Keyword
in
Collection
Date
to
Houston Voice, No. 920, June 12, 1998
File 032
Citation
MLA
APA
Chicago/Turabian
Houston Voice, No. 920, June 12, 1998 - File 032. 1998-06-12. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. July 6, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3055/show/3037.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1998-06-12). Houston Voice, No. 920, June 12, 1998 - File 032. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3055/show/3037

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 920, June 12, 1998 - File 032, 1998-06-12, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed July 6, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3055/show/3037.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

URL
Embed Image
Compound Item Description
Title Houston Voice, No. 920, June 12, 1998
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date June 12, 1998
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 032
Transcript A Cleansing With the squish of sweat, suffering can be relieved by JAY VANASCO The sweat lodge was stuffy when 1 entered, crawling clockwise around on my hands and knees. I followed the Ojibway sweat leader and 12 others followed me, the women hiking up their long skirls slightly lo keep them from the mud. By the time we were all in the circle, our bodies squished against each other, sweat was already dribbling between my breasts and under my arms. The leader, Pete, explained thai the sweat would happen in four rounds: first, a prayer round calling the spirits and ancestors, then a healing round, then a third prayer round thanking the spirits and ancestors, then an intermission wilh the passing of the prayer pipe, and finally, a silent prayer round. I was there for the healing. The "fireman" shoveled seven hot, glowing stones lhe size of cat's heads into the lodge one by one. We could hear the crackle of the fire outside. "Ho." Pete said, greeting each one and lifting il into lhe center stone circle with a pair of deer antlers. He placed a bit of cedar leaf on lop of every stone, saying prayers for our ancestors, our health, our journey. Then the fireman joined us, and the lodge blanket closed, sealing us in a dark, hot circle. Pete tossed some water on the stones and steam rose, hissing, lo fill the spaces our bodies left open. 'This is lhe womb ofyour mother." Pete said, and it could have been. Those who were NaMve American took lurns singing spirit calling songs, and lhe heal and the steam and ihe closeness buzzed around my head, making ibetr voices tremble and arch, as if I were hearing (hem throtigh water, or amniotic fluid. ] Wan comforted by the darkness. The steam kepi rising, pressing against our faces. a hot. wet towel. Some around me moaned or screamed in panic, in agony. "Offer your pain up to the Creator." ['etc said, For now. I was silent. Entranced. By the beginning of Ihe second round, sweal was thick as skin. A prayer for healing traveled around the circle. We could pray only for others, not for ourselves. A friend prayed for me, for the safe removal of the cyst that grows like a baby in my abdomen. She prayed for the skill of the doctorsand the reduction of my anxiety. I sobbed next to her, gripping her hand. The week before, I had been diagnosed with endometreosis, and told that a cyst the size of a 16- week-old fetus was swelled around my right ovary. I am scheduled for major abdominal surgery in late June. Probably I would be fertile when I woke from the anesthetic, my doctor said. If there isn't endometreosis on my other ovary, too. If they could leave one ovary in. "It's better than cancer," thoughtless people told me. a-Vid of course il is, but so are most of the traumas that wrack our bodies or our minds. My panic felt like a lead bar stretched across my back, weighing down my shoulders. I couldn't eat or sleep. I didn't want to wake up changed. For most of us, change may be exciting, but it is frightening, too. We want the new experiences without the losses. We are afraid of the unexpected, the unknown, the journey wc take by ourselves. I see this in the eyes of the seniors graduating from the university where I work, the mothers I know who wil! be sending their children to kindergarten for the first lime in the fall, the men and women who call me in whispery panic", afraid they might be gay or lesbian, afraid how that elemental fact mighl twist and ruin their lives. But in the sweat lodge, htiddlcd in the painful steam, the searing heat, something in me opened and relaxed. "We cannot sacrifice a goat to the Creator." Pete said. "We cannot offer money, our house, our car. because everything belongs lo him. .All we can offer is ourselves. All we can offer is our own pain and suffering.'' Those words come from the heart of a people who have suffered much and found purpose in thai suffering. They are comforting because they mean lhat our pain isn'l meaningless, lhat it doesn't drop inlo the ocean of human ephemera and disappear. Instead, it is transformed as something lhat helps the people it is directed toward. The focus turns away from our own menial The steam kept rising, pressing against our faces, a hot, wet towel. Some around me moaned or screamed in panic, in agony. 'Offer your pain up to the Creator,' Pete said. For now, I was silent Entranced. anguish and toward the healing of others. No matter how we as gay and lesbian individuals may feel about a Creator, aboul God. the fact is that we are also a suffering people. We suffer from AIDS, from homophobia, from breast cancer, from alienation and isolation. Perhaps thc next time each of us feels pain, we should offer it up as a sacrifice for the good of all of our people. Perhaps we should turn away from the agony within ourselves and focus it on the heating of those we love and cherish. By the middle of the fourth round. I had begun to swoon. The heal built up against my eyes and ears. and before (be silent prayers began, before I had the chance to pray for myself. 1 crawled clockwise around the lodge, exiling. I lay down, stretching oul on thc grass beside the lodge, listening to the bubble of lhe river beside me. the whisper of the trees above and the murmur of prayers within. 1 took a deep breath, then another. Tlie lead bar had meked. I felt cleansed. Jay Vanasco is ajreelance writer in Chicago. Welcome the Pain How to survive being single all over again by RANDY SIEGEL ■After 14 years. I was single again. Earlier lhat day. I had moved from a 3.500 square loot thickhead house into a Midtown apartment so tiny lhat il could barely fit my new, six-fool Storehouse couch. Whatever the apartment's modest size, it was .sacred. It was a sanctuary, and it was mine. It would become a place ol Introspection, healing and leam Within five hours of moving. I was settled, bul nol single. While physically separated. 1 still felt joined together by my marriage vows. A good Episcopalian. I knew a ritual had created those vows, and a ritual would remove them. I removed my wedding band, said a prayer and put it away in a special place. Wilh that simple act, I became a single man. Yet. nothing could have prepared me for what was ahead. That night, sleep did nol come easy. It was hard sleeping alone, and as I snuggled closed to my body pillow, the memories, doubls and fears came rushing in. When all the activity subsided, my mind had lime to think. I could nol hide from myself in my dark room. My brother called the next morning lo check on me. I talked of the pain. He understood, for seven years ago he had divorced. There's nothing you can do about the pain." he told me. "You have to walk Ihrough it. but there is light at the end of tunnel." Over the next couple ol veins. I caught glimpses of that light." For lhe first couple oi months. I was numb. A robot al work and dull at play, life seemed devoid of pleasure. I wondered if I would ever be happy again. Sundays were particularly hard. One Sunday. Bit- ling on thc Qoor of mv apartment 1 began to cry. Tens Streaming down my lace. I yelled oul, "Even a had relaiionship is better lhan this." In ,in effort lo snap out mv depression, I grabbed a piece of paper and stalled lisling lhe good Ihings that were waiting for me as a result of being single again. "Increased intimacy, higher creativity, sell knowledge." Within minules. lhe list included close to 25 items. Folding thc sheet of paper, I put it away. Months later, revisiting thai list, the tears came once again. Almost all of the 25 items had come to pass. Some days were better than others. On the off days, I learned to love and minister lo myself. This was a time to be kind to myself. 1 would get frequent massages (it was nice to be touched). 1 would go to a movie on weekends. I would take long walks in the park. I treated myself like a lover, and in the process became my own best friend. Even so. I was lonely. The worse part of being sin- tile again was the empiiness. My soul had a hole, and I wanted to fill it with a replacement relation ship. A new relaiionship would lessen the pain, and pain — I believed at the time — was to be avoided at all costs. But, that was not to be. Try as I might — and 1 did try — I scared off most potential suitors, and with good reason. 1 was too needy. I learned I needed time to end one relationship before beginning another. A friend told me to cotint on one month of grieving for every three years of the relationship. If there is one thing I learned during this time, it's that there is no set formula. Everyone is different, and everyone must handle ihings as besl as they can. at the time. Today, almosl three years to the day afler I moved out. I am almost through the tunnel. And I see the light. A dear friend of mine is now going through a painful separation. After nine years, he is suddenly single. We often talk Into the nighl aboul whai he's going through, ,uu\ jusi like how my brother was To jar myself out of depression, I started listing the good things that were waiting for me as a result of being single again. Months later, almost all of the items had come to pass. there for me. 1 am there for him. And. while everyone is different, here is the advice I have to give: Realize becoming single again is a process, and as a process it cannot be rushed. It will be over, but in its own time. Each relationship builds on the last. Our job is simply to learn what it is we have to learn and move on applying those lessons to the next relationship. Take time to process what has happened. Activity may mask the pain, bul it will remain and return. Welcome the pain. It is during painful limes we learn the most. Hope is the most important thing to remember. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and wonderful ihings wailing on the olher side. 1 now know life is about growth, and sometimes relationships grow wilh us. and someiimes they do not. If we find ourselves Single again, wc will survive. And. one day soon we will walk into the light. Randy Siegel is a public relations consultant living m Atlanta, lie can be reached through this publication.
File Name uhlib_31485329_n920_031.jpg