I’m sitting here with an overwhelming sense of sorrow. It’s a rich, deep melancholy that fills my chest and tightens my throat. It’s a physical weight that twists my gut and stings my eyes. It is not something of which I am familiar.
I have no real justification for feeling so despondent. I have not had a personal tragedy, nor is my health threatened and all my loved ones are accounted for.
So I take inventory:
Cheyanne just broke her leg. Perhaps that is it. The uncertainty of where this latest injury will drive her journey in life, even temporarily, weighs on me.
Or maybe it’s residual from the stress when my entire family (save for my brother) was threatened by Hurricane Matthew. Though their persons are all safe, whole and intact, their homes, yards and towns were not so lucky. And though a beach house that holds a special place in my heart was spared for the most part, the beautiful dunes it lived among are flattened. The sight of the expanse of sand where there once was life feels final and restoration seems futile. Rebuilding is a monstrous task. Perhaps that is enough to justify my sorrow.
Or it could be that too frequently I must stand by and watch my wee Dia bounce between complete wellness one hour and writhing in pain crying out in pleas of desperation the next. She drops precious weight and my mind races with worst case scenarios, yet I can do nothing but encourage her to carry on.
That could be why. It would be justifiable, I’d imagine, if it was - but that is not why. Not entirely, anyway. Ultimately? It’s futility. This feeling of absolute futility. I feel … helpless. Powerless.
“Take back your power.” I just said those words to Cheyanne in my attempt to offer her strength and support but more likely in a subconscious moment of brilliant projection: “Take.back.your.power.”
But what power do I have to reclaim? I am one person. One not particularly charismatic, rather awkward person who has no influence, no following, no voice. Indeed, this very post will be read by people who know me and likely agree with my views. At best, I may reach a few who lovingly ‘agree to disagree.’
You see, I lied. I do know ‘why.’ I’ve known for some time now. At the root of my despair is the witnessing of a people I never thought I’d live to see again. A history I naively believed was behind us as a nation is undeniably beginning to repeat itself. The progress I proudly watched being made, bit-by-bit on the backs and bloodshed of those long gone is seemingly hellbent upon being undone very, very soon.
Racism. Back with a vengeance.
And we are voting it into office – the highest office in our country.
Oh, I know… you are just picking between the “best of two evils.” I’ve heard it all. I hear you begrudgingly admitting you will vote for that certain candidate knowing his views, knowing the worst of his followers, knowing his influence BUT… BUT your religious convictions, BUT your hatred for the other candidate, BUT you are concerned about your pocketbook… The BUTs outweigh your disdain for his disregard of the most human of beings.
BUT that is what ‘they’ are, you know: They are Human Beings. Whether to you ‘they’ are The Blacks or The Gays or The Muslims or The Refugees or The Mexicans or The Disabled or The Women, THEY are human and their lives are about to be turned upside down, if they are not already.
I could cite recent events to prove my point – nooses being thrown over students at schools in the South, racial epithets being hurled like it’s 1964, the overt sexualization of women, churches burning, the KKK’s renewed public activity… but this is an emotional post, it isn’t meant to be a paper. It’s not even meant to be a political statement. It’s merely me trying to get through this feeling of powerlessness, watching my faith in humanity drain out of me and praying that Tuesday will relieve my concerns and lift this weight off me so we can go about the work of undoing what this man has already managed to do. Rebuilding is a monstrous task, yes, but we can put it back again – even better maybe – if we can hold back the storm from causing further damage.
So here I am, taking back what little power I have. Take this as encouragement to carry on. I know it hurts, but when it is all said and done I will be here and I will stoop with you to pick up all the broken pieces and put us together again.
Even if you broke it.
“History is not just facts and events. History is also a pain in the heart and we repeat history until we are able to make another’s pain in the heart our own.”