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,
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.
We know that the dark helps us
to see light, and we know this is
a scientific fact and this is also
a figurative way of thinking.
What’s evil casts a light on the good,
What scares us teaches us about
what gives us comfort, hope, joy.
Have you ever noticed that
objects in silhouette, as dark
as dark can be (because of the light),
never look quite as dark as the blackness
of a tunnel, or of a deep, starless night
(or a day lost to despair)?
A thing at its darkest, surrounded
and inflected by the great and powerful sun,
retains the brightness that
has given it life, does not invite
the void, never-ending, never-sweet.
We fall into darkness (the way
we fall in love); a silhouette is
sculpted in relief, its contours
made of light; there is no falling,
only emergence. The silhouettes
of autumn, the most moving of all:
not hesitant, but lingering,
The glimmer is the dying of a day
The glimmer is soft and yearning,
The glimmer is you.
Something we need to remember now, maybe more than ever, in our recent history, at least … may we always be working toward our highest potential, knowing we are not alone in our efforts …