I struggle this morning to find the music I need to write to…because I am attempting to avoid some pain. That deep pain of racial upset, discord…from the hate that runs rampant in our country today. As the numbers of followers of evil men grow, the ones that openly carry weapons with their racism to shoot to kill because it is their right… as white… The ones who wish to close the borders, cage Muslims, hunt Black youth, rape Native women, strip away dignities, deny care and health, stamp out the futures for children and women because of the color of their skin, because of how little they have… as the followers of evil men grow, I feel my anger drain to sadness.
I know at some point I will listen to the words of the great Martin Luther King, Jr. today and I’ll cry. I always do. I know that I carry within me the stories of my ancestors before me. I know these stories. Of Black slaves. Of persecuted Native women. Of poverty-stricken souls. I know these people. And today, when we honor the man who had such vision to dream of a better tomorrow, a time of equality, peace and love, I will want to do that, too. For me and for you. And for all these ancestors in my heart. In my DNA. I will want to keep dreaming and wishing.
I don’t want to fall victim to my own discouragement. I don’t want the larger forces that wish for those of us who believe in peace, to win. I don’t want to fall defeated, to take on exhaustion as a failure and go away silent except for the sound of our muffled tears.
I’m at the page trying to write, trying to lose myself in fiction because real life is really hard. And breathing is a task.
I’ve been rereading Toni Morrison’s “Playing in the Dark” fascinated by her wisdom and pondering my own lens to the stories I tell. I am wishing that I find strength to keep going because I don’t know how to do anything else but this, to tell a story in any other way than I do now. Tough. Gritty. Truthful (according to my own truth… and not anyone else’s). I am tired.
I’m thinking of this next year and what it could bring. If I show up. But today, I’m feeling the struggle. And am sitting in my office with only the sounds of my finger tips on the keyboard.
I am avoiding music. Of civil rights. Diverse voices that sing the blues. That make me wanna holler. I can’t force myself to deny struggle or betray by listening to something poppy and joyful because I struggle. I struggle.
So this isn’t a Toast to anything…