Love in All Its Forms Will Turn Darkness into Light

Love in All Its Forms Will Turn Darkness into Light

Love Is Love is a beautifully done 144-page anthology expressing a wide variety of emotions and thoughts in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

Love Is Love is a beautifully done 144-page anthology expressing a wide variety of emotions and thoughts in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

One year ago, the world woke up to news of unimaginable horror: a lone gunman entered a Pulse, a dance hall in Orlando, Florida. Inside, many people were enjoying themselves in a place they felt safe to express their love, who they are. Their affirmation was shattered in the predawn darkness of June 12, 2016.

Feeling helpless in the aftermath of this tragedy, a prominent writer of comics and other books, Mark Andreyko, felt he had to do something—something. Like many of us, he took to Facebook. He reached out to his own community, suggesting people involved in writing, drawing, and inking comics somehow contribute. By late afternoon, offers contributions poured by the dozens. All were united by the vision that “Love creates. Love heals. Love gives us hope. Love is love.”

As Patty Jenkins writes in her introduction, the many artists succeeded in “turning darkness into light through art.” What we have are 144 pages expressing hurt and hope, acceptance and rejection, bravery and fear, and love. “Diversity makes us stronger. Embracing it makes us more human.” Each page tells such a story; yet, the artwork and writing is as diverse as was the community at the Pulse nightclub that night. “Love? What is it? Most natural painkiller what there is. Love.” Here, artist Joseph Michael Linsner was quoting Beat Generation writer William S. Burroughs, adding his artistic interpretation. On the facing page is a poetic excerpt from another writer named William, namely Shakespeare. Artists Jim Lee and Mark Chiarello pay tribute to another beloved author, J.K. Rowling, in quoting Aldus Dumbledore: “Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hears are open.” Elsewhere, figures of Love, Peace, and Unity hold up planet Earth while diabolical, angry representations of Hate, Intolerance, and Fear threaten beneath in a heroic struggle of good versus evil in a piece by Mark Buckingham. Readers will find other favorites among the pages of this gem of a book. And by purchasing a copy, one will also do something – spread the ever-important message of Love Is Love; in addition, the writers and IDW Publishing will donate the proceeds of all sales to help the families (in every sense of the work) of those lost and other survivors. Love will survive.

A thoughtful review in the Huffington Post and another in the New York Times include other examples from this anthology.

Finally, there is the classic music video by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Same Love feat, by Mary Lambert.

Please watch this space for my forthcoming review of another excellent book, though one of a very different nature, Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality.

Rethinking Sexism Gender

Thank You, Oliver Sacks, for All the Good You Have Brought

I mourn the loss but celebrate the life of a very fine man.  I learned of this news from another man I greatly admire, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. “Alas, we are not related,” he said humbly, in saying he was proud to share his surname.

Oliver Sacks did so much to further the understanding of intellectual disabilities and advocate for those who have them.  Like Janusz Korczak, he accepted people for who they are and dedicated his life, work, and writing to that end.  Here is a video obituary from the New York Times; the article is here.

This year, the New York Times ran two beautiful essays by Dr. Sacks himself, both of which reflect his admiration for the lives of people with intellectual disabilities – and life in general.

In addition, many Times writers interviewed Dr. Sacks.  Here are some recent pieces:

Thank you, Dr. Sacks, for all you have done!

A Caring Teacher’s Heartfelt Sentiments to Her Students with Autism

“Thank you for who you are.”  This is the sentiment of a very caring teacher from California (and now living in Oregon), Sheila Chako, who writes a blog, Srinkle Teaching Magic.  How often do children (and adults, for that matter) with disabilities hear these words of unconditional love and acceptance.  “Dear student with autism,” begins Sheila’s letter, “You brighten each and every day.  You may not know this but I look forward to school because of you.”  I do not want to give away the rest; please go to Sheila’s page and read it for yourself  http://www.sprinkleteachingmagic.blogspot.com/2014/03/dear-autistic-student.htm.  An here is a TV interview with Ms. Chako: http://fox8.com/2014/04/23/autism-awareness-teachers-moving-words-to-students-go-viral/.  

 

One great reason Janusz Korczak is my hero is that he spoke about unconditional love for the child – taking joy even in a child’s most difficult moments.  Ms. Chako exemplifies what Dr. Korczak was thinking when he wrote “How to Love a Child” and “The Child’s Right to Respect.”

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