I appreciated.

I drove home in the dark, the gauzy moon with its still bald yearning through all that haze.  These women.  I appreciated.  Nor is from Thailand.  She is studying psychology at OCC.  Dani from Brasil, going through a sadness that has no name.  Laura, from Romania, waiting on her green card.  I stood at the courthouse, by her side when she married her husband last June.

We ate sushi and told our stories and smoked outside under the awning.  I appreciated. It took four hours, but we left caught up.  It was a long day.  I finally got a hold of John sitting in beach traffic after family group at work.  We talked a long time, you’re my positive male object I told him, not joking but laughing anyway.  He helps.  Back from a ten day sit he reminded, use your witness Kel, this too, this too, even this…I appreciated.  Yesterday a handmade Valentine came in the mail from KRuss in Iowa, and Erika’s new book.  I laughed with joy standing in the plant breath sun when I got the card.  I cried soppy chest-tears when I opened the package with the book.  I appreciated.  Tonight, I drove the 405 from Costa Mesa, eager for the Canyon Road and to get home.  I could see the words on the page, these, and the ones that will come.  Zines.  Our stories.  What I came here to do. Grateful for Erin, awed by Mandy, I filled the silent pause between the words and haze and moon and me, between awareness and the tires on the road, with reverence: abiding sister love never dies.  Love is good.

Appreciation Day seems to come when I need it the most, when it also seems the most challenging thing to do.  It was a long one today.

But love is good.

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