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Posts Tagged ‘Friends’

Friends: Past, Present and Former

01 Apr

Friends 
What an interesting world that we live in. I’d like to say that I’m disappointed and sad over the [apparent] ending of a friendship … but to say such a thing would not be “entirely true” in this case.

Have you ever had a friend that, regardless of how long you’d been friends or how deep the friendship ran, you did always find yourself stepping gingerly around him or her in order to maintain the peace? (I suppose the first thing one should ask themselves is, “Is this person really a friend if I’m always having to watch what I say around him?”) The answer is likely to be “no.”

I make introductions to potential friends easily.

The attachment (or underlying friendship) takes longer to formulate. This is likely a product of my forty-nine years of life because, in time, a number of persons will let us down to some degree or another. Depending on how attached you are to the individual, your measure of disappointment or hurt is certain to fluctuate. Regardless, all acts of betrayal leave their mark and as such, you start making it a practice to take more time letting people in as a member of your “most cherished and trusted” circle of friends.

That is likely the case with most of us, for better or worse.

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Friends and Differences…

09 Feb

Friends, they come in all shapes and sizes!

ROFLMAO! Okay, well… Here’s what’s up! I’m getting ready to head out for a bit, to have my nightly “walk & talk” with Spirit (God). I often walk the labyrinth at a nearby church I sometimes attend – and for me, that involves prayer (both, for what I’d like to see happening in my own life and even more importantly, prayers on behalf of others I perceive as being more deserving at the moment.)

It’s just what I do; it brings me some peace, especially after spending a day working in an atmosphere that is “less than stellar” and then driving in traffic (which I never enjoy) from the office back to my home.

But why am I writing about this tonight? Because I’ve been more vocal recently about the “faithful” side of me and in so doing, I noticed something when I signed on to Facebook this evening to check message and respond to comments.

Shucks! I’d lost some friends!! LOL .

Why am I laughing? Because it’s nothing new; this always happens when my focus changes, either on Facebook or in my blog. It happens most often after I express an opinion on one hot-topic issue or another.

There are classmates I graduated with who don’t take the time to read about what’s happened in my life since attending high school with them way back in the eighties. When they finally get around to doing that, discovering that I’m gay in the process, they might be quick to press the “delete” button. (I grew up in a conservative, small town in New Mexico; most there would like to think there weren’t many of us “gay guys” around town! ROFL… Truth is, we were there but the majority of us knew to lay low till we could get the heck out of town to live our own lives. LOL)

Even so, I’ve got some great friends from my childhood; one of whom has been really supportive in the last day or so. Thank you, Paul, for your message of earlier today; it meant a lot.

Prays Well with Others

There are gay friends with whom I’ve become acquainted with here on Facebook or in real life, who see me talking about prayer, faith and God, etc. or who simply don’t realize how conservative I am about “some” things (for instance, I’m really conservative when it comes to the subject of fiscal responsibility within the government). When they see that side of me, THEY freak out and might press “DELETE!” It’s as if my faithfulness (or being conservative whereas certain issues are concerned) is somehow a threat to some of my more liberal friends — but as I said, there are plenty of examples of “fair weather” friends on both sides of the aisle, conservative and liberal alike.

For the record, I’ve many friends on FB who are gay and aren’t the least bit threatened by my spiritual/religious beliefs; some of them even share similar beliefs.

Then there are the conservative friends whose acquaintance I’ve made online BECAUSE they were first attracted to my messages about spirituality, faith and God – only to later become offended when I take a stand on other issues that are also important to me (such as marriage equality and the like), in the process expressing a more liberal side of myself. It’s as though as long as I’m talking about something they can agree with or relate to, they’re there … but once I take a stand they can’t get behind, they’re gone in a flash.

Seriously??! (“friends” such as those won’t be missed)


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The Mayonnaise Jar

08 Feb

Jar of pebbles

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and fills it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES”.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.” he said.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you…” he told them.

“So… pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Worship with your family. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Spend time with good friends. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap. Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

A friend on Facebook shared this with me earlier this evening. The story and the analogy were such that I just had to share it here on my own blog. Thank you, Taft, for sending this to me. As I said earlier tonight, you are special. Never lose hope and always remember that change is both, inevitable and often times for the better. You are in my thoughts and my prayers.

Namaste and peace be with you,
Michael

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In Retrospect…

07 Aug

Take a good look at yourself

Two blog entries in one day? I know, “strange” since I haven’t been writing a lot of recent…

No particular reason for that; working so yes, I’m busy but I’ve always made time for blogging in the past (regardless of what was going on in my personal life). I just haven’t felt much like sharing too much of late I suppose.

While I’m not necessarily depressed, I have been looking back on my life and remembering long-lost friends in recent weeks. Just yesterday I found myself driving around the hometown haunts of a good friend who passed in 1996 (Sherman Mashburn). Sherman was a sweet young man who deserved a long and healthy life and I miss him terribly. His original partner and High School sweetheart had exposed him to HIV, which then progressed to full-blown AIDS and Sherm died of complications from this later on. (Tim, his HS sweetheart passed a few years earlier and is buried in a cemetery in Fort Worth where a couple of my other friends are buried, as well; Mark Fuchs for instance.) Sherman is buried here in Dallas in Restland.

I usually make it over to visit Sherman’s gravesite a couple of times a year, leaving two pennies on his marker at the end of each visit in honor of the many talks we used to have. He and I were very prone to giving one another our “two cents worth” of opinions. LOL I’ve no doubt his family probably wonders, “Who the hell keeps leaving change on our loved one’s grave?”

I’m guessing I was thrown into this contemplative mood because a close friend of another friend recently passed (heart problems) earlier this past week and I was [again] reminded me of how little time we have on this earth, in these borrowed bodies.

True, I believe in reincarnation and that our consciousness lives on through eternity but still, these bodies we each inhabit and the memories of each lifetime are but very short trips along the way. We grow attached to our families, our friends, to the everyday sights and smells that warm our hearts and make us laugh. As we grow older, we are oft reminded of just how fragile our lives really are and how everything can change in the blink of a moment. During such periods of introspection we mull over the long history of our time spent here on earth and may ask, “did we succeed or do we have regrets?”

I think we all have some regrets at the end of the day; I certainly do. There are loves lost and friends of whom I never took the time to tell just how much they mattered. Sometimes the regrets are those things that are totally outside of our control, like the mistaken impressions another might have (thinking badly of us because they did not understand why we said or did the things we did). More often than not, the regrets are over a risk not taken which “might” have sent one’s “life’s journey” along an entirely different path.

Many pretend as though they’ve “no regrets” (as if to admit to such somehow belies a vulnerability they would rather others not see) but I think we ALL have our fair share of soft repose within which we ponder how things “might have been if we’d only done this or only done that.”

…and I think that is part of the wonder that it is to be human.

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Respect, Given and Received

04 Dec

There are a few movies I watch fairly consistently, once every couple of years. This (“Torch Song Trilogy”) is one of them. It couldn’t be — yeah, right — because Matthew Broderick appears in the movie and looks so damned delicious in a tuxedo!

But setting Matthew aside (which I do with difficulty)…

There’s a scene in the movie that [again] caught my eye last night. It’s a wonderful scene that so many of us in the world would do well to watch and allow to sink in; an attitude, the principle of which we should make an integral part of our everyday lives.


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A little bit o’ Glum

24 Aug

Photo of yellow flowers taken at Lake Whiterock in Dallas, TexasHave you ever felt … um, despondent because you were looking back instead of toward the future?

That is what I’m feeling today; it came upon me ever so slowly, as I was sorting through some things here at home and revising my resume to submit for consideration with a company I worked for quite some time back.

In the process of looking for something else, I stumbled across the obituary for a friend and classmate (Deanna). Deanna had passed away last summer (June 19, 2009) when she had a terrible accident in her car. My brother was one of the first responders and, not knowing that she and I were friends, he had called to tell me about the accident later that same day.


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Death of a Classmate and a Friend..

13 Jul

High School yearbook photos of Wally Marshall

Wally Marshall

Wallace “Wally” Marshall passed away on Sunday, July 11, 2010, at his mother’s home. He was only 45-years old at the time of his death.

Some of our classmates mistook us as cousins but the truth is Wally and I weren’t related. It’s true that we may have resembled one another and we got along well. We even worked at the same amusement park one or two summers. Nevertheless, we were only friends; there was no blood relation.

I remember Wally as a handsome young man… We first met in Mid High school and he could usually be found somewhere near the sports crowd, or you could find him hanging with a good friend of his, Paul Pollock. He was funny, kind, polite and often quite caring; Wally was a gentle soul (at least, that’s the way I remember him).

I’d like to say that we stayed in touch over the years but the truth is that after we both graduated in the spring of 1982, we went our separate ways. It’s more common than most of us would like to think; school friends falling out of touch with one another as the long years draw on.


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A Tribute to a Friend

11 Jul

I loved my friend
  He went away from me
    There’s nothing more to say
  The poem ends,
  Soft as it began-
     I loved my friend.
— Langston Hughes

This prose by Langston Hughes (see inset at right) appeared on the screen just prior to the closing credits for a movie I had watched last evening (Brother to Brother). Perhaps it is because of my somber mood these days but it struck such a chord within and got me to thinking about some long, lost friends.

I’ve made many friends over the years and I’ve lost quite a few. At my age and growing up in the era that I did, far too many passed on because of complications of AIDS. And some simply moved away and I subsequently just lost touch with them. It never gets any easier (to lose a friend) however and when I saw those words upon the screen, my thoughts immediately went to one of my best friends who died from complications of AIDS in 1996, Sherman Mashburn.


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Equality, Friendships and Martin Luther King..

06 Jul

Poster with caption that reads 'Love Unites'I have written about this many times but true equality (inasmuch as all persons are created “equal”) is the only measure that satisfies what did appear to be the true intent of the founding fathers. Anybody who has access to a copy of the founding documents can see this for themselves, provided they do not have an agenda of their own to serve and justify.

I’ve argued on behalf of the rights of religious persons to follow their hearts and practice their faith. I’ve come under fire from some in the gay community because of it. That said, it’s always so very interesting and all too common to come across those who place “their faith-based opinions and beliefs” above the rights of others whose opinions seemingly differ from their own; opinions which are then dismissed out of hand.

Some who oppose marriage equality do not seem to fully understand just what the real cost (both, financial as well as in “peace of mind”) is to same-sex couples, over and above what the average heterosexual couples do experience in their lifetimes. The added cost is all too often considered insignificant or deemed acceptable by those who aren’t bearing the financial burden, for themselves.
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A Call out to Davide!

11 Jun

I’ve got an online friend whom I’m looking forward to meeting this summer hopefully; possibly as early as next month! He and his two younger brothers and his boyfriend will be here to visit and take in all the sights of Dallas, Fart Worth, Denton and the surrounding areas (and I’m certain those cities will NEVER be the same after!! LOL)

So why tell you this? Well, I was looking through some blog entries I never published (sometimes I just tuck things or ideas, notions, whatever away in a quick “draft” so that I can blog about it later
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