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11:28 p.m. - March 18, 2003
Take two on today
The pastor of my church called to see how I was doing and momentarily I was confused, not only because he's never (a) called me on the phone or (b) said my name, but because I felt that sharp intake of mental-breath, the same variety as an ice-cream headache. Sudden, unexpected. I don't know him well but I've admire him the way I admire those who speak eloquently and with passion and never once have I suspected cozenry. He asked me if there was anything he could do for me and it was a pleasure to say I'm struggling spiritually but only half-liberating, because the other half is the admission that rather than struggling, I've given up. He mentioned that should I feel the need to unload to think of him and I reflected inwardly on the reaction of my admission that I'm struggling with sex and faith and trust and oddly, I felt at peace knowing I'm not the only one struggling.

It has been months since I've attended church or the Bible study. I feel dirty and ashamed but the hurdle is always self-forgiveness, isnít it?

He invited me to the Young Life banquet at the end of the month; I donít think Iíll attend. It isnít a matter of feeling like a hypocrite but more not wanting to be reminded of how much Iíve lost or given up this past year, and how little gain or improvement by contrast. When Dana and I were together the general consensus was that we were the perfect modern Christian couple, role models for relationships and responsibilities, the cream of the crop. Dana taught Sunday School, co-chaired the Womenís Ministry, organized retreats; I handled Young Life at my school, organized the Habitat builds and gave talks at the retreats. And Dana and I werenít perfect and really, Iím sure nobody actually thought we were, but we projected and maintained the image of See how good weíve got it, a sui generis. And we rationalized things, both of us sexual creatures Ė except for the oral sex; you can read the Bigsky archives yourself Ė and how easy to have the best of both worlds, the spiritual and worldly in one.

And you know the rest of the story. How the mighty do fall. Iím still in a tailspin unable to obtain bearings enough to stand up.

Are they mutually exclusive, being gay and Christian? Or more accurately and the point of my musing, can one enjoy the corporeal and Christian? Iíd like to meet with a gay Christian and compare perspectives; I have my own (rationalization?) schema in place but it seems too pat, too contrived, and hinges on commitment and love and monogamy, three factors I suspect arenít high priorities among most gay men.

Iím feeling more upbeat than I have lately and I think the previous entry Ė as rambling and lacking clarity and direction as it was Ė let me pause and take a breath. It is ominous, this feeling of dread and being lost and Iíve had enough and maybe itís being able to realize that, to concretize, that allows me to look at things more clearly; not necessarily better, but clearer, so that I can see things for how they are. How in the midst of a mess, this falling apart of my social (donít scoff), intellectual, and emotional life seems like detritus but there is value in recycling, isnít that why we stack old newspapers?

A former student of mine is somewhere in the Persian Gulf. His mother has a letter to me from him that she will drop off since he couldnít obtain my mailing address from the school. A discordant feeling, thinking of him this way; the last time I saw him was shortly before I left for Washington, D.C. last summer and he was due for basic training, enthusiastic and hopeful. It is a challenge to reconcile his face with my support for this mess but Iím unwavering: I support military action and donít lecture me; I look at things from a historio-systems perspective and when I can muster my thoughts Iíll write a response to This Way, but that day is likely not tomorrow. Iím feeling better, relieved to have gotten it off my chest.

I donít know if anybody read it Ė I locked that entry away Ė but if you did, Iíd like to maybe talk to you about it. Seems to me that talking about it is the best way to beat it, eh?

Be good.

 

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