Abuse, Agape, Alienation, Alienation From Self, Alison, Attachment, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Christianity, Evil, Happiness, Hope, Human Nature, Jana, Knowledge, Learning, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Oppression, People, Poetry, Quality of Life, Relationships, Spiritual Alienation, Spirituality, Unconditional Love

A Flock of Sparrows for Majel: The Tragedy of Fool’s Gold

A Flock of Sparrows for Majel

(About an 8 minute read)

Jana was nearby,
For a decade, always nearby.
But I was not close to her.

She became my wife
And we shared a house.
We shared a bed.
We shared our bodies,
And we told each other
We shared our hearts and minds.

In truth, she was that spot on my back
That I never could see,
And that I never could reach
No matter how often,
And no matter how hard
I stared into the mirror,
And turning this way or that,
Tried to spot her.

Continue reading “A Flock of Sparrows for Majel: The Tragedy of Fool’s Gold”

Advice, Alienation From Self, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Coffee Shop Folks, Jackie, Love, Lovers, People, Poetry, Quality of Life, Relationships

Does Someone Love You Now?

(About a 4 minute read)

Do you remember now those decades ago
On the porch of the Oak House?

The evening you wrapped us in a thin blanket
Elbow to elbow in solidarity
Against the October chill?

We listened to the coyotes calling to the late sun
And waited for the night
And waited for the comet
That hung above the San Luis Valley that year.

You were a girl then. Seventeen and sick with worry
The boys would never want you —
Want you enough to stick with you
Beyond the sex you gave them,
Want you enough that the love you felt
Would ever be returned.

I was forty-three — and twenty-six were the years between us,
The years you reached across to ask me in earnest:

“What must I become,
What must I turn myself into
To earn a boy’s love?”

That afternoon on a bed of moss and stone
You had fallen asleep next to me
In the shallow water of the Upper Pool.

Small bubbles formed on your pubic hair like silver jewels,
Sun and shadows raced and swirled across your satin skin,
Something older than the gods spoke
In your graceful curves, spoke in an ancient tongue
Of your youth and your fertility

And I could not believe
Anyone so beautiful

And I could not believe
Anyone

Could feel so alone.

Do you remember now those decades ago, Jackie,
When you bravely reached across the years between us,

When you broke open your heart,
When in the growing dusk
You called off your guards,
And in the gloom
Surrendered your proud walls,
In order to reveal to me naked and honest
Your desires and your fears?

Do you remember now your lips were trembling,
Trembling as you spoke,
And not from the cold?

You were seventeen years old
But a hundred years tired that night,

Tired and worn,

Chased down,
Cornered and numb

From how the boys would lie and use you cruel,
From how they had taken the least,
Ignored the rest,
And left the best of you behind.

You spoke of a hollow chest,
You spoke of an emptiness,
You spoke of a twilight
Through which winds of loneliness twisted and wailed
By night and by day.

And you spoke of a growing hatred,
An exhausting hatred for yourself,
A quicksand sucking you down.

You were so sure no boy could love you
Ever

Unless you could become an alchemist

And with estranging fires and poisons
Turn the lead you thought you were
Into the gold you thought you must become.

Tonight I wonder what you have become
In the cauldron of the two decades
That have passed since I told you,
Urged you, that night on the porch
Not to hide yourself beneath a mask,
Not even a mask of gold.

I all but begged you to be true to yourself —

True so someone could love you for who you are.
True so that someone
Could love you Jackie
For who you are.

I ached that night for you to make my words
Your path and your road, your light and your guiding star.
I ached that night for my words to nourish you.
I ached for my words to encourage and to heal.

Did you grasp my advice?
Did you discover the meanings
That ran like a subterranean river
Beneath my words?

Did you see the truth
That I tried to point you to?

Were you able to turn the words
I spoke into something real?

Have you had the guts
To be yourself?

Tonight I wonder, Jackie,

Does someone love you now for who you are?

Or do you wear tonight a mask of gold

And the winds still twist and howl
Through the emptiness of your heart?

Alienation From Self, Aristotle, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Christianity, Cultural Traits, Culture, Ethics, Eudaimonia, Happiness, Human Nature, Ideas, Judaism, Life, Living, Memes, Morality, Morals, Pride, Purpose, Quality of Life, Religion, Religious Ideologies, Self Image, Self-Flourishing, Values, Well Being

Pride in Aristotle and Christianity

“The description of the proud or magnanimous man [in Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics] is very interesting as showing the difference between pagan and Christian ethics…”.  — Bertrand Russell.

SUMMARY:  Pride to Aristotle was a virtue, and a means to happiness, but to Christians, it is a sin, and a means to unhappiness.

(About a 7 minute read)

In Judaism, pride is called the root of all evil, a valuation that seems in part to have been carried over into Christianity, for Christians regard pride as the first and foremost of the Seven Deadly Sins.

In Catholicism, the Seven Deadly Sins are not to be confused with “Mortal Sins” — they do not automatically damn you to hell if you fail to repent of them before death, but they are pretty much bad enough anyway.

In contrast to the Jewish and Christian views, pride was an actual virtue to Aristotle.  Which of course, raises the question, “Why did Aristotle think pride was a virtue?”

Continue reading “Pride in Aristotle and Christianity”

Advice, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Courtship, Free Spirit, Freedom, Friends, Fun, Human Nature, Ideas, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Loyalty, Marriage, Oppression, Play, Quality of Life, Relationships, Sex, Values

How an Open Relationship Can be Fun and Exciting for Both You and Your Mail Carrier

“If you love somebody, set them free.  If they return to you, it’s beautiful.” — Anonymous, often falsely attributed to Richard Bach.

SUMMARY:  Open relationships in which the partners are by and large free to do as they please aren’t all roses and sparkles, but they can solve some common enough problems with more conventional relationships.

(About a 7 minute read)

Give me a free spirited woman!  After more than twenty years of being happily celibate, I most certainly wouldn’t know what to do with one, but that does not mean I would not — if the right one came along — seriously consider getting into one of those romantic thingies with her.

You know, one of those friendships where you get to do sexy stuff like…um…I forget now.  Oh yeah!  Like blow up condoms and bounce them around the bedroom together!  At least, that’s what I recall condoms are for.  I’m pretty sure they make lousy garbage can liners, so it’s logically got to be balloons, right?

Continue reading “How an Open Relationship Can be Fun and Exciting for Both You and Your Mail Carrier”

Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Human Nature, Life, Living, Love, Oppression, Self, Self-determination, Self-Knowledge, Spirituality, Talents and Skills, Values

Love and Authenticity

SUMMARY: Mutual love with another person typically provides inspiration and encouragement to be true to ourselves.

(About a 4 minute read)

When I was nineteen, I met the first great love of my life.  A woman I believed to be so remarkable that I arranged for us to have a heart-to-heart discussion about what I could do to become more like her.

Unfortunately, life’s currents soon enough separated us when I had to move out of town.  But about a year after I’d met her, something quite strange happened.  I was thinking over my life one evening when I recalled a traumatic event of my childhood. That in itself was strange because the event had so traumatized me that I had no other way to deal with it than — for years — simply refusing to think about it for more than a second or two at a time.  Yet, here I was actually recalling it as fully as I could for the first time since the event had happened.

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Advice, Art, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Cultural Traits, Dance, Erotic Dance, Life, Living, Performance Arts, Sex, Sexuality

How to Watch Strippers (And Why You Should Care)

SUMMARY: Common mistakes people make while watching erotic dancers, plus the best way to do it in order to fully appreciate the nature of erotic dance.

(About a 6 minute read)

It seems curious to me that — from my point of view — people first make sex a problem when it need not be a problem, then they condemn sex for the mess they’ve made of it.

Why is that so?  Why do we think sex is the problem when it’s so obvious to anyone willing to look closely at it that it’s us — our attitude and approach to it — that are the problem?

Continue reading “How to Watch Strippers (And Why You Should Care)”

Adolescence, Adolescent Sexuality, Attachment, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Coffee Shop Folks, Coffee Shop Stories, Family, Fatherless Children, Fatherless Daughters, Fatherless Girls, Friends, Human Nature, Jackie, Jerks, Judgementalism, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Mental and Emotional Health, Obsession, People, Quality of Life, Relationships, Sarah, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-determination, Self-Knowledge, Sex, Sexuality, Society

All the Young Women

SUMMARY: I take a look at the women I met some years ago in Colorado Springs, and then draw a few conclusions about the challenges they faced at that time in their lives.

(About a 8 minute read)

People are often more predictable than life itself.  I can often predict, with surprising accuracy, what a long-term friend will do in almost any situation, but my life has taught me that it can be considerably more difficult to predict where I will be in a year or two.

I certainly did not expect when I came to Colorado that I would soon know — at least casually — about 200 young men and women twenty years younger than me, nor that about two dozen of them would befriend me.

Yet that’s what happened — largely as a direct consequence of my choosing to frequent a coffee shop that both served the cheapest cup in town and was the hang out of hundreds of local high school students.  Since it was also the oldest and most established coffee shop in town, it was also the hang out of everyone else — from the mayor and some city council members to several homeless people.

Continue reading “All the Young Women”