Okay, so I'm going to blog about friends again. I don't mean to be redundant, but the fact is: MY FRIENDS MEAN THE WORLD TO ME. I LOVE THESE GUYS LIKE LIFE ITSELF. AND I'M NOT EXAGGERATING ONE IOTA.
This evening I was rehearsing with the Salt Lake Men's Choir, a predominantly gay group of about 80 singers who in my mind rival the Tabernacle Men's Chorus in quality and technical excellence. I love my evenings with these men and would rather miss my own funeral than miss a rehearsal.
As we began sight-reading for the first time the song "For Good" from the Broadway hit musical Wicked, I found tears rolling down my cheeks. I was surprised at first and couldn't quite figure out what triggered this seemingly unwarranted display of emotion.
Initially I attributed the tears to the effects of some minor surgery I had yesterday. Then I thought of the drug induced haze that had subsequently clouded my perspective. I then deduced that maybe my emotional outburst resulted from a sleepless night and day and the pain that had accompanied both.
But finally I realized that as I sang the words to this song, "For Good", my heart was full to overflowing with an overwhelming sense of love and appreciation for these friends that have each touched my life in such a powerful way...for the better.
As I thought of them and their selflessness, my love for these men seemed to leap from my soul and soar to fill the world around me with a fullness of joy. Yes, I can't say it enough. I love these guys. Life would not be life without any of them. Together, they help me see that the hand of God continues to bless me and guide me in miraculous ways.
Mark was my first real friend in the gay world and lets me know that it's okay to be gay and spiritually minded.
Scott guided me from being a married man living in a state of constant confusion and anger to a single man with confidence in myself and my future, and helps me maintain the sense of peace that results.
Glen shows me that it doesn't matter how hard things might be, there is humor to be found in anything.
Miguel, as Christ-like a man that I have ever known, teaches me that everyone deserves kindness and it really isn't hard to reach out to those who might initially seem to be impossible to love.
Gary gives me faith that I can one day find a partner who will love me as much as Gary's partner loves him.
And finally, there is Kurt, my bosom friend and constant pillar, the ear that is always there to listen, the shoulder that is always there to give me strength, the wise man who guides me through the most challenging obstacles.
Like I said, I love these guys more than life itself.
The interesting thing about love is that it is not a zero-sum game. It is amazing to me that my love continues to expand. In addition to those I've mentioned, I've come to include Brad, Jeff, Steve and Joe in my circle of love. There is also Tim and Joey and Lance and Glen. And this circle inevitable continues to expand, to encompass others as they become just as important and just as loved as those who have been with me since the beginning of my journey of self discovery.
Thank God for you, my friends, and thank God that I could have known you and loved you. And because I have known you, yes, because I have loved you, I have been changed for good.