I should probably be adding my two cents to the chorus of others chiming in about the armed yahoos in Burns, Oregon, who are currently occupying federal buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. It’s a case of white privilege and common sense gone wrong. Very wrong.
However, I just can’t get myself worked up over angry white men doing what angry white men do in a world where angry white men are feeling increasingly marginalized. It’s a hard-knock life guys but I do thank you for the much needed laughs with hash tags like “YallQaeda and #VanillaISIS dominating the social media landscape. By the way, when planning a takeover in the middle of winter, good planning is a must. Next time bring your own Cheetos and socks so that you don’t have to put the call out for “supplies” on social media.
Instead of being my usual fiery self on matters of racial injustice, I am drowning in a sea of reality and how the need to assure others that all is fine is actually counter to what’s healthy for me. The need to wear a happy and positive face in the face of massive change is wearing me down. I have spent the past two months living out of a bag most weeks as I navigated huge organizational shifts at my job. My weeks have been spent between Boston, the marital house and my island apartment. Some weeks if I am lucky, I spend 1-2 days a week at my apartment. One of the downsides of never having made any deep friendships with people in Maine in the actively married years is that I have no one to count on in a crisis. I know people, we are friends…but they are not the type of connections where people will drop their own plans to help out. It’s an unfortunate reality and one that was easier to weather when I was actively married. The truth is that I am still very reliant on my estranged husband for many things including caring for our daughter when I travel for work. By the same token, he lacks acquaintances even more than I do, so it’s a very messy storm of sorts. To split up yet to be still be dependent on one another for your very survival.
I read this piece today, which I shared on my personal Facebook page and a comment that was posted really hit me. The desire to wear our best face in public makes sense except that increasingly there are few spaces where many of us can wear our honest face. The one that is broken and confused. The one that is a step away from just smashing all the glasses on the floor and rolling in them. Even in attempting to “be authentic” in all my interactions, I often sense that people believe that I am made of Teflon and that I have an endless supply of strength and gumption when the reality is that I am broken and crushed. What keeps me going is one kiddo still at home, an aging father and professional commitments. Also the knowledge that sometimes you have to keep going because there is no one to catch you should you fall.
My yoga practice over the years has taught me that one of the largest jobs we will ever face is making peace with the uncomfortable and I have to say that right now that is a job that I am attacking with fervor as I grapple with a personal world spinning off its axis. We live in interesting times, where our attention spans are constantly influx as we bounce from the attraction of the moment but sometimes life demands that we stay with one attraction and sit in it. In some ways this moment of life is very reminiscent of the dark night of the soul that I experienced when my mother died. There has been a death though unlike my mom’s earthly demise, this death has the potential to be a resurrection at some point but not now.
So here I am, a broken soul in a new year trying to figure out my next steps. In my professional life, I am paid to have the answers but in my personal life, the strategies of organizational management are futile against the powers of reality. In the end, do we ever have the answers?
Black Girl in Maine runs on love and reader-support, if you appreciate this space, please consider a one-time gift or becoming a monthly patron. Thank you.