Restoration through Lucinda Williams & Brown Rice

Home! I did more in the past week than I normally do in two months. NYC two times, LA, a red-eye flight, speaking at a church, doing Homo No Mo in Upstate NY, off to the Mid-West for Equality Ride training and a show for the community, radio interviews, TV shows, meetings with ex-gays, ex-ex-gays, gay activists, and drag queens with even some friends and Friends squeezed in there.

Oh I am not complaining. I have felt so pleased and honored this past week. Over four years ago when I agreed on the inside that I would come forward and tell my story, this is what I envisioned, and through the years I have learned when to chill and back off and take care of myself.

That would be right about now. No e-mails, phone calls or serious talk about anything ex-gay.

Yesterday and today has just been about sleep (and lots of it), quiet, music (Lucinda Williams’ West is such a stunning album), prayer, good food, friends, silly funny DVDs (Strangers with Candy, etc), and reading (some William Penn, the Bible, Elaine Pagles’ book on the Gospel of Thomas, an action-medical drama by Philip Hawley, Jr. called Stigma and the latest edition of Bitch Magazine–a feminist response to pop culture).

So what do you do when you need a break, when you need to restore your mind, body & soul?

This post has 12 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Anna HP on March 7, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    There´s no better thing for me than spending time with friends. Just veg out, watch movies until the morning hours and eat junkfood (and yes, french fries with tartex is qualified as junkfood). And Karaoke ofcourse. At Wonk.

  2. Avatar
    Ally on March 7, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    What is this “break” of which you speak?

    (Did I mention I’m in the middle of midterms right now?)

    Seriously, I haven’t gotten to really relax since I started grad school in 2004. I’m really looking forward to finishing my master’s degree in December and taking a few months off!

    When things get really stressful for me, my wife knows exactly what to do. She takes me shoe shopping. =)

  3. Avatar
    Daniel C on March 7, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    I watch star trek
    And you should too!

  4. Avatar
    Scott H on March 7, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    I agree with Daniel C. -watch Star Trek – Voyager is my favorite right now and is about to come on now so I have to go relax….

    Good luck on your midterms Ally, I just finished mine last week.

    Hope you can always find time in your busy schedule to relax as well Peterson. There is always room here if you ever want to just get away from it all, although you will have to go grocery shopping.

    Really, Voyager is about to start I have to go get comfortable in my recliner now…

  5. Avatar
    Peterson Toscano on March 7, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    well now school that is a completely different animal. How folks like Ally, Scott and Alex do it is beyond me. Ally do you have kids to look after like Scott and Alex do? Good night! that takes superpowers.

    I feel so grateful that I can take the break. As Scott can’t attest from knowing me longer than most, I am a wimp.

    Okay and now back to DVDs and brown rice. Little Miss Sunshine is about to start. Star Trek? You know I am much more of a Buffy/Ugly Betty/Extras kinda gay.

  6. Avatar
    ElliotManning on March 7, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    Elliot’s relaxation methods:

    -Light, happy conversations with friends

    -Write long emails/letters to friends (if I can’t get to them by calling them)

    -Lounging with my dog in bed/on the couch/on a chair/on the floor

    -Listening to Girlyman, or any other kind of particularly inspiring music. Usually, when I’m relaxing, I let loose and listen to music from many artists and genres




  7. Avatar
    Ally on March 7, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    I do have kids, Peterson…four between the ages of 2 and 8. With my wife working to support my 12-credits-a-semester higher education habit, we split caring for them, but she still takes the bigger share. They’re alternately great fun and great frustration, so it all kind of balances out in the end.

    Ooooo…Star Trek. Don’t even get me started! I could easily watch Trek reruns twelve or fourteen hours a day. Come to think of it, I think I just came up with a plan for Spring Break! =)

  8. Avatar
    Peterson Toscano on March 8, 2007 at 2:54 am

    Ally, wow! How do you do it?

  9. Avatar
    nonsequitur on March 8, 2007 at 5:15 am

    A backpack, 3 days worth of rations (supplemented with forage), a small tent, and the wilderness.

  10. Avatar
    Anonymous on March 8, 2007 at 7:33 am

    I *need* to be alone when I need time out. I usually find that a very hot bath, by candelight, with some organic lavender in it tends to relax me a lot (especially meditating in the hot bath!) and then I read a book.

    At the mo I have two books on the go, neither of which is particularly relaxing. One is ‘silenced sexualities in schools and universities’ and one is ‘Jesus – The unanswered questions’. Otherwise I like to go and sit on my own in coffee shops people watching or at a beauty spot somewhere where no one can see me but I can see the view.

  11. Avatar
    brittanicals on March 8, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    I have bouquets in my heart, and plants on my mind, that have to make it to my fingers once in awhile for me to feel real. And I have to find my way to a secret spot in my garden every so often.

    Here is a poem I wrote about it:


    current draws me, center to the circlet of green.
    to where garden-tides ebb, unknown. Unseen.

    shadows shift, from grass to leaves,
    arms lift, take on dawn’s golden sleeves.

    light arcs, to find a sacred weld.

    Earth, sky, body–

    Vein opens,
    infused with soil and water.


    The Mother’s Daughter.

    By DeAnna Britt, who has four boys and knows how much she needs to recharge.

  12. Avatar
    Liz Opp on March 10, 2007 at 3:59 am

    What do I do to relax…?

    Turn off the computer (as in, Shut It Down).

    Don’t answer the phone.

    Pick up a book that’s been waiting for me on my nightstand and read for a little or long while.

    Maybe call my best friend from college.

    And, best of all…

    Go to bed early!

    Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up