I really miss road trips: Sailing down the road; watching the world go by; going new places and meeting new people; going familiar places and seeing them with new eyes; re-establishing connections with friends and family, the new me with the new them. Road trips are especially wonderful in our electric car – smooth, with no sound other than the tires on the road and an occasional soft whine from the motor, no smell of gas at the stops, no fumes from the non-existent exhaust pipe. But we’re not ready to venture out yet.
Instead, we are on the journey of all of us – through the seasons as the world spins, and through our lives as together we hurtle through space on this ball of earth.
This past week and month have been busy and sometimes overwhelming for us. After four years of work and agony and worry, our film, “Strictly for the Birds,” premiered in Philadelphia. It is a story of hope and possibility and wholeness. We’ve also shown it to some of our neighbors. Somehow, exposing our lives to strangers in Philadelphia was easier than showing it to friends and neighbors here. Tomorrow we screen it again at Cinema 21, a theater in northwest Portland, as a fundraiser for Basic Rights Oregon. And Friday we again show it, this time to the neighbors who couldn’t see it the first time because of the audience size restrictions imposed by Covid. The preparations for all this have consumed us.
Meanwhile, my book, “In Between,” the longer journey on which the movie is based, has been released. The comments I’ve received have touched me deeply. I’ve been surprised at some of the people who’ve wanted to read it and have told me what it meant to them. It is always nice to have my preconceptions of people rattled and be allowed to see them as closer to who they actually are.
After almost a lifetime of hiding, it has been a challenge to expose myself in these ways. But it will be worthwhile if it can help us move even a little closer to understanding each other.
With all this going on, I was surprised to find that what I felt most deeply was something that happened only with the passage of time. Yesterday was the 7th anniversary of Andrea’s and my marriage. We’ve been together longer than that, but it was only seven years ago that we were allowed to marry. That was a glorious day seven years ago, with friends and family, music and good cheer, warmth and love. And yesterday was a quieter celebration of good cheer and warmth and an ever-deepening love.
How wonderful this journey can be, even without road trips.
(The book is available at tinyurl.com/KateB-InBetween.)