Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Origins Unkept

AIDS activized me in the late 80s.  A columnist in my town's newspaper wrote a commentary blaming AIDS on promiscuity, & less obviously, on gay men.  I wrote a letter to the editor rebutting it, believing it would not be published.  It was, & after a follow-up conversation with the owner/editor, I was invited to write an article about AIDS, its causes, & its toll on society.

My best friend wasn't interested in AIDS she said, so she didn't want to read the article.  She did, however, months later, want me to go with her for her HIV test results.  Negative.  The only time I ever got pissed at Gay Men's Health Crisis was when they ran:  Don't Take the Test.  It's Bad News. ads.  I still hate that(long-defunct) campaign.

I was a little surprised when the church secretary at my father's place of employ made a point of commenting on my letter to the editor so positively.  Years later, she & her husband, the deacon, raised their grandchildren after their daughter succumbed to AIDS.  She'd been exposed to it from a man she met at church.

When I first started reading blogs,  I blog-met two HIV+  bloggers, Nelishia & Mark, whom I grew to like & admire,

This post was going somewhere else entirely a few minutes ago.  The second word of the post keeps tapping me on the shoulder.  3 charities are in my will, but the force has seeped away.

Nothing activizes me anymore, & I'd not fully realized that until now.  I could write that I don't have the mental strength for it - which sometimes is true- but really I no longer have the heart or the proper sustainable mind-set for it.  

Each time I've read  My disability does not define me  I've pushed down envy.  Perhaps I have not yet learned the proper way to calculate mine, because it seems to permeate me.  I'm going to try to recalculate.

I wrote that a few days ago.  I'm in a slightly better place now.  I've been pushing myself -sometimes gently, sometimes not-- to do rather than to think about what I can no longer do.  


  1. Don't forget that is 30 years since you were first an AIDS activist. Your disability has been accompanied by that other "disease" we all "suffer" from: aging (if we're lucky). I have tracked many former activists on FB, and they all discovered one of the points of surviving (and helping others survive) was to be able to live your life. Having put some money away to leave behind is extraordinarily valuable - I know you have already financed the fixing of many smiles via The Smile Train!
    HOW to live with a brain chemistry that is different from the one that defined the first half of your life is unquestionably disorienting. What I will keep encouraging is that you stay gentle with yourself. The issues you are confronting are in your head, but they're not in your head.

  2.;dr ... just stopped by to let you know that a letter I sent to New Jersey came back... and I had to explain why I am sending mail to another woman..! :0)

    1. This did not show up in my inbox...I've moved. I'm so sorry.
      You could have called...but then you'd have to explain why you are calling another woman.

  3. Keeping you in thoughts as always, Mary

  4. Activized...I like this word. It feels orange on the edges and bright gold in the center. (and that probably sounds like insanity, lol) I wonder at the eons of potential we've lost as a species in blame. Cause and effect and consequence and choice and the forces of gravity and orbit - to breathe is to stumble. To live is to grieve and love and lose...and love again, even if it's just good toast.

    I've missed your voice Mary.