“All that a guru can tell you is:
‘My dear Sir, you are quite mistaken about yourself.
You are not the person you take yourself to be.’”
So I’ll be 45 on Sunday- and I’m kinda freaking out.
Not to worry, it’s the good kind.
Frankly, I never expected to live this long. Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted to be here. I’ve just done so many things to my life that should have ended in complete and utter disaster that I’m finding the event of my 45th birthday a bit surreal. I’ve survived serious illnesses, drug abuse, major depression, bad relationships, treating friends like shit, treating myself like shit, spiritual desolation and disappointments (to myself and others) too numerous to mention. I’ve poisoned my body, mind and heart. I’ve alienated people, let down colleagues and clients professionally and worked very hard to isolate myself out of embarrassment, shame and fear.
It didn’t work.
Today, I have a loving family who support me, a partner who brings me joy daily, friends who humble me with their love and support, work that’s fulfilling, and kids and dogs who love me without question. Despite everything I did to prevent it, my life is fantastic- and I can’t really explain it all. The only thing I know is that life is unstoppable, especially when it’s appreciated. And I’ve worked hard at that.
So I’ll continue to accept it and to live it. Gratefully. Every day. Maybe even for another 45 years….
And for all of you who’ve enriched my life by allowing me to be part of yours, thank you. I couldn’t have imagined it any better.
…at Crate And Barrel’s Ultimate Wedding contest. They received a $7500.00 Crate And Barrel gift card.
Throughout this whole process they were classy- activistic in that non-asshole kind of way that made me proud to be a part of the whole thing. They drew attention to the reality of love equality and they did it by simply telling their story.
Now it’s up to the rest of us to do it, too. To just firmly, honestly and gently tell our stories.
Go to, people.
This weekend, Ken and I will be attending our third Rising Hope Retreat for HIV+ persons and their “partners” (widely interpreted as caregivers, sibling, parent, husband, wife, best friend, son, daughter, etc). To my knowledge, no other state does such a thing, and that’s too bad. It’s an incredible experience of witnessing relationships, gay and straight, and sharing the struggle to create and maintain relationships with other human beings in the face of HIV.
Ken and I are a sero-discordant couple: I’m Positive and he’s Not. Many of the HIV-related functions/causes we attend don’t recognize or even ask the question. In fact, Ken has said “I think people just assume I’m positive. That’s okay.”
Except that it’s not.
Recognition that HIV doesn’t have to be spread in a relationship is important. In fact, it’s probably one of the best sources of inspiration for others to have sex safely and responsibly; to create and maintain relationships that are life-giving and fulfilling despite serious issues, possible consequences and obstacles- not to mention HIV.
It can be done. It is being done. And Montana’s in the forefront of recognizing that. Who knew?
“Impermanence is what makes transformation possible.
Thanks to impermanence,
we can change suffering into joy.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh
Today was exactly what I needed, which is great, because it’s exactly what I got. Funny how those things happen…
I’ve been stressing about life and the future and how it’s all going to play out or how it might play out and whether or not I can do anything to affect the outcome or whether I should be doing anything at all to make this go in any particular direction and how I want to live and where and whether I get to work and where does Ken’s career and mine diverge/converge quack quack quack….
Yeah, I know. It’s a multiplex in my head most of the time.
We took a drive this afternoon into Bridger Canyon and breathed pine-fresh air and saw tulips and budding willows and aspen and gradually my problems seemed of very little importance. The trees know when to bud, the flowers when to poke their little selves up out of the soil, the birds when to start building their nests… and so -somewhere- do I know exactly what to do and when to do it. I just have to breathe, trust myself and remember that I can’t do it wrong.
…in the aftermath of grief (does it ever really end?). I often find myself looking blankly for indeterminate lengths of time, thinking about things that are no longer relevant- just for the pleasure of the memory, and trying very hard to not be a drag… but honestly, I feel pretty okay. Just more sad than usual. And that’s temporary, too.
Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
Love is knowing I am everything,
And in between the two
my life moves.
Things are slowly normalizing for me. I’ve stopped looking for Sars’ oxygen hose in the hallway- sleeping without the familiar sound of the oxygen machine outside my bedroom door, etc. Today I’m going to start thank you notes and finalize the headstone….
Thank you for all the messages of love and support. I’m very grateful for all of you.
I hope to get back to a regular writing schedule soon, but will post when I can. Till next time, here’s a pic of me and Ken before the funeral…