"Them and us" is perhaps the most insulting of all phrases in a modern democracy. We can comprehend a need to talk of disadvantages of particular groups historically and make a case for acknowledging specific needs. We can also see that the best way to level-up society is to tackle poverty, hunger, education, housing inequity, healthcare access and creative arts freedoms. Yet before we have a chance to put such ideas into action, to reform institutions with more love and comprehension of best practice, we find there is a target on our back... we have become a "them." It's a strange feeling to have to respond to, yet response is always better than a reaction. We can respond with love, thought and understanding, yet some will notice the "them" target and react with vitriol instead. So will we listen to those who are ready to respond with love or keep spinning into disaster as the paranoid reactionaries take over stage and mic? I still believe humanity can become an "us," that we can win together.
Some saw a bullet hole, but she saw the person around it. She saw the pain in the one still living and the potential of those who lay cold in silent greyness. She saw the perfect skin, the arms that the mouth that must have known laughter at one time. She saw a human rather than a statistic and felt the grief of those who loved them and the fracturing echo of the universe.
That warm, raspy voice that possessed his cords that night, sent nerves dancing up my spine. His smile sent my mind into an uncontrolled, captivated spiral and his light touch lingered, it branded my soul with a simple mark: infatuation. To call it love would be a mockery of my heart, a symbol of my dying innocence. But every tempered word he spoke invaded my mind, like ivy tendrils seeking any point of weakness to enter; they wrapped my body in a blanket of comfort and consumed my soul in the heat of lust.
I remember that night in a soft, painful haze. It's the night that taught me the difference between love and infatuation. Love is unconditional, eternal... Infatuation? It dies.
I feel that family values are a thing you develop when you value your family - when they become what you most cherish beyond any material possession or vehicle for either positive self esteem or negative ego. Yet there are times when you must choose children over other relatives, and this happens more often when you are from a family of intergenerational trauma. That trauma changed the neurology of family members, and it altered the epigenetics too, it's a biological debt inflicted rather than personally earned, yet it is what I needed to figure out if I was to change the fortunes of my own children. I learned there are times to let go of bonds that have become too twisted to ever fix, that by doing so and putting all you efforts into the next generation there is a real chance to win. I think of it as if I am a sailing ship, perfectly balanced with my children aboard. Yet the other relatives insist on sitting all on one side causing a potential capsize. In reality, they have no need of my deck, they are perfectly able to sail away in their own boats. It's simply a matter of finding the courage to break away from them, from the past, and choose a future that has a future.
I sigh, closing my leather journal and setting it (along with my pen) aside in my small, light cerulean blue satchel. The satchel has been my best friend ever since I first found it in the antique store five and a half years ago when mom and dad had given this to me as a kind of early birthday gift. It was the last thing both my parents had given to me before passing.
The leather used to be new, polished, smooth even. Now after five years of having this satchel it's finally starting to look timeworn, but it's that kind of oldish, worn out look makes it all the more appealing for me.
Someone once told me I am strong. Sometimes, I really do think that I am. But on days like today, when my feelings overwhelm me, the word "strong" becomes insignificant, to the varying waves of emotion that engulf me. Today, I got lost in the tide and I caved, swept away by my own fears.
I am only human.
Fortunately, I am not defined by my moments of weakness and fear, but by the days when I muster the strength to rise above the tide. Then and only then, I consider myself to be... strong
The rain had always been something enchanting to me. Not the romantic, heart and flowers type, but in a different way. It felt as if the Big Guy above all of us were crying. Were despairing at the foolish sins and actions we mortals committed. Either way, it struck me as a wonder of the nature. The rain would bring in it's cold weather, inside which I would feel warm. The aftermath of a shower would be this sweet, earthy smell. It bewitched me. The beads of water upon flower petals were quietly dramatic. Perhaps, a moment for a photo shoot. The sun would shine down after the rain, but there would be nothing hot or sticky about it. The atmosphere would be pleasantly damp, and it would give me the spirit of a dreamy poetess.
If you twist my words as the knaves of sophistry have historically done, don't whine. You are supposed to make some effort to see how you have twisted morality to suit yourselves until what was once a thing of beauty requires the hands of a divine master to repair. Saints and angels can only do their job when the mob stands back and takes a knee.