In 2001-2002 I spent some of the best times of my life in Eugene, Oregon. I originally went out there for two weeks to visit my bastard buddy Al, an LDA. Al was having back surgery, and it seemed liked a good time to visit since he was going to need some help. Besides, I’d missed him terribly since he’d left Columbus.
Two weeks turned into 8 months. I spent my time hanging out with Deadheads, the homeless, and UO history grad students at Rennie’s Landing, I went to a couple free conferences, protested the invasion of Afghanistan, met Annie Sprinkle, wandered downtown a lot, attended Ken Kesey’s funeral at the McDonald Theatre, ate huevos rancheros for breakfast twice a week, even in Februray, on the patio of a E.13th Street Mexican restaurant. I read a lot of adoption and feminist books, (indoctrinated myself with bell hooks, but had to put down Judith Butler ), spent a lot of money on things I didn’t need. Mostly books. I had money back then. I’d accumulated so much stuff that when I came home after 8 months I had to ship about 25 cartons to Columbus. It was crazy. Living in Eugene was like living in Russia. No sense of time or common.
It was also fun to live in a free state–that is, a state that respected and restored the rights of all adult adoptees to their OBCs. Unfortunately, Al’s OBC was sealed up in New Jersey. As Executive Chair of Bastard Nation I’d played a small part in that Oregon sea change. The real credit, though, goes to Helen Hill, Shea Grimm, Ron Morgan, and the beautiful bastards, birthparents, adoptive parents and the Oregon public who made it happen.
What does this have to do with today’s #flipthescript?
This morning I was very excited to read that Eugene poet/write, artist and adoptee Sam Roxas-Chua, (and here) is offering a 5- week writing group for adoptees to “explore how writing can live alongside our journeys as adoptees.”
Before 1996 when the politics of adoption took over my life with the founding of Bastard Nation, I wrote poetry. A lot of it. I was known by some as “a rock n roll puss in boots.” I even had a poetry band, Cows in Flight. Adoption politics killed my poetry and a lot of other creative pursuits, but if I were back in Eugene, I’d be beating down Sam’s door to join this group. And if Bastards deserve anything besides our rights, it’s good poetry.
If you’re in the Eugene-Springfield area and adopted, bang on that door. .