November 22, 2011

Holiday Wishes

It wasn't long ago that as soon as I heard "White Christmas" for the first time in the holiday season I would get this horrible feeling of darkness and a horrible feeling of hopelessness and loneliness that granted, was mostly brought upon by myself, but it was a real feeling nonetheless. Thankfully that feeling has faded vastly and I'm in a place where I feel blessed beyond anything I could ever dream. Still as I see the wave of messages about being thankful for blessings and good fortune I can't but think of people out there who have a hard time with the holidays.

I'm part of a support group for gay dads. Some of them are newly out, some are going through separations and divorces or some kind of life adjustment. Some of the fathers are being shunned by their very own immediate families and in-laws. It is sad enough for parents not to see their children and the other way around, but it is even sadder when families shun their own members. I don't know if we've learned anything about watching out and taking care of each other. I ask myself if Jesus would do that to his own family? It also breaks my heart to see when partners (who may or may not be out) are not able to share or bring their significant other to their family functions because of all the possible implications and holidays are not spent in full/real celebration.

But it isn't just gay dads or LGBT people who could be going through this, it doesn't take much to notice others who may be going through the same and it doesn't take long to figure that out; for instance the homeless person walking down the street, the elderly lady looking out her apartment window, a traveler and the list goes on and one...


If you're in a position to reach out please do so. Make a call, send a text, send an email, drop in on someone that you know is alone. I've seen friends who have created open events for dinners and are reaching out to people regardless of who they are so that people can be included if they wish. It is a great opportunity to share and meet people that one might not otherwise do. I've been the happy recipient of invitations like this in the past and has helped my sanity immensely.

If nothing else light a candle and think of someone you know (or may not know) who is having a hard time with the holidays or is ill or is simply going through a rough patch. I was taught this years ago by a friend and I honestly forget to do that but I'll make a conscious effort to light a candle each day through the season with that in mind and make a wish that perhaps the next holiday it will be different for everyone and I encourage everyone who may be reading this to do the same and pass it along. 

After all, isn't that in the very least what Jesus would do?

November 03, 2011

"Turn It Off"

Confession time: I've been meaning to post about this for a while and I keep saving the draft for later, it is time to just get it published. I think I've become obsessed with the Book of Mormon Musical (no, really?!?!?) Maybe it is because I'm only just catching up with campy tunes from musicals and I happen to like them--I don't know. I like almost all of the songs, but this one in particular always makes me crack up the most; however by the time the song ends I'm usually in tears---can anyone explain that?


I wish YouTube still had the boot-legged copy of the play to show the actual song with the actors, it is much more visual than what's available now, but at least there's something to show.

I can't speak for anyone else, this is just my personal experience but as an active Mormon I think I was constantly self-pressured to shelve things up. If I had questions on faith, doubts, fears and anything that was not edifying I was pretty much under the impression that I needed to "turn it off" in other words, don't think about it and it doesn't exist. Funny thing is that I don't remember ever reading it in any official talk or manual about this, it may be more cultural than anything, yet in retrospect it affected so much of my life. I think my tears might originate from the sadness that I allowed this coping mechanism to become my way of life, any one who can explain, you know "free-advising, I'm not a shrink but play one on the internet" types out there?

Sometimes when talking to other members the concept of "if it isn't useful for your salvation it isn't important" would come up and be held as the general consensus; but then again there are plenty of things in life that are important enough to question but the rule of thumb is again, if it doesn't lead you to be good, do good and possibly even show how good you are then turn off the thoughts. I haven't made a point to sit and think about the number of items that I may have turned off during my active Mormon life and at this point maybe it isn't even worth it, but for two or three--or probably many more very obvious things--turning it off made a huge impact in my life...

Who knows maybe I'm still turning a lot of things off...don't we all?

November 02, 2011

Dia De Los Muertos

Last May when I went to Roosevelt Utah with Jeff's family I was asked if we did anything for Memorial Day (well besides having a barbeque!) but more precisely going to the cemetery to visit the grave sites of the dead. I replied that we save the Day of the Dead for that--well I shouldn't say this because my family didn't typically observe the day anyway, but a lot of people in Mexico do it. They're having an exhibit at the West Valley Cultural Center so we stopped by last night to visit. I think I knew most of the stuff I read but basically the dead are celebrated for 2 days in November. The 1st of day for children and the 2nd day for the adults 

After doing a little more reading I find that the day is not just to revere the relatives who've passed on and honor them with the foods and music and activities they enjoyed, but also in a morbid kind of way to mock death--so if we make death seem just about the same as life (merely just bones without living flesh and organs), the next stage may not seem as scary, right?

I kind of like that idea yes, if Halloween is all about making fun of horror, evil and all things obscure I can completely see the concept of making fun of the ultimate stage of life, after all what good is life if it can't be enjoyed and celebrated, even in death! Aside from Halloween, how do you honor the dead?

Hope you enjoy these few pictures I took of the display!