The Maine Thing

Maine freedom to marryOn August 8, I wrote, “Those who support marriage equality have a tremendous opportunity to push the tidal wave of justice forward by making sure that Maine voters defeat the negative forces.”

I try not to repeat specific subjects here, but the demands of justice often require of us more than our “usual way of doing things.”

Help those working on the “No on 1” campaign by making your contribution today. The contest is close. All amounts help.

Go to http://www.protectmaineequality.org/ See the wonderful efforts by our siblings in the Pine Tree State–and dream about our campaign in Virginia one day soon when we overturn the hateful Marshall-Newman Amendment to the state constitution.

Oh yes, that will happen. And winning in Maine will help us get there.

Happy in My Niche

I really enjoy blogging–because I like to connect with people and I like to write.

But I had to take a few days off. Life was too crazy (a lot to do with a new puppy, but some church stuff, too).

I missed it. A lot.

I’m glad to be back. I enjoy reflecting on life–mine and others–and working with words to convey meaning.

I am reminded of the importance of making time and space in our lives for the activities that bring us pleasure. God creates us to be creative ourselves. typing fingers

The great thing about blogging is that all sorts of people, like me, who might wish to make our living as writers, now have an outlet (even if no income!). And people who like to read have more choices.

May you find your niche, if you have not already, and may you create.

No Rules, Just Pray

A friend asked for prayer yesterday, saying, “I know you’re not supposed to pray for something specific, but I’d really appreciate it if you would pray for . . . . ”

kneeling in prayerI assured him that I had no problem praying for what he needs (he reallyneeds this help), and that also it is okay to pray for himself.

When can we learn that there are no rules about prayer?

God receives, with joy and care, all that we share in prayer. If we pray for a Rolls Royce, God hears it. If we pray for world peace, God hears it. If we pray for healing for a friend, or ourselves, God hears it.

Of course, God may not answer all these prayers the same way!

But I promise you–yes, I promise, because God proves it in my life, and demonstrates it can be true in yours–if you pray AND do so regularly, the channel between you and God will become ever wider and deeper and more filled with blessing.

Start today. Do it again tomorrow. And the next day.

You’ll notice the difference. I promise.

Always a Robin

I heard a fine sermon yesterday, “What Is Your Name?” given by my friend Bubba Bruce.  He reminded me about the power of names.American Robin

My legal name today is Robin Hawley Gorsline. In 1946, I was born Robert Howard Gorsline. I chose to go through a legal name change process in 1992 for several reasons: 

  1. My family had called me “Robin” since birth. It felt more comfortable, and also more fitting to my gay self than Robert.
  2. I also wanted to honor my mother’s family name, Hawley.

I did not tell my mother until I completed the official change because I was afraid she would object and I would back down out of concern for her feelings (my father died about a decade earlier).

I should have trusted my heart. When I told her, she had news for me. It turns out that she had wanted to name me Robin Hawley Gorsline, but gave way to my father’s desire to have me named after him (he was grieving the untimely death of his first son from a previous marriage).

They made a deal: I would receive the legal name of my father, but they would call me Robin, and they would tell no one. 

However, apparently I knew anyway. My real name was inside me all the time.

Freedom for All

“We can no longer pretend that civil rights do not include rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.”

Dr. Julian Bond
Dr. Julian Bond

With those words, Julian Bond, Chair of the Board of the NAACP, once again speaks forthrightly about the cause of equality for all Americans. I remember when he spoke several years ago at the Equality Virginia dinner–an inspiration for all and a powerful example of cutting through old biases to justice. He will be speaking at the National Equality March this Sunday.

May we who are LGBT, and who seek our rights under the law and in society, be as willing and courageous as Dr. Bond–and Coretta Scott King–to speak up for those other than ourselves who also are still denied dignity: racial/ethnic groups, immigrants, the differently-abled, religious minorities, women, and others.

“When all people are free to live up to their full potential, all of society benefits.”

Right on, Julian Bond.

God/Dog: Some Connections

An atheist I once knew used to say, “God is dog spelled backwards.” I would respond, “No, dog is God spelled backwards.”

summerfall 2009 030Today, as I get used to caring for, and playing with, our new nine-week-old standard poodle, Cocoa, I am thinking about the connection between God and dog.

Here are some of the connections I am making.

  • For every bit of love I give to our dog or God, I receive much more in return.
  • For every moment I spend with our dog or God, I am rewarded with a smile (my own).
  • When I feed our dog, or give to God, they grow in my life.
  • When our dog naps, I am reminded of God’s desire that we keep the sabbath.
  • When I take our dog out for his “business,” I am reminded that God helps me let go of “stuff” in my life.
  • When our dog learns to navigate steps, I am reminded how God helps me to take baby steps forward into changing my life

Unlike my friend, I do not need to reduce God. Indeed, the longer I live, the more God I see.

Second Childhood?

My age is showing.

We went camping this past weekend, with youth and adults from church. It was the first time I had slept in a tent in many years. The air mattress was fine, the sleeping bags warm, Jonathan cuddly as always, the company delightful.

But I came home Sunday, after two nights, sore in some unfamiliar places.

Then, that afternoon, we found our dog, a nine-week-old puppy.

Forty-eight hours after bringing Cocoa home, I am feeling the effects of keeping up with him.  I am reminded of new babies thirty years ago. Of course, getting up in the middle of the night was easier then!

Still, I would not trade any of it. I loved camping, and I can’t wait to do it again (although how I will put up the tent by myself–Jonathan is not inclined to do it again–remains a mystery).

Jonathan holds Cocoa
Jonathan holds Cocoa

And Cocoa . . . . . well, let’s just say Jonathan and I are very happy. We three are making a good family–and it can only get better when Cocoa is house trained and no longer teething.

At 63, can this be a second childhood? Bring it on!