A Defining Moment




See the problem with my default definition of “order” is
that it doesn’t take everything into account.
When Jenny moved from the Sunset to the Richmond, we all
needed a new place to have our parties. Having myself just moved from a room in the
Sunset to a large one-bedroom in Cole Valley with backyard access, I knew it was time to do what I’d
always wanted – have people over.
I did not grow up having people over, it wasn’t the house
you hung out at, where there were snacks in the fridge, or cable. I wanted
that. I still want that.
And, so, became my parties. The Holler-Ween Party; the Star
of David Christmas Cookie Party; The Heart&Stars Pre-Val party, years 1 and 2.
With each, I planned, coordinated, organized, bought,
decorated, staged, advertised to the throngs, and made events, evenings of
note, fun, camaraderie (with just a few demerits about the music selection).
The spot-light borrowed from a neighbor to hang over the
backyard where area 2 or 3 of tables and music were set up; the paintings I made explicitly for the theme, the candles and streamers bought, the inventive, creative, muse-ful decorating. It was with purpose and
satisfaction, excitement and anticipation that I planned, that I created, that
I had order.
This kind of order feeds me. When not long after, I decided
to host and organize a group art show, the venue hunting, artist hunting, postcard
and poster tweaking at 11 o’clock at night — It was fuel. It was sustaining. (Except the
money I put up for it left me rather broke, and landed me in a 12 step program
for chronic underearners/debtors!)
The art show was a success. Art was sold, dj was paid,
laughter and community was created.
The best compliment I ever received came after my very first
party. The following day, my friend said to me, I left your party feeling warm.
! For someone who (and whose friends) can ooze social awkwardness and anxiety, to create
a space where others feel welcome, warm, at ease, … well, this is why I do it.
To create community, to bring people together, disparate groups of friends and
artists. People who normally would not mix, I provide the shell, and they bring
the heart.  
So, “order.”
When I define it on my own, … well, let’s just take the
notes from this morning’s pages:
Order = Dad. Disorder = defying Dad. Authenticity =
shame. How can order not equal Dad? Disorder not equal exhaustion, lack of
resources, self-sufficiency. Dad = reliance, so reliance = unsafe. How to have
reliance = safety? Things are picking up & they’re going to have to be laid
to order, aren’t they? I’d like to have order, stability; it allows for
productivity. Disorder does not engender productivity, but busyness and famine.
Plant, seed, water, grow. No way but this.
My assignment is to begin to define order differently, not
as stifling authority, but as a pathway to creativity and community.
I want creativity and community in my life, as my life. Therefore, I’m going to have to embrace a
new regime, a new epoch of order. 

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