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All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
I think at times it’s amazing how far I might go to avoid remembering the past.
I mean why not? I’m the one you’ve seen a million times pontificate on the Zen perfection of living in the moment right? The past no longer exists, the future, not yet written.
That was me. It has been me; it’s what I strive for with all my heart.
Yet some circumstances present the difficulty of the present being the reality to be reckoned with.
The heart, it seems, can be far more complex than simple reason.
I met two amazing men this weekend on a trip to Atlanta. The more I got to know them, the more I liked them.
Forget for a minute that this is something that to a certain extent always happens with someone who gives you gifts and attentions so intimate, this was something deeper.
They resonated with me on a level I found hard to put my finger on at first, something deep and extremely comforting.
I put some leather on at their request at some time during the evening. As we sat there I said it had been a really long time since I had worn leather. It wasn’t “me” anymore.
I looked in the mirror and I realized that I really looked very good.
Then something else happened.
I probably didn’t react at the moment, but I was in leather, with two other leathermen who were my age.
I remembered the adage there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed.
So it seems.
I have dealt with most of the past in a Zen-like manner. There is one memory that eludes giving me peace.
Most of the people in my leather tribe, men my age who were my mentors and cohorts, are dead.
I am friends with people who are younger than me, older than me, but very seldom people who are the same age.
AIDS saw to that.
I very seldom complain about it, I love my friends very much and it seems to smack of ingratitude to wish I had more my age, who shared common memories and cultural references.
As if wishing made it so.
After a scene later, the endorphins were rushing. Zen-like thought has a trap door I found in my mental state.
I wondered what life would have been like if they were still alive today. I wondered how much more rich my life would be with men as amazing as these two I had found, like the men that I had known my whole life. People that were woven into the fabric of my own life, people who shared my common experience at such a deep level.
My friends that were lost in the 80’s would be at the full potential of their lives by now. While some undoubtedly would have fallen by the wayside over the years, I’d imagine based on my memories of them, memories I have long tried to suppress so desperately, some of them would have been dazzling.
I think I don’t wear leather anymore because at some level I think what it represented for me what was lost, lost with my tribesman.
Once, as a younger man, I had everything I ever wanted in one place.
Now I am like a wandering tribesman, I find islands in the stream that so strongly remind me of the joy I knew as a Leatherman so many, many years ago.
Like these two wonderful men.
I think my mentors would be proud of me these days. I think and strongly believe I have lived up to the expectations they had when I was younger.
Save one; I think they would have frowned on my putting my leathers away completely.
This was a mistake.
Some memories it seems, are not meant to be buried because our friends were.
Some memories and what they represent should be embraced and not forgotten.
Because even today at a deep level, even though I wander, I am not lost.
I embody what they held dear, even if they are not here in person to tell me so.
- Current Mood: contemplative
Note: Let's leave the year on an up note, shall we?
I find shredding rather cathartic.
Resolutions? Not so much.
Shredding? I am all about the shredding.
The physical act of destroying the past.
Yearly cleaning in anticipation of what tomorrow could leave us if we make room in the filing cabinet, or on the shelves.
A bad decision in the form of a loan? Grr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rr.
Past mistakes detailed in a 2000 tax return? Grr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rr.
Old relationships still showing on old credit card statements? Grr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rr.
Of course we should have destroyed it long ago, but the paper trail? The government says we have to hold onto it for 7 years.
A 2000 tax return. Grr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rr.
Maybe that’s just as well. I look back on these memories and their last stand in reality and realize the further back things are in the rear view mirror, the more I realize they were never as colossal as I thought they were when they were happening.
1999’s bank statements. Grr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rr.
There are probably about 50 million things I wished I hadn’t done, as if wishing made it so. A poorly thought out remark, a bad decision, and opportunities squandered, I think the list could be endless, if we chose to make it so.
2001, the closing statement of selling the apartment building. Grr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rr.
I think the only things I was required to keep were the things the government said I had to, and the things I chose to. I have found that in life I can tell a lot about a person by the things they choose to hang onto.
2002 Pre-work paper for buying the business. Grr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rr.
I choose to carry forward the love I have received and given. Love from my family, from my partner, from my friends. The rest demands shredding, since the past no longer exists, why choose to clutter up what little space we have?
We only exist in the day we are currently in. The rest is what we choose.
Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery and today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present.
Be well, and nothing but the best for all of you in 2010.
- Current Mood: hopeful
He wanted to bury the story so he doesn't have to deal with it.
So if you are so inclined you could use your wrists for something other than self-gratification :)
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Young and Kinky, edited by Matt Johnson aka Bad Faggot
We're the present and future of a network of communities which are growing by leaps and bounds but which nonetheless feel marginalized and threatened. We're either hailed as saviors of a sexual culture or framed as a problem that culture is forced to confront in order to survive. We're often talked about in the abstract but only rarely are our individual voices setting the terms of the conversation. This book means to shift that balance.
Young and Kinky (working title) is an anthology of short nonfiction by people under age 40 who are participants in leather, BDSM, fetish, kink or related communities. This collection defines “community” as broadly as possible: from educational events to sex parties, from book clubs to social networking sites, from erotic businesses to charitable organizations.
Possible topics for inclusion:
-- coming out narratives: finding communities, finding other young kinksters
-- forming our own groups: TNG, boys/girls of leather
-- integrating into existing groups: how to do it successfully
-- bars, clubs, contests: are kink institutions still relevant?
-- the generation gap: relating to our elders and our history
-- youth leadership in kink communities
-- where we live: physical and virtual gathering places
-- what we do: is our kink different?
-- naming: what do we call ourselves and why?
-- why now? are there more of us than there used to be?
-- is age just a number? when are we no longer “young”?
-- talking across divisions of gender and sexual preference
-- does young equal submissive?
-- social bias (racism, sexism, ageism, biphobia, transphobia) in the scene
-- out in the world: kinky at work, with family, friends, and children, in other communities
Contributions should range from 1000 to 5000 words in length. Please no fiction, porn/erotica, or poetry. This is a nonfiction volume reflecting our lived experiences as younger kinky people of all genders and orientations. Contributions from women, transfolk, and kinky folk of color are particularly encouraged.
Please submit a summary (no more than 3 paragraphs) plus a brief contributor bio no later than June 30, 2009. Initial submission of full articles should be no later than December 31, 2009. Electronic submissions strongly preferred.
PLEASE REDISTRIBUTE WIDELY
Oh and because your milkshake didn't bring all the boys to the yard.
I COULD teach you.....
But I'd have to charge.....
- Current Mood: annoyed
Dr Brad Harrub, PhD. is going to speak at the church around the corner and at Lindenwood University on....
wait for it....
The Truth about Origins
- Marvel! As he exposes how Darwin was wrong!
- Gasp! As he battles evolutionary hoaxes!
- Swoon! As he rats out atheism's attack on America! (I guess they won in other countries?)
- Rapture! As he blurts out how the bible is MORE than just a good book!
Isn't there some group I can invite to mop up this asswipe at his seminar? As someone involved and who loves science, I just cannot abide someone talking about how the Earth is no older than 6000 years old and how that asshat has proof that a fossilized fishing reel was found in Tennessee (I shit you not)
Send help! We are being invaded by creationist cretins!
- Current Mood: indescribable
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another
Later still I actually heard the words of a man from Alabama that, while beautifully spoken, seemed to upset people more than settle them, I was too young and I didn't understand the meaning;
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I took history as a boy and had to learn these words, but didn't understand their meaning;
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
To graduate high school, I had to learn these words, while I loosely understood their interaction, like so many I didn't understand their meaning;
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity....
Several months ago, there was a new set of words, only 14 of them, that made me understand all the rest of them with crystal clarity;
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
It wasn't about how I felt about marriage. I really don't believe it is about marriage at all.
It is about a fight as old as this country, a fight that started before America and why it was founded.
It is about a tyrannical majority forcing it views on a specified group of people.
It is about the struggles of a repressed group trying to find equality in a country that would deny the the basic rights to which they are entitled because of their sex, the color of their skin or who they choose to love.
It seems "self-evident" that these struggles never needed occur, yet they all have.
Today, in a courtroom, far away in California, people will struggle to help you and me and others find that same meaning.
This will not be the last battle in this fight, but I pray it becomes the beginning of the last.
Like so many before me, I sit, I hope and I pray in silence, and honestly, sometimes in fear, that their words find their way towards freeing me.
I live in hope their words have meaning.
- Current Mood: contemplative
That being said, it is seriously time we reevaluated how it is run at the high school level.
A Kentucky football coach is being arraigned today on reckless homicide charges for the death of 15 year old Max Gilpin.
The community is rallying around the coach.
They shouldn't be.
They should be contemplating what it means to win, what price are they truly willing to pay as a community.
High school football has become a religion in some states, particularly southern states.
In Texas and Alabama, it can get you beat up if you say the wrong thing.
Max Gilpin's internal body temperature raised to 107 degrees when playing in 94 degree heat in full gear. Just moments earlier, another player went down. The coaches allegedly did nothing to hydrate the boys, and took 15 minutes to call for medical assistance.
His father had been present at the practice and heard the coach was denying them water and had begun the practice earlier as "punishment" for the team.
3 days later, Max was dead.
What exactly is the justification for working 15-18 year old boys in fulll gear in 90+ degree heat?
Is it winning? Really? 24 other high school boys have given their lives in similar circumtances in the last 10 years.
How bad do we need to win a football game? At high school isn't it supposed to be about learning and not winning?
But their are scouts, money and reputations to be maintained right? So kids be damned, full speed ahead.
I am sure there are many responsible, reasonable and balanced coaches out there who know the heat and winning is not worth the risk of even a single child's life.
Then there are the others. For too long we have turn our heads and looked to the season playoffs.
The ends justified the means.
This needs to end.
David Stintson deserves to go to prison. His reckless disregard for his players and desire to win resulted in the death of a 15 year old boy.
He knew better and so do we. Instead of support rallies, they citizens of that Kentucky town need to meditate on their motivations.
I'm sure the coach is sorry now. Now is not the time he should have been sorry, he should have been sorry when he said "I'm sorry boys, we need to take this inside I can't justify risking your health for a win".
Parents need to quit looking away, the road to victory should not be littered with the bodies of children driven by the egos of adults.
Look for the signs.
Enough is enough.
- Current Mood: disappointed