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The Dream of Unqualified Acceptance

Dear Mom,

My students have been reading and discussing the play The Laramie Project in class over the past several weeks. After gay college student Matthew Shepard was murdered in Laramie, WY in October of 1998, Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theatre Project travelled to Laramie and interviewed dozens of residents about what came to be known as a murder motivated by hate. Continue reading… “The Dream of Unqualified Acceptance”

For henceforth…

Dear Mom,

I wrote a belated anniversary letter to my husband this week.  More soon!

Love Christopher

Ceremony All

Dear Patrick,

skansoniaThe night before our anniversary this year, I went out with the boys for drinks. We decided to meet at Westward on Lake Union, and from where I sat, I caught just a tiny glimpse of the Skansonia ferryboat where we got hitched in 2001.

So on that night 14 years ago we were at our rehearsal dinner, enjoying Deborah’s fantastic hospitality and your mom’s fantastic food. (It’s crazy to think that in pre-September 11 America, if you wanted to, you could prepare a meal for 50 in your kitchen on Long Island and transport it across the country in insulated carry-on bags.)

Seattle friends mingled with college pals and family friends from back East. Your grandma and aunts and uncles met my parents and aunt and cousin. In front of them all, Mark and Patrina toasted us and later there were cookies my aunt made (In her Buffalo kitchen. Packed, and carried on. Crazy!)

FullSizeRender copyThe next day, while the sun blazed and our guests wilted, our parents walked us down the aisle. Oh, but first remember how Emily cried her way down the aisle as a flower girl? She’d taken off her shoes and the hot boat deck was burning her feet. And didn’t Paul and Doug start the processional song and then stop and re-start?

Of course there were tender moments, too, like professing our vows and listening to our parents offer their blessing and, while Gina sang about our love being here to stay, doing the traditional mother-son/mother-son dance. But I love that we laughed a lot, that we shared the day with so many people we love, and that it wasn’t perfect. Just like the loaves and fishes, we have memories enough to crack ourselves up, year after year.

FullSizeRender copy 2So, we made it to 14. Pretty good!

Our parents and grandparents all did a lot better than that, though, and although there are days I feel like turning you upside down and giving a shrug, I do feel like we’re just getting warmed up.

The boys and I talked about kids and careers and marriage that night we went out. It felt comforting to hear that others have those days of doubt and concern and frustration. However, I know deep in my heart today—just like I did 14 years ago—that for henceforth, you are the guy for me.

Happy marriage!

Love, Christopher

Butterfly Lessons: Spring 2011

for Isabella

Photos by Isabella

Yesterday during the lemony light of dawn
we write notes to each other on a tiny pad
stuff them into a book pocket—
messages to keep her bold.
Today by the sun-warmed pool
under the snowy Cascades
a butterfly lands
opens praying wings
of black and white stripes.
We are all entranced by the bold flyer
that swoops and returns to pool’s edge
How amazing the parents cluck
So close to the children.
But Isabella is the closest
fixes it with her large lashed eyes
It sits for photos and for praise
swollen from pollen in the nearby lilac.
Satisfied it sweeps off without a goodbye
IMG_0007and we wave together
happy for the visit


for Jordan

At the indoor garden
blue morpho lands on a his shoulder
then a convocation of owl wings on a plate of banana peels
Behind a pane of glass the volunteer snips the just hatched
In a few minutes a storm of wings released
in a flurry of amazed sighs
IMG_0006A swallowtail with a proboscis
lands on a fingertip
searches for the hibiscus pollen
holds on for a dear brief life
JJ runs away and twirls about
rushes into the enclosed hall
away from all that fragile beauty
drying their wings in a profusion of pride

Linda Drajem