Syzygy

The word has many definitions:

n. The configuration of the sun, the moon, and Earth lying in a straight line.

n. The combining of two feet into a single metrical unit in classical prosody.

n. The association of gregarine protozoa end-to-end or in lateral pairing without sexual fusion.

n. The pairing of chromosomes in meiosis.

n. the straight line configuration of 3 celestial bodies (as the sun and earth and moon) in a gravitational system.

I’m not sure why the word ‘syzygy’ popped into my head. I first heard of it in some book my dear dear friend from my past, Marti Lawrence, lent me awhile. But that was in 1981. Go figure. I knew it had something to do with something. Gee, that’s good. I mean to say that it had something to do with the connections between things.

So the alignment of the Sun, the Moon and the Earth. Check. If I am Earth, Sam is the Sun and if you take a bite out of the right side of the Moon…..well, that’s interesting. Two different beats coming together in a strange versification? Downright spooky.

Organisms parasitic to spineless hosts, standing abreast. Well, there’s a certain syncretic value to it, but nothing I want to go into in this forum.

Meiotic pairing. Crossover events. Blue eyes and black hair…things that don’t go together necessarily but somehow finding their way to traveling in the same space, again abreast.

Syzygy is a fun word. It’s a weird word. It’s one of those self-referential words, like obfuscatory or pedantic.

I have words on the brain, I think. Ya think? Well, it’s all his fault.

Finding a Baseline

There’s an expression, “Past as Prologue”, which I never really liked. It seems a bit, I don’t know, trite and smarmy. It’s yet another silly aphoristic bit of nonsense. Many people nonetheless glom on to because it’s simple (actually, simplistic), easy to remember and it gives one the appearance of depth.

Ahh, so gratifying! Then you have it all! A clear and direct and simple statement that smoothes over all those nuances and complexities, and you appear wise and with an old-growth intellect.

Only it’s not real. You can’t have a simplistic world view and then claim profundity and wisdom at the same time. Wisdom requires accepting subtlety and the existence of paradox—raw, unvarnished paradox that remains orthogonal to sense and immune to the ministrations of magicals Threes. Wisdom requires abiding the unprovability of some truths and unassailability of some falsehoods. Tough luck if you were expecting to be wise and rational at the same time.

That said, I find myself cozying up to the more cautionary aphorisms. Maybe because they’re the ones that are just plain simple, not overstepping into simplistic. Maybe it’s because they’re so innocently brave. Or maybe, just maybe, they’re the ones that tend to leave interpretation up to the reader/listener, instead of laying out rigid, concrete advice.

Anyhoo. “Past as Prologue”. Those who repeat the past are doomed…Nothing new under the sun…seen it all before… Booooring.

Present as Epilogue. Same flavor, same balance. But instead of boosting the past, it boosts the future. Instead of dissing the future, it reality-checks the present. The Dutch have a similar saying: “Tomorrow always comes back; yesterday never does.” Same thing. And if you look closely, you can see that being displaced from the immediate present over and over again—continuously, if you will, along the continuity of Time—creates motion. The direction of the motion is arbitrary and void of meaning or intent, but there’s momentum! Blessed momentum.

When Now is the End, Now is also the Beginning. Fickle Present. Codependent Past. Devoted Future.

Which one would you rather spend the rest of your life with?

Royal Rainbow!

Giftsfromsam Birthday arrived early, or at least some birthday presents did. Not my doing. Sam hates surprises—I only hate them lately—and so I ended up opening a big pile of lavender and pink packages (with pink and lavender frilly bows and ribbons, no less!) last night instead of next Saturday.

So I’ll be a prime number year again. Well, spin the propeller on my cap and call me geeky. Oooh, and my unlucky 13th prime age. Yeah, ew.

It turned out that across all those packages, I ended up with a Playstation 2 with a couple of games: The Incredibles and Katamari Damacy. I seem to recall mentioning to Sam a few weeks ago that I was thinking about the game and how weird and gay and druggy it was, and how interesting the play of it was….and now I have it. Hurrah! (Click on the image below if you have trouble reading the text)


Katamaridamacy

It’s all about rolling, and one’s big gay kingly/queenly Father, who wears a bellyshirt, has a massive bulge in his royal tights, and whose mouth issues big spreading rainbows in order to transport his tiny, tiny princely son (you, the player) from one place to another.

So get thee to a Sony store and pick up a copy of Katamari Damacy, especially if you’re the type who doesn’t like the typical shoot ‘em up. That’s me, by the way, and the single biggest reason I’m not typically a game player. There may be a bazillion games for Windows PCs compared to the Mac, but most of them all look the same to me…same action with different graphics and different (but still thin) storyline.

Katamari Damacy, though…it’s so weird, it’s queer. And it’s so queer, it’s fabulous. And it’s so fabulous, it’s trippy. And so trippy, it’s just plain fucking weird. I love it.

Partial-Death Abortion

Congratulations to our beloved Congress and our beloved President of the United States and Leader of the <irony>Free</irony> World—and now also the Highest Court in the Land—for all but halting the machinery of government in order to save the so-called life of one person who’s personhood disappeared a long time ago.

But human bodies are important, y’all, because at the end of the day, the simplistic and literalist dunderheads of the Right in this country really don’t believe anything at all that their senses can’t report directly: God is a Fudge Factor, like Entropy; God is a Threat, like ‘Or Else’; God is a Weapon, like a Torch or a Pitchfork. And to them, a Pulse == Life. End of story.

Most vocal Christians aren’t ‘Pro Life’ so much as they are merely Pro Birth. They don’t care what happens to children after they’re born because they care more about keeping the parents of those post-born children in line. And when the Morals Folks want to ban abortion of all kinds, they trot out Partial Birth abortion as the visual aids to their cause. Makes for a good PowerPoint preso, for sure.

And that’s what they’re doing now, with poor Terri Schiavo. They’re making her into a visual aid to go with the sound bites. They don’t really care about Terri in particular, it just makes good news, along the way putting the fear of ‘Or Else’ into the rest of the god-ridden who would otherwise think instead of react.

If those people really wanted to respect the sanctity of life, they wouldn’t defile a single life by making it a poster, a sound bite and a rallying cry. They wouldn’t defile a single life by dragging out the biological aspect of the end of that life pointlessly.

Terri Schiavo is America’s first Partial-Death abortion. And that’s as anti-sacrosanct a thing as I can imagine.

The Being and the Doing

Last night I had a profound experience: a whole evening spent with one of my oldest, dearest friends who created a space that was entirely about me and about what I was feeling.

Chalk it up to the one-off trauma or the emotional-aftermath abnegation thereof or both, but it seems like forever since my own well-being came first in my own mind and heart. My friend did that for me: he let me let myself off the hook, let me put myself on the front burner.

Accepting that I have friends who are there when I may need them is quite different from availing myself of their help and their wisdom when I do need them.

The complete man takes wisdom where he can get it, decides whenever he has opportunity and leans when his own strength runs out. Here’s to a wisdom-seeking, decision-making, leaning, more complete me.

First Gear

Stasis is not a natural condition. The stand-still does not appear in nature, except as attitude. Absolute Zero is only theoretical.

Such goes life, where it moves and moves. It turns and turns, both world and worm. And so it comes down to a choice: not whether or not to move, but in which direction you’re going to go.

Time, tide and winds often dictate our fates, but there are those times when we allow them to. And in allowing, we make a choice: to do nothing. Back in the day when I handed my fate over to a god my heart didn’t really believe in, I was a fan of the pray-and-wait. And that may seem strange to others, for how do you rely on something you don’t have faith in? Well, setting aside the fact that this very thing is done all the time—reliance on drugs, alcohol, people who are undeserving, Republicans, government—I may not have had faith in a god’s own presence, but I had faith in a large group of well-meaning people who all believed in the same thing. That was very powerful, and very comforting. Humankind’s perfect soporific.

Last week, I chose. Several times, in fact. But first and foremost, I chose to decide for myself. I chose to stay put. I chose to stay true to myself as well. I chose to work hard for the things I want and need. I chose a nuanced path over a tradition, over bravura, over ego.

And Sam and I chose together. Yesterday I began the day with a first, professionally. Last evening, we found our way to engaging our lives back into gear. Only first gear, mind you…engines still rev high and hot and there’s not so much motion, but there is motion. Forward motion.

And forward is my favorite direction of all, my chosen direction.

3-21 Go

I’ve got this 1970s crap pop psych going on in my head and I can’t make it stop:

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Except that I’ve got it in reverse. In a sense, for all the years I considered going to work at the Mothership—even before there was a building called the Mothership—for all the times I looked for my place there, for all the times I’d decided I’d fare better on my own or at least at some distance from there, for all the weighing of the Pros (near infinite) and Con’s (just a couple), in about an hour from the time I’m writing this, I’ll officially be an employee of the Mothership.

So today doesn’t so much feel like the ‘first day of the rest of my life’ (how goddamn trite were the 1970s anyway?) as it feels like the last day of The Long Flirtation.

Maybe there have been too many First Days for me, or maybe I’m one of those that believes we really only get one beginning and one end. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m one of those earthy-nutty-crunchy-Northern-Californians who doesn’t like to rubberstamp things and call them absolutes.

No destinies. No ordained passages.

Or maybe I just have butterflies.

Equal Night

Culminate. That’s the verb for my life right now. Lots of, well, stuff building and building and building.

Still so much to be sorted through, so much history to get past, so much time I don’t have—and yet still so much hope that the healthy resolution to it all is also a happy one.

Approximately five hours and 36 minutes from now, the Spring Equinox occurs, where Winter pointedly gives way to Spring, where an apocryphal egg can be balanced on end. I find myself wondering if the pending celestial transition may turn out to be allegorical as well: is this finally the time when I/we can start to shed the burdensome aspects of our lives and start to build some happy, lilting ones?

Winter’s got to end sometime, right?

Right?

Uncle Bill

Yesterday was my “Uncle” Bill’s birthday. Since he was born the same year as my father, he’s just turned 67. He’s not really my uncle, in the blood sense, but he’s honest-to-god family, someone there like a gifting angel who was always just there. As I said, family.

I was to find out at a very late date that he’s gay. When I was growing up, he was a bachelor who never had a girlfriend, just friends. It never occurred to me that anything was something to think about, but I do recall remembering that he was an example of the only alternative lifestyle that Northeastern Pennsylvania could or would understand: he was single.

And I suppose that was enough for me, as I came to discover that my sexuality wasn’t just a phase, wasn’t an auxiliary aspect of my life. It was enough to know that there were other options in life that made a person happy.

That said, I can’t say how happy Uncle Bill has been in his life, except that he always seemed to be enjoying himself, was always the life of the party, was always that one person in every crowd that seemed almost magnetic. The guy that everyone wanted to be in orbit of.

Except in my life there were two men like that: Uncle Bill, as I said; and my father.

Quite a sight, seeing my father and Uncle Bill and all their friends that they stayed so close to from their High School days. I think it ended up serving as some connection between childhood and adulthood for me. Otherwise, “being an adult” in NE PA meant things so horribly foreign to a gay boy that adulthood itself was a far-off, far-flung thing that involved black-and-white TV families and twin beds. Crazy.

When I came to find out that Uncle Bill was gay—it was Marie that told me so, in somewhat cautious and doleful terms—I found myself outwardly comforting her that it was not disruptive news to me, and inwardly rejoicing that not only did I know a well-respected and much-loved gay man, but that I could be one day a well-respected and potentially much-loved gay man myself!

Life shifted gears as that news settled into me. I hesistate to use terms like “soul-soothing”, but that’s exactly what it was: a cool salve across a scorched and wind-blown surface.

Hopefully, I’ve done Uncle Bill proud in how I’ve lived my life so far. I know I’ve done proud by my parents, my brothers and my friends and myself.

Happy Belated Birthday, Uncle Bill.