courage

When Heroes Become Villains

 

There’s a place some go. A place I’ve gone, and it’s a place of nightmares. Where you can’t trust the person to wake you up. What if the person who wakes you up from the dreams of monsters, turns out to be the monster themself?

You’ve seen the picture of innocence. Of child-like faith. Not just in God, or blue skies, but in family. Your grandfather is this smelly old guy who teaches you how to play an instrument and makes funny jokes. Your uncle is the greatest person in the world. Your other grandpa comes around and fixes what needs fixed. He throws you in the air and plays games. They are heroes. Superheroes who do no wrong.

And then one person changes that. Family has no meaning. The veil of innocence is gone and you see threats. If this one person, who swore to protect me, is capable of this, then what of them? And you start to see secrets. And secrets are scary. Because secrets live in the dark, and there are always more where those came from.

People get angry when you’re too frightened to be alone with them. As much as you’d love to say you trust them, you can’t, because you know they are just as capable of untold horrors. Family means nothing. “Love” loses it’s touch.

I don’t know if it’s something that can be changed. I’m certain I’m missing out on knowing some great people.  I wish I could trust, especially in family, and trust in “love.”

What I want in life is to fix the world, even if I can’t fix me. I want to see a few people hurt less because of something I know. Because of something I can say, or because of something I can do.

I don’t pray well. Its a thing forgotten often until I break and start shouting blubbering curses to the man upstairs. But when I do, I pray my daughter keeps her heroes. I pray this for every child. I pray this for the child I was.

I hope at some point I can see past the villains, and start seeing the heroes in those I should. Hope that I will see beyond possibilities and potential for hurt. Hope I can restore to some degree that faith in humanity, and maybe restore it in someone else too.

*****

If you’ve read my posts over the past month or two, you might have gathered that there’s a specific person in my mind when I write. If you read M’Lady and Her Jester you will know the background. This post is where she is in her words. She asked me to post this. I left it unedited. She said I could comment…

M’Lady,
Perhaps you will never quite learn to trust. *sigh* The cynical old b****rd in me says trusting “humanity” is for suckers. Humanity will always let you down but, there are rare humans that you can trust…and they will sometimes let you down, too. You are trying, though. You are searching for a way to find what was stolen from you. You are willing to face your fears. You are willing to accept that not every person is a person that hurt you. That you are willing, in spite of your fears and your past, gives me hope that you will succeed. It will take time. It will be hard.
M’Lady, you reached out to me. You took my trust and, however far from you, my love. You tried to run from those and, when it came to accept or reject, choose to accept, no matter how those scared you. I know you are not confident that you will ever be “healed” but, for now, on this part of our path, trust my confidence in you. There will be days, in some distant future, where fear will come back but, by then, you will know it for what it is and it won’t harm you.

I know it isn’t much but, here’s the hand of a friend to walk your path with you. *offers hand*

With love,
M’Lady’s Jester

When Words Fail…

…what do you say?

When “I wish I could take your hurt away” is inadequate?

When “you’ll be fine” rings hollow?

When silence doesn’t feel like an answer?

I don’t know how to fix things.

I can not undo what happened.

I can promise that the only thing that has changed between us is that, I care more for you because you are taking more of my emotional energy…

…and that is a gift freely given…

I do know that you have been told you are beautiful but, I don’t know if they were talking about what I am, your heart and soul. There is no part of you that is, to me, damaged. You were and always will be beautiful.

This is my hand. Take it for as long as you need.

Don’t Use Those Words Again, Please

Ok, I’m having one of those moments when I need to say something in public to random strangers…I need to make sure that, by saying in public what I would say in private, that my words are not so easily dismissed.

I have a friend that I’ve written a few blogs for or about. I have no need to lie to her or pander to her whims. There is zero monetary or personal gain for me from telling her things just to make her feel better and, besides, that isn’t me. I have told her things I am SURE she didn’t want to hear. So, when I compliment, it is the absolute truth…well, there is my own bias which could, perhaps, color my subjectivity…

So, let’s begin. Do you do things that concern me? Yes and we’ve talked about them at length so, there’s no need here. Are you perfect?

Are you perfect? Nope, but, not one single human is. Yes, you are able to be opinionated and angry at times…just like every other human on the planet…

Now, for the reason, I’m writing. You say things that I wish you wouldn’t. You describe yourself with words that make me sad. I’m not a sad person by nature so, when I am, there’s a good cause…

Lately, you have used the words “slut”, “whore”, “easy lay”, and “fat” as descriptions of yourself.

*sigh*

I don’t know how to convince you that you are not correct. You are just not correct.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying sex. Period. That you do doesn’t make you an object. It makes you human. Those first three descriptors are words that make me think that you think of yourself as an object, an item to be used and discarded. You are not. End of story.

You are also not “fat” or any other negative. You do exercise. You swim, run, and row. You are in good physical shape. You might argue that you could be in better shape. So could everyone. I’m thin as a rail because of an accident of genetics, not because of anything I actively do.

Maybe you believe my rebuttals to your words or maybe this will make my point better…

*remember the part about no free compliments, remember those words when you read these*

You know I never had kids and you don’t fill that spot in my world, for two reasons. First, because being called “daughter” has bad connotations to you. Second, because you aren’t in that spot. You are a trusted and loved friend. Having said that, if you were my daughter, I couldn’t be prouder of you.

Do you realize what you’ve done?

You were smart enough and brave enough to leave an abusive relationship at a great cost to yourself. You have realized you made some mistakes and are taking steps to quit them forever. You see and confront your demons every day and push them farther back into their cage. You have not judged ME for what I’ve done, let me share my demons with you, and helped me face mine while dealing with your own. You have become, without intent, one of the people I trust…and you know how rarely I give that.

Those words that you use about yourself, please don’t. Those mistakes you think define you, you aren’t them. You are defined by your triumphs…not your defeats.

When the haters and the voices judge you, remember my words, not theirs…My words will tell you that you do have worth. They will say that the PERSON you are is valuable. That your soul is untarnished. That you are needed for something that isn’t tangible, your mind. That the world is a better place for having you in it. That, just by existing, you make me smile.

My words will tell you that you do have worth. They will say that the PERSON you are is valuable. That your soul is untarnished. That you are needed for something that isn’t tangible, your mind. That the world is a better place for having you in it. That, just by existing, you make me smile.

Like I said up there,those words you said about yourself,  please never use them again. You are not them. Not before, not now, not ever. I may not be objective but, you earned my subjective view.

I may not be objective but, you earned my subjective view. To me, you’re irreplaceable.

 

Respect and Dignity…

*sigh*
I’ve been writing FOR Pagans lately. My posts seem, to me, to be harshly critical of “my faith”…or could be perceived that way. I need to clarify. I AM Christian. I love Christianity and the “words in red”, meaning HIS words. My disputes and disagreements aren’t with the Faith, it’s with the way SOME, not all, Christians practice and express it…

My own life and path have not been perfect, far from it…

I have been Christian, then atheist and addict, then “Fundie” Christian, and now Heretic Christian. I’ve wandered around trying to figure out where it all went together…and still do. My Faith is a big part of my life and world view. It is something that I spend a large portion of my mental time, when the stuff that involves work, life, and wife, allow me to think. Last thing before I sleep I’m thinking about it and first when I wake up. Quiet moments in my day and driving are filled with thinking about it…and where I fit into it…

*sigh*

Instinctively I seek the middle ground. My life as an addict was not one of “moderation”. Now it is. I am distrustful of strong emotionalism. I am suspicious of faith that is based on ecstasy. I also distrust faith that says, “if you’re not one of us, you MUST be against us”. Again, that does not make me anti-Christian but anti-extremist. I become concerned with harsh judgmentalism and wonder if those that carry that belief are not more self-centered than faithful…and I know that I am guilty of that, too. I AM self-centered, petty, jealous, rude, mean-spirited, and harsh. I am fully capable of all the things I try to write against, no matter how hard I try to keep from being them.

Respect is earned by being given. It is a truth of life that we get what we give. Kindness begets kindness. Respect for someone’s faith gains respect for our own. Treating people with dignity returns that to us…

There HAS to be a middle way. I am not, and will never be, Pagan but, there are parts of that path that I understand. I do not know the rituals and magics. I don’t want to know, not my business. I do know that the traditions of herbalism and lore were also an accepted part of Christianity. I know that we, Christians, also seek insight into the mind of God through prayer. There is no direct Pagan analog but, there is seeking understanding of the supernatural. We claim that their faith is “made up” or “fiction” yet, theirs predates ours.

*sigh*

I know a bunch of Pagans. That was an accident. I didn’t seek to know ANY. They are just people. They are just as imperfect as anyone…Of course, I accidentally know a bunch of Christians and we are an imperfect set, too…

Why do we think, as a general question, that our specific beliefs give an exclusive lock on morality? What makes us so presumptuous as to believe that our way is the ONLY way and every other one is wrong? Again, middle ground, I have been mistaken. I do NOT know everything and have no particular insight into the minds of others and no way of knowing the inner workings of the mind of God…”but, Miller, the Bible says…” Yes, it does, and we don’t speak the language it was written in, some words do not directly translate, and are we sure that the translators did not have their own agenda? Not to mention that I am SURE that Jesus spoke more words than were written down. Who knows what else He said?

I’m looking for a modus vivendi, a way of living that includes rather than excludes. I want faith to be respected. Yes, specifically, Christians and Pagans finding mutual respect and peace are the end goals.

I write these to both Pagans and Christians…

*sigh*

…even though it seems that few Christians read these. I had to learn because I was faced with a human that isn’t Christian and, yet, she  is someone I love and respect. It is my hope that we can find a way to interact that allows both paths to flourish. I want MY beliefs to be treated, by Pagans, the same way I want theirs to be respected by us…

They are not a bunch of “damned heathen Pagans with their silly made-up, comic book, magick, and divinations”. They are Witches. We are Christians. They do practice magic and divination. We pray. They are not “damned” any more than we are. They are merely different…and that adds color to our world.

*****

My reasons ARE selfish. I want respect for my beliefs. I want respect for my best friend’s. More importantly than the respect, I am proud and protective of her. I want for her to not have to hide or be cautious. Just as I am able to say, “I’m Christian” and not expect any repercussions, I want her to be able to say “I’m a Witch” and not worry about her job or safety. I have found that HER community is more accepting of my belief than mine is of hers. I see the wrongness in that because her’s are the older set and we are the upstart.

Changing the World isn’t easy. It happens one person at a time…7 billion times. I do not expect to finish the task in my life…nor do I have any reason to suspect it’ll ever be done…I do have to try, though. I have my words. I have my prayers. I have a friend that walks along side that gave me hope that change could happen, it did in me.

Respect and dignity are not too much to ask…

 

D**n Confusing Woman…or, An Old Comfortable Pair of Jeans…

I have a friend. *grins* I really have several but, this is about one. She easily GIVES praise, when she thinks it’s deserved and will argue you into the ground to make you see it in yourself but, she REFUSES to see it in herself. Allow me to quote her…

“Sometimes I have to step back. I do not see in myself these things you write about me. I am just being me. I live my life the best way I can and do my best to always be kind and caring. I have my human moments but I ground myself and remember that every thing and every person has a purpose. I may not always know what that purpose is, but I am certain that there is one. With me just being me, I am at times taken aback when I realize these words are about me.”

Yes, you are human. I used the phrase, “In truth, she can be a stone b***h and highly opinionated”. You are entirely capable of being petty and spiteful. You are able to “beat me up” over a misphrased idea. Some days all I want to say is, “give me a break”. So what?

This was my reply to her, “… you agreed without any condition or editorial input, to be used as an example. You allow and encourage me to share details of your life, health, and faith. You, although you know me well enough to know they exist, have never set any boundaries on what is permissible to reveal. You want me to show your imperfections and failings. You have given unconditional trust to me. Do you know ANYONE else willing to do that? It’s easy to say things about ourselves. It is a far different thing to trust someone else to do that, even your best friend. See?…”

Think about that for a bit. How many of us are willing to let someone, even a trusted friend, to do that? How many are willing to, no matter the cause or end, are willing to be used as an example and have our lives shown to strangers, look at the warts and all, to show the frailties, comment on the sexuality, point out the chronic illness, use their faith, to be the Hammer?

Part of me wants to say, “okie dokie, here ya go” but…I can’t quite bring myself to…

People are confusing. We mistake being human for being perfect. We see our defects very clearly and our glories not at all. We are blind to what we do and when it is pointed out, automatically dismiss it.

So, what’s all this have to do with writing about how Christians and Pagans interact? Actually, not much…unless you figured out that it’s Aj that I’m talking about. Even then, there’s no direct reference to Paganism or Christianity…and, unless I rewrite this, won’t be…

It’s an odd thing, she likes the posts where I write about her humanity. She enjoys being The Hammer. Those aren’t fun for me. I like the “nice” posts, the ones where I get to talk about the regard I hold her in, the ones with the “hero worship” in them. The truth about her is probably someplace in the middle…

It’s kind of like an old comfortable pair of jeans, her friendship. It fits. It’s soft and comfortable. It has meaning beyond its apparent worth. When it started out it was starchy and stiff…now, even if we talk on text or chat, I hear her voice… I have a memory of a hug on a warm summer day…I know that when I need some thought, she was doing it before I knew I needed it…I didn’t want her as a friend but, as time goes on, I realize she was the friend I NEEDED…and still do.

Broken down into her parts, you might judge a bit and find the whole wanting but, the whole is what matters…and that’s the lesson. If you take people apart, you’ll always find something to dislike. Stop doing that…even to people that confuse you.

I Suppose It’s Not Over…

A little over a month ago, I thought I was done writing this blog. I naively assumed that all would be right and that, by some miracle, prejudice would go away as soon as the SCOTUS made Marriage Equality the law. I figured that people would just realize that it was time to go on with their lives and find some other way to feel victimized. I was wrong.

*sigh*

So, what happened? It seems that the people that were silently “anti” decided to speak. The churches, not every church, that specialize in castigating others felt a need to become more vocal. The politicians that need to pander to a part of their constituency that need to feel like victims protested. That state level politicians found it necessary to try to work around the Obergfell ruling. That individuals that need to fear continued with the slippery slope arguments.

So, no, I don’t get to stop. Gonna try it again…

One of the most basic of human needs is to feel safe. One of the ways we feel that is by touching an other human. Both on a physical and emotional level we need contact. We are not designed to be alone. We need an outlet and a companion. To deny that is to deny the most basic of human rights.

It is the same basic desire and need, physical and emotional contact. The gender doesn’t matter. The need for contact does. Physical touch is important. Some mental outlet and conversation keeps us sane. Companionship gives us a sense of safety.

I love my wife. We hug a lot. If I pass her end of the couch, I kiss her hand and give it a caress. Listening to her sleep keeps my nightmares at bay. I NEED my wife as much as I need air, water, food, or shelter. Why would I want to deny anyone the same thing. Again, the gender is immaterial. The contact is the important part.

Miller, “my Bible says it’s an abomination”. The Bible says 60 odd things are “abomination”…

Miller, “St Paul said…” He said a bunch of things. Among them, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself”

Jesus said,  “‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” For me, from the perspective of my faith, the words of Jesus are the trump. If there appears to be a conflict between passages, Jesus wins. Period. 

*****

So lets veer. Suppose that my arguments have not swayed you.

What would you have someone that is LBGT do? Would you have them live without contact?  Be celibate to fit your notions?  Would you have them pretend to be straight and live a lie? Expecting them to make the best of a situation that is physically and emotionally wrong for them? To live a relationship that holds no security?

The former is cruel. Prisoners in solitary go insane. We NEED contact. There are a rare few humans that can live as hermits. There are some that can live in society as individuals without a partner. Those are not the usual human condition.

The latter is a lie. That’s worse. I’d rather have a friend that lives the truth than a friend that lives a life that is a lie, pretending to fit in. I know people that have lived trying to fit in…and finally stopped. I have huge respect for the courage that took, knowing how hard it was going to be for them to finally tell people. Then the relief to them knowing that the lies have stopped.

I am an odd individual. I am not the right partner for everyone. I have no illusions on that point. Of course, everyone is the right person for the right person. My Sweety is a good fit…for me and, probably, no one else. To tell someone that they should deny themselves the chance to find their “right person” because they do not fit our notion of what is “right” is wrong. Period.

For Z or Kelly, the “right person” is a woman. So what? How does that affect anyone else? What great societal change happens when the “right woman” for a woman is a woman? It doesn’t change their ability as a parent. It doesn’t commit a crime. All it does is make some people uncomfortable…and? There’s no right to be protected from “I don’t want to see that”. Sorry, your discomfort with someone else’s relationship is not a valid reason for them to change.

*****

I get it. I really do. In my youth, I was taught that being gay was all the different wrongs I listed. I used all the rude phrases and slurs. I was insulting and rude. I believed that I held the moral high ground. I believed that being gay was a choice and a lifestyle. I was WRONG.

In my 50’s I’m a different person. My attitude towards other’s lives has changed. I realize that it is not my place to dictate to adults how they live their lives. I’ve come to learn that there are good people…and bad that are LBGT. Just like being straight gives no lock on morality.

I’ve thought and pondered and mused and decided that the only difference between being gay and straight is the act of intercourse. That the needs for contact and security are the same.

Yes, I freely admit that some Christians will say I can not be because I refuse to consign someone to Hell or question their faith because they are gay. So be it. The first person I go to for Christian Prayer is Z. She is a Christian. She says she is and I believe her. She prays for me and I for her. She is also a Lesbian. I do not believe that God is going to send her to Hell. If that makes someone think I’m a Heretic, I’ll gladly wear that title. In fact, that is how I describe my faith, Heretic Christian.

*sigh*

My bias is shaped by the people I know. Without trying to say, “look at how proud I am of myself because my friends are diverse”, I have a group of friends that do not fit the notions of “correct” that I was raised with. Some are gay. Some are Pagan. Some are gay and Pagan. So what? The point is that morality is not the exclusive province of middle-class, straight, white, Christians. Z is a Christian…and a Patriot…and a Lesbian…and one of the finest humans I know. Kelly is a Pagan…and a Patriot…and a Lesbian…and also one of the finest humans I know.

Those Ladies have shaped my bias. They are not the only ones but, here, in this context, they are ones that count. Parts of their lives conform to what I used to think a human should be. Others don’t. I admit, again, I used to dehumanize people that were gay. To my benefit, I no longer do. If I did, they would not be in my life. That would be my loss, not theirs.

The qualities of their character and their outspoken willingness to be themselves no matter what anyone else thinks. Their willingness to be examples here by giving me permission to talk about them. Their independence and ability to not judge ME based on what demographic I fit or my past.  Their loyalty and compassion. Those qualities have worth.

For me, Z was the final straw. She accepts me. She once told me, “I love you, MDIII, warts and all”. Why then should I be any different toward her? Z and Kelly are complete human beings. Their wants desires and needs are no different than mine or yours. Their humanity is no greater…or less than my own. To deny them the safety and comfort of the love that fits them, to denigrate them because that love does not fit our own comfort, does not make them less, it diminishes us.

It becomes a matter of us. Do we think that we are greater or have more worth because we are unwilling to admit that our path is not everyone’s path? That we, as fallible humans, have a lock on correctness and righteousness? The Bible says “there is none righteous, not even one”.

That’s what it ends at. We have to figure out a way to accept “different” because EVERY HUMAN is different. We have to learn that, unless we are willing to deny our own, we have to admit the humanity and dignity of all the humans. Sure, this is an attempt to persuade people to see Z and Kelly and the LBGT Community as human and having intrinsic worth. It is also, on a broader scope, an attempt to open our eyes to the idea that we are ALL human. We have to learn that lesson. We have no choice.

note to self

 

I’ve been writing this post over a period of several days. I’m leaving it “rough” because it was really intended to be a note to me. It turned into a “real” post. It is barely edited and going to stay that way. Guys, I’m beat. Tired. Worn out. These are what has come out of my head. Sure, it’s a post about people that are LBGT.  It’s also about a specific person and it’s really a post about us. How do we see people and how do we see ourselves. If we don’t find a reason to stop our fear of people that are different, we, collectively, are going to implode. We gotta find common ground, please.

*****

It starts out with the notes I was working from. It seems disjointed after that because I didn’t do any editing or try to make it completely connected…

It drifts off at the end and that’s gonna have to be enough. Thanks for reading it.

*****

more honey than vinegar…gently persuade…patience…time…less stress about people not seeing what I see…want to build a bunker with concertina wire and protect Z but, CAN NOT…Z more patient than me, gotta learn from her…hearts and minds…fight reaction to be a growling dog protecting The Muse…

*****

These are the things The Muse wants me to do. She wants me to realize that people won’t change just because the Law did. She wants me to be patient and try to change “hearts and minds” with kindness and being non-confrontational.

It’s hard for me. I do take words that are directed at other people than her as being directed at her. My instinct is to protect her from those words and perceived hurts. My desire is to shelter. Given my way, I’d be a dog, growling at everyone I thought came close to not loving her.

I know that’s not fair to her. She can defend herself. She is more than strong enough and completely capable.

She’s protecting me. She’s trying to make me understand that I don’t need the stress. That the frustration is not good for me. She’s trying to change my “heart and mind”. See why she’s such a Treasure. This is why. I write for and about her and she’s my protector, too…A couple of stories…

During May and June, we had a bunch of storms and flooding. Here, D/FW, it was particularly bad. I’m used to it, at least as much as you can ever be to Tornado Warnings. She was constantly calling and praying. One night we were talking and lost the chat because a lightning strike close by dumped my internet. I wasn’t worried. Again, I’m kind of relaxed about the whole thing. It either hits and is a total loss or it’s a miss. SHE, on the other hand, was worried as she could be. I had to phone her up and let her know everything was fine, just a lost signal…See what I mean, protecting me…

‘Nother part of me is that I tend to stress and worry about random stuff. In an absence of knowledge, my mind races along ’till it’s close to twisting outta control. Not a good trait of mine. I let myself wind up. I tend to inflict it on her and my wife. She peels me off the ceiling. Lets me rant and then reminds me to calm down. That it’ll be ok. Helps me to realize my fears and worries are unfounded…

My Protector helps me to be a better husband and person by doing something that isn’t her job. She’s not my wife or girlfriend so, it can’t be part of what one of those would have “signed-up” for. *editorial, no girlfriend for me, ever. I’m married and faithful* She allows me to use her as a safety valve. To dump MY stress on her. To relate my nightmares to her so I can be a bit saner. She prays for me every day and, usually, is praying for stuff that I didn’t realize I needed ’till it happens. My world is safer because of Z…

It’s an odd role reversal. I mean, these words and posts have been to help her and make her world a better place. They’ve been to build her up. That’s in here and out there. They’ve been to tell her that, to me, she’s a Hero. I’m sure she doesn’t think she is. I do. Thing is, she makes my world a better place. She builds me up. She never lets me get away with saying that what I’ve done *see previous posts about being an ex meth addict* is not also worthy of praise, too. I don’t quite understand but, she treats me like a hero…

So…how do we go about this? How do we change hearts and minds? Bashing people over the head is not working. That is my instinct. To pick up Z, shove her into the spotlight, and shout “how can you fools not love her?” To use her as a bludgeon. She’s right. That is not the way that’s going to make a long-term change.

*sigh*

A “pride” parade didn’t change my mind. A screaming rights activist didn’t give me reason to see the error of my ways. What did was more like the mountains being turned into sand by the gradual actions of the waves. I didn’t have some epiphany. It was a process. It took some years. Lots of baby steps and realizations. Z came along towards the end. She wasn’t the first step but, the last. She was the end of a line of people. She says “educate”. Her life is that way. She teaches by being herself. I should know, it’s how she taught me…

We were friends before I knew she wasn’t straight. Kind of an “how’s that?” moment, right? No context for it. I’m married, wasn’t when we met but, engaged. I didn’t want or need a date, girlfriend, or anything else. She was just someone I talked to sometimes. We’re both “chatty”. Ugh. So, it never really had a reason to be a topic. I was talking to a person and not a potential anything else. When she finally did let me know or I figured it out by reading between the lines, it was a bit of a shock…for about a day. Then my I realized nothing had changed. Same person was still the same person. I mean, we had been praying for each other for a couple of years and I didn’t know. She might have thought I knew? Ask her.

That’s how she “educates”. She lives her life and at some point you realize she’s a person you want in yours. Easy enough, knowing her. Because there’s no context, you don’t realize she’s not straight. Not that she’s hiding it, just no reason to come up. I thought she was a fellow Ally. Then she tells you. She is blunt. At which point you realize nothing has changed in your relationship.

She’s far better at that than I am. I want to shout at people. I want to force them to realize that she’s great. She just goes about her business and lets them figure it on their own.

Here’s another odd thing about the way she educates. Even though she doesn’t like it, she’s far more forgiving of people that dislike her on principle than they are of her. She’ll defend their right to speak against her while she’s snarling mad at them for doing it. That and even though she’ll never admit it, the comments hurt. Still, she keeps defending their right to speak if not their words…

****Break to go to work and stuff. more later******

Here’s what I’m thinking. For me, it becomes a matter of perception. I mean, what do I see when I look at someone? Do I see the part I disagree with and ignore the rest, first? Or, do I do it the other way ’round? Do I see the parts I agree with and ignore the disagree? There are things that I do that Z doesn’t. She doesn’t beat me up with them, she ignores them. Same with me, there are things she does that I can not have in my life. No matter, I just stay away from those things. Make sense, sort of?

She’s human with the same courage and fear as any other human. She’s capable of the same soaring triumphs and crushing defeats. She’s a mother, daughter, cousin and friend. She can be as soft as a cloud and harsh as sandpaper. She’s just the same as every other Mortal. Her fears and frailties keep her up at night…just like mine…Her shoulders carry me along when I want to quit. Human, no more and no less…That’s what I see and am glad for it.

Everyone is the same way. No two people fit the same mold. There are always things we wish people would change.

*****

While I’m writing this, here’s another thought. We, Americans, are constantly, me specifically, saying what we are against. Maybe we can think of what we are for. I’ve written all these words for Z. I’ve written to her, about her, and for her. My weakness is that I have to struggle against the “us against them” attitude. How do we include? How do we find common ground? How do we say, “you’re different but…so am I.”

I gotta learn that lesson. I gotta learn to not want to lash out. Me, I, need to be more gentle in the way I think and try to teach. Particularly, I gotta do that when my instinct is to protect.  A Wise Woman keeps telling me that I can do more with honey than vinegar. She’s right.

I wish I didn’t write these. More correctly, I like writing good things about Z. What I mean is I wish I didn’t think there was a need for them. I wish that we could find some middle path. That we could agree to reduce our total stress. That we could figure out a modus vivendi and learn to live in peace. I’m idealistic, I know. I keep thinking that we have the ability to set aside our perceptions and see what is really true. I know I struggle against myself with that. It is hard. I had to overcome years of conditioning and prejudice. I do not even pretend otherwise.

*sigh*

I suppose I’m just getting tired. I don’t have the energy to spare on fights that aren’t mine. It could be said that this one isn’t except that it is Z. That, to me, as long as she lives and I do, I have picked her side to be for, not against. Not because she’s a Lesbian but, because of the rest of her. I’m writing for the whole of the person that she is. I wonder if that makes sense outside of my head? That my attempt to persuade to see the whole still includes the parts and says the whole is “greater than the sum”?

Please learn from what I had to learn to do. I removed the good because I wanted to see only what I disagreed with. I based my opinion, not on fact but on my perception. My views were wrong. My excuses, in the end, only let me hang on to anger and stress and changed nothing. She says she “educates” by living her life. Please learn from mine, too. My mistakes don’t have to be repeated.

Strong Marriages and Love

You realize you guys have made me a better husband. I mean, Kelly, you know my past.You know how much I balk at the “love” stuff because I have a hard time believing it about myself. Sweety was my first love. Aj came along and kept pounding into my head that I have worth. I started to believe it. Then I started writing and realized that I couldn’t write about love and it’s worth without believing it further. As it progressed I realized that the more I said “I love Z to pieces” the more I realized MY capacity for it and that if I could do that, I HAD to have worth. Somewhere in the middle, Z stayed the focus but, the writing, although it named her, became more inclusive of specific people I know.
7:05pm
Tracking so far?
Miller Davidge III
7:08pm
Anyway, the more it spread, the better I got at it. It makes me a better husband because the more I use it, the stronger it gets for HER. Make sense? Anyway, every time you guys give me a reason for the “warm fuzzies” either because I write to you or you say nice stuff to me or because of the trust you’ve shared with me or any of the other reasons I love you guys for being yourselves, it gives me more love to give to Sweety. That and by being around strong married couples I become a better husband.

*****

This was the body of a conversation I had with Kelly. She said it should be a blog post. So, this is it…

Now for some thoughts…I think about marriage a lot. I married late, late 40’s, for the first time. Falling in love and getting married was something I thought happened to other people, never to me. As a result, being the best possible husband is important to me. I try to associate with people and couples that have the same values. That they don’t take their partner for granted or, if they’re single, have the qualities, capacity for love, honesty, and loyalty that I want around me. Because I seem to like women better than men as friends, those couples tend to be Lesbian couples and not straight. Because Z is a girl that likes girls, I am predisposed toward liking them as friends. It is easy for me to see in them the things I want in my marriage.

I assume, and could be wrong, Kelly may correct me, that because their relationship was stigmatized they tend to have an “us against the world” outlook and a greater appreciation for the gift they have in their partner. *editorial, I could be completely incorrect. For once, I didn’t ask*

Anyway, the point of this post is this… Strong couples make strong marriages. The words “gay marriage” no longer apply. Marriages are marriages. Period. Being around strong marriages strengthens mine. Watching how couples interact teaches me. It doesn’t matter to me how many wives or husbands there are as long as it equals a loving couple. I can learn from any of them.

*****

I also told Kelly I’d write it as long as I could put this on it…

“This post is for Kelly& Shelby, Denise & Beth, Z and all the others that have taught me by their example.” The best teachers are the ones that teach, not with words, but with their lives…

What If…

This is another wandering around a train of thought posts, bear with me…

What if I weren’t born a hetero, white, Christian, male? What if I were born Z? *editorial, Lesbian, white, Christian-ish, female* Would my opinion still count? What if my politics weren’t a mishmash of Conservative, Liberal, and Libertarian? Would I have a valid point when I voted? Would God hear my voice? Would you discount my view as being self-serving? When I admit my bias toward Z, do you think I’ve fallen for an “agenda”? When I bash my coreligionists, is it your thought that I’m waging a “War on Christianity” or leading to the “decline in morals” in the USA?

Here’s the thing, our views are self-serving. Our world view fits our ideal and not reality. The expression “in a perfect world…” is really how we think things ought to be. That’s a huge problem when the truth smacks us in the face…

The world, by that I mean “my world” is a messy place. It’s full of adapted views, hypocrisy, conflicting politics, built in bias, and a host of failings and mistakes. I’m not always “nice”. I can be profane, callous, and rude. I have to self-edit so I’m not judgmental. I am, mostly, apathetic toward the world at large. *editorial, sorry, I just am*

I’ve learned that I am able to be wrong and survive. I’ve changed views to accommodate personal bias. I’ve come to the conclusion that things are not even close to being as black and white as I would have them…

*deep breath*

So…where does that leave us?

Truth be told, I do what I’m speaking against. This blog, every post, has been “in a perfect world…”

I’m asking something that is hard. I’m asking you to change your views. *sigh* I’m trying to get you to think, “what if I were wrong?” “What if I were the one I dislike?” “What if I were on the receiving end of MY prejudices?” “What if people called me what I call them?”

*sigh*

I’m trying to get you to think, “what if I were wrong?” “What if I were the one I dislike?” “What if I were on the receiving end of MY prejudices?” “What if people called me what I call them?” “How would I react if someone told me I DESERVED to be treated like I treat them and I am supposed to accept it as the nature of things?” “What if I was told I was worthless because I was different?”

I freely admit my bias. I am Pro-Z. Sure, there are things about her SHE would change. I can not think of one I would. I will say it again, if she weren’t worth the effort, I would not write. I’d have lost interest a year ago or more. I AM NOT a “social justice warrior”. I just don’t care that much. The problem is *insert hypocritical view* I have to try to persuade you to see her as a human. I have to try to convince you to see a stranger as a person. If you don’t see her, perhaps, you see someone else. To change Z’s world, I mean to change the world for people I don’t know, too.

That’s the entire point. It is personal. There are more than just LBGT’s. “LBGT” is a demographic made of individuals. If it were as simple as just a string of letters being affected and not discreet humans, it wouldn’t be a problem. Letters don’t care. Letters can be erased, re-written, or ignored. People can not.

I’m asking the hardest thing. I’m asking you to see a “them” as “me”.

*****

I will always be on Z’s side. It is bias that will not change. I am not writing this for LBGT Rights or a Gay Agenda. I am writing for her. Every post has her at the top of my mind…I suppose, though, if you are one of those letters, I’m writing it for you, too.

Finally, I write these for me. I write to remind myself that I have changed and will continue. I write because I have a friend that deserves protection and a voice. I write because I need to.

Addendum to “I’m an Opinionated Jerk”

You want to judge people? Please do. Judge me. Judge Z. Do it based on my views. Do it based on my attitudes. Do it for any damn reason you please. It’s no biggie. I probably don’t like you, either. Do it because I’m straight and the person I write for isn’t. Do it because I wouldn’t trade the one of her for the all of you. Do it because I’m an ex-addict. Any reason you please is fine with me.

Just don’t blame the problems of the world on either of us. We didn’t cause floods or earthquakes. We are not what’s wrong with this country. The world isn’t going to end because I want Z to find a good woman to spend her life with and know she’s out there. Your children’s problems are not caused by Z. Your Christian faith is not under attack by either of us…in fact, we’re both Christians. Deal with it.

I hope you do judge us. I hope you find fault. We aren’t perfect. We’re humans trying to muddle through as best as we can. We’ll live. We’re used to it. Just realize, you aren’t perfect. either. Go figure.