Saturday, October 11, 2008


The morning brought new light, new hope, cool dry air, beautiful colors and sounds of nature and a talk with a friend with understanding and knowledge. The type of person that "gets it" with few words needed to explain. Such a gift.
I am in a type of hardened glaze. I liken it to a kiln used for ceramic pottery which fires the piece of molded clay so it wont break. It also leaves a satin type finish, smooth and secure. My outside is smooth and secure. The kiln fired glaze covers all imperfections and so it appears that it is perfectly baked. I am baked to perfection. I like it this way. No chipping away to see what is hidden beneath, no need. It/I present well. People smile, no one feels obligated to ask, "what's wrong or are you okay?". The fired up glaze doesn't allow for it.

The kiln is not easy to step into. Once in, there is no getting out. Or so it seems. Which is exactly why people get in to the kiln in the first place -no way out. I suppose someone could cone along and know the glaze has to be cracked open and if you let them close enough they might just care enough to do that. Silently, under the glaze, the glazed over hope for that, but that's a secret. The glazed over see the imperfections from the inside it's just that no one else can see. The 'fresh from the kiln hardened glazed people' of the world are everywhere. If you are a "glazer" (new made up word), you can pick out other "glazers". When "glazers" make eye contact there is an awkward paralyzing, first to do a reality check and second is wondering if the other "glazer" is going to 'unglaze you or you them'. Facial movements and blinking and shoulder shrugs and momentum will decide the outcome. More often than not "glazers" pass eachother by, each questioning why. There are also the non-"glazers" that somehow know. They are the scariest. Another secret - the "glazers" want the non-"glazer" to chase after them, tackle them to the ground, restrain them and crack the glazing in pieces until it all falls off - and all the while the "glazer is screaming "NO, NO, NO!!" . "Glazers" fight against the very thing they need the most - it is the way of 'glazing'.

"Glazers", typically have been unglazed at various times in their lives. They are quite clear on when it is better to be a "glazer" verses not. Still, during 'glazing' periods it is also clear that they long to be unglazed. They convince themselves that this is the way it is suppose to be and that when the time is right the glaze will magically fall away and all will be right inside and out. The glaze is a defense, protection, security, false or otherwise it is necessary. The glaze is the ultimate mask and underneath is the true vision, face, and reality. Everyone needs a break from themselves and at the same time while in waiting or hiding the "glazer" hopes to be found and broken open. They imagine when the time will come when being a "glazer" is no longer necessary. They wonder who will see the glaze and ignore it and break through with all their might despite the "glazers" best effort at resisting. To not resist is always deemed a failure or lack of courage by the "glazer"believing they know what is best, and at the same time knowing that it is the glazing itself that provides a false security and strength to withstand what lies beneath.

So if 'timing' is the critical issue in glazing,please know, that the "glazer" just may not be the best judge of the right time to become unglazed. I wonder if any non-'glazers" that knows of a "glazer" would chase after them, wrestle them to the ground, restrain them, knock off all the glaze and help them stand up straight and tall without the glaze. "Glazers" around the world want exactly that. Remember, this is a secret, because every "glazer" you may know will insist this is not true. They will fight you like a caged animal. It is the way of a "glazer".

To "glazers" and "non-glazers" alike, - here's to the wrestling match!



Anonymous said...

Hello Gail,
I commented earlier and looked for it to be posted and it was not. Perhaps I did not navigate the comment process accurately. I don't believe you would have rejected it. Atleast I hope not.
I am trying again.
Your posts as of late about power and glazing speak to your wisdom around such issues by which I am deeply effected, deeply.
I wanted to respond to glazer. I am definitely or was definitely a glazer. Your words described my glazing perfectly. I understand the image of the firey kiln and being baked to perfection, as well.
Gail, I am a gay man, and a former priest. My being a priest is also why I am drawn to your experiences with great interest. I was shamed and outed about five years ago. I was quite lost and alone. I found lodging at a boarding house for men and began to do day labor for income. I often ate my evening meal at a soup kitchen. It is there I met Jona who volunteered at the soup kitchen a few times a week. We talked whenever he was there and it was good. Jona is my non-glazer who knew and wrestled me to the ground gently and firmly and together we took all my hardened glaze covering off. I am going to assume that the wrestling to the ground is a metaphor. Am I correct?
Interestingly, I met Jona one year to the day of my leaving the priesthood. I stayed at the boarding house and continued doing day labor for a couple of years. Jona, a teacher, was looking to relocate to the South and eventually secured a teaching position and a condo and was set to move. I went with him. We are content and free to live as we choose. I was able to find employment as a teacher's aide in the same school district although not at the same school. I work one on one with a special needs child assisting him with his academic and personal tasks. This too is a ministry by which I am humbled and gratified.
I completely identified with glazer. It is amazing to me that here I am a gay man and former priest and our lives have much in common.
I have shared your posts with Jona as I cannot carry the magnitude of your experiences alone. If I may, I too know of childhood trauma and in that expeience you and I and all others with similar pasts are connected. We are not connected by the pain but rather our courage and strength to even consider being glazeless. I don't believe I mentioned this in my earlier comment. Perhaps there was a reason for it to get lost or whatever happened to it.
I also said in my earlier lost comment that I came to an understanding about my name, Padre. That is what those in my former church community called me. It hit me that, that was then and this is now. I am not Padre.
I will sign my birth name, Alexander, to you always. I feel I owe that to you for many resons.

P. E. Nolan said...

Hey Padre
I know Gail would never ever have nixed a comment from you because she mentioned to me that you wrote.

What you said about the courage binding us together not the pain rings true because I have a number of friends who were sexually abused as children by family. We never discussed it until we'd known each other for years, then something would come up in the conversation and we'd pour out our stories to each other. No accidents in this life.

Now that I think about it, the only person I entered into a conversation about our pasts with immediately turned out to be Gail the Hillbilly Hustler. I invited her for Thanksgiving Dinner last year and she didn't leave until I threatened to call security on New Year's Day. She wasn't a bit glazed. She was raw and she kept her hurts visible as part of the MO that got her free places to stay until she got kicked out and moved on to another mark. Getting kicked out was part of her pattern too. I always thought it had something to do with reinforcing her self-hate - but that's Lucy Van Pelt "The Doctor is In" psychology.

It's nice to meet you in cyber-person.

Gail said...

Hi Alexander,
Nice name. It was my grandfather on my Mom's side name too. Small world.
I did not get your first comment. Such is the way of blogging it seems.

That was quite a transition you made from priest to day laborer and a boarding house. However, it was there you met Jona. Someone else wrote on another blog that they liked happy endings, yours was a happy ending and beginning.

I was taken aback when you shared you were in the priesthood. I wont hold it against you. ;-) Anymore than I would hold it against Jona for being a teacher. There are good and evil forces in every profession. Although it appears I have a reference for two of my "it's". I say this light-heartedly. okay?

I am sorry you were hurt as a child. I will hold precious your sharing about this and other parts of your life's journey.

I was unsure how the whole "glazing" concept would go over. So far you and Tricia 'get it'. phew.....

You asked if the wrestling to the ground is a metaphor. Well, sorta. Please, I am not suggesting the "glazers" should ever be physically forced to the ground and held until they "cry uncle". Not at all. I do think that a vary caring non glazer can be insistent, relentless, not willing to give up, over time, not in some on the mat brawl but rather a clear and determined approach that lets the "glazer" know that they care enough to keep fighting for them to be free, unglazed.
SO to answer your question, yes, it was a metaphor for effect. Looks like it worked. :-)

Only a fellow "glazer" would understand.

I was also happy to hear of your work with special needs kids. I am sure it is very gratifying and humbling, as you said.

Well Alexander, so nice to hear from you. Please, come by often.


Gail said...

Hi Trish-
Thanks for commenting. I like when folks take the time.
I enjoy your names for people so much. Hillbilly Hustler is especially fun. And your telling of her is eye opening.
Have a great day.