Sunday, March 27, 2011

Order and Chaos

I am choosing this picture because it represents this last week for me. It was taken in downtown Los Angeles, just behind the Civic Center. But, the street is empty. In the midst of what is usually a very busy, hectic area; we find moments of semi-tranquility. In the midst of the order of a built up city, we find the chaos of the branches of the trees and the grasses planted around them. At school, grades were due while giving a mandatory assessment. During the chaos of this past week, I was still able to be introspective; one of the qualities of having Bear as a Totem. We tend to hibernate in ourselves, which can be both maddening and healing.

I have come to realize the past is the past. Well, duh. And my relationship, while the divorce is still not final, is in the past. There is no going back. And I am relieved. I am going forward, but for now, forward means inward. I have moved forward by accepting the fact that I can meet and talk to single gay men. And that is ok. I am not feeling guilty about it. I don't feel like I am cheating, which I am told is very common in the first stages of post-divorce recovery. But, am I ready for the next bridge? Sex? I don't know. Time will tell. And the right scenario will tell me when.

I have been chatting with men all over the country. Many of whom have been very supportive of me in my divorce. From supportive statements like "It must be tough for you. I can't imagine life without my wonderful husband;" "I've been there myself;" "You'll be fine, surround yourself with friends who love you" to ego-boosting comments as "With those eyes, you'll find a new love in no time," "You're a very handsome man," "I love the gray", "Your eyes are piercing and not in an unpleasant way," to downright sexual "Could you use an oral vers/hairy Latin bottom?", and my favorite "Oh, daddy, I'm so horny, I need someone to talk to!" (Ok, now I need to think of myself as a daddy. At least, he didn't say 'grandpa!') While all of these have been flattering (yes, even the last ones) it's been hard to internalize all at once, and a bit overwhelming. But, I am learning to accept it.

Ok, so the picture was taken on a Sunday afternoon which explains the tranquility.

And, from what I have heard through the grapevine, the ex has gone off the deep end. (hee hee)

I'm off to bathe two Pomeranians, who hate it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mistakes, I've made a few

We've all made mistakes. I'm making some now. I find myself projecting forward into my new life, especially when someone catches my eye. And I catch his. I guess it's common, or even natural, to hope for the best when encountering someone interesting to you. But what I must learn to do is slow down, and follow the AA motto "One Day at a Time."

I have done something out of the ordinary for me. I have entered into online chatting. On my profile, I have clearly stated I am looking for friends, yet still I find myself hopeful that each new chat I enter into will be someone with whom I have an opportunity to meet, and maybe carry it further and hopefully, even further. I am finding myself to be long-term-relationship oriented, and not hookup-oriented.

I have a tentative 'meeting' set up with a very handsome man, at least according to his profile picture. We had been chatting on and off for a few weeks, (I initiated the first chat session) and eventually I asked if he would be interested in meeting. He said yes, and I then asked if we could postpone the actual meeting until after parent conferences in two weeks as I need to prepare myself and then regain my sanity. My mistake is that I'm not sure this is the right thing for me at this time. I find myself analyzing and preparing myself for those eventual questions; what am I looking for? and do I want to go to his place or mine? Geography will play a part in this, as he lives over 40 miles away, and that leads to economics (gas prices) and I am only earning a teacher's salary and paying a mortgage ALONE. Was asking him to meet a mistake? Only time will tell.

Why this picture with this blog? The picture was a mistake. Yet, it is somewhat interesting. In the regular theme of life we make mistakes, yet life goes on. Mistakes happen, they exist but they become our greatest teachers. Next time I see a large, interesting shape I will take the time to change to a wide angle lens to broaden the frame. Live and learn.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Return to Theme

I return to my theme of lines this week, because this week I returned to my own bad habit. Maybe it's not a habit per se but I returned to it anyway.

I went on a date as I described last week, and as much as I tried to tell myself it wasn't a date-date, it was a date; after all, I dressed for it. He knew my story, recently divorced, scared of talking to another man, and he became quite helpful while chatting, giving me suggestions, based on his own experience in the same predicament. I thought that was very considerate of him helping a total stranger. Give him brownie points.

Yet, I returned to my old pre-relationships habit of romanticizing the situation. I knew I wasn't ready to date, let alone think of anything serious with another man, yet after meeting only one man post-divorce, I was at it again. I was so bad in my early dating years that, upon leaving the house, I would drive around the block, pull back into the driveway, and run into the house to see if he called in those few seconds. He never did. You would think, I would have learned back then, after all wisdom increases with age, right. Right, but emotional wisdom sometimes doesn't.

So, here I was, just waiting for a text, a message, something, and he did, but maybe not to the frequency I wanted, and getting frustrated when he didn't. After all, I am only looking for friends, I was clear, so why am I so bothered by it all? Maybe it's because once I came out all I wanted was to have a boyfriend.

I know I have pieces of myself to put back together before I can move on. I know I have a habit to break. I know I have to have a relationship, I'm that kind of man.

But the first relationship I have to have is with myself.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


This has always been one of my favorite shots. When I took it, I didn't see that drop of water on the bottom until I looked at it in my camera. I thought I was just capturing a red berry as a memento of my trip, and yet that drop, to me, makes the shot.

I am breaking with my theme of "Lines" and black-and-whites to submit this photograph to Project 52. I took it while on vacation in Alaska in June, 2008. I was walking through a temperate rainforest on my way to a Native American Totem Park outside of Ketchikan. As we walked through the forest surrounded by the beautiful greenery, this little red berry stood out. The guide explained that these 'salmonberries' are what bears will eat to help restart their digestive systems after hibernating all winter. This was still early in the summer, so few berries were available, and this one had not yet reached it's true reddish color. The name 'salmonberry' comes from it's resemblance to salmon eggs.

Just yesterday, I had an epiphany. You see, I gave myself permission to talk to another gay man. That may not be a big deal to some, but to me it is. My husband of 15 years who, ironically, treated me to the Alaskan cruise for my 50th birthday, suddenly told me he wanted out of our marriage. I had been coping with the divorce; the legal, the financial, and the tangible elements of the separation, but wasn't sure how to deal with my recovery and growth from here. When would I know I was ready to move on? The simple act of talking to another single gay man, then going to coffee with him, and that it felt damn good told me I was awakening to my singleness and my gaiety. Like a bear coming out of hibernation, I was ready to mingle. Ok, maybe not too ready, but open to possibilities.

And as another ironic connection to this berry, I have always been attracted to bearish men. Now, off to find me a grizzly.