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  • You know, what I do is write for children,

  • and I'm probably America's

  • most widely read children's author, in fact.

  • And I always tell people

  • that I don't want to show up looking like a scientist.

  • You can have me as a farmer, or in leathers,

  • and no one has ever chose farmer.

  • I'm here today to talk to you

  • about circles and epiphanies.

  • And you know, an epiphany

  • is usually something you find that you dropped someplace.

  • You've just got to go around the block

  • to see it as an epiphany.

  • That's a painting of a circle.

  • A friend of mine did that -- Richard Bollingbroke.

  • It's the kind of complicated circle

  • that I'm going to tell you about.

  • My circle began back in the '60s

  • in high school in Stow, Ohio

  • where I was the class queer.

  • I was the guy beaten up bloody

  • every week in the boys' room,

  • until one teacher saved my life.

  • She saved my life by letting me go to the bathroom

  • in the teachers' lounge.

  • She did it in secret.

  • She did it for three years.

  • And I had to get out of town.

  • I had a thumb, I had 85 dollars,

  • and I ended up in San Francisco, California --

  • met a lover --

  • and back in the '80s, found it necessary

  • to begin work on AIDS organizations.

  • About three or four years ago,

  • I got a phone call in the middle of the night

  • from that teacher, Mrs. Posten,

  • who said, "I need to see you.

  • I'm disappointed

  • that we never got to know each other as adults.

  • Could you please come to Ohio,

  • and please bring that man

  • that I know you have found by now.

  • And I should mention

  • that I have pancreatic cancer,

  • and I'd like you to please

  • be quick about this."

  • Well, the next day we were in Cleveland.

  • We took a look at her, we laughed, we cried,

  • and we knew that she needed to be in a hospice.

  • We found her one, we got her there,

  • and we took care of her

  • and watched over her family,

  • because it was necessary.

  • It's something we knew how to do.

  • And just as the woman who wanted to know me as an adult

  • got to know me,

  • she turned into a box of ashes

  • and was placed in my hands.

  • And what had happened

  • was the circle had closed,

  • it had become a circle --

  • and that epiphany I talked about

  • presented itself.

  • The epiphany is

  • that death is a part of life.

  • She saved my life;

  • I and my partner saved hers.

  • And you know, that part of life needs everything

  • that the rest of life does.

  • It needs truth and beauty,

  • and I'm so happy it's been mentioned so much here today.

  • It also needs --

  • it needs dignity,

  • love and pleasure,

  • and it's our job to hand those things out.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

You know, what I do is write for children,

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A2 US TED epiphany circle saved life ohio

【TED】Jok Church: A circle of caring (Jok Church: A circle of caring)

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    Sh, Gang (Aaron) posted on 2016/07/18
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