It began two years ago with a dream.

The details of that dream seem vague today, but its arrival was unexpected – at a time in my life when I was arguably at my worst. It had came after a series of broken relationships, between both my friends and my family; beyond that were a multitude of reasons which I will not explain, only that it left me with the feeling of despair.

In the early hours of one morning, I dreamed of a faraway place, and suddenly without warning my entire focus became fixated with that destination. I saw a colossus of iron and copper, whose visage fixed towards the horizon of some unfathomable sunrise. Her vigil, frozen in place with flames held aloft by her sconce, inspired within me a moment of clarity.

I had a dream of New York City and without a second thought, I decided to leave that day, March 6th, 2013.

So it was that began a part of my life that I refer to as the Lonesome Road, a period of time in which I fled my responsibilities for the last time. I found myself caught in a tidal wave of cultural changes, between the crossfire of innovations and movements, and thrust into the unfamiliar cities of the United States.

I met a great number of individuals, far too many to list in one piece of writing, and far greater in variation of personality to even describe accurately. There were also a great deal of events that transpired, often times outside of the broad range of alternative and fetish events; moments that seem trivial, haunting in depth, wherein ordinary people proved capable of extraordinary things.

From a burning field in the mid-west to the desert lights of communities in Arizona, fleeting glimpses of intimacy, the fervor of religious dominance; fallen stars across a Colorado sky or the cascade of fireworks across the bay of San Francisco; from darkened floors of private dungeons to the ferocity of a heated protest, these moments are as clear to me as they were two years ago.

There were unimaginable hardships from that time; the forging of new friendships, the heartbreak of leaving them behind, and the faces that I know will never again be seen in this lifetime. Their stories, their experiences, I hope to share one day that they may enable anyone that hears them to feel the weight of those emotions as clearly as when they were first shared.

Much has happened since that time between then and now. Two years ago, it was advised that I should not carry my flags openly in case I risk personal harm and discrimination. It was considerable more charged in terms of tolerance, the racial tension, and the initial fruition of the social changes that we have seen today.

I was a different person then or so I would like to think. I am older now, both in age and my view of the world; often times I despair, mourn, that absence of excitement in my life. Likewise, so too have I come to terms with new friendships, frontiers, and most of all my role as a flag bearer.

But today, on the anniversary of that time in my life thus far, I do not choose to honor the achievements nor the experience of that adventure.

Today I choose to honor you.

Each of you that were there supporting me along the way, comforting me at those times of hardship, encouraging me to challenge myself and push my limits; each of you that so selflessly gave me your trust, your confidence, and your time.

Your kindness, your openness, and your honesty were part of the inspiration that brought me back from an abyss and raised me to confront my inner demons and triumph. It was not some stubborn determination, not some strength of mind and spirit, that brought that dream to life.

It was all of you that made this possible.

You, both at home and abroad, that never once stopped believing in me; whether a stranger, an acquaintance, or a friend that have never abandoned me. You that believed in an injured spirit, nurtured it, and enabled it to find its way home; I thank you, again and again, a thousand times if not more.

I will say this:

You are worth enduring an entire goddamn continent.
You are worth more than anything anyone can compare.
You are ALWAYS worth it.

I would say that as loud as I fucking can. I would say that now and forever until the day I die. I would scream that against the world with my head held high and my flag flowing against the impossible storm.

“For everyone.”

Thank you for everything.

*********************************************************************************

If I should fall to bleed the earth one day,
I would turn to where the sky should be;
I would call your names over and over,
both in voice and memory,
that it might comfort me;
I would do that with my last breath,
until the moment I die;
Do not cry for me then,
because I know you can hear me.

*********************************************************************************

STAT VEXILLUM

March 6th, 2013 – August 30th, 2013

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