Saturday, January 29, 2011

Off of Long Beach, CA

This was one of those, "Quick! Get the camera!" shots. I loved the straight lines of the buildings, coupled with the shorter lines of the masts of the sailboats in the harbor, but contrasted with the curved lines of the sailboat in the foreground.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Universal Love

I feel so loved!!

My friends love me! My family loves me! My dogs love me! Even my formerly aloof 13 year old cat is beginning to love me!

But, most importantly, the Universe loves me. The Universe has been sending me little love signs for a while. But, two very powerful messages came through to me last week. From total strangers.

I am trying to rearrange finances now that I am getting a divorce. It's not an easy task going from a two income household to a one income household. But, I am trying. I have taken some steps to make it easier, short of taking on a second or even a third job. In a telephone conversation with a woman who was helping me, I told her exactly what was going on. My husband had left me and we were filing for divorce. At once all the financial questioning ceased and she continued, "Oh, honey, you will be just fine. When my husband left me, I thought I was going to die, and I had seven children! All you have to do is: look back at what was right, what was wrong, then look through it to see what you can take with you and discard what you don't need (sounds like an Al-Anon meeting, to me) and then look forward to keep moving! And you will come out all right! But give yourself time."

I was so moved by this stranger's advice that I have it taped on my bathroom mirror.
"Look back, look through, look forward!" Thank you, Pamela in Arizona.

Also, one of my colleagues introduced me to her 9-year old daughter this week. We all chatted as we walked to the main office to sign out. The next day, my colleague came up to me with a story. It seems she always talks to her family about the people she works with. It creates a family environment, parents including the children in their lives. What togetherness! Well, after we all talked, later that evening my colleague asked her daughter what she thought about me. (Now here I must interject, I have been having a bad week or two. The pain is getting heavy again and many days I feel like I need to cry some more, but don't know how.) Well, this little girl told her mother "He has such great positive energy!" If this little girl can see my positive energy through my pain and hurt, it must be down there somewhere. Thank you, Shaina.

With total strangers offering me very good advice and encouragement, (also see my post Allies) I know I will be all right. In time. I thank the Universe for that.

Trouble is, I feel bad right now.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I really like this one for its simplicity and order, yet the scattered gravel gives it elements of randomness and texture.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

This is my latest photo for P52. I am exploring the theme of "Lines." I saw these lines (and others) at the Highland Park Gold Line Station.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Outed!

I think I was outed today. I'm not sure.

I asked my teaching assistant to take down the LGBT History month display today. My students were disappointed. My aide was trying to be careful and I told her it wasn't necessary that next year there would be new people to display as new role models were voted on by the members of Equality Forum. And that nominations were being accepted now.

My students heard this, and one of them asked if they could vote on the nominees. I told them I wasn't sure if they could as I believed they had to be members of the committee. Another asked how they could become members, and again I said I wasn't sure how they could become members, but I think they had to be at least older than eleven or twelve.

The first student then asked if they could nominate me as a role model. (Awwww!) I explained that the role model was selected on the impact his/her life or work had done for the betterment of the LGBT community, but I was deeply touched by their consideration.

(I should interject here that the class is composed of 32 11- and 12- year olds. Seventeen of them were my students last year and I did officially come out to them. And one student from last year actually asked me if I was going to tell the others this year that I was gay.)

The times, they are indeed a-changin'. Would this have been possible in elementary school 10 or even 5 years ago?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Contradictions

His life seemed to be a jumble of contradictions. He was gay, but not interested in men. He wasn't going back to women, of that there was no question; but he just wasn't interested in men, at least not for now. Yet, he longed to be with one; touching him, exploring him, sensing him; yet, the idea of getting to know another man's body made him uneasy. In fact, it turned him off. But still, he read personal ads, tempted by the easy idea of finding someone to touch, to explore, just to be nude with and to see another naked man up close. After all it had been a long time. He remembered his earlier single days and his visits to the personal ads. All those meaningless encounters had left him cold and hollow inside, closing in on bitter.

He was a man who loved being in love. He loved the idea of having a boyfriend, a partner, a husband. Someone who he could take care of, and who could take care of him. But, could he let someone take care of him. Could he relax his guard enough around this someone new and allow himself to be taken care of? Could he allow someone new into his life? He had taken care of his last few boyfriends; after all, he was good at it, and they tried to take care of him when he was sick, but he found it easier to just take care of himself. He could do it better; after all, it was easier to get what you needed yourself than to try to explain what you wanted or needed. But what about when he wasn't sick? Could he let the new boyfriend take care of the utilities, the grocery shopping, his dogs? Still, the idea of getting to know a new man; his likes and dislikes, both his good and bad habits, was daunting.

Yes, he was good at taking care of his boyfriends; in fact he was so good at taking care of them, he didn't take care of himself. He lost himself in his boyfriends. And now that he was alone, he needed to find himself again.

And what of his lack of interest in sex? After all, wasn't that part of the downfall in his last relationship? He longed for, and at the same time feared, how close the orgasm brought him to his partner. Yet, he was a gay man and weren't they all supposed to be interested in nothing but sex? He hated stereotypes. But, the question would come up in any dating scene. Maybe it was because he hadn't found the right partner for him to truly enjoy sex. That gave him pause for thought. Hmm. That could be it.

But, how do you find the right partner?

Regardless, he wasn't ready, and he knew it.

Still, it didn't stop the longing to not be alone.....
A New Beginning!

A new year means a new beginning. 2010 ended badly for me. My husband of 15 years (two of them with legal recognition in California and a few other states) decided he no longer loved me and wanted a divorce. He moved out in September and I have been adjusting to living alone, and taking care of the furry children we acquired during our life together. (He does contribute financially and takes them from time to time to help me out, but they live with me most of the time.) But this post is not about him, or the kids. It's about me.

Yep, I'm going to be selfish. This is my year. I'm taking the year to put myself back together in every way possible; emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Emotionally will take time; after all, time heals all wounds and 15 years is a lot of time to get over. Yet, I am impatient. I don't like feeling how I do. I hurt, and much deeper than I thought I could. But, this is an opportunity to grow, if it is true all things happen for a reason. I need to look back at the relationship itself and my part in it, learn from it and take that forward to the next one. Yes, there will be one. I know it.

Physically will also take time. My doctors say I am in great health for a man my age, so that is less of a worry. Thanks to my ex- I lost 50 pounds and have kept it off which has helped the health issues. About 5 years ago, he joined Weight Watchers, and that motivated me to join, and was more successful than he was. Now, I just need to motivate myself to work out to tone myself. I have an elliptical at home and some other equipment as well, but I need to make the time. After all, a hot bod helps in the husband-hunt, especially when there is "snow on the roof."

Spiritually will also take time. It seems when I am between relationships I get more spiritual. In 1994, my first serious relationship ended with his death due to HIV related causes. While recovering from his death, I had a very spiritual experience which has led me down a different path, some would call it "new age," but I call it deeply moving and very personal. My ex- was supportive of my spirituality, yet over the course of our years together, it took a back seat and now that I am alone, it has come back full force. So, I am returning to explore and embrace it further. I have received some signs that this is where I need to spend the most time. (I may blog about this in another post.)

There are other areas outside of these three that I need to work on to put myself together. 2011 is the year I conquer the clutter! It has always been a problem of mine, too much paperwork (that is a downside of teaching!) and not taking the time to file it away properly. I have also had the bad habit of not putting things back in their proper place when I finish with them. Old habits die hard, but I'm going to give it my best. (Again, it will help with finding the new bf.)

This is also the year I get a good grip on my finances. With the divorce pending, (I faxed my papers to our attorney yesterday) this is an excellent time to take a financial check up and see where I can improve my situation. (Again, dating as a fifty-something is different than dating as a twenty-something.)

Downsizing is also on my list of improvements. Do I really need that book on Norse mythology? Actually, I might. I bought it for research for a story I am working on and have been for about a decade or so. But there are other things in this house that I can donate, sell or just plain toss. And now seems like the right time to do so.

And that last blurb brings one last area of work. My writing. I have so many stories wandering around in my head that some of them are bumping into each other and into the walls of my brain and it hurts. They are starting to meld into one another and leaving me confused as to who is who and what story does she belong to and who was his partner and whose magic amulet is this? I must get them written down, if only sorted into a journal until I can sit and write.

But all this takes time. And one complaint I have is I have so little of it. Teaching takes time, time to prepare the lessons, time to deliver the lessons, and time to see if they got it. But that too, is something I need to work on. After all, I have a 40 minute commute, maybe I can use that time to do something.

So, 2011 is a new beginning for me. And I'd like to leave you with this. It's "A New Beginning" from Stephen Gately, may he rest in peace.