Author Topic: <-- Introduce Yourself -->  (Read 502248 times)

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #80 on: April 02, 2006, 09:57:44 pm »
Hi again ednbarby, you know I really dig your perspective and the beautiful and encouraging way you make your points.

Thanks so much, Chris.  What a great compliment!  You've made my day (and then some).  :)

You might be right about this, or at least as right as you can be without actually being gay and in the closet.  I've still got one foot in the closet myself, since my immediate family still don't (officially) know.  Actually I don't know how this is possible because in every other way I'm out to all my friends and colleagues, but my friends tell me that I'm difficult to pick as being gay.  Still the fact that I'm 39 and never had a girlfriend would be a pretty good clue, and I talk about BBM all the time, and I basically "act" completely as myself with no pretence for being straight.  I think my family has adopted the don't ask don't tell approach.

It breaks my heart to know that so many families still can't just be open about and to this.  I guess society is coming along, but in baby steps - at least they haven't "run you off."

I never really thought about how difficult life must be for the gay men I know before seeing this movie.  I mean, I didn't go around thinking life was a rose garden for any of them, but I just didn't realize what they must go through.  I know of several men in my company who are openly gay, and one or two others who are in the don't ask don't tell camp.  It was only after seeing this movie that it occurred to me that all those openly gay men never bring their partners to company gatherings.  Some of them never attend at all.  These are men who've been with their partners for 10-20 years.  It pisses me off that gays and lesbians are made to feel that they have to keep such major parts of their lives and themselves separated.

I keep coming back to this - we can't help who we love, we can't help who we are attracted to.  For the life of me I'll never completely understand why these very simple truths are so hard for so many people to comprehend.
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Offline Peter John Shields

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #81 on: April 02, 2006, 10:24:53 pm »
Hi Courtney,
I just wanted to say "Welcome to Bettermost".  Like you I spend too much time on the message boards too regarding Brokeback when I should be working!  And then I have to make up the time in the evenings and on the weekends,

I also can't say whether Brokeback has really changed me except that it broke my heart so reminded me how tough life can be. 

I understand how you worry about not finding someone - I think that a movie like Brokeback reminds us how wonderful love can be.  However, I think that one dangerous thing that can come from a movie like Brokeback is to take it too literally.  Thinking - oh if only I were an actor - or if only I lived in Wyoming - then my life would mean something and I would find love.  Or even to think - finding someone to love and who loves me is the most important thing in the world and the only thing worth living for.  I think that like all forms of art it is important to see Brokeback as a metaphor for your own life.  Then you worry less about trying to follow someone else's path and instead can live your own life with more clarity. 

I think that perhaps for you Brokeback has awakened some fears you have on not finding love - and that has given you some valuable insight.  Our culture puts great emphasis on finding love and makes us feel that if we do not we are a failure.  However we cannot all be Jack and Ennis - we have to live our own story and learn to accept ourselves warts and all and be open to whatever future awaits us.  That maybe alone - that may be with one great love - or that maybe with a number of lovers over a life time.  I think the important thing though is to learn to love yourself first and let go of your fears  - as Doris Day says - what will be will be...

Sorry if I have sounded a bit like Yoda from Star Wars,

Peter
Cheerio,
Peter

Offline Peter John Shields

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #82 on: April 02, 2006, 10:58:19 pm »
Hi Barb,
I am a person who is haunted by landscapes too.  At the moment while we are coming in to Autumn here in Australia a tonne of memories of cold seasons past are flooding my senses and taking me back years and decades.  Just driving at night and seeing the street lights through cold mists - or the smell of the night.  For me there is particular street where I grew up till I was 7 - which I visit sometimes because it is almost sacred ground to me - and the smells and feelings of that street haunt me today - much like Rochester haunts you?  Sometimes I think if you leave a place you appreciate it more and it becomes a part of you.  Australian aborigines have sacred places (a famous one is Uluru) and I feel that I can really appreciate how important a sacred place is to one's identity and consciousness...perhaps that is why the idea of Brokeback Mountain is so powerful - because it taps in to these deep seated ideas?

Bye the way I love Vincent's Song - I grew up with older brothers and sisters and often heard it played on the record player...

Peter
Cheerio,
Peter

Offline Peter John Shields

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #83 on: April 02, 2006, 11:18:04 pm »
...or that is to say I might be able to appreciate a sacred place...
Cheerio,
Peter

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #84 on: April 03, 2006, 10:08:41 am »
Yes, Peter - I too can think of that sacred place on the lake and hear it, smell it - almost taste the air around it.

I'll never forget the first time I saw it.  I was still living with my mother at 12 years old and my Dad came and got me for the weekend to come see his "new" house.  He had lived in a very swanky apartment for years - I referred to it as his Bachelor Pad - very 70s, with the circular staircase and "contemporary" furnishings.  So I was expecting something overblown and overdone that would defy me not to roll my eyes openly.

Instead, we came to this beautiful, rustic cottage that had had a second floor added to it and that sat inside the natural water line.  On both sides, the waves from the lake lapped onto the gravel beach.  The front yard was an artificial break wall built out about 10 yards into the lake, and was planted with grass and a beautiful, mature maple tree that shaded the whole area.  Looking to the south was like looking at a mountain lake - the glacial hills around the lake came together at the south end in a point.

The first time I saw it, the wind was out of the south at about 20-30 mph.  It was an unusually balmy May day.  And it was overcast in the way it gets in the late spring and early summer when you can't see any blue at all but you know those clouds won't yield any rain.  I wish I could describe the color of the water.  The closest I can come is that it was like a kind of green/blue hazel you see every once in a while in someone's eyes.  The waves were like ocean waves, and there were whitecaps.  At this point, I'd never seen the ocean and had only a vague recollection of seeing Lake Ontario (one of our Great Lakes for those elsewhere) as a very young child, and there I only remembered the beach itself and not the water.

I remember standing out there on the break wall with my Dad, and he said, "So...  What do you think?"  And I said, "I think it's the most beautiful place I've ever seen in my life."  And I remember his smile.  At that time, I had no idea I'd be living with him and my stepmother at that place just a year later and until I was graduated from college.

I can remember the winter days, like you Peter, just as vividly.  Though the lake was nearly two miles across where we lived and 250 feet deep, it froze completely over for the next seven years in a row.  It froze over so completely, in fact, that my parents would host ice boat parties.  Their friends would bring 7 or 8 of them and launch them from the beach on one side that was wide enough for a boat tralier, and they'd go whizzing across that lake at what seemed like the speed of sound.  I took a ride in a two-seater one one cold, cold day - it was absolutely the most thrilling experience of my life.  I learned to ice skate on that lake.  And I walked all the way across it and back (which I now find absolutely insane) alone one January day before all the ice boaters came.

I can remember sitting at the dining area table at the big bay window on a winter's day, playing gin rummy with my Dad, and looking out at the steam rising up from the ice.  One time, he said, "It looks different every single day, doesn't it?  You think you've seen all it's going to show you, and then the next day, it's something else entirely."

I was unbelievably lucky to have gotten to live in such an outrageously beautiful place for so long.  It's ruined enjoying merely pretty places for me.  I can never help comparing them to it, and they always fall short.

My Dad sold that house and all the land he owned around it in 1997 and moved with my stepmother to North Carolina.  I hope the (not so) new people there appreciate it as much as I did.  Really, if they appreciate it half as much, that'd be acceptable, too.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2006, 10:13:58 am by ednbarby »
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Offline YaadPyar

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #85 on: April 03, 2006, 03:34:15 pm »
Hey there -

I'm a little late in making this introduction, so forgive the delay.  I'm not sure how to introduce myself - what's relevant and what's superfluous.  I'll start with the obvious.  My name is Celeste, and I'm a 41-yr old female (a Libran like Ray) and live in Chicago (USA). 

I am most defined my spiritual life and practise, which is the core around which everything else in my world circles.  I'm like a nun (without the Catholic part) in the sense that my life is fully commited to spiritual pursuits.  I am also a very real and practical person who, in addition to teaching/studying meditation, has a full-time job in a big city.

I saw BBM on Christmas day, and then walked alone for hours afterward trying to understand what had just happened to me.  I rarely attend movies in a theater, but was drawn to see this, and see it alone.  I get completely distracted from my internal experience in the presence of others, and just knew I should see it by myself.  I've since gone with friends and family, and they've all been very positive about the movie, but none impacted like me.

I felt like Ennis was telling my story, but in ways I still can't articulate even to myself.  I'm not gay, I'm not a cowboy, etc,...but the movie spoke to some level of reality for me, and obviously for all of us.  So - I looked on IMDb to see what others had to say.  I loved some of the folks there, but the level of discourse was awful so much of the time.  I stumbled on the smaller chat community (Pierre Tremblay), which suited me better, and when that began to fall apart, we looked for new options, and Phillip's generosity of spirit enabled us to renew the conversation with old friends and find all kinds of wonderful new ones here.

I'm delighted to be in a forum where the conversations are even deeper than they are broad.  I see BBM as a spiritual and emotional catalyst for some additional awakening that I didn't even know needed to happen.  I'm continually surprised, like most of us, about how it's pervaded my thoughts and for so long.

I figure that whatever it touches in me is still needing attention.  I can't wait to see the DVD and absorb BBM without any distractions of the theater (although I'll miss the grandeur).  I have had the good fortune to meet some of my fellow Brokies and talk with lots of them on the phone and by e-mail.  There is always a sense of immediate trust and commraderie and a great relief - finally to speak with others who "understand."

I'm learning so much about myself not just from BBM but from the friends I've made here, and for that I'm eternally grateful.  It's a great gift to be here where others listen and respond and enrich my life with their thoughts and feelings and perspectives. 

This move is a constant reminder to me of how to make the secular sacred - how to make every moment of life holy, not in the religious sense, but as in being set apart for a divine  purpose.  I don't usually discuss BBM in these terms, but the sorrow of Ennis is the sorrow of someone who has lost a great gift by not recognizing what was being offered when it was offered ~ the transformative gift of true love.  The kind of love that opens your eyes to your own invisible beauty and gives automatic meaning to your life.  The power of this kind of love can never be underestimated in its significance, and draws me back to Our Boys again and again.  If there is any intention with which I come here, it is to bring that love it into everything that happens here, as best I can.

I've gone on too long and too seriously, so will stop now.  Looking forward to more of these conversations.

All good wishes, Celeste  :angel:
« Last Edit: April 09, 2006, 07:36:52 pm by yaadpyar »
"Vice, Virtue. It's best not to be too moral. You cheat yourself out of too much life. Aim above morality. If you apply that to life, then you're bound to live life fully." (Harold & Maude - 1971)

Offline Ray

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #86 on: April 03, 2006, 09:51:03 pm »
I'll never stop learning about you Angel!
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Offline Lynne

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #87 on: April 03, 2006, 10:38:14 pm »
PS:  anybody interested in starting a frappr map for Bettermost members?

Can we do this for the site?  Does anyone know if this is the best place?

http://www.frappr.com/
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Offline Peter John Shields

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Re: Introduce Yourself
« Reply #88 on: April 04, 2006, 12:21:57 am »
Hi Barb,
That place sounds incredibly beautiful.  Your description really brought it alive for me.  I agree that you certainly have been lucky to live in such a beautiful place.  Do you think that the landscape changed you and your relationship with your Father?  Did your imagination run wild there?

Pete
Cheerio,
Peter

Offline Peter John Shields

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Re: Wanted to Introduce Myself
« Reply #89 on: April 04, 2006, 12:25:00 am »
Hi Kelda,
Wow Scotland.  How great for you that you live in such a beautiful country - does the landscape of Wyoming in Brokeback remind you at all of home?

Welcome to Bettermost,

Pete
Cheerio,
Peter