The "What Ifs and Should Haves" Will Eat Your Brain

I don't really know how to describe the "in-between" state I'm in right now. Yes, we are opening back up; yes, vaccination numbers in Oregon are closing in on 70% of adults; yes, COVID case numbers and deaths are dropping; and yes, there seems to be some sort of normalcy reappearing in the upper echelons of our government.  Yet something still feels off. 

June 18, 2021

Good morning friends and neighbors,

Forgive my inability to write to you over the last few months.
sitting here in limbo
Like when you have a huge fight with your partner, and instead of working through it, you just act like nothing happened. I feel uneasy, unsure of myself. Even though every day, ten times a day, I tell myself, "I trust the science; I trust that our democracy will hold," there remains a niggling doubt that whispers, "sooner or later something is going to blow." In May, this feeling manifested itself in my physical body, too. For about a week, I walked around like a drunken sailor, so dizzy at times I could hardly stand. My doctor sent me to the emergency room, worried I was having a stroke, but it's just the stress of living with uncertainty. Oh, what I would give to be free of all the terrifying "what ifs" that keep circling round in my brain.

As far as the theater is concerned, we are still waiting to hear back on the SVOG award, which is another source of anxiety. The whole program has been a fiasco, and in the last reporting, out of the more than 20,000 applications submitted in early May, only a little more than 900 have been fully processed. The SBA said yesterday that all priority one applications will be awarded by July 4th, but I've heard their sweet lies before, so I'm still juggling with the monthly bills, robbing Peter to pay Paul.

We started off April with only the once-a-week ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW screening, and in May we came back Memorial Day Weekend with four shows of the Amazing Bubble Man. Now, with our capacity limited to 50%, we have our regular every-night-of-the-week programming, and the Clinton Street Cabaret returns to the CST stage on June 19th just in time for Pride Weekend. The Clinton St. Resistance Series returned with a free Monday night movie, and this month we are taking donations for Black & Pink, a prison abolitionist organization dedicated to abolishing the criminal punishment system and liberating LGBTQIA2S+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS who are affected by that system through advocacy, support, and organizing.

Our June lineup of Pride films has been remarkable, and you still have a chance to catch some of them over the next few weeks. However, we never wait until June to screen engaging or relevant LGBTQIA+ films. Throughout the year, we strive to elevate voices that are often ignored or unheard, especially those in the gay community.
In honor of our latest Federal Holiday, Juneteenth, we are screening THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISS JANE PITTMAN. The adaption of Ernest J. Gaines's novel is considered one of the finest TV movies ever made and we're grateful to be showing the first digital restoration of the film, which won nine Emmy Awards, including Best Lead Actress for the remarkable Cicely Tyson. I hope you join us.

As for living with the fear and uncertainty, I wish we could have a heartfelt national conversation, or maybe group therapy. Any way to process what the f*ck just happened over the last five years. If you hear of something like that happening, let me know. 

This Is Not a Small Voice

Sonia Sanchez - 1934-
black children reading
This is not a small voice
you hear               this is a large
voice coming out of these cities.
This is the voice of LaTanya.
Kadesha. Shaniqua. This
is the voice of Antoine.
Darryl. Shaquille.
Running over waters
navigating the hallways
of our schools spilling out
on the corners of our cities and
no epitaphs spill out of their river mouths.

This is not a small love
you hear               this is a large
love, a passion for kissing learning
on its face.
This is a love that crowns the feet with hands
that nourishes, conceives, feels the water sails
mends the children,
folds them inside our history where they
toast more than the flesh
where they suck the bones of the alphabet
and spit out closed vowels.
This is a love colored with iron and lace.
This is a love initialed Black Genius.

This is not a small voice
you hear.


If you dare to struggle, you dare to win. If you dare not struggle, then damn it, you don’t deserve to win.

― Fred Hampton