Apr 30 2010

Rest in Peace Frances…Thank you, and I love you.


My Friend Frances McCormick died a few days ago. She was a little older than I, very involved as a Diver, and she and her wife had a 2 year old daughter named Izzy (Elizabeth). Frances had a heart attack either while diving or something. I don’t have all the details, but that seems to be the gist of it.

She was so important to me and my staying sober when I was working with her on a “Living Sober”. Living Sober is a conference for GLBT folks in AA and Al-Anon. I spent a number of years especially when I first moved to San Francisco involved with the conference, and really only stopped so I could focus on going back to school.

Frances and I served together in a number of capacities over the years. Her sharp wit, intelligence, and love of life were so infectious. She was a supportive friend at those times I didn’t feel so great health-wise, or I wasn’t sure I would make it through. I recall many trips to and from committee meetings or functions and the ease and friendliness that Frances related to me.

She had a rough time a few years back, and I was so involved in my own stuff, I missed out on my opportunity to return the favors she so generously gave to me. Not that she called me, or reached out to me, but that’s not really a decent excuse. I could have done more to reach out to her. I don’t think Frances would want me to feel bad about that, She wasn’t that kind of person. I guess it’s really a learning opportunity, really. A lesson I seem to get over and over and over. DON’T WAIT. DO IT NOW. REACH OUTSIDE YOURSELF.

Hindsight is 20/20 they say, and I believe them. I miss Frances a great deal. I didn’t think there would be a time I wouldn’t come across her somewhere. Our paths crossed a number of times, and a number of ways, and each time the hug and love I received was always a respite. She has left an indelible mark on my heart, and life, and I will miss her. I grieve for her family both near and far, I grieve for LIsa and Izzy, and I grieve for all those people who are just getting sober who won’t get a chance to experience the wacky, joyful, loving, and hear-felt way of Frances. Goodbye my friend. I will miss you.

Apr 27 2010

Not so distant.


UK zoo captures chimps response to other chimps death.

I see this everyday.  Interesting to see it from another species.  Another reminder we are all the same.

Apr 16 2010

A Little Joy and Gratitude.



I am writing to share my joy, and gratitude with you. I have an opportunity to possibly travel to Ireland with my Teacher Ryushin Paul Haller Roshi in August. It is the start of my year long focus on my monkhood, and it will be an amazing opportunity to serve my teacher, as well as to be with my friends who have visited here in the past.

As I am sure you are aware, this will require me to get myself to ireland. So I am writing to ask your support for my training, and development as a monk. If you have anything to spare in celebration of my finishing school and setting off on the next training period, please kindly consider a donation to make this opportunity a reality for me.

I will need at least $1,200 for the airfare and I plan to stay with the sangha there, so I won’t need hotels, but I would of course like to be able to buy food and such. So I am hoping to raise $2,000 or so for this venture.

Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated, $5, $10, $100, whatever you can spare. Your kind wishes and warm regards are also deeply appreciated. Please only give what you can. May the merit of your kindness and generosity benefit all beings.

You can contact me at (Myname) at sfsu dot edu for more information. (This is also a paypal address if that makes it easier for you) Please feel free to pass this on to anyone you believe it’s appropriate to forward to.

With Gratitude and Love

Apr 12 2010

Beyond Horrible.


Even After Death, Abuse Against Gays Continues – ABC News.

The article above is one of the most disturbing stories I have ever seen.  I am not afraid of Death.  I am not afraid of abuse.  But this is beyond the pale.  It is meant to say “Even Death can not save you.”

The so-called Religious Right. Also known as evangelical christians in our country have done an amazing job of spreading their vile message of hate and destruction around the globe.  They will try to tell you they are innocent, and only wish to serve “Christ” but I would ask what version of Christ are they serving?

It was they who colonized and oppressed millions, it was they who spread smallpox in the name of God to convert the Indians and it was they who continue to wage a campaign of disgusting hate around the world.

The suffering they bring will only come to them in the end, and for this, I am truly sorry.  They create their karma, but there is no pleasure in their suffering for me.  I am incredibly sad for all of the suffering they cause and will get as a result.

Apr 11 2010

Dixie Carter – RIP


Dixie Carter played the character Julia Sugarbaker with grace and style, but let’s not confuse the person with the part. I have heard a lot said about Dixie Carter in the last few hours. Some glowing praises for the role she played in giving young gay folks a sense of justice and a belief that their voices mattered. Others complaining about the personal politics of the actress behind the role.

Who the hell cares? A person died, with a family and friends and people who loved her. Now is not the time to be picking apart her life.

The good part of all this post-humous nit picking is that some of those famous rants (mostly the one about the nights the lights went out in georgia) are being brought out. I have to say the one that made the most difference to me as a young queer boy, and the one that I wish got more airplay these days is the one from when Julia is running for City Council. She is debating her opponent and tries her best to behave and not go off on his idiotic ideas. Till she can’t hold it any longer and says…

I do not think everyone in America is ignorant! Far from it!! But we are today, probably, the most uneducated, under read, and illiterate nation in the western hemisphere. Which makes it all the more puzzling to me why the biggest question on your small mind is whether or not little Johnny is gonna recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning! I’ll tell you something else, Mr. Brickett. I have had it up to here with you and your phony issues and your Yanky Doodle yakking! If you like reciting the Pledge of Allegiance everyday then I think you should do it! In the car! In the shower! Wherever the mood strikes you! But don’t try to tell me when or where I have to say or do or salute anything, because I am an American too, and that is what being an American is all about! And another thing………I am sick and tired of being made to feel that if I am not a member of a little family with 2.4 children who goes just to Jerry Fallwell’s church and puts their hands over their hearts every morning that I am unreligious, unpatriotic, and un-American!! Because I’ve got news for you, Mr. Brickett………..all liberals are not kooks, anymore than all conservatives are fascists!! and the last time I checked, God was neither a Democratic nor a Republican! And just for your information, yes I am a liberal, but I am also a Christian. And I get down on my knees and pray everyday —- on my own turf — on my own time. One of the things that I pray for, Mr. Brickett, is that people with power will get good sense, and that people with good sense will get power………and that the rest of us will be blessed with the patience and the strength to survive the people like you in the meantime!!

Thank you Dixie Carter, and than you Julia Suagarbaker. May you find peace and freedom from suffering.