Last week was a week lost. We lost an election; I lost a week in time. I did not work. I did not make progress on any of my projects. I didn’t even cook. All of my energy was consumed with feeling and trying to escape feeling. It was a full-time effort.
I went to the Trolls movie.
I Shimmy Popped, InterPlayed and Twerk Werked
I held the people I love and they held me.
These things worked for a bit, but when the credits rolled, the last booty bounced, and the cuddle puddle evaporated, the anxiety began to flood back in. I did not sleep. The one lonely Valium I’ve saved for the end of the world began to call my name. “Kelsey, this is not living.” “I can make you feel o.k.”
I woke at 4:00 a.m. today and lay in bed paralyzed, unable to face a new reality, unable to will myself back to the comforts of the dream world.
I’ve bounced between text messages, Facebook posts and news reports hoping for some light to alleviate this unfathomable outcome, some comforting word to assure me that Trump really can’t inflict the damage of which he appears so capable.
The end of Roe vs Wade?
The end of marriage equality?
The end of Obamacare?
The end of climate acknowledgment?
The end of Freedom of the Press?
The end of equal rights for Muslims?
Surely, there must be some check, some balance, some other body who’s really pulling the strings? We will not regress into some good ol’ boy nation where the haves keep having regardless of the effects on people and planet. But with a Senate and House Republican majority, I have little hope in the powers that be and the course they will set.
Sometimes I cry when I write.
When the truth landed, it hit me with piercing agony like a dart in the spine. It said, “this relationship will end, that is all.”
The funny thing about truth is that it has a presence. It is a simple standing structure immovable and unapologetic. Once recognized it is the measure upon which all else can be weighed. I imagine it like a giant concrete wall dropping from the sky, –BOOM! – into a pristine lake. The size of the waves it creates and the quantity of the sludge stirred depends entirely on the fabrications your lake holds. When truth lands you have two options: A) What wall? Everything is fine here! Or, B) Oh, fuck!
I’ve decided to go with Option B – for better or for worse.
When we knew everything. Me and my BFF Kristie celebrating eminent world domination the evening of our HS Graduation.
Write what you know.
This idea has stuck with me ever since I devoured the book Little Women in middle school. Jo, the protagonist, agonizes over writing a swash-buckling tale of derring-do. When her short stories are published, they receive little attention. Jo’s editor suggests instead she try writing something more personal, something from her heart. After some offended guffaws she pens a novel about growing up with her three sisters, aka Little Women.
As I’ve embarked on my own writing, the only place I know to start is with what’s in my own heart. Sometimes this gets me into trouble for being too honest, too transparent, and perhaps exposing those who’d prefer to remain anonymous. But it is not my wish to write for shock value or revenge. I share my experiences because I’m compelled to do so, and because I believe that writing is what I’m called to do.
I write about my love life, my aspirations, my fears and even my finances, but I have not written about social issues. Topics of race, oppression and sexuality have felt too monolithic for meager me to approach — best to let the PhD’s and activists in the world tackle such important issues. What could I possibly add to the conversation?
Maybe from living in a city steeped in years of activism or maybe from waking up to my own Blackness, I’m realizing how deeply flawed such beliefs are. Not believing I have something to add to “serious conversations” is indeed a mark of my own social conditioning. Am I not a living, breathing human living in a chaotic, confused time? Do I not walk as brown-skinned woman in a world where such distinctions are a liability? How could I not have something to say?
Awake into the wee hours of the morning, propped in bed with a laptop balanced on a pillow, my eyes danced over every square inch of the computer screen as Beyoncé gloriously took her baseball bat to car windows, swung her braided-up hair, bounced her breasts and flipped the bird.
I’m talking about Lemonade i.e. Queen B’s visual album which dropped this week, and made everyone put what they were doing down and watch slack jawed as she flipped it and reversed it.
It was as if we collectively felt the sound of a giant record scratch and all stood awkwardly in awe and faintly aware that something big was happening.
Never have I felt more connected to my fellow humans.
There was no way to prepare for The Parliament of World Religions. This every-five-years-or-so conference, which draws thousands of attendees from all over the world of nearly every faith, converged on Salt Lake City, my hometown this month. The focus this year, “Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity,” promised speakers including: Jane Goodall, Michael Beckwith, Mother Maya Tiwari, Vandana Shiva, Marianne Williamson and many more …