Wednesday, July 03, 2013

For #WDS2013 adventurers.

Since I'm performing for the World Domination Summit in Portland Oregon this weekend, I've been getting new readers interested in just what this blog is and who I am and why should anyone care. Here's the short version.

In 1996, when relatively few people were online, I created what was then called an online diary because I was at the end stages of AIDS. I needed to keep track of my symptoms (for my doc) and I wanted my family to know how I was doing because they were all worried and, back then, phone calls were charged a long distance rate. (It seems so long ago).

What I didn't know was that by talking about living with HIV, I was providing, at the time, a service for doctors, nurses and care givers who needed information about this strange new disease. For caregivers in some parts of the world, I was the only case study they could follow in real time.

Later, when I was invited to speak at Harvard University on the subject, which is a big deal for a small town preacher's kid songwriter from the back woods of east Texas, I started to realize that I was some kind of pioneer in the use of the Net.

I didn't say to myself, "I think I'll try to be historic and be the first one online with an AIDS blog," I was simply communicating necessary information that only I could provide for people who needed it. And into my life flowed moms and dads, patients and caregivers, hospice workers, health care professors, leaders in doctor/patient communication, etc. And, because I was gay, closeted people and fearful people and brave people and the list goes on.

I inadvertently was surround by a compassionate, interesting and intelligent Community because I provided a Service. Totally free of charge. But I was also experiencing the Adventure of dying, hooked up to a feeding tube, almost out of time.

But then, when my name was chosen at part of a lottery for a new drug, which began working, and our musical consisting of the songs written as therapy was heading to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Dallas and, last year, London, and the Adventure took a different turn. The dead guy was suddenly the alive guy.

And I find that the more I put myself in Service to others, the more I create Community, which brings on more Adventures. And that's what life should be about. It's the people around us, the way we take care of each other, and the adventures we dare ourselves take.

I look forward to meeting the other adventurers this weekend. Look for me and tell me all about yourselves.

You may ask me what I'm selling. Well, I have some music, but really, I'm not selling anything. Inspiration, maybe? We'll see. I'll be singing on Sunday and I'm bringing a surprise with me.

See you there.

(And if you are a Bonus Round reader in Portland, Oregon, I would love to hear from you while I'm there. I'm going to devote a lot of my time to the Summit, but I'll have some free time, and I never turn down a meal. I'm flying in Friday morning and leaving Monday night. Gabi and Alec Clayton are driving down with some friends and we're all just gonna hang out that day until my flight leaves at 10 pm.)

No comments: