One of my favorite things to do to inspire and allow for nuance, conversations, and even hope, is to hold space. Yesterday, while sitting with River watching hands transition from one invisible one to the next, I felt unbridled joy. Her hair laid in my arm, and questions abound. During in-person school, Oak shook hand-made streamers and wore a t-shirt that matched my own.
In therapy today, I said the whole day felt like a post-fight fog. You know the kind you get after having a really bad fight with someone? You feel foggy and off-kilter; your body moves around the world at it’s own pace. Your spirit remains untethered to its lived-body experience. I allowed it. I allowed the tears and the gasps, and the sorrow. I allowed the complexities and the undeniable power, too.
I’ve spent much of my time during the last six years, marching, singing, protesting, crying, working, making, dancing, calling, and knocking on doors. I’ve spent the last four years feeling broken, trodden-down and passive about the possibilities. While also vibrating at that same possibility for progressive politics and justice. The possibility to feel just a tad safer, a day closer.
Yesterday, those days and moments culminated. While it didn’t end any fight, my joy relies in simply allowing myself to be there. To lay my armor down for a short while. I imagined in that space, Muslim friends who knew they could see their families with a swipe of a pen. I imagined friends leaning on the edge of homelessness, exhaling at an extension of a federal eviction moratorium. With the swipe of a pen, a ship of LGBTQ friends stood up-right and recovered from their bent breaths. I imagined and I saw, girls and boys all over watch a ceiling shatter. I imagined this collective space of insuperability shrinking.
No one day or moment means erasure or justice. But yesterday and last night, meant that in one day, the maximum capacity for pervasive bigotry and weathering that has unnecessarily killed over 400,000 Americans and so many more, would no longer be given grant.
Racism remains. The work remains. But for a day and evening, my bones stood still. I imagined that space grew larger. A space in which the beds of many quieted for a night, as their shaky and tired bones found their way home again. And I stood still in it. I wept in it.
How are you doing today?
Absolutely beautiful words. I allowed myself to feel joy and hope yesterday. To be moved by songs. To feel…. patriotic? I feel an emotional hang over today. The work remains. But it felt good to feel good yesterday. xx
Shared similar sentiments at my blog. Reflecting on my feelings for our country, how I’m still not fooled, but realizing all I have learned from the experience of the past four years, and how I myself can work towards a country balancing more towards social justice, and less towards profits, riches, and power. Lots of work ahead, but I am energized and inspired by newer voices like yours, Erin’s, Amanda’s, AOC’s, Ilhan’s, Ayanna’s, and as always, Bernie’s. I want to keep on keeping on, so yeah, not heading to Canada just yet 😘
Love this, love you!
I fall into the beauty of your words every time I read them. Yes, stillness and hope. So much hope. I am a white mother of a black daughter and I have never brought her to live in my country. I’ve been too scared, so I’ve been an expat for 12 years now. She’s 13 and has yet to experience racism. It is something she reads about in school, watches on TV, something we talk about at dinner. But never personal, not yet. It has been the greatest blessing and both she and I are very aware of that gift. And now, for just a moment watching Biden’s speech. listening to the amazing Amanda Gorman I felt like just maybe I could take my daughter to my home, so she could know my country. Just maybe.
me too! your words are a gift, latonya. thank you!
i feel sooo light. it was only yesterday that i realized how heavy his presence was. i felt compelled to write and share – a joyful task that has evaded me for most of 2020. there is so much power and fuel in acknowledging and embracing our ‘negative’ emotions – harnessing it through words, actions and values. feeling this: https://tps-steph.blogspot.com/2021/01/0058-012121.html
I don’t think I recognized how I was physically holding this period in my body until my partner and I remarked how utterly exhausted we have been since Wednesday. Our bodies tell the story. I’m still a little afraid to hope, but it’s nice to see a glimmer of it. I think we need to celebrate and rest, even while knowing how much more there is to be done.