feel sad and confused,
I, too, dive into the sea of hurt
that weaves through
our collective past,
as the trajectories come to this,
a great unearthing,
a volcanic hurtling of
old stories churning
around and around,
maybe with nowhere
they can yet go
to be free.
I, too, do not want
to succumb to a
place without hope,
I do not want make the dance
that asks to be danced,
I, too, though, am here.
And what I would like to do
is bear witness,
to every one of you,
whose stories have mingles
with my own,
and not just to the stories
that are clawing for visibility,
but to the glory of you,
who are more than your stories,
not less than … never that.
You whose pathways have helped
carve every beautiful line,
curve, and contour of you,
have given your eyes
their stunning inflection,
its majestic endurance.
I am here, and I say,
Make it so,
the way an umbrella shelters
without removing the
experience of rain,
the way the flags flap
in the breeze,
giving away just a little bit
of their colour
with each passing moment,
so that we may pray
through and with them,
and it’s amazing
how long they hang on.
Make it so,
a full, bright, hope-filled
life. Take it all in.
Feel the breath
moving through you.
Know, too, that the
fading of things
is also a reminder
of the fullest
expression of beauty,
at birth, in life,
and in the passing
of all things.
A life defined by loss,
whose very parameters
involve a known closing,
does not make it feel
any softer, or less shocking,
does not make death
smooth and silky on the skin;
the knowledge that
we are here, on this plane,
for such a short duration
comes as a surprise,
every time, and the sadness in this,
in the dawning of a realization
of our own mortality,
it’s a sorrow of deep wells
and hard, splashing tears,
because we are never ready.
Here, maybe, we can begin:
how will we choose to be
on this short journey
between moons, from
one to the next, how will
we will fill the days between
sun’s gracious ascent and her
regal return to the other side
of the world?
Will we allow ourselves
to be horrified to the core
when the sanctity of life
Will we do everything we can
to storm against the unruly,
the unjust, and the terribly
violent, and work for truth
of our equality, for our equal
right to live freely, out of harm’s
way? Is there anything else?
I want to be on the right side of history.
We all do, of course, and we all have
our ideas of right and wrong, as though
every part of this were an open discussion.
We want to take the comfortable path
and be assured of our golden destination.
We don’t want obstacles along the way;
we don’t want the seamier side of the
fairy tale, only the ending, rainbow bright.
But there is a wrong side of history, we
know this. It is the side most of us won’t
be here to regret, mourn, or reconsider.
It is the side that bears witness to our
ugliest nature, that twists our own need
for comfort and security into a languishing
hole all those who are struggling will
easily fall into. It is the hole we will have
dug, depraved, with our own two hands.
I want to be on the side of history that
favours life, and that honours the sanctity
of the living. I want to be on the side
that remembers what it’s like to desire
the chance, no, all the chances we have
in us to imagine, for every last one of
us sentient beings, from beginningless
time until the never-ending. For all of us.
Here is how to recognize the right side
of history: it lives, it breathes, it includes,
it contemplates, it makes things better.
It never looks away. It never looks away.
It is full of hearts that can rest in the
knowledge that they beat the to soulful
rhythms of compassion-driven action.
It is full of people who hold hands, and
take every opportunity they can to listen
and bear witness. It is waking up to a day
free of bloodshed and the thoughts that
take us there, that can unfold and stretch
and open into all the infinite tomorrows.