I wrote this to self-soothe during an emotionally nauseous couple of hours yesterday. Seemed well received on Facebook, where I posted it initially, so am capturing it here.
Today (yesterday’s tomorrow), by contrast, I am feeling so relieved and heartened to see all the ways these protests are winning: hearts and minds, action from mayors and city councils, arrests of George Floyd’s murderer and complicit parties, commitments to defund police and invest directly in black communities, commitments to investigate police abuses and Constitutional violations during the protests, condemnations of Trump’s rhetoric and actions from multiple angles, etc.
I will continue to worry for protestors being abused by police. The names of civilians killed, severely maimed, injured, attacked with “less lethal” weapons during this week’s protests must stir grief, anger, fuel for change, and loving solidarity. They are fighting for our rights.
We must keep the pressure on.. this is just the dawning of a rebirthing and reckoning process we most desperately need.
I taste the fear on the air.
Fear of a worsening tomorrow.
Clenching of identities.
Some chosen. Some caused.
(And those held to most tightly
Will only crack into bigger shards.)
Desperation, exhaustion, anguish particulates.
I breathe them in.
I read in their chemical structures
That if we fail to rise today,
we may lose the power to tomorrow.
Virus rides on our breaths.
Promoting slogans, meant to organize and save us.
Some calling for unified confrontation of oppression. Others who would further oppression as a selfish means to insulation from consequences.
The confusion of which beliefs, which grounds really save us.
Virus of memetic separation ideology.
And genetic coronavirus.
Spreading and threshing in uncontained systems.
I cannot know what ideas and RNA I am breathing in today. It is a muddled soup.
Wheezing offal, toxic dust of a collapsing empire. Suffocating by resounding official abuses.
I drip money, and posts, and masks, and tears
into the slurry of our situation.
But I can know your emotions. Cycled hotter by your stories. Picked up like pheromones, signs of your being in the environment.
I can taste, smell, touch them through me. (We as sensors are shaped the same.) Your voice cracking in pain, rending my heart into a crisis, convulsions of rapid-fire resisting and releasing.
Feeling cresting through the dull state of shock. I do not choose y/our pain: I am it.
I can see lucidly the shapes, the seats and stands, you make with your precious bodies in our common spaces.
Even from a distance, I follow the subtle strands of sensation, to the inside-outening, unfolding of your true avatars.
I know you, your movements, are me, define me. Our expressions carve our truths into bodies and environment. Conditions we condition for making way
for a better day.
Fear of a tomorrow that’s not worth living
Fear of a tomorrow depriving us of life and liberty, void of collective happiness
Fear of a tomorrow as betrayal of our role to play for our descendants
or very well our ancestors
I pray, I process, I strive
to hold wide open the berth of today
So all wounds and cracks and deceits and doubts and dangers
To a space as wide as
all our hearts combined
In a rolling continuous sea of beings
Occupying common space
Beyond identities into common cause
Stretching the edges of what is possible.
Beyond fears into purpose
Piloting directly toward a better day