There is just so much to do after one is finished with an ALC Lifecycle ride, so many things that got put off because one was training or packing or all the many things one must do to get ready for  a ride.

So slowly our life gets back to normal, and all of those other things get done…

until next year.

We rode to Calistoga,

I was thinking what? That is one heck of a hill. And it was… but it wasn’t the hill I was thinking of, so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it was still a climb and my legs are sore today.

We started out in Windsor, like usual, and went over Chalk Hill, I know that theoretically I supposed to be getting better at this, but my breathing practice still sucks and I’m out of breath when I get to the top. Maybe I need to Add more cycling to the equation, I didn’t do the Monday ride this week because I went to work instead, because we going to the City on Wed, Thu. & Friday to celebrate our 12th anniversary.

Maybe I really need to get that extra ride in, or add some spin classes. I must get better at this cycling stuff.

I do feel like I am getting better, as much as I am complaining right now, I am riding faster and I am riding up the hills a little faster though it is not by very much.

Anyway at the top of Chalk Hill, we all caught our breath and then we were off, instead of turning north to Alexander Valley and Geyersville, we went East on HIghway 128, and turned off on Franz Hill or something like that. We do that to get off the road that has the most cars, and so the Training Ride Leaders can torture us with more hills.

What sometimes seems like a nice quiet ride in the country, is really a climb of 2 to 3% percent, which is not much, but it sure makes you feel like you are being lazy, because you are not going very fast. Any way we got to a point where we all stopped and rested, and then Robert said “okay time to start climbing hills” (insert moans here). And then he left, we followed soon after.

Well we started, and we thought, oh this ain’t much, and then another hill, and we thought, this ain’t much, and then another hill, and we thought this ain’t much. Then we saw the hill and after we climbed that, we thought, whew, were glad that is over, then we looked around and I said,” I don’t think that was it” and we look ahead, and just around the curve one could see that the road continued up. well that was the beginning, and that was the hill, and it was a hill, it was a tough climb, and I have to admit I stopped a few times to catch my breath. But I RODE THE WHOLE WAY, NO WALKING.

But we were at the top, and it was all downhill into Calistoga now, and it was a nice lunch at the Palisades. and then north on 128 back to where we started.

My Partner is dealing with putting his mom in assisted living, she has Alzheimer’s and well she can’t live by herself anymore.

We would move to her house, but it is too long to commute, and we both have jobs, and well to be honest, she needs more care than we can give.

We have no experience bathing a woman if she would even allow us that.

She has enough memory to know that she knows us, but she doesn’t quite get the relationships right. She thinks my partner is her Husband, and that he is my dad, though she remembers that I am not her son.

But what it all reminds me of is my dad… My dad went to assisted living a year ago, the same week this year, Ms Vick called the paramedics and took herself to the hospital because of chest pains. Once the doctors talked to her they said “this woman cannot live by herself anymore”

Well, we we very lucky in that my dad checked himself into assisted living, he was the one who said he can’t live by himself.

We were also very lucky in that, My brothers and I were able to share the burden of the decisions that needed to be made and the work that needed to be done. I am very thankful to my brothers for all that they did, and I feel so blessed that I had them to share this difficult time with.

When I talk to my partner about what he is dealing with I try to remember that, and I try to be supportive in any way that that I can.

Last night I went to my first art class…

It was about just letting the brush express what was inside you…

Naturally I had difficulty with that, so at some point I just discarded the brush and painted with my hands. I’m so glad that we were painting with watercolors.

But discarding the brush for me, I felt it was a breakthrough, I was able to express more freely, it was not about painting objects, though all my paintings are of objects of some type, I just want a more abstract feeling or expressive feeling about them.

I’m not totally happy with what I was painting, but I was more satisfied at the end of the class than I was at the beginning.

Next week another class

 

Promise to be back soon, I need to get back riding writing again.

I am back riding again actually, I bought a new bike and I have been riding on Saturdays and Mondays, getting ready for another ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

I am also doing art again, I am working on a new piece called “The Dance” something abstract and new for me.

well that is all for now

 

I was still stationed at Fort Lewis, but Dennis had been transferred, I was still friends with Gaylord, but it wasn’t the same.

Gaylord had always been in a different squad, and he was more Dennis’ friend than mine, besides it was Gaylord who got those kisses. Sometimes we move on, holding onto a friend only as long as we need them, or just because he was a friend of a friend, and when that friend is gone, the relationship changes.

Even though I was attracted to Dennis, (and despite the previous post) I wasn’t at that point where I knew I was gay, I just thought I was one of those guys who wasn’t interested in girls, men are just more attractive I thought.

I wasn’t a drinker, and I didn’t hang out with drinkers (well we were all still 18-20, and Washington’s drinking age was 21)

I didn’t think anything about not being interested in girls, I had friends who were into really fat girls, (he said you could poke anywhere, it didn’t matter) and friends who were onto really skinny girls and I had friends that you never heard them talk about girls at all, I just didn’t think about it.

I was an E-4 now, and I had my own group of privates to worry about. I wasn’t in charge technically, but you watched out for your own squad members, helping them out, showing them the ropes, trying not to let them get into to much trouble.

I had this young man in my squad; his last name was Arnold, in the service you tend to call each other by your last name. Arnold and I became buds, I wanted to tell you a story of how we had some sexual tension between us, but the truth is, I think I just liked him, he was just an easy presence, no drama, no hang ups, no getting on soap-box and preaching.

He was cute, light brown hair, and a scattering of freckles, a good build, not like Dennis, however I remember that he had wide shoulders. He had his own personality, well because he was his own man. He was a quiet man; nothing dramatic, simple tastes and we had lots of quiet times. I don’t even remember what we did most of the time, we just hung out.

He had a motorcycle; I think it was a Honda 250 or 350, something simple, nothing flashy. He loved to go for rides on it, and he loved to take me with him. I was still pretty nervous, because I thought he might take off like Dennis would, but he never did.

We just rode; we just rode wherever the road took us. For some reason, he didn’t like to use my name he liked calling me “Boss”.

“Hey Boss, let’s go for a ride”, he say after work. So if it weren’t raining very hard, we would throw on jackets and go for a ride, maybe to the pizza parlor, maybe to a lake.

I wished that it would have lasted longer, but duty called and I was transferred to Fort Bliss, Texas, to learn a new MOS, and then off to Germany.

Sure, we would use my car once in awhile, if it was gonna get rainy. But mostly we saved my car for when we had somewhere to go.

It was a simple time, one without worries, I was still young and I wasn’t worried about my not “dating girls” or my lack of interest.

I wasn’t at that point where I knew I was gay, I just thought I was one of those guys who wasn’t interested.

Years ago, I was very naive… and much too afraid of my true feelings, hell didn’t even know what my feelings or lack of them meant….

I was 19, I was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington and my best friends were Dennis and Gaylord. They watched out for me, took care of me, they introduced me to acid (and caught hell from their wives for that), took me on my first motorcycle ride, and nursed me back to health after I crashed it.

Every year, maybe twice a year, I would go home to San Jose, on leave (vacation) … and spent time with my friends, my old church gang…

While I was home on one of these trips, I met a young woman named Tam… She was 17 years old and still in High School….

I had a white Bonneville convertible and I had gained few pounds (so I was no longer skinny as a pole) and I guess she thought I was a good catch.

We whirlwind dated, thought we were in love and she ended up coming up to Fort Lewis for a couple of months during the summer, her parents spoiled her.

Anyway, I was a virgin, she was a virgin…and one thing led to another…

But the reality was…

The only way I could have sex with her, the only way “it” got hard.

was…

to think about him…

Dennis…

He looked like this…


His body was shaped like this & he took off his shirt a lot.

I loved the curve of his ass, his muscles, his easy grin, I loved the way the sun glistened off his hair.

He smiled and joked and loved the entire world.
He and his best friend Gaylord, would pretend to kiss, one would cover up the mouth of the other with their own hand, bend the other one over in a cinematic movie kiss.

It was only later that you might notice that they were kissing the hand that covered the other man’s mouth.

I was so jealous. I wanted to be in his arms, to be held, for him to kiss me.

I never told him… that it was him I was thinking about all nights, while I was in his bed…

You see…

Dennis and his wife moved into their kid’s bedroom while I and “Tam” stayed in “HIS” bed…

For two months… I slept in his bed and then went to work with him each day… (we were both in the army and in the same 4 man squad).

IT WAS HEAVEN, But reality was, I was more into him than her, so she went back home, we broke up, Her parents bought her a corvette, and two months later, she wasn’t pregnant…

It wasn’t until my second girlfriend… After I turned my head to look at some guy’s butt and wrecked her/my car… (I had just bought it from her, hadn’t even paid for it yet)

I decided…

I couldn’t pretend anymore…

It was too much… like Brokeback Mountain…

Everyday compassion for the dead—and the living | Religion News Service

By Omid Safi

August 24, 2012

The image is a simple one, poignant.
There, slouched over on the chair, is an elderly man.
He’s not resting, nor is he asleep.
He has just died, right there in the middle of a busy Chinese station.

The crowd gathers, many overcome with astonishment.  Many are shocked, and the looks on their faces reveal their awe that in the very midst of their hustle and bustle, they stand in the presence of death.   The fabric of their mundane life has been shattered.

And there is the monk who decides not to be compassionate by proxy.

The monk reaches over to the newly deceased, putting his hand on the departed, and stands there praying.

There, on the monk’s face, is the look of utter serenity.   His reaction is not based on his own emotions, but based on that highest of imperatives:  compassion.

He cares not about what gender the deceased is, his religion, his wealth, his race, or his color.   All that matters is compassion, then and there, here and now.

The image has stayed with me, for it serves as a powerful reminder.
All of life is like this, here with us:  the joys and horrors of life, birth and death, heartache and healing, shattering and prayer.
All of this takes place in the very midst of our day-to-day life, not somewhere outside of it.

We have a choice, whether to be compassionate here and now, to all around, or to be a mere bystander.

The departed man deserved compassion, and prayer.
The living deserve no less.

Be here.
Now.

Live this Compassion
For all around.

Omid Safi is a Professor of Islamic Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in contemporary Islamic thought and classical Islam. An award-winning teacher and speaker, his most recent book, “Memories of Muhammad,” looks at the biography and legacy of the Prophet Muhammad.

Sunday Morning again, and I am sitting down to write a post.

I am on my new laptop, sitting at my new desk,

I have an amazing view out my front window, and my desk setup is such that I can, type on my laptop and watch a slide show on my second display while It is playing some relaxing meditation type music to start my morning out right.

I have had a second cup of coffee. and in a moment I will go get in the shower and head to the Center.

IT IS A GOOD MORNING

It has been awhile since I was here.

Many things have happened, my father became sick and in the short period between then and  and now he died.

I’m not sure how I feel, yes I’m sorry that he is dead, but he was suffering the last six months, not so much that we were thinking “oh just pull the plug”.

It was that he didn’t like what was happening to his body, or the circumstances he was given to live out his life.

He did like his personal assistant, he liked his cook, but he didn’t like the fact that his body would no longer do what he wanted it to do. He didn’t not like that fact that he couldn’t just get in his car and drive somewhere, get out and walk to what he wanted. That if he wasn’t paying attention, his body would just fall over, and he didn’t have the strength to keep himself upright.