Rick Shory

Offering a little something you might not otherwise have


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Coming Out Year, Part 6: Reasons why.

“Why me?!?” I thought.  I was consumed by the injustice of it all.

It had taken me two months to accept the “g” word.  Gay.  I was gay.  I had made love with a man, fallen in love with him.  But it had taken me that long to be able to say it to myself, that I was gay.

Say it to the world, too.  Being in love with a man was the most powerful thing that had ever happened in my life.  I could not keep it secret.  But at first I couldn’t deal with what the world might think.  The world had always known me as straight.  It seemed a lot to ask, that they would just take my word for this.

So I would let on that I was in love.  Maybe people didn’t understand gay, but everybody knew about being in love.  Later I would get around to mentioning his name was Adrian.

I was in a new stage now.  I was inside the question of being gay.  I was no longer denying it.  But I still didn’t like it too much.

It wasn’t fair.  What had I ever done to deserve this?  Yeah, I knew that one in ten is.  So, among ten of my friends, I was the one who got hit by lightening.  Just the luck of the draw.

But it seemed so wrong.  This gay thing was going to make my life more complicated.  Most people have all these things — love, marriage, kids — that they take for granted.  I would never have the luxury of taking things for granted.

I was looking for some rightness about it, scrambling to scrape together any shreds of meaning.  But it always came back around to feeling like a curse.  It was the one time in my life I seriously contemplated suicide.

The fruit harvest season in eastern Washington was finally over.  I was on the loose. I had money in my pocket.  I hitchhiked over the Cascades, back to the coast.

That morning, I had been in a bright, clear world where life ended at the limit of the irrigation sprinklers.  Beyond that edge, only bare dirt and a few scattered weeds.  Up I traveled through the green hay fields of the Methow Valley, golden with cottonwoods along the rivers.  Then through the high country, forests of hemlock and fir, finally nearly to the alpine.  Down, now, on the west side into the misty lands and great tree.  And finally here I was walking along through Mount Vernon, where, amazingly, grass grew thick all over the ground, and did not need any help at all from mankind.

I made my way to Olympia, where I’d gone to college.  It was October now, statistically one of the wettest months of the year.  The rain poured.

One day, in the public library, I was reading the so-called “Seth material”.  Over several years in the 1970s, a woman named Jane Roberts channeled a voice who identified himself as “Seth”.  Her husband took dictation, and eventually this became several books.  I had read some of them before, and found them full of intriguing and useful ideas.

One of the curious properties of the Seth material is that when you talk with other people who have also read the books, the other readers remember completely different things.  Almost like it was a different book for them.  Almost as if the book were being channeled for you, right as you read it.  When it works, you open one of these books, and find the answer to what you’ve been working on in your life.

I had opened the book to a section where Seth was talking about “psychic families”.  This is a way of thinking about different kinds of people, very different from astrological sign.  He was talking about one family he called “Sumari”.

I was curious enough I flipped back through the pages and read about the other families.  One family was people who are natural healers.  They might be drawn to the medical professions, to become a doctor or nurse; or they may just have a healing impetus to their personality regardless of their work.  One family was the natural athletes, whose focus is on the physical.  One was political people, who are able to hold in mind a vision of how society should be.

Of course I was beginning to wonder where I would fall in this scheme.  I could see threads of all those energies in myself.  Right about there, Seth said, of course there are aspects of all families in each person, but usually one is dominant. It’s based on how an individual chooses to use their consciousness.

There was a family who are natural “parents”.  Their innate talents are in raising excellent children.  I thought, surely that’s Deva and Carpenter.  Their parenting comes out not only in the amazing job they are doing with their adopted and foster kids.  With their counseling, they nurture the inner child of everyone they meet.

Seth mentioned that this parenting family was most similar to the Sumari.  I was starting to get really curious about Sumari.  I finally found that section and read it.

I was floored.

A lot of people I had known in college were way into astrology. It never made sense to me.  All twelve signs seem to fit me vaguely, and each about as well as any other.  Worse, very little in astrology seemed to point me a compass, or illuminate anything new about my life I didn’t already know.

But reading about Sumari was profound.

“Sumari are people whose natural bent is creativity,” Seth said.  “They love fiddling with details to make things work better.”  That was a perfect description of how I am.

Seth continued, “Although not usually political, Sumari often find themselves allied with the political underground because of their own independence of thought.”  Yeah, I thought, ever since I’ve been on my own, I have always had radical political friends.  I’d wondered why, because I could never be political.  Politics makes no sense to me.

Seth went on.  “It’s not what a Sumari does, but how he does it.  For example, a Sumari might enjoy theoretical mathematics, but make a miserable bookkeeper.”  I happened to have tried both of these, and that’s exactly how it was.

Right on cue, Seth said, “If you are looking into the nature of yourself, and feel that you are Sumari, you should get yourself into a position where you can use your inventiveness.”

That has turned out to be the best advice I ever got in my life.  It was a long time before I learned to trust it, I can put myself in a situation, expose myself to problems where I don’t know what do to, where nobody knows what to do, and I’ll come up with things.  The creative juices are always on tap.  They just need somewhere to flow.

Seth went on to say that Sumari often arrange lifetimes for themselves where they are relatively unfettered, so they can pursuer their creative interests.

I went out of that library as if transformed.  I walked a long way under those leaden skies, amid the dance of raindrops.

I had my answer, as to why I was gay.  I was going to have a relatively unfettered life; no wife, no kids, not much responsibility tying me down.  Instead, I could devote myself to creative pursuits, try out new things and new ways to live.  Of those, the things that worked would be what I would offer to the world.

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