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Posts Tagged ‘Tea Leaves a memoir of mothers and daughters’

About four years or so, before I became a vegan, my partner and I were thinking of becoming vegans out of compassion for the animals. We were visiting the cows at a local agricultural high school and learned the cows are sent to slaughter after they are done being milked.

Shortly after that I was hospitalized for emergency surgery and subsequently acquired an infection that nearly killed me. I was not in the hospital long but quickly became disillusioned with the entire medical system.

The medical system does have its place (broken bones come to mind) but that is how I felt at the time. That fall (a few months later) on the advice of a local acupuncturist I started going to, I went to a healthy plant based diet.

A year and a half after being totally vegan, I went to the doctor for a routine checkup. (My partner insisted that I go.) Because I don’t weigh myself at home, I found out that I had lost sixty pounds. The doctor told me that a lot of her patients lose weight by going to a plant-based diet. In my case, it was necessary to lose weight to be healthy. But many people who are already thin go to a healthy plant-based diet for health reasons. There are also ways to gain weight on a plant based diet for those who may need to bulk up — as is the case for some weightlifters.

I know from exercising and being a writer that engaging in a daily practice is how things get done and how change happens. It is the same thing when going to a healthy plant-based diet. It took a few months of transition but I got there. I was shocked at the transformation and how I could actually feel the absence of animal suffering in my body.

One of the ways that I stay on course is by watching episodes of the Exam Room Podcast (which is associated with the Physicians Committee for Social Responsibility). I feel lucky to have stumbled across it — just like I feel fortunate to have embarked on a path of being plant-based. The YouTube video below is from the Exam Room Podcast.

Since going plant-based, I have a lot of energy. One way that I use that energy is, of course, in my writing!

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

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Every now and then I read my reviews online particularly at Goodreads and NetGalley. In particular, I enjoyed these two and wanted to share them with you.

The story The unicorn the Mystery reminds me of the tales of the old. The tapestry of the maiden and the unicorn. In a way it is. You get the unicorns point of view which is really amazing, a novice monk, and some novice nuns.

It goes over how only the pure of heart can see a unicorn. Religious metaphors for what they stand for. What they do. The trials that it goes through, is it real or just a myth. Is it looking for a maiden pure?

I really enjoyed this book, it was well written, had good flow and narrative and well-developed characters with good world building. The story was one of the most unique things I have ever read and the characters grab you along with the story from the first few pages. I was gripped and would definitely recommend checking it out. I finished it in a few hours I could not put it down. I can’t go into the book without giving anything away. Please read it.

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery (Adelaide Books) click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

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About a year ago, I started learning modern Greek in earnest, using Greekpod101.com.  I like the way the coursework is organized, and I like the fact that I can hear the words spoken aloud.  I can’t say that I feel fluent in the language yet, but I have a system of learning that is helping me in more ways than I thought. I have long been fascinated with Greece (both ancient and modern). Twenty years ago, when I travelled to Greece, I bought of book of the fragments of Sappho that had modern Greek on one page that was translated from Sappho’s classical Greek words which are printed on the facing page.

“Sapfo? The Poetess?” The proprietor of a small bookstore in Athens asked me with arched eyebrows.

“Neh,” I responded affirmatively.

The proprietor disappeared into the backroom and came back with the slim volume of Sappho.

In those days, everything related to Sappho was kept in backrooms and spoken of in hushed tones. It was expected and it was the same way in the United States.

I had learned enough Greek to get around the country during my trip. I took the Greek island buses (which at that time were called the KTEL buses) and could read street signs on my long walks. So many of the Greek words that I began to learn again last year were familiar to me.

Since that day in the Athenian bookstore, my goal has been to learn both modern and classical Greek so I can read my volume of Sappho. As a working writer, wanting to learn Greek has long factored into my work. In my most recent novel The Unicorn, The Mystery (Adelaide Books – NY and Lisbon), one of my narrators who is a monk living in the Middle Ages aspires to learn Greek and to become a Priest which is a station above his humble background.

My novel THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders (Adelaide Books) is set in the Hebrew Bible and (in Book Two) in the New Testament.  The New Testament was translated into Koine Greek which is now close to modern Greek.

In my book Tea Leaves, a memoir of mothers and daughters (Bella Books), I write about finding a spiral notebook that my mother had left for me where she linked my name with the ancient Greek lyric poet Korinna. Janet-Korinna, she wrote. I found a statue of Korinna in a small museum in the seaside city of Mytilini on the island of Lesvos when I travelled to Greece twenty years ago.

In a way, the Greek language has long been with me. As a working writer, I chose this language because it has been around so long and so many of the English words have their origin in Greek words. I chose to learn this language after going to a plant-based diet and I’m sure that both play a role in my improved brain power. It made perfect sense when I learned that learning a language can improve your memory.

I’m also sure that the learning of Greek (which I devote my morning hours too – about two hours a day – enters my writing in ways that are very deep and a mystery to me.

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

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I recorded a reading from the beginning of my novel The Unicorn, The Mystery. This is the same section of the book that I read through the Big Blue Marble Bookstore last December. Below the YouTube video, I pasted the text in case you would like to read it. Enjoy!

Chapter One

“There is too much blood.”

The child pointed to the bright red blood dripping down my otherwise pure white side — and to the gash my horn had gouged in the side of the hunting dog. I do not normally hurt other animals – or humans for that matter – but the hound belonged to the hunters who had trapped and cornered me with their long javelins.

“That man is bad. I can see it in his eyes,” continued the child.

The child had a point. The man’s eyes are flat and glittering. Even as he points his javelin toward my head, you know that this kill – if it comes to pass — will not be enough for him. He will want more. I can see this but even now I still wonder – why would anyone want to capture me? Why didn’t they just leave me alone? Was I that important?

To distract myself from being bored, I watch the groups of people that pass through this room.

Today, the most interesting person in the room is small and is wearing a shiny and long magenta dress. I’ve heard little girls so adorned called princesses. Really, they are imitating a time long gone, and they are re-living a myth. It’s true that in my day princesses lived in castles.  But little girls were not passive. They had to be bred to be passive. The myth-makers thought that they would make future little girls passive through the repetition of fairy tales. But young women did not dangle their long blond locks from towers and wait for the handsome prince to come and save them. They did not sit beautiful behind locked doors, waiting to be rescued.  They may have had to do it in secret, but many princesses developed their muscles. They learned to use javelins, shields and spears. They unleashed their power — even though they were frequently opposed and overpowered. I hear the tradition continues – despite the myth. This little princess may free me from the tapestry to tell you my story. Just remember that it is a real story — not a fairy tale.

I am going to start in the middle of the story of how they captured me. I’ve always wondered myself. How was it possible? Part of my legend and lure was that it was impossible to capture me. But this was not always true. People have hunted my kind for many reasons. They may have claimed that they were chasing my horn which they fancied as imbued with all types of powers. My horn was said to be a cure-all for everything, including mortality – as if that could be cured. They were especially keen on insisting that a ground-up horn from my kind acted as an antidote to poison. This was an untruth of course. Everything was false. They were chasing that which cannot be caught.

Let me start at the beginning – or rather in the middle. Of course, I defended myself. What other choice did I have? I see in this tapestry, that I am cornered and there is blood. But I am still surrounded by beauty. There is a stream flowing in front of me. Another day, I would have bent my head, lowered the tip of my horn into the stream, and cleansed it so the other animals could drink.

There are a few birds: the common gray goshawk, the noble falcon with its long wings who is not taking any notice of the hunters behind me as it stares down at the stream; and several types of ducks, including the mallard with its regal white ring circling its neck. Far in the background, at the top of the tapestry, is the pomegranate tree I have just eaten a ripe fruit from before I wandered away. To tell you the truth I was savoring some fermented fruits on the ground – which always makes me feel a little giddy. That may be why I didn’t see the hunters come up behind me until it was almost too late.

My hindquarters raised, I was poised to jump over the stream. The person who did the drawing for the tapestry maker caught me between galloping away and the moment when I realized that I had to give a swift kick, with both of my rear legs, to the hunter behind me. He was so close that I could feel the steely wind from his javelin on my rear quarters. As I mentioned, I am not usually aggressive. But I do like to be alone. It seemed that these hunters — suddenly surrounding me, with their javelins, bugles, and dogs — wanted to disturb my solitude and more.

I am surrounded by flowers:  white lilies, wild red roses, St. Mary’s thistle and my favorite, the pungent stock gillyflower. I can smell their mingled sweet and spicy scent. I see the blurred colors of lavender, pink and white as I gallop by. Nonetheless, I could still tell that the throng of hunters, that was gaining on me, meant to do me harm.

Now that I have time to really look at the scene depicted in this tapestry, I see that most of the men wear brown cloaks atop red tunics. Three of the men wear shiny blue cloaks crinkled like crushed velvet. All are wearing hats — more than a few are red, others brown — perched on their heads. One man, standing in the back, the man with a bugle hanging on him, wears a fancy red hat with a feather plume curling up from the brim. He holds his javelin straight up with the wooden pole near the ground. He looks down like he is musing. A poet, perhaps? He appears to be someone who thinks he is above the fray. Given his fancy dress – and the fact that there was always a hierarchy, he could be a representative of the King. It is said that the King represents God. If it is true – as I’ve heard it said — that I was a symbol of the son of God, then why would He want me captured? Wouldn’t He want me left alone to be part of the beauty of nature? There is so much in this world that doesn’t make sense.

I remember being in the grounds of the abbey. I was drawn there because there seems to be more room for solitude. The village inside the stone walls of the abbey was quieter and the people more contemplative. There was a church and a pig trough. The well was frequently unattended, so I could drink to my heart’s delight. There were more likely to be virginal maidens here – especially in the nun’s quarters – than other places. In the village that I had to pass through to get here, there were no virginal maidens at all. I had wandered into the burial ground, thinking that I could find some solitude. But then I had to flee from the people living there in makeshift tents and women plying their wares – and I do mean all of their wares.

At the top left of the tapestry, behind the trees, the cherry, the pomegranate, the walnut, the bushy oak, is a castle in miniature. On the middle tower, a red triangular roof that appears tiny in the distance flies an equally small flag, a triangle with a point on the end. Perhaps the castle is within view of the abbey to remind the holy ones – even the Bishop – that they work for the King.

I admit that I was afraid of the hunters. I was especially concerned about their intent to invade my solitude. But I was not fearful of going to the castle, because I heard that the princess there – the king’s only daughter – was a warrior princess. She was a beautiful and virginal maiden. Surely, she would save me.

At the very top of the tapestry is a cerulean sky that has never seen smokestacks. The air was clean then. The forests were new, the land almost untouched by human hands and machines that were yet to be invented. The mountains smiled upon us. Everyone believed that I existed. It was undeniable that the earth was as alive as you or I. I could see the breath of trees — the vibration of everything.

I was found and captured – my story stitched into the warp and weft of centuries. Most of the threads are common and natural such as linen and cotton. But some of the threads are metallic. The glitter is magic — not only the stuff of my life but of yours too. These are the years that led to yours.

There were so many javelins coming toward me that I couldn’t stop to wonder then. But I do now. Who struck the final blow – if indeed there was one? Was it my human friend? I think of him as my friend, because he was the closest I’ve ever gotten to having a human friend. (I’ll tell you about him later.)  I’m not saying that I was above reproach. Perhaps no one is ever really innocent. Looking back on that day, I realized that many wanted me dead. But I did not understand why – or perhaps I should say I refused to. To tell you the truth, I never thought of myself as dying. I know it is inevitable, but perhaps I was too vain. I thought that what happened to all other beings wouldn’t necessarily happen to me.

I found myself musing and arranging words that came tumbling out:

“You will find that I am the creature written about in holy books, and the one associated with evil.

You will find that I am the rareness that is everywhere.

I am many. I am one.

I desire to be alone — yet I am always with you.

Wise men have written that I cannot be taken alive. Others say I am dead.

Worse, others deny that I ever existed.

Why do you belittle me, when I am wiser than thought?

I am the revered and the scorned one

I am the one who is always seen and the invisible one.

I am your purity, your hallucinations run wild.

I am said to represent your salvation – with my one horn.

But I existed long before this was said.

My will extends further into the future than you can see.

I am in the clouds above you.

I am the darkness of the woods.

I was captured, but I am free.

I answer to no man.

Even as you deny me, I am you.”

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

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One of the things that I’m looking forward to in the upcoming Spring issue of the literary journal aaduna is to being in community with other poets and writers as well as visual artists. aaduna was founded as a multicultural literary and visual arts journal.  I can’t think of a community I’d rather be in!

Being in community keeps us strong. It allows us to be vulnerable and to be together even as we are isolated — especially in these days when isolation for many is an unfortunate fact of life.

So, in the upcoming issue, I’m looking forward to reading more of the work of Howard Nelson and Kiel M. Gregory as well as Sarah Wyman, Ph.D., and seeing the visual artwork of Janet Kozachek.

For a preview, click here:

https://aadunanotes.blogspot.com/2021/04/curtain-upthe-encore.html

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

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I’m reposting a talk I gave at a Unitarian Universalist Memorial Day service on the topic of forgiveness that includes a segment from my latest novel The Unicorn, The Mystery. The YouTube video of my part of the service is below. The complete text of my talk is below that.  The service took place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration on Stenton Ave. in Philadelphia.

For me, forgiveness is a thorny issue.  I suspect I’m not alone.  I may forgive – but I do it on my own terms and this means taking the time that I need to understand the deeper reasons of why I was offended by someone’s actions. So, for me, learning to be more forgiving is wrapped up with protecting myself and having good boundaries.

As a practicing Buddhist, I understand that forgiving others is a way of forgiving yourself.  But as I did research on forgiveness, there were so many conflicting theories, that really the only thing that ultimately made coherent sense to me was this quote from Oscar Wilde:

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”

A few years ago, I was leafing through a slim book on Christianity and was surprised to read that forgiveness is expected in the Christian tradition.  As a tenet, this one is not so bad. But it did occur to me that a reason why traditional religion has never appealed to me is that, on principal, I would never believe what someone tells me I should believe.

So when it comes to forgiveness, I process things the way that I usually do – in my writing. The novel I am currently writing The Unicorn, The Mystery, is set in the late Middle Ages and addresses some religious themes.  I am going to read you a short excerpt of a monk talking with his Latin teacher, also a Priest:

“One of the things that Augustine is known for is his ‘doctrine of love.’ He wrote about forgiveness – which of course is related to love.  In addition to forgiving others, it’s important to forgive ourselves. In fact, some argue that you cannot forgive another without first forgiving yourself,” said my teacher

I smiled and nodded.  This all made sense. No words were necessary from me.

“He also was the first to write about loving your neighbor as yourself. In saying this, he infers that it is first necessary to love yourself. When you truly love yourself, then you can love your neighbor and you can love God unconditionally,” he stated.

The Priest was silent – and so was I for a moment.

My curiosity got the best of me and I asked, “What if you are ashamed of yourself – how can you find it in your heart to forgive yourself? And if you can’t, how can you ever love your neighbor and how can you love God?”

The Priest looked at me oddly.

“That’s a good question,” he replied finally. “I do not know the answer. Perhaps I am not the best person to talk about love. I take the Christian writings seriously.  I try to follow them.  I follow my heart and each time it is a disaster. I love teaching and I love my students. But each term, things go too far, and I have my heart broken again,” he cried.

I looked at him with sadness.  He had his reasons for hating himself. Perhaps that’s why he was snippy at times. How could he forgive himself, when the church told him he should be ashamed of himself?

This time I cleared my throat. I looked at him with tears in my eyes, and said, “Father – it is true that you know how to love and it is true that you are worthy of love – from others, from God. I came to your office that night after vespers a few months ago. I saw you bent over the desk with Gregory – I saw the love that surrounded you.”

The Priest looked at me as if he had seen a ghost.

I attended the Episcopal Church until I was about five — when my mother became a card-carrying atheist.  It’s a long story.  I remember reciting the Lord’s Prayer. When I think about forgiveness, I think about the lines:

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive them that trespass against us;

As I did my research, I was fascinated to learn that in the “Book of Matthew,” chapter 6, of the New Testament, the line after the Lord’s Prayer says:

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

Of course, in my Unitarian Universalist interpretation, God the Father could be the Universe, the Great Spirit, or the Mother/ Father God or God the Father.  It depends on what day it is.

If I’ve offended anyone, please forgive me.

Namaste.

The Unicorn, The Mystery is available online where books are sold.  You can also find it at your local library (just ask the librarian to order it if the don’t already have it), through your local bookstore or directly from the publisher, Adelaide Books.

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

https://tealeavesamemoir.wordpress.com/2020/11/22/the-unicorn-the-mystery-now-available-from-adelaide-books-amreading-faithfullylgbt/

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This morning, I helped with a Unitarian Universalist service based on the lifting up of Pride. The service was about magic and being the hero of your own story.

The YouTube video of my talk  is below. The complete text of my talk is below that.  The service took place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration on Stenton Ave. in Philadelphia.

Happy Pride

This is what I used to say every June to our legion of friends, old and new, when we were in every New York Pride Parade for years.

The New York Pride events were, of course, cancelled this year. Pride usually draws a large amount of people from all over the country.  It’s estimated that two million people have attended New York Pride each year in recent years.

My partner, Barbara, and I weren’t planning on going this year and we haven’t been to Pride for years. Although we would like to go again and see our friends in Brooklyn who we stay with. Even so, even with all the tragedy going on around us, I was momentarily taken aback a few months ago when I heard Pride was cancelled.

Pride is that much a part of me.

The LGBTQ community has earned Pride.  But I do not think that having pride should be limited to one group of people.  Everybody should be proud of themselves.  As the late, great, writer Toni Morrison said, “You are your own best thing.”

She was speaking, of course, about true pride, or self-love or empowerment – whatever you want to call it. This kind of feeling good about yourself, does not rest upon feeling negatively about another group.  That’s not pride. Unfortunately, we’ve been seeing far too much of it and it’s heartbreaking – to say the least.  One could argue that hatred of others begins with self-hate.

Pride was born in the protests of the Stonewall Inn, which became a week-long riot in 1969. The people with the least to lose – those who couldn’t pass in straight society, the butch lesbians and the drag queens – exploded one night during yet another police raid on a gay bar. Raids were customary then. Gay people were routinely carted off to jail, their names were published in the newspapers. They lost their jobs – and often their families.

Ten years later, there was another riot, after the assassination of Harvey Milk, a small business owner and politician in San Francisco. The man who assassinated him, a former firefighter, got off lightly on a charge of manslaughter and used what has since come to be called “the twinkie defense” – meaning that his legal team used the excuse that he ate too much junk food which led to his criminal behavior. After this sentencing, a peaceful candlelight vigil turned into a riot outside San Francisco’s city hall which involved setting buildings and police cars on fire.

 

lesbian statue of libertyA few years after Harvey Milk was assassinated, I attended the premier screening of the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk (the first movie) at the Roxy on Sansom Street. I was young then, in my early twenties, and recently out as a lesbian. I still remember sitting in the dark theater and listening to the crying of those around me – mostly gay men.

Both riots – and there were others too – were before my time, but they are part of my history.

My partner and myself have lived in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia for a long time. We’ve had our problems with homophobia – even here in liberal Mt. Airy – but for the most part we have been met with acceptance. And that’s the way it should be. Of course, we should have equality. All people should have equality. This acceptance, no doubt, is why I sometimes take LGBTQ rights for granted.

These days, I’m probably more excited about going to a plant-based diet (which I did last fall for health reasons).  When I found out that this diet has a favorable effect on the planet, I was even more jazzed.

I’ve long been in favor of cultivating the earth — not just because it is the right thing, but because it is interesting. I’m a second-generation organic gardener, and I like bees. And I like planting bee balm and lavender and other plants that bees like.

But what I’m really excited about in going to a plant-based diet is feeling like I have a new lease on life. And I’m excited to be part of a global community.

There was a time when I felt the same way about coming out as a lesbian. Coming out in the early 1980s, meant that I didn’t have to erase myself and it meant that I had a tribe.

Recently, when reading a quote by the important gay writer Steve Abbott, I became very excited. The quote is about intersectionality and was made far before that term was commonly used. Steve died in 1992 of complications due to AIDS when he was forty-eight.

In his ahead of his time essay “Will We Survive the Eighties,” Abbott writes:

“It is clear that what we are doing now … is killing us all. And as we project these attitudes onto other species and towards the Earth’s ecological system, we are jeopardizing our very planet. I would argue that we can no longer afford to see anything – not even ‘gay liberation’ or our survival — as a separate issue needing a separate cultural or a political or a spiritual agenda. This does not mean I intend to renounce my sexual orientation, far from it. Even in times of sadness or loneliness, it remains my greatest source of strength and joy.”

As I read Beautiful Aliens, A Steve Abbott Reader edited by Jamie Townsend and published recently, I was reminded that we all have our stories and that we were all forged in fire.

In 1992, I was at a writing program in Boulder Colorado, when I was scheduled to have a one on one critique session with Steve Abbott.  He was at the program but had to leave early because he was sick with full blown AIDS. Nearly thirty years later, a review copy of his book showed up in my mailbox. I did not know it was being published and I had not requested it.

To me, this was one more experience that proves that the universe works in mysterious ways.

I became Unitarian Universalist later in life – after fifty – when I found a religion that agreed with me. In particular, the Seventh Principle rings true:  Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

We are all connected.

 

 

–Namaste–

 

To learn more about my novel THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders (published by Adelaide Books New York/Lisbon), click here.
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This piece is airing worldwide this week on This Way Out (TWO), the syndicated LGBT radio show.  Click here to listen to the entire show.

(TWO is the first international LGBTQ radio news magazine.)

 

Beautiful Aliens

A Steve Abbott Reader

Edited by Jamie Townsend

“Will We Survive the Eighties” is the hypothetical question that titles an essay written by Steve Abbott, a gay man and a leading figure in the 1980s avant-garde literary community based in San Francisco.

In 1992, when attending Naropa University’s creative writing program. I was scheduled to have a one on one critique session with Steve Abbott – but he wasn’t there. He had attended the program and had given a reading and a workshop but had to leave early because he was sick with full blown AIDS.

Nearly three decades later, in 2019, Beautiful Aliens, A Steve Abbott Reader edited by Jamie Townsend was published by Nightboat Books in New York.

Abbott survived the 1980s but just barely. He died in 1992 when he was forty-eight.

Abbott was many things – a poet, critic, novelist, and poetic cartoonist – but as his daughter Alysia Abbott (the author of Fairyland, a memoir about her relationship with her father), writes in the afterward of Beautiful Aliens:

“…his work was about building community. It was about hand-illustrating posters for the readings he organized…..It was about going out and engaging young men and women in classrooms but also in the cafes, bars, and bookstores around San Francisco, sharing his vast knowledge and encouraging them to add their voices to queer culture, in whatever way they could, even if that culture wasn’t getting mainstream attention. He knew how important it was to support voices on the edge, writers that were pushing boundaries and weren’t interested in keeping their readers comfortable.”

I found Beautiful Aliens, a selection of Abbott’s writings, mesmerizing.  For one thing, there were so many overlapping areas that we had in common – queer writing conferences that were important to me, and favorite poets and writers such as the lesbian icon Judy Grahn.

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I also found that Abbott was a writer who, in so many ways, was ahead of his time, and still has much to tell us.  In his prescient essay “Will We Survive the Eighties,” Abbott writes:

“It is clear that what we are doing now … is killing us all. And as we project these attitudes onto other species and towards the Earth’s ecological system, we are jeopardizing our very planet. I would argue that we can no longer afford to see anything – not even ‘gay liberation’ or our survival — as a separate issue needing a separate cultural or a political or a spiritual agenda.

This does not mean I intend to renounce my sexual orientation, far from it. Even in times of sadness or loneliness, it remains my greatest source of strength and joy.”

 

I found Beautiful Aliens, A Steve Abbott Reader edited by Jamie Townsend, published by Nightboat Books in New York to be that rare thing – a voice from the past that addresses the present.

 

To learn more about my novel THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders (published by Adelaide Books New York/Lisbon), click here.

 

THEY Scottie

 

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Lately, reorganizing my office, I came across a framed poem by James Broughton that he had sent me. James was a friend of Jim Cory, the publisher of Insight To Riot Press. Jim sent James a collection of my poetry, When I Was Straight, that he had published in 1995 and James sent me a letter and an illustrated poem that I took a picture of and pasted below. The poem is called, “What Matters.” I am reprinting the text so you can read it too:

What Matters

What matters
matters
but not always

Some of the time
everything
matters

Much of the time
nothing
matters

In the long run
both everything
and nothing

matter a lot

-James Broughton-

 

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To learn more about my novel THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders (published by Adelaide Books New York/Lisbon), click here.

THEY Scottie

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Today is the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day.  It is a joyous occasion and a heartbreaking one.  I couldn’t help noticing this as this crisis was breaking all around me. On my daily walk, I see that the flowers are erupting this year. A chorus of bird songs fills the air.  I’ve seen the photos of the planet becoming less polluted. Yet, it is very sad that the humans are suffering.

So, I take my walks everyday and do my Buddhist mantras for healing for the planet and all of her inhabitants.

Here are some of the photos I took on my walk.

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To learn more about my novel THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders (published by Adelaide Books New York/Lisbon),click here.

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