Vacillating between shock – horror – deep sadness. It's really pretty impossible to get one's head around the myriad of circumstances that have challenged everything I've come to depend on regarding reality. I guess it goes to show reality is a mighty thin veil.
And in the middle of everything – pregnant.
If I'm able to gain some equanimity, I can see glimmers of how being pregnant right now is actually one of the most powerful states I can be in. I want that to feel permanent and real. I want being S jr's mama to feel like a hot sword. I want my multi-ethnic family to be a sign of indelible progress, not the reason for millions of fearful votes. I want my status as a woman of color, as a mother, as an educated, liberal human being to mean more than just a t-shirt slogan.
If ever there was a time to bundle up and burn the rhetoric and get busy DOING, it's now.
The kind of mustering required to stay on progressive target doesn't necessarily come easily. Some folks rally quickly and you can nearly see the fires they light beneath themselves. Others need time to to mourn, and that's important, too.
Both Corey and I have been in mourning for the past week for personal reasons, having just lost a dear friend. That our entire country now feels threatened by profound loss has opened that specific chasm of grief into a yawning maw of emotional chaos and confusion.
I've struggled with letting my own sadness live within me to honor both my friend and what he stood for as a man and an artist – I will always think of him as a role model of kindness. But I have also recognized S jr is like a little sponge, and both Corey and I have observed him being affected by our distress. And this small human life inside me – I want nothing more than to convey intelligence and strength and humor and hope, so I feel it's imperative for me to plant feet, square shoulders, and start moving forward.
I'm profoundly sad that our country has been motivated by fear and xenophobia and a need to clench and destroy rather than embrace and nurture. As a friend recently pointed out, every era has a Dark Age. But what always follows, what must follow, is a Renaissance.
The best weapon against hate, the best resilience in the face of overwhelming sadness, is a keen and constant kindness. Now is the time to demonstrate that courage in every way – in how we get behind the wheels of our cars, how we wait in line, how we pass someone on the street, how we work, how we create art, how we talk to our children – our capacity for goodness.
Otherwise, the dark will be more than an age, and our lack of Renaissance will be our own fault.