The April Fool!

I am the April’s FOOL, so I hate this day and have for years. But should I think of myself as such? It troubles me that some of my worst days or memories have happened on this single day. And I guess it has never stopped, which makes me hate it even more this year. I speak about each and the first one is a hardest one for me.

It was 1998, it was my first year at college and I was living life at the time. I meet many woman, found my first real relationship, and enjoyed my life for the first time in ways I had never experienced. I am very introverted, and that year had been building all through high school. With each year in hs, I became more and more open socially. But when college hit, I threw down so many walls and just went with things. Life changed and evolved.

I had been friends with a woman for months with possibilities of more. We had flirted and gone deep in our conversations. Though the majority of our friendship, I was in a relationship with another woman; so nothing happened. I have never gone beyond flirting while in a relationship; I am not built that way. She was also about seven years older than I, a nurse that worked many hours, and had a son. These things I believe gave her little time to devote to our friendship, but when my relationship ended; she became much more involved with wanting more from me.

She wanted more commitment from me. Till that point, I had made it clear that I was in college and not completely looking for something lasting. Though like others in the years to follow, she wanted more and I guess thought she could get it from me through getting closer. A week before April we had sex for the first time. If that had not happened, maybe this story would never take place. But who is to stop a 19 year old man, from reaching that level of physicality?

So we finally got that close. It was in her car at the time, at some vacant lot that she knew. I did not want it to be in my dorm room, since I had a roommate. And she did not want it in her house, since she had her son and babysitter there. After that night, I did not hear from her for a week.

She finally called late on the night before April 1st. She was somber and told me that we needed to talk. I could sense her seriousness and quickly asked what was wrong. She asked if I remember how she got pregnant with her first son. From what she told me they had used protection and she still got pregnant. I remembered and said yes, feeling the awful dread of the moment. She said well, I am pregnant. What a wild thing to hear when you did not plan it, took precautions and were just beginning your adult life!? Being young and stupid, I responded reactionary with something to the effect of “what are we going to do with it?” or maybe “what do you plan to do with it?”

She did not say anything for a minute or more. I do not know, time sort of froze in my memory of the events. Then she came out and said APRIL FOOLS! Gosh what a bitch, I jokingly said and we chatted for another minute laughing things off. I did not hear from her for at least a month later and when I did she was engaged. She slowly broke off communication with me within that year, but I do remember that she had a baby sometime within that year. I knew the man she meet within a week of me, and she married him within a couple months. I was happy for her and never thought a single thing about the events.

It was not until a few years later when the events hit me. Maybe I should say the possibility of what might be hit me. I remembered our conversation in more detail and tried to remember when her son was born. Could it be? To this day I do not know. She gave up her phone, email, and moved. I at the time did not even remember her last name. So I had no way to know, to even ask if it was true.

It hurts me to imagine that I might have a son out there. One that I have not known, and was not given the chance to know. Yes I reacted badly, but was it so bad? I did not tell her to go F*** herself or I would have nothing to do with the child. I was just surprised and scared. But coming from a home where my father abandoned us at a young age… I could never imagine not stepping up as a father. Again, it is not a sure thing and is only speculation that it might be true. I think all would agree that I have strong reason to speculate about this situation.

April Fools Take 2 & 3.

So now that we have address the main and largest reason for me to hate the day of April 1st. Let me go further into the days that came after. There have been two other events that stick out to me. One that was upsetting and costly. Another that was a tragedy and loss, but indirectly to me. There is another sad day that occurred on April 1st … which is the last one in this present year, when I got kicked in the gut or in my pride. But we will not go there.

Let us talk about the April 1st that happened next in my life. It was only a couple years later. I was in my early twenties and driving with a girlfriend to see another friend of ours. It was a beautiful day and we had been enjoying ourselves. No I do not mean drinking, but just out and about all day. We were traveling along a road leading up a mountain (more like big hill in these parts), and a car cut me off. I had to slow down to let him by, but the car behind him was on his tail and driving blind because of it. That collision nearly totaled my truck, I cracked my head pretty bad and my girlfriend the same. Luckily nobody got really hurt. The driver of the car was fine, and her old boat had barely any damage compared to my pushed in front end. But who could feel happy about that type of event? Not I.

The next April 1st was a loss, which was some years later. A friend of mine that had been a great help in the years I searched for a spiritual path died. She was in a car accident and the damage caused enough internal bleeding that she eventually died. Let us say she had a good life and knew who she was; and helped others to find themselves.

So that is the skivvy on why I do not like April Fools. And history has only taught me that the day still continues to be harsh for me. Directly or indirectly things continue to happen.

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Another Night Awake (Day 2)

Another night where I dream of her before I sleep… if I sleep. I am sure I will, as I did last night when my body gave out and my mind was exhausted. But again that will not come for many hours I suspect. My wolf is a fighter, thought we believe she pushes herself too far at times. I hope she sees that she is not alone and does not have to act as such. Tonight I think about laying with her all night, being one of two that will flank her and support her through the night, as we do in life. In the morning we would go to the beach that she loves and watch her surf the day away. I close my eyes now and I can see the smile that would light up her face. I feel a warmth at that image, one that comes from the joy of knowing someone you love is happy, and a warmth that was lite by spark generated by the curve of her lips… one that always ignites an inferno within my soul.

A Night Awake

Can sleep truly come when your heart is filled with worry? I can feel my bodies need to sleep, but my mind is racing. I am projected to that room where she sleeps alone and in turmoil. Thought I know that as I write this short post, her heart now walks to be with her and show her the beauty of the world when she wakes. Those hearts are the beauty of my world as well right now, and while I strive to better myself I feel guilt that I am not there to help yet.  The guilt I feel I hope pushes me to be better, and to focus on more than just academia alone; my health is as important to my future as that. With hope one day soon I will be able to give support to them both; beyond the limitations that I now endure under from a distance.

Two Flowers Amidst a Sea of Gold

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.

by Robert Frost

 

 

Robert Frost is by far my favorite poet. I sometimes wonder how deeply others feel his poetry, it is taught to us at an early age in New England. Though it might not be so any longer. Many of his poems speak so much to my heart and I tend to read them on many occasions. Some reason I do not always remember them fully, until a moment happens here I see the word so clearly. Today, the poem I posted above, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” speaks loudest in my head.

 

sunrise-from-the-keys

 

The sunrise I post here speaks volumes to why his poem came to me today. It was taken by my ladies down in the Florida Keys. Though these eyes have yet to lay witness to the sight themselves, I know that they will do so in the near future. How beautiful could this be to behold? I can only imagine and dream of it now.

For as long as I can remember the ocean has been a place that could grant a respite to my mind and soul. It started when I was a child and my family had little money for vacations. But I had a wonderful Aunt whom owned a beach house in Kennebunk Maine. We used that as our vacation going up there several times a year. My aunt was a lonely woman and extremely generous with her hospitality for family.

It was my tradition during those visits to spend a great deal of my time at the ocean. Though I found that the times I loved most were at sunrise and sunset; or at night when I could walk along the beach and dream of possible futures. I found that the ocean was a relaxing force for me and as I grew older I visited it especially when my mind was in chaos. It is unfortunate that I have only been to the ocean once a year for quite a while now. But when I consider that soon I might be living near it, within a short walk away; I wonder how that sort of peace of mind will change me.

Today while those that hold my heart are at sea, I look forward with so much hope to a future where I can unburden my soul and body of the damage I have inflicted upon it. The year to come will be a huge change in my life. I find myself both anxious and excited for what the outcome will reveal to me and to how it will shake my world to its foundation; I am hopeful.

Why do I think so much about a golden sunrise today? Well today is Sarah’s birthday. I have mentioned her in the past a few times, she is ….well my girlfriend. Though I have said she was Michelle’s (my other girlfriend) girlfriend, and hopefully mine one day as well. But today and since this is my blog I will be adventurous or daring. I guess in many ways she is not yet and I do hope that one day she will consider herself to be mine as well. But I simply state that when I think of her or when I talk about her to my family or friends; it is in fact as my girlfriend. I see her and Michelle as one person, one voice, one heart, one body; and while they are separate people and I treat them as such, their bond is such that they are as one. That is how I see it, so they have my heart and my thoughts always.

So Sarah, have a wonderful weekend and a beautiful birthday. Enjoy the magic of that sunset again tomorrow and bask in all the love that Michelle gives you. And my hope is that you feel my heart touching you as well on this special day, and weekend.

TJ

Hope

These words are dear to me, and took me a long time to find. They took a year and a half to fully discover, and weeks of thought to find in truth. You can say I was tasked recently to find the words to give what my heart and soul feel. That is not a hard thing to do for me, and while many things come easy to write down; this was not. It was not that it is a hard task for me to think about my feelings, but it is a hard task for me to find the perfect words to express them. Even with all of that, I feel the work I have produced is flawed and to written without perfection.

My girlfriend Michelle is a proud Native American from the Lakota people. Her blood roamed the lands of the North American Great Plains long before that name put to these lands. While my blood is a calico reminder of mostly Western Europe. My father’s side immigrated from Ireland (grandfather) and Germany (grandmother) two generations ago. My mother’s side is a mix of French, Irish, Romani, and even a little Native American; the Wampanoag people of Southern New England (I believe there is more as well, be we take pride in these bloodlines the most). But while my family has Americanized, hers still holds fast to their tribal traditions.

It is my understanding that the Lakota people gain names somewhere after birth, and those relate to animals that their souls are linked with (I apologize if my wording of these things are incorrect, and will change them once I verify this with my girlfriend). But Michelle also names people in her life with Lakota words or with their meaning as well. So following this tradition I thought I should name her something, a word that suited what I thought about her. The first thing to come to my mind was Hope. Why this was what entered my mind, I can only surmise:

Hope

to see a bright future

filled with laughter and love.

Hope

to find inspiration

a guiding light to drive passions wild.

Hope

to taste desire

with a thirst to learn all its mysteries.

Hope

to believe in someone

have a trust that will never shake or shatter.

Hope

to have my faults bare

without expectation that they will disappear.

Hope

to simply love

freely and openly, without denial or shame.

 

The Lakota word for Hope, is Wakta; she is my Wakta.

Quite simply, Michelle has given me something that I thought lost. Something that I have not had for many years. To my best recollection, I have not had a true relationship for at least a decade. Sad is it not? I have had safe relationships, with women only online whom I had no chance to meet. I would lie to myself and I was very convincing, telling myself that becoming emotionally involved with these women was the first step to moving to something real. But somewhere inside I could not open up fully, and I could not let anyone into my world. I was ashamed of what I looked like, the years of depression dug me a physical hole in which I still today have to climb out from. I felt worthless, not succeeding in life and the constant failures weighs heavy on a person’s soul. Perhaps it was fear of rejection, or fear of acceptance, and if so I have been afraid of women for years now.

At some point before our friendship found a new level, I had hit rock bottom. Being alone is something that shatters a person, and scourges the very soul. It is a pain that cannot be pushed aside, and eventually shouts for change. So at the bottom of that pile I resolved to take a chance. I told myself that the next time that a relationship was possible, I would open my life to that person and wait for acceptance or laughter. I admit that this mainly has to do with physical stature. I have learned over the years that out of all the qualities of a person, physical appearance is the most admired by most. I would say, and I would say that through my own trial and error that an extremely high percent of people care mainly what someone looks like, and not who they are or their other qualities when considering possible partners in life.

Michelle has never seen the flaws that I myself see. With her I laid my cards on the table, as a way to challenge her and find yet another woman unworthy of any short of trust. But she took those cards, and placed them securely in her pocket as if they were nothing to her. She even laughs at them, as being nothing truly worthy of the title of a flaw. I shook and I thrashed under those restraints for a long time, I remember one day sending her picture after picture of me as I am; fat and completely unappealing in my mind. Then she complimented me, and thought I was cute, handsome, pretty eyes… How I asked myself? This is not logical! It defied all of the trials I have had to endure over the years and quickly all of the doubts I had were shattered into dust beneath her will. She walked through the walls I had built up, and made a home within my heart, one that she builds upon daily.

Today I would say that she has brought light to this humble life of mine. A light that has cut through the darkness, and the fog. One that inspires me to grow, while ever drawing me ever closer. I have found it impossible to remain dispirited with her presences close to mine. It matters little that that presence is absence in body, for it is truly the mind and the spirit that shines so brightly. It burns strong enough from afar to evoke profound feelings deep within. Feelings once lost, and found again; but found to be completely alien to this heart, reaching into it in ways that is uniquely hers. Ways that I have no protection from, nor desire to counter at this point; and I believe I be the wiser for it, for we cannot live truly unless we allow ourselves that luxury.

There are many things that we can grow so used to, or ignore and begin to take for granted. Financially successful people can take for granted that they can buy the best things, quality food, go on vacations, and live lives that others could only dream about. Many relationships also reach this level. When you always have someone there to support you, to love you, to put you above all other concerns, they forget that not all people have such a gift in life. That can be a relationship with a family member, a friend, or a lover. Other things can be taken for granted also, such as health, looks, and more.

I think it is easier to take things for granted when you have never experienced something else. I have experienced many lows in all these categories. But I know that others have found lower places, extreme ones, and in many places in the world there are lows I can barely fathom. I have also found small successes in some of these areas, for a time, perhaps even higher when it comes to successful relationships with family and friends. Their support of me has been consistent and everlasting, even when I had forced a distance between us.

For me, I believe that growing used to something is lazy, is a way for us to not be aware of what we have in comparison to what others have. Should we dwell on these points? No, but we should be thankful at the least and not take them for granted. Have I been lazy in this fashion in the past? Yes I have, to my disappointment. But I am aware of it and of my other flaws. I think that awareness will guide me in the future. I have planned to never take for granted my successes. I plan to never take for granted what Michelle does for me, or what she means to me. I plan to forge a relationship with Sarah that is equally important and unique. Michelle and I have hopes, that Sarah and I can find these within each other. I plan to never take for granted the relationship that we are building, to stand solid behind the honor, loyalty, trust, and love that has grown between us. Such qualities that we have learned in life from our families, and through our own seeks of ourselves. And last, I know that the little things are as important as or even more important than the big ones. Michelle, if I ever falter in these tasks, you need only let me know to correct my failing.

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou

True Strength

Often I look up poetry, and even quotes to express my mood or feelings during a time. I post these to my personal Facebook or just read them again and again during that time. It came to me last night to look up something upon the nature of strength within a person. There were two reasons for me to consider this that night. The first was my girlfriend was about to undergo yet another test within her life. That test would require her to find the strength within herself and to lean on the strength of those that love her. The second was that I myself find that I need to continue to be strong and endure the tests that I have been given. Those are meager to her test, but none the less I seek to find unity in passion, compromise with understanding, and trust through honesty. Until I am given those things, I persevere because what other choice do I have.

Felice Leonardo Buscaglia once said, “Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.”  While I agree with this for the most part. I know that something’s that cruel people do, can infest us with hatred and anger so deep that it can make us ourselves cruel to the offenders. I find that I cannot say that it is wrong to hate that deeply, for there are reasons in life that go beyond forgiveness. Those are the extremes and I will not dwell on them. So I will move on to what I believe to be the case for most.

Since I was in grade school, I have been a student of people. My quiet nature to most seems to make me labelled shy and I would be overall classified as an introvert, which supports that theory. But speak with me and I open up completely. Engage me and I am not the same person as you might surmise. I watched others with a depth of understanding that far exceeded my age then. Now that I am grown, I believe I am much the same, but have a great deal of wisdom from experience behind what I learn.

Most young men, or those that never grow up emotionally; and some women for that matter believe someone is strong if they have the physicality to back it up. Belief that aggression, fighting prowess, machismo, and many other silly factors make them “strong” men. That is a weakness that society has given them in the past and one that has slowly gone away; but is still there in many ways. I hope it is shed one day and that more can see the wisdom behind true strength.

True strength is in one’s character. In their integrity, morals, honor, qualities, treatment to loved ones or others, and in a flexible resolve. I see compassion as strength. I see a gentle hand as strength. I see the ability to accept others opinions, views, beliefs, with an open mind and an open heart as strength. I see the ability to flex without breaking as strength. I see the ability to support those you care about as strength. Finally, I see that doing any of these things, without an immediate benefit to yourself as true and pure strength. So are you strong or do you fail to meet these easy qualities in life?

It is my opinion that I hold many of these qualities, and those that I do not have I work towards constantly. They are things I learned from my family, and through my own retrospection over the years. I find it an important fact that much of this I learned from the strong women of my family. So what does it say that I see far more women with real strength, but many men I have known over the years lack it? I do not throw down on all men, I have meet a good amount that I would rank highly in these areas as well. My friends for the most part rank in these areas after all. I would not align myself to those that are not of the same mind. But as a whole, women surpassed our attempts to be strong by leaps and bounds. Yet many do not see it as such, and that is far more honorable to me.

I thank my Mom for showing me truth, love, and an unshakable strength of character; my Aunt Judy for compassion, love, and a spirit that lifts all within her arms; my dad (step father) for showing me how a man supports his family; to the other in my circle of family and friends who show me many qualities that I admire and honor about them; and to my girlfriend who has shown me that a person can endure the pains of this world, and not back down from living and succeeding, that a heart can see through to a person and accept them even when they can barely accept themselves, and finally that hope exists if one reaches for it.

I love each of you, and I am man enough and strong enough to say it.

Acceptance

What does it mean to accept something? What boundaries or limits are there to this concept? How many people are so set in their ways that they cannot look beyond their beliefs, their virtues, and their limitations to open themselves up to new ways or ideas? I questioned this concept lately, but perhaps not in the ways you might imagine. One might imagine I am speaking about accepting others belief systems; maybe religion, culture, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. One might expect that I am speaking about accepting a person for who or what they are; and not for a stereotype that has been set upon them by society. While these types of acceptance are quite important in life, those are not the ways in which I mean this today.

In this moment in time, and for the past two and a half months I have been in a relationship with two women. Our relationship started well before this as a friendship, and grew to be a relationship in all but name for many months before we made it official. The first of these women is my girlfriend, Michelle, and the second is her girlfriend, Sarah. These two have been together forever and are an unbreakable couple. Childhood friends, from the first days that such things could happen; and lovers in their teens. Their relationship as weathered storms and the years, keeping them best friends and committed partners in life.

They have a version of an open relationship, and that is where I come into it. They both like men to varying degrees, but Michelle is the one that dates men in long term relationships, and brings them into their relationship. Women are also brought into the relationship, but more so as flings from what I understand. So this is the life they live, and their version of normality. That is a life much different than the one I have believed in, and something that I have accepted in them. Though I have questioned how my acceptance has been so firm on this concept of a relationship.

Here is where the foundation of my understanding in relationship comes from. My biological father left my mother, my sister, and I in Arizona; after moving us out there from New England, far away from my mother’s support system. I was maybe three or four at the time, and he said goodbye in the early hours of the morning to my sister and I; my mother was sleeping at the time, and sick with cancer. She was his second wife, and he had at least five others after her (common law, and legal wives). I would say that he cheated on each of his wives, and I can say that with upmost assurance on that with knowledge of his character in those years and what he admitted to now that he has moved past that type of life.

After he left us, I am told I hated men, and I can see signs of that in the memories I still have. When I started school, the other boys would try to chase the girls around the playground and I would impose myself between them, stopping it. Women were not mistreated on my watch, and I had always been a bigger child than most. So I grew to have a respect for them that perhaps is lost in today’s society, and that was reinforced by the strong women of family around me in those years. I also grew to respect the committed relationship; I have never cheated on a single woman in my life, because of those virtues and the knowledge of the pain inflicted by my biological father adulterous actions. I also have had women cheat on me and have felt a sting deep inside that I could never transfer upon another soul. Until now I have seen committed relationships as a thing between two people alone, though I have been in casual relationships that had a touch of openness in the past. Though only in relationships that were more fun, then something either of us believed to be serious or lasting did these things happen. It also seems that I attract far more bisexual woman then completely straight ones, and that began well before it was so fashionable to be a bisexual.

So knowing this about me, how could I be so accepting of a relationship of this type? Is this not a dream for most men? To date one amazing woman, have sex with two women, and perhaps others on occasion; and be the only man in their lives. I believe and know that most men would see that is a big bonus to any relationship. But I cannot think of another human as some bonus, and I truly care about this relationship and its possibilities. My acceptance came through long ago, while we were just friends but I had hoped and felt more brewing between us. I knew that they were a solid core to a relationship, one tested through time. That they were essentially one person in two bodies; that is how close they are and how vital to each other’s equilibrium. Joining them would mean that I was the odd one out and that I would have to compliment them, bring something to the relationship that they might not have, be flexible to both and there for them both equally.

My connection to Michelle is one found only in dreams; at least that is how I see it. I have found depths within my heart for her that I would not had believed there in the past. But I will save that for another post, and another day. Knowing my connection to be what it was for Michelle, I have sought to bring me and Sarah closer. I see many things in her that I like; her loyalty, conviction, compassion, intelligence, artistic abilities, and that there is a little geek in her as well. I truly and honestly hope to one day feel the same about her as I do Michelle and for her to feel similar feelings for me.

We once had a good rapport and she seemed to be opening up to me; flirting, being playful, answering questions about herself, talking about deep things, and eventually naming me a prince for my easy charm I assume. She had even gone as far to say that I would eventually make a good husband for Michelle, and my response was for her as well maybe. But today I find that we have turbulent waters, and she sees me more as an enemy for reasons unknown to me or Michelle. I hope to bridge this gap, because I truly care about Michelle and about Sarah as well. She is a vital part of Michelle life, to this relationship, and I have never questioned that, or thought to work against it. I believe that when I am done with my graduate degree, and able to join them; that I can win her back to my side. But until then, I continue to work at a distance and hope that things will come together again. I seek to have a door opened to me, I seek her happiness, and I seek her acceptance; for I have Michelle’s, but still hope for hers.