Before you read any further, please note that what follows does not minimize or oversimplify the complexity of race relations. What follows is simply a heart story (mine) (I cannot tell yours).
I see that people are hurting (hell, dying) and my heart hurts. And not everyone wants to hear about the heart and the hurt of a white woman with privilege. But what can I say? I’m white, I’m privileged, and my heart hurts.
I don’t know what to do with the hurt except to know it – to feel it – to keep it close. I don’t wish to compare my hurt with anyone else’s. Absolutely not. Comparison (almost always) is foolish.
But the hurt is there.
My heart feels heavy, brittle, and oddly enough (in some moments) light. At moments, there is something light, something soft, something yielding. And this feels like the tiniest bit of hope.
The hurt of our country – our world – cannot rest on hope alone, cannot rest on the soft yielding of my heart or yours. I am, at times, naïve but I’m not that naïve. But maybe this is a start. To come to this softness, to rest inside it. To feel around at the folds of this experience like one feels (settles) (is comforted by) the folds of a soft, fleece blanket.
There’s a blanket on the floor of our living room, a heap of soft, grey fleeciness next to the grey chair by the window. I don’t bother picking it up because the pup curls in this blanket often and, when I look at her sleeping there, I think to myself Now that is softness. Her curly fur, her sweet little cinnamon-colored eyelashes, her belly moving with her breath, the fleecy blanket holding her in a swirly mass of…softness.
I want to rest in that kind of softness. I want everyone to rest in that kind of softness, in some curl or fold somewhere, somehow. It’s not a solution really, this softness, but maybe it’s a start. Can we start with some softness? So that the hurt the anger the rage the injustice begins to transform into something other?
The anger and rage are starting points (manifesting from their own varied, institutionalized origins). But softness can be a parallel starting point too, can’t it?
We’re all carried through from somewhere. All going somewhere.
Except what matters most is that we’re here. Right here. Here in the hurt.
You might disagree when I say there can be softness in hurt. That softness (in the hurt) (at least for me) carries hope. Not blindness to what is, but an openness to what can be, what needs to be. Can we see that? Can we start from there?
In my June Monthly Note, I wrote:
Stay with your breath.
Stay with your heart.
Be a good human.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said: The time is always right to do what is right.
Be a good human. Do the right thing (recognizing that there are many forms, many actions, many ways to do the right thing). Hold space for softness. And for the love of all things holy and precious on this great Earth, give love – have love – be love.
Can we start there?
Can we be love?
sending a little (extra) love your way, m
10 thoughts on “Hurt and Love and Doing Right”
i am so grateful to be feeling the softness of your words –
(and now, when i read your blog, i hear your voice in my head. i love that we have been meeting on wednesday mornings, and i love that we are getting to know one another’s voices and faces.)
i do know that there must be softness to be found – and that if we can extend that comfort that haven that softness – we are doing so much good.
i saw a quote once – about not changing everything at once, but adding one good thing and then another until there is not room for anything that is not good. i think that is one of the things we can do – offer one good thing and then another, do one good thing and then another –
thank you for your offering here.
Elizabeth, I’m SO grateful to have you in the Wednesday writing circle…yes, so good to learn each other’s voices and faces.
I like this quote you’re referencing…so wise. Here’s to adding the good (one at a time) until there’s no room for anything that isn’t good. YES. xo
Beautiful soul. As always. So real. So beautiful. Finding that softness too. It’s the place I work best from…
The anger and rage have their place, for me. Yet as I too, do my work and share with others, I am clear I want it to be from this place of softness. Which I myself, found yesterday. What a haven to do good from.
Resting in your words. I keep reading that last part. Over and over and over. So bummed I won’t be writing with you, at this time.
So much love, xox,j
I absolutely understand the anger and rage, agree that it has its place.
and I’m glad you’re finding some softness for yourself too…”a haven to do good from”…I like that. xo
Your words Are always so deep and moving and so resonate with me xo
I’m truly glad to know that. Thank you so much, Kelly…and thank you for being here.
Thank you for these words my heart needed most to hear, to feel, to find solace in. As I lingered over these lines, I couldn’t help but feel this sense of lightness in my soul, the rightness of your thoughts…because, I feel so much how you are feeling and yet I’ve stayed silent on my end yet thoughtful in my mind. I tend to keep my thoughts to myself, yet when I come across another’s sentiments that match so truly to my own, I’m so very grateful. Thank you for this. Sending hugs your way….
sweet April, thank you so much for your words. it does my heart good to know you feel a sense of lightness – I do believe it’s there, even in all that’s heavy and ugly and unjust. it’s tricky to talk about and I hesitated in sharing this, so I thank you for sharing yourself / your thoughts. grateful for you.
once again, dear m, your eloquent words speak exactly what my heart feels. thank you. and yes, let’s be the love.
hands to heart, leah.
here’s to being love…