At this moment in history, considering all that science has learned and the Church has experienced, it astounds me that anyone would claim the traditional sexual ethic is not only harmless but life-giving for gay people. Continue reading →
it is not for them to direct their steps.
Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—
not in your anger,
or you will reduce me to nothing. Jeremiah 10:23-24
In my foolish imagination, I’m journeying on a path. Truth hides itself behind my immense pride.
In reality, it’s not a path at all. It’s more like a river.
My husband and I recently took a trip to Tel Aviv. One of the “must dos” on our list was to enjoy falafel from our favorite stand. The pita bread there is outrageous, and they take care to layer all of the fixings so you get some in every bite. We can never remember the name of the joint, but it’s near Dizengoff Square at the corner of King George Street and Shlomo HaMalech.
As we’re gorging ourselves, I notice that the name of the street is written on the side of the building. “What does Shlomo HaMalech mean?” I ask my husband.
“Really?” I say incredulously. “Solomon translates as Shlomo?”
“Really…” he says, annoyed at my incredulity.
“Solomon – as in ‘the wisdom of Solomon’?”
He chuckles and says “I guess ‘the wisdom of Shlomo’ doesn’t have the same ring to it.” Continue reading →
This fish had found his way to the Hell’s Kitchen pond. I was very content. Now I find myself, if not on dry land, at least in a shallow stream.
I knew Hell’s Kitchen. I mean, I really knew it. I knew its contours. And it knew me. It watched me come into an authentic life.
A lot of what that neighborhood has to offer fits so well with the person I’ve become. The theater district is across the street from our former home. A variety of outstanding restaurants dot the avenues and streets. Central Park, the city’s backyard, is just a few short blocks away. It’s the city’s largest gay ghetto with shops and bars that cater to middle aged men like me – the professional class of gays.
It’s a place where I had become known. When I entered the corner bodega in the morning, they knew to pour a large black coffee. When we went into our favorite Italian restaurant, the owner greeted us with a kiss and a compliment. When I walked down the street, I was bound to run into a neighbor, or our friends across the way, or someone from the gym, or someone from the hair salon. For much of my life, I was terrified to be known by others; my Hell’s Kitchen family has witnessed a very happy chapter of my life which I didn’t hide. They knew the mundane rhythms of my happiness.
Then we moved – two miles north and a world away from the old neighborhood. Continue reading →
I was nine years old when the final episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show aired.
For years, my family had peered into the screen of our color television and watched the foibles and follies of the WJM news team. I didn’t understand every joke or every storyline, but I understood enough. They, too, were a family. They loved each other in an honest and vulnerable way. The news room was their home.
I’ll never forget that final scene. After a heartfelt and humorous group hug, the gang of misfits faced their uncertain future by parading out of the newsroom amid a chorus of “Long Way to Tipperary”. Mary Richards, the heart of the show, paused to look back fondly at the office; she smiled a knowingly-fond smile, turned off the lights, and shut the door softly behind her.
It made me sad.
* * * * * * * * * *
In my adult life, I must have moved a dozen times. I started moving around just after college and I never stopped. At first, I could fit all of my stuff into the back of my Mercury Marquis station wagon (replete with faux wood paneling), then I graduated to U-Hauls and eventually to professional movers. From Norfolk to Seattle to Baltimore to DC to Chicago to DC to NY. I had no attachments. I had no roots. The physical trappings of my life matched my interior emotions. For too many years, I had slipped into isolation; not only was I detached from even my best friend, I was unknown even to myself. Moving was a way of making excuses for being utterly alone. It was a temporary, hopeful escape from my unhappiness.
But my life now is very different. This time, the move was very different. Continue reading →