Monday Memes 34

In the past 48 hours, Cleveland has received more than a foot of snow. What does that mean? Normally, a little snow in Cleveland is nothing – heck, even a foot isn’t that big a deal. That said, today kinda’ sucked because of the snow. Why? Because I parked my car on the street and snow plows apparently had no option but to PLOW my car in, pushing snow up and beyond the bottom of the doors (I drive a mini van), leaving my poor car to languish and die a slow, frozen death out on the curb. The situation sucked.

Then The Universe stepped in and reminded me that people are good and kind…

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My Beloved and I spent about five hours today shopping with a client, then helping install the items she had purchased. We saw the van, looking forlorn and snow-covered as we left for the appointment. In fact, we tried to “unstick it” from its frozen cage before we left, to no avail. (We took our “other car”). When we came back, I was certain the sun had warmed the snow enough to allow me to simply drive out of the 18″ snow bank smothering the van.

It had not.

And so, with me at the wheel, my Angel began pushing the van. We rocked back and forth, gaining and then losing, inches at a time. When I saw that he looked frozen, I suggested we trade places – he would take the wheel and I would push and rock. I’m not sure why but, after about two minutes of pushing, a security officer in a Bobcat stopped and began helping push. Then another. And finally, a LADY – with two bags of groceries, walking down the street – joined in and helped. In about four minutes, the van was free!!! We all smiled, high-fived one another, then the lady grabbed her groceries, the second man walked away and the first man returned to his mini snowplow and drove off.

It was inspiring, and the experience touched my heart. For a moment I questioned if maybe I had looked that pathetic, out there pushing on my own but – no matter the reason – I was truly grateful that The Universe sent those three angels to help Martin and me.

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I forget sometimes that the world is full of kind, generous people – people that care about others, even strangers stuck in a snow drift. Thank you, nice lady with groceries, man out walking and security officer in a little Bobcat. I like to think you helped me and were kind to me because I am helpful and kind to others. Whether that is true or not, I will take this afternoon’s kindness, remember it and pay it forward.

My Missing Virtue

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I joke that, when I used to HAVE a lot more hair, it was red. And the old notion that redheads have terrible tempers is very true – at least in my case. I have worked very hard all my life to try and keep my temper under control but sometimes it just “slips out.” It happened today, something that I am less-than-proud about. In a display that would have looked silly on a twelve-year-old but even sillier on a fifty-five-year-old, I lost my cool and had a mini-tantrum. It was childish and I regretted it instantly, all the more so because the person suffering the brunt of that episode is someone that I love very, VERY much (with all my heart, as a matter of fact). The whole episode was over in an instant, and I apologized for it immediately after it happened. All was forgiven and it was dismissed and forgotten as quickly as it happened. But I did not forget it.

I did not forget how awful I felt as it was happening. I did not forget the tiniest moment of feeling out of control, emotionally. And I cannot forget how the person I love most, that person that deserves better, told me to forget it and reminded me how much he loved me. I am a lucky guy.

In those rare moments of raw, naked emotion, of humanity happening without pretense or posing, I am reminded of how imperfect I am, and how much work I still need to do.

I am also reminded, almost daily, that The Universe really does have guardian angels and – if you are lucky, like me – they find their way to you…

The Evolution of Angels

As a child, I enjoyed seeing this type of angel appear every December:

snow angelBut now, as an adult gay man, I LIVE for this type of angel appearance every December:

behati-prinsloo-131438_w1000The divine being pictured above is super model Behati Prinsloo. In addition to being obscenely beautiful – and having a super cool name – she is also a Victoria’s Secret angel AND is engaged to Adam Levine of Maroon 5.

Not too bad, eh?

The yearly Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has become as much a part of our annual holiday traditions as A Charlie Brown Christmas, or the movie Holiday Inn. We watch the angels every year and, to be honest, they are so unbelievably beautiful – their figures, those outfits, the wings, OMG, the WINGS! – that I frequently mist up and almost cry. These ladies are unworldly in their beauty (that’s coming from a guy that has been “a gay” his entire life).

I don’t want to sleep with any of them; I do, however, want to be their best friend.

I had another extremely long day today. Between overwhelming work and some personal matters (all good things), every day is about five hours too short. In fact, I wasn’t even aware tonight was the show and, to be honest, I still haven’t seen it. All of it. The day was too short.

I did, however, cheat and watch the final “walk” with Taylor Swift performing. Like a child on Christmas Eve, I couldn’t wait. The finale took my breath away. The angels did NOT disappoint; I cannot WAIT to see the entire show…

“In my dreams they come to me, Angels of Light with broad white wings…”

My favorite angels…

As I have shared in previous posts, I was raised in the Catholic faith. And while I no longer observe or follow the traditions of that faith, it does still hold for me some things I simply cannot leave behind. One of those being angels…

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I mean, who doesn’t connect with and adore angels? Angels are God’s messengers, fantastical transcendent beings that exist between Heaven and Earth. Angels burn with a pure goodness from within – they glow full of love and light. Their appearance typically signifies a major turn in the course of human events; often they deliver messages from departed loved ones or “The Man Upstairs.” This divine angel construct is best represented for me in the scene above from “Angels in America,” with the fabulous Emma Thompson as the Angel, wings slowly folding and unfolding, floating divinely in space, delivering a message. This was my original view of angels – bright and beautiful, Heaven-sent and divine, without flaw or imperfection. Then I became older and more worldly, and my perception of angels changed a bit.

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In the film “Constantine,” I got to consider the Angel Gabriel, played to delicious perfection by one of my all-time favorite actresses, Tilda Swinton. This Gabriel was raw and gritty, definitely not the image of divine perfection I had grown to associate with angels as a good little Catholic boy attending Our Most Pure Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Shelby, Ohio. And, as with many roles played by Tilda Swinton, this Gabriel walked a more gender neutral line, which is how I had grown up with the notions of angels. This Gabriel was human and divine, dark and light and, by the end of the film, had lost his wings.

Then I met Shahat…

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I met Shahat while watching “American Horror Story/Asylum.” Shahat is the Angel of Death or, more appropriately, The Angel of The Pit. My Shahat is played by the amazing actress Frances Conroy, who bestows upon Shahat a frail and uncommon beauty, a pale grace that is comforting and soothing. In my early days of “Catholic-dom,” I had always envisioned The Angel of Death to be some dark, horrible vision that brought pain and suffering before the end. The Shahat I have come to know is gentle and kind, someone who ends pain and suffering rather than inflicting it. And those wings. OMG, those wings…

I am crazy about each of the angels listed above. Additionally, each has helped me reshape my whole concept of angels which has evolved substantially since my First Holy Communion days. I have come to realize that angels are as much human as divine and that we probably interact with some every day.

I know for sure there is ONE angel in my life, my beloved Martin. He is supportive and loving and comforting and, I think, glows from within with an amazing light. It is no surprise to anyone that has met Martin that my pet name for him is “My Angel.” He came into my life and certainly saved me from a dull, loveless existence. He truly is MY angel.

My angel Martin doesn’t have awesome wings – yet! – but I’m sure he will…