Solemn Memories of September 11, 2001

2017-09-11 13.41.52Today is Monday – September 11, 2017….the 16th anniversary of the bombing of the 9/11 attacks on America…US flags will be flown at half-staff today in remembrance.

I worked a few hours this morning and am home now…and I am remembering exactly where I was 16 years ago today when the first plane hit the Twin Towers in NYC…I was building a barn, and was standing up on the floor of the 2nd story or loft area, readying to put up the roof rafters.  Time seemed to stand endlessly still.  Then the second plane hit.  By this time I was in the house in front of the television watching it live…and I was crying.  All of those innocent people, on the plane, in the buildings…and then we hear that another plane has hit the Pentagon…more death and destruction…then the field in Pennsylvania…carnage.  Then the Twin Towers fell…this was hell.

I will never forget that day.  Or the weeks that followed as we tried to wrap our minds around what had happened, and why it had happened.  It was the our baptism by fire into the world of terrorism.  Pretty much up until 9/11/01 the citizens of the USA lived in a sort of world where we almost thought we were untouchable by outside forces.  We believed that “it would never happen here” in our own backyard.   No one would dare attack the United States directly….then it happened on September 11, 2001.  That very day our whole world changed; flipped completely upside down and would never be the same again.

For days I was glued to the television watching the live news casts for hours on end.  I couldn’t sleep, no one could.  People were missing.  People were severely injured.   And eventually we would learn that almost 3,000 were dead.  We were all devastated, as posters and notes to the missing were being tacked up all over NYC.  Families searched for loved ones, and some found them unharmed, some never heard from them again.  We heard about those trapped in the towers calling loved ones to say good-bye on their cellphones…unbelievably sad.

9/11/01 was a day that changed me.  It changed America.  It changed all of us.  We were not invincible.  We had been attacked; savagely attacked and cut to the core.  Everyone knew someone who was lost in the attacks, or knew of someone who was directly affected.  It’s an amazing thing, the way we are all so intertwined.  It’s the phenomenon that we are all connected within 6 degrees….or the 6 degrees of separation theory.  I’ve found it to be quite true in most instances.

Because of the attacks on 9/11/01 I have far more consciousness of living life in the moment, not passing up chances to learn new things, meet and know new people, and not to take it for granted that there will be a tomorrow.  I, like many, developed a deep rooted sense of prejudice against Muslims; one which I have worked hard to get over and change.  I admit it, at that time I blamed radical Islamic teachings and those who were part of that faith for the attacks.  Now, I know that it is a small percentage of Muslims that hate America and wish to attack us because of this hate.  I have worked to overcome my misguided prejudices, and to understand better.  I now have friends who are Muslim, and even a cousin who married a Muslim man and converted to his faith.  I no longer blame them all, but those 7 terrorists that carried out those senseless attacks on 9/11/01…I hope they are rotting in extreme hell.  And as we know, their leader Osam Bin Laden is DEAD, and hopefully he’s rotting in hell as well.

So, today, 9/11/17, I stop to remember, because we can NEVER FORGET that fated day in 2001, when the world stopped, and we all changed.  We must NEVER FORGET.

Peace.  ~  MB

 

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Haunted Still by Her

Ahhh, today was a very good day! I was up at the crack of dawn, the birds just starting to stir and chirp, and the sky just beginning to become light, sun not yet above the ocean to my east.  Yes, it was 4:20 am and I was up and at it for the day.  I had fallen asleep at 10pm last night after a full day of working on the house.  I’ve been alone all week and damn it feels freaking great.  I’ve been working on reclaiming my Butch Bachelor Cave here in Maine.  Not that I didn’t care for it before, I just needed to change everything I touched to make it mine again.  Some weird Butch thing I suppose.  

I’ve been thinking a lot about the last several years…the wild times, the good times, and the bad times, and the changes in the world and the changes in ME.  There are several prominent moments that stick hard in my head and make me still ask myself WHY I did those certain things – or why I didn’t do specific other things.  I shake my head, and just admit I made mistakes, big and small, but I’m still kickin and smiling once again.  

I keep some things very very private.  I do it so as not to hurt someone any further than I already did.  But my brain works that situation over almost daily and it aggravates the crap out of me that I cannot reach out; reach back and do something differently.  They say no failure is fatal, that you admit them and correct them….I just wish I knew how to do that.  There is just this one single relationship failure that I caused a few years ago that I wish I could have the chance now to at least apologize for, for behavior that was NOT really me, and not what I wanted to really happen. Perhaps one day I will have that chance, just an exchange; a short conversation to ease my heart; to know that she doesn’t feel as I still do today.

I’m very grateful for the life i have today, and I’m relatively happy.  I enjoy my own home and my freedom to be myself tremendously.  I am thankful for the progression of the country towards more equality and justice.  I am hopeful for a bright and loving future for the world and for me as an individual.  I will continue to strive forward to make my world, the world, a better place for myself and everyone else in any way that I am able to do so.

I’m seriously enjoying the renewed bachelorhood that I have once again found.  (Much to some people’s dismay I am sure.) but being single once again is the best thing for me right now.  I need to really clear some things out of my past that keep me from giving of myself to anyone else – except one.  She knows who she is and she knows how to reach me I am sure.  And all she has to do is want to reach and I will most certainly leap at her outstretched hand in return.  Until I can either die – or in some miraculous way get over my desire for her – then I will continue to fly solo and reach for the stars in Azure skies.

Hell, in the last 6 years I have tried on three relationships for short periods of time.  I could not find a way to truly give myself over to any one of them, and they all deserved a love that I just could not give.  I tried, I did, but when the heart is truly elsewhere; is taken already, then you can’t be true in the moment to someone else.  It’s a total mental mind fuck

Those of you who read my blogs and have known me for a while may know my history and tell me to go after what it is that I am waiting for, but realize that that is not my choice; I cannot do that.  It’s been made clear to me that despite promises of never losing touch no matter what, it’s in her court to lob a ball at me if she ever wants to talk to me or contact me.  I’m not hard to find, hell my profile on Facebook is public, friend me and you get my phone number.  Plus, she knows how to find me I am positive of that.  Does she want to?  I don’t know her current situation.  Perhaps she’s found security and comfort in someone else; those are hard things to give up for love sometimes.  Especially when someone screws up the way I did, saying the wrong things at the wrong time for the wrong reasons  I just know that it holds me back from moving past her and on to another fulfilling relationship, perhaps it always will.  

Bachelorhood isn’t so bad!  And if I can’t have that real love again, then I would rather remain single anyways.  At least that way I will not be lying to anyone else.  My heart knows where it belongs.  And I can wait an eternity, even into the next life if necessary, for the return of the heart that belongs close to my own.     ~MainelyButch

Loss

Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.

Loss…yes losing things, people and time.  It’s a thread that runs consistently through my life.  I’ve gotten used to it, perhaps too used to it at this point. It just seems normal to me now.  I lose things daily; my keys, the tools I am working with, and lots of time.  Time is something you can’t find again, once lost it is really seriously GONE.

Over my half century of life on this planet I have experienced several major life losses.  As a child my first loss that comes to mind was moving from one school to a new school, from one state where I started school, made friends, had a life outside of school on the dirt baseball diamond on Hidley Road, ran like a banshee through the orchards, built enormous tree forts with rope swing escapes and kissed my first girl, back to my home state of Maine and it all happened very very quickly for my young brain to adapt to easily.  Not until years later, in my 20’s did I understand why we moved so quickly, packing and being picked up by my Aunt and Uncle seemingly in the middle of the night to be transported back to my Nana’s house in southern Maine.

My second huge loss was that of my Nana.  I was 10 and a few months, in the 3rd grade and we had recently made that drastic move back to Maine.  I was sleeping and heard my 8 months pregnant mother crying and screaming downstairs in our house, then the car screeching it’s tires out of our drive way. I was afraid something was wrong with her or the baby.  My uncle told me to go back to bed that everything would be ok and they just had to go somewhere fast.  I crawled back into bed, Nana came in and sat on my bed and began rubbing my back like she always did to put me to sleep. She told me things would be just fine, that my Mom was fine and the baby was going to be fine, too.  She hummed and rubbed my back until I fell asleep. That was the last time I ever saw her.  See, the screams from my mother were caused by a phone call from my Aunt telling her that her mother, my Nana, had just died at her home across town.  Evidently her spirit had to come to me that night to comfort and console me, and perhaps to just see me one more time, and to let me know that things would be fine.  I have felt the repercussions of the loss of that great woman, my Nana, through my whole life, and I still miss her today.

In high school there were a couple of losses that changed my life; tweaked it just a little.  As a freshmen I was trying out for the basket ball team.  I had practiced and I was pretty good little guard and could shoot too.  The coach didn’t care for me much, and chose another player over me – one who couldn’t even dribble the ball correctly!  That served to sour me on school team sports.  I decided if I didn’t fit with the jock or athletic crowd that I must find a way to fit in with the cool or troubled crowd.  And I did a great job at that!  Then my “cool” crowd suffered the loss of one of it’s own when my friend Jimmy was killed one night after partying across town…he was hit by a tractor trailer on the interstate.  Did he commit suicide? Or was it an accident due to disorientation?  Who knows, but seeing his lifeless body in that casket, the way they had put him “back together” was horrifying to my 16 year old brain.

During my teen years I experienced a loss of freedom, as I stayed in the closet very deep about my sexuality.  I knew I was attracted to girls and I knew that would be a problem with everyone in my life – from parents to school chums.  The cool crowd would never accept me if I came out as gay, so I hid it; buried the feelings very deep. I participated in a lot of illicit drug use to cover the pain and to reassure my “cool” status with my chosen crowd of friends.  I never drank alcohol though, it just never appealed to me much and I disliked the taste and loss of control kind of feeling it gave me.  So, I stuffed my frustrated feelings for other girls, my sexuality and my real personality so far down that no one knew.  I even moved in with my boyfriend for a short time after high school, which is when I lost my innocence.  I became a victim of domestic violence and saw a new side of life.

By this time I was used to loss and used to hiding my true self from the world.  I joined the military, where I found my people.  I found that many of the women in the Army during the early 1980’s were lesbian or bisexual.  I was able to come out, with some minor coaxing and a hilarious scene with throwing my roomies bed out the window after a fit of internalized homophobia of my own.  So just before I lost my “cover” I lost my mind for a minute there.  Was this real?  Could it be possible that there were others that felt like I did and could live like normal people – whatever “normal” is to anyone?  I could and I did.  And while living during off duty time openly, I managed to keep it under wraps during uniform time and serve out my obligated term in the service, and then some.

During the 80’s we all lost sexual freedom with the appearance and discovery of the AIDS virus, HIV.  I lost my mind for a while there in the mid-to-late 80’s and became heavily involved in IV drug use, mostly cocaine and some heroin addiction just for good measure.  After a bout in rehab, I entered some intense one-on-one counselling with a female counselor, a fellow lesbian, and someone I could open up to and relate to finally.  She taught me to use the tools in my internal tool box to cope with life without drugs.  She urged me to be tested for HIV…I was postiive.  So I lost again.  I lost the game of russian roulette in a way, as I would have to live out my life with HIV infection due to a one time share of a needle.  Of all the luck.

By the time I turned 32 I had discovered I was infected with HIV and I had been clean from the illicit drug use for about 3 years.  Then I met a woman, fell in love at first sight and spent the next 13+ years with her, building our dream home and creating our nirvana so to speak.  There were losses for us, friends dying of AIDS related illnesses in the late 80’s and early 90’s, losses of beloved pets we had had for years, the loss of my favorite Aunt to breast cancer; the losses of friends over petty disagreements, and the such.  But we remained strong together for many years and I loved her dearly, and she me.  In the end I lost that relationship over my own stupidity and a major mid-life crisis at 45.  My medications were messed up, my brain was messed up because of that, and I messed up royally.  In hind-sight this could be the biggest loss of my life to date in many ways.  I miss her still today, but know that she is happy and has moved on from the hurt and sad ending of our relationship.  Me? I’m not so sure…I may still hold a torch or two for her, probably always will to some degree.

The next loss I caused myself.  I fell madly, passionately in love with a wonderful woman and with callous words broke her heart and destroyed her trust in me.  I was running scared, I didn’t know what else to do, and I didn’t feel “good enough” at the time for the caliber of woman that she was, so I ran.  That was perhaps the stupidest loss of my life.  I wish every day still that I could turn back time and erase that one phone call of stupidity and misspoken words.  My heart will forever be entrapped by her, and that’s okay with me, it’s made me stronger inside and taught me patience and virtue.  One day perhaps she’ll allow me back in; allow me to explain and allow miracles to happen.  That is the one serious loss that I regret the most.

Yes, life is made up of gains and losses, in essence.  We gain things, and we lose things throughout our lives.  We live through these things, live through the losses and learn from the experiences. The last 7 years since I left that long term relationship I have suffered minor set backs, some losses but have gained much insight into my true self and who I really am in this world.  I am a composition of all of my experiences, my gains, my losses, and everything in between; everything that went on and led to each and every moment is part of the make up of who I am today.  And I thank my lucky stars for all of it, for without my personal experiences I would not be who I was meant to be, or do what I am meant to do in this life.  Life is about what you make of it, not what happens to you.  Loss is just part of the process of becoming your authentic self.