First let me step back a bit to the year 2007. In 2007 I joined the band called BloodThirsty Vegans and the first gig that we played out was an annual party called the Lizzard Ball which I've mentioned in many years past. The Lizzard Ball had evolved into an annual fund raiser for the local Green Party.
In 2008 the local Green Party was unable to sustain enough volunteer energy to host the Lizzard Ball. In unrelated news 2008 was also the year that BloodThirsty Vegans switched all around and new band members joined in the summer of 2008. So time out just to say extreme gratitude to all of the BloodThirsty Vegans who have played music with me over the years.
In 2009 there was, again, no Lizzard Ball. It was in serious danger of becoming a series of memories rather than an annual awesomeness. So the Peace Education fund asked the Green Party if we could take over the hosting duties and just like that we inherited an awesome annual shin-dig to begin in 2010.
Around this time my number of relationships would fluctuate between one and zero, often stopping to spend long stretches on zero. My feelings about the state of the world and the overall direction of humanity were not especially positive. I was in serious need of putting some joy back into my life as soon as humanly possible. And so the capacity for joy was high atop my priorities list as I began to compile lists of compelling attributes in all of the people for whom I had attractions.
One such person, for whom I had always felt a strong attraction but who had always been in a category called 'unavailable' was my Ice9 Performance Poetry sister Sophia. There can be no denying that she has a world-class capacity for joy and laughter. As fate would have it she sent me an email asking her to be in an Infringement Festival show with her so I responded with a counter offer of a date. As keen as we both were to go on said date, our busy schedules made picking a time nearly impossible. Finally we discovered an opportunity to be at the same place at the same time in the aforementioned Lizzard Ball--a fine, fine venue for a first date.
As a BloodThirsty Vegan I had had the opportunity to be in the presence of truly great music. Our music is not to shabby and among the many bands we've shared stages with there has been a lot of exceptional talent. We have made friends with many bands and several of my favorites were on hand to play the Lizzard Ball that evening. Also my friends Jason and Kirk from the MAP open mic nights came back to host the evening. Surrounded by good friends and awesome music Sophia and I danced our way into each others lives. And the BloodThirsty Vegans were gracious enough to let me slip away without packing up so that Sophia and I could wander off and gaze into one another as we caught up on one another's lives.
Sophia is a wonderful wonderfilled woman with an easy and intense laugh who moves with simultaneous grace and ferocity. Over the ensueing months as we prepared to perform together in her Infringement show, danced together to countless old music videos on youTube, shared stories and laughs into the morning light, we were falling fast in love and folding our lives into each other's. Eternal gratitude for our love.
At age 39 the possibility of having a child some day was still at the very top of my list of unfulfilled desires. And it had not been lost on me that Sophia embodied all of the qualities I would hope for in a person to co-parent a child with me. But I was at the age where I was finally coming to the sobering, lamentable realization that I might never become a parent. It was around that time, some eight months on as the calendar had recently turned to page 2011, that we discovered that Sophia was with child. The child that is currently toddling around as my daughter Aya.
Aya has Sophia's same capacity for joy. She has an intense curiousity about absolutely everything. She has compassion for cats and is a fun companion for daily adventures. She has patience and confidence that permit her to pick up talents easily despite her young age. Endless gratitude for our wonderful daughter.
Sophia and I recieve a lot of compliments about all of her fine qualities. I feel like a lot of the credit is due to my mother. I see a lot of my mother and my grandparents in my daughter. I feel like I learned so, so incredibly much about how to be a loving parent from getting to spend three decades observing how my mother did it. She was forever setting me up to succeed and surrounding me with opportunities to learn about the important things in life. For her guidance and that of the other formative women in my life: Mrs. Huey, Kathy, Ms. Tartiglino, Heather K, and the list goes on, just infinite gratitude.
I am so grateful to be standing here where I am.