Friday, October 30, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Just the other day I hauled our heavy scrapbook off the shelf here in New Zealand and leafed through a stack of pages displaying photos taken during the first few weeks of our meeting, in January 2001. Once the ink on these old photos glowed warm like the human heart but now that warmth of hue has faded from the paper. They seem almost weary.

In colours drained from our old photos, and in the faintest odour of must that clings now to each paper image, Time herself passes commentary upon our situation I see. Nothing however can conceal the enormity of our joy or the hope that shines fiercely and proudly in our eyes in those aging images.

How different the photos taken of us in 2009, rendered on brand new paper in bright shining hues ~ for now it is our hope, and not the ink, that is fading. Oh to be sure our love is still there ~ still burning through ~ that beautiful love that can never and will never be extinquished. But that hope that once shone so brightly in our eyes is less visible now, eroded by the near decade of intolerance and discrimination that lies behind us.

We of 2001 would have faced today ~ the day Obama delivers his keynote speech to the Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington DC ~ with enormous anticipation. We of 2009 have lived this human rights injustice for long enough to sense the oncoming of yet more words devoid of actions and we grant it barely a sideways glance as Cas struggles alone with the failing health of two seriously ill parents and I sit half a world away, powerless and unable to comfort her.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tea and toast and the UAFA hearing at 2am

Last night at 2am I made toast and a cup of tea and settled in to watch the Senate Judiciary committee hearing live down here in New Zealand. It was cold and I was sleepy but determined not to miss this historical event! Cas was not able to be "with me" sadly but I did not feel lonely because in reality I was there in that committee room with 36000 other bi-national couples! When I woke this morning it seemed that the sun was a little warmer and the light a little brighter. It seemed I stood a little taller and breathed a little easier.

Thank you Shirley and Gordon ~ and all others whose sheer humanity and goodness beamed far out across the world last night!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Please tell me about us

As the offshore half of a same sex bi-national couple I made it clear to anyone who would listen long ago that my path in this would be within the law at all times. My conscience is clear ~ my only "wrongdoing" has been to love an American and seek to spend time with her. I have never worked in America ~ not even for a single hour. Nor have I ever overstayed. Loving an American ties one inextricably to America itself. I love this country deeply. I love her people and, were I to be given half a chance, would adopt them as my own. Yet even the merest thought of facing American immigration officials at the US border fills me with a gut wrenching fear.

And so, on this afternoon when fear looms particularly large, I phone Cas from New Zealand and plead "Please tell me about us".

"Tell me about the winding woodchip path you and I spent days creating beneath the fir trees. Tell me about our foxgloves and our daffodils and the second coat of paint we really must put on the front porch before winter bites in again. Tell me too about the colourful people - how is the Hasidic neighbour you have befriended and the charming Indian man who flirts with you while he sells you cigarettes and 92 year old hitchhiking Edna who you and I often drive to her home. Has she invited us to any neighbourhood parties lately? What combination of psychedelic colours is she wearing this spring? And tell me about our six cats ~ is Felix watching too much TV and is Rockie losing weight ~ oh how I miss his eyes as big as saucers! And you? Tell me, my love, about you.

Tell me simple inconsequential mundane everyday ordinary things that are so real and so huge they will cast aside my fear!"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The passing of the UAFA

will afford us dignity and respect as a couple and bring to an end nine years of severe emotional hardship.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The UAFA Congressional Hearing June 3rd

This historic event is to be webcast! I will drag myself out of bed at 2am out here in New Zealand, make a large pot of coffee and phone Cas. "Together" we will BE THERE for this event! I would not miss it for the world. Sadly our upcoming reconciliation will not occur soon enough to allow us to share this event in person.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thank you to the one who, by their unexpected gesture, has granted us the briefest of reconciliations here in our American woodland home. While I will not arrive here for some weeks I am already here in my heart!

Friday, May 15, 2009

No ordinary love

Last week the airfare to America fell unexpectedly into my hands, a gift from someone who, knowing of our dire financial straits, felt the time might be just perfect to repay a long standing favour - in cash. I did not tell Cas this had happened until I had booked my flights and then phoned her to ask what she was doing on the day I was due to arrive. She was slightly distracted at the time and answered that she would have to check her diary. I suggested while she was at it she might like to write in the entry "Pick up Helen from JFK airport"!

She was silent for a moment, then followed a rush of tears and her words "I can't believe I am going to see you again!"

Some might think me foolish to take what little I have and fly half way round the world to steal a few blissful weeks watching my wildflowers grow in the company of the woman I love. In monetary terms we have paid a shocking price for this love ~ a price I hardly dare think about. But after so many months so far from each other there is a part of each of us that is far more empty than any bank account could ever be! When one loves in this extraordinary way one must make extraordinary choices.