Jan. 20th, 2017

raven: subway sign in black and white, text: "Times Square / 42 Street station" (stock - times square)
In the last week of my twenties, I sold a story; concluded a piece of litigation in the Court of Appeal; agreed to remain on secondment through to March 2018; and spoke a little Gaelic with some kind strangers. And here we are.

A friend of mine, to mark a similar occasion, wrote a letter to her younger self. I thought that was a lovely idea, though I'm too tired to write very much and perhaps I don't have to. To me at eighteen, from me at just-now-thirty: I am glad I was you, and you, I think, will be glad to be me. I have done what you set out to do, and it has been hard work that was worth doing, and it has been transformative.

But you will never be more or less queer than you are right now. The language thing won't ever hurt less; writing will hold you and keep you; sleeping or eating will never become any easier; you are, and have been, and will be loved. And you and I both have an unknown self - the one for whom the Trump inauguration will be the past and the Bush inauguration the distant past - who lives in the glorious unknown uncertainty, in that which can yet be made. I hope she thinks of me with the same affection with which I think of you. And for the world she lives in, I want to believe this, from Rebecca Solnit's essay on Hope In The Darkness:

"The sleeping giant is one name for the public; when it wakes up, when we wake up, we are no longer only the public: we are civil society, the superpower whose nonviolent means are sometimes, for a shining moment, more powerful than violence, more powerful than regimes and armies. We write history with our feet and with our presence and our collective voice and vision. And yet, and of course, everything in the mainstream media suggests that popular resistance is ridiculous, pointless, or criminal, unless it is far away, was long ago, or, ideally, both. These are the forces that prefer the giant stays asleep.

Together we are very powerful, and we have a seldom-told, seldom-remembered history of victories and transformations that can give us confidence that, yes, we can change the world because we have many times before. You row forward looking back, and telling this history is part of helping people navigate toward the future. We need a litany, a rosary, a sutra, a mantra, a war chant of our victories. The past is set in daylight, and it can become a torch we can carry into the night that is the future."

April 2017

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