Sunday, March 28, 2010

More Recoveries...A Letter from Sebastian

As I described in my article, "Sebastian's Nocturnal Dream Shows," in the May-June 2008 issue of The Gay & Lesbian Review, at the old Palace Theater in North Beach where the Cockettes were born, there were first the wonderful films programed by Sebastian (AKA Milton Miron). His programming of films seemed to have a profound intent, and certainly inspired and intrigued me so I sent him a fan letter. And in my opening boxes from decades ago, I found Sebastian's sweet response -- I can see why I saved the letter -- and you might want to click and enlarge his letter as the script itself is so very charming.

And I have saved one of my free passes for the day when there is another Nocturnal Dream Shows:

I must have photographed the old Nocturnal Dreams "headquarters" in the Mission after it was abandoned.....


Thanks to Paul Ha.'s facsimile of the original manuscript of Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND, I can compare Carroll's own original drawings with those of Tenniel who illustrated the published version. Click on ALICE DRAWINGS COMPARED, above, if you would like to compare 5 drawings. In case I am violated some copyright laws, I will probably delete this from my blog fairly soon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Marga's Birthday

CLICK ON "Marga's Birthday" title above to view a slide show of this celebration.
Hosts Martha H and Thom B are barely present in these photos -- sorry, hosts. We had a little group of 7 to give Marga a birthday brunch. No one had any trouble saying how wonderful she is, how her presence means love is present. With the hosts, Jim E, Jane B, and Leslie A (and Otis, the pug, and the cats Lily and Jack) looking on, Rod K gave Marga a birthday ritual. I guess I won't have to worry about copyright infringement as I cannot find my copy of Hafiz' THE GIFT to present the verses Rod read, and the one that Marga read, but perhaps they will list the titles of those verses in the COMMENTS section of this entry. A beautiful day to celebrate a beautiful human being.

Monday, March 22, 2010


CLICK ON "PEACE MARCH" in title to see a slide show.
Soon after the time (10:34 a.m.) when the year turned to Spring Equinox, there was a Peace March in San Francisco. It will be clear from my photos that I was mostly following the course of friends through the march. Demonstrations now seem to be in the trough between two waves. The wars should still be the most terrible business that concerns us, but it is difficult to counter the fact that war has become everyday business for U.S.Americans (mostly representing jobs for young people unable to find work). Instead of a Peace March (I tend to type "Peach March," and wish the day would come when we would gather for a "Peach March), we should call it a Day For All Protests, and in some ways it may be good to bundle the large number of terrible problems and parade them as reminders through the streets. There were signs for every problem -- unfair incarcerations; protests against capital punishment; need for jobs -- perhaps only half of the picket signs referred to war.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Threshold Choir, whose members team up to sing at the bedsides of the ill, had their 10th Anniversary Celebration on Spring Equinox, 20 March 2010, at Lake Merritt United Methodist Church in Oakland, California. Soloist Melanie DeMore conducted for a while and sang a beautiful "There Is a Balm in Gilead." Founder/Director/Conductor Kate Munger was honored by the Choir.
CLICK ON THE TITLE ABOVE, "THRESHOLD CHOIR'S 10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION," to see a few photos from that evening (unfortunately, I had to arrive late).


Click on SOME KIND OF ESSAY above -- if you want to see what it means.

Photos added to LAKE TAHOE IN WINTER

Click on title above if you want to see an expanded slide show of pre-digital photos of Lake Tahoe in Winter, when a group of us, renting a house for a few days, found our selves blessed with snowy beauty (Fred G., Paul H., Bob M., James D.)
Along with the photos I wrote a verse-- that I keep re-writing...(below):

Lake Tahoe, Winter

The sleeping bear of winter snores where
water rolls the stones along the shore.
The seagulls and the mallards bounce
on waves, hoping to get the score –
“Where is my morsel?” “What is my fate?”

The slow white bullets of snow drill
the trees, water, and earth with deadly cold.
The lake grinds its pebbled teeth. It’s a thrill
to stand in the breath of the bear, feeling bold.
Yet where is my morsel? What, my fate?

- "Lake Tahoe, Winter" - James McColley Eilers, Copyright March 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oakland in February and March 2010

For a slide show of Oakland views, CLICK ON SUBJECT LINE, "OAKLAND IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH 2010"

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Two Farewell Haiku for Victor Gonzalez

Two Haiku to Say Fare-Thee-Well on 6 March 2010 to Old Friend Victor Gonzalez Leaving to Live in Merida, in the Yucatan, Mexico

When’s the right moment
for (how the bow string trembles)
two old friends to part?

We care more than most
though our parting looks more like
weak tea than strong wine.

My Two Mothers

On the left, below, is my mother, Ethel Ruth McColley Eilers, the mother of my older brother, Edward Lloyd (Buster), myself, James Thomas, and my younger brother, Dennis Raymond. Ethel was always allied with her older sister, on the right below, Elsie Mathilde McColley Pierce Scherer, the matriarch of the McColley clan, who had helped and protected Ruth during their difficult early years. Both were present throughout the lives of myself and my brothers, like two mothers, but suddenly at the end of her life, Ruth felt she had been oppressed by Elsie all her life, and severed their relationship. Below that is my verse about this "double oedipal" situation.


I did not let them come into my heart anymore –
my mother and my aunt who hovered over
my childhood. When they came to visit,
they jostled to hug me, but my aunt always won.
“Yes, hug her first,” said my mother bitterly.
My two mothers pulled me apart. I was supposed
to bring meaning to their lives, find
the Golden Fleece, return with the Holy Grail.
That’s why I made it a point to fail.

But they were the talkers, the story tellers;
they made me a writer, and somewhere back there
I believed in one or the other. Lying in bed
against my aunt’s ample bosom, while she read
to me from Bambi and Forever Amber, I was glad
that my uncle worked the night shift in the mills.
Recently I let it come back into my life –
that fearful mother thing. It would suffocate,
I thought. It will cover my mouth like a breast

but also cover my nose and stop my breath.
But then I let it come. It was a soft cape
at the back of my head and shoulders. I sank
into it as if it were bread dough. It held me.
I let it come back: breast, womb, warm
enfolding arms, comfort. It was no longer
the Wasp Queen or the Virgin Mary with crescent
talons sweeping down the night to tear
out my heart. The mother thing, freed

of my mother and my aunt, came into my life
as if it were part of the universe, that black
stuff between the stars drifting down to hold
me and to heal me and to make me not afraid
of love and connection. It’s like a fur cap
for a cold head. It’s like lifting a warm
tortilla in your hand. I intend to entertain
this stranger, the Mother. I only wish my
mother had found her. Goddess of Mercy,
Our Lady of Compassion, heal us all.

(Copyright 2010, James McColley Eilers)

Friday, March 05, 2010


And if you want to see some other photos, CLICK ON THE TITLE, "WELCOME, SPRING," above.