Sunday, December 7, 2008

Be well, Michigan

Dearest Michigan,
I love you deeply, but it didn’t begin that way. You were not my first choice. An accident of relationship and employment brought me to you and your wonders. I came slowly to adore your pride and shame. Your watery beauty, blue-collar grit, and political dysfunction pressed me close for a time. Troubles and strife twinkled like sunny glints on Great Lakes’ waters, too many to count – sharp lights – shards of lost hope slashing at a coherent future: death by thousands of cuts. So many stories to tell, all of them worthy, tragedies mostly. But stories of resilient hope, too. Your people wooed me and filled my heart with life. You had me at ‘swing state’ and I worked for your rebirth.

Yet you pushed me away with denial of my rights wedged into the Constitution by the will of a few. A rigid notion of marriage fell half-rotten from your tree. Self-righteous contempt said ‘no’ to another way of loving and bearing fruit.

I’ll keep watching you sputter forward, praying you catch a break and manage a happier future, as I seek my own. Don’t be afraid to open yourself to difference – new ways of thinking and being and creating. I will be watching from my new home and posting sometimes.

An accident of relationship has taken me to another place, my first choice this time. My new home is bluer than Michigan, begins with an ‘M’ and legally recognizes same-sex marriage. Finally I can exhale. After ten years of marriage, I am legally, publically and proudly married.

You’ll remain in my heart, Michigan. From the Porcupine Mountains to the Renaissance Center, from Sleeping Bear Dunes to Cobo Hall, from Flint to Grosse Point Farms, and from Saugatuck to Frankenmuth. Be well, Michigan. Be well.