Man In The Mirror

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Each day, we’re given many opportunities to open up or shut down. The most precious opportunity presents itself when we come to the place where we think we can’t handle whatever is happening. It’s too much. It’s gone too far. We feel bad about ourselves. There’s no way we can manipulate the situation to make ourselves come out looking good. No matter how hard we try, it just won’t work. Basically, life has just nailed us.

It’s as if you just looked at yourself in the mirror, and you saw a gorilla. The mirror’s there; it’s showing “you”, and what you see looks bad. You try to angle the mirror so you will look a little better, but no matter what you do, you still look like a gorilla. That’s being nailed by life, the place where you have no choice except to embrace what’s happening or push it away.

Most of us do not take these situations as teachings. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape — all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain. In fact, the rampant materialism that we see in the world stems from this moment. There are so many ways that have been dreamt up to entertain us away from the moment, soften its hard edge, deaden it, so we don’t have to feel the full impact of the pain that arises when we cannot manipulate the situation to make us come out looking fine…. Pema Chodron

this could be seen as a lazy post. and maybe it is. none-the-less the irony of the lyrics of this song and cory’s struggle are hard to let lay. my understanding is that he just got out of rehab in early june. he was working to some degree at taking a look at the man in the mirror. and that is not an easy task. i understand very closely how unaware he probably was of his mortality. no doubt he was too occupied running from his reflection. but i feel very blessed to have encountered some of his strengths. his voice had an effect on my sanity.

thank you.young cory… for living your own life- you made an impact and changed lives. maybe next time the road be more gentle on your soul,

raise your glass

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image credit…

There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America – there’s the United States of America.

Barack Obama

image credit….pete souza

Excerpts from President-elect Barack Obama’s acceptance speech:
Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.
It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are one American family, and we will rise and fall as one nation.
Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.
I want to thank every American who participated in this election. whether you voted fo the very first time, or waited in line for a very long time – by the way, we have to fix that – whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign. You made your voice heard, and you made a difference.
To Michelle: Let me say this publicly. I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder of watching the rest of America fall in love with you too as our nation’s First Lady.
To Sasha and Malia: I’m really proud of you guys. But I will say for now, one dog’s probably enough.
To my campaign staff, thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way, and I will always be grateful for everything you’ve done and all the incredible work you’ve put in.
Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy, and messy, and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us have deeply-held beliefs. and when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs up passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments that we have are marks of our liberty.
We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant daughter who studies in our school and pledges to our flag.
Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned from you. And you’ve made me a better president. With your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do.
Tonight, you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weerks and months I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet challenges we can only solve together.
Tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I’ve never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. … 
I believe we can seize this future, because we are not as divided as our politics suggests, We are not as cynical as the pundits believe, We are greater than the sum of our ambitions. We are more than a collection of red and blue states. We are the United States of America. And with your help, and God’s grace, we will continue our journey forward, and remind the world why we live in the greatest nation on earth.
God Bless America. God Bless these United States.

Right, right, turn off the lights

We’re gonna lose our minds tonight

What’s the deal, yo?

I love when it’s all too much

5 a.m. turn the radio up

Where’s the rock ‘n roll?

Party crasher, penny snatcher

Call me up if you’re a gangsta

Don’t be fancy, just get dancy

Why so serious?

So raise your glass if you are wrong

In all the right ways, all my underdogs

We will never be, never be anything but loud

And nitty gritty, dirty little freaks

Won’t you come on and come on and

Raise your glass!

Just come on and come on and

Raise your glass!

Slam, slam, oh hot damn

What part of a party don’t you understand?

Wish you’d just freak out

(Freak out already)

Can’t stop, coming in hot

I should be locked up right on the spot

It’s so on right now

(It’s so fucking on right now)

Party crasher, penny snatcher

Call me up if you’re a gangsta

Don’t be fancy, just get dancy

Why so serious?…Pink

this post was inspired by my friend julien arbor. she posted the “pink” version of this song on the “punks for obama” page on fb. i honestly felt like celebrating and when i heard that song i knew it held some of the joie du vivre that i was feeling.

there are so many really disturbing things i noticed about the party system this time- mostly the divisive nature of the campaigns. the obama legacy will no doubt include the amazing strides his camp has made to bring the different sub-populations together. as a nation, i am not sure we can afford just what the divisive nature will cost us.


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for the motion version of this pic- click here

almost friday and life gets more simple and more complicated at the same time. my heart continues to open and my barriers to love continue to pop up like the flying ducks in a shooting arcade game. some days it is exhausting. and then it is inspiring. and then exhausting again. today i heard someone crying over the phone and a very codependent urge to comfort them filled my core. it was quietly sublime. even better was the chance to address that urge later in the day.

with regard to glee, (which i kinda covet every week) there is the emerging issue of the heavy girl (lauren zizes) who is demonized as a sexual compulsive. this week, she was singing “i know what boys like” and i found myself feeling insulted and played down to. it’s almost creepy and abusive somehow.  on the upside, i am pretty sure that chord overstreet is actually developing some rhythm and won’t have to be in the back rows of the dance routines much longer.

tomorrow i will be participating in the filming of a small documentary about “advocates for recovery” which is an organization that has become dear to my heart. i cringe to think about how i will appear in the camera’s eye as i have shape shifted over the last 2 years and gained much weight. and here is where i should tell myself that it is easier to criticize myself than do the work to change. this is a truth that i understand very well.
questions i will be speaking to:   What did your active addiction look like? What’s your life look like now?What did you take from the community in your addiction?  What do you give back to the community? now?….how?Was this possible with out support????

my oh my – my head is swimming today. i am looking to endorse some enhancements at my workplace. i am nearly mesmerized by the opportunities is see for change. and manic-me loves this part of my life’s rhythm. but i do need to be ready for no change at all. this is just as much a possibility. and i am NOT in charge…

i have been talking about much this week about success and failures not being separate entities, but more being a part of the same bigger whole. without loss, we don’t “get” triumph. and without desperation, we probably would not recognize hope if it surrounded us.

self-soothing… songs from the mothership

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Soothe: –verb
1. to tranquilize or calm, as a person or the feelings; relieve, comfort, or refresh
2. to mitigate, assuage, or allay, as pain, sorrow, or doubt exert a soothing influence; bring tranquility, calm, ease, or comfort.
Read more:

i find myself midweek already a bit pooped from the many ups and not-so-ups. sometimes working with people who are not well can hurt. yesterday was one of those days for me. luckily my hurt heals. here’s one (or two) things that helped.

bang a gong

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i am starting today’s post with this pic of dot marie-jones who plays coach beiste on glee. i absolutely love the complete taboo that surrounds her character in that show. a very butch-ish female football coach for a teenage boy’s program. i know that as i watched the premier i tingled the first moments she was on screen. part of me wanted to laugh, part of me was completely intrigued, and i think there was a little fear that was mustered too. i can’t wait to see more of the beiste… bang a gong..
i have always identified with the oddball and the underdog. from a very young age, i felt extremely different and less-than somehow. of course, almost a half-century later, i understand there is not the chasm i then felt between myself and the rest of my peers, but knowing something does not change the feelings that germinated in grammar school. those feelings remain still, although much diluted, and crop up now and again to cloud my judgement or light my way…. still a freak… get it on.
i am headed to grand lake for the weekend. staying at the shadowcliff lodge, we are just kinda hanging out. there should be about 12 of us. some will go to dinner tonight- i get in too late for that- and some will go to rocky mountain repertory theatre tomorrow to see “always patsy cline”. i am hoping to read a little, be a little lazy, and have some laughs…… get outa dodge…. bang a gong.
the autumn 2010 issue of the newsletter is in its final drafting process. dwarf mountain has recently started to do the layout and the editing for me and i am very happy with the process thus far. maybe i’m lazy, but i try to stick to the things i can excel with in order to keep my spirits high. if i were to delve into the graphic realm, i may very well get stuck in ocd perfectionism…. almost done…. get it on.
i made pear and raspberry crumble yesterday. it is very thick- 3-4 inches- and probably has too much brown sugar. i will take to work today, but i doubt somehow that people will complain much about too much sugar. something tells me that most folks enable that sort of behavior….. brown sugar…. bang a gong.
i must read robert breining’s post at positive lite and once again find it remarkable that so many gay men who are positive have histories with meth. it may just be that ex-tweakers jump out at me, or that there is a real cultural aspect to all this and it is far from over. it seems that many of the comrades i have encounter online have very similar stories and that they are all working in very “positive” directions now. (double entendre intended). it’s as if the meth use and subsequent drama has fueled an introspection and re-evaluation of purpose…. angels of mercy… are you a good witch or a bad witch?… get it on..