This has been the hardest eulogy for me to write. I cried almost every step of the way. I miss him greatly. I know we all do. His smile, sense of humor, warmth, wisdom and vision. We have lost a giant.
I wish that my generation took up Waters and his work more, because the subversive energy of his early films provides not only a lens but a landscape that helps us think innovatively about the possibilities of not only queer politics but queer practice.
As I inch forward along this well-worn road, I know by now that to stay alert, awake and attentive is essential to avoiding the pitfalls of mere wishful thinking and downright deception, whether by oneself or well-meaning others.
Now that I've plugged every single incredible person I have worked with this past year at Union and will work with, take a few moments to click on the various links and explore the vital work being done by these scholars and farmers.
With our annual Pride celebration now only a few weeks away, in between all the shopping and primping a girls got to do, I find myself once again thinking about those who have touched my life; those who have - and still - inspire me to be who I am today.
When we set aside the quality time and claim the psychic space for ceremony, when we assume the authority to do so, we are able to transform our perceptions, our perspectives, our experiences, and in the process, our reality.
Last week I had the chance to view a screening of I Am Divine, Jeffrey Schwarz's new feature-length documentary about John Waters protégé and drag pioneer Divine, and catch up with one of its stars, queer cult cinema icon, actress/singer and original John Waters muse Mink Stole.
There is a form of atheism that is closer to the divine than the standard theism witnessed in the church. For wherever a concern of beauty, an embrace of life and a love of liberation are exhibited the sacred is proclaimed.
As I wrapped by scarf tighter around me and put my hands inside my poncho for warmth, I brought my teenager to mind. He was my question. What would improve our relationship? How do I make our everyday more loving and less adversarial?
As mystics and sages have testified for millennia, intimacy with God is the richest experience we can know. While it does not solve a thorny issue theists face -- the question of divine intervention -- it enables us to move forward into God, even as the question lies unanswered.
I have navigated treacherous territory before. From experience I know that barks are worse than bites -- that no matter how scary, dedication to one's authentic journey takes precedence over fear, overcomes obstacles and provides ultimate protection.
Divine regard refers also to the living practice that every person we come across is also sacred, just as they are. We are invited to relate to them as part of ourselves -- even our most challenging students!
My experience, which is entirely personal to be sure, suggests to me, that sometimes when I sleep, I can contact deeper parts of me, aspects of my consciousness that might be called "of a higher nature."