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