Saturday, September 20, 2014
Yesterday was my brother's birthday. I have two half-siblings who I love very much, but this is the only one 100% my blood, same mother, same father, with all the strengths and weaknesses that came from them. His is also the first birthday to happen since the four of us lost our mother five months ago. He doesn't even know she's gone.
Things are always changing. Next week I start a new job. Teaching. WWU. My alma mater (I have always loved that term), where I got the first of my masters degrees. I will be teaching a writing-intensive class on the literature of AIDS. I learned in one class while teaching at UW that my 20 year old students didn't realize the impact it had on the gay and lesbian communities in the 1980s and 90s. That initially it was considered a gay cancer. Many of them had no idea there had been any link at all to the queer community. It's everybody's disease, sure. But without gay activists, the road to manageability of the disease (I don't think anyone even talks about "cure" anymore) would have been much longer. And with even more dead. There were so many incredible stories and books written in that time. Documenting how fast and bizarrely it hit, paralleling the natural evolution of gay lit from coming out stories to a focus on family dynamics, documenting the anger, the politics, the intensity of community bonds. Most now are out of print. Which presented the first challenge of putting the class together. In any case, I am excited to be teaching again. And to be taking a closer look at some of these stories.
I got back two days ago from a week on the peninsula. The good of that. I got a lot done (wrote my syllabus!), read a lot, got further in editing book two of Bowerbird (it's long, but so so beautiful). I watched the boats go in and out. And lights across the water. Drank whiskey. Ate well. I do wish life could be like that all the time. Calm. No real work but what I want to do, beautiful place, beautiful people. I was in love with life a lot last week.