What the world needs now is love
I’m not a politician.
I’m not a theologian.
I’m not a historian.
I’m not an expert at anything…
Except for what I’ve experienced directly.
And here’s what I know after living in this body on this planet for almost sixty-seven years:
Love is all that matters.
You can call me corny.
You can call me sentimental.
You can call me naïve.
I don’t care what you call me.
At this point in my life, I’ve been called so many things that I’ve lost track.
And I’ve called myself a lot of things that I’m not proud of either, because I was scared and insecure.
But I’ve stopped doing that.
Because one thing has become more and more clear to me with each passing day:
All I care about is love.
In fact, I’m happy to be remembered for being sentimental, corny and naïve…as long as I’m also remembered for being loving.
On the day that this website is being launched – with the words I’ve written, the art I’ve created, and the lessons I’ve learned from wise friends and teachers – our world seems to be falling apart. We’re sick and we’re dying. We’re killing ourselves and each other. Our tv screens are full of violence and protests. White people are asking black people to help them figure out what they should have been figuring out for themselves – how to listen, learn, and stand up for justice.
As a country, we’re way too good at expressing hate, and uncomfortable expressing love. I know how hard it is to change the world – I traveled to more than fifty cities on a three year tour for a book called The Faith Club, speaking about mutual respect and understanding in churches, synagogues, mosques, schools and community centers. I’ve spoken up about controversial subjects for years – like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – and I know how hard it is to assert another point of view.
But I still believe in love.
So I need to express that love. And then I need to act upon it.
Cornel West has spoken eloquently about about “the courage to love” in the face of all the pain and injustice we see everywhere. He’s quoted James Baldwin, who talked about love explicitly, “as the most difficult, dangerous, but also the most significant force in the world, because if you come from a people who’ve been so hated, love can become subversive and transformative, beginning by loving yourself.”
“Justice is what love looks like in public,” says West. “Just as tenderness is what love looks like in private.”
So this site will be full of justice and tenderness as I try to examine love in all its forms.
I come from a family where mental illness and the curveballs life can throw at people prohibited my parents from creating a happy, loving home. That’s why I’ve tried to make this website a happy, loving home.
My mother saved a portfolio of my childhood drawings, and when I discovered them after she died, I was stunned to see how joyful they were. I created collages from them, using my contemporary iPhone photos, and they’re featured on this site. Time traveling with myself has been a kind of trippy art therapy.
I hope you’ll enjoy coming along with me for the ride.
At one of the many speaking engagements I did for The Faith Club, a woman approached me while we were signing books, and handed me an old, worn sweatshirt from the University of Michigan, which I treasure to this day. “This was my father’s” she said. “And I want you to have it.”
In The Faith Club, I‘d written about a moment when I looked out of an airplane window as I was flying across the country at sunset, straight into a spectacular orange and lemony yellow sky. As I peered out the window, I saw a huge body of water glistening below me, and when I checked the airline magazine map, I saw that we were flying over the Great Lakes. Tiny waves lapped silently against the shore of Michigan, and in that moment I felt so small and insignificant that I began to cry, deeply moved by how humble I felt. I sensed a powerful force greater than myself.
And this stranger who handed me her father’s sweatshirt referenced that passage.
“I want you to have this gift,” she told me. “So that every time you fly in an airplane, you can look down at the ground and realize how many people love you.”
“You’re so busy looking for the love you want, in exactly the form you want, at exactly the right time, from just the right source…that you can’t see the love that’s all around you,” a therapist once told me.
But now I can see the love that’s all around me.
Writing books is a privilege. Touching people’s hearts is pure joy.
I hope that this website touches yours.
Thank you for coming to visit.