Yesterday (May 21), Diane and I had a somewhat overpowering experience. We went to see a portion of the NAMES Project Quilt on display in San Jose.
(The NAMES Project is a San Francisco-based organization which has been nominated to receive the 1989 Nobel Prize for Peace. The Quilt is composed of over 9000 3' by 6' fabric panels, each bearing the name of and tribute to an individual who has died from AIDS. The panels are designed and created by the family and friends of the victims.)
Although, like most people, I have been aware for some time that AIDS is a vicious disease, I have never had contact with anyone who has suffered from AIDS. Therefore, I really didn't think that viewing the Quilt would affect me. That thinking was about as wrong as anything can be.
Each panel we saw represented a cherished life -- the messages on the panel were filled with the ache of farewell and the hope of reunification. They painted a brief, but sometimes very full, picture of the individual; always ending with severance of the human bond.
Yesterday afternoon was experience that Diane and I will never forget.