Monthly Archives: August 2022

Pic of the Day

I need one of these.


She Would if She Could

As a friend of mine says about Isabella, “She’s so sassy!”


Pic of the Day


Emotions

Yesterday was a very emotional day for me, and not much else makes an emotional day worse than a phone call from my mother. None of it is something I want to discuss, but I also don’t feel like talking about anything else. Don’t worry, it wasn’t anything really bad, but I was feeling pretty drained last night. I got home, ate dinner, talked to a friend on the phone, my mother called, and then, took a Xanax for my anxiety before laying on the couch to watch Star Trek, which is always good for my mental health. I just needed to get recentered and relax.


Pic of the Day


Rough Day

While my new migraine medicine seems to be helping a lot (migraines are less frequent and usually less intense), the exception to this is when it rains. For usually twenty-four hours or so before rain begins, I have a bad migraine. I’ve become a pretty accurate predictor of rain. It doesn’t matter how much or how little rain we actually get, the day leading up to it is pretty rough.

It rained off and on all day yesterday. Sometimes, my migraines stops when the rain begins, but not yesterday. My guess is that because it would rain a little then the sun would come out before it would rain a little more. This happened over and over all day yesterday. Finally my headache started getting better but then my mother called. I won’t even get into that little conversation, but talking to her always makes me feel like shit.

Anyway, as my migraine began to improve late yesterday afternoon, I began having severe sciatic nerve pain. My left side from just above my hip all the way down to my toes was in agony. I’ve had sciatica off an on for years and usually taking naproxen helps, and it did for a few minutes, but I went to bed with it still hurting.

I really hope today is a better, less painful day. I suspect this is the same with most people with chronic pain, but sometimes it gets so depressing to hurt all the time. You just want some kind of release.


Pic of the Day


Poems by Edward Carpenter

Summer Heat

Summer Heat
by Edward Carpenter

Sun burning down on back and loins, penetrating the skin, bathing their flanks in sweat,
Where they lie naked on the warm ground, and the ferns arch over them,
Out in the woods, and the sweet scent of fir-needles
Blends with the fragrant nearness of their bodies;

In-armed together, murmuring, talking,
Drunk with wine of Eros’ lips,
Hourlong, while the great wind rushes in the branches,
And the blue above lies deep beyond the fern-fronds and fir-tips;

Till, with the midday sun, fierce scorching, smiting,
Up from their woodland lair they leap, and smite,
And strike with wands, and wrestle, and bruise each other,
In savage play and amorous despite.

Love’s Vision

Love’s Vision
by Edward Carpenter

At night in each other’s arms,
Content, overjoyed, resting deep deep down in the darkness,
Lo! the heavens opened and He appeared–
Whom no mortal eye may see,
Whom no eye clouded with Care,
Whom none who seeks after this or that, whom none who has not escaped from self.

There–in the region of Equality, in the world of Freedom no longer limited,
Standing as a lofty peak in heaven above the clouds,
From below hidden, yet to all who pass into that region most clearly visible–
He the Eternal appeared.

To a Stranger

To a Stranger
by Edward Carpenter

O faithful eyes, day after day as I see and know
you—unswerving faithful and beautiful—going about
your ordinary work unnoticed,
I have noticed—I do not forget you.
I know the truth the tenderness the courage, I know
the longings hidden quiet there.
Go right on. Have good faith yet—keep that your
unseen treasure untainted.
Many shall bless you. To many yet, though no word
be spoken, your face shall shine as a lamp.
It shall be remembered, and that which you have
desired—in silence—shall come abundantly to you.

Through the Long Night

Through the Long Night
by Edward Carpenter

You, proud curve-lipped youth, with brown sensitive face,
Why, suddenly, as you sat there on the grass, did you
turn full upon me those twin black eyes of yours,
With gaze so absorbing so intense, I a strong man
trembled and was faint?
Why in a moment between me and you in the full
summer afternoon did Love sweep-leading after it in procession across the lawn and the flowers and under the waving
trees huge dusky shadows of Death and the other world?

I know not.
Solemn and dewy-passionate, yet burning clear and sted-fast at the last,
Through the long night those eyes of yours, dear,
remain to me—
And I remain gazing into them.

You, proud curve-lipped youth, with brown sensitive face,
Why, suddenly, as you sat there on the grass, did you turn full upon me those twin black eyes of yours,
With gaze so absorbing so intense, I a strong man trembled and was faint?
Why in a moment between me and you in the full summer afternoon did Love sweep—leading after it in procession across the lawn and the flowers and under the waving trees huge dusky shadows of Death and the other world?
I know not.
Solemn and dewy-passionate, yet burning clear and steadfast at the last,
Through the long night those eyes of yours, dear, remain to me—
And I remain gazing into them.

Edward Carpenter & his lover George Merrill circa 1900

About the Poet

The Mount Cemetery of Guildford, an English town about 32 miles southwest of London, contains the graves of two gay lovers: Edward Carpenter, a man called the “gay godfather of the British left” and his longtime partner George Merrill. While this may not seem too surprising these days, and you may not recognize them by name, both men bucked the homophobia of the late 18th and early 19th centuries by living together in an out gay relationship, providing romantic inspiration for two books written by well-known gay authors in the process. Their final resting place has recently been designated as an LGBTQ historic site by Historic England, an organization that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment.

Born in 1844, Edward Carpenter knew he was gay from an early age. In his diary, he wrote, “At the age of eight or nine, and long before distinct sexual feelings declared themselves, I felt a friendly attraction toward my own sex, and this developed after the age of puberty into a passionate sense of love.” He studied at the prestigious Trinity Hall college at the University of Cambridge. There, he developed romantic feelings toward his friend Edward Anthony Beck, who also served as Trinity Hall’s master. Beck eventually ended their friendship, leaving Carpenter heartbroken.

Carpenter said the work of gay American poet Walt Whitman caused “a profound change” in him, as Whitman urged people to find divinity in nature and within themselves rather than in religious society. Though Carpenter served in the Anglican ministry until age 30, he gradually grew dissatisfied with church and university life. He left both to begin publicly lecturing on astronomy, historic Greek women, and music. When he moved to the town of Sheffield at age 31, he encountered many manual workers. Historians note that his poetry around this time expressed attraction to these workers, to “the grimy and oil-besmeared figure of a stoker” and “the thick-thighed hot coarse-fleshed young bricklayer with a strap around his waist.”

As such, it’s hardly surprising that at age 47, he met and fell in love with George Merrill, a working-class man who (unlike Carpenter) grew up in the slums and had no formal education. The couple met on a train after Carpenter returned from travels in India. Merrill worked numerous blue-collar jobs at a newspaper office, a hotel, and an ironworks. Seven years after meeting, the two men moved in together into Carpenter’s small farm home in Millthorpe, Derbyshire.

There, Merrill officially served as Carpenter’s servant, cooking, cleaning, and decorating their home in fresh flowers. Carpenter liked Merrill’s baritone voice and enjoyment in singing comical songs. Carpenter once wrote of him, “George in fact was accepted and one may say beloved by both my manual worker friends and my more aristocratic friends.” Their living openly as a gay couple was especially notable considering that, at the time, the United Kingdom had laws punishing “buggery” with prison time. Oscar Wilde was convicted and sent to prison for homosexuality in 1895 and shunned by society — countless other men had their lives ruined under similar offenses.

But despite this, Carpenter openly defended same-sex relationships in his 1895 book Homogenic Love, his 1896 work Love’s Coming of Age, and 1908 creation The Intermediate Sex, calling same-sex couples “not only natural but “inevitable.” The books generated controversy, even leading one of Carpenter’s neighbors to report him to the Derbyshire Police. The police pledged to keep a “discreet watch” on him and his activities.

Carpenter became friends with Whitman and other influential writers like Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore and the English authors D.H. Lawrence and E.M. Forester. Carpenter’s relationship with Merrill reportedly inspired the gay romance in Forster’s posthumously published novel Maurice and the straight romance in Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, both of which involved people in romantic relationships with men from lower social classes. Beyond the couple’s notoriety, Carpenter himself is also celebrated for being a socialist whose early works opposed environmental pollution, cruelty to animals, worker exploitation, and other positions which have since become mainstays of different social justice movements.

Merrill died in 1928. In May of the same year, Carpenter had a paralytic stroke. After 13 months, Carpenter too died. The men’s gravestone reads, “Do not think too much of the dead husk of your friend, or mourn too much over it, but send your thoughts out towards the real soul or self which has escaped-to reach it. For so, surely you will cast a light of gladness upon his onward journey, and contribute your part towards the building of that kingdom of love which links our earth to heaven.”


Pic of the Day


Thought of the Day

There’s a quote that says, “Life is a journey with problems to solve and lessons to learn but most of all. Experiences to enjoy.” The journey of life is really about finding one’s self, figuring out who we really are. Sometimes the road to finding yourself is bumpy, and it can even be dangerous. Often, we even get lost and take a wrong turn. However, if we are true to ourselves, that’s the only map we need on our journey. I saw this quote on Facebook. Who knows what it’s from, but it I felt like it was talking directly to me.

It’s taken a very long time, and I wish I’d figured a lot of things out differently a long time ago, but I’m constantly working on improving myself and being true to who I am inside. I am certainly not perfect (sometimes I don’t even like myself), nor have I fully become the person I should be, but all I can say is that I’m trying.