Election day always brings anxiety for me. And joy.

The anxiety comes from worrying about what it will be like if the candidates I think are pretty much wrong actually win. And the joy comes from knowing that whatever the outcome, we are blessed to have free elections, to live in a place where people get to choose their own leaders. And that probably we will “muddle through” (the phrase my freshman year poli sci professor at Michigan in 1965 used to describe the American political system).

However, today, awash in media ads–much of them untrue, or at best half-true, I wonder if we are choosing our leaders so much as they are choosing us. I know this is true in Congress and the General Assembly, due to redistricting. But I think money may be doing the same thing.

voting-paper-ballotsIf you spend enough money, can you buy the people?

Fortunately, there have been examples over the years of candidates who spent fortunes and still lost.

I have one other anxiety. It is about personality politics.

Much of the country seems to have decided they don’t like President Obama. He is too aloof, not a jolly fellow who can make us feel good. And then there are all those folks in the other party who just basically seem to despise him. In the sandbox we would have known that was because they didn’t think they he should have won, or more aptly, that they should have lost. Entitlement brings out ugly stuff.

I pray we can get back to issues, real issues, soon.

I am going to church today–not to preach as I often do at congregations across Virginia, but for myself, to worship. And I am going twice.

Actually, this is a pretty big worship weekend for me. Friday night, I joined Jonathan at Congregation Or Ami for shabbat. We sang, we prayed, we heard Rabbi Ahuba Zaches share a thoughtful message about fear (an appropriate topic on Halloween!).

This morning, I am going to MCC Richmond–Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond, where I used to serve as Pastor. Now, my dear friend and colleague, Rev. Carolyn Mobley, is serving as the Interim Pastor. I so look forward to hearing her and sharing in the All Saints’ Day remembrances.

This afternoon, Jonathan will join me as we drive to the Gayton Kirk, a Presbyterian Church in Richmond’s West End, for Jazz Vespers. There, another dear friend and colleague, Rev. Janet James, and good friends Jill and Andrew Isola, will lead us in worship–as we listen to the wonderful jazz trio of Ross Riddell, Tommy Witten and Joe Sarver.

ripening peachesI am spiritually among the most blessed of people. I am fed through each of these spiritual communities. MCC Richmond is my spiritual home, but I am also part of these other communities, Christian and Jewish. In fact, although I am not Jewish, I am a full member of Congregation Or Ami because of my marriage to Jonathan, who is Jewish and a member.

And I have a fourth community–it is more of an online community most of the time, but it is nonetheless important and vital for me. It is called Wakan, the word that means “sacred” in the Lakotah language and “heart of the sky” in Mayan. It is led by an amazing shaman, Dr. Tom Pinkson, a psychologist by trade but more importantly, a man who has been in training with the Huichol Indians of Mexico and other native peoples for more than 40 years.

He led the Vision Quest on which I journeyed in September in Yosemite National Park, as he has done every year for 42 years. It has changed my life. Now, I can stay in touch with friends I made there, as well as others who support Tom’s work, by being part of the Wakan online community.

I have learned, and am learning, so much about the wisdom of wilderness and native peoples through Wakan. My prayer life, and all of my life, is much richer today than before I went on the Vision Quest.

It is the interweaving of all these gifts that is making this time the ripest of my life. I feel like I imagine a luscious peach must feel in the warm sun of summer, every day increasing in beautiful color, juiciness, and sweetness.

Richard Rohr, the Franciscan monk whose writings are another source of wisdom and joy for me, speaks of the “slow ripening” that leads to maturity. I think I know what he means. I am not done yet, actually will never be, but I am increasingly aware of how all my life is the foundation for this time of ripening, and that it will only grow more full–provided I stay open and participate as fully as possible.

And I am realizing how this ripening is helping me see new ways to give back, to pay forward, all that I have received, and am receiving. That is part of the ripening process–like that peach being picked and feeding another being.

It is one of my primary intentions to continue to share more about this rewarding spiritual journey. I hope you will stay tuned.

[This is the first of a series of entries in my Jerusalem Journal--observations and opinions arising from an eight-day trip my husband Jonathan and I took to Israel in mid-October so he could attend the annual conference of the International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology.  We had some adventures together, and as you will learn if you read later entries, I had some of my own, in Jerusalem and in other parts of Israel and Palestine (aka the West Bank). The series will appear as I am able to gather my thoughts and feelings--I have plenty of both and they need to be sorted, sifted, and organized.]

I have been circling around this for several days, like a dog trying to find the right spot to lie down. I have puzzled about my reluctance to begin, until I realized that I have carried back, inside myself, the tension that underlays everything in Israel and Palestine.

Just using the word Palestine can land you in a controversy. Israel’s government does not recognize a sovereign nation called Palestine. Neither does the U.S. government for that matter. In law, such a nation does not exist. And yet it does. Some call it the West Bank, others the Palestinian Territories.

Those two latter terms recognize the reality that although Palestinian leaders–the Palestinian Authority or Hamas–have some authority in certain areas, they do not exercise full governmental authority anywhere. Their ability to govern is always conditioned on the forbearance of the Israeli government–either its civil authority emanating from Tel Aviv or the omnipresent Israel Defense Force (IDF).

So the society–it is in many ways one society, even though it is deeply divided into two–is governed by, and runs internally on, tension.

Western Wall, where Jews go to pray, with the dome of Al-Aqsa Mosque, where Muslims pray (part of the third holiest site for Muslims in the world), in the background. Not visible, to the left, is the Dome of the Rock.

Western Wall, where Jews go to pray, with the dome of Al-Aqsa Mosque, where Muslims pray (part of the third holiest site for Muslims in the world), in the background. Not visible, to the left, is the Dome of the Rock.

Lest you think I am only critical of how Israel’s dominance produces so much of, although far from all, this tension, let me be clear: the trauma of Jews for two millenia, if not longer–the trauma of feeling always unwanted and unwelcome, indeed of being vulnerable not just to Nazi Holocausts but also to everyday violation–makes the Israeli desire to dominate and control, and own, every part of the land, quite understandable.

Trauma is, I think, the operative word here, but of not just for Jews. The Palestinians experience every day the trauma of living on, or agonizingly close to, the land that once was fully theirs but now belongs mostly to someone else. So many live in ugly, marginal, secondhand spaces only a stone’s throw (I use the term deliberately) from where they used to live the much richer, natural lives that had belonged to them and their ancestors for generations. So the trauma is everywhere.

Both traumas go largely untreated.  Which is why Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine, says, “For those of us who truly care about the well-being of both sides, or even or either side, the task is to heal the trauma. That healing is not just a political or psychological project but also a spiritual project.”

Understanding this, I am more grateful than ever for Presidents Carter and Clinton who tried, by bringing the leaders of both sides to Camp David, to get them to talk, to listen, to communicate. And other Presidents, as well as other leaders,  have tried various approaches to change the dynamics of the situation. Secretary of State John Kerry has been engaged for some time, it seems to me, in trying to do something.

In coming entries, I will write about Israelis and Palestinians I met who yearn for an end to the hostilities, for peaceful coexistence, even in some cases daring to believe that all could somehow thrive together. And I will write about others: Israelis who so fear for their survival that they cannot imagine anything other than conflict, and Palestinians who feel the same way. I met peacekeepers and observers and teachers who seek to build honest and even caring relations on the ground now. I met Palestinians who do their best to live well and without rage, in Jerusalem and elsewhere, even as they carry a keen sense of the wrongs they see and experience.  I will write about the things I saw that disturbed me, in some cases made me angry, and I will write about the beauty I saw and the sacredness I felt.

I came back determined to find a way to help. Such a beautiful and holy land need not be a place of bloodshed and terror. I came back understanding that this is not simply an Israeli and Palestinian problem, or even just a Middle East problem. It is a global problem. As a U.S. citizen, I am implicated in what is going on there, if for no other reason than my government’s fingerprints are all over the place.

The sad truth is that both sides have to want to change the situation, and to do so in ways that do not deny the existence and well-being of the other. But to say that does not mean we simply wait until they are tired of fighting and decide to act like grown ups.

It means we have to do whatever we can, everything we can, to help them decide to want to change. That’s what friends do.

And that is what people do who recognize that the trauma which is theirs is also ours. More about that later.

 

Binoche and Owen (yes, he has a beard, and it does not look bad)

Binoche and Owen (yes, he has a beard, and it does not look bad)

Which has more power, words or pictures? In our media-saturated culture today, it would seem that pictures always carry more power. I notice that Facebook posts with pictures usually draw the most interest. And “as little as possible” is the amount of text that works best with the picture.

At the same time, there are some things a picture cannot tell us. There are subtleties of meaning and even information that are best served by text. And, for me at least, there is always the beauty of language well used.

A mew film, “Words and Pictures,: explores all this in a most delicious way. I urge everyone I care about to see it. Indeed, I urge everyone who cares about the liberal arts in our culture to see it.

Jonathan told me we were goint to see a romantic comedy with Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche. That sounded good by itself–two accomplished actors can often be good.

Clive OwenBut this is no simple romantic romp. I don’t want to give much away, because not knowing anything in advance surely helped me enjoy the film. Suffice it to say that Owen plays a troubled “Honors English” teacher at a prep school (in what appears to be Maine) and Binoche plays a painter who is hired to teach “Honors Art” at the same school.

Sparks fly between them pretty much from the beginning and more sparks fly around campus as they rouse their students in a “war” over the question I raised at the beginning of this post: which has more power, words or pictures (of course, some students are taught by both)?

Owen delights in playing word games with colleagues and in quoting authors to his student to show how vital good words are. Binoche demands much of her art students and  seeks always to beat Owen at his own word game (she’s pretty good). So it is fun, even as at moments it turns sad and depressing.

Juliette BinocheBut the real deal for me is the evocation of art–spoken, written, visual–as something really vital, indeed absolutely necessary for life. In less than two hours, I was reminded in the most beautiful way of why the liberal arts matter, why choosing the right word is of first importance, why painting the truth is absolutely essential.

And if you don’t believe me, stick around till almost the end of the credits . . . . . to see the identity of the painter of Binoche’s paintings.

Aging is a process. Of course. And like any life process, there are aspects we like and others that bother and surprise.

Image

I only had one!

I had a delightful 67th birthday yesterday–hearing from family, leafletting for Obamacare on Cary Street (politics never leaves my blood), a Reiki session with JR Adams, dinner with Jonathan (in his office so we could do the next thing), laughing my way through a fabulous performance of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” at the Richmond Triangle Players, a delicious gluten-free cupcake and Ben & Jerry’s “Cherry Garcia” frozen yogurt, and the gift from Jonathan of a volume of poetry by Mark Nepo, Surviving Has Made Me Crazy. And somewhere around 200 of my Facebook friends–folks from my youth in Michigan, and in Virginia, and all the other places I have lived, and some folks from far away–shared good wishes (one of the joys of Facebook and other social media).

What’s not to like about all that? And oh yes, tossing the ball with Cocoa and feeling his delight–and in some ways, the true high point: being sung to by my 2-year-old granddaughter, Juna, and her beautiful parents, on FaceTime on the iPhone!

Juna and Papa

Juna Gorsline Knox and her adoring Papa

And later today, October 11,  the day after my birthday which always is National Coming Out Day, we drive to Williamsburg for an overnight and a daytime stroll around historic Jamestown. I am feeling very blessed.

But, the inevitable “but,” something happened yesterday that reminded me that things keep changing. The stream moves on, and sometimes, just sometimes, it does not feel good. Or right. Or at least it creates, or touches, some sadness. And offers a challenge.

I have this hat, a black fedora. I bought it years ago on West Fourth Street in the Village (that’s Greeenwich Village for non-New Yorkers and non-LGBT folks–actually, the store may have been too far east to qualify as being in the the village, but I always think of it that way). I paid $175 for it, an extravagant sum for me to spend on much of anything, let alone a hat.

But it is good quality, a Dobbs hat, and it serves me well. I wear it pretty much whenever I go out into the world from October until April or May (whenever the warmer weather feels right to trade it for a straw hat for the warmer months).

For the past two years, I have known it needed to be cleaned and blocked (shaped). This constant wear had caused it to look a bit shabby and the back was curling up rather more than I liked.

So my personal birthday present to myself was to arrange to take the hat to a shop in downtown Richmond whose sign I had seen over the years. They advertised cleaning and blocking hats.

Now you may have an inkling of the rest of the story. But here it is

I called the shop (Chic Chateau in some listings, Chic Chapeau in others) to find out their hours and to be sure of their location (I had noted a “We’ve Moved” sign in the window last year). No answer, in fact, no business message, just one of those impersonal, machine-generated “invitations” to leave my message after the tone. A woman called back a couple of hours later. “No, we don’t do that any more.”

I asked, “Do you know of another place I can take my hat?” She answered, rather curtly I felt, “No.”

Robin wearing fedoraI checked online. Lots of places sell hats–well, mostly caps with logos and pictures and the like. I like caps. I have quite a few of them. Wear them in the yard, walking with Jonathan and Cocoa, going to the fitness center. But in my 67-year-old-brain, they are not hats.

One business consistently came up in web searches as the place to call. “No, we don’t do that anymore.”

“Do you know……?’ “No, I don’t.”

It that moment, I realized something: An age has passed. A place as sophisticated as Richmond no longer seems to have a place to care for hats, real hats.

The old curmudgeon in me wants to flail about, in “high dudgeon” as my mother used to say. But really I am just sad.

I cherish my hat. I like the way I look in it. I feel a bit dashing. Yes, I have noticed that few men wear hats, at least fedoras and the like, anymore. Which makes me all the more happy to wear it. It is a trademark of Robin Gorsline. And I enjoy seeing other men in hats. We often notice each other, complement the other on his hat. It is a sort of fraternity.

So, I will find a place to care for my hat. In the meantime, I bought a brush to clean it up a bit. I realized that I am one of the few people who can see the soiled spot on the top of it–still, I care about my hat, and don’t want it to feel neglected.

So I will wear it this season, and then I will send it somewhere, in time for a good cleaning and blocking before next October 10. Somewhere in the world is a place to take care of my hat. Or maybe I will buy a cheap imitation now and send it away for “treatment.” I don’t know if I can bear that. But my hat might feel better.

An age has passed. I am a year older. So is my hat. I too could use some cleaning and blocking–that’s partly why I work out at Snap Fitness.

We, my hat and I, shall carry on, of course. I have miles to go, I hope many of them. I am just getting started.

Robin holding fedoraI want my hat to go with me, preferably cleaned and blocked. But, either way, don’t count us out. There’s plenty of life left in both of us. Surviving has made me crazy, as the poet Mark Nepo (a cancer survivor) has discovered (see reference above).

For me, and if I read Nepo correctly he would agree, it is the craziness that makes it possible to do more than survive, to thrive and change and shine and meet the challenges of living.

So I thrive. And my hat is going to thrive, too. Oh yes, my hat is going to thrive. We’re in this together.

POFEV logo for web[On September 24, POFEV: People of Faith for Equality in Virginia sponsored "Celebrating the Many Voices of LGBT Pride," an interfaith service focused on the spiritual foundations of LGBT liberation, at Congregation Beth Ahabah in Richmond. A small group heard some amazing color-themed meditations by various speakers. I continue my own blog posts with some thoughts about green, and will continue to share more entries--still to come are yellow, orange and red.  Prior entries include violet, indigo, turquoise, and hot pink, colors from the original 1978 rainbow flag designed by Gilbert Baker, as well as brown, added by Alexandria Hawkins and myself, to round out a fuller rainbow.]

“Green.” That’s the one-word answer I blurted out when Rev. Pat Bumgardner of MCC New York asked me to fantasize about my future pastorate.  I had just told her that I felt called by God to abandon my plan to stay in New York and serve the Metropolitan Community Church she led there–working part-time in ministry and continuing to draw my six-figure salary at The Association of the Bar of the City of New York–and instead follow God’s lead to become a spiritual leader in a community somewhere else. Fourth_Avenue_Brooklyn_ek_2006

That was mid-November of 2002, not long after I heard God’s booming voice–as I walked down 4th Avenue in Brooklyn (picture,left) through a crowd of Latino/a worshipers on Sunday afternoon, a street about as green as the Mojave Desert–saying, “”Why are you holding out on me?” In that moment, I blurted out, “I’m sorry, God. I have been angry with you, and I realize it was not you that stopped my ministry, it was the church. I will serve you. Tell me what to do.”

james-river-road-trip-1_22324_600x450

Aerial view of part of the James River, part of the east end view of Richmond’s green

Six months later, almost to the day, I was in a plane, circling Richmond International Airport.  Wondering why we are being delayed, I looked out the window to see  . . . the most glorious green–trees everywhere, all in vibrant hues of green. I realized that God called me to green, just as I fantasized. I grew up on a tree farm in Michigan–acre upon acre of evergreens and deciduous trees, for sale to people who want to beautify their homes and businesses and communities.

I love trees. And I had surely missed them during my years living in New York. The parks are wonderful, but for me they were not enough. Sadly, however, I stayed in New York long enough to have almost forgotten my need for green. However, God rescued me, just in time.

Now I live in a green paradise–not just the east end where the airport is surrounded by forest, but our home on the south side that faces a woods cut through by a small stream and the forests not far west. Indeed, one of the most important reasons I call Virginia home is that the entire Commonwealth of Virginia is a carpet of green from east to west and south to north (with cities here and there, less green, but still not without trees). Four-leaf_Clover_Trifolium_repens_2What is it about green? I’m not Irish, and I don’t even wear much green (unless you count teal).

The psychology people say that the personality marked by green is practical, down-to-earth, with a love of nature, stable and well balanced or are striving for balance, although in seeking this balance, you can at times become unsettled and anxious; kind, generous and compassionate; good to have around during a crisis as you remain calm and take control of the situation until it is resolved; caring and nurturing to others (watch out for your own needs, though); and intelligent and a lover  of learning

And “greens” need to love and to be loved, open books who don’t hide our feelings; belong – greens are the joiners of social groups; good citizens who like to be involved in community groups; live by high moral standards; be accepted, appreciated and admired for the good we do in the community as well as in our family life. And be a loyal friend and a faithful partner, gentle but not passionate

Jonathan 2Speaking of being a loyal friend and faithful partner (and passionate!), I met Jonathan in New York, but not in the city. We met at a Radical Faerie gathering near Ellenville in upstate New York, on some rolling acres around a simple retreat center amid, yes, a lot of trees. Radical Faeries? Talk about green! Of course, Irish fairies are often pictured as green. But Radical Faeries are green in different ways. They are a loosely-affiliated worldwide network and counter-cultural movement seeking to redefine “queer consciousness”  through spirituality. According to the entry on Wikipedia, radical faeries  reject “hetero-imitation. ” The Radical Faerie movement began during the 1970s sexual revolution among gay men in the United States.

Radical Faeries 1The movement has expanded in tandem with, and at times in opposition to, the larger gay rights movement, challenging commercialism and patriarchal aspects of modern LGBT life while celebrating pagan constructs and rituals. Faeries tend to be fiercely independent, anti-establishment, and community-focused. Faerie culture is undefinable as a group; however, among Faeries you will find Marxists, feminists and pro-feminists, pagans, many who celebrate Native American and New Age spiritualities, as well as anarchists, men’s movement adherents, radical individualists, and those committed to self-actualization. Many seek an earth-based movement and sustainable community life. There are rural communities, and urban groupings.

One thing more, that mattered to me at an earlier time, and probably still does: I really enjoy, even resonate with many Faeries who bring together spiritual solemnity with a “camp” sensibility, gay liberation and drag.  When Jonathan and I met, the Faeries were almost exclusively men, but it was beginning to change even then, and today, Radical Faeries embody a wide range of genders, sexualities, and identities.

Radical Faeries 4This is the green part, or a key element in the green segment, of the what many call the LGBTQQI community–really a gaggle of loosely connected interests whose main glue is the denial by the dominant culture of our social and political freedom.

Trees and faeries. Green. The color of life. In the drive for political freedom–where I am very active through POFEV: People of Faith for Equality in Virginia and in other groups and activities, too–it is easy to push the Radical Faeries and others like them to the sidelines. They don’t necessarily help us win over Republican politicians and middle-of-the road religionists, let alone those on the Right who might be open to including “us” in the wider community of worthy people. In fact, they can hurt “our” cause by their counter-cultural behavior and attitudes.

April 2010 incl Hinton & Rally 023But who is this “we,” this “us,” if it does not include the counter-cultural ones? We are, when we exclude those who make us uncomfortable simply because they are different, a people without our whole soul.

Green grows where it will, even in the tiny cracks in my asphalt driveway.That is the Radical Faerie contribution to LGBT life: Green where we least expect it, and in forms we cannot imagine on our own.

There’s life in the green, whatever color your inner Faerie likes to wear.

POFEV logo for web[Last night, Tuesday, September 24, POFEV: People of Faith for Equality in Virginia sponsored "The Many Voices of LGBT Pride," an interfaith service focused on the spiritual foundations of LGBT liberation, at Congregation Beth Ahabah in Richmond. A small group heard some amazing color-themed meditations by various speakers--including a poem about indigo by NAACP Richmond President Dr. Kim Allen. I continue my own blog posts with some thoughts about indigo, and will continue to share more entries over the next few days to help us get ready for the celebration of Virginia Pride on Saturday, September 28, at Kanawha Plaza, in Richmond--and to continue focusing on our roots and dreams in the days to come.]

Who does not want serenity and harmony? That is what Gilbert Baker says is represented by indigo, a shade of blue I rarely hear mentioned these days.

Indigo BuntingMy earliest memory of indigo was hearing my parents talk about sighting a male Indigo Bunting, a bird, in our yard. The female, as is true in so many bird families, is quite drab, but the male is this glorious color.  When I looked up the bird, I was quite surprised to see how bright the color is. I had always thought of indigo as a very dark, almost midnight blue. But, as I am coming to realize, colors encompass a wide range of appearances.

This is true of LGBT people, of course. Those who do not know us, and especially those who choose not to know us, think we are all the same–in the same way some people act as if all Black people or all Mexicans are the same; seen one (or maybe just talking without any real knowledge), you know them all.  But like indigo, and other colors of the rainbow, we are a beautiful spectrum.

blueberriesIndigo appears between blue and violet in a rainbow. Purple grapes and blueberries are indigo. The deep blue of dark denim jeans is indigo. One of the colors of the rainbow, indigo — a dark purplish blue , sometimes more blue and sometimes more violet— gets it name from the indigo plant used to create the indigo dye.

Here’s more of what I learned in my digging into this color. Indigo is the color of the deep midnight sky. It can have a negative effect when used during a depressed state, because it will deepen the mood. Indigo symbolizes a mystical borderland of wisdom, self-mastery and spiritual realization. While blue is the color of communication with others, indigo turns the blue inward, to increase personal thought, profound insights, and instant understandings. While blue can be fast, indigo color rangeIndigo is almost instantaneous. Inventors use indigo skills for inspirations that seem to ‘come out of the blue’.

Reading about this psychological understanding of indigo, I realize it is the color of coming out, or at least the color that gets us to look inward and value what we find enough to announce to the world–to family, friends, co-workers, fellow congregants, people who matter to us–that we lesbian or gay or bisexual or transgender. And then when we do come out, we gain seemingly instant understandings of ourselves.

As LGBT people so often say, our sexuality is not all we are, but when we claim it we surely know ourselves more and we are freed to become more ourselves in all parts of our lives. Things begin to fit together and we can work toward more personal fulfillment. Of course, when we don’t do this, we experience of the depression of the closet.

For me, indigo is the color of Maine. My first male lover, Marvin, lived in Maine, and I moved to Maine to be with him for about four years. Maine is very beautiful, and big parts of it are still fairly natural.  A special aspect of Maine are the “lowbush” blueberries that grow wild in what Maine folks call “barrens.” The blueberries we buy in stores are nice, but if you want a pungent taste, a real knock-your-socks-off flavor, find some growing wild, and bend down to pick them. I think this is the sort of authenticity, or wild integrity, older LGBT writers, people like poet Judy Grahn, mean when they write about our ancient roots and traditions. They want us to claim the parts of ourselves that are untamed by the world that so often seeks to make us all the same.

Duke EllingtonSpeaking of authenticity and indigo, there is, of course, “the Duke,” (no, not John Wayne), and his famous jazz piece, “Mood Indigo.”

Ellington was not gay, but in this piece he did something very “queer,” He took the traditional front-line of trumpet, trombone and clarinet, and turned them “upside down.” At the time of the first recordings in 1930, the usual “voices” would be clarinet at the top (highest pitch), trumpet in the middle, and the trombone at the bottom (lowest pitch). In “Mood Indigo,” Ellington voices the trombone right at the top of the instrument’s register, and the clarinet at the very lowest. This was unheard of at the time.

Some of the earliest researchers about and theorists of same-gender-love and sexuality spoke of “inverts,” because we turned things inside out, we inverted the usual order.  Today, many accuse LGBT folks of turning things upside down, against their “natural order” (marriage is only between one man and one woman, e.g.).

In this sense, “Mood Indigo” might well be the jazz theme song of the LGBT liberation movement, as lesbian and gay–and bisexual–people continue to challenge the old narratives about how love and sexuality work together, and transgender people upend all the old narratives about the rigidity of gender–advancing the truth first articulated by feminists that biology is not destiny. If you want to listen to, and see, an early rendition of this classic by the Duke and his orchestra, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GohBkHaHap8

All this and so much more is wrapped up in a color–remembering that in this one color, as in all of them, are many colors. Can we not remember and celebrate the rainbows inside the rainbow(s), and know that it is God who calls us to do so? All this glorious color is, I believe, God showing off, and being pretty delighted to be doing so!