I feel battle weary, but the battle is only beginning, leaving my heart heavy in my chest. There is so much sadness and worry swirling everywhere, and today it won. I have felt blue, my thoughts sequestered, retreating into myself so much so that it was difficult to communicate even with my sweet Dan. I just shut down, maybe hoping for some sort of mental reboot to shake me out of the doldrums.
My heart aches for my students, friends, and family who are LGBTQ or people of color, seeing them have their dignity and rights stripped away in the cruelest of fashion. I just can’t comprehend the hatred and bigotry of so many…or the deafening silence of some, either. I feel impotent, unable to do anything of substance to help, but my nature is to want to help, my compulsion is to make things better, and so my mind cycles through ideas over and over again, with nothing of great significance coming to the surface yet.
When life becomes filled with chaos, I find myself missing the love and comfort of my mother more intensely, but I’m grateful she is not here to experience the isolation and danger of the virus. I would love to hear her perspective as someone who lived through many dark times in our history over her ninety-two years. I can hear her say her mantra, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” I am hoping the stronger part comes soon…I’m just not feeling it right now.
I saw a quote posted by a friend that really gave my heart hope. It read:
Maybe all of this chaos and pain is indeed necessary to shake us out of our complacency. It’s too easy and convenient to live in our own little bubble with people who look like us and think like us, and we lose our empathy and compassion for those who live a different reality. The problems have run so deep for so long, the divisions are so heartbreakingly wide…I don’t know what the answers are, but I have to believe that if we can somehow come together and start a real dialogue, we can make this world a better place for everyone and not just a certain group of people. The work of change is messy, uncomfortable, hard, but it is worth it.
I’m just a fifty-seven year-old clarinet professor married to a sixty-seven year-old retiree who teaches yoga. We don’t have a lot of money or influence, but we do have the desire to make a difference and are not afraid to speak our truth and stand up for those we love and for what we know in our hearts is right and true. In the end, I think of Dr. Martin Luther King’s words:
I so hope that he was right. No matter what, I’m going to keep up hope, believing and praying that now is finally the time for real change. I’m also going to look for more meaningful ways to listen to people of color and to LGBTQ people to see how I can be a better advocate. We are always stronger together, that inherent seed of human connection planted deep in our hearts. We only need to open our hearts to release it. I believe deep down in my soul- even if it happens long after I’ve left this world, that love will win.