Thursday, 20 March 2014

Spring Equinox 2014 by Bob Paris (c)

Behind shuttered eyes
Another winter fades from view
Life springs in this meadow
While swiftened mind
Conjures buzzing splendor
Daydreamer heart overflooded
Nightdreamer soul cuts its path
The pregnant restless river
Pulled down to the sea
Seeking mingle
Fresh with salt
Fir and cedar stand in stoic witness
Bud and blade
Nettle and daffodil
Revel in their fleeting

Photo: Brian LeFurgey ©
 
 
Spring Equinox 2014 © by Bob Paris
 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Excerpt: GORILLA SUIT by Bob Paris (c)

Rediscovering the Accidentally Discovered

 

Late Spring, 1977 – Southern Indiana 

 

“Cummin’s Book Store was in downtown Columbus.  They had the best newsstand in town.  I went in one afternoon looking for the latest issue of my favorite backpacking magazine and ran across a copy of ‘Muscle Builder’ on the shelf.  On the cover was a picture of some guy named Schwarzenegger, doing an exercise with his gigantic arm up over his head and a straining grimace on his face.  His sweaty, dark hair hung down in his face, and he had on a light-colored tank top, and the arm and hand that weren’t over his head was grabbing on to a bench of some kind, the fingers squeezing into the brown leather, fingernails white from the pressure. 

photo: Art Zeller 1989 (c) Bob Paris all rights reserved

I began to pore through the pages, devouring the pictures of these guys training and showing their tremendously muscled bodies, bursting out of T-shirts or without shirts on or flexing on a beach with mountains in the background…According to what I could tell…these men occupied a terrific kingdom all their own, out in California.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Excerpted from: GORILLA SUIT © by Bob Paris (St. Martin’s Press, 1997, all rights reserved ISBN 0-312-16855-1)

FORWARD by Bob Paris

Whence
We ask
Shall strength derive
One moment mere
One blink
Shadow flung
Cry prayer plea
Heart tipped to overfill
Surge swiftened
In a course
Beyond supple breast
Past bellow
Beat beat flow
Ebb tide wanes
Flames alight
That far horizon
The one just there
Before us
After us
And in this instant
Once more
My fellows
We rise and go
Forward
 
FORWARD by Bob Paris 3.1.2014 all rights reserved
Photo by: Brian LeFurgey 2014 all rights reserved

Thursday, 20 February 2014

EDGE OF A CLIFF

EDGE OF A CLIFF
Friday Evening, Midsummer, 1994, Seattle 

“I once loved the sport of bodybuilding.  In a strange way I still did.  It frustrated me and at times I hated it, but for sixteen years I tried to balance love, frustration and hatred while watching both the sport and myself change.  Convincing myself that I’d outgrown this obsession was impossible.  One simple truth held us together: bodybuilding had saved my life.  It was a guardian angel who found me at seventeen hazarding seas of inner struggle without a compass. 
 
I had the luxury of distance, remembering those struggles that had led me to want to be big and strong, but I couldn’t run from the truth of what had happened along the way. My frustration may have grown into hatred, but the love came first. It began simply. I found authentic purpose the moment my hands wrapped around a cold iron bar. All else fell away and my spirit knew it could do anything. I built my American dream one repetition at a time. That much could never be taken away.”
Excepted from: GORILLA SUIT by Bob Paris © (St. Martin’s Press, 1997, all rights reserved, ISBN 0-312-16855-1)


Photo by Art Zeller, 1989 (copyright © Bob Paris, all rights reserved)
 
 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Balance



“We are no longer at a time when we can hold our desire for freedom and justice at bay. Those who would try to stand in our way can yell and scream all they want, but we cannot go backward. Perhaps we may experience setbacks, but even in setbacks we can find experiences that will lead to greater freedom. One usually learns as much, or more, from mistakes as from successes.
photo: Brian LeFurgey all rights reserved
To experience freedom, though, we must be willing to fully accept the delicate balancing act between rights and responsibilities. There cannot be one without the other. The very notion of freedom conjures for some images of license, of being able to do anything, at any time, without effect or consequence. The universe does not view this as justice or a high spiritual truth, but as selfish and the opposite of true freedom; license is, for many, a jail cell. The freedom we seek lies deep within our own heart and it is through the eradication of fear that our hearts move toward justice. It is less important to have our rights on paper than to believe—fully believe—with every ounce of our hearts that we all deserve to have equal rights...”

Excerpted from: GENERATION QUEER (pp.46-47) by Bob Paris (Warner Books, © 1998; ISBN 0-446-52275-9)

Today is the Day

“When the mystical enters, our surroundings become completely irrelevant. We can be in the busiest city or on the remotest farm, but when it happens, when we turn around and understand that those who use God to condemn us are more lost than we ever thought we could be, when we see that we have more gifts than we ever imagined, then the magic of our lives can truly begin. Let the cynics call us fools, the self-proclaimed saved call us sinners; that’s nothing except fear spea...king through the mouths of the scared.
Bob Paris all rights reserved
And we must turn our backs on fear. To do that we must, without apology or hesitation, turn our hearts toward love – love of others and more than anything else love for ourselves. The mission is: start now. Take everything you’ve ever been taught about who you are and begin to filter it through your heart. If your heart is hard (and given everything that most outsiders must fight against, who wouldn’t have to fight to keep their heart soft and warm?) begin today to turn it around. Today is the day.”
 
From: GENERATION QUEER by Bob Paris (Warner Books, © 1998; ISBN 0-446-52275-9)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Bob Paris on OPRAH -- Where Are They Now?


SAVE THE DATE: This Friday (Feb 21st) I'm on OPRAH again.
She now has a show on OWN called, Where are They Now? The segment picks up from when I was first on the show back in 1989, right after coming out in the media, and then updates to my current life. We taped at our house and around in the nearby woods and on the beaches. I talk candidly about my activist years and the abrupt, simultaneous end of my bodybuilding career and relationship; of isolating myself in the aftermath; and then meeting Brian; his battles with cancer; our move to Canada; getting legally married; my current writing life, and much more. While I haven't yet seen the finished segment -- fingers crossed -- I trust it will be good.

So, please pass the word. Check your local listings, etc. Let me know what you think. And thanks again for all your support!

Cheers and Namaste,
Bob
 

 'BIG HAIR' By Brian LeFurgey c.1999 (all rights reserved)