Posts Tagged ‘love’

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The Wheel

July 16, 2009

Wheel

I pulled a tarot card first thing this morning.  It was the Wheel of Fortune.  All in all this is a very good card.  It means that sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard or how little we’ve worked, some things just happen with no apparent reason, and they are to our benefit.  So today, I’m lucky, or so the cards would have me believe. 

I’m not a pessimist, but I’ve been thinking about this Wheel of Fortune.  It represents luck, but nothing about the card excludes bad luck or even mediocre luck.   A tarot website that I consulted, even suggested that this card is about karma, as in  “what goes around, comes around.”  Can that even be considered luck?

So now that I’ve been pondering on this card for nearly 6 hours, I’ve figured a few things out.  First, we’re lucky  for the majority of our waking hours.  We’re even lucky when we’re sleeping.   Many people die in their sleep every night; I didn’t last night, so I guess that makes me lucky. 

The candle I left burning while I went out this morning didn’t burn the house down.  I didn’t get hit by a truck while I was riding my bike to do some shopping.  I have sufficient physical fitness to ride a bicycle several miles.  No one stole the bike while I was in the store in spite of not using the lock to secure the bike.  

The convenience store was giving away free fruit smoothies.  I was able to ride my bike while carrying the smoothie.  There was no bad news in my mailbox.  I mislaid my cellphone, but found it quickly.  It looks like rain, but the sun is still shining.  A bee stung me 2 days ago, but I have anti-itch medicine to counteract the venom. 

My marriage is secure.  I have wonderful children.  My parents just celebrated 50 years of marriage.  Friends surround me.  I’m gainfully employed.  I have the summer off from work.  The tomatoes are starting to ripen.

So what is it that makes today luckier than other days?  Should I be on the lookout for that one big lucky event?  Should I buy a lottery ticket?

Or should I be content with the knowledge that on any given day, all of us are lucky to still be here?

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Finally, the Honeymoon!

November 26, 2008

Way too long ago, I promised that I would report on the events that took place after the Big Gay Wedding.  After much procrastination, here it is!

Monday morning, following our Saturday evening nuptials, Scott and I headed out to the airport, boarded our plane for Boston.  We took a water taxi to the dock where we would find our ferry.  In spite of some rain in Boston and gloomy skies while we were on the boat, we eventually arrived safely in Provincetown MA. 

on the bay

on the bay

 

Skies cleared as we pulled into PTown.  We found our bed & Breakfast, the Black Pearl, and checked in with no problems.  Soon we found ourselves walking Commercial Street, enjoying the sights and sounds of what is quickly becoming a home away from home for us.  Of course, we grabbed some seafood for dinner, and we planned our evenings, deciding which shows we might want to see. 

Most days, we spent our time at the beach.  We would pack our bags, grab the bus to Herring Cove, and make the trek through the moors to get to our destination.  This particular part of the beach is unofficially “clothing optional”  so we managed to tan some parts of our bodies that don’t see much sunlight! 

Scott took this from atop the dunes

Scott took this from atop the dunes

 

One day, we were concerned about the weather forecast.  The local stations were predicting rain.  For most of the morning, it looked like it the skies might open up and drench us.  We hesitated to make the trip to the beach, but hated to miss a day of fun in the sun.  We opted to rent bikes and ride through the Cape Cod National Seashore, a National Park.  This was one of the best things we did while on our honeymoon.  The dunes are incredible, the bike trail is enjoyable, and at times, a bit challenging. 

The Dunes

The Dunes

 

Scott entering the tunnel

Scott entering the tunnel

Steve coming out (again???) of the tunnel

Steve coming out (again???) of the tunnel

 

However, the very first thing we did when we arrived in Provincetown, was to visit the Town Hall, where we registered for our marriage license. 

PTown Town Hall

PTown Town Hall

 

Massachusetts requires a 3 day waiting period for marriage licenses.  We wanted to be sure to get ours, and allow an extra day for any glitches that might arise.  Monday afternoon we applied with no problems, and returned on Thursday morning to retrieve our official, legal, marriage license. 

We like to think of our legal wedding ceremony as the yin to the yang of our sacred celebration.  It was everything that the sacred ritual was not.  Our ceremony was performed by the Justice of the Peace, outside on the lawn of the Bed & Breakfast.  Our witnesses were the innkeepers, and the guests of the inn, a group of women on vacation together.  We asked the JP to use our vows from our wedding back home, and she added some additional, beautiful words about equality, and her personal joy of presiding at the weddings of gay and lesbian couples.  Champagne was poured, the license signed by the JP, and now, Scott and I are joined in both sacred and legal matrimony.

Steve and Scott with the JP

Steve and Scott with the JP

Repeating the Vows

Repeating the Vows

A Kiss Seals the Deal

A Kiss Seals the Deal

 

We are legally, sacredly, and happily married!  Each ceremony holds a special joy for us, the formality of one, the casual atmosphere of the other; the friends and family witnessing our love at home, and total strangers sharing the joy of our love at the b&b.  The elaborate meal and dancing to celebrate the sacred ritual, the sharing of wine with temporary friends who toasted our life together, followed by an intimate meal at a nearby restaurant, all of these weave themselves together to create a seamless memory of the week in which we got married, twice.  God grant you the same joy that we have found.

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The Perfect Wedding

September 3, 2008

The ceremony finished with one of our ministers introducing us as a couple…partners for life.  That one phrase marked the beginning of our life together as husband, and well, husband.  Three weeks later, we find that we are still learning to say “husband” instead of boyfriend, or partner.  We even use our new term for our relationship and giggle, just like most newlyweds. 

Our wedding day started with a list of jobs to be accomplished.  Our music room was stacked with boxes full of decorations that would grace the tables, the favors, the candles, and the placecards.  We would be hauling all of this and my digital piano, the music stand and more to the restaurant.  We kept breakfast light, and went about the business of the day.  I cut the flowers from our gardens and arranged them in the vases purchased just for our wedding.  By 10:00am, we were loading the van and heading to the venue. 

At the restaurant, the tables were set and ready for us to place the centerpieces.  There were many helpers, so the job went quickly.  Everything was completed, including the set up of the sound system, the communion table, the guest book and place-cards within 90 minutes.  We couldn’t believe that it had gone so smoothly and so quickly.  There was nothing left for us to do but return home for a light lunch, then prepare for the ceremony that began at 6:00pm. 

This is where our day begins to blossom.  I make a light lunch for Scott, our guest Daniel, and myself.  We chat a little, then decide to relax outside in the warm sun.  We find that we have time to soak up the sun’s rays, and even nap a little.  The time just seems to slow down for us.  All of the jobs are accomplished and it’s still not time to prepare ourselves for the wedding.  I thought the wedding day was to be a mad rush, a whirlwind of activity, and here we are napping and sunbathing! 

Eventually, as in 2:30pm, our children start arriving.  We’ve chosen to dress 5 of the 7 kids at our house, keeping their new wedding clothes with us until this day, for reasons that other divorced folks might understand.  The older 2 kids are able to take care of themselves for this task.  It seems that by 3:30, we’ve got 5 boys, 10-18, showered and dressed.  Let’s take some photographs.  We’ve got more than enough cameras, digital, disposable, and even an old Nikon SLR.  We take pictures in the music room in front of the fireplace and in every conceivable combination of dads with kids, dads with stepkids, and of course, the grooms.  There’s still plenty of time remaining, so we head out the front door for a family portrait that includes both grooms, all seven of their children, and a girlfriend of a son. We head out back to use the backdrop of sunflowers and cellphone cameras are used to share these early wedding pictures. 

The New, Blended, & Gay Family

The New, Blended, & Gay Family

And we still have time to sit down and have a glass of wine at the dining room table. 

By 5:00pm, we start thinking about heading to the wedding.  This is about the point where time decides to speed up.  We arrive before 5:30 to discover that many of our guests are either anxious, or unable to read.  The 15-20 minutes we thought we had to organize, and perhaps take a few more pictures was lost to attending to those last minute details and playing hosts to our guests.  Before we realized it, it was time to begin the prelude music and start the festivities. 

I could write an entire article on the music for our ceremony.  The musicians were incredible.  I asked Jim, our pianist to play something to get the music started, then Daniel took the floor to sing “Red is the Rose”.  I moved to the piano to accompany Stormie on her French Horn for the Beethoven Adagio Cantabile that I had transcribed a few weeks earlier.  Daniel sang again with a show tune, “Will You” and Sterling followed with “Dream a Little Dream of Me” singing and playing his guitar.  Finally, Daniel finished up with “Not a Day Goes By” which was perfect for describing how we feel about each other:

….As the days go by, I keep thinking when does it end,

that it can’t get much better much longer,

but it only gets better and stronger

and deeper and nearer and simpler and freer

and richer and clearer, and no,

not a day goes by…….

the vows

the vows

At that point, Pastors Tracy& Janet, Scott and I moved to our places near the communion table and we began our ceremony.  We kept things simple, a brief invocation, two scriptures, our vows, the exchange of rings.  There were some unique features to our rites, like the Loving Cup, and a Druidic vow of unity.  We asked that communion be one of the first things we do as a couple, and in a very moving part of our service, Scott and I served our guests communion.  It was all I could do to keep from crying. 

Loving Cup

Loving Cup

More than the parts of the service, was the way in which Scott and I seemed to be in a world all our own.  After the invocation, we joined hands and locked in on each other with a gaze that none could distract.  In the weeks leading to the wedding, I could barely watch our video, or read through our vows without breaking into tears.  At the rehearsal, I could hardly say the words without my voice breaking with emotion.  Yet something mystical, perhaps magical, and very assuring took over.  I was able to speak out my vows loud and clear, and give that strength to Scott as his voice wavered with the emotion brought on by the love we felt at that moment.  We held each others’ hands and slipped the rings on each finger.  We picked up our Loving Cup and spoke the ancient words that would bind us as each other’s anam cara.  We briefly allowed our friends and family to enter our world as we served communion.  Then we turned to each other once more to make one more vow of unity in the Druidic tradition.

 

Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now

Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now

 

We swear by peace and love to stand

Heart to heart and hand in hand

Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now,

Confirming this our sacred vow.

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Wedding Day

August 9, 2008

 

This post has been written in advance so that I may simply log in here, post it for the public to see, and go about the business of getting married.  When I created this little slideshow, I noticed that both Scott and I are so very happy in all these pictures.  The first time I showed the finished product, complete with song selection, to Scott, he mentioned how happy we are.  Of course, by that point, I was in tears.  We are indeed very happy.  I am pleased to share our little video with you, so that you too can see just how happy we are. 

And so our day is here.  It’s been a long, sometimes frustrating week.  Overall, I have the sense that this is the right thing to do, and for the right reason:  LOVE.  I fought back the tears as we said our vows in rehearsal this evening.  In the end, it’s not about politics, not about a big gay wedding, not about flaunting tradition, nor is it about some secret gay agenda.  It’s about two people in love, making a commitment to honor each other, care for each other, and live out their love for a lifetime.  

We’ll be on our honeymoon for the next week.  I don’t expect to post anything here until August 18th at the earliest.

 

God Bless You All, for God has certainly blessed us.

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For Kyle

May 15, 2008

Recently, I engaged in some discussion on a blog that is less than gay-friendly.  In the interest of being polite, instead of calling them homophobic, I’ll just say that these good people are worried that some folks they don’t like, just might end up sitting beside them in heaven.  This particular blog and most of its readers are doing their best to make sure none of the “wrong kind” of people slip into not only heaven, but churches here on earth as well.  After I stated that I believed being gay is not a sin, and not addressed in the Bible, one commenter had some questions for me.  Here is Kyle’s essay question for me, and I will attempt to address it, as best I can, following the quote:

Keltic,

What academic research claims that your lifestyle is not sin?  Do you honestly believe that gay male sex is physically compatible?  You really think God would create your system to accept this lifestyle?

Look at your body which was brilliantly created by the creator.  Look at the natural purpose of each system in perfect harmony.  There is no way from physical evidence that you can say that homosexuality is correct.  None!  The male and female anatomy is perfectly fitting, with mutual pleasure, and purpose beyond mere pleasure.

Gay male sex introduces the body to disease and illness because the system which was designed for the removal of such is being damaged and results in fissures opening up the body to microbial[sic].

As for your desires and same sex attraction I am sorry that is how sin manifested itself in your life.  And guess what your [sic] not a victim because many people have suffered from SSA but that never gave them a license to engage in such.  Rather, like ALL sin in our nature some went to the cross of Christ and laid everything down at the feet of the cross.  Surrendering everything and repenting resulting in the healing process regardless of the manner by which sin manifested.  What do I mean by this.  Your SSA you felt at whatever age is no different than any other desire to sin.  Sin is sin and without the cross you are dead in it.  Why should you have the luxury of claiming yourself saved and gay while others had to repent of EVERYTHING?  Do you understand what I’m saying?  Why should the alcoholic, the murderer, the abortionist, the liar, the thief, the adulterer, the fornicator, the porn addict, the boaster, the arrogant, the idolater, the pagan, etc, etc have to repent but you do not? What is so special and holy about homosexuality that you put it on an untouchable pedestal while Christ died for every other sin “except” homosexuality?  you think WE are close minded. No my friend it is you who are close minded to the truth.  Who are you to tell God that just because you “feel” a certain way that it is OK.  I have a lot of “feelings” too but I am not about to engage in them.  There is this girl at work in which I have certain “feelings” which come about but I wont [sic] engage in them.  I have a lot of “feelings” my friend.  My flesh is so corrupt and wicked that if I wasn’t saved and I didn’t have the Holy Ghost restrainer within me I would be quite a wicked individual.  Thank God however I am saved.  I look forward to the day when I am given a new body fashioned like the Lord and Savior and will never “feel” or desire any sin.  What an awesome day that will be.

Kyle

Well, let’s be kind and not mention the run-ons, fragments, and lack of punctuation.  Kyle’s passion more than makes up for his lack of writing skills.  So let’s just concern ourselves with his concepts.

Academic research that claims my homosexuality is not sin: 

McNeill, John, The Church and the Homosexual 4th ed., (Boston: 1993, 1st ed. 1976)

Scroggs, Robin.  The New Testament and Homosexuality.  Philadelphia:  Augsburg Fortress Press, 1983.

These are but two sources, but one that might help you understand is a website, A Letter to Louise.  This open letter was written to a woman who believed her gay brother was doomed to hell by God because of his orientation.  It explains things in much less academic terms. 

“Do you honestly believe that gay male sex is physically compatible? You really think God would create your system to accept this lifestyle?”  Oh, dear, I’ve got several questions of my own for this one.  For instance, physically compatible with what?  Why, Kyle, are you only concerned with gay male sex, and not female lesbian sex?  And as far as what God was thinking when he made gay people, I’ll ask God when I get to heaven. 

I think Kyle is addressing the notion that a penis is supposed to be inserted into a vagina.  This is a weak argument.  Physical intimacy among the heterosexuals is comprised of quite a variety of activities.  For straight people, I’m certain that there isn’t just one sexual position and a sole sexual activity.  Kyle, are you a breast man?  Leave those alone, those are created to give nutrition to babies.  Do you like oral sex?  No! No! NO!  there is no way procreation can be achieved by doing THAT.  I’ve even heard that some straight people are doing what the gays like to do:  take it up the butt.  I’m assuming from your questions, that this too is wrong. 

Now, as for your assertion that “Gay male sex introduces the body to disease and illness.”  Heterosexual sex does the same thing.  AIDS is not a gay plague, syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes and the like know no gender or orientation.  Medical studies that say gay men have shorter lifespans and experience more illness, including MRSA, have been proven to be flawed, thus not reflecting the reality of the health of homosexual men.  Again, for some reason, women are ignored.  Let me add here, that women experience fissures or tearing as a result of vaginal intercourse.

And since I’m addressing this part of the comments, microbial is an adjective.  What was the word you meant to use after “microbial.”

 

I do not suffer withSame Sex Attraction, I enjoy it because it is natural for me.  I resent the implication that you think I have not “been to the cross.”  I am a Christian, I have made a public statement of faith.  Living as God made me, a gay man, is honoring to God.  Trying to live as a straight man would be living a lie, and as such, would be sin in God’s eyes.  It’s not a feeling, it is the truth that God has revealed to many, not just me.  The six verses that some Christians use to clobber homosexuals have been proven to be speaking about other issues.  The Levitical code was for a certain time and place, which becomes clear when we see Christians wearing poly-cotton blends (forbidden in Leviticus 19:19)  or eating shrimp (forbidden in Leviticus 11:11) and when they don’t stone their sassy children (commanded in Leviticus 20:9).  Sodom and Gomorrah was condemned by God long before the men of town came to rape (that’s right, rape, not have sex) the strangers that were staying with Lot.  In Romans 1, Paul is setting up the intended readers, he’s allowing them to feel smug and self-righteous because they don’t do as those idolaters he describes.  The letter continues in chapter 2, (chapter and verse were assigned randomly in 1205 by Stephen Langton) to say that we have no excuse when we judge others:

For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2:1a-5, English Standard Version)

And Kyle, if you’re thinking impure thoughts about that young woman at work, Jesus has something to say about that: 

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28 English Standard Version

I’m troubled by your final sentences, Kyle.  “I look forward to the day when I am given a new body fashioned like the Lord and Savior and will never “feel” or desire any sin. What an awesome day that will be.”  How very sad for you that you want a body that feels nothing, you look forward to feeling nothing, and assume that Jesus felt nothing.  I don’t believe it for one moment.  Jesus felt and continues to feel our pain, the pain that is heaped upon us by well-meaning, but misdirected Christians who judge others.  Jesus feels the pain of the outcasts, the disenfranchised, the people who are standing at the door of the church asking to be ushered in, while people like you, Kyle, continue to slam the door in their faces. 

Loving the person that I love, honoring him in our sacred commitment to each other, and simply being attracted to people of the same gender is not a sin.  In your list of sins, each vice results in harm to someone, either one’s self or another.  My love harms no one. 

16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:16-21 English Standard Version

 What is it that you fear, Kyle?  Could it be that you fear allowing homosexuals to be part of the family of God that you and others will lose their place of honor in the Kingdom of Heaven?  Do you agree that calling me a phoney and a hypocrite was hateful?  How do those words, spoken by the owner of the gcmwatchblog align with the verse in red above?  I asked if gcmwatch would feed me if I was poor, or visit me if I was in jail, and the response was “If you requested it.”  THAT is nowhere to be found in the Bible.  What version of Christianity are you following over there?  You and so many others like you, live in fear of a God that will strike you down for committing the slightest sin.  You live in fear that you will forget to do something, or accidentally commit a sin and neglect to fall on your knees to repent.  You throw God’s grace right back in his face, then look around to find someone whose sin is worse than yours, and heap even more burdens upon them.  You are a modern day Pharisee. 

I’ve been delivered from that kind of thinking.  Praise God and Amen.

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a poem for us

November 13, 2007

men sleeping

This is natural

At last, to feel comfortable in my own skin

I lie down beside you

a kiss good night

our legs intertwine

you hold my hand

‘I love you’s are exchanged

we fall asleep

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I Fought For You Today

October 7, 2007

This morning, when I woke up, and you weren’t beside me, I went looking for you.  I found you in the living room.  I knew right away that you were sick.  I had felt the heat of the fever before you left our bed.  I didn’t wake you as you slept in the chair, at least not right away.  Eventually, I needed to know that you were all right.  Breakfast for me was an english muffin with homemade jam and a cup of coffee.  As I checked email, you came to see me.  You were sick.  My plans for the day changed, which I knew in the night, when you were burning with fever. 

I set out for the football game, over an hour’s drive from our house.  Kids come first.  Our first rule, but not always the easiest.  This time, I’ve chosen to take care of my daughter at college while my love lies sick and sleeping.  I watch the game with feigned interest.  I take notice of my daughter as she performs her duties at the game.  She is an amazing child to have reached this position of leadership in the band.  I wasn’t fully invested in this day with my child, because you, my love, were sick. 

I texted you.  No response.  I texted you again.  Finally the answer came that you did not feel well at all.  Your words were “I feel like shit.”  I did my best from where I was to take care of you.  I suggested that you go to the emergency room.  Your response led me to believe you just might do that when I got home.  So I fulfilled my obligation to my daughter, and explained that I needed to get back to you. 

You could barely talk.  Breathing was difficult.  You had chills, a fever, and sweats.  You refused to go to the emergency room and I fought for you.  I gathered your clothes.  I put them on you while you protested.  I walked out of the room to fight back my tears.  Then I returned to fight again.  I feared this wasn’t a common infection.  I knew it would take more than a day or two of rest to rid you of the symptoms. 

I dragged you to the emergency room and I spoke the first words to the triage nurse, as though I were the father worried about my child.  I sat with you while you were examined, medicated, and questioned about every symptom and your medical history.  My cell phone was my entertainment while you went for a chest x-ray.  When the family in the bed next to us discovered the gay couple and paced past our cubicle repeatedly, I closed the curtain.  I worked hard for you today. 

You needed nourishment, so I bought chicken soup and fed you.  I put you to bed.  We went to sleep, and I could still feel the heat of the fever, but I was happy knowing that I fought hard to keep you with me today.  Were you in serious danger?  I think.  At least, danger was a few steps away;  bronchitis now, pneumonia later?  I could not let it take that next step. 

We were awakened by the phone call.  The police asked you to come pick up your son.  My heart sank again.  I feel once more that I must fight for you.  Kids come first. Will this one take you from me for good?  Within minutes you returned, kid with you.  The fight erupted only moments later and I feared for your safety.  I had my cell phone in my hand, ready to dial the number.  No physical violence happened.  I put down my phone. 

We both know what is going through my mind.  There’s no need to say it again, not at this moment.  I’ve fought for you all day.  Will this one child be the contender?  Will he be the one to drive us apart?  Not today.  I will fight for you again.  Those who think they can divide us, to you I say, bring your best game.  I’ve been fighting a long time.