Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Paving The Way

Possibility, etc.

Possibility, etc.

The last two days have been an exercise in sweet agony. We’ve marched through slums in pouring rain which makes these dismal environments even direr.

I expected to grow cold to this. After Trenton, I couldn’t imagine marching through more depressing communities, but we have. In Delaware the division between the haves and have-nots is as clear as any we’ve encountered. But in Wilmington (a decidedly wealthy community) there is a force acting to seek common solutions.

In Wilmington we attended a rally held in an austere Episcopalian church. Vaulted, gently curved white ceilings, pale pink walls, bright white light and the sound of rain dripping from beyond opaque panes of glass, prepared me to expect muted condemnations of an ineffective system. Instead, I found speakers raging with self-proclaimed anger: small, mousy bodies with big hearts and brave words. It was clear that they were not accustomed to expressing themselves to such a receptive audience, and our reception to their passion served to heighten their emotion.

On the road we’ve encountered many ad-hoc marchers. Most of them have been troubled individuals, seeking a refuge from isolation and disenfranchisement: an obviously stoned crack addict hobbled with us, an inebriated homeless man sang and cheered with us for four miles, an unstable, 18 year old woman, whose illness was the remembrance of sexual violation seemed to commit herself to our entire walk before we put her on a bus home.

She was compelled her to use each of us as a confessional and we each responded to her with our own brand of patience and guidance. For some, that expression was more traditional: kind words and a sympathetic ear. For others, compassion was a wake-up call to stop using pills and alcohol and to rediscover her self-control.

With no exception, we are a band of people united by our histories of isolation and self-defeat; but there is no defeat here and for the men and woman who walk among us, there is no defeat.

AIDS is a force of nature. To combat it, we too must use our nature to affect the minds and hearts of those in our wake. We’ve said time and again that we have the solutions; all we need is the heart. We’ve laid claim to possibility as a theory, but until we truly commit ourselves to a practice of possibility, we are no closer to envisioning a world without AIDS and we are no closer to living in a world without AIDS.

This vision is alive: the wider spread the vision, the greater chance of action. The members of our host committees operate outposts of possibility in otherwise voided zones. They work tirelessly against this abominable enemy and our prescience confirms that they are not as alone as they feel and their efforts are not in vain.

Our march should remind every individual we encounter that they are bastions of possibility. Our act is physically grueling and mentally challenging, but we’re not Leather men and marathoners, we’re practitioners of possibility.

Daniel Solon


At 2:13 PM, Blogger mikehickey said...

Admittedly the C2EA experience as well as the blog were not as I had envisioned before experience. However, when I log onto the blog I immediately gravitate towards your confessions and find my thirst quenched and quickly log off. Your voice is that lone voice in the winds of this uninviting nor-easter.
I will rejoin the band of travellers next week......keep your words spilling forth.


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