On March 6th, I conducted Bodyscapes workshop #1-which was the writing activity for Honoring Our Experience (HOE) group. We began working on poems describing their illness and state of mind.
The poems revealed a lot about living with the No. 1 epidemic of modern time. What these men and women have to say is profound: many have lived with a death sentence hanging over their heads for decades. Living positive (Poz) has given these patients, now turned artists, deep insight about their illness, their bodies and their approaches to healing. Their reflections, told through some of the poems, reveal a social history about a time that is remembered by those of us old enough; however, the young gay community does not remember this era, and never lived through the AIDS years. They have come of age in a time when the diagnosis is no longer fatal and medications can keep you looking young and healthy for a long time.
But, I am of the age where I remember the AIDS crisis hitting– it was absolutely terrifying. It seemed like it was all the artists who were dying. All the voices who kept our crazy world in check and balance.