"Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea. Joy to you and me." -- Hoyt Axton
If you have spent any time wandering around this blog or watching my videos, you know I have an almost stubbornly positive view of things. I prefer to smile, I love to laugh, and if someone is rude to me I figure they must be having a bad day.
Sickening, isn't it? There's nothing worse than someone like me standing around when you're pissed off about something. And I realize that my insistence on being happy can be my own, clever sense of denial. It could actually prevent me from seeing things clearly in times of real trouble.
But I've faced some dark times, as many of us have. Between watching AIDS emerge 25 years ago and then my drug addiction during the last decade, I've seen hopelessness. Maybe that's why, when my first sponsor in recovery asked what I wanted for myself, I said "I want to have joy again." It seemed like a very distant goal at that time.
Thank God for you -- yes you, sitting there reading this on your screen -- because this blog has helped me regain a sense of purpose that I never thought I would get back. Your support and comments have encouraged me more than you will know. I feel like I have my voice again, that I am making a contribution. I am filled with joy today.
Let me share some of that joy with you. Above, you'll find a special reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" by my alter ego Anita Mann (her rendition takes you places you never thought this story could go, trust me).
The video was recorded at a fundraiser for GLBT folks recovering from addiction. It has solid messages that apply to us all, and it's pretty funny. When was the last time someone read you this story? Now is the time, so relax and enjoy.
As Anita says during her reading, "we all have gifts in our bag." Thanks for the gifts you have given me this year, my friends, and here's to a wondrous, healthy year ahead.
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Mark S. King has been an active AIDS activist, writer and community organization leader since the early 1980s in Los Angeles. He has been an outspoken advocate for prevention education and for issues important to those living with HIV.
Diagnosed in 1985, Mark has held positions with the Los Angeles Shanti Foundation, AID Atlanta and AIDS Survival Project, and is an award-winning writer. He continues his volunteer work as an AIDS educator and speaker for conferences and events.
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