"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day


In Defense of Marriage.

I have over the past week received several e-mails from the HRC detailing new campaigns against gay marriage. I am obviously for equal marriage rights for LGBT people, so I have been trying to understand why it is that one would stand against this so fervently. Really, if we're that concerned about protecting the institution of marriage, I don't think it's LGBT people we need to fear, or the marriage of any particular combination of consenting willing adults we need to outlaw. If we're really so concerned about marriage then maybe we should begin by outlawing divorce, or infidelity, or flirtation, or fantasy. Or Britney Spears, or Maxim, or X-box, Playstation, etc. Or disatisfaction, or wandering eyes, or long hours, or business trips. Or MySpace (not Facebook...we love you). Or, I guess, the whole Internet. Or football, baseball, basketball season. Or Las Vegas. Or any and all REAL housewives. Or massive lay-offs and economic collapse. Or rushing in to, or rushing out of marriage too quickly. Not the union to two souls who wish to be together, who have fought long and hard for their relationship to be recognized, who love each other, and deserve to be treated as equals.

Let me know if I missed anything.

P.S.--Feel free to leave me explanations, but please don't leave me bigotry or misused Bible verses in the comments. I will delete them and you will have wasted your time, and then I will be forced to go to your blog and leave extensive discourse on why 90s Madonna was great, but nothing compares to 80s Madonna, and we won't even talk about millenial Madonna. You've been warned.


Where I Live.

Over the past few months, I have found within myself a shift from being sad at injustice to being infuriated by it. I don't really know why this is. I do enjoy the anger a bit more. I feel like it is a more active emotion, which is not good in many instances as it leads to violence and vengeance and whatnot. But it can also mean positive change, motivation to no longer remain silent about injustice and to move on the behalf of those who are impacted. So, yes...rage.

When I read the papers and on the rare occasion that I watch the news, I can only sit and sigh (or on occasion curse). Stories of increasing home foreclosure means more people will be homeless, and these people will be families with children or elderly people with little income. Stories of increased crime and violence in all corners of the globe, the economies of entire countries nearing collapse, mounting global poverty as aid slows due to lack of funding. And I do not know how we got here or why this was allowed to happen. I am perplexed at the short-sightedness of all our solutions, not understanding that crime rises for a reason, that young men turn to terrorism for a reason, that even pirates have families. That nothing occurs in isolation of what has come before it. I do not believe that people turn to crime because they are lazy, or terrorism because they are evil. It is centuries of prejudice and acts of terrorism carried out by so-called liberators that have led us to this point.

But I guess it's easier to answer problems in isolation. To address terrorism rather than intolerance. To address piracy rather than poverty. And I don't say this in a self-righteous, 'look at me talkin' about lofty social problems" sort of way. I mean it for real. If we admit that we are responsible for these problems and that it is our responsibility to now solve them, then it can no longer be someone else's job to think about these things and to make them better. It's yours. This is where I'm living. So yes....wrath.


A Deep Breath.

I spend alot of time listening to other people's stories. And then another significant measure watching and reading other people's stories. The majority of these stories are sad, and frustrating, and frightening, at many turns, deeply disturbing. And so I find myself a bit weighed down most of the time. Sometimes very, very weighed down. So I watch less crime drama, and stop reading about war. I look for jobs working with refugees, with orphans, with prisoners, with veterans, in hospitals, in hopes of proactivity lessening my burden. I go back to work, and offer advice rather than listening as I should. I look for something outside myself--relationships, activities, uninvolved work, religion-- or something more deeply inside myself--meditation, focus, hope--to offer support. But I am too practical and cannot shake my feelings of responsibility to my fellow man, or my guilt at not giving enough, or at allowing my heart to get in the way.

I wish, oh how I wish, I was able to fully believe in something. At times I find myself envying some of my patients, because they can say with utmost certainty (however delusional it may be) to God speaks to them, and knows them, and has a purpose for them and for their suffering. But I cannot see this most of the time. This week I have watched a television show about child soldiers, read a story about the irreparable harm done to prisoners put in solitary confinement or by the social isolation of homelessness, and listened to scores of stories about desperation, and destitution, and deprivation. And I sleep less, and work more, and make an attempt at prayer, and contemplate another tattoo, or a drum, or an angsty pair of shoes. And I think about the possibility of God actually working that way. Of having a purpose for every person and every horrible occurrence, at hope coming from despair, and joy from sadness. I take a deep breath and I step off to begin a new day. And I hope that belief can come from wanting. That peace can come from belief.