My love was exhausted after work yesterday. He skipped dinner, had a hang out with his son, finished his work and went to bed early. I was all alone in the house. All alone with my thoughts and starting at a screen.
It’s past curfew, and there’s no where I can go. Nothing I can do. I sat with my “I don’t know what to do now” self and let my mind wander away.
I imagined myself sitting cross-cross-applesauce on some street corner downtown, holding a sign. I tried to zoom in on the sign. What did it say? What message is important to me? What might I put myself at risk for.
The picture changes so quickly. There are too many things and it all blurs and I get overwhelmed and can’t focus.
The sign I’m holding says “Black Lives Matter”. It’s black letters on a white poster board. It looks like government rations they package and distribute to communities in poverty. I imagine myself at a soup kitchen spooning goulash into a flimsy plastic tray. I imagine I’m heartbroken at seeing so many hungry and homeless people in need.
I see a child with a dirty face and I wonder how long it has been since that child has had a real bath or bed to sleep in.
I’m back on the corner wearing a mask offering hand sanitizer to passers by. I’ve got a giant Purell bottle with a pump. My sign is laying on the ground as I inch tentatively toward people offering them a pump by nodding my head at it. I can’t speak. I have no voice. I’m mute.
I can’t help my mind wandering home. Pieces of me are broken. And I’m somehow upset with myself for feeling selfish, wanting to help my own children instead. I imagine my daughter laying in her bed, crying because her heart is broken and she feels afraid and alone and I can’t protect her.
I walk into her room and lay down next to her and curl myself around her body. I trace my finger across her temple and push her hair back and tell her I’ll always be here for her. I cry because it’s a promise I can’t make because I can’t guarantee anything.
I think about posters she’s created. Marching at school urging support for hurricane Katrina. It really wasn’t that long ago and I was so proud she wanted to help. I wanted to help too. But I didn’t know what to do then either and was paralyzed by not knowing what could be done. Do I open my home up for people who don’t have a home anymore?
I’m back on the street corner downtown, sitting, watching people and their human behavior doing the thing they have decided upon. Some are people like me with signs, sitting or standing silently. Some are vocal, chanting phrases over and over. Some are pacing nervously back and forth. Some are dressed in blue and standing by also just watching. Some in blue are kneeling too.
I feel ashamed for being afraid.
Some of the people I see appear to be praying and I feel bad for them. Traveling through life with a belief that constantly fails them. I wonder silently about the purpose of prayer and if there was a benevolent and omnipresent being with any power at all, wouldn’t they have provided us some relief already?
Is the point of life suffering and experience? Is it a test? Or is it just to live and try to find a good life and peace both inside and out?
I zoom in on the sign again and it’s an image of the earth from space. There are no words on the sign. Not even a single symbol, just a blue and green sphere with the the familiar shapes of the continents. What does that mean? What is my message?
I snap out of my daydream and realize nothing has changed. The elephants and mice and men are all right where they were when I went into my trance.
What does it all mean?
Be safe and be kind,