View Full Version : Finding Our Bliss
03-24-2006, 02:39 PM
I am feeling that, as necessary as the discussions are that are going on in this main forum, that I am feeling disheartened at the inability for there to be any consistent, mutual understanding. So, since I tend to be the eternal optimist, I would like to dedicate this thread to contributions from all of us here at Soulforce, that describe or tell the story of our bliss, or joyful moments, at being LGBTQ persons. Sure, there are many stories of angst and pain and sadness and despair, and I am so grateful for those that share those stories. BUt, it's time to hear the joy as well. The inner workings of our hearts that tell us that what we feel is so right and true.
Shall I begin?
When I first started dating my partner, we had already known each other through the gay community for about ten years, but never really got to know one another. I had broken up with my previous partner of eight years about nine months before, and had sustained a long and painful dating period. I was feeling completely discouraged and depressed, at the thought of not finding the person that was right for me. THen, my partner and I started talking on the phone, and the conversations lasted for hours. It seemed as if we had known each other our whole lives, and our souls had been separated for a period of time, only to reunite. I heard one of our love songs today, "Thank You", originally done by Led Zeppelin, and redone at least on one occasion by Torie Amos. We are still together, are raising an eight year old daughter, and just celebrated our ten year anniversary. SHe is my joy, my bliss. I have never, ever, felt for another person in my life the intense love I feel for her. I picture us as old women rocking in chairs next to one another in thirty years, and caring for each other always. Our hearts and souls are entwined, til death do us part.
Please, all, lets put our love stories and joys and bliss out there for others to read, and maybe understand. PEACE ALL, :love: :pray: Vanessa
03-24-2006, 03:17 PM
Seeing lives changed as a result of me being obedient to the voice of the Spirit...
Living and working in a beautiful and accepting city. It is wonderful, absolutely beautiful to be able to walk down a busy street among families, bikers, teenagers, etc, with my arm draped over my boyfriend's shoulders... with no fear... just enjoying him, the people, the beautiful day that God has made...
Little moments of hope... when someone who may have been hateful or homophobic in the past has a loving & kind word to say...
My boyfriend... finding a man with such a deep love for God and his family... he is beautiful, funny, brilliant, sensitive and so supportive... I'm going to love telling our grandchildren that we didn't meet online or at a bar, but at Perkins School of Theology...
Those moments when I make a mistake or start feeling discouraged and I become present to God's sweet & precious love for me...
03-24-2006, 03:27 PM
A fabulous idea, Vanessa!
I was very closeted before I came out at 25. I didn't personally know a single openly gay person. When I finally did come out I suddenly discovered all these wonderful GLBT people and the families that accepted them and the churches that welcomed them. I was shocked! How could I not have known? How could so many people not have known?
How to describe it? For me the feeling was like having already seen the ending to The Six Sense and being stuck in a theater with everyone who had never seen the movie. It's like you're just waiting for them to realize the "secret" that's been in front of them all along.
Ok, now for a little love story. In my lap is a purple keepsake box. It's for Chris and I to put stuff in that's meaningful to our relationship. We haven't been boyfriends quite a year yet, so it's only got a couple of items in it. (Alot of things we've given each other would not go in a keepsake box. I got him an electric toothbrush for Valentines. We're kind'a practical I guess. :lol: )
Anyways, one of the things inside the box is two slips of paper from fortune cookies. Our first date was at a chinese restaurant called The Gay Dragon. I mean The Happy Dragon. And so we're on our first date and having a good time and he opens up his fortune cookie. He reads it, smiles, and says, "Yeah, this kind'a applies to today." So he slides it over to me and I read the little piece of paper. It says, "God not only will listen to your prayers, but also will make them come true."
My first thought: Geez, this guy's really laying it on heavy here.
So I then precede to open my cookie. And after fishing the piece of paper out, here is what I read: "There's a secret romance blooming! Go for it, in spite of your hesitation."
I kid you not. The message was "go for it." And if that wasn't enough, it added "in spite of your hesitation."
So here we are almost a year later! :love: Check my profile for a picture.
03-26-2006, 05:20 PM
This is an excelent and needed thread.:rainbow: I have some great moments with elusive Love that springs on you from nowhere. My feelings of joy that I can attribute to gaity are grander than those, today anyway. Makes me wonder what I'd be like, where I'd be, straight...:confused:
One of the gifts of being gay is an incredible senseitivity and sympathy. Maturity and spirituality combine with this and we are born advisors.:shifty: We think more, feel more, have been through more and know more than the average straighty. Hee he he... :weee: You know its True. Thats why the cool people like us..:cool: So, CHEERS, Queers. We are more than Okay...:aparty: Fight the good fight and see the good you do on the way to the goal. You have already helped people you don't even know. So enjoy that. Thank God for that... :pray: And know you are Blessed.:good:
03-27-2006, 10:40 AM
What a great- and to quote Jamie- fabulous idea.
The title of this thread brings to mind the words of Joseph Campbell who counselled his students to "follow your bliss!"
As a kid, around the age of 8 in 1966, I found myself 'in love' with a tall blond man on TV. Aquaman. He appeared on Saturday mornings around 8 AM. I would steal into the living room and sit nose to screen with the sound turned way down so I wouldn't wake anyone up. I hardly understood what attracted me to him, but only knew I had to be near him. That time in the morning, when everyone was in bed and I was alone with him, was bliss.
Or course, I grew up and forgot all about him.
Jump to 1992. After two failed relationships- each a training wheel on the road of life- I see a guy at my gym who makes me think of Aquaman for the first time in 26 years and know that this is what I've been waiting my whole life for.
We've been together 14 years now.
03-27-2006, 12:38 PM
my bliss: a day like this past saturday when my partner and I get in the car and head out to spend the day together. this time we went to a "maple" festival about an hour away, stopped at 2 wineries, checked out some antique/collectibles shops, and had dinner in a church basement, mmmm roast beef.
more bliss: when I'm with my kids and I realize just how much they have on the ball. I was alone with my youngest son one eveing last week. we pulled into the parking lot at a shopping strip and I saw my bf's car. I suggested we go in the store where he was, and my youngest said "you can see him later, you're dating him!" I asked him what he meant and he said "he lives with you, so you're dating him." :lol:
even more: I also have 2 teenagers. watching them achieve adult goals is bringing me so much joy. My daughter, the oldest, just got accepted to college, and passed her music audition for the music dept. my 17yo son recently participated in a talent competition playing his guitar and singing. he was great.
03-27-2006, 01:21 PM
Driving up a canyon in the Fall and seeing the brilliant colors of the leaves, and being egocentric enough to belive that God created that scene just for me and my partner as an affirmation of his love for us.:)
Feeling lost, and someone helping me find myself. I remember when my partner and I met our first gay couple. We followed them around like little puppy dogs, wanting to emulate their every move and the way they expressed their love so shamelessly and confidently.
Meeting someone who feels lost... and helping them find themselves...whatever that may mean to them.
Going to my first HRC dinner in Utah, where they played "we are family" with everyone ,dancing cheering, and hugging. Tears of joy rolled down my cheeks because I truly felt like family.
Experiencing pain and rejection so that I can enjoy the triumphs even more.
Just when you think you have nothing left and feel incredibly cynical (I wonder if this thread was started as a result of my self-loathing on another thread ;) ), finding a forum and thread like this.
03-27-2006, 02:14 PM
Hi closetcougar: The thread was in response to the tone of the forums lately in light of the Equality Rides, no one in particular. But, while I am at it- welcome!!! Glad you are here with us.
After I started the thread, another joy that I realized is this: I do a lot of training on LGBTQ issues, and I was doing some presenting at a training for the ALLY group here on my college campus. Part of the process was that I told part of my personal coming out journey, and my life with my family today. One student, who is an officer of the group, and a lesbian woman with a partner, came up to me at the end, and told me that I described many of the things she wants for her life- home, kids, love..... and, she told me that I was a ROLE MODEL for her. That blew me away, and almost left me speechless. To me, that is a great deal of what it is about. WHen I see a person change their mind/attitude based on getting to know me just a little bit better, when my pastor greets me each Sunday, as well as the rest of my family, with love and admiration- that is joy and bliss.
Another joy, corny as it may be, is this website and the forums. You have all become a blessing to me.
Please, keep posting, I am so excited with the results so far!!!!
Peace and love all, Vanessa:love: :love: :pray: :pray:
03-27-2006, 02:37 PM
I love this forum and love this thread! Thank you for starting it, Vanessa. :love:
I love who I am. I love my partner (husband) so much its ridiculous. :D
I also love the gay community (whatever that means) and as I've said so many times, identify with it. There is going to be a Pride parade in my town this Saturday, and I'm totally jazzed because I haven't been to one since 1999. :)
I am thankful that I have known gay people for most of my life (since about age 11 or 12). But that didn't become a truly joyous thing until I started meeting folks who were "out" of the closet instead of afraid, and all my friends from middle and high school came out (when we were in college). Somehow, all of us closeted Ls and Gs and Bs, certain we were alone, we had all found each other when we were 12, 13, 14 years old. Or as my best gay guy friend from high school likes to say, "There must have been something in the water fountains at ____town High School!" :lol: :lol: :lol:
03-27-2006, 03:35 PM
I was in Waveland, Mississippi this January helping with hurricane relief. The 13th was my birthday. The night before, a straight conservative Christian friend and I went to get Chinese (for my birthday). I told him my life story. He was perfectly fine with it, and remains very supportive.
The next morning, we met up with some other people we worked with that week and drove to the Gulf to watch the sunrise. It was rainy, windy, and clouded, so we all prayed together for God to show us something beautiful.
Not long after 7, the sun poked through the clouds, as if heaven opened up. We saw a rainbow. I was so blessed that our prayer was answered. It was just such a wonderful sign that I am on the right path.
03-27-2006, 05:59 PM
...totally cool thread, so glad to stumble in, don't know how I missed it...
...I love my work. After doing time in a corporation I let God work an absolute miracle in my life. Every night I can put my head on my pillow and be thankful. :love:
...I love my cats Mackey (a purebred Manx), and Yoda :love: , whose Daddy, Chris, used to be the leader of Soulforce Atlanta. You can keep up with his world wanderings at http://www.notlostdammit.com Be sure to check out the photo galleries! :eek:
...I love being liberated from the things I once idealized. That includes being thin, rich, or handsome, but the list gets longer the more I see what life is like for 97% of the world. :o
...And I love Soulforce :love:
03-27-2006, 07:26 PM
Sorry about the attempt to be funny in my last post on this thread. Sometimes sarcasm doesn't go over too well in writing. I love this thread and I love hearing about everyone's experiences. I feel like I can resonate with so many of them.
Ditto to Zerbie.(?) It's very entertaining to reunite with old friends and say, "yeah, I thought so." or "I can't believe I didn't pick up on that."
04-03-2006, 11:52 PM
wow, what an awesome thread!!! An especially big thanks to you, Vanessa.
:love: I actually met my beautiful on the first day I was really comfortable being open about being gay, which was (by no coincidence) National Coming Out Day (October 11th).
The one of the best memories I have of us was in my old car, parked in front of her house after driving her home. As usual, we were stalling to spend more time together before saying goodnight. One love song after another came on the radio. Two hearts both searching for the courage to take the chance and be the first to say those special words... then "I'll Have to Say I Love You In A Song" by Jim Croce came on. We both smiled and she told me she loved me. Tears streamed down my face as I told her that I loved her too and it was just magic.
:weee: I get all giddy just thinking about it.:D
04-04-2006, 09:33 AM
Great story, Mia. So glad to see you posting!!!!!!!!!
04-06-2006, 11:36 PM
My daughter, the oldest, just got accepted to college, and passed her music audition for the music dept. my 17yo son recently participated in a talent competition playing his guitar and singing. he was great.
Congratulations to you and your children!
I am a graduating college senior with a major in music .. I wish all the best for your daughter as she enters the college world! Remember that faith and love go a long way -- being a music major is stressful and demanding .. but worth all the hard work in the end. What instrument does she play?
Congratulations to all!
Thanks for sharing your story!
04-06-2006, 11:50 PM
My true bliss right now is that fact that I FINALLY feel like I'm being me....like me for real.....although I have a secret and my life is not what I expected....I am sooooo happy and so happy as me....
Now....part of the reason why I am happy is becasue of my girlfriend. A year ago you couln't have paid me enough for me to believe that I was going to be here right now living this life....
My girlfriend and I began our 'relationship' (3 years ago) hating eachother.....we were always in competition and thought the other was stuck up and snobby....we had a wonderful opportunity to go on a trip together.....to make a long story short we left best friends and two years later she is still my best friend.....and so much more. I began to realize that I had feelings for her that were not just "silly" about 7 months ago....it scared me but I confinded in a good friend of mine who I know is gay and he convinced me to talk to her.....again fast forwarding....almost three months ago after a long/late night conversation I finally told her how I felt about her....I have been all smiles ever since.....
I know that it hasn't been a long time....I know its new and a first for me....she turned my life upside down and inside out.....all the hopes and dreams I had ever had changed so quickly and there is so much I just don't know....
I do know I'm happy. She is amazing....she is so kind, compassionate and loving. She is supportive and helpful. She is there through everything and when she looks at me....I melt. She has helped me discover what I want and most importantly who I am.....
and I LOVE WHO I AM!!
I know I haven't been this happy....maybe ever......and I blame her :love:
Thank you for listening....it feels really good to share the story.....Vanessa this was a GREAT idea.....
04-07-2006, 06:06 PM
:D That's so sweet, trulyme! So cute to hear about a new beginning. Take lots of pictures of the start to laugh at later on.
I agree :agree:, great idea, Vanessa!
04-08-2006, 09:53 PM
First and foremost - Thanks Vanessa for coming up with this thread .. it's incredible. It's inspiring.
Before I start, you have to know that my girlfriend is the first girl I've ever been in a relationship with - and she's amazing, and this story never fails to make my heart skip a beat.
Three years ago, I was on the team of a retreat and one of the candidates and I had a lot in common. - The same major, similar family life, etc. It seemed natural to me to befriend her, however, in effort to do so, little did I know I would be beginning a 'relationship' of hatred and competition. This lasted for a while .. but eventually, through campus events and activities, we learned that we were going to have to at least tolerate each other. Fast forwarding about a year .. the tolerating worked and we both were selected to partake in a 10 day service experience across the country. We knew that this trip was a test to our friendship - I guess we passed, since we left best friends. We knew the trip would either make or break our friendship - lucky for us, it only made it stronger.
To this day, we remain best friends - and then some. Just over two months ago, we had come back to school from a long break and were talking well into the early morning catching up with each others' lives.
At one point, she got up, walked across the room and told me she had something to tell me. It was then our feelings were vocalized and realized. I had begun to have feelings for my (now) girlfriend a few months prior, but never acted on anything because I was scared. I was afraid of being laughed at, of causing complications to a seemingly perfect friendship. I was afraid my best friend was going to walk out of my life.
Lucky for me, she took the bull by the horns, pushed aside her fears and followed her heart. I am extremely lucky to witness her courage and faith - in God, in herself, in me, and in us. I remember the moment she told me she had feelings for me. It was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and a sigh of relief escaped my mouth. It was what I needed to hear.
Now, it's been almost 3 months and I have found happiness. I have been welcomed into one of the most loving communities I know. I am not judged, and I am not condemned for my feelings. -- Now the hard part is over, I have finally been able to be true to myself and true to her. -- The rest of the obstacles, we'll tackle when we get there. But the best part is, there is ALWAYS someone right beside me. My girlfriend is one of the most compassionate, caring, and loving people I know. She is supportive of everything I do - and I know we're in this together.
I now know what it's like to smile for days on end.
I now know what it's like to want to come home because there's someone waiting for you.
I now know what it's like to love someone completely, unconditionally.
I know this seems all too perfect to be real - but it is.
I also know I am young, she is my first girlfriend, and that much of my life is a secret.
I have faith, hope, and God on my side. I have been blessed with this opportunity to be loved for ME and to follow my heart.
It is completely and utterly amazing, breathtaking, and incredible.
I am truly blessed .. and oh so lucky.
04-10-2006, 08:17 PM
Congratulations truly and free (truly free? that works together, too). Stories like yours make me grin...
Today is also a day for remembering for me as it is a mini anniversary with my girl, Bridget. As of today, we've been together for a year and a half. I know it seems like a mere blink to those of you in more established relationships, but it's a nice little milestone for us.
Looking at our future is one of my purest blisses. Once we move into our own apartment, I'll be able to fall asleep in her arms again. Trying to think of a fun way to propose... I like to imagine a church full of people and a minister as we exchange vows in a large family ceremony (my large Italian family makes nothing small). I get teary thinking of us as we kiss on the altar. Maybe I'll give birth to a perfectly tiny child, with her right beside me. She'll play lullabies on her guitar to soothe the baby to sleep. I imagine finding her fast asleep in a rocking chair with our sleeping babe in her arms... and I turn and watch her now, practicing her guitar behind me and too involved to notice that I'm smiling at her with tears of joy trickling down my face. Ooop! She sees me... I'll talk to you later, guys.:love:
04-13-2006, 06:03 PM
...the first 'date' with my girlfriend - we were work aquaintenances for a few years and I had decided to attend the office Christmas party as I had accepted a job at another state agency and was leaving the end of the year. She had always viewed me as that "straight Christian girl" since she really didn't know me at all, and I had viewed her as someone not quite to trust as I had heard from others (never believe others until you do your own research is my new motto!!). Anyway, she gave me a ride to the party and was to drive me home. We had a relatively deep discussion regarding sexual orientation - she was an open lesbian and I was just coming out to myself and others over a 2-month period prior to this. She was a little shocked but not too much.
After the Christmas party we went to a local gay club to have a drink and dance. I have always said I'll know I'm with my soulmate if and when, while we are dancing, the 'world goes away.' So, they are playing a slow song (which rarely ever happens here), and I ask her to dance (which is extremely brave on my part) and after her slight surprised hesitation (the look on her face is priceless) she says okay, and we dance and hold each other closer and the world went away. It was like our souls touched and was one of the most blissful moments of my life. Now, as they say, the rest is history, it's been nearly a year and a half and we are both very much in love and happy. The is my first 'real' lesbian relationship and I'm thinking my last. Of course, one never knows what the future holds - but every day is blissful. :love:
Another blissful moment, the moment I finally accept who I really am and decide to live my life for me and not for others. I truly believe and feel that I am living God's will for me, it feels so right and true. :rainbow:
Blissful is also a private moment, when I'm on a horse, just me and the horse and nature and God, and it's a perfect moment. That is 'church' for me.:pray:
Bliss can be a fleeting moment - driving to Monterey with my love, and a golden eagle flies by close and low, a few-second close up of the most amazing animal! That is a gift. I'm a birdwatcher and have many of those moments. God is an awesome creator! :agree:
Bliss can also be, for me, curling up on my couch, with a hot cup of tea, watching a movie and just doing nothing....especially on a cold and stormy day. ;)
I love this thread, thanks Vanessa!!!!
04-13-2006, 07:27 PM
Tdogg that is SUCH a wonderful story!!!!
It just goes to show, someone or something knows ahead of time what's best for us and works its best to get us there. Hubby & I have a few stories sort of like your dancing and the world went away story.
How beautiful! Congratulations on your happiness and your self-discovery. It all sounds truly amazing. :D
04-16-2006, 09:28 PM
We both believe that God brought us together at the right time in each of our lives, almost like everything we've experienced separately in our lives brought us to a point where we could be together, in each other's life.
I am a believer that things happen for a reason (very often anyway), although there are certainly events in life that make absolutely no sense. But this is one that makes perfect sense to me!
Isnt' is wonderful when the rest of the world goes away and it's just you and your love.....:love: :love:
04-16-2006, 09:40 PM
My partner and I have been together for six years. We too believe that that Universe or god if you will say, brought us together. In the intro to our "wedding" this is what the preacher said, but we wrote it:
Any ritual that celebrates the love one person has for another is always significant and a time of great rejoicing. Joe and Rick have asked each of you to be here today because you are those whom they hold closest to their hearts. You are the people they have chosen to share this important milestone, because you touched their relationship in a special way. Not only are we witnesses to the deep and committed love that Joe and Rick have for each other, but we also to rejoice at their courage to live out who they are, and what they know to be true for them individually, and as a couple.
Joe and Rick believe the Universe is a Power that is much greater than we are and it guides us through our lives. The universe creates us, preserves us, and destroys us. It is deep and old beyond our ability to reach with our senses. It is beautiful beyond our ability to describe in words. It is complex beyond our ability to grasp in science. This overwhelming presence is everywhere inside us and outside us. They are talking about the way our senses and our emotions force us to respond to the overwhelming mystery and power that surrounds us. It sends to you exactly what you need and when you need it. If you listen to it, it will never guide you wrong. Joe and Rick truly believe that the Universe carefully orchestrated the events over the course of their lives, which brought them together and here with all of you, today.
The basis for Joe and Rick’s relationship is friendship – they share interests; the desire to work together; to work towards common goals and; to understand and share each other’s thoughts and dreams. They know they truly love one another. Together, they feel as if they can do almost anything. Burdens seem lighter because they divide them, joys more intense because they share them. Their love for each other has brought out the best in both of them.
However, the uniting of two people goes way beyond the excitement and romance of being deeply in love. It’s not about being so totally absorbed in the other that each loses his sense of identity, but it means looking outward in the same direction, together.
This is an important day for Joe and Rick, as it symbolizes their union as two people who have freely chosen to be together. Although, they began to build their lives together more than five years ago, today they wish to take their love for each into another dimension.
04-16-2006, 10:18 PM
Tdogg, Joe, I am so happy for both of you and your partners! :rainbow: :rainbow:
That is very much how my husband and I feel. We just recognized each other, as if we had already known. :D I knew I would marry him someday when I first spoke to another friend referencing DH and I as a couple and said "we" for the first time. I noticed the "we" was an entity - a powerful being, a solid and secure home from which we can both go forth into the world stronger and more effective. We are both musicians and teachers. Both of us feel we perform better and teach better since we have been together. We are especially tuned-in when we perform together. More than that, I feel like we can extend our love and our best selves to the larger world and contribute to the community around us in ways we never could, solo.
I am so happy to hear how wonderful it is for you too. Everyone deserves to be loved. Isn't it great to hear the happy stuff?!!
Joe, you wrote some beautiful lines for your ceremony. It sounds like it was extraordinary.
04-17-2006, 11:10 AM
Zerbie, it is great to hear the wonderful stuff!! Sounds like you have a great marriage and husband, and I'm happy for you!
Joe, those are beautiful lines, thanks for sharing. What a great thread!
:love: :love: :love:
04-17-2006, 02:59 PM
My partner and I have been together for six years.
Joe- the words and thoughts in your post are absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing them. I bow before the Light within them and you. Or as they say in the East: Namaste.
04-18-2006, 08:15 AM
Joe: congrats to you and Rick on your longevity, and your love for one another. It will take you far into the future and is a touchstone when things are difficult. Again, thanks to all of you who are contributing to this, I am so glad that the idea occurred to me, and I love reading about so much bliss in these forums. I feel blessed to be in contact with all of you, and this site brightens many a stormy day!!!!!!! Peace and love all, Vanessa:love:
04-18-2006, 10:25 AM
Glad to hear it brightens your day Vanessa. It's a great thread, and definitely needed with all the heavier topics around these days.
Was missin' ya. Glad to see you're still here.
05-15-2006, 10:51 AM
This one has been out of activity for awhile, but I am in the midst of revisiting my bliss and state of, and expanding upon it due to upcoming changes in my life, which I will be seeking a lot of much needed support and prayer on. Bliss, this past weekend, was receiving some of the most beautiful, heartfelt gifts from my 8 year old daughter. A heart shaped mom pendant, and a handmade card entitled "Because of You":
"Because of you I can ride my bike.
Because of you I love to dance.
Because of you I know how to plant flowers.
Because of you I have many toys.
Because of you I have many books.
Because of you I try different foods."
Her teacher even let her make two so each of her moms got one, both different. My daughter is a daily, unending source of bliss. In addition, knowing that she embraces what each of us have brought to her, to see the young woman that she is becoming, to know that we will be intertwined into our old age as exceptionally close, no matter what changes lie ahead for both (all) of us. My other source of / experience of bliss is seeing the beautiful young woman that she is becoming, and how she already embraces herself so fully. I am in awe......
05-15-2006, 11:41 AM
Sounds wonderful! It seems obvious from your posts that your daughter feels secure and loved. Too many children grow up without that.
I'm happy for you and your family, so please accept my belated Mother's Day wishes to you. :love:
It also sounds like you might be going through some other, fairly big stuff. Of course you have our wishes and prayers. We're here for you whenever you need us. :love: :pray:
05-15-2006, 12:48 PM
Thank you, Zerbie. I am envisioning you giving me a big, warm, hug- that is our 3D version of us for now, until we meet..... :love: :love:
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