Bookends


playin’ in Stamford
Originally uploaded by p2son.

As a boy, I had a pair of ceramic football bookends. On the outside of each football-half, a player displayed his prowess. One was charging with a small football and the other was kicking another ball.

Our life gets separated by BOOKEND-LIKE experiences. These are life experiences that reoccur in a similar fashion months or even years apart.

For instance, you may be a parent and remember the moment when you held your first child (or a niece or nephew!) Years later you may hold your first grandchild (or grand-neice or nephew.)

The events are similar, but the person having them experiences years of living, relationships and knowledge in between. Life offers repeat opportunities where we have a chance to relive the joy of a first time or get to do things differently the second time around.

In the Bible, we see a bookend experience with Peter when he first meets Jesus. Peter fishes all night and in the morning heads toward shore exhausted without a catch.

Suddenly, a carpenter instructs Peter that he should drop his nets on the other side of the boat. Although pissed off, Peter does it. Amazed at the huge catch, he realizes that this carpenter, Jesus, is no ordinary man.

Some years later, Peter once again goes fishing. He just witnessed the execution of Jesus, after having denied his teacher three times.

Dejected, Peter fishes all night and again catches nothing. A man on the shore instructs Peter to drop the net one more time. Peter does and hauls in a HUGE catch. At that point Peter realizes that it is Jesus sitting at the shore and rushes to him.

Their reunion includes a crucial bookend experience for Peter. Three times Jesus asks Peter “Peter, do you love me?” Could it be that Jesus gives Peter a chance to redeem himself for each of the three times he had denied his teacher?

I don’t know what bookend I am up against at present. It’s my birthday this month (a BIG ONE). I will see an old friend after many years and much living and changing on both of our parts. I wonder about that reunion and what we will repeat and what we will do differently.

Regardless of what side of the bookends, I feel grateful and exited for the priviledge to live, love and create beauty.

This post has 7 Comments

  1. Ruthie on February 5, 2005 at 7:13 pm Reply

    Happy birthday!!!

    So spill the beans – how old?

  2. Peterson Toscano on February 5, 2005 at 9:52 pm Reply

    For the past 5 years I’ve been in my late middle 30s, so I guess I have to fess up and admit that I am in my VERY late late 30s. No one would believe it though. I use “Oil of Old Gay”. Whenever I speak to young people, I remind them that is never too young to moisturize. And stay out of the sun!

  3. Ruthie on February 6, 2005 at 4:25 am Reply

    Well from your pics had you told me you were about to turn 30 I’d have believed you!

    Wow – you’re in the same decade as my parents! Oo-er!

  4. Peterson Toscano on February 6, 2005 at 4:06 pm Reply

    Ruthie, YOUR PARENTS!! Great, way to make me feel way old. 🙂
    Have you checked out my web site http://www.homonomo.com?
    I think you will like it.
    peterson

  5. Ruthie on February 6, 2005 at 10:26 pm Reply

    I love the homonomo site – its great, especially the video clips! I’ve recommend it to every gay person I know who has had any form of issue with faith & sexuality – they all love it 🙂 I also link to it on my blog!

    And yes, my parents are about 9 years older then you! You are old! 😉

    Ruthie

    PS. Do you intend to come to England with the homonomo show? I’ll get as many people as I can to come!

  6. Peterson Toscano on February 7, 2005 at 1:16 am Reply

    Well, as a matter of fact I am working out some UK gigs of Homo No Mo in April. It looks like I will have a North London and Birmingham performance and possibly some more. I will know the details in the next few weeks. Would love to meet you and your friends (and maybe take your parents out of the old age home for the night)
    Excerpts of my show will also be seen on a BBC 2 TV special later this year, probably not until the summer or fall. We just did the filming this weekend in Alabama of all places.

  7. Ruthie on February 7, 2005 at 3:01 pm Reply

    I really hope I am back by then – I’m in New York until the middle of April, and then I’m off to visit my parents who live in N.Ireland, but that’s only for a couple of days!

    North London is pretty easy to get to from where I live.

    So you’ll be on BBC2 – wow, that’s a clever person’s TV channel! I’ll look out for it!

    Let me know when you have your dates, so long as I’m in England I’ll be there!

    Ruthie

    PS. The old people’s homes are pretty nice in the UK, let me know if you want to see around.

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