Friend a Day – Ishmael Williams
The first time I met Ishmael, I misjudged him. He was walking hand in hand with his partner Jules and I was disappointed to see that she’d broken up with her old boyfriend. I didn’t know they were in a poly relationship. Fortunately, I didn’t say anything. That would have been awkward!
I really got to know Ishmael when we were forming CONvergence. He brought his years of expertise working with convention hotel arrangements to us when we desperately needed a hotel to take us seriously.
He is one of the most thoughtful people I know. As
conversations arguments progressed on various CONvergence topics, he would often hold his tongue the longest. When he finally spoke, he frequently managed to end the conversation because what he had to say managed to bring together all that had gone before in a way that made sense and cut through the emotion.
I make fun of Ishmael for loving just about every movie he watches. I think he has a natural ability to find what is enjoyable in almost everything. He doesn’t tell you what he didn’t like about something. He tells you what he liked about it.
After our first convention, it was Ishmael who gathered the rest of the board members together so we could take a moment to simply appreciate what we’d managed to accomplish (with a lot of help). He’s very good at taking the time to appreciate things and he’s even better at encouraging others to do the same.
Ishmael is one of the most personable people I know. He has a lot of friends because why wouldn’t you want to be his friend?
He inspires tremendous loyalty in others because he earns it. He treats everyone around him with respect and admiration for their talents and skills.
As my involvement with CONvergence has changed, I’ve found I have less time to spend with Ishmael. After board meetings, he would frequently stand in our doorway for particularly long Minnesota goodbyes.
I miss those long goodbyes. I certainly wish we had more time together than we used to because Ishmael is one of those people whose time it is easy to enjoy.