How IS loving somebody wrong? I mean, Jesus himself said, “I will know you by how you love one another.” It’s what we’re supposed to do. And it is challenging. But like many challenging things it’s also extremely rewarding. Loving people is hard. People are infuriating. They don’t do things my way. But I gotta accept that. I would prefer to be with you and all the messiness that entails than be all by myself trying to make it perfect for this princess.
It’s funny how people come into your life. At times, it does seem like fate, that someone comes into your life to help you see and understand something a little bit more.
What do I even mean by love? I mean kindness, compassion, respect, forgiveness, being there for each other. I mean a softening in the face of adversity as well as a softening when confronted by beauty. And I think that working on love means working on the muscle to be able to pull back and see a bigger picture than just the most immediate feelings I may be having. I think that working on love means trusting enough to let you inside me and to let you change me while you’re in there. I want to work on a transformational-love-power that is able to do things beyond my imagining. I don’t need to know the destination already, the journey is what’s important.
About half a dozen times over the last 9-10 months, I’ve gotten together with Gretchen Phillips, a musician and artist based out of Austin, TX, always just for lunch or coffee. She’s been in Ithaca this past year while her partner, Ann Cvetkovich, pursued a fellowship at Cornell.
We have this incredible opportunity and power to NOTICE the world around us. We can actually see the forest for the trees. We have the unique ability to lead the way down the path of love due to our experiences, innate sensitivities, vast courage and ability to fucking think for ourselves and not just follow the herd. Moo. It’s a big world out there. And I believe that individually we can create a life for ourselves that’s big enough to accommodate all of us and our big feelings. Because if nothing else, queers have big ass feelings!
We always had amazing conversations. Gretchen is a remarkably thoughtful, outspoken, and unashamed to express herself. We talked about creativity, art, love, depression, and spirituality; no small talk. We originally got together because she needed some technical help with a photography project she was trying to put together, put the connection we found was much more.
Let me reiterate, yes, people bug me, too. I have big ass feelings myself. But what am I going to do? This particular lifetime I’m a human among humans. And luckily I have found myself fortunate enough to be among you people of Austin TX for years and years and years of this lifetime. I believe that ya’ll are excellent people for me to work with on this lifelong project of being a better lover, being more compassionate, more respectful of our differences, more quick to bond over our similarities, more centered without being just self-centered. I ask a lot of my queer self and I ask a lot of my queer people because I truly believe we’re special and can do a lot. I believe we’re leaders as lovers. Let’s continue to reach for each other!
I felt wonderful after each of lunches, like I both opened myself up in a meaningful way, and learned something valuable. Given all that has gone on in my life this past year (so many transitions!), Gretchen seems like she came around to help me better understand my life at this moment.