Purity includes identity

I was crossing the street today and someone stopped me, he said, “Can I talk to you about LGBT rights?” I walked away from that conversation shaking a little bit. I read an article that came to my inbox an hour later about how the Catholic church can show sensitivity towards an identity that someone has embraced that identifies them as sexually being attracted towards the same gender while knowing that it is in itself still an elusive identity. (though strong and weighty) It slips through the hands as oil through the fingers ..
What is liberating about this sexual revolution I think 1) on a basis of a reality that someone has lived through and known and 2) Acceptance and vindication.
I will start with the first reason: That of reality.
Reality, I suppose, in terms of sexual libido is quite a bit relative. I can only suppose that the internal desires have been shaped by the particular formation of the individual. The formation of the human soul is complex, and given that L. G. B. T. is not given to children at birth, the infant is given the simple right to breathe and to be loved.

These words are not persons…it is nothing more than what it is: simply put, a desire and an act.

Yet somehow, it gets a false hush. It gets personhood attached to it. It becomes the person. That, I do not understand.

Sometimes I have sensed a false hush comes over a room when dealing with homosexuality, as if heterosexual disorders are not equally harmful…I guess God’s word simply declares both to be damaging and to be equally resisted.

My own practice of sexuality didn’t immediately attach me to the disorder I carried. I did not receive the identity of Disordered Heterosexual upon my first abandonment of clothing, nor upon the first time an irreverent lust entered my heart. the way I practiced it was so NOT beautiful. (or self-dignifying, or honoring to God or anyone else

And then to be told by God, that He is the One who will determine just what it is that I need. And that it is He alone who has the right to determine who and what I am.

if God says me living how I want to live is beautiful and good, chances are I will not be happier for it. Fortunately God doesn’t say this: and I am free to mourn the loss of my “freedom”.
I mourn that I cannot “have it my way”
I mourn that God convicts me of self-love and teaches me the art of abstinence. I mourn that I must not give into the selfish pursuits of myself and others. I mourn my own purity, when all the while Christ was interceding to claim it for me, giving himself up for me, that I would become a better woman than I ever could be, had I been “liberated” from His captivity.

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When you bring LaDawn and Rhonda on a date with you

Experimental dating #93939 I decided to bring LaDawn and her sister with me for my date with Paul.
I got there first. It was extraordinary seating, (on the roof and the breeze was blowing.)

Rhonda and LaDawn showed up next. Rhonda had a WaWa cup in her hand filled with Pinot Grigio that she had brought with her. LaDawn and I ordered from the happy hour menu. I ordered two drinks, LaDawn got one. And Rhonda ordered none, because she had her WaWa cup.

We took pictures of each other and shot the you know what, Rhonda urged me to hit on the bartender. I refused.Then I noticed the guy (we were meeting for the first time). I looked at Rhonda, (that’s him, behind you) Does he recognize you? she said. I don’t know. I said. Go over there and get him. No, I said. I looked at LaDawn, he didn’t know I was bringing friends with me.

Then he walked over and approached me. “Hey, Mikaela?” He said. “Hi,” I said. He had a cigarette in his hand.

And who are your friends? He shook hands with LaDawn and Rhonda and then remained standing. Leaning actually, I was saying nothing and avoiding eye contact. “What are you smoking, can I have one?” Rhonda asked. “Madam” he said held out his pack. “Ugh, what are those Marlboros!? Ugh, I thought you were rolling your own, ugh and your smoking Marlboros!” but she took one anyway.

Rhonda breathed in a few puffs of cigarette and then said, “so your her boo huh?”

To which I said, “he’s not my boo”

And he was repeating to himself, “boo?”

LaDawn simultaneously was saying, “i keep telling you he’s not her boyfriend”

and he said, “yeah we just met”

Paul had nice brown eyes. I really liked his outfit too, nice complexion. But everything he said was such a turn off. Within the first few minutes he had filled my ears with the F word at least 10 times. A gentleman doesn’t impress a lady by using the F word incessantly and with no good reason.

Come on people, if your going to cuss, it should be creatively and with purpose.

Then he said the following statement, “My dad always told me I should believe in something. I’d say I’m a Christian. But I’m for abortion. And gay marriage: why does it matter who people marry? let the people f’in marry who they wanna f’in marry”

I paused. I waited. I think I said something like, “It’s just inconsistent. It’s inconsistent to pull parts from a Holy Book, and then say that you ascribe to it while disregarding other parts of it.. ..the only way to reasonably reinvent the family/redefine love is if you also cast aside everything else in Scripture”

he said, “this is why i don’t like religion, see how it automatically becomes moral.”

“yeah what is right and what is wrong?” Rhonda said. “Jesus looks at everything you do, so just do it! he knows i brought this wine in w me in this f’ing cup and he’s smiling at me.”

 

Rhonda was standing up now, “why did you freaking bring up religion” she looked at me. LaDawn looked at me sympathetically. Rhonda sat back down.

Paul looked at her, “she didn’t bring it up!” he said.
 
“Well, I hear music going on, I love music. i love live music, all kinds of live music!!” Rhonda exclaimed passionately.

We ended up getting in for free and the first thing Rhonda does is start dancing (uninhibited) I was so grateful for her freedom. LaDawn looked at me: “she dances like a stripper, you’ll see.”

she danced the whole time, relentlessly, in her own Rhonda style which I actually really liked, because it was kind of cool moves. I was laughing so hard in the blackness of that room though, when I observed the scene. the metro scene kids did’n’t know quite how to react to her breaking into their world except for the way they were already responding to the music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Severance

My Grandma lived alone. My Grandpa lived with a dark haired woman.

My Grandma was a bit mentally ill, but functional. She taught me how to separate eggs, and let me stand on the stool while she made pancakes or corn chowder. The rice in her pantry was rice she held onto all the way from the time of the bomb shelter in New England. All of her cabinets smelled like moth balls. She hung her underwear out on clothes-lines in the backyard. Dad would say, “There blows the kites in the wind, kids.”

She had renters live with her on few occasions. We even lived in her basement for a little while. The one renter I remember was a skinny tobacco smelling man named Randy. He was untrustworthy but friendly and scrubbed the top of our heads with his palm gingerly like you would do to a puppy.

My Grandpa’s house was on the other side of town, by the Biltmore Estate, but you had to drive a ways on weaving roads to get there. His neighbor owned cows and sometimes they would escape and show up in his front yard. He used to sit on his porch in the mornings and watch the birds gather at the feeder and when a cow showed up he would watch the cow.

Grandpa loved Christmas. He would grow his beard out exceptionally long and dress up like Santa Claus. He would pass out the presents and say, “Ho, Ho, Ho” in pretense. My step-Grandma would bring out sausage and popcorn and shortbread cookies while we played. Every year the tree would get bigger. Last year Grandpa hired the Guatemalan’s to find him the biggest tree “imaginable”. It was towering and had to bend over some inches once it hit the ceiling.

Kirsten and I once argued over who’s Grandparents’ had the best house. It was a true fight.

I passionately defended my grandpa’s yard: I described it to her in my own childlike diction. How magical it was! The fish pond and the frog pond. The long stone wall. Above the wall was Frances’s garden, which was just lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. There was however, a potted kumquat tree and one bountiful cherry tree.

Then there was the bridge that Grandpa built. Across the bridge was space to run, a couple tool sheds and Grandpa’s white truck. If you didn’t cross the bridge and followed the creek “up” instead, you soon found yourself inside a round and continuous wood: as silent as an empty church, but for the murmuring sounds of cows or crickets and the moving stream.

I brought Kirsten over once and she said to me: “It’s not that great, Mikaela. It’s not as great as you described it.” But to me, his house was a sanctuary.

When Grandma sold her little yellow house in Oakley and moved into a trailer park., we still visited her just as much. She still lived on the opposite side of town as Grandpa. When I spent days with her in that trailer, she told me stories about the nature of men. She sat me down on the couch as a 7 year old girl and told me that men only wanted something from me.

Grandma never had much. She bought her food from discount grocery stores and always made it last for a long time. She told me that Wally took her to court after he divorced her to “get every penny he could.” He put an ad in the paper for a wife while they were still married. I remember hearing the hurt and jealousy come through her voice when she asked me once about Frances.

“Don’t worry, your the best Grandma in the world.” I told her.

My grandparents met at a bar during Wally’s drunken Navy days. They weren’t really a good match, and I’m not sure if they ever really loved each other, but I suppose I have to recognize some amount of  sovereignty in their decision to marry. It was an unfortunate marriage and a divorce from hell, (from my Grandma’s viewpoint) but somehow I exist through it.

The beautiful thing about being a granddaughter though is that you belong to that person in a way that is typically very detached from all of their wrongdoings. What can your grandparents do for you but love you? They don’t have the responsibility of rearing you, and it seems more or less they have more than enough time to spend on you.

Being a granddaughter to Wally was untainted. He treated me kindly, he treated me well. There was nothing in me that couldn’t receive him, nor him me. No judgment, no awareness of my guilt, no knowledge of my flaws, no hindrance that kept me from being his “darling”, and I too, failed to see him as the betrayer of marriage. He was only ever my Grandpa.

In 2015 I saw him for the first time after coming out of the religious group. (idealogically at least). It had been about 6 years since I’d seen him and I hadn’t talked to him for most of that duration.

I was with the Bakers on one of their trips. They needed a place to stay the night and we were passing by Asheville, so we all stayed with Randy for the night. (Grandma’s old renter). They dropped me off at Grandpa’s the next morning because I had asked if I could see him.

When Kim text me and said they were in the driveway and had to get back on the road, something of horror seemed to strike. I’m not sure what exactly hit me, but I remember that visit so well. Frances made eggs and toast and then went back into the bedroom so it was just me and him in the kitchen. It’s not that we talked about anything special it was just that he was still there, and still being my Grandpa.

When I had to go back into the van with Mike and Kim and all the boys, something in me broke. I looked out the window and tears were streaming down my face. I didn’t want to be in that van, I wanted to be back in that kitchen with my Grandpa.

 

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