Welcome to a space for the spirituality of gay and bisexual men. We have within ourselves the resources for our healing, liberation, and growth. Connecting with each other, we encounter the grace to lay hold of a richer, juicier life. Losing ourselves in deep play, we rediscover the bigger, freer, more joyous selves we're capable of becoming. Here I share my interest in personal and communal ritual, making art that expresses my inner life, and an intentional practice of erotic spirituality.
The drumming starts on the wide front porch of the lodge at
the retreat centre. The heat’s abated since earlier in the week. It’s warm but
not oppressive as the couple, heads crowned in leaves, lead off down the steps
into a wide circuit around the compound’s central green. We gather up more men
as we process around it and then head up the hill. Trees overhang the path, and
the steep slope to our left is covered in ferns.
I look ahead and behind me at forty or fifty of us on our way
to the handfasting. We’re here for the two men who’ve invited us to celebrate
with them, on the last afternoon of a week-long northern California gathering.
But the gift they’re giving us all is inestimable.
Celebrating with them, we’re also taking part in something
that almost none of us, for a good chunk of our lives, could have imagined might
ever be possible.
Somehow, we all made it.
In creating this ceremony for themselves, these two
open-hearted souls have offered us all a living experience of a world where we’re
fully at home. I look over my shoulder here not to make sure it’s safe, but to
take in the sight of comrades behind me streaming up the hill.
We reach a circle of laurel branches and vine leaves in the
shadow of a live oak. Mulitcolored fabrics hang from the branches. A line of
prayer flags flutters. Behind it stands the officiant, wearing stag antlers and
holding a staff. With it he casts a circle around usall. Four others take their places bearing the gifts of the cardinal directions.
One by one, he lays six cords across the grooms’ clasped
hands, each a different colour, each representing an aspect of the bond they
share and the pledges they make to one another. A bell rings to mark every
It’s a wedding, after all, so some of us cry. In joy for
these two men, but some of the tears also fall in joy for us all.