Saturday, September 27, 2008

An Excellent Day

This morning I went to a peace march with my "free hugs" sign. The march itself was a lot of fun, but I didn't actually get that many hugs. After hanging out at city hall for a bit, I decided I would head out. I hadn't walked a hundred yards, and a man in a NASAesque jumpsuit, got a hug, and asked me of I like music. When I told him he did, he told me that Spaceship Excellent had landed in Flagstaff.

"The Spaceship Excellent?"

I had seen these guys on YouTube. It was rather surreal to see them in real life. I hadn't ever heard their music, but they were on the internet, how could they be bad? It took me some time to find them (though I did give some free hugs on the way) When I did find them in a local taco shop, they had recruited about four people from the peace march. I spent the next two hours dancing three feet from the band, my free hugs sign in hand. There should be a video up on their website soon, and I will post it here.

I think this free hugs sign is changing me. I never used to dance. I have resolutely refused, to move from the wall at several parties. Maybe it was just because I didn't have to worry about what to do with my hands; maybe it was because this music was so easy to dance to; maybe because I was only a few feet from the band, but I would never have done the things I did today a year ago.

I have decided that I will do my free hugs thing on Thursdays when I only have one class. This free hugging business is quite addictive.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Best Day Ever

I normally don't smile very much, so I was worried, that I wouldn't smile at people. Who wants to hug the frowning guy? I feel like I've been smiling non-stop for the past 8 hours. My face is sore.

I showed up about an hour before the angry man said he would be there. I wanted to avoid making it seem like I was only there to oppose him. I walked to my post and held up my sign. About three seconds later a guy walks up and gives me a hug. I was hugged by a guy on a unicycle. I was hugged by about five people at once. And for every person that hugged me, ten walked by and smiled. It was those people that made this day amazing.

When the angry man showed up his wife looked at me and said, "The same demon spirit on every campus, free hugs. Why don't you hug Jesus?"

This made me very happy. Firstly because I got a response. I was hoping that they wouldn't just ignore me, though I would have had a great day even if they never showed up. Also because it means that people have had the same idea as me. These hate-mongers go to campuses around the country, and at those campuses, someone doesn't just yell at them, or ignore them, but actually takes productive action.

After the angry folk had been there a few minutes, someone from Student Life shows up and tells me I have to go to their other free speech zone, because this one is reserved by the religious nuts (well, she doesn't use that term, but you get the idea). Of course the other free speech zone doesn't have the same foot traffic, and foot traffic is necessary to my cause.

Fortunately there was a student organization fair nearby, so I asked the Peace and Justice group if I could go stand by them. Interestingly, though there was more people, I got less hugs. Even the number of people that smiled decreased. After thinking about it (one of the few pastimes a free hugger has other than smiling and hugging) I figured it out. All of the booths around me, made people pay less attention. They just wanted to walk by without someone handing them a flyer they wouldn't read, or try to make them sign something. Many people just didn't see me. Those people that did assumed I was part of a club. They wondered what I was trying to make them think or believe by giving out free hugs. A crowd had begun to form around the angry people, so I decided to relocate.

I stayed across the path from them, only occassionaly crossing over to get free hugs from the hecklers/spectators. After awhile I decided to be a bit more bold with my free hugging. The angry guy had already refused a free hug, but his wife had not. She was talking at the moment, so I walked over and asked her if she would like a free hug.

She told me it would be innappropiate for her to hug anyone other than her husband. She then went on to say that Jesus that would not go around giving out free hugs. I told her I thought he would, and she started quoting bible verses. But I plan to combat her. I have some bible verse of my own.

Ecclesiastes 3:5

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Acts 20:1
And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.

Genesis 29:13
And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.

Genesis 33:4
And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.

Genesis 48:10
Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.

I may have someone else read these, so I can maintain my lack of confrontation. I won't be able to stay for as long tommorow, as I did today. (I was there for over 8 hours today) But if one person walks by and smiles, then my effort is worth it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hugging Hatred

Today on campus, there was a very incendiary, very hateful, "Christian" man. He espoused every hateful viewpoint you have heard Christians espouse. He shouted, condemned the gay students to hell, mocked those disagreeing with him, and was overall angry hateful, and close-minded.

Though there were exceptions, many of the students responses were inspiring. One girl in particular sticks out in my mind. She had been on several Mission trips and had helped bring dozens of people to Christ. She and a few others did one of the bravest things I have ever seen. They prayed for this man.

In the midst of all this hate (even some of the students were being rude to him) they showed a compassion that is little seen among today's people. In response to all that this hateful man said, I said "You're wrong, but I love you!"

He is going to be back tomorrow, and was planning on making a sign with those words, but I decided on something simpler. "Free Hugs" There is going to be a lot of hate at this gathering tomorrow, and I intend to bring some love into it. Though I wish it was, this idea is not an original one. A man in Syndey came up with it first, and it has sparked a worldwide movement. For more information, just google "Free hugs"

I'll be sure to post more after tommorow, and when I get my sign done, I'll post a picture of that.

Edit: Here is my beautiful sign.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Observations Haiku #3

Doing laundry blows
Hot air onto my clothing
And it really sucks.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Observations Haiku #2

All day spent reading.
My weak eyes are quite weary
Reality: blurred.

College Haiku #1

Early Sunday morn'
Mixed Blessing. Peaceful reading,
Dining hall still closed.

Observations Haiku #1

Are words on dumpsters
Devalued by where they live?
Or diamonds in rough?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Flagstaff Haiku #1

Such nice bus drivers
I get on returning bus
"Hi again" she says

Vegetarian Haiku #1

I haven't been blogging a whole lot lately, so in order to encourage myself to blog more, I am altering the format. I am going to try and post at least 1 haiku per day, about my life, or my thoughts, or maybe about something completely random. I may still post other things, but this will at least get me focused back on blogging. So without further pointless rambling, here is the first haiku

Changing my palate, so that
French fries are gross now.