It’s the new year.
It literally feels like it’s been several months and it’s just February.
A lot has happened in a short amount of time.
I closed on the sale of my home of six years at the end of December.
Started both a new job and a relationship at the beginning of January.
Ended that relationship at the end of January.
Got a therapist, started Yoga and Tai Chi.
As far as my relationship goes, I rushed into something with someone I didn’t know.
At the time I (and I believe he as well) was caught up in our eagerness and reciprocity of affection and care.
It really was nice.
It felt good to have someone to call my own and to give of my time and energy and to have those same efforts returned.
It was work, too. The sacrifice of autonomy and the need to be selfless were always at the forefront of my mind.
There were, however, a couple of things I realized later.
We we not compatible, and we didn’t know each other.
There was no friendship first.
We just both happened to swipe right.
It was one of those things I think that could only be revealed in time, and I wasn’t readily aware of it at first.
Also, as difficult as this is to type out, if I’m honest, I wasn’t prepared to be in a mixed status relationship.
He was positive, and it caused me to confront my own prejudice and stigmatization of HIV.
When he told me in the beginning, and asked if it would be an issue, I said no, but that I’d have to process it.
To this day I’m processing it.
I came to an awareness fairly quickly that HIV was not him, he just happened to have HIV.
It’s obvious, no doubt, but it was an eye opener for me as I tried to walk carefully in new territory.
I was preparing myself for the long haul.
To love and serve him well, and to both educate and protect myself as well.
I know of a mixed status couple who’ve been together 15 years, and now with the advent of PrEP and other similar medications, the possibility of safe and healthy lives for all involved has increased exponentially.
My ex-boyfriend and I were one and the same in that we were both gay black men, and HIV was something that was bound to cross my path in one form or another as a gay black man, and this time it came into my life in the form of someone who I choose to be in relationship with for a time.
I know that if it crosses my path again, say, in someone I saw myself marrying, then I’ll be ready to try again and give my all. To love and serve well. At least I’d like to think this of myself.
Or if I ever get HIV myself, I pray I’d have the strength to continue to live my life well, and take care of myself, and maybe even find love too.
Switching gears a bit, I realize that I titled this blog post , “Dying Constructs”; let me explain.
I’m realizing more and more how quickly the nature of my faith is evolving.
I’ve written about it on myblog before, and I’m going to write more in the future.
For now, though, I want to put a few things out there.
I’m currently wrestling with the deeper nuances of my belief in God, understanding of Jesus, and how I exist in this world and choose to steward my life.
There is a lot more agnosticism in me than I previously thought.
A lot more humanism, and meliorism in me too.
I’m still a mystic at heart.
I still believe in God.
I think, though, that at some point in humanity’s anthropological development we “created” God in our attempt to grasp meaning and the ineffability of reality.
I use the word “create” loosely and not literally.
I think our forbearers’ language fell short, as all current language about “God” falls short.
Everything we attempt to utter or think still doesn’t reach who God is.
Consciousness and Love, in my opinion, are the only two tangible and palpable markers of the Divine.
I do believe, though, that at the source, undercurrent, and ground of all that is, the essence of all reality permeated thoroughly — at the heart of all of that, there is Love, and ultimately there is “God.”
I also believe there is a deeply intrinsic divinity in consciousness (God’s Image), and that it is beyond anything we can imagine, and we (collective we, all of us) do well to fight to truly love ourselves and love each other, and rest in the reality of God’s deeper love for the sake of a better world.
I think about these things every day.
I’ll end by saying that a deep focus of my heart has been the question of how do I personally live a life of advocacy and resistance, in the day to day. How can I be an agent of that deeper Love?
I’m still figuring that out.
I believe the man at the head of this country is incompetent, self aggrandizing and dangerous.
It’s going to take hard bi-partisan conversations,
showing up to vote,
running for office,
self care, self care, and more self care to navigate and overcome the next four years.
This is a marathon. Not a sprint.
We are a beautifully diverse and compelling entity within this country, and we won’t be silent. We won’t stand by.
I’m seeing all this happening — in me and around me. Changing views and deeper awareness. And I think I am not alone in this.
We got this, we got each other.
And it’s beautiful.
Thanks for stopping by.
This piece originally appeared on Danny’s blog, In So Few Words.
photo credit: Danny Fluker, used with permission.
DANNY FLUKER, JR is a Jesus Student. A Compassion Chaser. An Atlanta Native. A former Telecom/IT Infrastructure Tech. A Social Advocate, and a BackGround Actor.
He’s recapturing his lost love of writing, and you can follow his personal reflections and short stories on his blog, In So Few Words.