Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

My wedding vows


When you're down and troubled and you need a helping hand
And nothing, whoa, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest nights

You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am
I'll come running, oh yeah, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer, or fall
All you got to do is call and I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah
You've got a friend

Thank you Bill [Bliss, our minister friend].  When we spoke on the phone about two weeks ago you asked me if I was nervous.  I cavalierly said, “No, we’ve been together for 20 years.”  Well in the last 24 hours I’ve been frozen with anxiousness and got up at 4:00 am this morning to completely change what I am going to say.

MB Sullivan and I have been friends since the mid-1990’s when she came to Florida to be with her mom during her last days.

We became close during that time as she volunteered at the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice where I worked.

She organized a trip for about eight of us from the Florida Coalition to the state of Guerrero in Mexico where we learned much about poverty and injustice there.  She served as our translator.  I have a photo from that time which I cherish.  MB was surrounded by Mexican women and I was in the frame but off to the side where I was admiring how much the women took to her easy smile and wonderful laugh.

But I was a bit slow in those days and it took me awhile to come around to facing the music.  It wasn’t until 1998 when MB was injured in a car crash in Selma, Alabama, along with our Buddhist friends Utsumi and Denise.  She needed to return to Sarasota, Florida, where she was by then helping look after her dad, for an operation on her arm.  A car relay was organized with various folks leap-frogging her back home.  I did one section of the trip and while in my truck, nauseous from the pain killers she was taking, she threw up.  It was in that moment that I fully realized I was in love with her.

We began dating in the last year of my son Julian’s time in high school and she eventually moved in with us.

The first time MB took me to Sarasota to meet her dad Jimmy Sullivan was one that I’ll always remember.  We were invited for dinner and Jimmy never spoke a word to me.  He watched TV during dinner and had the clicker in his hand switching to various sporting events.  At the time I took it personally, figured he must not approve of me.  But this morning at 4am you could say I had a ‘divine revelation’.

I realized that Jimmy was just deeply sad, and in a way, mourning the loss of his close orbit to the sun – to MB.  In a way he must have felt that he had become like the planet Pluto – sent on a faraway dark orbit.  MB later told me though that he said to her, “I guess Bruce is alright because his dog Red is so well behaved”.

But he began making spaghetti and meat balls on the first night of our visits after that.  I grew to love Jimmy Sullivan very much – just like everyone else.

What a blessing it is, how lucky we all are, to be in MB’s orbit – benefiting from her light, her warm glow, her love, her joy.  She has a huge heart as you all know and that laugh – it’s as big as the whole universe.

I vow to remain faithful to my lucky orbit around MB’s sunny side.  I vow to continue learning what ‘unconditional love’ means from her.  I vow to continue learning to be a better person – god knows how far I’ve come in the last 20 years.

I grew up in a hard scrabble family – love was intermittent and often hard to find.  I didn’t really know what a real loving relationship looked like – how to do it.  It’s taken me some time to learn. MB is a great teacher.

I love you MB Sullivan.

Please join me, even though you all are on mute, in singing a bit of this song:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

Thank you all for being with us [on Zoom] today.

Bruce  

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