Friday, March 02, 2007

Benediction, Part I: Integration and Reconciliation

HURRICANE is winding down. This blog was an invaluable part of my coming out process. But its moment is passing as I find myself on ever more solid ground as a out gay man. It occupies a space in the blogosphere that corresponds with a space where I no longer live: gay, married and Mormon.

But before I go, I am going to write a series of posts on themes that are important to me at this stage of life: integrating and reconciling the past, covering, and belonging.

I have written on this blog about integration in the way that many gay people talk about it after coming out. Bringing my identity and my sexuality into alignment lifted a dark fog from my mind. Integration is an essential part of the coming out process. But that's not the integration I have in mind now. Over the past few weeks I have intensified a different type of integration process. This one involves reconciling my current self to my past self. Part of that has been forgiving, myself and others, and essential to forgiving is recognizing and celebrating the good things about my old life. With my immediate family, that is easy. My love for my children knows no bounds. My friendship with KK remains strong and an important part of my life, and I value the good things that came as a result of our marriage. Other relationships, such as those with parents and old friends, are also worth holding on to and strenthening, and I am striving to do that. I have struggled more with forgiving other presences from my past. In particular, I have felt anger and bitterness toward the LDS Church. But lately I've found myself forgiving there as well, and remembering the good things that came from my Mormon experience.

HURRICANE is not my first blog. I had another one that I called Outer Boroughs in a nod to my place of residence at the time I was writing on it: Brooklyn. I used it to write about politics and culture and religion and the Mormon experience. After my faith fell apart, I took the blog down. But a few months ago I went back and read some of the posts. I still like many of them. They don't reflect my current reality or my current faith for the most part, but I think they reflect the kind of Mormon I was and they honor the good that Mormonism brought into my life.

So in this, the first part of my HURRICANE benediction, I share a handful of my blog posts from Outer Boroughs that I think capture who I was then, and who I hope in many respects I still am now:

Confession

Civil Breakdown
Convert Soul
Is God a Muskie?

12 comments:

Master Fob said...

I'll miss your blog when it's gone. I understand, from your point of view, wanting to move on now that the GMM experience is no longer the defining aspect of your life, but from our perspective--the rest of the GMM blogosphere--your unique perspective will be missed.

santorio said...

thanks for sharing a side of you that 'hurricane' doesn't show

Elbow said...

Chris, I love you. I'm really glad you blog. And I'm really glad that you are who you are, doing what you are doing and all that goes along with it. Thanks for your concern, I truly appreciate it.

greenfrog said...

Change is inevitable, I suppose, but I remain hopeful that you'll find some sort of forum in which you'll continue to consider and express your perceptions of the sacred and the profane. I've come to value them over the years.

iasme said...

In particular, I have felt anger and bitterness toward the LDS Church. But lately I've found myself forgiving there as well, and remembering the good things that came from my Mormon experience.

I hope you share more regarding this before you sign off. I'd love to hear about your recent experiences in forgiving, how you were able to reach that point and what led to it.

Ignorant Sage said...

Chris - it was good to read those older posts. It's good to hear your voice, past as well as present (esp. since you don't reply to my emails ;-) )

Ignorant Sage said...

I posted the first message after reading 'Confession'.I've had a chance to read the other three now and had to comment again. ' Civil breakdown' and 'Convert soul' particularly spoke to me. And though everyone reading this already knows it, let me return a recent compliment a say to everyone that this Chris is a good man. And from where I'm sitting a good Christian and a good Mormon too. We (all three of those groups) are better for our connection to you, Chris.

Chris said...

Sage, that's not true! I do respond to your e-mails. It's just that they are SO long and it takes me awhile.

Ignorant Sage said...

I think you just called me long-winded.







Which may be true, but still...

Chris said...

;)

MoHoHawaii said...

I loved your blog, which I have just finished reading in its entirety. I liked it so much that I synopsized it here.

Have you ever thought about turning this into a book? There's such a strong natural narrative structure. I think it would be great contribution if it were adapted for print. You could use a diary format. Maybe Carol Lynn Pearson can give you some tips on publishing, etc. Anyway, just a thought from the peanut gallery.

Best of luck to you!

Elbow said...

will you please email me? I lost your address. I'd love to talk, chat, anything...