Protected: Spirit Moves (Meeting H.)

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In the Park Again

18 July 98 ~9:10 pm Friday

In the park again, wondering why I don’t get out more often. I picked up a little trash tonight, but there really wasn’t much to pick up. Now I sit listening to Kiss 107.5, Planet Soul doing “Set You Free,” backed up by a solid, droning chorus of cicadas and crickets.

I wonder again about the soul of gay Memphis. I wonder who I really am — am I just treading water here? I feel like I’m in an edgy place of transition at Wild Oats. Do I really want to stay there? Do I really have a choice, without changing my profession? Does my money really allow me any choice?

Remember: I always have a choice. As long as I have free will, I have a choice — I can write my destiny. At rock bottom — following Thoreau — one can either suck out the marrow of life or one can pick the meat off its bones. One can either kick around in the shallows of the river or wade out into the main current and sink feet down into the mud until one hits bedrock. So says one person.


Right now, I’m asking myself what I’m doing here. I have groceries in the car that are getting warm and yet still I sit in this car, unable to relax. I have the radio on, though I’m unable to concentrate on it. I’m much more interested in a couple of cute guys caught in the cruising loop, seemingly not paying me any attention. I want to join in, but I’m still not sure how or if I should. (Note — interesting slip of the pen here: “want to join in.” So perhaps I just crave attention, friendship, companionship, contact and though I hope to find it here, on some level I still doubt it is here.)

The only interest so far comes from a man who probably is mostly curious why I am sitting here.

If I were to see me from the outside, I might wonder who I am, whether I’m an undercover, why I persist in sitting here but refuse to join. I might think, in fact, that I’m an asshole. I might.

Age Is No Barrier To Connection

28 June 98 Sunday ~12:57 am

I touched a raw nerve (in me) when I was talking on the phone to R. tonight.  I was telling him about going to Overton to pick up trash because I have had anxiety attacks, and I said that such activities helped cool my mind and quiet my thoughts. Then I told him that I’d reconsidered what I’d said on Thursday night about this 18-year-old he might be interested in.

What I’d said the other night was that this guy could be too young and immature to deal with the intensity that is R. What I chose to say tonight was that I really didn’t think that age should make any difference, based on my relationship with Greg, who was 19 when I was 24. I said that all that really matters is that he makes you happy and that you find him interesting. I said, in short, that age was basically irrelevant to other concerns.

Then as R. was saying, “Yes, yes – but of course,” I felt my face flush. I felt the sting of pent-up grief and sadness in my eyes, and I thought I was going to become unglued. I don’t know why — nor do I know how I suppressed my feelings or how to reach them again. I think I need a good cry, among other things. I closed my eyes while R. was talking and felt grief well up from within. I pulled up G.’s picture in my mind, and the grief receded. Did I suppress genuine grief by trying to put it on a person who wasn’t any longer worthy of that focus?

Later in the conversation I told R. about my brief dating relationship with S. (who, ironically enough, later became R.’s live-in beau) and how we ultimately proved incompatible because he made me feel like he didn’t want me in his life, just in his bed. I realized just then, I think, that I do very much crave romantic friendship, though I frequently deny that I do, both to myself and to others.

English, August, On The Road, and a Life Wide Open

23 June 98 ~7:00 pm

I was groping around for a book tonight — something appropriate to go with dinner, and nothing quite right… until my hand fell on the spine of a poignantly familiar book, English, August: An Indian Story by Upananyu Chatterjee.

My first instinct when slipped that thin tome out of its berth was to say, “Uh-oh, what does this mean? What does it mean that my hand is comforted by this, of all books? Why am I drawn to read this one a third time, twice this very year, when there are so many other books I could choose?”

As I sat down to eat, a thought came to me: when, I found myself asking, have I previously been drawn to this book? The answer that came to me is both a comfort and a revelation. I am pulled to this book when my life is in flux — when I feel like I’m at a crossroads and need a push to go on. More specifically, this book represents for me not just a time of transformation, but a time when my life was wide open, and I could do anything. The first time I began reading this, I was in India — I no longer recall in which city — and I remember being blown away at the life of Agastya Sen. How he struggled to right himself in a life that had been enough for his father but seemed both tedious to him and quaint and novel to me.

How am I to survive is perpetually a question worth asking. Better still, how am I to live? Who am I really?

Where go? What do? What next? [to paraphrase Kerouac in On The Road].

Quite suddenly, my perspective has broadened, and the scope of what I can do has become limitless.

Joel Hurley was right in his reading when he said nothing would be quite the same again. I still don’t know quite what to make of my desire for a change, but I feel it quite strongly. By going to Colorado, I altered something in myself utterly, the pieces have come loose, and I don’t yet know how to put them together again.

This morning when I woke up, I looked around my trashed and dirty apartment and prepared myself to make a difference. Using lavender and eucalyptus essential oils, I wiped down my new cabinet and began filling it with folded clothes. Then unused supplements were given their turn.

Now, after dinner, I’m going to move the rest of my supplements into the cabinet and begin to try to reorganize my herbs and healing library on the shelves. The bottom shelf may still be dedicated to photography, but the middle two shelves will be taken up by books. ….