Saturday, September 23, 2006

Onward O my soul

This morning I was at the Cathedral for a service of ordination to the priesthood. I was asked to help usher, as were all the postulants in our diocese.

What a spectacular way to inspire those of us that are on our way to someday walking down that aisle. What a way to strike awe into our very souls with the weight of what we are preparing to take on. What a way to celebrate all that is good about our faith in the midst of such turmoil in our church, nation and families.

It was especially poignant to me because the last ordination I was at, I was accompanied by a good friend and fellow aspirant to the priesthood. We sat together in hope and expectation that we would both be there together some day. Here it is 6 months later and I am going on without her because only one of us was approved. Truthfully, it had occurred to me that that might happen, I just didn’t think it would be her that was turned down.

It was strange to see the priests that were part of my discernment process over the last 3 years. Now suddenly I’ve crossed over on my way to being their peer. One beautiful priest in particular made my face split in joy from ear to ear as she processed by me with her thumbs up and mouthing, “Soon it will be your turn.”

It was also a moment for deep sadness. One of those who were ordained is the wife of my ex-rector. (see here) I saw old friends from my old church, some who know I’m gay and some who don’t. I also had the opportunity to greet my ex-rector and his wife. I think part of me thought I’d be able to avoid that, but when I found myself face to face with them, all that was left for me to do was hug them and wish them well.

Someday we will stop all this ridiculous rhetoric about “life-style” and separation. There will come a day when ALL God’s children will sit at the same table, equal, accepted, and belonging because in God’s kingdom, where all is already as it’s meant to be, we already do. At some point we will grow up and realize that our call is to love God first, and love our neighbors as ourselves. So let us feed the hungry, heal the sick, fight the injustice and oppression of those who are weak and powerless in this world. That is the battle I am signing up for and am willing to give my life to and for. And I do it because my Lord did it first. All else is crap. My God is love, no matter how inadequately S/He is sometimes portrayed by those who claim the name of Christian.

To borrow a phrase from my friend’s wise and Godly grandfather, I purpose to journey onward measuring everything by this yardstick, “Is there love in this? If not, I’m done.”

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


1 : an act of giving form or shape to something or of taking form : DEVELOPMENT
2 : something that is formed formations>
3 : the manner in which a thing is formed : STRUCTURE formation of the heart>

This is my year of formation, per my bishop. When I go to seminary then my formation will be about becoming a priest. But this period of formation is about being a lesbian. My bishop, a wise and gentle man, wants me to have this year to more fully settle into my own skin because I only came out 2 ½ years ago.

Certainly, there are aspects of this that are fun—catching up on lingo, culture, and forming new relationships with people that are like me, etc., but then there are the other times. Like this morning.

This morning I was awash in grief; grief that it took so long, that I didn’t face it as a child, as a teenager, as a 20 or 30 something. Yes, I was surrounded by people that said homosexuality was not only a sin, but an abomination, a reason to be consigned to hell. The only teaching I was given was that it wasn’t God’s intention and isn’t natural. So I tried to be what was expected. I did counseling. I had people pray away evil spirits. I lived a “straight” life.

But that wasn’t natural for me. I finally realized that who I am is not a sin, nor is how I love. I am not an abomination and I am not going to hell. It is not God’s intention that I live a lie or a fractured existence.

What is hard is that it’s taken me so long to get to this place. I feel like I was such a coward. Part of me always knew. Others managed to find a way to being true to themselves. Why couldn’t I? Have I wasted the last 20 years? Am I destined to be permanently assigned to the children’s table at Life’s banquet? Feels like it a lot of the time.

I’m usually pretty private about matters of the heart but today all I can seem to do is cry. Please don’t pity me, that’s not why I’m sharing this. I think I just needed to say how I’m feeling and to be heard.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Happy One Year of Blogging to Syd!

Here's to the woman who takes life and turns it into a sit com for the rest of us!
You are the reigning queen of hilarity!!
All Hail to Syd!

*I posted this the night before the actual anniversary because I always was the kind of kid that couldn't wait til Xmas to open presents and Syd's a definite gift!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Blubbering and Bishops--Welcome to my world!

Yesterday started off with me having a meltdown prompted by the unexpected maneuvers of my newly updated Internet browser. I clicked on a folder expecting it to expand and instead it opened everything in the folder (45 items!!) into tabs. This is not what I wanted and so I spent the next 10 minutes, 10 minutes that I did not have, trying to make it do what it usually does. Needless to say, the programmers have the advantage over the technotard and my efforts were in vain. I then burst into tears and wailed, “This isn’t what I want!!!”

It was at this point that some sane part of my personality suggested that such an emotional outburst was probably not about my computer! (Ya think?!!!) So, I went back in my room, had a good cry and listed all the things in my life that “I do not want.” Surprisingly long list! *insert sheepish shrug*

You’d think that might have set the tone for the day but although it had a rocky start, it got much better. I was permitted to take an extended lunch in order to attend a joint Eucharist service between The Episcopal and Lutheran Churches. The Presiding Bishops were both there in order to celebrate the Millennium Development Goals, which have to do with eradicating poverty, hunger, disease, and injustice in our world. Not hugely attended but a moving service none-the-less. My big surprise came when I spotted in the back of the chapel, without a collar, our future Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. OK, I’m a dweeb but I was so excited! I haven’t seen a lot of great photos of her and she’s so very attractive in person. She has a face alive with intelligence and humor. I didn’t have the guts to go up and say hello but I certainly left feeling inspired by the message of our Bishop and by being in the presence of people I admire and respect.

Bishop Katharine
Jefferts Schori

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Let the sunshine in..."

It’s raining again and so I went looking for a picture with sunshine. Saw this and was drawn to it because it reminds me of dreams I used to have all the time as a child. The main theme of the dreams was the horizon and what was beyond. I never knew what the beyond part actually was, I just knew that it was good and I needed to get to it. Fog can have that same affect on me. I guess the idea that there’s more than we can see just resonates with me.

So today although I can’t see it with my eyes, I’ve decided to see the sun shining, because somewhere, it is.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

So many jokes, so little time...

tee hee! couldn't resist!

The Hair Saga continues

Ok for those of you who requested pictures of the new do, here's me as a blond:

Now here's me mid-foil:

And here's me with dark (non-blond) hair:

And now I'm mad at all of you because I think I like the blond better! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Monday, September 11, 2006


Ok I know I wasn't going to do a 9/11 post but I just had the most moving experience and had to share. Because my boss is the coolest, I got to go get free tickets this morning to attend a sing along at Carnegie Hall at 12:30 p.m. The Juilliard School performed the Mozart Requiem in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of 9/11.

It was incredible to be in that beautiful cavernous hall, with a score of one of my favorite pieces of music in my hand, and invited to participate with first class musicians. I sang the Requiem twice about 20 years ago but haven't sung it since.

It came flooding back to me with a poignancy that made me weep. This was definitely one of those NY moments I will always remember.

Feast or Famine aka Blond No Longer

Yes it’s 9/11. Yes I live in NYC. Yes I was here and have some very vivid memories and visceral reactions to it, but I’m not doing a post about it. I am taking a trip down De Nial—old joke, so don’t worry about it if you don’t get it!

So what do I want to talk about? My hair! I am no longer blond. I had what they call low lights put in (as opposed to high lights—now isn’t that clever?!). Anyhoo, my hair is probably the darkest it’s ever been, which really isn’t saying much. And just in case my mother is having a heart attack, I know for a fact that within the next 2 weeks it will oxidize into something strongly resembling a shade of blond…sigh!

Now I like it (mostly because it’s new and different and I’m easily bored) but no one, I repeat no one else in my life has said anything about it! NOT a good sign people! So if you see someone walking around and people are politely averting their gaze, good chance it’s me!

OK that’s all for now, but I would like to point out that this is my 2nd post in the last 12 hours and I’m not guaranteeing that I’m done for the day! Like I said, you never know what you’re gonna get around here; I’m a moody child!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The queen has spoken…

And I’ve been commanded to post, so post I will (whether I actually have anything to say or not, or feel like it or not, or want to or not…I think you get the gist!) Actually, it’s flattering to be missed, so kiss kiss to the queen (oops! I mean) Princess (although you must admit one does miss the alliteration - you know who you are Your Royal Pinkness!) ;)

Anyhoo sports fans you’ve caught me at a fortuitous moment—somewhere between ovulating on a full moon (which was last week) and being on the cusp of the pms week (starting any minute now!). Ain’t it glorious to be a girl?!

Actually, that’s not far off from where I’ve been in my mind these last 10 days or so. Been reading books on feminine spirituality. Big surprise—I’m a woman and I’m spiritual! Ok, enough of that…but let me share something that I was pondering this morning. I wondered what my life would have been like if when I was a little girl there’d been someone who had seen the signs of who I was becoming; someone who could have explained to me that I was going to be a little bit different but that it would be alright; someone who would have affirmed my desire to be known and loved as a normal thing; someone who could have shown me how to live life full out without fear or regrets. I wonder about the myriad ways my life would have been different.

Now what I’m talking about is not the deficiency of good parenting—love ya mom!—but rather about the connection and community that most of us have missed with each other. Women have a different kind of power, a different kind of strength. It’s the strength to nurture and the power to heal. There’s this connection that happens, or can happen, because we are what we are—females of the species. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who got all the love, acceptance, affection, or affirmation that they needed or wanted and no one is to blame because how can we give what we haven’t received.

But you know what I’ve been noticing lately? When I risk saying how I feel and am honest about where I’m at, I find there are people nodding their heads and going, “yeah, me too.” Maybe that’s where the connection starts. Listening to and seeing each other. Maybe we become the wise women for each other that we needed and wanted ourselves. That connection isn’t lost, it’s just forgotten sometimes and what we haven’t been trained to do we can learn by remembering what we once needed and desired. I will become my own wise woman who nurtures and is nurtured by your wise woman, and together we’ll create a safe place where everyone can just be.

Another one of my dreams…

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Happy Birthday Mad Hatter!

Everybody sing with me:

Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday dear Maddie!
Happy birthday to you!

Here's wishing you a day filled with laughter and happy memories!
Hugs from across the ocean!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Warning: melancholy ahead

It’s Labor Day weekend and so far I haven’t been out of my house or my jammies. “Ernesto” has been too busy blowing and raining for me to feel ambitious about much of anything. And I am depressed. Deeply depressed.

I have spent most of the day reading and remembering my first love. Strangely, the two are connected. One of the books I was reading is Lisa See’s novel Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. It is the story of two women in early nineteenth century China; a fascinating portrayal of the role of women in that time period and an insightful tale of the female psyche.

(Stay with me now, there is a point—or at least I see a relevance.) Society at that time was strictly patriarchal, as most societies have always been. Women had no value except as the vehicle through which the male heirs would come into the world. Women’s feet were bound as a sign of beauty and made them more marketable for a good marriage. A woman’s standing as a new wife was nothing until she had a boy baby; girl babies were just unwanted mouths to feed. They had no choices, no power, no voice. A woman’s lot was suffering. Period.

Then into this world came secret ways to survive it. A life-long contract could exist between two women who were called “old sames.” These were women that were somehow assessed to be compatible and who would love and support each other through all the hardness that life was. By communicating through a secret written language on a fan that would travel back and forth between their two homes, these women were more married to each other than to their husbands. Their bond was not physical; society had no allowance for such a thing. But their love and commitment was so very much like the way we lesbians partner with each other in the 21st century.

And now we get to my point: I could not help but think that it was so very ironic that in the myriad ways societies have evolved (pick any culture you like) that there are still things that we cling to that no longer have meaning. Women are no longer dependent on men—in some parts of the world—for survival. They can earn their own money, make their own choices, and now have a voice. Our power does not equal the male’s but it is more than it was. Most of us do not have to marry or have children or fit a certain pattern unless we want to. Some of us have had the courage to say, “that is not me” and “I love differently.”

Imagine if all of us, men and women, could be true to who and what we are. Imagine instead of dominating and controlling each other we tried to lift up those who are weaker and downtrodden. Imagine not fearing anything except that we might not become ourselves. Imagine a world where everyone was valued equally. Even the most homogeneous of groups experience diversity whether they realize it or not. When did we decide that our sameness is achieved through the destruction of diversity? Such foolishness.

I grieve for those who will never be who they were created to be; for those who live in fear; for those who do not dream of and will not fight for a better, evolving, more equal world; for those who think life is about conformity. I grieve for my lost love.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Stolen from Syd

Talk about not seeing yourself the way others see you! Canadian girl goes ranch--I don't even like the dressing--and the two times I was ever on a horse were very memorable. The first time the horse behind mine kept nipping at my horse's butt so off she rode with me hangin' on for dear life. The 2nd time the horse was simply not in the mood to have a little person on board and so bucked me off, lost his balance and fell on me. Yup, that's me, cowgirl, through and through!

Go here if you want your own label.

Web Site Counter