My beloved Pomeranian companion of the past ten years died suddenly a little over two months ago and I have yet to make heads or tails of the whole thing. Truthfully, I’ve been carrying his cremated body around in a tiny tin box ever since, sleeping with him next to me at night, and am so far having a really hard time letting him go.
During the first few weeks after his death I was in a state of sheer panic around his absence. For over a decade, silence in the house meant little dude was up to some sort of mischief or that he was in trouble, so to be suddenly surrounded by this new, impenetrable quiet has been unsettling. I found myself calling for him in the night, looking for him all over the house in the morning, and waiting to hear the pitter-patter of his paws on the hardwood floor as I opened the front door or walked to the kitchen, but he is gone.
As it turns out, I had a great deal of purpose wrapped up in taking care of this tiny creature, and I’m finding that in many ways I was dependent on the love I received from him in return. He was the only consistent thing in my life for the past decade, and without him around everything just feels harder. I have yet to make it through a full day without some sort of tearful breakdown and was unable to control said emotional outbursts at all until very recently. It sounds crazy that an animal could make me lose my mind like this, but he was so much more than a dog to me. For many years he was my child, my family, the only reason I got out of bed in the morning, and the only reason I came home at night…so to call him my “pet” minimizes the depth of our relationship.
A few weeks back while I was talking to a close friend about my inability to let Dutch go, he challenged me that maybe it was feeling too hard to do because I wasn’t actually supposed to be doing it. He suggested that, instead of working so hard to let him go, I should learn to hold onto Dutch in new ways. His body is gone, that much is certain. All that’s left is this box of ashes…which isn’t all that comforting when I stop and think about it.
So, I took his advice. I began to look for Dutch again, minus the feeling of panic those initial searches held after he passed. I started to focus on all the ways he is still here with me instead of mourning all the ways he is not, and suddenly he was Read the rest of this entry »
My new video, “Turn Me Out“, made its exclusive world premier over at Portland Monthly Magazine today! Watch it HERE first. They interviewed me for the piece as well, which you can read while you are there (or via the transcript below). We chatted about the new record (“Tramp Stamps and Birthmarks”, due out Tuesday, December 4th), my relationship adventure, and the “Turn Me Out” video itself.
World Premiere: Logan Lynn’s New Music Video, “Turn Me Out” – The electro-pop darling “just want[s] your love”
Local electro-pop (emotronic?) musician Logan Lynn has been on a two-year do-gooder music hiatus while he manned public relations and innovations for the Q Center (among other things, using his connections to bring in national musicians for concert series). But that’s not to say he hasn’t been busy behind studio doors. He released the catchy, dirty, dancefloor single “Turn Me Out” in June, and Culturephile’s delighted to post the world premiere of the video (that’s right: we got it before MTV or Logo)—a rather atmospheric ode to the joyous imprisonment that is love.
The single is from his upcoming album called Tramp Stamps and Birthmarks, slated for a 12/4 release. It’s a love letter of sorts to his fellow. We had a short chat with Logan about the song, the relationship, the record, and writing about happy material, below the video.
We should mention for our more delicate listeners that the lyrics are a little more than just obliquely sexual.
PoMo: Where did the inspiration for the song and video come from? It seems a paradoxical celebration of the imprisonment of love.
My grandfather is turning 100 years old next month, which completely blows my mind. I’m flying to South Dakota with my partner to do strange Americana activities at Mt. Rushmore and then celebrate his century of life with everyone on my mother’s side of the family. It’s going to be a very special time, and I am really looking forward to it. I wish my aunt could be there with us, but this year has brought with it big heartaches, as well, and she is no longer here. It’s devastating to think about my grandpa having to endure losing his daughter so late in his life, but he is a very wise old man, and he has handled her passing better than any of the rest of us.
I suppose that sort of deep understanding about death is to be expected of a person who has lived 100 years. He has already said goodbye to his grandparents, his parents, his cousins, his siblings, all his friends, and his wife. He is at peace with having loved and lost, and he seems to be fine with his own mortality. Clearly, this man knows something about life that I have yet to learn. Read the rest of this entry »
Happy Pride Month, everybody! I am preparing to be neck-deep in an array of Portland’s gape ride festivities this coming weekend, then I’m flying east to New York City with my man to promote my new single, relax, and do Pride all over again. There is much to celebrate this year! For me, this time is about honoring our love, valuing who we are as people, and remembering the brave LGBT folks who have paved the way for us.
1. If you could sum up in one word what it means for you to have queer pride, what would it be?
2. How will you celebrate pride this year?
3. Would you ever be in a relationship with someone who was still in the closet and planned on remaining that way?
4. In thinking about your own experience with relationships and just what exactly we are celebrating this Pride Month, please tell us about the first time in your life when you felt proud of who you are and of your queer love.
5. If that personal pride experience were adapted into a film, what song would be the soundtrack to that scene?
My beloved teacup Pomeranian friend and longtime companion Dutch passed away this weekend and I wasn’t there for it. Instead, I was hours away in the Oregon desert eating brunch and shopping. It could be argued that he is gone now because I was away, though everyone around me keeps telling me not to go down that road. The truth is, he was old and fragile. This was going to happen someday, and I already knew this. Hell, I wrote about it here months ago… but his passing is still shocking and sudden and seemingly avoidable, which was evidently enough to make me go completely nuts for a minute. I’m coming back down to planet earth now, slowly but surely, but have not managed to stop crying since the news came. I am in a state of pure grief unlike any I have ever met before.
I collapsed into a puddle version of myself when I heard the news. Dutch had endured a series of seizures following an accidental bad reaction to his insulin dosage, and by the time he got to the hospital and they had him stabilized, it was too late. His sweet body just couldn’t handle it. He died in the arms of our friends who were watching him for the weekend, happy and loved, with a smile on his face. My partner and I came back from our vacation and went to say our goodbyes on Sunday afternoon at the hospital. They walked us into a private room and brought him to us wrapped in a blanket. It looked like he was sleeping, but once I had him in my arms it was clear that this was not the case. His skin was cold, his limbs stiff. His eyes were open just enough for me to see that he was not there. I held him close to my chest for what seemed like an eternity, kissed his face and body, and cried from a place inside myself which had not been found before this moment. I told him how sorry I was, how much we loved him, and thanked him for loving me all these years. Aleks held him, too, and we wept together. Our sweet creature, no longer in the room with us, running the show. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m no Buddhist monk by any means, but I am always looking for ways of relating to my partner on a deeper level and am on a continued journey with him to enrich the levels of intimacy between us. When a recent interview on love and relationships between Buddhist author/teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and everyone’s favorite TV talking head and spirit animal Oprah Winfrey came across my desk, I decided to take a closer look. They were chatting about meditation and four mantras that can be used between people in love to help strengthen the bond and establish healthy ways of embracing, supporting, and reassuring each other through mindfulness. Nhat Hanh is quoted as saying these first two mantras can bring “instant happiness” to any relationship, so if you’re into that sort of thing, listen up!
Mantra 1: “Darling, I’m here for you.”
The idea behind this is to spotlight your presence in the relationship without being focused on the past or the future. Nhat Hanh teaches this practice because he believes that when you love someone, the best you can offer is your presence in the here and now. I have a hard time doing this when I’m by myself, much less in a committed relationship with someone I care deeply about. The past can be so hurtful, so sad, so present, and the future can be scary to the point that I have to look away at times. This is where the importance of staying present comes in. Much of the trouble I run into in my relationship has little to do with what is happening now between the two of us and everything to do with what has happened in days gone by with former partners, our history together, and the fears that take over when thinking about how that will all play out over our time together. Ultimately, if I could stay in the present day, in the moment with my most treasured person, this would all fade away.
Mantra 2: “Darling, I know you are there, and I am so happy.”
Thich Nhat Hanh writes, “To be loved means to be recognized as existing.” In letting your partner know you are there for them and acknowledging that they are also there for you, each of you is Read the rest of this entry »