Posts Tagged ‘Gary Koven’

Letter From New York 06 28 15 Thoughts on a rainy Pride Day…

June 28, 2015

It has been unremittingly; resolutely grey for the last two days, creating another set of grey days in a summer of grey days. It is so chill; I have actually turned up the heat in my bedroom to warm the room where I am writing. I’m wearing a sweatshirt and it is about to be July! After the long, hard winter it is as if the world is not willing to give us summer. It has been grey and wet more than it has not.

I am at my desk at the cottage, looking out at the verdant green that are my God’s two acres. I just wish it wasn’t this chilly.

Down in New York, it is Pride Weekend and the parade is being rained upon. I’m not there but texts from friends have informed me of the weather conditions. It’s a joyous weekend for gays in this country. The Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a constitutional right for all.

As I have said, I didn’t think this would happen in my lifetime but it has. And I’m grateful for all the people for whom this will mean so much. I never really understood what it meant to be married until two men that I knew, Gary and Angel, got wed and I understood, for the first time, on a visceral level, what it meant to celebrate your relationship in front of other people. Their love, as I said at the time, was incandescent.

On this grey afternoon, I am thinking about marriage and I am thinking about race relations. The murder of the Charleston Nine has caused a reaction in the South I didn’t expect. Alabama has taken down the Confederate Flag and uprooted the flagpole. Time to move on.

The South, which is becoming a haven for so many international businesses, cannot afford to focus on the past but must look to the future. Which is why, in Alabama, they took down the flag of the rebellious South, even though that was the place Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of the Confederacy.

All the Republican candidates have, I think, denounced the Supreme Court’s decision about marriage. Jeb Bush has been moderate in his comments, as has Marco Rubio. Huckabee has been vitriolic. As have most of them.

Sorry, friends, I think the field of Republican candidates, are an embarrassment. I was raised Republican. Who are these boobs? Narrow minded souls who might win the nomination but I doubt could win the election. And for that, I’m relieved, as I think it would be a catastrophe for the country to have all three parts of the government controlled by Republicans. They’re not intelligent enough.

I am on my soapbox as I am so disturbed by this field of Republican candidates.

Outside, the rain has relented. It will return during the night, I’m sure. Flash flood warnings are in place until 9:00 AM tomorrow morning.

In the background, jazz is playing and I am feeling warm now that I have turned on the heat. Thank goodness. I have been chilled all day.

The world is wobbling on. Greece is a mess and I think we have a not pretty outcome happening there. Hopefully, world markets have factored in the Greek drama so that no matter what happens it won’t shock the markets the way it would have a few years ago.

In Tunisia, a shooter killed something like 39 tourists. He was targeting them. There was an attack in France on an American owned plant that left one person beheaded. A Saudi born suicide bomber killed dozens at a Mosque in Kuwait. Sitting here, surrounded by my trees and the quiet of my world, it is so hard to understand the need to kill. But it is a need for those who do. The Tunisian terrorist was 23 and was dead before he left the beach but behind him were the dead.

Why this hate? Why?

Letter From New York, October 4, 2011

October 4, 2011

Or, as it seems to me…

Outside it is pouring rain and I’m curled on a couch in the cottage, ruminating on the last two weeks, wondering about what I want to write. As I have been thinking about this missive, I have been thinking of people.

Just hours ago, I heard my cousin Marion, whom I always thought of as an Aunt, given the disparity in our ages, had passed away, luckily surrounded by family, including her wonderful sister Virginia, who is so long suffering, gentle, sweet and forgiving that she deserves the sobriquet: saint. She is one of the most loving humans I have ever encountered or probably will ever encounter. She suffered my mother, in all her moods and wonders, lovingly and with persistent kindness, always a wonder to me, a gift we all appreciated. Marion was tougher and more pragmatic albeit loving and between the two of them they allowed our mother to live at home longer than she would have been able to if they had not been present. I’ll lift a glass to the two of them this evening.

I also thought this week of a livery driver who picked me up this week, a man from Ecuador, who loved this country because of the opportunities it would give his children. He worked fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, in order that his daughters could go to good secondary schools and then get into good colleges. Both were doing well and the oldest had just been accepted into the John Jay College of Justice in Manhattan. He was bursting with pride and I marveled at him; I work hard but driving fourteen hours a day in New York? He represented to me the immigrant experience which is America and which has driven us along through history and made me wince when I think of some of the anti-immigration legislation being made in states like Alabama. I don’t know all the rights and wrongs; I do wonder about it all. We are, all of us, after all, children of immigrants and we should remember that heritage.

And mostly, I relished remembering the marriage this past weekend of my friends, Gary and Angel, two men whom I helped meet and who, in their marriage, helped me understand the institution of marriage in a way I had never before comprehended, viscerally. Marriage, to me as a baby boomer, has seemed somewhat redundant, a non-necessity, something, perhaps, a bit archaic and even anachronistic.

But then I attended their wedding and saw the importance and the joy of declaring love to a community and committing oneself to the other in the presence of that community.

Gary and Angel met each other two years ago. From the first date they have constantly discovered new layers within the other that have deepened their respect and admiration of the other and in that deepening have grown to a place where their love is incandescent – a rare thing to be treasured in the human experience and something that is a treasure to all who know them.

Because they are two men they would have not been able to declare their love in this way until recently and now they can and in helping witness their marriage I understood why two people of any combination would want to publicly declare their love and to incorporate their union through the laws of the land, to make it public, legal, not inescapable but more complex to part. They have a love so profound as to dazzle the people around them, including me. And I now understand why people want to be married, to publically and legally declare their love for one another. I was privileged to have been with them as they declared their commitment and were united in marriage.

So, as I finish this week’s letter, I lift my hat to all of us, living our lives, passing through on the great journey called life, to the celebrations at joyful moments and the acknowledgement of the hard ones – the marriages and the deaths, the hard long hours most of us put in to make our lives the dream we dream.