“Young people are abandoning the “save the world” rhetoric we were raised with and seeking out a more practical, complex analysis of social change. We don’t want to “save the world.” We’re too smart to think we can. We want to live in it — flawed, fierce, loving, and humble.”
Why do people even bother hating or put forth the energy to discriminate against others? It doesn’t make sense to me. Make art, go to school, write something, do something for your community. Do something productive with the energy you’re using to hate others.
Any day now, any day now, I shall be released.” —Nina Simone, covering Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released”
We may still be in August, but very soon Autumn will arrive.
That time of the year reminds me of a lot of different things, like new fall clothes and back to school… oh how I miss going back to school. It also reminds me of Halloween and cool, Autumn evenings, the kind where the weather is perfect enough for hot tea outside and big knit sweaters on a porch. I love Autumn. It’s one of my favorite seasons.
But along with this season comes people leaving, going back to school, back to work, etc. And so it is with great sadness that I say goodbye to my dear friend Amrita, who will be going off to Vietnam in a few days to teach.
This beautiful and inspirational woman has had a profound impact on my life. Her sense of hope and faith are infallible, and she sense of beauty is just breath taking. I wish you could all see the work she has done.
I will miss her dearly for these next two years.
I also wish her the best, and I hope you all will help me in doing so as well.
F. Scott Fitgerald
My parents have been spending a lot of time at home lately. With the impending arrival of my uncle and his family to our home, we have been renovating and cleaning up the house, trying to make space. Not an easy task for a family of hoarders. My mother has filled our basement with bags and bags of our old clothes. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it has something to do with memory. As I’ve mentioned before, my mother works in the fashion industry, and I think clothing signifies something different for her than for the rest of us. She came from nothing to all of this, and what better sign of success than brand name labels? I’m not trying to make her sound vain. She is far from it. Materialistic? Maybe. But for all the right reasons.
A friends of mine told me to stop comparing my ideas of success and progress to my mother’s. My values and her values are different for very good reasons. Her ideas of success, in comparison to mine, are also very different… and for very good reasons as well.
Sometime last week, my mother and I found ourselves sitting together on our back porch. This was our first time sitting out there together, and we’ve had the porch for about a year now. We began talking, and while it was awkward at first, it eventually became a little easier. It is surprising how easy some things can be if you just let it happen.
And while we discussed a whole bunch of things, like her work and my future, that one question came up again: “Do you think you’ll be able to find someone to love you forever?”
And once again I had no answer. So I lied. Because all she wanted to know in that one moment was that someday, I will be loved. She wanted to feel confident that I would be cared for, because all of her gay colleagues, well into their forties by now, are still single, dating, and lonely. Sad thing is, I can’t disagree with her worrying. Her fears are legitimate to her experience, and partly to mine. But if I’m going to leave that conversation as something good, as some sign of progress between my mother and I, I need to take pride in the fact that all my mother wants for me is love. Because despite her nagging, her passive aggressiveness and her manipulative tendencies, we had a good moment out there.
And as scary as my own doubts and fears are about my own romantic future, twenty years from now I would like to remember that on this one particular summer night in 2011, my mother came around, and we sat together on our back porch and had a conversation about love.
It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place. But for three years I had roses – and apologised to no-one. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch. But one.
It is small and it is fragile, and it is the only thing in the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away. We must never let them take it from us. I hope that - whoever you are - you escape this place. I hope that the world turns, and that things get better.
But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may not meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you: I love you.
With all my heart.
I love you.” —Valerie, “V for Vendetta”