Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Miercoles de Cenizas
Last evening Marie hosted a lovely dinner party to celebrate Mardi Gras. It included pancakes in the form of yummy chicken crêpes, but no foil-wrapped goodies (see yesterday's post). Chuy had also cooked chiles picadillo and arroz con crema for dessert. Yours truly contributed the salad. It was a soft, mild evening and we sat out on the little terrace and had a very fine time. I knew that today would begin the long slog to Easter that would include a daily write so I was taking it all in. Here it is.
I don't usually delve into things I feel are too personal or controversial, but I want to say something that pertains to last evening's guests. And this isn't easy, but I had a real revelation. We can ~ or perhaps I should say "I can" ~ support a social issues on its relative merits because I think it is right or fair to do so, but it's usually one step removed. It's not me they're talking about. It's when I am confronted by the reality of those issues, by the very people who are affected by those issues, that my eyes are truly opened and I really understand the far-reaching effect that attitudes or laws or statutes have. Last evening, there was a couple ~ two men ~ who were married in San Francisco in 2008. They are the most delightful, loving, kind and generous people you would ever meet, both to one another and to others. I looked at them and thought, "What's all the fuss about? These two have been together for 25 years, through all the joys and sorrows that relationships provide, and here they are, together and thriving. Why should they not be able to marry one another? How does their marriage "threaten" mine, that being one of the arguments? Who can possibly defend the prohibition of their union?" Any of us who have been together for 25 years or more know how incredibly difficult it is to forge such a partnership and they have done it despite every roadblock and sanction, in the face of ugly, hateful protest. They have done it with the support and love of their families and friends, just like the rest of us have done it. I am honored to know them.
I am starting my Lenten contemplation on these notes; compassion, understanding, acceptance, belief, respect. None of these is easy; all are essential if we expect to live a civil life.