rise (oh my beloved friends, rise)




it's been a hard week in the United States. in the world.

(a fucking hard year. decade. millennium. or two. maybe three? being human is hard.)

so much pain and grief and death and anger. it feels like the world is roiling at a boil right now. full stop. too much to bear.

may the memory of Philando Castile be a blessing spurring us ever onward to social justice and equity.

and may his memory - and the memory of all those who have been murdered by white supremacy  - keep us (white people) from turning away from the pain of our fellow (black) humans.

black, brown, trans, autistic, disabled, queer. yes. here I am focused on black lives bc Philando was murdered for no other reason than that white supremacy teaches us - actively teaches us - to feel scared of black bodies. we are all soaked in the lie of white supremacy and we need to see it clearly in order to change the paradigm! that's why black lives matter is the catch phrase. it's short and pithy and absolutely necessary.

for we are bound together, interconnected, we cannot truly divorce ourselves from the weltschmertz without repercussion. and those repercussions are often more pain, more grief, more anger. more senseless deaths.

feel that pain. feel this grief. feel the anger and the sorrow and the anxiety.

be here in the mess.

and remember that the world is what it is, what it always is. there's beauty and love. babies being born. people falling in love, getting married. people giving all of themselves, for friendship, for compassion. people making art and bringing it to the world. people combating hate.

we went to an art fair today at the park where we used to go before R decided he hated playgrounds. we hadn't been in so long, but his school had their end of year picnic there and in playing with his friends, he realized he did like that playground and didn't mind going again.

(this is a big deal, more than I can really get into here. suffice it to say, it brought me hope, which I very much needed today.)

as we wandered around, looking at art, I saw this tree, with scorch marks. none of the other trees looked burned and I wondered what had happened (lightening?).

the photo I took reminded me of a Maya Angelou poem, which I also needed today.

Still I Rise


You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
From And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc.

despite injustice, slavery, murder, rape, systemic racism, white privilege, black people in America (in the western world, in the world) are still continuing to rise.

everyday, rising.

because you must. we must. every day.

(I can only help. and recruit others to help. that is how I rise. you don't need me, but I am here. I will do my share and more. I will amplify your voices and call out injustice. this is my path and I will keep walking and learning and growing. and do all I can do. may it be enough.)

rise, oh my beloved friends, rise.