Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Crisis of Faith

I try to steer away from politics and religion on all social media forums… well, in life in general, because those are two topics, along with money, that destroy relationships, friendships, and any kind of ships really for that matter. It’s a hot topic. Well, I’m not here to debate any of it, just share with you a little crisis of faith I’m having of my own.

No point going into my history, just know that I had both religious and non-religious parts in my life. I became a Christian at 24 and served in the ministry for nearly 17 years. I don’t need a history lesson, nor am I about to give one. I just added that bit of information so you’d understand that what I’m talking about isn’t some idea I pulled off a meme somewhere or heard in passing. I take my faith very seriously. I think it’s probably the thing that broke my heart most when my life fell apart a few years ago.

I don’t have a problem with God, the concept of God, or really any of the teachings attributed to God. The people who claim to represent God, well, that’s another story and one I’m not getting into.

In my meditation this morning I was feeling angry, but I wasn’t quite sure who I was angry with. It could have been directed toward myself for having made a really stupid decision lately where I thought I was helping a friend, but instead was just enabling them to use me. I could have been angry at another friend that had lied to me and made me feel unwanted. I could have been angry at yet another friend that left me high and dry when I needed them most. I could have been angry at myself for being unable to make simple life decisions because I’m stuck, I’m in a numb place, a place of indecision and confusion. I could have been angry just because my pre-menopausal hormones have been going crazy the last few days and have made me want to crawl out of my skin. It could have been one of a million reasons, but as the tears bubbled in the corners of my eyes, it was toward God I directed my anger.

I’ve been reading a lot of religious and anti-religious meme’s lately. Not because I’m searching them out, but because many of my friends have been posting them in light of the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage. I’ve seen them for both sides of the issue. I’m not going to debate that either. I’m not gay and I’m not married, so it’s really none of my business. The majority of these memes I know were meant to be inspirational, to give hope in a time of hardship and pain. But they weren’t. Instead they came off as condescending. Don’t tell me when I’m hurting so bad I can’t breathe that God has a plan for me – that He allowed me to go through this pain so that I can learn some proverbial spiritual lesson that’s going to make me a better person. Don’t tell me because something just became legal all the world is now rainbows and unicorns. FUCK that!!!! I’ll say it again, FUCK THAT!!! If you got a problem with my language, then you don’t need to read my stuff. I’m free to speak my mind – and my mind sometimes uses foul language.

God’s got a plan for my life? You, who thought the fucking world was flat a couple hundred years ago and crucify people daily for being different, thinking different, and believing different… have the right to tell me God has a plan for me? Don’t get me wrong, I believe GOD has a plan for me, but YOU think YOU know what it is, what I should do, how I should do it, or what I need to do to help God help me???? I don’t think so. FUCK THAT. And just because you don’t believe in God, don’t try to tell me I’m using my faith as a crutch and can’t think for myself. Both of you… get over yourselves and stop judging me because I might be different than you.

Shit happens, whether I’m good or bad, obedient or faithful. SHIT HAPPENS. I’ve had a lot of shit happen. Instead of sitting on your righteous high horses and telling me what you think you know of what GOD wants from me, for me, and about me… why don’t you just be real and tell me how you survived those low moments that happened in your life? Tell me how you picked up all your broken pieces and put them back together. I don’t want a magic solution, a supernatural fairy tale, an example of miraculous faith of God swooping down off his throne and showing favoritism because you mumbled a few magic words. Don’t tell me flowers and free love will solve all my problems.

What’s miraculous to me? Being able to love in the midst of such a cruel judgmental world, having hope for a brighter tomorrow, having the courage to chase a dream, having the guts to take a leap to follow my heart, having a compassion to love my neighbor in the middle of tension and hate. Stop telling me what God is doing FOR you, but what you’re doing for yourself, what you’re doing for your neighbor because you love them, not because your religion dictates you appear compassionate, or your lack of religion makes you appear intelligent and all-knowing. Show me your faith, what you truly believe with your actions, not your words, not your mouth, not your scripture, platitudes and memes. Some of the most cruelest people I ever met sat in a church pew or stood in a protest line holding a picket sign. Cruelty is on all sides of fundamentalism – whether conservative, liberal, gay, straight, black, or white.

I see god and enlightenment all the time in a touch, in a smile, in an act of kindness, tenderness, and compassion. Please, please, please for the love of all that is, stop trying to save me and just love me. If God is love, then love is what will heal me and help me. If love is your god, then show me that love. Just stop. It’s not YOUR job to save or enlighten me, only to love me. Let ME save ME. Let me learn what I need to know, because I’m the only one that can.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Letter From a Reader

Awww... I want to cry. I just received the following message from someone that reads my blog. BTW - I responded and told him I appreciated his letter and that I won't publish his name, but that I wanted share what he wrote because it touched me. He answered, "I figured as much. I read your blog everyday. I think I had an idea of how you'd respond. Thanks for respecting my privacy and you're more than welcome to share my words."

Anyway: Here's his message:

Dear, T.L.,

Yes, I'm writing with a greeting. I can't help it. It's how I was taught to write. I'm from the old school of things. When a man wants to write a letter to a lady, he should open with a greeting.

I know we've never met but I've been reading your blog for almost a year. I first stumbled upon it reading a review you wrote for Anthony Ryan. By the way, that was one of the best book reviews I've ever read. I purchased the book immediately and Mr. Ryan didn't disappoint. Raven's Shadow was everything you'd written and more. I hope Mr. Ryan appreciates your enthusiasm for his work.

I'm not writing to flirt with you, only to tell you what reading your blog has meant to me. It's literally changed my life. I'm highly professional and somewhat of a high profile, but inside I struggle trying to self identify. I've lived my life being defined by everyone else around me. In my case, it's been a good definition. I can't complain.

Some of the things you've written touched me very deeply. There were times I misdirected those feelings, believing perhaps I was falling in love with this beautiful soul being poured out week after week in front of me, but I kept telling myself you weren't real, more than likely a created persona to enhance your writing career. Yes, I'm a skeptic. I'm in the entertainment business and question everything. Just when I'm convinced of this created persona, you then write something so naked, so heart-breaking, you'd literally have me weeping at my desk. I knew in those times that you were a real person and you were being honest while sharing the intimate pain of your life.

So many times I wanted to write to you and tell you how beautiful you were to me. I've seen some of your pictures and think you're a very pretty woman, but the beauty I witnessed poured out in those blog posts have greatly exceeded your pretty face. It broke my heart to see you often doubt yourself, doubt your worth, and believe yourself to be unlovable. It boggles my mind how you're alone. I wish there were more like you in this world. Every time I received a new email notification that you've posted a new article, my hope was always to find you'd found your happiness. I wouldn't have to wait long when you would post again and it be something happy, something brave, something that showed you did see yourself as the beautiful soul you really were. I sometimes pondered if you were perhaps bipolar because you often went from one extreme to the next. I slowly began to understand your process. All this time I had felt like you were writing to me, or at least to a captive audience, but you were not. You were the audience. You have been the targeted reader all along. I want you to know you're simply amazing.

I don't have a blog and never will. I'm not as brave as you to expose myself the way you do, but I am taking a page from your example. I've started writing a journal to myself. The first few entries were stilted, odd, and somewhat confusing, but freeing at the same time. I'm not the same caliber of writer as you, but seeing my words on the page helped me see them in a different light and understanding. I'm learning a lot about and not struggling so much with self identity. You've restored my faith in people. You've reminded me about the important things.

I want to thank you Ms. Gray for sharing your heart with unknown strangers as myself. I sincerely hope you find the happiness you're searching for. That man will be one of the luckiest men in the world, because I have no doubt he will be loved like he's never been loved before and appreciated like he's never been appreciated before. I may not know you, but I know your heart. You once wrote a post about why you call someone in your life Beautiful. You, my dear, are the truest example of Beautiful I've ever seen. I work with beautiful faces every day, but they do not possess the kind of beauty I witness in you.

Please keep writing. I believe you're changing many hearts across this world, not just mine.


Your Faithful Reader

*** With a hand full of tissues, I'm wiping the wet tears off my face and gobs of snot dripping from my nose. *** This just made my day. Hell, it's made my week, my month, and probably my year!!!!

You Don't Get to Choose

I had a dream last night. Yeah, yeah… those of you who know me know I dream all the time, so I visualize you all right now rolling your eyes, saying, “what’s the big deal?” The big deal is the way this dream felt. It’s hard to describe, but it’s like that feeling you get sometimes where your subconscious is screaming at you, “pay attention, this is important!” So, that’s what I’m trying to do, pay attention because this dream feels extremely important.

My dream, as with most of my dreams over the past year, starred Emi (short for Exotic Man of my Imagination) as he climbed upon the back of a tall, white thoroughbred in the middle of a dark, gloomy, wooded area. Everything was outlined in silver moonlight, making the majestic white coat of the horse practically glow. While she was white, her mane and tail were pitch black. Emi’s beautiful brown eyes missed nothing. He saw every motion of every creeping thing in the woods, yet he didn’t react to his surroundings, keeping his temperament in a calm, collected, controlled state. He was dressed in a pair of cargo pants, a white buttoned shirt with rolled sleeves, and brown boots. Not cowboy boots, more like military or the hiking kind.

Emi climbed onto the back of the horse, and then looked down at something he wore on his wrist. It wasn’t a watch, but perhaps a smartphone like a watch. I’m not sure, but whatever it was, I got the sense it was what prompted his urgency to get somewhere. He tightened his grip on the reins and gave the mare a swift kick in the side.

She didn’t move.

He kicked her again, snapped the reins, but the mare still refused to budge.

Emi jumped down from the horse, pulled a pistol from his side holster and pointed it right at the horse’s head. The mare still didn’t move. She just stood there, her big eyes unblinking, staring back at him. He flipped the safety of the gun with his thumb as he stared down the sight aimed right between the horses eyes. His index finger rested on the side of the trigger, itching to move into place to take the shot.

There was something in the horse’s eyes, a sadness, a deepness, a mystery that caught Emi’s attention. A knowing feeling washed over him. In that moment he knew the horse wanted him to pull the trigger, to end her sadness, to release her from her pain. She knew he was strong enough to do it. He knew what she wanted, and why. I, the dreamer, don’t even know why. But Emi did, and he wouldn’t do it.

Emi sighed. Flipped the safety back with his thumb and holstered his pistol. He was angry, yet filled with relief at the same time. He pointed to the horse and said to her in a loud voice, not yelling, but one filled with all authority and command, “You do not get to choose.”

The horse lowered her head. A small trickle of silver tears spilled from her eyes. Emi mounted her once again. This time when he tightened the reins and gave her a swift kick in the side, she moved. Together, in rhythm, they galloped off into the dark wood toward where Emi needed to go. Even as the dreamer, I have no idea where it was he needed to be, only that there was an urgency for him to get there.

I woke with such a sense of compassion, connection, and confusion. I know this dream means something, but I can’t see it. Please don’t send me any ‘interpretations’ you might have, because I don’t want them to interfere. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a dream this intense, this detailed, this …I don’t know how to explain the overwhelming sensation. I don’t know what it means, I only know it feels important. If I’m meant to know, I will eventually discover it. Perhaps I just need to eat something because I also feel like I’m starving.

Till next time,

~The Weird Dreamer

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) - Awolnation

Yep, I found another great song to add to my collection. This time it’s the imaginative song “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” by Awolnation. Wow, this song has really tugged at so many aspects of my heart and imagination. Layers upon layers, yet all packaged in a fantastical tale behind a beat that makes you move. Also, for Destiny gamers… this is a great tune to run around shooting enemies in the Crucible. There’s just something going around thinking you’re gonna make a deal with the bad wolf… by shooting his head off. LOL! While playing Crucible, I changed the words to … “I’ma make a deal with the bad wolf, shoot the bad wolf, ‘e won’t bite no more.” It made for extremely fun play.

Okay, onto the rest of what this song pulled out of me. I have to say right off though as a writer and editor, I can’t help but notice the double negative in the chorus, but I don’t care – it works.

On the surface of this song, I smiled at the imagery of a someone running through the dark woods beneath a huge hollow moon from a vicious werewolf, you know, like in those old black and white horror movies. It was awesome. The story that played in my mind was so great, I don’t know if I want to watch the video.

On a deeper level, I switched to a Red Riding Hood-esque storyline, but a more adult version where Red is giving into her temptations because she knows she’s lost, and the safety and security of her ideals have been shattered under the power of the Big Bad Wolf - the temptation that follows her, haunts her, and causes her to doubt her very existence. (Breath – whew… I know, I know… a loooong run on.) In facing her wolf, Red can’t deal with the cages – the bondages (ideals) we thought kept us safe, the lies we once believed about what it meant to be free. Her eyes are now opened and she faces the ugly, dangerous truth head on.

Dying on the inside, dying to a way of life, an ideology, something you’ve always known and choosing to walk a new path, is like rising from the dead, being reborn, being made into something else. Most of us have this ideal that we should completely become something else altogether, but I have to disagree. That’s not changing or transforming - that’s erasing what was and creating something else, and none of us have the power of creation (to make something from nothing). We are still part of who we were, yet have somehow morphed, changed, transformed into part of something else … a hybrid... a battle between nature and will, choice and being choice-less. I still have my broken, damaged human pieces, but I’ve sharpened my nails, enhanced my eye sight and hearing, become stronger with a thick coat, grew more muscles, and covered myself in a suit and a growl that scares the shit out of my enemies – yet I still have my humanity. I’m not fully human, not fully wolf, I’m a werewolf… containing both the good and bad parts of me.

I accept me as I am. I know that when the full moon comes, when temptation and my selfish natural desires kick in, I’m going to have a struggle to retain my humanity. To deny there’s a beast inside, that’s the true danger. That’s where we make mistakes, where we falter, where our inner wolves take over and create the chaos in our lives, messes we spend our lifetimes cleaning up.

So, in my closing… I made a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more. My enemy (me)is a friend of mine in a friendly place to be seen. I’ve been running from it all my life, but there’s nothing wrong with me. I’m now in my right mind. I’ve found my head. I’m no longer lost, no longer dead inside. Motherfucker, I’ve come back from the dead and I’ve accepted myself for who I am. I’m not waiting anymore, taking up space, hoping for a false dream. I’m no longer scared of the future, because it’ll be what I make it. I might not be free in this blind society, but I’m free from their self-righteous bondage. If you listen close during the hollow moon, you’ll hear me howling. They’ll never find me here, because where I am they cannot go.

So readers, enjoy the following song… and see what story, what truth, what bad wolf you face with in. Then, after that… go be a beast and wreck some enemies in the Crucible.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

I’ve been running from it all my lifetime
There’s nothing wrong with you, I’m searching for my right mind
Oh, you should’ve seen it they were resting on the restless
This happened, literally - woke up I was headless
I woke up I was headless

Ima make a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more
Ima make a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more
Ima make a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more
Ima make a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more
Ima make a Ima make a bad wolf Ima Ima bad wolf Ima make a bad wolf Ima Ima
Ima make a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more

You’re all still here

Motherfucker I’ll be back from the dead soon
I’ll be watching from the center of the hollow moon
Oh, oh my God I think I might’ve made a mistake
Waiting patiently was waiting taking up space
We are waiting taking up space


The earth below is above my feet when the clock is laughing at me
When copy cats and the lazy brats are the last thing I want to see
No, my enemy is a friend of mine in a friendly place to be seen
Hey, you know I'll run away for a couple years just to prove I’ve never been free

They will never find me here [x4]


Ima make a deal with the bad wolf so the bad wolf don’t bite no more [x8]

Monday, June 22, 2015

I Don't Give Up

I want to give up every day. I want to give up on life, on love, on happiness, on dreams, on myself, on the humiliation of being beaten now over 30 times in a row at chess by the same person. Every day. But, I can’t. I won’t. I want to, but I won’t. I don’t give up.

I’ve had people tell me all my life they believed in me, but they lied. As I tried to avoid watching everyone I know honoring their fathers and celebrating with their families yesterday, I hid among the aliens on my XBoxOne playing Destiny. Even there, I couldn’t escape facing another temptation to give up.

Casual readers can skip the next few paragraphs, because unless you play Destiny you might not understand the gravity of what I’m about to write. Those who do play, just shake your head and continue on.

Yesterday I woke up determined to have a good day. I’d been a little stressed lately, extremely lonely, and my melancholy had effected my playtime. However, I was buzzing with excitement at 7am ready to conquer the things I’d recently failed, namely the Level 35 Prison of Elders. By this time I have tried to beat Skolas five times and have failed every time. Yet, ALL my friends have fought on to victory, claimed their banners, received their rewards, and sent me their wishes of sympathy. Some tried desperately to help me out, but I still failed to claim the victory. Most of them, now complete with their goals on Destiny moved onto The Elder Scrolls and left me behind - still incomplete, still failing to meet my goals, still battling the desire to give up – every day.

By 9 am, after cooking my son breakfast, doing a few light chores, and making sure I would be comfortable, I jumped onto Destiny ready to win – no matter how long it took. I wasn’t giving up.

By 3:30 pm, after zipping through the first five levels and then facing Skolas again - and again - and again - and again - and again - and again (get the picture), the trio I was with decided to take a little break, get something to eat, and re-energize to continue our fight. We tried strategy after strategy, each time getting closer and closer, yet not quite enough to bring the beast down. We were hopeful we would finish soon, yet determined we’d stick it out, no matter how long it took. We were nearly 6 hours in already, too much was already invested to stop now.

I stayed in airlock (This is the waiting station at Skolas. We couldn’t log off. Logging off would mean we’d have to start all over and go through 5 levels again just to get to the point to battle Skolas), and kept moving around to keep from lagging out, talking with my friend in game chat, and just chillin’ until our third party returned. However, the universe had other plans for me. My friend and I were booted from the fire team and sent to orbit. Thank you Destiny servers – you can kiss my ass! Our third player didn’t return in time, and due to inactivity (he was away from his controller) was kicked to orbit too. Bottom line: we lost our place, our check point.

I was devastated. 6 hours. I’d put in six excruciating hours. My wrists hurt, my fingers were stiff, my shoulders ached from six hours of intense battle. Now my stomach hurt. I mean, it literally hurt like someone punched me really hard. I left the party chat, stepped away from my game, and didn’t even make it to my bed before the tears of frustration began to spill down my face. I’d failed… again… for the 6th time… after 6 hour. I tried to reach out to a friend for encouragement, but got a pithy remark reminding me how fast he completed the challenge, and advised I wait till the new DLC comes out, level up, and then go back to beat Skolas - meaning I was a shit player and couldn’t do it at my current level, which happens to be the highest level in the game. He wouldn’t even play with me to try again. I don’t blame him, who’d want to play with someone who’s tried and failed six time already?

I felt like shit. I felt like giving up. I felt like the weight of the world, the weight of the stress that’d been gnawing at me for days, eating me from the inside out, finally came flooding out. Why had I been stressed? Why had I been so intense? Why did I walk around with this huge knot in my throat? As I lay on my bed and stared at the sunlight beaming down on a branch just outside my window, I let the thoughts I’d been trying to suppress rush to the forefront of my mind. I was alone. I had no father to celebrate, to honor. I had no family that needed me anymore. I had just spent two days with some of my kids – and their presence (which I loved more than I can ever say) reminded me just how lonely and isolated I’d become, and it was of my own making. I’d pushed everyone out of my life, except my kids.

I thought I was going to die. I’d been diagnosed with cancer. But, I didn’t give up fighting, and I beat death, and now I’m forced to face the shattered mess I’d made of my life. I realized I had surrounded myself with people that couldn’t disappoint or hurt me by giving up on me – because that’s what had happened. All the people I pushed out of my life, that I had loved and thought loved me too – had given up on me. They let me walk away, alone. They didn’t fight for me. I fought alone. They just left.

Fuck them! Fuck every single one of them. I don’t need them. Clearly the last few years have proved that. I didn’t give up on me. I might have created a mess, have to start all over in a lot of things, but I didn’t give up. I get up every day and I fight for my life, for my happiness, for my health, for my passions, for my dreams, for my heart. Some days are harder than others, and some days I fall back a few steps, but some days I take off running. I love, even when I know I’m not loved in return.

I wiped my tears, washed my face, grabbed a bottle of water, and jumped on LFG and found me two players. I took control, led the battle, and kicked Skolas’ ass in less than 50 minutes. Don’t ever tell me to give up!

I - don’t - give – up! I also don’t hang onto what’s given up on me.

I will eventually conquer the things that are important in my life, or I will die trying. I will someday find someone who will fight for me as much as I fight for myself. Someday I will call out, “Check Mate, Bitches!”

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Friday, June 19, 2015


Change starts with the individual.  If we set our eyes on our neighbors proclivity for/against change, it will skew the changes we dare to make within ourselves, and therefore prevent any true change from occurring. 

I'm sick... I mean, I'm literally sick of the boxes we put around other people.  We see a victim and a terrorist in every box.  There is no right side of hate/anger/victimization/terrorism. It's all hate.  Hate is the true offender. 

I'm so sick of the violence committed in hate. I'm also sick of the repercussions committed by victims of hate, who now in hate, commit the same acts of violence. 

I'm so sick of the ignorant white community who think there isn't a race problem in this world, not just the United States, but in many different countries, involving many different races.  Blacks are not the only victims of racism.  ALL races, including white, have both victims and terrorists.

I'm so sick of the ignorant black community who think there's no compassion or action in this world against the violence committed against their race. Whites are not the only ones who commit racial hate crimes, and blacks are not the only ones standing firm against them. 

I'm so sick of religious and class wars, racism, sexism, human slavery and trafficking, drug abuse, sex abuse, child abuse, animal cruelty, waste, environmental and corporate greed, gluttony, poverty and disease. 

What can I do? We will never be free of these plagues, the evil and hatred  we humans commit against one another.  I can't save the world.  I can't change my neighbor's mind. ALL I can do is love my fellow human being.  Love them as I love myself.  Love them regardless of their color, their sex, their status, their religion or their heritage.  Grieve with them, fight beside them, show them mercy, love, and compassion.  I'm not talking about letting someone hurt or walk all over me, because just as much as I will love them as a fellow human being... I will also fight against their hatred and anger - no matter their color/religion/sex/status.

If ALL you can see is the hate and the differences between us - you are blind.  That anger, even as a victim, will take root and the result will be just another strain of hate.  You will become what you currently despise. 

I hate what this young man did in Charleston.  I hate it with every fiber of my being.  My heart hurts for those victims.  This young man committed this terrible act of terrorism in hate.  Don't let your own hatred, your own anger, your own prejudices, your own hurt make you bend to his level and become the next instrument of hate.  Because YOUR actions will either lend toward furthering the divide that already exists or else serve as a healing balm to breach the gap. 

Choosing to love and not focus on color, isn't ignoring the race problem.  It's helping create a human solution... one individual at a time. Before you hit the streets, before you make your signs of protest, before you start lopping every person you know, and many you've never met into one box or another - stop. Close your eyes.  Stop being black, white, victim, or crusader - and then open your eyes and be human - no matter if your neighbor does likewise or not.  You change YOU, and then YOU will affect the world around you. Hate will NEVER change hate.  Anger will NEVER bring about peace.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Cherish the Moments

Cherish the moments, you know the ones I’m talking about, the moments that make you feel alive, exuberant, loved. Cherish the moments of happiness and peace. Cherish the moments of being admired and admiring, of astonishment, and of joy. Cherish the moments, because moments like that don’t happen every day.

While we are in the good moments, we can’t even really comprehend the gray days, the dark times, the pain, or the circumstances that brought us to those low points, because we’re lost in the moment of temporary joy. We want those moments to last forever, but they don’t. They will go, but while we are in them, cherish them.

I’m trying so hard to live everyday… in THAT day. I’m trying so hard to live in THOSE moments. But, in order to fully LIVE in the cherished moments, I have to also live in the gray time, the stormy times, the empty times, the lonely times, and the scared times too.

I hate it when someone has just fallen in love and some ass wipe comes along and tries to spread misery and make the new lovebird feel bad about being happy. We should be happy for them, even in the middle of our misery, our single lonely status. Be happy for them because their euphoria won’t last forever. Dark days are ahead for them, but allow them this time to stand in the sunshine. Give them something to hold onto during the storms that are going to come in their life. Be happy for them for this time, and maybe, just maybe they’ll be happy for you when your time comes around.

Your time, my time, will come around too. I know while in the darkness, while in the storm, while in the desert, it’s hard to believe, hell, it’s even hard to hope that tomorrow, or a few tomorrows from now, our time in the sunlight will come. But, it will come. That’s how the universe works. No matter how we perceive others, and we think everyone else has it easier, better, happier, or luckier than we do… EVERYONE has pain, everyone has darkness, everyone has fear, everyone goes through their gray days, but not everyone makes it through to the other side. Only the strong of mind and the strongest of hearts live to see another sunrise.

There have been times when I came very close to giving up on life altogether. There have been many times I thought of taking my life and ending my pain, because I couldn’t see a way to survive, a way to overcome, a way back into the sunlight. I felt broken, unlovable, unworthy… but I held on and gave it one more moment, gave it one more day, gave it one more chance. Am I in the sunlight now? No. I’m probably the loneliest I’ve ever been in my life, but I’ve learned to cherish the beautiful moments I’ve already had. When those dark thoughts come, and they do come - a lot, I grab one of those beautiful moments, and I hold onto it as tight as I can, and I remember… I remember the joy, I remember the happiness, I remember the love… and I breathe.

As I wrote in my musing this morning: Life is hard. Living is hard. Love is hard. I suppose if these things were easy I wouldn’t appreciate them. I know darkness, I know emptiness, I know pain, and that knowledge makes me truly appreciate the light, the love, the beauty of being in love, of being happy, of being hopeful… today, right now in this moment. Who knows, maybe today I’ll get to dance in the sunlight.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hypnotic - Zella Day

Yep, I’ve got another one… another great song has been added to my playlist. I want to thank my very special friend who understands my passion for music, for stories, for a beat and a melody that moves my heart and touches my soul. He’s got a very special gift for knowing what I’ll respond to, and I appreciate that more than he’ll ever know.

Switching tempos… it’s time to get down to the marrow of this particular song – Hypnotic by Zella Day. I’ve been listening to it now for a couple of weeks, along with the rest of her album “Kicker”. I’m a fan – for life. I just love her style and can really feel a connection to a lot of her stuff. Her music speaks more to that sexy, sensual, sultry part of me. It’s taken me a long time to get in touch with that particular part of myself, and so I really appreciate how her music appeals and inspires me.

While this song makes me move (I mean, I literally can’t sit still, my hips automatically start swaying, my shoulders start moving, even my fingertips want to get into the dance.), it also speaks to something deeper, something bigger, something more than just the erotic sensationalism.

Have you ever met someone that by all practical common sense, you know-that you know-that you know is someone that will be difficult to mesh with because you’re so different, yet when you’re with them - NONE of that other stuff, none of those differences, none of those fears, doubts, or compromises mean anything? Hell, I can’t even think straight when I’m around him. I literally get dizzy, stumble over my words, forget all my ideas and plans, and just BE in the moment. Man… it’s terrible and great at the same time. That feeling of connection, that bigger-than-you-can-comprehend, magnetic euphoria makes everything seem so right, so perfect, so … hell, I can’t even find the word. It’s just something hypnotic.

This one feeling (it could be like a million feelings all compounded into one) has stripped away so many of my core beliefs, ideals, morals, and practical sense, and I’d do just about anything to feel it again. It pulls me out of the person I think I am, that mask I represent most of the time, and transforms me into someone else, strips me naked and bare for just a little while. Just like the song says, “I don’t want to come back down, I don’t want to touch the ground. Pacific Ocean dug so deep, hypnotic taking over me.”

Does any of that other shallow stuff really matter? Isn’t the things we find in the deepest part of us, the hidden parts, the parts so cavernous that no light can touch, and the pressure is so hard it crushes us, the parts that reveal who we really are? I’ve walked away from a lot of potential relationships for very many shallow reasons. Perhaps I’m just trying to protect myself because I’m afraid of what waits beneath the surface, in a place where my feet can’t touch the ground, where I can't see clearly, where I  find certain attributes I don’t particularly like, and I move on. Am I looking for Mr. Perfect? I know perfect doesn’t exist. Yet, I’ve experienced something with one of these opposites that I can’t shake. In the deepest part of my heart I WANT to always do what is right, what is just, what is fair, what is wise, and what is noble. I think I have one of the biggest hearts in the world. I have all these intentions. I have sacrificed so many times in my life to walk a certain path. I used to have solid, defined opinions about what I’d do, what I wouldn’t do, what I thought I needed, what I thought I didn’t need. Yet, I forget all those things… every fucking single one of them… with a single hypnotic glance. I’m entranced.

Thank you, Zella Day, for your lovely song… and thank you readers for riding this wave with me. Now, sit back (well, get ready to move) and enjoy the latest addiction to my music collection.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

(Ahh ahh)

I wanna be on the front line
Knotted up suit ties
Talkin' like a headstrong mama
Gotta picture in your wallet
Makin' me a habit
Wearin' your vintage t-shirt
Tie ribbons on ya top hat
Tellin' me I'm all that
Just like the girls from ya home town
Sweet blooded and I'm stranded
See if I can stand it
Drinkin' in the shallow water

Magnetic everything about you
You really got me now

You do it to me so well
Hypnotic takin' over me
Make me feel like someone else
You got me talkin' in my sleep
I don't wanna come back down
I don't wanna touch the ground
Pacific ocean dug so deep
Hypnotic takin' over me

(Ahh ahh)

White threads on my laces
Stuck on the hinges
Swingin' the door to the to the back yard
Got splinters walkin' tight ropes
Spun like a bandage
Touch on the outer surface
Bright eyes of the solstice
Wherever your mind is headed for a freight train city
Locked up till your moon lit
Brushin' my hair back
Feelin' ya lips on my cold neck

Magnetic everything about you
You really got me now

You do it to me so well
Hypnotic takin' over me
Make me feel like someone else
You got me talkin' in my sleep
I don't wanna come back down
I don't wanna touch the ground
Pacific ocean dug so deep
Hypnotic takin' over me


Hypnotic takin' over me

You do it to me so well
Hypnotic takin' over me
Make me feel like someone else
You got me talkin' in my sleep
I don't wanna come back down
I don't wanna touch the ground
Pacific ocean dug so deep
Hypnotic takin' over me


Hypnotic takin' over me


Hypnotic takin' over me

(Ahh ahh)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Fly, My Love

As my dreams evaporate in the morning, you, my lover, are the star shining brightly in the darkness like an angel from the heavens.

Your skin pulses with an electric radiance, drawing me like a magnet.
Your scent is so alluring, it makes my head spin and my heart pound.

When you touch me, I meld with the universe. The world stops spinning and the very fabric of existence acknowledges our connection. I can't stop touching you. My fingers ache to roam all over you, my body yearns to absorb your warmth, my ears long to hear your heartbeat.

When you look at me I can't hide behind my mask or beneath my fear. They all fall away, crumbling like dust at my feet. You see me, you expose my soul.

Foreign hands have touched my body, and like armor I have resisted them, even despised them. But you, my angel, have reached inside and wrapped your strong fingers around my heart. Can you feel it beating against your palm?

I can't look away, your gaze has ensnared me, hypnotized me, possessed me. I see you in every face, I hear your voice in every song, I feel your touch in every note. All else is imitation. All else pales to your consuming fire.

Spread your wings, my dream warrior. Wrap your strong arms around me. Kiss me. Hold me tight. Fly, my love, fly. I am yours. In my dreams you are mine. We are one.

I hate to open my eyes. I hate to say goodbye. When we separate, my world once again dims, my armor weighs me down, grounding me. I long for you. I become lost, unbalanced as the world begins to spin once more.

I love you, angel of my dreams. Fly, my love. Fly back to me.

~T.L. Gray

Monday, June 08, 2015

Young and Beautiful

The more time I spend alone, the pickier I become. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. How do we know what we really want in life, in a lover, in a partner, in a friend, or in any relationship we have? We think we know, but do we really? All relationships require a certain amount of sacrifice, involvement, investment, and time. I sometimes think of all the time, energy, investment, and involvement I’ve wasted on some people and neglected to spend on others. Most of us are not wasteful with our money, but we don’t realize we need to protect our love and attention even more.

Perhaps I’m just becoming arrogant as I grow more independent. I’ve always been independent, but there was this one part of me that desired to be dependent on someone else, to let myself be consumed and lost in someone else, but I was never able to fully let go because I didn’t trust anyone, and now … well, now I find the idea troubling.

I was watching the first part of a mini-series about Marilyn Monroe yesterday, and while I don’t compare myself to Monroe, there were some things in that movie that struck a strong chord. The message they were trying to convey was that she did a majority of the things she did because she had this deep need inside to be loved. Though she was young and beautiful, and the world claimed to love her, she didn’t see it or feel it, and ultimately took her own life still searching for it. I’m not debating the rightness or wrongness of her actions, I won’t judge, but I will say that there was an inner child within myself that watched from the shadows and would often nod her little head and whisper, “She’s just a little girl that nobody wanted. She just wants somebody - the world - to love her, but you’re scared. You both run when you get scared. It’s comfortable being with those who only want to use you, because they can’t hurt you. But the ones that want to love you, scare you to death.” (Yes, I changed the ‘she’ to ‘you’ because that’s how it appeared in my imagination.)

Why are there so many Marilyns in the world?

This reminds me of the Lana Del Ray song Young and Beautiful – “Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful? Will you still love me when I’ve got nothing but my aching soul?”

I don’t think you will, but that’s okay, because I will.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Monday, June 01, 2015

I Love You, But I Hate You Too

I’ve wasted so much time on you, most of it waiting …waiting for you to call, waiting for you to text, waiting for you to think about me, waiting for you to choose me. I’m always waiting.

I check my phone a thousand times a day just to see if you’re there. My heart skips a beat every time I hear the message notification or see the green blinking light. Every time when it’s someone else I feel my shoulders slump and a lump of disappointment tighten in my throat. I’m always checking.

I try not to think about what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, or what’s got you preoccupied. When I feel you crouching on the edge of my consciousness, I remember your smile, your laugh, the sound of your voice from the moments we’ve already shared. I can’t help but smile. I’m always wondering.

I’m trying so hard to live my life without you, because you’ve left me no choice. You stole my heart and never gave it back. I love you, but I hate you too.

I hate the way your words move me, push me outside my box, and make me think of things bigger than me. You challenge me. You don’t just let me say what I want. You question my motives, my core believes, but not to argue – to understand, or to get me to understand a different way. I don’t always agree, often disagree, but I don’t doubt your sincerity. You’re not indifferent. I’m always pondering.

I hate how you know the perfect song, the perfect word, the perfect story, the perfect game for me, ones you know that will touch my soul, make me cry, motivate me, or make me think. You also share the things that move you, giving me a peek into your heart, your emotions, and your passions. Many times I’ve cried many tears listening to the beautiful messages, melodies, and meanings. I’m always listening.

I hate how I shiver when you touch my hair, how my stomach flutters when you look at me, or how I feel safe wrapped in your arms. I hate it, because each time you do those things I betray myself and all the promises I’ve made to hate you. You unravel me and melt my resolve. I used to think I was strong, having bravely walked away from impossible situations, hard choices with even harder consequences. Why can’t I walk away from you? I’m always returning.

My world can be in chaos, flipped upside down, falling apart, but one message from you, one word, one look, or one touch and it suddenly shifts, rights itself, and I feel emboldened, strengthened, and calm. But as time goes by in your silence, in your absence, my world starts falling apart again, and after a few days, a few nights, I can feel the tattered shreds and the pressing walls. I hate that you have that power over me, because you don’t deserve me. I’m always falling.

You don’t deserve my good mornings, my good nights, my dreams, my thoughts, my hopes, my wishes, my musings, my time, my attention, or my love. I’m not yours. You’re not mine. I would have followed you anywhere, but you chose another. You chose a path I cannot follow. You say you took the safe route, the sure path, and perhaps you’re right. I’m not safe. I’m not sure. I wander down the unexpected, the odd, the complicated, the bold, the quirky, the wild, the open, and the honest paths. I am the hard way and I never stay still. I have scars. I have imperfections. I have fears. I’m always running.

Part of me dies a little every day without you, but another part of me fights to live, and every day I fight to breathe. I love you, but I hate you too.

One day I’m going to be okay without you, my heart will once again belong to me, and I will hold it, and I will heal it, and I will make it whole again. Because I’m not afraid to love me, and walk down the unexpected, the odd, the complicated, the bold, the quirky, the wild, the open, and the honest paths. I embrace my scars, celebrate my imperfections, and fight through my fears. I’m worth it. I’m never giving up… on me.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray