Monthly Archives: August 2013

#happyinCLE: A Children’s Picturebook Story

Today I spent most of my afternoon sitting in the sun next to this:

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While being kept company by this: 

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And reveling in the passage of several of these:

ImageAnd then, lucky me– less than 2 blocks away was a place that looked pretty similarly to but not quite like this:

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Inside of which were very hospitable ones of these:

ImageAnd they fed me white wine and fresh produce from the Fresh Fork Market (!) and added two things to my #happyinCLE bucket list (item #1 and item #2) on their 3rd floor deck as we looked at this:

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And we examined the questions of our lives– the “who”s, the “when”s, the “why not”s– to fill each other’s hearts and remind one another how much we cared, and we took turns laying out half-serious persuasions for why the other(s) should move to OUR respective city, and we playfully threw uneaten hamburger buns at our departing friends as they walked to their cars while the dusk pastels faded into twilight, and we laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed…

“And the tree”and I“was happy.”

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My love, my love, my love…

I got a really fabulous text from a very dear friend of mine (some of you know him by his stage name, Glen Coco) late in the afternoon on Tuesday of this week. It was near the end of the 9-to-5 day, and it said:

Emilee [note to readers: a fellow Voxie with us] just sent me this acap version of “Same Love” and I’m currently ugly crying at my desk.

For those of you who don’t run in my circle on the reg, “ugly crying” is that embarrassing overemotional reaction we have to things like sappy Google commercials or that one video where the dude proposes to his girlfriend while she’s sitting in the trunk of a moving car (EVERY. FREAKING. TIME. Seriously.). It’s that terrible level of cry that you hope no one– not even the person you love & trust most in the world– ever bears witness to because of just how contorted your face gets while you squeeze the tears out and struggle for breath, simultaneously hoping you’ll never again/always feel the way you feel in that moment.

And so, even though we’re wanting nothing more than to hide/shred/bury/obliterate any evidence of any ugly cries we fall prey to, we know that the trigger video/lyric/performance/idea is just too good to keep to ourselves; there are so many friends & family members (AND STRANGERS!!!) who deserve an earnest ugly cry in front of their mirror or before they fall asleep or after a self-inflicted crisis over career choice. On a more simplistic level, we also feel the urge to recognize the absurdity of our visceral response to whatever the thing was.

Which is CLEARLY why I’m sharing with all of you the thing that made Glen (and, subsequently, me) bawl like a little babychild here in front of my computer at 2:42am on a Friday morning.

The paths from the tears rolling down my cheeks have since dried, but my admiration of the courage & purpose of these men sharing their gifts for something as big as this have certainly not. I am touched, inspired, and left thirsting for more reasons to ugly cry at the beautiful collective strength & resilience of we, the people.

PS: If you still occasionally follow along on here, AT, stay tuned through the end– they borrowed your GarageBand-born idea. 🙂

Open your Heart // Catch My Disease

Why are we here together today? We’re here because it is happening to us, and we do give a shit. And if there were more of us [it] wouldn’t be what it is at this moment in historyignorant people have turned into an excuse to exercise the bigotry they have always felt.

It is more than a horror story, exploited by the tabloids. [It] is really a test of us, as a people. When future generations ask what we did in this crisis, we’re going to have to tell them that we were out here today. And we have to leave the legacy to those generations of people who will come after us.

Someday, thecrisis will be over. Remember that. And when that day comes — when that day has come and gone, there’ll be people alive on this earth — gay people and straight people, men and women, black and white, who will hear the story that once there was a terrible disease in this country and all over the world, and that a brave group of people stood up and fought and, in some cases, gave their lives, so that other people might live and be free.

So, I’m proud to be with my friends today and the people I love, because I think you’re all heroes, and I’m glad to be part of this fight. But, to borrow a phrase from Michael Callen’s song: all we have is love right now, what we don’t have is time.

I watched How to Survive a Plague with students in my summer immersion program. I don’t have enough words to walk you through that if you’ve not yet tuned in for yourself. But someone who does have words is the guy who said the ones above here– Vito Russo.

He was an ACT UP activist during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the US. And that epidemic is exactly what that excerpt from one of his speeches is about. But I can think of so many more injustices and struggles  in our current time for which this pep talk could be re-given…

So I guess mostly what I’m wondering is, why are you waiting to take up the cause (any just cause!) and make change happen? The world needs more Vitos to GSD.