There’s a great line in the book I’m reading, Shadow of of the Wind, about how life is sun warm, but cold things do happen. And when one is brushed by cold, it can seem as though the whole world is cold. Eventually, the brush of cold loses its hold, and life again trumps death. Warmth seeps into our pores and opens the halo of our manes with humid air, dripping green leaves on trees and breezes.
I can only imagine the strength of a mother able to forgive but don’t forget girl keep your head up through the travesty of state sanctioned murders of her innocent black son. I can only imagine the courage of a people surrounded, under brutal siege, a people who still manage to laugh at the small things. The fight ain’t fair, its straight up cowardly. And yet, another grey, bloodied day/ breaks/and over a meager breakfast of cold bread and tea, a Palestinian child makes a funny face, just to make mom smile.
I don’t have to imagine the strength and courage of a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who grows up, faces the truth, learns the art of boundary setting, and forgives her once beloved family, her former perpetrators. Some days I still can’t move. But they are my family and I refuse to concede the semblance of family to the generations of invasion and beastly colonization, I will not let anyone or anything take away my chance at a nice few days over the holiday with mom and dad and friends. I knew that admitting to the truth had to lead somewhere. And here’s where I’m at now: I wouldn’t be caught dead in a room with the man overnight. But impromptu songs and a deep convo about my dada and dadi ji, and my great grandparents even–priceless. A long journey that keeps bearing fruit. The truth.
The truth is, I forgive them. All of them. And all of me. The truth is a lifelong journey.
I’m working on forgiving myself. For having feelings, for being in the same body. That cold that brushed up inside of me, well, sometimes it still obscures my vision like Lavar Burton’s glasses in Star Trek (the original). And I can’t always tell when I’m back in that place, that foggy, dead still place.
But I know one thing. If I can forgive my perpetrators, I can forgive myself. And if I can forgive myself then I can keep it moving, to a warmer, brighter place. Where magic happens, and curiosity still curls up like my cat does when she’s safe and sleepy. There’s so much to learn and to share! Butterflies unfurl from cocoons. And I still can’t tell you where my water comes from, or how it gets to my sink. I can tear up a dance floor but I’m a klutz at the gym. Unless I’m in the water, under water flying till all the dying sloughs off like old scales. Shit, last time I was at the gym I ran into Sapphire, the author of Push and modern day heroine far as I’m concerned.
So, you never know what magic might fly your way. When you forgive.
I know, I’m sappy as all get out. Happy fucking new year.