Thursday, July 14, 2016

Another Night

I write you this evening, wondering if you are thinking what I'm thinking, how this world, sometimes our world, once my world, just seems to be some bad bad news channel that keeps clicking out death. More gone. Senseless. A truck rams through a crowd. 77 dead. At this moment, which will change by the hour, until this night fades into memory before the next night becomes our present.

I write you this evening because I know you too try to find light in all this horror, try not to fall every moment, deeper and deeper. Sadness. Videos replaying events. Shouts. Sobbing. Sounds. But this is not all. It is music that rescues, even if temporary, voices. Rufus Wainwright and harmony, a chorus of Hallelujahs that cut beneath my anger, tears, hope.

Do you try to remember names? Make lists in your head. Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Pulse, Istanbul, Dallas, Nice, and lots in between, forgotten, unnamed, never forgotten.

I write you this evening because I cannot be silent, even though I don't quite know what that means, but I know that no words cannot be an option, in these times that have no name since they are not yet history. They are alive.

And why this evening, and not last evening, or the evening before, or even last week. It could have been then.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando Shooting

It's been more than 24 hours, and for the first number of hours, I stayed away, not wanting to fall into the reality of hate, not wanting to dig below my tears. But then, I had to dive in, to listen to others first, find my words in their words, because again, I found myself mute, unable to find words for another lost count of death at the hands of guns, our weapons of mass destruction. I can no longer name all the mass shootings, because their names pile on top of each other, and when I can remember some of the names, I cannot always remember the details, because there have been too many. One is too many.

Today, I listened to the names of the dead, a paced reading,  photos to give face to the words, to the names. I read bios of some of the dead, tearing up at unfinished promises stolen by one man, hate, hate.

Gay bars are refuges, places we go when we want safety, want a dark corner to kiss, to hold hands, to lean in tight like lovers, without fear. Nan and I seek out gay bars when we travel. It's somewhere we know we can sit for a bit, hold hands, feel a bit of normal far from home.

Today, I need my own words to make this loss palpable. There is no sense to be found. No solace. Just a reminder of the ugliness one person can create. I am not hopeless. I am angry, heart heavy, mourning.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Circling into the year

I like when years don't have defined edges, places where you can mark clear beginnings, endings, a specific indication of time lapses, lapsing. Years are measure, ways to see an aging in ourselves, in others. But at that edge between what was and what is to be, I often sit grateful, reminded of what is rather than what isn't, might not be. When the calendar announces the end of a year moving into the start of another, I can't help but reflect a bit, look forward, wonder as if it is a reset, a tabula rasa.

Perhaps it's because of travel--most years Nan and I are fortunate enough to disappear a bit, closing out the year somewhere away or usher in the year somewhere away. Last year we leapt from 2014 into 2015 on the beach in Isla Mujeres, a quiet escape into recovery, a needed rest, stillness. 2015 began there, eating while our feet played with sand, fish pulled from the water before us, grilled while I remembered patience, how to sit, sky staring.

And then life whirls, a slow steady at times, quickening its pace, clouding intentions. I set intentions and forge successfully. I set intentions and forget to follow, get lazy, tired, forgetful.

This year, we finished in Mexico, but this time in Mexico City and Oaxaca, the latter a new place, a discovery. Instead of the sky, I stared all around, lost in the unknown, enthralled by celebrations and foods. Days filled with ancient cultures, conversations with people that still resonate and make me consider as I move slowly and firmly into 2016, ready to work, even when the work is difficult, even when it's easier to coast in boredom.

Early in the trip we ventured for a day with Enrique, an engineer turned tour guide after losing his job, a man who is grateful for the work, despite long days and only 10 days off in a year. We spent hours with Victor and Bulmaro, artisans proud of their lineage, devoted to their craft. Each day left me alert, engaged, noticing the everything I sometimes forget to see.

When the year starts to speed, I might forget a bit, fall back. But for now, this moment, I am in it.