Sunday, October 12, 2014


Well words, now you come shuffling into my mind as if nothing was wrong. Where were you 6 hours ago? When I needed you to make a point? Not now that I'm focused on something else. Oh well, never mind. Oh no, I've got to write you down right now or you will disappear into the mists of sleep and I will never see you again.

Yes the power of the spoken word. That was what the point was. There is a different sort of energy in a word that is heard out loud as opposed to one that is merely stared at on a page.

This force that is embedded in hearing can be the most powerful on earth. Ancients knew of this and most religious writings were intended to be spoken and heard. But we need not go to that importance to find examples.

Take for instance the writing of J. K. Rowlings in the “Harry Potter” books. You can tell that they were written to be read out loud and then to be heard. It is a manner of writing I often use myself.

I remember distinctly the rainy weekend of October 12th 1992. I stood there on the National Mall, looking out over perhaps a thousand or more people. Faces that had turned their attention to me at the podium. I adjusted the microphone and began reading names!

Important names. Names of loved ones who had suffered unspeakable pain and discrimination and had finally let loose their tenacious grasp on life. The names of the Quilt. After about two and a half pages, I placed a marker where I had left off. I looked out and said: “It was Jon that taught me the power of the spoken word. So now I unleash that power, to go out, to comfort, to support, to inspire: I unleash the power in the name of my Jonathan Noce!”

Could I have just heard an echo back from the Smithsonian Museum? Did the power that flowed from me skip across the tear stained fabric that hugged the earth for as far as I could see? Whose heart did it reach?

All I knew was: it's time for me to turn over the microphone. As I tried to step down, every bit of energy simply left my body. Two workers were quick to grab each side and help. Four years latter I would have that privilege, but for now I was the one that needed the hugs.

I remember standing there in the arms of strangers with tears flowing down my face. But these tears were different, these were not the tears I had cried before. These tears were not of grief, or from being deserted. 

These tears were of gratitude, tears of thankfulness that I had done it. I had held myself together when my world ended back in April. I had designed this memorial to Jon: a three by six foot piece of my heart, my life, of my feelings for him. I had made sure it was in San Francisco in time for it to be sewn into the quilt proper and would be there in Washington DC just six months latter.

I had made my way, alone, half way across the country, to be there, to stand at that podium. To project out that power.
Now, with what seemed like nothing left I was grateful and proud, that I had made it.

Just perhaps the strength that helped me back to my room, back to my home and eventually back to my life was in fact that entity that had been known as Jonathan Noce. 
 With roses I said my Good Bye!
Be what ever it was, let me assure you that I know what power is in the spoken word! May those who have ears, let them hear...


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