from me” and we both laughed. She paused and then said, “Maybe so”.

It got me to wondering how much we pass on to our children based on the friends who influenced us rather than genetic ties. Strangely enough even though I hadn’t seen or talked to Chel or our best friend Alice for decades, I had to admit I carried pieces of them with me still. Being reunited with them both was like filling a hole in my heart that I was pretending didn’t exist.

The truth is that many years ago when we were at a very crucial and defining time in our lives we were as close as anyone could be. We didn’t talk about it. We didn’t analyze it. We were busy living and growing up and learning through experience rather than contemplation. We were fourteen and fifteen and eventually sixteen and we each moved on to our adult states. We loved each other and depended on each other, but we recognized our differences and allowed each other to move on to become what we became. Only now, looking back at who we were does the fabric of who we are seem intertwined, even during the time when we were not physically present in each other’s lives.

I was the brave one. I was fearless in fact and often foolishly so. Perhaps I still am. But the upside of that is that I was the one most likely to cross boundaries and experience life from many angles and learn to understand a variety of perspectives from inside a variety of camps. I am also the clown.  

Alice was the most analytical and probably played it safe more than Chel and I. She used her resources wisely and gained herself a position where she can be very generous and kind and will always take the high road and do the right thing. I think Alice has a kind of built in safety net that gives her a bit more self preservation than Chel and I have ever had. She’s a good listener and a great problem solver.

Chel is the emotional and impartial one. She makes a terrific mediator and would never take sides. She has always been the responsible one who manages to get burdened with the tragically flawed. She has a heart the size of Texas. She is the one who cries when she’s happy as well as when she is sad. She has always worked for everything she has and believes in truth honesty and justice for all. Yes, she really is that corny.  

Each of us gave birth to one perfect son in the 80s. They were raised without knowing each other. Somehow our three sons seem to have more in common as adults than their mothers who were the best of friends growing up. Each of the boys are extremely intellectual and remarkably clean cut and very artistic. It’s kind of uncanny seeing the similarities. Then when Chel was talking about her son being so comfortable with cultural variety it dawned on me. Perhaps we nurtured in our boys what we loved about each other. What an amazing gift a mother’s love is. It makes me wonder what qualities I may possess because of someone my mother knew and loved but never mentioned.....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

...Poetry by Chel

Some things we have worked through and some things remain unsolved or are works in progress. Having words to define our feelings both joyous and sorrowful is an empowerment. We can make a choice to share or to keep private. We can embrace our emotions or let go. Chel's poetry somehow does it all.


Darkness, emergence, addiction.
A child with no choice, no voice.
Where is the mother? User?
Shared needles, shared "highs", jail time, abuse, disease.

A lifetime of downward spiral.
A man cries out........

Is it contagious?


Family-the ties that bind

Quiet! Don't speak!
"Children should be seen and not heard".
"Go play in traffic".
"Put an egg in your shoe, and beat it".

Baa Baa black sheep......

Independent, codependent.....




It was her last will and testament.
Who gets what?
Was it the document or a promise spoken?

Living agreement, dead lies......

Who is deserving and who decides?
Honor the wish or play devil's advocate?

Can you live with a clear conscience?


There's an elephant in the room
Am I the only one who sees it?
Sitting there bigger than life.
Very still so no one notices or mentions it.......
With no acknowledgement it just after day, year after year.
Moving from one generation to the next.
We have the ability to free it.
Please feed it a peanut......


I live within the boundaries that everyone imposes on me.

Always a limit......

Never getting enough......

Always longing for more......

My stage is always set.....

A puppet in everyone else's play......

Living a life that belongs to everyone else but me......

Get out!  Run!  Escape!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Love Letter to my Internet Boyfriends

I saw two young men crossing the road today and it made me wonder if possibly there is no such thing as linear time. Perhaps somehow the illusion of linear time is created by the way we store our thoughts, but in reality time is almost circular and sometimes folds over on itself.

The younger one was about 16 with unruly sandy brown hair that was cut short but but grown out a bit and messy. He was a head taller than the older one who was thirty-ish and had long straight hair to the middle of his back. For some reason I felt the need to watch them and try to figure out who they were. It wasn’t a big deal. It was just something to do. They made it across the street and my light turned green. It was a short observation, but worth the glimpse.

As I pulled away from the intersection I thought “They could be a younger modern version of Alanzo and Zinj.” That was the entire thought...until, I imagined their crusades and arguments. I heard their research and discoveries. I felt them coming a bit unglued and then pulling themselves together again. I just looked at reality and realized these were just two young men with no history or future who happened to spark the kind of mental wanderings that I am so prone to.

That’s when it hit me that everything I’m doing is what I’ve always done. Even though there are plenty of things about myself that I consider evidence of my evolution, or at least my emotional growth, there’s many more that prove positively that I am who I always was and I always will be. I knew that I had a case for the possibility of no linear time. All I ever really need are possibilities. It’s the possibilities that define us spiritually. History will continue to repeat itself and time will fold in on itself over and over again.

If we ask ourselves “What is the universe trying to tell me?” will we get answers, or just a clearer picture of the questions that never get answered??

Thank you cyber boyfriends for loving my mind without knowing my body. For giving value to my thoughts and the words that describe them. By sharing and understanding and encouraging and just being, you have opened the door to a new layer of creativity. 

Three years ago I decided the internet was my new religion. I’ve changed religions at least twice since then. I’m determined to live the rest of my life in complete and total uncertainty. There was a time when I had forgotten how good that feels.

So thanks to A and Z and a whole lotta letters in between I am able to enjoy the freefall of life in the real world with no magic net to catch me. I’ll always love you guys...............


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gay Boyfriends and other Dynamics

I’ve heard other women talk about their relationships with gay men and it seems to be pretty universally agreed that a gay man is a great companion and a much safer long term commitment than a straight guy. I think we each have our own reasons for finding comfort in our gay boyfriends lives. I mean the obvious is obvious. We have the one thing in common with gay men that straight men will never get. Boy problems!

Of course it’s more complicated than that. It’s not just about the girl talk without the competition. It’s not just that they are safe because there’s no sexual tension in the air. It’s more like they really get the female perspective. They really give a shit about how we think and feel. It’s a very intimate thing. I tell my gay boyfriend things I would never tell a woman. I feel like they understand both the male and female point of view. Also my gay boyfriend has been with his partner longer than me or any of my girlfriends has been able to stay with a guy. So who would you go to for advice?

I was talking with a friend who has a gay son. She has such a great time visiting with him and sharing his life when she can. We were talking about a recent visit she had with him and it dawned on me how perfectly wonderful her relationship with him must be. I thought, “If I could combine the love I have for my son and the love I have for my gay boyfriend, it would be better than Christmas”. I told her I got a glimpse of that and I was jealous. What could be more pure?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

All you need is love.......

They were very different times and there is no reason for regrets. Of course we can never go back, but it's fun to revisit. It was a much larger world before computers and cell phones. It was a much freer social climate before AIDS or hand sanitizer or bottled water. It was a much more adventurous time. Much of what we were doing might have been dangerous, but we were unaware of danger. I doubt if either of my children have ever drunk water from a garden hose or camped behind a country club and snuck into the pool at night. They have their own adventures I'm sure. But I wouldn't trade mine for anything.

Dumb Jocks and Cheap Wine (not so dumb after all)

I dated a in high school jock for a very short time. I was a good friend of his cheerleader girlfriend and I now believe this is why he asked me out. No so much to hurt her as to experience the part of me that was like her. He came off as a very physical guy with not so much going on intellectually. But he had real discipline and persistence and was a real class act in fact. Not as dumb as he looked is an understatement. He didn’t impress with words. He did it with action.

He was very charming and polite. He treated me like I was a delicate flower. he was someone who would have been willing to lead while I followed. This meant the relationship was doomed before it began of course, but  I really enjoyed his company and attention for the short while we dated.

I drove his car one day when he was going to the Atlanta Brave’s stadium for baseball practice. It didn’t matter to him that I had no drivers license or that the seat couldn’t be adjusted so I could comfortably reach the pedals. He trusted me to take his car and do what I wanted until it was time to pick him up a few hours later. I was his girl. I got his keys. I ran several red lights that day.

He bought me a case of strawberry wine when I was house sitting for my older sister. I didn’t know you could buy that much wine retail. It was an impressive showing of affection. He made me feel like he wanted to impress me. Most of the guys I knew weren’t like that. It was the 70s. We were practically adults. But this guy was like the little boy in the school yard trying to impress the girl with the pig tails. Gosh, I hope he’s still like that.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Danny and Ralph

For some reason I’ve been thinking about Danny and Ralph. Oh maybe it’s because I’ve been talking with Ralph’s little sister on Face Book a lot. That and the fact that I started this blog about relationships and how intense they can be through snapshots like the essays and poetry on this blog.

I never slept with Danny or Ralph, but I believed that they loved me at one time. Each in their own way. I know they found me attractive in a sexual way, but I believed and still do that it was more than that. Strangely I also have a “little girl” portion of me that blames them for not taking care of me. They were the big brothers I never had. They were the guys who took me places when we skipped school. They were my ticket out of being too young to drive. They were who I felt safe being reckless with.

Danny asked me to go with him to South America and start a worm farm. I told him I would. I figured he was kidding, but I would have gone if he wanted me to. It was strange. It was kind of like he was waiting for me to make a move, but he was older and the boy. This became a bit of a running theme for me in relationships. Somehow I find myself leading when I would like to follow, but I know that in some way I prevent my partner from leading. Probably mostly because I refuse to follow. So Danny never came through on the worm farm business and there’s one adventure I managed to miss.

Poetry by Chel

Chel is the best second best friend in the whole wide world. We lost touch with each other for nearly thirty years. We have a lot of catching up to do. This is as good a place as any.  :P

The flowers have bloomed since I last saw you.
Seems many seasons have come and gone, one passing into the next.
But there was a time, oh yes, there was.......
When love was new, like the first breath of spring.
Your smile then, is brazened in my mind and I can recall it as if it was new...



One blue, one brown eye staring longingly at me.
Wishing for a drive, a walk on the beach.
Patient, waiting, waiting.
Never complaining...
My protector, standing guard like a sentry.
Content with the simple things in life.
Always there to listen, accepting who I was without judgement.
He was a part of "you".
The only part I was allowed to have......

We were at peace then.
Me and woman's "best" friend.


Lost for years, living separate lives.
Somewhere hearts are still connected-DESTINY.
Finding a way home...
Through the cloudiness of reality.
To a place where you belong-REALLY your heart!


Miracle in Seattle

Their lives came together, but for a short time...moments....

But they knew.

Was it a special look? A gentle smile?
A longing deep inside both of them that could no longer be denied?

A that time nor distance can erase.

Minutes burned through telephone lines......

Longing, longing......for change, for reassurance, for a fantasy fulfilled.

Is D.C. the answer?


Driving home tonight I was amazed at how synchronized the music playing on the radio was with the road and the driving conditions. Then I realized how few beans I ate in comparison to how full I felt. I allowed myself to daydream about those years so long ago. I thought about how people would remember my first boyfriend, a surfer named Clyde (really). I wondered what would be different about my memories of him compared to how others might remember him. He was so fun and so funny. Everyone loved him, not just me.

He was tall and lanky and blond and blue eyed. He was almost a caricature of an American surfer. He had big feet and knobby knees. He had long arms. He had a smile so big it was almost too big for his face. He was the kind of boy that had a twinkle in his eye and everybody liked him; loved him really. I already said that. Sometimes I can picture him so clearly I can practically feel him. Other times my memory fades and I wish I could get a closer look.

But a closer look is really what this is all about. That is really what defines lovers. That is what intimacy is all about. It's about wanting to see someone really close up and wanting them to see you close up too. Everyone knew that Clyde had pretty blue eyes with a sly twinkle. But I was lucky enough to see those twinkly eyes really close up. I can tell you that up close those eyes were magnificent. They contained a kaleidoscopic view of every shade of blue you have ever seen or imagined. If you looked even closer you could see that they have flicks of gold that reflected beams of light right back at you. The colors in those eyes were layered and blended and seemed to change while you were looking at them as they captured the light from whatever source was available. And if you fall into those eyes and allow yourself to block out everything else in the entire world (which I am pleased to now say I did allow myself to do) you will see a million zillion stars deep in those bright and twinkling eyes. When you've seen that, then everything makes sense. Even if only for a moment. It is a moment of such clarity it feels timeless.  

I think that even if I never feel that way again, I'm damn lucky to have had that experience. I really don't feel like I've lost a thing. That moment in time will be with me forever. I don't doubt there are some who never have a moment like that. I had several of those moments; years of moments in fact.


I woke up in the back of the van, alone. It was hot. I leaned up on one arm and looked out the windshield to see where I was. Tommy must be surfing. I wiggle into my brown crocheted bikini and pull my hair back into a pony tail. "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” is in the tape deck and I wonder if this is what I want to listen to right now. I’m thinking I might want to smoke a joint and listen to some Pink Floyd, but it’s really not important.

As I navigate my way up to the front seat the beach catches my attention. The waves are small but perfectly formed. There are maybe five or six surfers in the water. The sun is at their backs and it feels like there is nothing else in the world but this small stretch of beach and the ocean and the sky. When I swing my legs around I look out the passenger window and see the dead surfboard stuck to the tree. I think it was Robo’s board that he got pissed off at a week or two ago and slammed it up against the tree. A branch from the tree stuck through the board and the board has been a part of the tree ever since. Someone spray painted it with the words “Locals Only”. There’s really not much need for a sign. Once in a blue moon some out of town surfer might show up here but it’s rare.

Private beaches are a perversion actually. The beach should be free and open to all. It’s a nice theory anyway. Sadly if beaches aren’t maintained and monitored and policed to some degree they are often abused. It seemed sad when the parks were closed at night. The county passed an ordinance that all public parks would be closed from sundown to sunrise every day. It sure changed our lifestyle. Of course our lifestyle is the reason for the ordinance. Because of our parties and consumption of illegal substances at our parties your picnic or nature walk or shell gathering must end before the sun sets. It’s funny, we didn’t like being controlled by law enforcement and government, but when I look back on it, it was us controlling them to a large degree. No matter what you give a living creature all he wants is freedom. It took a long time for me to learn this. I certainly didn’t know it in 1971 while sliding out of the van and down to the shore to coax the boys in so we could get breakfast somewhere.