Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving

It is Thanksgiving here in the United States. I will be visiting with my Dad’s extended family for the first time in about five years, with the exception of the gathering at my Uncle’s recent funeral. It will be good to see my Aunts and Uncles, cousins, and their children, as well as my own immediate family.

Part of Thanksgiving is to recognize that which has happened in the past year for which we are grateful. I am grateful to have been brought into the 1 Giant Leap film project for their next film and to have been given the opportunity to visit Europe once again. I know it is a cop-out to say that I am thankful for my many new friends and the older friends that I visited, but there are just so many people I could list. I will simply say that the people I met in New Orleans (Jamie, Jess, Indie, Lola Mae, Ben, Josh, Adriana, Soph, Antski, Susan, Jhelisa, Speech, Yolanda, Adam, Brian, Barbara, “Gatemouth”, John Fish, and the rest and there are others…) made my time there wonderful and filled my life with inspiration long after I returned home to North Carolina.

When I was given a camera and sent to ride the rails of Europe in July, I met many wonderful people whose faces are imprinted on my mind. The Dubliners and those visiting there were very kind to me. In London, I met my old friends Robin and Anne. Later I met Hud, Ian, Nerida and Dri yet again. In Paris, I met up with my friend Eric whom I have known since 1976 and his new family, including Nadira, their beautiful children and Nadira’s brother Achraf. I also was pleased to find that my dear friend Florence’s brother José was in town and I spent an afternoon and dinner with him catching up on our lives.

Even though I was unable to find any old friends in Montpellier, I was thankful to meet new friends there as well. Angie from British Columbia was particularly sweet as we toured around the town of Aigues-Mortes and the people at my hotel were super accommodating to me and my needs, both as a guest and as a filmmaker.

In Spain, I was helped by many strangers who participated in my film or who took pity on my unfamiliarity with customs there by offering me the use of their cell-phone. In Mallorca, I met up with Duncan again and met for the first time Mel, Mon, Nick, Rob, Geoff and Adura, Geoff, Jo, Lisa and Nigel...oh and Sancho, or as I heard it “Sideshow”, the dog. That doesn’t count the air conditioning repairman nor the farmer who brought us oranges from the groves that surrounded the house.

In Portugal, I met an online friend Paula, dear sweet Paula who showed me the town at night and pointed out the gay bars for me. I then met a young man who forever touched my life. His name is Mario and his is living on the streets of Lisbon while fighting AIDS. In Nice, France, I met Asia, a young lady who runs an internet café and got to know her during my stay there. The next day, I talked with the butcher in Menton whose shop was two doors down from the store that was run by a family I stayed with in 1976 and he filled me in on their lives and deaths. In Rome, I met Marco, the foot-fetish fellow and spent an unusual afternoon talking with him about how my NEXT film should be about fetishes.

In Capri, the people were friendly and worked with me to do a couple of interviews on film. As was typical, I would meet a shopkeeper who would decline to be interviewed, but who would point me to someone else who would be willing to talk on film. What a lovely island to visit. My only regret was that the seas were too rough to visit the Blue Grotto.

I finally made my way up to Germany where I met Susan and Konstanze and their friends who took me in like family and made my stay very pleasant. Afterwards, Berlin was the culmination of my trip, and the Berliners were warm people who have made me want to return to Germany as soon as I am able. I remember one bright sunny day when an elderly lady in a bright floral print dress found me consulting my map and stopped to help me find my way. I was so touched by her kindness. My last night there, I met a lot of people, drank a lot of beer and shots and ended up returning to my hotel at 5 am, only to extend my departure time another half-day due to hangover.

Since my return, I have been documenting my film and have sent the first dozen of my tapes to the guys in Mallorca. I have also found that my HIV viral load is undetectable and my immune system is working adequately. The best news is that the issue with my kidneys is stable, whatever it was.

I am thankful for my home and the safety from hurricanes that I experienced this year. I am thankful for my dogs. I am thankful for my medications, my friends, my family and the feeling of love that I have been learning to cultivate. God willing, I will be thankful on December 12 to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of learning my HIV status and the bittersweet gift that news has been in my life.

I hope that all of you have as much to be thankful for….if not, at least I hope you have good health.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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4 Comments:

Blogger Vickie said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Ron. You are, indeed, a lucky man.

11/24/2005 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

Hey Vickie,

I just returned from a nice visit with my Dad's extended family. We had a feast and laughed as we told stories. I could not have had a better Thanksgiving...I hope yours was as good as mine. Take care.

Ron

11/24/2005 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger cp said...

Best to you, Ron.

11/26/2005 03:14:00 PM  
Anonymous susan said...

i am thankful for meeting you and that we can continue communicating via the internet. lots of love to you. xx

11/29/2005 08:48:00 PM  

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