Thursday, January 31, 2008

On Being Known

I’ve often felt that the major component I desire in relationship is to be known and to have the other want to be known by me.

That isn’t “knowing someone in the Biblical sense.” Even our little straw poll to the right reflects that most of us believe sex has very little to do with a loving relationship! So what is it to be known?

For me, it is something about someone who wants me to recognize the whole of his life and who wants to be involved in the whole of my life.

It isn’t allowing someone else to become the total meaning of my own life. We each have our own self, ultimately, to be at peace with.

Yet it is something more than just my loving my own life and enjoying others as they come and go from it. Without someone with whom I choose to invest in knowing one another, there is no shared anchor in my life. There is only me with others sharing fragments of me.

Maybe it’s sort of like this:
I go to work and the people there know that I am there. I go to a lecture and the people at the lecture know I am participating in that event. I share some chai with a friend and she knows that I am there with her. I am fully present in each of these activities, emotionally, mentally, physically and, yes, the people there “know” me for that shared time.

But floating between them, is this person who is me. No one shares or sees that person. No one knows what I am doing or thinking or feeling when I’m not around them; folks who share one activity with me don’t know what I am doing when I am away from them, nor do I know them.

Yes, we might play catch up at some point, “How have you been? What’s up with you? Tell me what’s going on in your life,” but that is more about keeping up-to-date with a good friend than it is about a sharing of real-time life that connects between all of the various moments.

Here’s an example using this week and the activity and busyness that make up so much of daily life. This week has been a series of work and going home at five. No one knows that I am not doing anything after work. (And, conversely, if I was doing something, they wouldn’t know that either.)

People only know me, in this sense, when they are around me. The folks at the cancer center knew that I was there for treatment. The people at work knew that I was at work. The people at the store knew that I was buying groceries. The people at city hall knew that I was there for a meeting.

In each instance, the people sharing that instance fairly knew how I was feeling and what I was thinking about. It isn’t the case that I was not present in the moment, nor that we weren’t connected. But it is true that no one other than me shared the whole picture. No one knew that each evening this week I have spent the time alone reading or watching a movie on my laptop at home.

This weekend I’m invited to attend a Mardi Gras party and to share an evening at a friend’s home. If I go to one, those present at the other activity will not know where I am or what I’m doing. If I stay home, neither group will be aware of that fact. In other words, no one shares the scope of my life in a way that makes me feel fully known, nor do I share someone else’s life in that way. Though my individual points of contact affect others and they affect me, the whole of my life is left unshared.

I have met some people who want to share sex without sharing my life and vice versa. I have met some who want to share my work and humor, but not my time at home. Some want to share in my extra-curricular activity. Some are engaged in sharing intellectual discussion. But I have not met anyone who wants Dennis to be the anchor in his life, who wants to be the anchor in mine and to share our lives.

I don’t think that this post says it well, but maybe it scratches the surface a little of why it is that sometimes I feel unanchored, unknown and lonely.

When I try to bridge the gaps by allowing someone to be aware of the various parts of my life or to share such a scope of his life, I can’t create interest for that person. I can only share what someone else wants to share. Thus far, this has meant that I continue to feel like periphery to others’ lives and they remain on the periphery of mine.

Somewhat known. But not fully known.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Only 16 Shopping Days Left

until Valentines Day! Buy, buy, buy.

Or, if you're not of the Hallmark persuasion, you can continue to participate in my love/sex polls in the column to the right.

You can vote more than once, but only once per day.

Have fun!

Monday, January 28, 2008

If "unrequited" means not reciprocated and "requited" means that something is reciprocated, then does "quited" mean not reciprocated and, if so, is "unrequited" a double negative?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Don't forget to view the fun stuff in the sidebar on the right:
  • Participate in the polls!

  • Support the AOC by using GoodSearch!

  • Count down Bush's days left in office!

  • See what I'm reading, listening to, watching!

  • Other neat-o keen stuff!

(Images by Sam Brown.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

10 volunteers came to the shelter on Saturday to paint our offices. Mine was converted from a two-tone pink (think "Calamine lotion" and "Pepto-Bismol") into much more pleasant greens.

They said that pink was calming, but only for about the first four hours; it supposedly becomes agitates after that time . That had been my excuse to cut out of work early each afternoon. "I'm agitated. It's the pink paint job, not my poor work ethic!"

Now that my office is green, I guess I have no excuse to leave work early.

Win some, lose some. :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Islands (We All Live on One)

In a dream last night, two Aussie women were bragging to those of us at a concert that they lived on an island. I awoke thinking, "Don't we all live on islands?" Sure, North America is one very big island, but still....

And thinking of folks from other places, is it derogatory to call someone an "aboriginal?" Does it imply that they are less than original?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Oh, That's Right

Got clobbered in a game of chess last evening. Chess continues to be one of those games that I want to be more interested in, but find my enthusiasm wanes most times that I play.

I was asked why I left the monastery. One reason was that I wanted to have the potential for a relationship. I had forgotten that. Now, although not in a relationship, I am at least living with the possibility of having one.

Lately, I had forgotten to view this as something good.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to Spend the Weekend Alone

Get up and go to cafe. Read and eat.
Pretend you're going to meet people.
Go home.
Read some more.
Take a nap.
Get up and go to public library.
Drive past cafe and discover that it's closed for the evening.
Go home.
Eat couscous and read.
Go to bed.
Get up.
Go to church.
Go home and read.
Doze off.
Go to cafe.
Pretend you are going to meet people.
Browse internet personals, until battery is dead.
(Learn that highest match with anyone is 57% and 15 years younger.)
Go to movie.
Go home.
Eat dinner.
Go to bed.

Time to start a week of work.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


The weather changes.
I need more grace
than I had thought.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

If You Only View One YouTube Clip

...make it the second one. But if you can take time out of your busy, busy life to see two, then here is the second one:

THIS one should be played every morning, in every school, in place of kids reciting the Pledge of Allegiance:

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Yep. It's That Good.

I saw a new-to-me brand of vodka in the store. It's called "Effen."

I can just hear the ad campaign now:
"It's not just good.
It's Effen good!"

Monday, January 07, 2008

I had dinner last night with James and Craig and learned about how they met:

Craig had hosted a dinner for gay doctors at his home and James was a doctoral student at the time and attended. They didn't talk much, but did run into each other a week later and sat talking for hours.

Three months later, during a trip together to Vegas, James talked about his rent renewal being due. Craig simply asked, "Shouldn't we first talk about moving in together?" Within eight months of meeting, they set up a home together.

James told me that during his residency (a grueling process), Craig never missed bringing dinner to him (3x/week for a year) and sitting together in the car as they ate.

Craig and James have been together for 5+ years.

And now something completely (kind of) different...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Keeping Active

Friday was a day of being cared for by friends while I nursed myself through a nasty stomach virus. Usually I'm a loner through sick times, but I admit it was nice to have friends call frequently that day; some even came to my home throughout the day to see if I was alright, bringing me DVDs, juice and well wishes!

Although being sick on Friday prevented my enjoying a tea tasting with friends, I was up Saturday morning scouting out new cafes. (I hope to map out the city for good hangouts.) I hung out with a friend for 4+ hours Saturday evening. We enjoyed really great conversation and he took me to a new shop in town I hadn't heard about.

Today in the early AM, I was invited to share morning tea, piano and laughs with Susanna, my landlord. Ran some errands around town, did some journalling & reading, then spent the rest of this evening with good friends at their home.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Empty Phrases for the New Year

I'm championing for the abolishment of any variations of the following:
"We're having some weather."
"It will be a number of days before that happens."
Feel free to submit additions.