June 3rd, 2020
for myself, and my many white friends:
If we say we want to begin this challenging, delicate, necessary work of dismantling white supremacy, and examining or white privilege, let us begin.
These are my words, my thoughts, and my feelings today. I am not a trained therapist, counselor, or mental health professional. I have started with this intuitively, and I concede that there is a lot which I still don’t see, and of which I am not aware.
Bias Work: It is personal, and it is important — to come to terms with our privilege, to examine our givens, to see our assumptions, to bring to light our historical inhumanity, which we habitually deny because it is difficult and uncomfortable. It is painful to sit deeply in our faults. The feelings that arise from this confrontation are valid, and may need time to marinate before one can properly address how to give them space, then hopefully transform them to positive action.
As a writer with a modicum of amplification in the digital sphere, I have always held words to be important. Words matter. And the words you choose to embody with your physical voice reverberate into our natural world, and influence us fragile humans.
This is where I start, with these words on this handful of panels. It’s not for the likes, it is to do. And we, white people, will make a lot of mistakes. We will stumble messily, and learn. If you have suffered through the pandemic, stood up and survived the protests over the murder of George Floyd, you may yet have the patience with yourself to try something new in the name of Justice.
Black People — I see you. I hear you. You are in pain. I’m sorry. I’m here.
January 9th, 2020
Rip Off the Fear
At Kings Theatre, she said, “We have to begin on a very sober note.” Sitting in the room with 3,000 others, that was how I heard that Iran had sent missiles to American bases in Iraq. It was so refreshingly analog – service was jammed from a packed house, and throngs of people lined up down the streets who never got in, and we heard real world news from the mouth of a leader. I was glad my face wasn’t plastered to my phone, scrolling through internet outrage, and the anxiety and fear was held for a moment, allowed to breathe.
Even from when I entered earlier that afternoon, I felt something tangibly positive. The multitudinous wavelengths vibrating through the air were much higher – hearts and brains of voters and volunteers come to support our female candidate. During the event, I stood by security check-in, counting people as they entered the beautifully renovated theatre. I smiled especially with each toddling child, or baby in a stroller – and counted them.
At this point, January 2020, I have given equal amounts to both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. I’ve been feeling helpless, and with a surprising, scraping amount of disposable income, it’s been helping me cope with the escalating hijinks of Trump on the eve of his Impeachment Trials. I do support both candidates.
As I was sitting there in the balcony listening to Warren’s stump speech, I noticed a negative, defeated feedback loop happening in my head. Interspersed with cheers of “YES!” were “How’s that going to happen? Who’s going to agree to that-all the MEN?”
I fear for Warren, too, and for women, that sexism will prevail. I feel guilt about not doing more for Hillary. I’m afraid Biden won’t drop out. I’m afraid Bernie won’t get the nomination. I’m afraid. I’m doubtful.
Why have I accepted this as true? Where did this feeling coming from – like nothing will change – as if I have no effect? Why does my mechanism for hope feel so shaken by fear?
Lest we forget Barack Obama, who said,
“Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it.”
It is a big fight. And I am afraid. But admitting I am afraid feels good and takes the edge off Trump Depression. Fear is released into something more positive, less stultifying, and directed toward changing us, on a molecular level, into creating the country we wish to see.
Volunteer if you can. Meet the organizers, see the teams in action. Rip the bandaid – it’s such a high.
November 28th, 2019
One year today, waiting for this long, long circle to complete its degrees
the bar where it happened has closed down. the social media accounts have been closed, blocked, or I really don’t know. the tags would still be there, with some poking reminder
why is this particular frame of time so important? a year, a month, a decade can go by, and we may still remember the loss, but the pain does not inhabit the same exact number of molecules as it did upon first break, upon the slow, slow buildup to the tearing of the deed to the house of our friendship
why does my mind feel better quantifying my growth in calendar units?
this quiet anniversary, for me and for him to celebrate and mourn, several cheers to the sky of a love well-lived,
at this wake, the flashes of the good and nurturing, of devotion and intimacy, of the inextricability of two people’s hearts
at this wake, the imagined future, the pressure to be married by now, to settle down with someone you can’t grow with, (or won’t let you grow?), an incredible social death! Oh, to be friendless, to see yourself, by your own design, dangling in uncomfortable truth.
at this wake, the wish still existing, still buoyant, that the brutal, awful truth can save us, and can serve us to expand as a human, to dig into our individual selves, to reach and grab and fall down so much, to cry to cry to cry, to grow to grow to grow, to live to live to live.
One yearmonthdayhoursecond ago today, and a new cycle can begin.