Everything I have come into contact with over the last week seems to be hot, burning, lit up.
Let me explain.
Recently I had a good laugh at the comedy special Aisha Tyler Is Lit and she was 100% R rated on fire (that’s my viewer warning). I had also just finished reading Collin Kelley’s chapbook After the Poison which is lit up with guts. He opens with a poem about Ronald Reagan and touches on the corners of so many recent life altering events: Katrina, the various desert wars etc. I can hear Collin reading these poems meaning that I can hear his literal voice, but also his strong ability to draw characters, and to have a cadence that would also compliment the spoken word versions of many of these pieces. These are the poems that happen after we’ve taken the poison, and they will not be gentle but they will be amazingly well written and thought provoking (even if they are making me want to write run-on sentences in praise).
So these images of light and fire just can’t let me go because next I’m watching a documentary about pinball called Special When Lit. I SOOO remember playing pinball when I was a kid, but I’m fascinated by the passion that people still have for a machine that is dying away.
And then, I was really burning as I finished Ocean Vuong’s chapbook Burnings which will not let your mind rest. These are the poems of a young man who came from a history of burnings (think back to the Vietnam war and those who had to die and/or flee), but has had to continue to find a way to let his own individual light shine through even if the poems he has to write will make some people cringe. They are graphic, honest, and so thoughtful well wrought. They are, yes, on fire.
Finally, I read this article while my brain was still reeling from the Amendment One vote in NC where I live, and voted. I also stumbled across this editorial by Rabbi Shmuley. I tend to stay out of most political debates, especially in the online world. Why? I like to remain flexible and open to discussion. I don’t want people to think I’m not open to informed debate and discussion. And yet, this time I will say this:
I voted NO on Amendment One. I said No for a variety of reasons but for one I do support a broad version of freedom especially the freedom to love because I think all of this should come back to love. People came to this country because they wanted the freedom to love and worship the god/God of their choice. They came here for the love of their families and the hope of making some money to better support them. People come here and stay because they love having a voice and a choice. I think if we are going to say that consenting adults can not choose to love and commit themselves to whomever they want then we have to do away with any law that protects what others choose to love.
As some of the Wiccans have been known to say: As it harm none, do what you will.
This is what lights me up: helping others have a chance to speak, to join the conversation, to be who they are, to find their tribe.