Reflections

Last week after my last post announcing my new book, I spent some time in reflection. After looking summarily at the 216 books on Amazon in the “gay memoir” category, I wondered if there was anything unique about my story. I came to the conclusion, as I stated in my introduction, that there wasn’t. The details were different, but the stories were much the same. They have been told many times before with different results as people tried to cope and come to terms with themselves. I suppose that’s true whether you’re gay or straight. We each have issues of coming to terms with ourselves: our limitations and our strengths and what really is important in our lives.
I guess the feeling that I had so much of my life was that I was just a spectator: standing on the outside and looking in as life passed me by. Crippled by the fear inside me, I lacked the courage to reach out and grab hold of life. Lacking any great purpose, I simply “went along to get along” drifting through the years (as so many people do.) I don’t know what my potential might have been if I had been stronger or if I had more of a conviction of who I am.
An unknowing response to the publication of my memoir was a photograph from my first partner of the two of us together in 1968. He was going through the effects after the death of his partner of 30+ years and cleaning out a lot of the things that had been in storage for years when he discovered it and sent it to me — not knowing that I had just published the book. I thought the coincidence more than strange, and the picture from 45 years ago seemed more like a ghost than a view of the past.
As people grow old they tend to reminisce about the past and reflect on their life and what it all means. We hope to find some meaning to our existence and that it wasn’t all just passing time on the way to futility. We all are striving to come to some better understanding of what it is to be fully human and to accept the gift of Grace. That gift was withheld from me for too long, and I suffered because of it and the intransigence of social mores and the hidebound traditions of the church. Thankfully that is changing, and the church is coming to terms with its hubris.
I don’t have any real belief in heaven and hell or the life here after. I do believe in the world of the spiritual and that there is more to living that what occurs here on earth.

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