Thursday, February 21, 2019

Facing The Facts

Well, ready or not, here it comes. Spring is here for us. The azaleas are starting to bloom.

The Japanese magnolias are becoming a cloud of lavender pink. 

The bridal wreath spirea has one tiny bouquet opened and so many more to follow.

And my buckeye is coloring up it's blooms. 

I love that plant because it's a native species and I bought it and I planted it and it makes me happy. 

My wild azalea is always the last thing to bloom and its buds are still tight and almost nonexistent. But they're there and they will bloom and it will be a tiny glory. 

I've spent all day here at the house and it's been a pleasure for me. I got two packages in the mail that I've been meaning to send off. That's a big relief. I don't know why but mailing packages is incredibly difficult for me. No physically, of course. I have no idea why but it's stressful. And when I do get them ready to send, they always look like a second grader had free run with the packing tape. At least we don't have to wrap everything in brown paper and string anymore although those packages were beautiful when they were done right. 
I did little housewifey things like scrubbing the kitchen sink and sweeping and doing laundry and then I got down on my knees in the garden and pulled weeds between the cilantro and kale and lettuces. Why I did that I do not know because they're all going to bolt in about ten minutes. 
But it looks prettier and sometimes that's reason enough to do something. 

I've been thinking a lot today about stuff. Aging stuff, mostly. It occurred to me when I woke up that I am going to be sixty-five soon and for some reason I feel like maybe I'll live to be seventy-two and that's only seven years away. What do I want to do for the rest of my life? It's definitely time to figure that out and get busy with it. 
Unfortunately, buying a beach house is probably not on the to-do list for my husband. He does love me but would he buy me a beach house? I'll discuss this with him. Maybe tomorrow night over martinis. 
It's way too late to do some things. I'm never going to run a marathon. I'm never going to be the published author of a best seller. I'm never going to tramp across Great Britain, much less the United States. I always sort of wanted to do that. 
I'm never going to dance naked in a fountain in Paris. 
I'm never going to kiss Bruce Springsteen. 
Or have a drink with Keith Richards. 
I will certainly never get to meet the Beatles. Or have B.B. King over for supper. 
Oh, I could go on. 
But I've done SO many things that I am thrilled to have done. I have been to Europe. I drove from Denver to Tallahassee by myself in a car with two parakeets and a rocking chair. I have had four beautiful, healthy children and have seen them grow up to be amazing human beings. I have witnessed the births of my five grandchildren. 
I've done an awful lot of dancing. 
I have loved and been loved by an amazing man. 
And kissed a few toads on the way. 
And so much more. SO MUCH MORE.
And the point is, I'd not feel like I've missed out on too much if I died tonight but all of the things I've been putting off for "someday" really need to be done now. 
So that's what I've been thinking about. 
It's time. 

Meanwhile, I read the most inspiring thing today. It was on Facebook and a good friend of mine from the way, WAY back posted it with his own comment of love and support for a fellow bluesman, Watermelon Slim. Here's the post. 

16 hrs
This post will shock a few people. However, I think the vast majority will read, and knowing the man I am and the life I lived, the work I've done and the music I've sang about it all, they will understand, and will say, good for you, Slim, for standing by your convictions.
I have wavered, and have self-qualified my response heretofore, to a question I have had
to ask myself more and more as my years get fewer: Will I be the first bluesman to come
out? Not counting Jason Ricci I mean; will I be the first lifelong practitioner of the blues art and disciple of the masters to actually say, "I am gay?"
It's not that I never was gay before. I grew up in the Jim Crow South where one other thing
besides black skin raised such irrational and sometimes deadly hatred: "them filthy quares."
You could talk about being black to your parents, to your ministers, to your teachers, to your friends. You
could NOT mention a word about being gay to any of them.
Now, I was as curious about girls as any male adolescent. My various parents were really
pretty lax about how I should behave with girls: "don't get 'em pregnant, " with the veiled
inference of, "good luck and good hunting," rendered with a wink and nod. So I do not
minimize the fact that I had a legitimate heterosexual drive and life agenda. I have acted
upon it all my adult life, and not always successfully, no matter for my best intentions.
But I have always known I was gay, whether or not I liked girls. Had I grown up anywhere
in the last 25 years or so, the multiplicity and ubiquity of support and resources for gay
people, and the general societal acceptance, if not total assimilation, would have made it a
no-brainer. I would have just been happily gay, and as the City Councillor from Kansas City
said to the audience of gay youth, "it does get better." It did. I can marry a man of my choice in America in 2019. Yayy.
Now I must find such a man, or he must find me. My profession is specifically heterosexual
in tradition and nature. Son House said the blues "ain't nothin but a good woman lookin for
a man." I paraphrase, lol. And the man must provide. "You got to pay the cost to be the boss." Well, besides the work, I've been true to that part of the profession. I have busted my ass working for wife and daughter, literally permanently injured myself just to keep family fed and housed.
I'd like to be saying this in a position of power, which is to say, like Neil Patrick Harris for example, with a loving man now already standing by my side. I have lived so isolated from the gay community that even the one lover I ever had and I could not possibly have been out gays in the communities where we migrated to and from with greater political and social fish to fry than our own gay liberation.
Now, if there's any good gay man-- any good gay fan-- who has ever been touched by my
music, who has always been reluctant to approach because I have appeared unquestionably
straight, I hope he'll make himself known to me.
A few Lesbians have, over the years. Two of them were even blues club owners! But I am
unaware that any gay man has ever attended a Watermelon Slim show. I hope that
changes. And I have had rhythms running through me lately, and snatches of lyrics, that are
going to end up as the song or songs of a gay bluesman. One will probably be called
"Better Late Than Never," and it'll have a cool hook.
I have come out in a number of important places. There is an exhibit on me in the Alan
Lomax Archive at the Smithsonian Institution, in which I come out as part of 4 hours of
video interview. I have released a DVD, produced by Charles Konowal of Winnipeg, in which
I describe my coming out for the very first time in Vietnam, and being discharged, though
honorably, rare for a gay man in those days, in 1970.
But this will be the first time that I have made this wholesale announcement through
media that will be carried as far as my fan base stretches around the world. I turn 70 in 63
days. I would be sorry if anybody thinks the announcement makes me any a different
Watermelon Slim than they have known for years or decades.
I hope, rather, that you will cheer me on no less now, and know that the old revolutionary
bluesman is merely carrying a banner he's never felt was as important for him to carry as
that against war, against the pipeliners and the nuke-builders, the raping and pillaging of Mother Earth for the shortest of short-
term profit, and most of all FOR the empowerment of all those who, as I say in my song
"Winners of Us All," "...don't draw that bottom line."
I must say, I dare hope you'll all buy up this new CD; uh, it's a great record (blush).
Y'all, I need to touch and be touched with love by another man. Please, wherever you are, dude, don't be scared, I
won't bite, I'm a great cook and intelligent conversationalist. I have most all of the boy scout
virtues except tidiness.
With all respect and gratitude to all the fans and others who have helped me walk this path
so long, here's to your health! I am
William P. Homans the 3rd,
aka Watermelon Slim
My heart just burst for this man, this musician, who finally feels safe enough to tell the world exactly who he is and who still has hopes for the love he deserves. That we all deserve.
Maybe that's all any of us really need to do. Figure out who we are, finally, and not be afraid to live it out loud and the rest will follow. 
I don't know. You know me- I don't know shit. 
Spring is here and soon it will be in its fullness once again and I have no idea how many more Springs I will be able to witness. So I need to make the best of it, along with all of the rest of it that comes my way. 
Much love...Ms. Moon


  1. Thanks for posting that - what a brave and powerful thing he said. I hope he finds the love he needs.

  2. Your posts are a part of my day. I hope you’ve got more than seven years left in you! Thanks as ever for your writing.

  3. 72, my aunt's fanny! I will be 76 soon, and been damn near dead three times, and that's the truth. Please don't say you will be 65 soon, and may live to be 72. That would break my heart. But when is your birthday, because I can't believe you're an Aires.

  4. This whole post is awesome. I love pink and those flowers are glorious! Gratitude and wonder on the aging thoughts. But please live longer than 72!! And your friend’s post is so cool. Courageous, beautiful wishes he shares. I hope he finds a good man. Joanne

  5. 72? No, not at all. You're going to be around to dance at your grandchildrens' weddings and will probably see at least one or two great-grands before you shuffle off this mortal coil. Don't believe me? Let's make a bet! :)

  6. sorry Mary, the world will not let you go at 72. I'll be 69 in about 2 months. I'm still running strong but I do wonder how much more time I've got. my spirea also has one tiny bouquet open but is covered with buds.

  7. I’m so in the same “the end is coming” stage too. At my “Welcome to Medicare” physical, my doctor commented that, statistically, I have about 8 years left. He said it offhandedly and not in a warning way, but months later I think about it every day. It’s hard for me to let go of things like that, put on my Big Girl Pants, and carry on, but I have to. In the meantime, though, I love knowing that there are people in the world like that wonderful man, Watermelon Slim, who I’d never heard of but now care about so much. Thank you, Ms Moon, for this entire post!

    1. Dear Joy, I kinda want to punch your doctor in the face. I mean, that was not a great thing to stick in your head, and you could also live for 40 more years! Statistics are bullshit! I am sorry he said that to you.

  8. Oh, Mary, I’m still laughing over the words “maybe I’ll find an an endorphin, I could use one”, from the last post. Your thoughts are delightful! And I am near to you in age; also pondering things, regarding doing something while I’m still able or willing. It’s that time, I guess, to evaluate. What’s important? I think it’s love. Do what you love. Find someone special to love who loves you back. I hope Watermelon Slim finds his!

  9. I listen to this program on CBC every weekend called Now or Never. It's about doing things we put off. I would recommend it.

    You could walk a marathon. The way you walk, you could certainly walk across Britain, might take a bit of time. I still want to visit El Camino and walk a portion of it. A bestseller, why not?

    It is weird getting older though, you're right, the future is no long unlimited. It never was but from the viewpoint of a twenty year old, it looks that way.

    I'm glad that gentleman came out and I hope he finds someone to love him as he is.

  10. 72??? really? , I guess I am at death's door according to this time plan. In fact I am dead already!- Hell no, Girl.Even after being decked for a year with a friggin broken neck, I am ready for the next...couple hundred years....You have many more years in front of you, and adventure, so comb your hair, get some good shoes- you are in it for the long haul.

  11. Why 72? and I agree with Linda Sue...

  12. dear Mary, as you see from the comments here, you will need to revise your timeline as 72 is far too soon for the world to be without your healing humor and charms. You multiply the love in our world, never doubt it. I adore you. And as to Watermelon Slim, I'm so happy for his coming out, but it makes me a little sad, too, all those years he lost not feeling as if the world would love him exactly as himself. Kind of breaks my heart.


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