if not us, then goddamnit, who?

About mile 8 today, right on the corner of Northrup and 14th, i ran into this:

I stopped, right in my tracks, and it taunted me to take it’s picture.


4 letters that form a word that seems so simple and uncomplicated.  you either love, or you don’t love.

and in return, you are loved back.

and i started thinking, as i painfully got my feet moving again (not to digress, but i have some hamstring issues that don’t allow me to stop for too long), that we sometimes throw out this word as if no one would question it.

but what if we did?  what if we questioned the FUCK out of it to the point that 2 people who are in love, truly, in love, couldn’t show it, embrace it, express it, legitimize it, or LEGALIZE it?

well, well.  well.

we do.

as a society, we question it everyday.  There are men and women in love, not to each other, but to men and women themselves.  And we, in our moralistic tunnel vision, question the legitimacy of that connection.  We cannot, as a planet that has performed such miraculous things as discover cures for cancer, create a computer, and fly a 187,000 lb piece of metal into the sky, conceive of a world where gay, lesbian, and transgender human beings can express their love in the same way, with the same rights, as a heterosexual couple.

Isn’t love an art form?  In the same way we can walk into the Metropolitan Museum of Art and get goosebumps over a Monet or Picasso, then walk 100 feet and be gripped, breathlessly, by an Alexander McQueen exhibit?

Or buy a painted picture of the Eiffel Tower from a street vendor on Ile St. Louis for your dining room, and walk 2 kilometers and see Bansky street art on an alleyway to photo for your memories, knowing it will be gone with the swipe of a street cleaner’s broom?

I don’t know much.

in the scope of things i really truly know very little.

But i ran over that little piece of sidewalk called LOVE, and then straight to the Portland Pride Parade and felt that, like the Grinch, my heart had inexorably expanded so massively that i wanted to accept any form of love that world wanted to throw my goddamn way.

and when i arrived there, i fell in natural step with my iPhone to do my very very best to capture what was going on in this celebratory revolution in expression.

I witnessed incredible dancing in the streets:

i found myself incredibly honored and humbled to work at NIKE, as there were hundreds of our employees there, donned in logo tees filled with words to express our support to our GLBT employees.  I ran up and hugged our CEO, Mark Parker, who was there, as he is every year, leading the charge:

I saw mothers incredibly proud of their sons:

and though i am agnostic, i found religion in many forms here… from the Christians

to the Menonites

There was also… (pause, breath)… a randomness to this event.  To me, it was sort of the “if we go over the top, then maybe, just maybe, people will get it” kind of vibe.  Hard to explain, but very, very easy to capture:

(head straight to Starky’s, do NOT pass go).

I laughed my ass off at the next photo.  voted theses chicks (me, singularly, voted them) best sign of the Parade, i mean, come on.. “smokin hot lesbian lawyers”???  really?  yes, really:

and then, in the same breath, my smile turned neutral, and my body stood still… for perhaps the biggest statement of the parade.  One could feel, as the crowd fell silent standing out there, how much courage it took for this to happen.  Why would one cover their face if it was easy?

Oh i have so many more photos.  so many things to share with you.  I have pictures that i don’t even understand:

and pictures that make me think, what the hell?

(though secretly, and i’ll only admit this to you, reader… what i would do for that ass!!!)

and was even hoping that Portlandia was filming for moments such as this:

But at the end of the morning, i had this:

Me, with my incredible daughter and step-son (and incredible husband who was taking photo), bringing them to this event to show them that love, LOVE is an art form.  And it’s their choice, really, it’s their generation that will save us from all the fucking mistakes and judgements we’ve made that will bring our world to a better place.

So to the Monet’s and the Banksy’s and to the Starky’s Restaurant & Bar, i am in love with the idea of LOVE, and willing to fight to the moon for whatever it takes for our generation and the next to accept that…even if it means dancing my ass off as a Menonite to do so.

at the end of the day, it is worth it.

LOVE, goddamnit.

Peace, and Pride.


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