I'm part of this awesome local group called RuJew, short for Russian Jewish Columbus. It is what it sounds like--a space for Russian Jewish folks, mostly ages 21-40-ish, to hang out and celebrate our culture. If you're wondering why there needs to be a separate group for Russian Jews--well, there almost never needs to be a separate group for anything, but it's fun--our backgrounds and histories tend to differ a lot from that of American Jews, whose families mostly immigrated to the United States a century or more ago.
Back in March I wrote a poem--not something I normally do. I used to write poetry constantly when I was a teenager, but that was the sort of poetry you might expect a teenager to write. I don't actually mean that it was bad or silly--I don't think all of it was bad or silly, and as I got more experienced with it I played around with some cool forms. I even wrote a villanelle once! How many people can say they've done that? However, I always stuck with rhyming, and never free verse. After high school I never really wrote poetry anymore; I think this is the second poem I've written in all that time. I'm not even sure why I did it. I think I was just trying to write about something that had happened to me, and I felt compelled to put it into a poem-y sort of form and style and out it came.
Last night, thanks to the fact that I have friends who work at Planned Parenthood and also that I volunteered to help, I got to attend the otherwise-pricey centennial celebration that Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio hosted in downtown Columbus. During this ridiculously cool event we got to hear from Planned Parenthood volunteers, patients, donors, and its CEO and President, as well as literally Gloria Steinem and also Yvette McGee Brown, the first African American woman to serve on the Supreme Court of Ohio. Holy shit.