The Ft. McClellan That Was
NEXT TO TERRAPIN CREEK, AL — #VanDwelling #LivingIt
March 31, 2015 12:10 PM
I drifted northward, avoiding large or divided highways as much as possible. Outside Anniston, I grabbed the first two lane road that caught my fancy and found myself in Ft. McClellan, an Army base closed in 1999. It’s a beautiful place, now home to a local college, apartments, and various government agencies. They’ve transitioned the change from military to civilian use admirably though, maintaining much of the look and feel you expect from a former Army base—well maintained older buildings surrounded by large swatches of open, green spaces.
I’ve been heading north over the last few days in order to meet up with another high school buddy of mine, Doug Coone. In school, Doug and Timmerman were my best friends. Timmerman was the stoic and studious type while Doug was the class clown (and I fell somewhere in between). Of the three of us, I always figured I’d marry first, then Doug, and probably never Timmerman. Turns out I had it exactly backwards.
After years of listening to my praising the wonders and beauty of Latin women, Timmerman finally took my advice and ended up marrying the very first one he went out with. Doug, on the other hand (and as a complete surprise to both myself and practically everyone who knew him) announced last year that he was gay, then promptly got married just as soon as Alabama ratified gay marriage. Who would have thought?
Anyway, that’s why I’ve been heading north, to meet up with Doug and his new husband, Dakota, tomorrow for lunch. Of course tomorrow’s April Fool’s Day—and Doug being the clown that he is—well, who knows what to expect?
Seeing as this will probably be the last entry of the Winter 2015 edition of A Mystic’s Journal, I’ll close on a note about human feelings…
No matter how much we would like to, we can’t control how we feel. We can control how we act on those feelings, but we can’t control the feelings themselves. To try to control our feelings is not only futile and unhealthy, but it is inauthentic.
It’s a shame (but understandable, particularly living in the heart of the Bible Belt) that Doug spent over 50 years “in the closet,” but I’m glad he’s out now—that he’s happy and gay and living openly as he’s always wished to.
That’s really the goal of the spiritual quest, isn’t it? To live true to who and what we are—to live fearlessly and authentically and in harmony with our core nature.