A Night of Writing and Thoughts on Arizona

I’m calling it a night.

It’s just 10:46 on a Friday, which is honestly prime writing time, and I’ve set my next scene up for lots of fun conflict, but I’m going to try not to exhaust myself with this book. I’m also going to try to keep my arm moving. Frozen shoulder hurt too dang bad for too many months to ignore the twinges I’ve got going on now. The doctor doesn’t think the hours I spent in front of the computer writing last summer had anything to do with the issue, but I’m not taking any chances.

I kind of hate to turn off Spotify tonight. I started using the discover tab and I’ve found so many amazing country and folk artists I’ve never heard of. It’s so fun to write to music that sets the tone of the story. I’m listening to Laura Cantrell right now. Amazing.

I might come back and write more later if my brain won’t shut down, but I’m going to at least take a break and stretch, which is far better than the quick Facebook break I took before writing this. That stupid quick break turned into a 40-minute look at lots of disturbing news.

I’d written a long Facebook post about Arizona, but I deleted it because it was just preaching to the choir, which is pointless unless you’re trying to inspire and motivate. I’m not. I settled for something that has become a guiding principle over the last few years. Something that would make life a lot easier and the world a much better place.

Love God? Love people. It’s that simple.

I remember when I was in college a friend came out. This was back in the day when dorms were community bathrooms and tiny rooms. Another friend was shocked and said “Oh My God, you’ve seen me naked.”

Our friend who was now out and a little embarrassed and afraid of how we’d respond laughed and said, “You have a very high opinion of yourself.”

We all laughed along with her and went back to whatever it was we’d been doing. We didn’t care that she was a lesbian. She was simply her. The person she’d always been.

Okay, that last paragraph is a fairy tale. It’s the way I WISH it would’ve been. The truth was we were all freaked out, but we tried to be the people who treated her the way we had before she told us…at least while we were with her. I don’t remember it being that big of a deal after a few days, but it might have been. Time messes with memories. Sanitizes them. Makes our parts in ugliness so much prettier. Time lets us believe we actually said all those things we WISH we would’ve said.

What I do know is that was the early 90s. She and her SO could go anywhere in the US without fear of being legally denied service because of what someone believed. If they would’ve traveled overseas to, say, Afghanistan, that would’ve been another story. There they would’ve been executed by people who believed their religious dogma trumped all. People who used hate for years to inspire terror and terrorism. Hate that led to 9/11.

My heart hurts for that girl and her SO and for the anger and pain and ugliness now being spewed all over social media…again. Someone asked me once what I would say if my kid were gay. She’s not, but if she were I’d say the same thing I say now: I love you.

Hate is never the answer. Love is always the answer.

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2 responses to “A Night of Writing and Thoughts on Arizona

  1. My mom is SUPER religious, as in Mass every day, Holy Hour every day, that kind of thing. When my brother came out 3 years ago, she was devastated. Everything the church taught her told her to turn against him. When she went online to find support from other Catholic parents, they told her to have nothing to do with him. She even actually kicked him out of the house, which was such a shock because he was her baby, the late-in-life baby she thought she’d never have. This really damaged our family. He was only 22, and went to live with his SO. Mom didn’t even want to meet Will. All the religious groups told her to turn her back. She was ripped apart by this. This was her child who she loved, and she decided she couldn’t cut him out of her life. It’s been a long road, but she’s finally found peace with accepting him for who he is, to the point that when DOMA was overturned, she changed her Facebook icon to an equals sign. My brother and his SO, and his SO’s family, who also had trouble accepting Will, are now such a part of our family that it’s hard to imagine what might have been. I told Mom she needs to write a book or a blog about her journey, that someone out there is going through exactly the same thing now and needs to hear what she learned. Even now, the church preaches things that upset her, and she writes letters and emails, begging them to understand that love is love (which was what my husband and I told her when she and Mike were estranged.) That Jesus gave 2 commandments–love God and love your neighbor. Why can’t people remember that? (Sorry for the long post!!)

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