I found myself wondering
how best to thank you
for picking up
for dropping out
for pulling it out of me
for playlists and secret notebooks
of words you pluck as if from strings
in the sky
chords you strike and covers you lift
for risking failure
in the name of truth
knowing truth wears many faces
for going the distance
for closing the gap
for a downpour of laughter
just when I thought the sky
would surely collapse
under its own weight
for running towards
and not away from
for saying yes
but tell me
tell me anyway
tell me everything
for slow hands and fast cars
for finding me
after I found myself
not a moment too soon or too late
or too anything
for meeting me here
in this tumbling empty space
and tolerating my free fall
They say the bad news is that we’re falling
and the good news is that there’s no ground
I say the good news is we’re falling
and this may be something
we do alone
but this is not something
we do alone
I could long for a landing
or dread the crash
or I could simply say thank you
pull the string
let the winds carry me
where they will
traverse the wide-open spaces of knowing
and of if
and of when
and of how
all the while
keeping my eyes peeled
for a hand on the horizon
I can take in mine
While transitioning does involve the loss of certain relationships, I have been struck by the quality of the relationships that remain. The process of being honest with ourselves and those around us can be disheartening and clarifying. While it may take time to find and cultivate relationships that truly reflect us, it can be done. Do not lose heart if you feel alone. Give it time. You are worthy of good love. I am grateful for those in my life–who have reached out their hands to take mine–in the most uncertain of times.
Who are you grateful for? How have they offered “a hand on the horizon” to you?
I am grateful for the Catholic church. I tell people that I am Mormon upstairs and Catholic downstairs. I am also grateful for Saint Joseph’s University and the Jesuit path. I find courage in being my quirky strong self. My ancestors came to America for religious freedom. The LdS church has no path for a ‘redress of grievances’… fortunately my God does. Thank you, Jesus!
What an incredibly beautiful piece. You reminded me of our aloneness as individuals, but not needing to be lonely on the journey. You are gifted in thought and in word. Thanks for your contemplative work. It is a balm for many, especially at this wonky period in time among many who are our neighbors.
Lowell Bennion was a dear neighbor of mine. He had a soul that was much larger and more inclusive of the human family, than his simple church tribe in the local community. His writings are timeless and always point to a simple gospel of love and inclusion. More than once, I heard him say, “Woe be unto the neighbor of the man who is unhappy with himself!” It’s so true. We’re seeing that in the church society right now.
Men who by calling should be shepherds who offer pastoral care to the suffering; who instead cause bewilderment.
We witness a lot of noisy clanking around of our Mormon neighbors, as of late. As a gay man, I’m happy to simply be a spectator at this point in life. Lately, I’ve shed a tear or two witnessing the goodness of many; healing words, healing hands and deeds. My heart has been touched thinking about how so many of them have felt that the table that they had set for a gathering of ALL people, had just had the legs knocked out from underneath it, by their Faith.
May we who are on the fringes continue to offer a prayer of understanding for them. They like we, are in need of healing balm. It is our turn to be the healer. May we rise to the need.
Thank you for continuing to be a source of goodness and strength. Thank you for feeding our minds and souls. Blessings to you and John, and your family.
I want to give credit and thanks to Jena Schwartz also, for the beautiful piece sited above by Margi Dehlin. So sorry that I failed to do that in my earlier post. Thank you Jena for also feeding us and offering a piece that reminds us each, of our humanity, but also of our divine potential. Many Thanks.
Doug I loved your post its brilliant, is it ok to share it with friends/family who are suffering please? just felt the need to ask.
Karen, thanks for your kind note. Yes, of course! You’re welcome to share it. Isn’t this period whacky? I’m gay and no longer a member of record, but still largely a believer who got the axe 10 years ago. It’s so odd to me now that the dust is settling on this thing, that for so long it was straight friends who prayed for LGBT friend’s rights and happiness. Now we are praying for straight friends who are hurting over this. It is an interesting dynamic. I wish you and your family well!
Kia ora Doug
I know crazy right! thanks for for your reply, and it is truly an interesting dynamic, this policy change has affected the young and the elderly in our little corner of the world (NZ) I wish you peace and happiness.
I’m yacky this sabbath morning. Forgive me. Just found this beautiful quote about Jena, but also about walking with others on an empathic journey through life. Maybe this will help someone else out there:
“Some people are great writers, and some people are great listeners, and some people are gifted teachers, and some people are skilled at encouraging others, and some people know just how to gather a group and hold space for them, and some people are totally bad-ass and can do all of the above, plus spill out their heart right alongside you and make you feel like you’re in a trusted circle of friends you never want to lose touch with. Jena. Yup.” – Allison Tyler,