Comforting Words: 06/2006

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I Had a Dream

It happened again! Just as I thought that this had passed, lo and behold early one morning last week it came again.

I woke up, looked around the room, glanced at my sleeping partner and thought aloud, “Here we go.”

My reaction over the years has not been so calm. Back in 1992 when this first occurred, my response was indeed the complete opposite. This was less than two years since my relationship with Juds had started and although intimacy (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) was going great, I was having a hard time in other respects.

Looking back, it is now clear to me that the greatest difficulty was that I could not believe that this woman was in love with me and thought me worthy of her devotion and loyalty. No one prior thought so, including myself, and so it was hard for me accept that she or this relationship was different.

We had retired for the night and at some point fell asleep only for me to literally jump up out of a troubled sleep. Instead of waiting a second to catch my breath, I shook and jerked Juds out of her sweet sleep demanding to know who she was seeing!
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You need to understand that my dear partner loves to cuddle, completely wrapped in whatever covering we are using at that time. So my sudden and violent thrust not only almost threw her out of our then double bed but it was comical to see her coming from under the sheet, clutching the side of the bed and totally confused, “Wha, what…what happen?”

“I just dreamt that you were dating someone else and I want to know who it is?!”

Those of you who know Juds can guess what her response was to this ridiculous demand at maybe 3:00 a.m.

Hissing her teeth, trying hard to focus her eyes on my fingers wagging in her face she dryly asked, “Are you crazy?”

Maybe I was just a little crazy as I would repeat this performance at least once every two years for the next ten years of our lives together. I was sure that my dream was a vision as it was so clear, except for the face of my competitor, and detailed. For every time I would wake her at some ungodly hour, Juds would ask, “You had the dream again, see her face this time?”

This last time, and I do hope it is the last unless there is a dream interpreter among readers of Comforting Words who can decipher this dream for me once and for all, was different.

I still jumped out of my sleep, the face of ‘the other woman’ is still unknown and I still experienced a gut-wrenching pain at the thought of my partner walking out on our relationship in this way.

The difference this time, however, was my reaction. There was no need for me to immediately wake Juds up; waving my dream evidence of her unfaithfulness under her nose. This time also I did not malice her for days while waiting for her to confess to the truth that I saw in my dreams!

Acknowledging the physical impact that the dream had on me – pain in my gut and shortness of breath – I reminded myself that this has happened before and my relationship has withstood the test of time, at least thus far, even with extremely challenging moments. I also reminded myself that I am worthy – a worthy channel and recipient of love.
As I talked to myself, affirming the truth of ‘who I am’ and my shared life with Juds, I turned to her and lifted the side of the blanket that was tucked under her head and kissed her nose.

“Hmm,” she moaned.

“I had the dream again,” I told her.

It was almost 5:00 a.m., so I made coffee and we sat in bed and talked about the details.

“At least this time, you not ‘beating’ the detail out of me,” Juds laughingly said. “That’s growth.”

“Indeed it is,” I agreed.

Still, if anyone is good at dream interpretations, I would not mind hearing from you.



Saturday, June 17, 2006

Gayly Proud

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAlthough I have been in a same-sex relationship for over 15 years now and we have always sought opportunities for community, organizing and/or attending Pride events was not something that I contemplated for two reasons:

• The thought of having such an open celebration of the history of LGBTQ people would mean certain death or maiming in Jamaica, the land of my birth.
• The images that seem to catch the attention of the media from Pride Parades around the world repulsed me.

That changed, however, last year when I participated in two Pride Parades. The first was here in Edmonton and the second in Vancouver, British Columbia. Though the Edmonton Parade was of less grandeur and size than Vancouver’s I found it an enlightening experience, so much so that not only will I be participating in the Edmonton Parade again this year but most of the planned events.

Certainly there was some ‘flesh’ on display, ‘drag queens’ and some exhibitionists both in Edmonton and Vancouver but what struck me more was the energy of the people standing on the sidelines waving and cheering.

I came away from both Parades with a greater appreciation for those who chose to don their costumes and ‘flaunt’ the beauty of humanity – in all its sexually diversity. By being there, I understood that this was more than a chance to ‘moon’ society but the communities revealing its spirit of creativity.

As I walked along the route in Edmonton and stood among the crowds in Vancouver, no one seemed to care about skin colour, economic status or social standing. At the heart of the parades was a celebration of being – in all of God’s glory and in community.

My earlier concerns were set aside as I roamed and mingled with the gay and straight people who were felt free to be there, having no fear of being beaten for simply cheering on the revelers. The ‘rightness’ of the parades became clear to me as a statement to the larger society, and in fact the world, that The Creator loves diversity that’s why S/He made us so. Variety (diversity) is not simply the spice of life, it is the essence.

Now my prayer is that one day my LGBTQ friends across the Caribbean can as proudly celebrate their lives and share the history of this community with their fellow citizens. Until such time, I will march in Pride Parades every chance I get on their behalf, as my part in the education of those who would exclude any part of God’s creation from full participation in the kin-dom.

Will I display my own brand of beauty in a tight fitting gown? Maybe not this year.

Learn more about Gay Pride Events and for a listing of Pride Events in your area, visit:
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Should you ever think that my stories and concern for my brothers and sisters in the Caribbean are simply that - stories - read:


Thanks for your continued support and many


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Compassionately Ambitious

Years ago, in one of my many desperate attempts to be an entrepreneur I became involved in the herbal supplement industry. What is relevant here is not the fact that salesmanship is not my cup of tea. The gem of this story has to do with the look of horror that went across my team leader’s face when I declared that my sole intention was to surpass her sales record.

This woman was the top distributor of this particular brand of herbal supplements in Jamaica, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct sales and commission on the sales of her team.

At least once per month or so, we would attend team meetings and other presentations geared to pump up sales and enthusiasm for the products. We would be regaled with the success stories of people who entered the business with very small investments and who in a few years were living the life of the rich and famous.

To make sure we understood the vast potential of the “opportunity” – that was the code word for ‘the business’ – and that they saw in me (and others) possibilities for great success, the team leader invited a select group of us over to her mini-mansion in the hills of St. Andrew.

My eyes almost popped out of my head with the understated yet opulent décor of her home, the view of Kingston and St. Andrew from its balcony and, not to mention, the spread she laid out for us.

It was a few short weeks later, after seeing the real possibilities of the ‘opportunity’, that I made my declaration to her and saw her flabbergasted look. At that time, I could not understand why she was so surprised at my competitive stance – was I not supposed to be in order to achieve her wealth and stature in the “opportunity?”

What I have come to understand, something that I could not wrap my brain around at the time this wonderful and demure woman tried to explain it to me, was that competitive was the last thing I wanted to be in order to succeed.

Apparently, she had built her ‘empire’ on compassionate ambition not competition but that business model was unknown to me at the time.

You see, this lady had taken her spiritual principles with her into her business.

I remembered this story this morning as I watched one of my regular television evangelists and heard him speak about jealousy. His words “jealousy is at the roots of your competitiveness,” caused me to stop and ponder the truth of this statement in my life.

Certainly, I have been competitive and would venture to say that to some extent still am – albeit not to the cut-throat extent I once displayed. However, until this morning the connection between jealousy and competitiveness was lost on me. Are we not entitled to get our own? So what then if you had to be assertive and even ‘push’ would-be obstacles (read as people) out of the way?

As I pondered these two questions, a vision of the team leader and our last exchange came to me.

I never made it in that business, obviously, and she remains to this day and is more prosperous than I could ever have imagined with offices and teams across the Caribbean.

In my jealousy and envy of her material opulence and abundance, her spiritual maturity and her understanding of the fundamental spiritual principle that this is an abundant universe with enough for every single one of us was lost on me.

Growing up as I did, spoon-fed on the notion that this is a cruel world with limited resources that is enjoyed only by the rich; it would take a few years before I could even begin to fathom what she clearly knew.

The lessons I learnt was that being a girl and one of African-descent living in a so-called Third World country, life will forever be tough. It was a lesson I am still unlearning. The experience with that team leader is a prime example that even in my late twenties the notion that one has to “push and shove” and step on other people’s back to get into my white picket fenced home was still prevalent in my mind.

Life does not have to be tough and lived in constant struggle and competition with the world and his/her wife!

Make no mistake, there is no naiveté in me that would cause me to think that life challenges are not real and that people will not try to manipulate, compete and/or sabotage one’s progress.

What this herbal supplement lady, the televangelist and the many spiritual teachers that I have had the opportunity to learn from all agree on (and have proved by their living) is that each of us have a choice as to how we will respond to life’s challenges.

Every single one of us can and does (consciously or unconsciously) chart our course on this journey. It is therefore up to you and me to determine whether it will be riddled with envy and jealousy; always striving after what the neighbours have. Or will it be peace-filled and thank-ful for what you have and what is still possible using the gifts and talents endowed by Spirit?

The spiritual teachers and guides at whose ‘feet’ I have the privilege of learning, including Jesus the Christ, also agree that what you ‘see’ is what you get.

If competition, fuelled by jealousy, envy and a belief that there is not enough in the Universe, is all that you (or I) can see, then that is what you will experience in all your relationships. After thirty-odd years of first hand experience of this, trust me when I say that they are onto something!

I am following the adage: “Change your view and change your life,” and actively changing the window that I am looking through and moving more ernestly into compassionate ambition. What about you?



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