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Blog of the Grateful Bear

ramblings of a freelance panentheist {"all things are in God, and God is in all things"} . . . musings on Emergent spirituality, powerlifting, LGBTQueer issues, contemplative prayer, mysticism, cats, music, healing, and more. I like my coffee and my existentialism dark-roasted.

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Location: Marietta, Georgia, United States

I'm an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), in private practice in Marietta, Georgia. My writings on queer spirituality have been published in Whosoever and several other magazines. I live in a house-in-the-woods (Bear's Hermitage) in Marietta with Leonidas (Lenny) and Guy, Mighty Warrior Cats, and way too many books.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Grateful Bear Opens Office on Hometown Square

Yesterday I picked up the keys for a second office for my counseling practice. This one is a small one-room office on Marietta Square, two miles from my home. I’ll be sharing the office with my friend Tim Franzen, a Certified Addiction Counselor who works primarily with adolescents and families. Tim is the founder of Cobb For Peace, so he is definitely a kindred spirit.

Having an office within easy driving distance of Atlanta will increase my referrals from attorneys who weren’t comfortable asking their clients to drive all the way up to Canton. I’ve already spoken with several attorneys who were glad to hear I’m opening an office at a more convenient location. I’ll continue to court-related evaluations, but I’m also hoping this new office location will increase my opportunities to do individual counseling with gay and lesbian clients in Metro Atlanta. My new business card includes both:

--Pre-Trial & Court-Related Assessments
--Counseling for Personal and Spiritual Growth

I’ve also added the line, “Counseling Rooted in Mindfulness and Respect,” at the bottom of my business card. The respect part is especially important, I think. I’ve had many clients over the years tell me that in their dealings with the criminal justice system, I was the first person who treated them with dignity and respect. Unfortunately that’s not a surprise, given that our criminal justice system is still strongly rooted in the puritanical concepts of shame and humiliation. Witness the new car tags here in Georgia labeled “DUI Car.” The scarlet letter is alive and well.

As I wrote in a Letter to the Editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution back in 1999:

I am alarmed by the increasing use of shame and humiliation as a sentencing tool. As a counselor and former parole officer, I feel that when you attack a person's integrity, you attack the very foundation on which he or she can rebuild a positive, crime-free life. As a Christian, I believe that all people are created in the image of God. When we humiliate a person, we denigrate that sacred image and perpetuate the cycle of shame and crime.

Seven years later, unfortunately, not much has changed.

Which Tarot Card Are You?

My results from the quiz . . .

You scored as VIII - Strength. Strength is not just physical strength, it also means emotional and spiritual strength. It is the Strength to do what you know is right in the face of opposition. Strength to defy convention and authority. Strength does not have to be used directly. It can be inner strength that supports one in the face of attacks on what they hold dear. The person of Strength remains true to their beliefs. In a Tarot reading, this card can indicate overcoming of obstacles and refusal to be beaten down. If badly aspected this card can indicate loss of faith, failure of Will.

Which Major Arcana Tarot Card Are You?
created with QuizFarm.com

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bear Returns From The Sea

Had a great trip to Tybee Island and Savannah. My friend Donnie and I both spent way too much money on great seafood (a new favorite: Shrimp and Low Country Grits at The River House) and also artwork, mostly from the A. T. Hun Gallery. One of the signed-and-numbered prints I bought was “Whiskers” (above), by Steven Schuman. The moment I saw it, I knew it captured purrfectly the psychedelic personality of Kato, my mystical cat/roommate. I also bought Schuman’s great portrait of Jerry Garcia, and the two new prints are now hanging in my counseling office in Canton.

In response to Celeste’s comment on my August 5th entry: We ended up going out in the ocean in the mornings only, and only for about two hours at a time because of the heat. When the sun got too hot, we drive into Savannah and haunted the coffeehouses and art galleries. We did not go out swimming in the evenings when the sharks were prowling about.

And Zach, if you really want to set up a laptop fund for me, feel free to do so! Donations will be gratefully received at:

Darrell Grizzle
P.O. Box 655
Marietta, GA 30061

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Time to Get to Sea

"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before
coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off -- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can."
~ from Moby Dick by Herman Melville

I'm leaving tomorrow for my annual pilgrimage to the sea: Tybee Island & Savannah, Georgia. My friend Donnie and I will be at the ocean for most of the week, and I don't have a laptop (yet!) so I won't be blogging. Here's my blog entry about last year's trip to Tybee Island. No agenda, no schedule, other than floating in the ocean, hanging out in coffeehouses, and eating crab cakes.