Proud to Be

June 21, 2016

The Stonewall Inn


It is our privilege and burden to struggle toward understanding. As soon as we think we have it, we find holes in the bottoms of its pockets and we go further looking for the key we are sure was just there. Scraping, scrounging.

On Duval Street, there are candles rocking in the evening breeze: golden cat’s eyes twinkle and sway. There are colors draped and stretched tight to catch the last soft whispers of light before they’re gone over the rim of blue-green creation. There is music. There is, too, the sound of weeping, and soon they are indistinguishable in the roiling din of life: creation, loss, the short days that connect them.

We are still learning, slowly. We are teaching ourselves the hard lessons of being and of being human. We are at once the petulant author and the unreliable narrator, expressing texts bursting with the detritus of humanity that in time will hold up the bookcases of the great professor.

By Lake Eola, ten thousand souls swarm around signs, around banners, around each other. A fire rises. Ten thousand voices punctuate each name. We remember them: children, lovers, friends, parents. We remember so much more than them, too. We remember their being. Our humanity.

In the annals of human learning, where will we each fall? To recognize, to observe, to lament – these things do not make for full chapters in the books of human being. Epigraphs, maybe. The stuff of true learning comes from our response to and growth from these actions. To hold a candle, to cup a hand around its papier-mache flame against the lapping wind, is one thing. To carry the fire into the world, to cast its light on our own works of learning that we might do something lasting with their lessons, that is the most important thing.

What do we stand for, even as the world around us is falling down?

I stand for being human. And I am #ProudToBe.