Gay Marriage – O Frabjous Day

“O, frabjous day, calloo, callay!” I chortled in my joy on learning this morning that the Supreme Court has affirmed the right of LGBT folks to the pursuit of happiness.  Throughout human history most folks have pursued their happiness in the form of a secure, lasting, and loving relationship within a thriving family, i.e. marriage.  Up until today, LGBT folks in these United States of incredible America had been denied that security in our relationships and families.  Again, Calloo, Callay!  And again!  I’ve lived to see it!

Immediate commentaries by opponents of the decision were morbid concern about infringing (their) freedom of religion, insisting that other people should not be allowed to live in ways not in accordance with their (own) religious beliefs.   You will note that their freedom entails the subjugation of others.  Where in the world do these arrogant people get the absurd idea that their (or anyone else’s) religious beliefs are relevant to governance of this nation?  Those beliefs are immaterial in both senses of the word.  As citizens of this amazing nation, those disgruntled opponents of this thunderbolt of justice now have a civic duty to live by and uphold the law of the land.  No exceptions.  None.

I’ll defend (not necessarily to the death) the right of every one of us to hold and express our own personal religious beliefs.  This is freedom of religion.  But no one may compel someone else to share in or live according to their beliefs (divinely revealed or otherwise).  One can never be truly free at the cost of another’s freedom.  Never.

And they will wail and moan, complaining that (homo)sex(uality) is a sin.  While this pious lament is by definition irrelevant and immaterial to governance of the nation, I’d like to discuss the artificial notion of sin.  There are indeed positive and negative acts judged so by subjective standards and many also adjudged so by society, but the only guidelines purported to come directly from a deity are the Ten Commandments.

There’s nothing among those big no-no’s about sex except not coveting thy neighbor’s wife.  Not word one about coveting thy neighbor.  But there are scriptural injunctions to love thy neighbor as thyself and to do unto others as thou wouldst have them do unto thee.  As a versatile sexual being, I’m all for that.  Where’s the sin in loving anybody, even thy neighbor’s wife or husband?

Now you’ve gotten me started on sin, and you’re in for it.  The seven deadly or cardinal sins  are traditionally wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.  In my opinion, this list is sadly deficient and not a little trivial in most of its vices.  My personal take on it is:  stupidity, greed, arrogance, falsehood, aggression, violence, and cowardice.  Of course, there are myriad vicious sub-categories of these deadly sins.

I find it amusing that the traditional list includes lust, i.e. sexual desire.  Any sexual desire, I guess.  That’s how I was catechized.  But not sex itself.  You can do it, but you can’t want to.  Maybe that’s what makes intimate encounters so tricky.  Actually, why don’t we just scratch that sin right off the list?

But let’s forget about all that nonsense.  On this frabjous day, ‘tis brillig!  Calloo, Callay!

Free Novella – BAT IN A WHIRLWIND

At last I seem to have gotten it together to start serializing BAT IN A WHIRLWIND, A Backwoods Novella.  I’m planning to release a chapter every few weeks, and since there are fifteen, the whole thing may be complete by the end of this summer.  Good reason to keep checking back for the next instalment of a free read.   Between now and then, I’ll try to figure out how to turn it into a formal eBook for free download.  Any advice on this is welcome.

FYI:  My little book is probably of most interest to the gay and/or literary reader, but the themes are appropriate for wide general interest:  life in the rural South in the Rock’n’roll Fifties, sexuality of adolescent boys, parental abuse, religion, race, and nature.  For the squeamish, I should advise that it involves a good deal of fantasy (innocent) and dreams (Freudian).

The novella is not so much a coming-of-age or coming-out story as the intimate personal account of a confused country boy who discovers love and himself.  Covering the senior year of two best buddies in high school at the end of the 1950’s, this all happens in backwoods Arkansas, mostly at a remote truck stop café called Piney Hill, where young Ben is virtually a prisoner.  The boy is swept up in an emotional whirlwind, besotted by a quixotic passion for the TV star Annette Funicello and at the same time bewildered by confusing feelings for his buddy Danny.

To download BAT IN A WHIRLWIND, Chapter 1.  MAKING OUT as a free pdf file, right click here and select “Save Target (or Link) As.”

Here’s a brief sample from Chapter 1.  MAKING OUT

….by the time we got back to Piney Hill [from deer-hunting], the sun was lowering.  I got nervous about the time.  Earlier this week I’d figured out that my darling Annette would be the special guest on American Bandstand today.  She’d just been voted Most Promising Female Vocalist for 1959.  When I popped into the café, the clock fortunately showed plenty of time to grab a cold RC Cola, run across the road to the house, and switch on the TV.

Bandstand was my other favorite TV show, a great party every day after the long boring school bus ride from Ashdown.  All those cool kids and neat Dick Clark were like another special family for me.  Kenny and Arlene were my favorites.  Arlene looked so much like my Annette, almost as pretty, and Kenny had dark curls too, and brown eyes.  He actually answered one of my fan letters once, something my darling Annette never did.

Once I got a postcard from Walt Disney with her pretty picture in response to the long Valentine poem I wrote (and illustrated).  How lucky those Bandstand kids were to be near fabulous people like Annette, like when she was on the show singing “Tall Paul.”  Her lovely black hair was longer now that she wasn’t a Mouseketeer anymore.

Today Dick played some good rock and roll, and I danced around the living room still in my red hunting cap.  Then sure enough the guest was Annette.  She came bouncing out from behind the curtain, so pretty in her white sweater and skirt.  She swayed with the music of her new record, her beautiful smile beaming at the camera, and her raven hair even longer.  I wasn’t sure I really liked it as much that way.  It made her look so much more grown up and fancy.

Her delicate hand was hiding something at her throat.  Of course, I knew the song was going to be “First Name Initial,” and I ached to see what she was wearing on the chain.  At the end of the first verse, she suddenly let go of it.  A B!  I stared, entranced, as she sang,

I wear it at the soda shop, / I wear it at the record hop, / Ridin’ to a movie in your Jeep, / I wear it when I go to gym, / I wear it when I take a swim, / I even wear it when I sleep!

Fixated on Annette’s beauty, after the song I listened in anguish as she talked with Dick about Frankie Avalon and Fabian.  When she mentioned Frankie, she grinned, and I could tell she was blushing.  She called Paul Anka a tease and a practical joker.  I couldn’t feel jealous about those guys because I really liked them too, like comrades in love for her.  I really thought Frankie was super, and Fabian was so handsome, with a hairy chest just like mine.  In the close-ups of my darling I nearly drooled admiring her dark eyes and hair.

She spent a while at the autograph stand signing all the kids’ books, her hand making the round shapes of that signature I knew so well from the magazines.  Kenny slow-danced with her, and it made me feel so close, almost as though I could feel my famous darling in my arms.  When Annette waved goodbye and went back behind the curtain, I fell down on the floor, overcome with romantic emotion.  Those few moments of seeing her on the TV had been like the visit of an angel.  My love for Annette was pure, almost religious adoration, untainted by anything physical, a truly grand passion.

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To download BAT IN A WHIRLWIND, Chapter 1.  MAKING OUT as a free pdf file, right click here and select “Save Target (or Link) As.”

 

 

New Aztec Icon – CHALCHIUHTLICUE

Well, I haven’t heard anybody squawk about my going another couple weeks without a new posting.  Site stats show very few visits to this blog, though a respectable number of visitors every day to my earlier Aztec deity and calendar images.  Usually somebody even takes a look at my Indian mound photos or drawings of Pre-Columbian artifactsI guess this erratic blog is simply a matter of writing, as we used to say, to hear myself talk.  So be it.

This time I’ve been quiet for other than busy-ness, though there’s been plenty of that in any case.  Now I’ve simply not been able to spend much time online because my grandson visited a couple weeks ago and in one evening of YouTube managed to use up most of the monthly data allotment on my wireless connection—a subject you don’t want to read about, I assure you.

Writing on my memoir is moving along into Chapter 5, so that’s progress.  Drawing for the free coloring book is proceeding at its usual slow pace.  For sanity’s sake, I try to switch back and forth between the subjects every week or so and am now closing in on the sixth Aztec icon of Huehuecoyotl, the Old Coyote.  There are only a few vignettes and musical details to finish.  The problem is not thinking about the next icon for Huitzilopochtli, the Hummingbird of the South, which will also show the legendary migration of the Aztecs from Aztalan to Tenochtitlan.  Please be patient, all you colorists out there.  I’m working as fast as I can.

Meanwhile, here’s the second icon for the coloring book:  CHALCHIUHTLICUE, the goddess of flowing (fresh) water as in rivers, streams, and lakes.  (The goddess of the sea or salt water is Huixtocihuatl.)  To download this icon as a pdf file with a page of caption and model images from the Aztec Codices, just right click here and select “Save Target (or Link) As.”  You can also download freely sizable vector drawings from the coloring book page.

ICON #2:  CHALCHIUHTLICUE

(She of the Jade Skirt) {chal-chewh-tłee-kwe}

Chalchiuhtlicue, The Jade Skirt, Goddess of Flowing Water

Chalchiuhtlicue, The Jade Skirt, Goddess of Flowing Water

CHALCHIUHTLICUE is goddess of flowing water, rivers, and streams, as well as of youthful beauty and ardor with a birth day-name of Ce Atl (One Water).  She is patron of women in labor, childbirth, children, and motherhood.  Certain of her purification rites struck Spanish clergy as similar to the sacrament of baptism.  As goddess of storms and forces of nature, she can be dangerous.  She is the 6th lord of the night (which has 9 hours), and the 3rd lord of the day (of the 13-day week).  The wife of TLALOC and/or possibly XIUHTECUHTLI and mother of TECCIZTECATL and/or the twins QUETZALCOATL and XOLOTL, she destroyed the Third Sun (Four Rain) and ruled the Fourth Sun (Four Water).

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