Here are three pages from my out-of-print book, What There Is To Love About A Man (Sourcebooks, 2000). Learn more about the book in the right-hand sidebar; learn more about a man however you are able. These words are for women, too: it’s all about the balance and union within.
Yes! to the right to bare arms. Sunned and weathered arms, farm arms, hot and spicy arms swaying to a Latin beat. Arms presented in tank tops and muscle shirts and short-cropped T-shirts with the sleeves ripped off. Arms offered before crossing the street or stepping off the ladder and onto the roof. Arms that lightly brush up against us on the bus and double-wrap around us as we sleep. Biceps lifting boxes, solving equations on the chalkboard, directing traffic the day the power blew. Arms scarred from the fire, frail and weakened arms that silently ask to be steadied so he can write his name. Talking arms speaking in sign, moving like magic and breathing life into words we can see. Freckled arms, speckled arms, saluting smartly as the ship pulls slowly away. Arms! Lifting little ones out of harm’s way, reaching up to pluck the topmost grapes from the arbor. Raised in fierce defiance, raised in Olympic triumph, linked in unity and raised in praise, we are charmed and disarmed by his arms.
He wants to. No, he doesn’t. It sounds good. Well, maybe not. It makes a lot of sense, but something smells fishy. I’m torn. I’m confused. Is it God or is it Coyote? Heads, it’s a keeper. Tails, it’s history. On the one hand. On the other hand. On the other. Someone’s going to make a fortune and it may as well be him. It’s too risky. The stakes are too high. I can’t decide. I can’t make up my mind. What if I go for it and then something better comes along? He’ll do it. No, this isn’t a good time. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe in the spring. He’d love to. But. He wants to. But. A little voice says Yes and that old demon voice says No. All the reasons are there, but my heart isn’t in it. They’ll just have to wait till I make up my mind. Sometimes the decision not to decide is the best decision of all. And the man who makes it isn’t confused: He’s simply in decision.
Oh, Dear God, help me to be the man you would have me be — a loving father, husband, partner, friend. Goddess Divine, show me the way to honor your earthly body, your sacred rivers, fields and forests, and to embrace all your children, two-legged and four, as my brothers and sisters. O Great Spirit, let me recognize that you are everywhere and that your presence in my life transcends anything I ever could imagine. Sweet Jesus, wash me clean of my sins of arrogance and pride, and guide me to live a life of love. Please, Lord, help me transform my anger and frustration into forgiveness and compassion for myself and others. I pray for the understanding that there is something larger and infinitely more powerful than myself, and for the strength to surrender and release my need to analyze, to figure out, and to control the people, situations, and conditions around me. Help me to see in new ways, to hear that which lies beneath yet is never spoken, and to create only that which serves the highest good. Let it be. Amen. So it is.