Hello internet world. I had no idea that today was going to be a writing day but apparently it is. The voice calls. I’ve started a few blog posts and they have been left undone. So here is what you may have missed. Another blog post that pertains to Black Lives Matter, and a post about neurodiversity. I have not abandoned Black Lives Matter, I just felt these drafts reiterated some key points I’d touched on in my last few posts and as a white woman I am not the best person to speak on this but hopefully, I can lead you to some other resources whose voices will amplify mine.
I do want to say that I’m continuing to learn SO much from some Insta accounts I am following and might I strongly recommend Sonya Renee Taylor? I don’t always like hearing what she has to say, quite frankly it stings a little bit, but it is a good sting and some much needed truth serum. One of the most profound things she has said lately that has stayed with me is that the “technology” that is needed to sit with those that you hate, to tolerate those you can not bear to be burdened with in society does lie within Black people. They have had to learn to sit with their oppressors for centuries and to still have love and Black joy in their hearts despite everything, along with the capability to still extend some semblance of an olive branch to those who have hurt them beyond anything imaginable.
I don’t even feel worthy paraphrasing Sonya Renee Taylor’s words so just watch one of her “What’s up y’alls.” I also have been deeply moved by Maya Angelou’s words in this poem. I suggest you hear it. I also recommend this poem. Yes, my friends there are powerful lessons that lie within the voices of those who have known oppression but NO the oppressors do not get to take credit for it and these people should be compensated for their pain and suffering if anyone has garnered anything from it.
I’m reminded of another quote I read recently that I thought I tagged but could never find. So I just know I am going to do a botch job of it so forgive. It was along the lines of a “you enjoyed our Motown, our hip-hop, all the music, all our Jazz, there was a strong message communicated, and you applauded and you cheered, but you didn’t hear it.” So, when I was feeling a little bit of overwhelm with all the info flooding the interned about BLM, what books to read, etc. I turned to music and tried listening to it with new ears and really it felt like coming out of a coma. I’ve taken a slight journey into some Motown I had not heard before and some I had, and with the passing of John Lewis, this music just hit me harder.
There are so many mentionable artists past and present, but a certain Sam Cooke song struck me more than the others and yes, I really want to believe A Change is Going to Come. I recommend giving it a listen. A deep heartfelt listen.
Also readers, whoever you may be, these last few weeks have been hard and we are all dealing with our own set of circumstances and processing this newfound trauma with the pandemic in new ways and it is with great misgivings that by tonight I have to submit my answer about whether or not I am sending my children back to school. Today I thought about a trip I had taken once through the Pacific Northwest, up through Canada and into Alaska. My family had been talking about taking a trip through Idaho, up into Montana, and going to Lake Louise into Canada.
We all had plans that are no more, and my daughter is in Hawaii halfway through a pregnancy I can not even be a part of, at least not in the way I imagined without quarantining for weeks upon my visit and possibly endangering her in her final trimester of pregnancy.
I just want to say that I was rather struck when I looked at a world map of where Americans are allowed in this world and it looks bleak for sure. I feel confined. I feel trapped and I’ve never really been a world traveler before and it all feels like something tragic that just slipped through my fingers and I see no signs that any of this is going to be resolved soon. I hear teachers threatening strikes, and I hear parents who are angry about their children wearing masks and how dare these teachers push reopening back a week for their own safety? They should lose their jobs! I am appalled, I am gobsmacked.
Yet, when I talk to my daughter who is expecting, she is at peace, and there really is no extreme opposition or anti mask brigades there, none that she has noticed. It almost seems that Island life more agreeable with the Pandemic. As much as it can be. Her classes at the University of Hawaii were placed on line at the last minute and for the most part it seems people are going with the flow. I was thinking to myself, “Oh man, I am in the wrong place. ” Then it struck me that my daughter was in the right place and that I was looking at it all wrong. There is no place that I rather she be right now. I am grateful for this epiphany. This moment to have a feeling of gratitude in all this chaos.
There are two things that have really been helping me at this juncture because God knows, I am in a red State, a deep red state, and I feel as if I am neck deep in Q Anon conspiracies and I’ve lost so much of my family to it that I practically feel like an orphan. Also, I’ve been deeply disturbed by past events in Portland. That place has always been my touchstone and I have strong memories of a summer spent their roaming that City on the Max, the dynamic, the people. I am completely enamored with it and feel as if every time I go, its like I’ve found my people. My daughter, step daughter and I had ourselves a splendid time there and even they were feeling the vibe. I have an emotional attachment to Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest in general.
There are people around me who have made me feel as if I should have been utterly ashamed of Portland, but my heart knows what it knows. I’m told I should be ashamed of these protests in these cities, but I am not and I refuse because these past weeks I have seen a fight for America. My anxieties would be much worse if protests weren’t happening in Portland. I see an America that is going to overcome and will not bow down to tyranny so easily, and I see some agonizing times ahead.
This is why I meditate.
Yes I started meditating.
I need to be strong for this.
It is working.
My mind is squirelly as hell, and sometimes I have to do it twice a day but it’s helping.
Tonight, I take my family into the mountains. Luckily, my husband and I were allowed to get a new side by side, pandemic and all, and we are taking the kids out of suburbia and sleeping under the stars for a mountain outing. Right now, I fear this pandemic (and god-forsaking Q Anon) more than I do the possibility of sleeping out where there could be bears and that is saying something. I do not fear the natural world. I don’t even fear for this virus, but I do fear for this country, and I have a TREMENDOUS amount of grief for family I am losing along the way.
So here is another thing that is helping me. Acceptance. I’ve accepted that my family and some of my dearest friends are essentially part of a cult. Approaching this with that mindset has helped me grieve, and by all means, psychologically, I have to treat this like a cult because that is what this is. In Utah it feels like a cult on top of a cult. I can’t really get into it now but I know where to seek resources for help with this tremendous amount of agony that has been weighing me down.
A Black woman influencer whom I follow on Instagram named Vynisha posted some wise words and they seem so relative to these times now. Powerful and yet still so painful. I don’t know where she got them but here they are:
There is a huge shift right now in relationships. Toxic relationships are ending. Allow them to end. Surrender, do not settle for less. The Collective is going through an upgrade, and we can not take them with us. We cannot carry this baggage any longer.
There is another quote I felt compelled to share with any readers whom I shamefully also don’t know whom to give credit for. I saw these words in a photo of a book page, although I do not know which book exactly. Some kind of word porn, but meaningful just the same.
Are you happy? No. But I am curious in my joy. I am over seeking, over feeling. I am in awe of the beautiful moments life gives us, and I am in awe of the difficult ones. I am transfixed by grief, by growth. It is all so stunning, so rich, and I will never convince myself that I cannot be somber, cannot be hurt, cannot be overjoyed. I want to feel it all-I don’t want to cover it up or numb it. So no, I am not happy, I am open, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So my friends this seems to be my theme statement for this rotten pandemic and this sh*t show that is my country right now. No, I am not happy, but I am open. Since I am a meditator now I will leave you all with a Namaste and will be touching base again with you all again in the future.
Until next post!
You speak so wisely about current times especially politics and protests. What do you think is going to happen next? Like your best guess.
Amir, I think it will get worse before it gets better. I think there will be more violence. I think this election is going to be heated, and scary, and there will be casualties and not a peaceful transition of power for whoever takes power. I am preparing for this, yet, the pandemic will become more and more escalated, hitting people closer to home, to the point where they can not deny it any longer and perhaps it will whip us all into submission. It is the perfect storm. What do you think will happen next?