Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why "Jeune Homme nu assis"?

I chose to use the image of the painting, Jeune Homme nu assis au bord de la mer (Hippolyte Flandrin) on my blog because I have loved it ever since I became aware of it while on my mission in Europe, though I have not seen the original, which is in the Louvre in Paris. 

I had not been familiar with the painting, but it evoked strong feelings in me at the time that coincided with some of the feelings I describe in my inaugural post and upon which I will elaborate in subsequent posts ~ feelings of passion, freedom and of being myself on the one hand, and peace, purity and beauty on the other. 

While on my mission, I pasted a postcard of the painting in my journal. Years later, in a paroxysm of shame, self-loathing, and paranoia, I removed it, along with a dozen or so pages describing my most intimate feelings during those weeks that I flirted with embracing the “real me.” (After all, what would my children and/or my wife think if they ever read passages of my journal in which I came the closest to revealing my deepest, innermost thoughts concerning my same-sex attraction?) 

I deeply regret now that I don’t have those pages, that I tried to erase that period of my mission and my life.  I wish I had those pages from my journal to read and ponder over. But this painting evokes that period of my life when I think I came closest to accepting myself and affirming my same-sex attraction.


  1. If you read my blog you will come to know of the same-sex experiences I had on my mission that changed my life forever. I have gone back to my journal and read those words of those times and realize that they were couched in some meanings (for fear of what the reader might be thinking of my falling in love with a man), but yet they are still there to be read if one is reading between the lines, thinly veiled as to the real circumstances.

    I'm sorry you tore those pages out. May you find in yourself the ability to restore them again, and write them down again.

  2. I did read you blog, and I was moved by what you wrote. As to my journal, yes, I regret that, but it is all written on the pages of my heart.