Four weeks ago, I wrote about unlikely inspiration: being laughed at and photographed for wearing a face mask. I wrote about how reflecting on that encounter helped deepen my commitment to practicing empathy even—perhaps especially—when it’s hard:
If I rage at [Unmasked Woman], the maskless woman who set this post stirring, I do not show care. I do not show empathy. I do not reflect, in act, my deep belief that “redeemable” is a category into which every single human being may fall.
A few days later, I’d learn of the police murder of George Floyd. I’d see my husband, a Black man who has gently walked with me as I’ve grappled with the enduring consequences of my own many encounters with trauma, split open and bleed out decades of racism-born trauma. Unskilled at being with him in his own trauma, I’d leap right into the roiling waters of trauma with him, leaving us both exhausted, wounded, and wary. Continue reading “to experience grace”→
By that point, I had two young Black sons. I’d had years to grapple with the differences between racism and Racism, and yet continued–it’s seemed to me–to barely grok them.
Revisiting this post now, it seems I grokked more than I’ve understood, for: What we’re seeing now is exactly what I then saw coming (which mirrored everything come before),
which is exactly what the Black folks who’d taught me prepared me to expect.
#BlackLivesMatter taught me about power:
Who has it, who doesn’t, and, most importantly,
“how power favors a certain kind of order over actual justice.”
It taught me that the system that blames everything on “bad apples” is sure as hell going to keep coming up with
bad apple after
bad apple after
bad apple, so that,
someday, every person
capable of empathy will come
to question whether it’s
He typically prefers psychological horror, while I favor supernatural horror–you know, the kind of horror that human beings can’t work on one another.
We did find some horror overlap thanks to zombies. Anthony inspired that in me by loaning me his copy of World War Z, which excellent novel paved the way for Anthony and I to date over … zombie movies.
For a few months now, I haven’t been in the mood for much horror. There’s enough to amp up my anxiety in the real world without adding to it with fantasy.
Some months ago, I sent an email it was very, very hard to send.
Today, I am glad I sent it.
In a large-team meeting, a new leader moved their PowerPoint deck one slide forward. When I saw the content of that new slide, I froze. That’s to say, between fight, flight, and freeze, my body chose “freeze.” Continue reading “The Beginning!”→
I’m an early bird. My husband’s a night owl. Most of our dating occurred in phone calls and chats that took place when I’d just awakened from the new day and he was wrapping up the old one.
In our household, this is often a source of amusement. Recently, though, it’s wreaking some havoc.
My husband will climb into bed at midnight, or 1 o’clock, or 2 o’clock. I’ll half-awaken and mumble a few words to him before jolting awake with the realization, Wait! We are living the revolution! I must check the status of the revolution since I fell asleep a few hours ago!Continue reading “comfortable white readers”→
While reviewing my old Black Lives Matter posts over the weekend
to write “died with his hands in the air” part 2,
I also found a couple of (apparently) unrelated posts
I’d once written after being inspired by
wry and wonderful Neil Postman;
I emailed them to myself without then reading them,
so that I was astonished, today, to read one and
find a #BlackLivesMatter-related answer
(for me) within it.
Today, my husband–a Black man who’s walked with me
as I’ve worked to better understand American racism and Racism–
and I are acknowledging #BlackOutTuesday by buying nothing.
Today, many people we love are posting black squares
on social media and otherwise … listening.
While the black square is not for me,
I appreciate how hard it is to
find words right now, and
see a great deal of beauty in
anyone actively acknowledging, however
they can today–with words,
with actions, with listening-plus-black squares–
that too many people have suffered
for too damn long.
If I understood I was far from alone before reading attorney Carrie Goldberg’s magnificent Nobody’s Victim last year, I was even clearer afterward. I was both comforted and disheartened to know how very, very many people endure stalking
that few who have not experienced it can begin to fathom.
In my neighborhood, more people roam without face masks than with them.
I don’t usually give this too much thought, but one encounter last weekend has lingered in my mind.
My kids and I were finishing a walk around the block. We were, for reasons described in my early April post “A bandana the right direction,” all wearing our face masks.
While my ten-year-old (Li’l D) and I were walking, my six-year-old (Littler J) was pedaling slowly on his hand-me-down Ninja Turtles bike. I saw a couple without facemasks approaching on the sidewalk. Remembering Littler rolling right into a neighbor who’d been standing still just a few days prior, I thought it unlikely he’d be able to skirt around moving targets. I nudged him into the street to enable the couple to pass. Continue reading “on face masks & my sons’ future”→