This is my public letter of gratitude to you for the impact you have made on my life.
Thank you, women of my family; you showed me how powerful it can be to really relate to each other. Specifically:
- Thank you, Mom, for loving me no matter what from the very beginning. Thank you for being The Giver, and making the holidays a truly special occasion for the whole family; you taught me to cherish time with my family. Thank you for being The Teacher, and teaching me respect and admiration for women; you showed me that women are my partners in the journey of life. Thank you for being The Open-Hearted One; you showed me how to be vulnerable.
Thank you, Val, for being The Sister; you have demonstrated to me more than anyone in my life the meaning of the word family, by accepting me and loving me no matter what, by always being there for me when you could, and for holding me in my highest light even when I was buried under darkness. Thank you for being My Best Friend; you taught me that true friendship means always being able to say absolutely anything to each other without fear or judgment. Thank you for being My Biggest Supporter; you taught me how to remain steadfast and committed to those I love.
- Thank you, Maxine, the stepmom who I’ve come to call “Mom,” for all the light you’ve brought into our family, and into Dad’s heart. Thank you for being The Healer whose heart is open to all; you taught me to appreciate the ways I can heal others. Thank you for being The Mystic who seeks to discover the soul; you taught me that the search never ends, and only gets deeper. Thank you for being The Mother; you taught me how to nurture others. Thank you for being The Friend who is honest and forthright with me; you gave me the value of authentic relating. Thank you for being The Earth-Mother; you added to my respect and admiration for all life on Earth. Most of all, thank you for being The Wife who touches Dad with her heart; you showed me that love can be restored even after a terrible crisis.
- Thank you, Kay, for being The Wise Woman, who was willing to talk tough to me when I needed it growing up, and give me the truth when Mom couldn’t deliver it.
Thank you to all the women who were my Teachers; you opened me to knew thoughts, ideas, and altered the landscape of my mind in ways I’ll never be able to thank you for. Specifically:
- Thank you, Dolores and Jennie, for being The Literature Teachers who first gave me a passion for reading and learning about authors. Thank you for being The Muses; you inspired me to begin writing in earnest, and I still write nearly every day, and honor you when I do.
- Thank you, Lois, for being The Alchemist; you invigorated my passion for science, and my deep admiration and respect for truly amazing teachers. Know that we students who entered your courses as base metals, always departed as gold.
- Thank you, Jill, for being The Artist; you captured my imagination and allowed it to take flight in paint, sculpture and pen, and art and the artistic way of viewing the world have remained dear to my heart.
- Thank you, Kate, for being The Writer and a Friend; you demonstrated that a teacher and mentor can also become a friend and confidant, and guided me to truly blossom in my writing.
- Thank you, Julianne, for being The Film Critic; you turned me on to foreign cinema, and gave me an appreciation for the way other cultures express themselves through the screen, a passion I have retained for the rest of my life.
- Thank you, Lucille, for being The Poet and The Mentor; you guided me to find my own voice through my writing, and nurtured me as I laid the foundation to become the more mature writer I am today.
Thank you to all the women with whom I’ve shared intimate relationships and sexual experiences, for being The Lovers; you helped me unfold the workings of my heart, and to become more deeply vulnerable and connected, and in particular:
- Thank you, Janey, for being my Unrequited Love; you taught me to move on rather than become fixated, and you have remained a trustworthy friend.
- Thank you, Dawn, for being my Sexual Initiatrix; though I couldn’t admit that fact to you at the time, you secretly knew, which is why you asked. You showed me that a whole other realm of relating lay outside the confines of what most people consider “normal.”
- Thank you, Melina, for being my Painful Breakup, which arose from my deceit; our relationship taught me the value of honesty in my romantic relations, and I’ve never been dishonest like I was with you since.
- Thank you, Salina, for being my Sex Kitten; the hot, passionate and unbridled sexuality you unleashed upon me showed me that a woman can be every bit as perverted as the strangest corners of my fantasies. Since you, I’ve refused to settle for any woman who would not meet my level of play in the bedroom.
- Thank you, Corynna, for being my Tantric Priestess; you initiated me into the ways of sacred sexuality and sexual magick, which have become guiding principles in my life, in my relationships, and will be cherished until the day that I die. All the women who enter my bed after you owe you a debt of gratitude; you helped make me a better lover.
- Thank you, Hadass, for being my Imperfect Match; you showed me that I have grown strong in my commitment to truth and integrity in relationship when I was able to be so straightforward with you about our connection. I adore that we’ve remained friends, and continue to learn from each other.
- Thank you, Janie, for being my Sometimes Lover; you demonstrated to me that sexual relationships don’t always show up like we expect them to, but that they’re always rich, powerful, sexy, and intriguing.
Thank you, to the women who have been activists and healers in mending the divide between men and women; you restore my faith in femininity at times when all I can feel from women is anger or hate. In this arena, a most heartfelt thanks to Nicole for being the Inspirational Writer and a Great Listener; you showed me that we can put down our politics and really relate to each other.
Thank you, all of the women who have been my healing clients, for being Sincere Seekers; you have restored my faith in the feminine more times than I can count, even at times when other women caused me to doubt.
Thank you, to the women who have inspired me through your creative works, for being True Artists; you have mirrored my own path, and shown me the way to continue along it.
Thank you to the Earth and the Moon, those two traditionally feminine heavenly bodies, for being The Womb from which we all descend, and The Goal toward which we men strive; you have supported the life of our species, and inspired we men to propel it forth into the cosmos.
Thank you, at last, to all the women who have supported and nurtured me on the way to becoming more and more every day, the man I have always wanted to be. My journey would have been much harder, much longer, and much less enjoyable without your company along the path. You have held me, inspired me, taken me to new heights, and held me to account when I needed it; I shall be forever in your debt. Know that if I overlooked a name or a particular experience in my expression of gratitude that the thanks are still there, fully felt, even if my memory has dropped the experience out.
Thank you to all women and to the feminine principle in nature for receiving my message to you, and for seeing yourself in the reflected images of the women I’ve thanked. I truly appreciate all that you’ve given me on my path toward greater awareness.
Aho Mitakuye Oyasin – We are All Related