Last night I went to the 10th annual Passions gala at the Dr Peter AIDS Foundation. You can find my review of the event, which aimed to raise $1 million for AIDS research, in the next Blitz & Shitz in Xtra, out Sept 25. For now, I would like to share Dr Peter Jepson-Young’s touching “Affirmation,” which he wrote and would meditate on daily during his battle with AIDS. His words are a powerful reminder to live fully, to live truly and to live now.
Dr Peter pioneered an unprecedented understanding of what it meant to be a gay man dying of AIDS in the late 20th century through the Dr Peter Diary, which aired on CBC Early Evening News from 1990 until his death in November 1992. The diary was supposed to be a five-episode special but struck such a chord with its British Columbia audience that it went on to shatter stigma and enlighten viewers for two years, even garnering an Oscar nomination in 1993 for Best Documentary Feature.
Dr Peter’s Affirmation:
I accept and absorb all the strength of the earth
to keep my body hard and strong;
I accept and absorb all the energy of the sun
to keep my mind sharp and bright;
I accept and absorb all the life force of the ocean
to cleanse my body and bring me life;
I accept and absorb all the power of the wind
to cleanse my spirit and bring me life;
I accept and absorb all the mystery of the heavens,
for I am a part of the vast unknown.
I believe God to be all these elements,
and the force that unites them;
And from these elements I have come,
and to these elements I shall return;
But the energy that is me will not be lost.