So... Today I turned in the last of my work from my required semester at the General Theological Seminary in the City of New York.
This has been a tough semester. Working full-time. Going to school full-time. And then there's all that other stuff that helps to add up to life.
I've spent most of the past four months utterly exhausted!
There's still some big times ahead. I work in a church, so the next week or so is going to be pretty crazy (this is one of our busy seasons...). As soon as that's over, I'll be taking the General Ordination Examination. That's the series of 7 three hour exams over the course of four days where I'm supposed to be able to reproduce everything that I should have learned in seminary. It's the closest thing to the bar exam that those who aspire to the priesthood face.
So though this is the passing of something of a milestone, there isn't a whole lot of time available to rest.
But today, I decided that I needed to take just a little bit of a break and do something just for my own benefit. To celebrate this achievement, I went to my local neighborhood movie theater to see Gus Van Sant's latest film, MILK.
IT WAS SPECTACULAR!!!
Gus Van Sant's directing was sensitive and compassionate. He made me feel like I was a part of the action those 30 years ago. It made me want to be a part of the action today.
Sean Penn captured the spirit of what I imagine Harvey Milk to have really been like. He wasn't a perfect man. He had flaws and insecurities and sometimes he made flat out wrong-headed decisions, but he was a great man who helped to lead a great movement.
My other favorite character was Cleve Jones (as portrayed by Emile Hirsch). I had never heard of Cleve Jones before this film, but I truly fell in love. I'm going to marry someone just like him someday. Passionate. Energetic. Hopeful. Bright. Human. If this representation of his story is even close to accurate, he is a model for activism to which we all should aspire.
I'm not much of one who cries, but I was on the edge of tears throughout the film, and by the end, I was sobbing like I haven't in years.
It's a touching story, and I insist that you all see it as soon as possible. I'm a little disappointed that I haven't seen it until now!
And as soon as you get back from the theater, go ahead and pre-order your DVD. This is one to really spend some time getting to know!
AND TAKE ACTION!
Donate to the Harvey Milk School - a high school in New York City that addresses the unique needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning youth.
Donate to the fund set up to complete the Claiming the Blessing video Voices of Witness: Africa - a film that seeks to raise awareness for some of the most at-risk people on the planet, LGBT Christians in Africa.
Volunteer! Write letters! (Obama did just invite pro-life, anti-gay pastor Rick Warren to say the invocation at his inauguration - surely that deserves a few strongly worded letters...)
Raise some hell!
Come on folks, there's work to do!
I'm Jon Richardson and Harvey Milk recruited me! (Just the shot in the arm this activist needed to get back out and fight!)