June 2020

BLM on bike

While I have written more this month than usual, nothing has been clear enough to post. Yes, there is much to be grateful for.  I became a double great aunt. Rob learned he is cancer-free a year after diagnosis. The bees are thriving. My sister Susan turned 60. I can safely visit at Mom’s place again. I created accountability towards improving my Spanish, thanks to the native-speaking postulant in my life.  Rob has been calling the baby barred owls at dusk. And, a wee bird landed on my pajama-clad knee this morning. She preened herself before she realized where she was—just too close to big me—and flitted away in a nanosecond.

I am glad I promised myself a few years ago that I would post something at least once a month. I would find a photo to illustrate the main theme and then officially publish a few words or paragraphs, sometimes an essay.

Perhaps if I try starting with a photo, the words will jell. After all l, June is about Gay Pride! Especially glad to flaunt my helmet this month.

The real gist of June though…

About two weeks ago, early in the day, during zoom Morning Prayer, I remember freezing in my tracks. Someone mentioned something dubbed CHAZ—Capital Hill Autonomous Zone—an area in Seattle that had been blocked off overnight as a base of operations by protesters. The police had left their nearby precinct.

All of my life, on some level, I have been waiting, preparing, praying for this Transformation. Albeit in my own chicken-shit way. Especially over the last decade my life experiences have coalesced to convince me a revolution would most likely be necessary. History has shown us this, over and over again. When the discrepancies are this great, the disenfranchised rise up. Then enough of us who are white and wealthy and privileged finally GET IT. We are holed up at home and we watch those gruesome nine minutes of George Floyd’s murder. We see the statistics of who lives, who dies. And we simply know we will not be able to live with ourselves unless we join in…march, fund, amplify, listen, applaud, influence. Of course it is the right thing to do. Many have known this intellectually but the consistent boldness it requires shames me.

How clear can I be? How long can I maintain this certainty?

My fear that morning was for Carolina, my daughter. She lives a few blocks from CHOP (name changed to Capital Hill Organized Protest). For the love of her, I allowed myself to get too scared that morning. Not unlike what Black mothers live with every day on some level of consciousness. That’s it. The tears came. The empathy. Past all that intellectualizing of discerning how to join in. Just crying, shivering with Mother Love.

From here in my prayer chair in the blue room, my anchor-hold, I will continue sobbing in my grief about this predicament we have inherited and continue to protect through the status quo. Then I will conjure up memories of boldness I’ve witnessed. I will imagine change and eventual justice and peace for all. Blessed Peace for all God’s children, and their mothers, knowing today it’s Black Lives that Matter. I will do my part to undo institutional racism.

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