Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fountains of Life

Fountains of Life
I am still struggling. Writing daily and finding beauty is so hard right now. Since the events in Orlando I have lost count how many tears I have shed and more still come. As a parent and as a friend of glbt persons, I am struggling. It feels too big and finding beauty in the mess is too hard.
This shot was taken at Chicago area's Brookfield Zoo with my son about a week after he came out to me. The zoo has been our constant since he was 2. From age 2 to 10 we had a membership there and would go almost weekly. We don't need a map. We know all the places to eat. We joke about the bison burger stand being too close to the bison. Our favorite visit has always been an Amur tiger named Whirl who lost part of his tail when he was a mere cub.

For me, as a parent, this was the trip where everything is still the same. We still go to the zoo. We are still bonded by love. The only thing different is what I know that I did not know before. The only thing different is that he was brave enough, with a trembling voice and shaking hands, to tell me who he is. 

Some things were different. This is no longer a child, this is a young adult. A very brave young adult. Everything was different but some things were the same. What was different was understanding and knowledge and that only deepened the bond. 

The fountain is still there. The zoo is open as I write this. Whirl may even be playing with his ball right now. In the wake of these incomprehensible deaths, in the midst of these tears, there is still the fountain and the zoo. Even though everything is different and our understanding of the world has changed, some things are still the same and the bond has deepened. 

Today may still be a day of tears and anger for so many of us. But we all have our fountains and our zoos and they are still there. There is life there.

When the time is right. Please go to them. We need fountains of life. 

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