"We are at a crucial crossroad in the history of this nation--and we either
hang together by combating these forces that divide and degrade us or
we hang separately. Do we have the intelligence,
humor, imagination, courage, tolerance, love,
respect, and will to meet the challenge?
Time will tell."
I am writing right now because it is Wednesday, and on Wednesdays I write. I am and writer and it is what I do. It is Wednesday, I am a writing, and so I write.
I’m laughing at how convenient it is that I last wrote about imperfection and being privy to the process, and I then proceeded to not write for three days. It can be difficult to think straight or with much clarity due to the volatile and overwhelming energy of things, but that’s what we need now—frankness, honesty, vulnerability, effort, action.
The energy of the collective consciousness is both intense and often oscillating. The air seems charged, filled with static. Small, but noticeable charges firing and combining into large explosions, themselves omens of imminent and encompassing eruption.
Breathe deep and you can smell war in the air—the metallic residue, a noxious and peppered cloud looming, salty human anxiety and determination. The calm before the storm has passed. We are in the phase of preparation for the imminent, but what form that imminence will take is not yet certain, predictable, clear.
It’s imperative that we see our differences as strengths and use them to our advantage and to the progress of humankind which demands the uplifting and equality of all people; that we educate ourselves on racism, sexism, homophobia, economics, politics, ableism, religion, environmentalism, feminism, and how they all intersect; that we learn to think critically not only of any new ideas we encounter but also of those ideas, beliefs, and practices which we have carried with us for too long; that we speak up when and where we need to speak up, and that we yield the floor and listen with rapt attention when it’s time to be silent and bear witness.
Friday is Juneteenth, the day of the emancipation of the last remaining slaves. A few weeks ago, we observed the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. In the past year over a thousand people have been killed by the police. The world is in the midst of a pandemic that has failed to hold the attention of the American people leading to the early reopening of many cities and a massive spike in cases. Donald Trump is holding a massive indoor rally here in Tulsa during a pandemic and on the anniversary of Juneteenth (yes, he moved it to the 20th, but we know that decision doesn’t hold any real weight or meaning behind it).
We can’t lose momentum. Time is a luxury no one can afford, a luxury that doesn't exist. We can’t lose focus. When we become weary, we turn to those comrades of ours who have been resting—not on their laurels but actively and with intention—and take our turn to rest while they rise and fight. We are a community. We carry our own when they cannot walk. We take one another’s place when the fight is too much. We stand shoulder to shoulder and do the work together. When we unite and weave together the cords of diversity, resilience, love, action, and community we create the means with which to topple not only statues but whole systems and structures.
But we are nothing without the work, without action, without compassion, without each other, and without the differences that make life not a thing to be feared and controlled, but a thing to be explored and loved with ferocious curiosity the aim of which is the diminishing of suffering in the world.
It’s okay to admit when we have been wrong. It’s okay to admit we feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed. It’s okay to not like how we are feeling.
Remember when you were a kid and the sensation of your bones growing felt like an inept and angry goblin—intent on leaving with a prize no less than a limb—was taking a dull saw to your leg for hours on end every night? It felt like fuck all and there wasn’t much to soothe the pain in a deep and lasting way. My grandma would sit on the edge of my bed and massage my legs and sing to me or tell me stories. My mom would let me have Tylenol or ice packs or the other little things I thought would help. With growing pains, though, you kinda just go through them. There isn’t a way to opt out and there isn’t much you can do about the pain. You have to feel it. But after you go through them you don’t have to be a small, limited human being. Now you level up. Now you ascend and become something new and better than what you had been.
And you don’t have to do it all alone. Being scared is normal. That’s why we do it together.
Don’t run from the pain and the overwhelmingness of it all. Feel it. Feel it and learn from it. Feel it and learn from it and grow through it. For fuck’s sake, don’t fucking waste it.