Well we watched the inauguration crying a little and laughing a little and listening to a 22 yo Black woman OWN the mic and her words for all of us. And we saw Barack and Michelle and the Clintons and even Mike Pence. And at night we watched some pretty splendid fireworks and people with their arms around each other, the people we voted into office in their finery and we didn't even care that they didn't have a big party with swishy dresses and music and champagne. And we heard our new president speak some powerful words with his faith, his heart and as my friend Rachel said, maybe he can be a spiritual leader, this man of sorrows. I hesitate to go there because he is a politician but, damn, he knows loss. And grief.
Today is the day after and Biden is doing his best to right some wrongs, rejoin the WHO and the Paris Climate Accord and reverse the Muslim ban and reunite children with their parents and streamline citizenship for thousands of undocumented folks who harvest our food and wash the dishes and work in a multitude of ways invisible to many of us.
He can't hurry up the distribution of the vaccine but he can tell the truth about how many more dead there will be and when, just when we might get to a place where fewer and fewer of us are dying. And maybe then our front line workers can get a good night's sleep and have breakfast with their children.
We have lost so much. And Biden spoke directly to the loss of life. As horrifying as those numbers are, telling the truth is what brings a kind of respite to our hearts. We know...but being gaslighted for 4 years has hurt us more than we can know. The long nightmare is not over but we can begin to awaken to start tending to our wounds.
Of course, it ain't over, the damage. We have seen what is before us. Once again, a great racial reckoning, a turning to systemically change systems of oppression. We have seen the ugliness in our fellow citizens. Now is not the time to go back to sleep. The State will continue to kill and imprison Black and Brown folks unless we stand on the front lines to protest and refuse to sanction by our inaction.
This might be a rant. Or maybe it's all we've been saying for these many years and months. Maybe it is a collective howl.
Most forcefully yesterday I felt the loss of all those lives, men and women and children of all colors and privilege who died from the virus because of the callousness of one man. The ghosts in all our cities and towns urging us to show up and be active in our lives, for goodness and healing and love. For that is our birthright, the softness and brilliance of our hearts.