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Sunday morning I went to a garden to photograph and  take space from my partner whom I had harmed by being careless with words and having misspoken – there was tension at home and I was stirred up inside and having difficulty getting in synch with the feel and the pace.  Then I noticed the Apple trees.  Luscious and full lightly scented Apple trees.  Drawn by their sweetness I moved closer  and that’s when I heard them.  The Bees.  OMG the Bees!  They were singing!  Singing as they worked and I felt soothed and sheltered beneath them – I felt grateful for and too them – for all the beauty they make possible and without them we would have nothing to eat.  All of a sudden the wind came up and Apple blossoms started blowing and swirling about and a voice I’ve learned to trust said: ‘dance’ and so I danced.  I danced in the wind whirling and twirling with the Apple Blossom seeds.  I have never ever spontaneously on a whim simply started to dance.  I don’t know if there is  any connection between my dancing and the work of forgiveness.   Perhaps in a few weeks I will dance again only this time I won’t be alone but will be surrounded by thousands of others celebrating life, dancing to our own rhythms and marching down Colfax Avenue for Gay Pride Day.  I am pretty sure my dad would be outwardly appalled and maybe inwardly proud to see his  son engaging the colors of diversity and embracing all the many flavors of humanity – reflecting the gift of open mindedness – one of ways of being my father instilled in me.  

Sunday evening, I went to my first PFLAG meeting (Parents Friends of Lesbian and Gays).  There was a retired doctor at the meeting who could relate to my dad’s pain though I think not – to mine.  Like my dad he had lived a lie for many years, being unable to accept his sexuality and being unable to share himself more authentically with his family.  “I could not bare to be with them.  I distanced myself and devoted myself to work – becoming a workaholic and numbing myself out.  I would not allow myself to really see much less feel the very real pain that my self denial caused to the people I cared most about.  I could not honestly love them till I learned to honestly love myself – and that did not and could not be until I accepted myself and my sexuality.”  His words confirmed my own thoughts about my father and the price he paid – the price we all paid to keep the secret in the closet.

Post Script:  Tears were shed for both of us – for the years spent hiding from each other and from ourselves.  The need of forgiveness arose naturally – the words uttered with deep feeling and the ensuing peacefulness confirming that on some level, healing had taken place.  For now.  For the time being.  But I know that grief comes bundled and chances are the next time a loss occurs or a favorite story gets erased or re-written, daddy may likely arise from the grave of my unconsciousness again and again I will have an opportunity to forgive him forgive myself and forgive the world.

“Judge not lest ye be judged” Matt 7:1

Another day another step on the long road leading homeward.

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