Aunt B. wrote something this morning that has been on my mind for a few days now. As usual, she is much more articulate than I ever am but she hit on two things that are on my drifting around my cranium. I am usually pretty upbeat about things but February wears me out. My mom became very ill in this month and I spent the entire month watching her die. It’s been years but this is the one month that I become wistful and mindful of my very own mortality.
The political landscape right now is one where democrats in this state to a large degree are being steamrolled. I’ve been in grassroots activism long before this blog ever came into existence and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything quite like this. Jobs are still leaving in gaping pockets around my part of the state yet a group of very dedicated and good people are still having to fight for basic civil rights. And they won.
I stand and applaud. That they had to fight for this in the first place perplexes me. I was raised that everyone should be treated equally. Yet we still have to fight for it.
We still have to throw or take a punch for what is right in assuring that basic rights are in place for everyone.
On Monday night, while I was minding my own business I heard something so racist that I pushed back against the offender. He called me a rather ugly name because I told him he was being offensive but I stood my ground and he backed the hell up. I never raised my voice. I never said anything ugly back other than “You are being offensive.” I repeated myself. I didn’t blink and I didn’t stutter. I don’t know why I’m writing about this incident this morning but I guess I just had to get it out. Allow me this indulgence here on my blog. It felt pretty good, actually, but later on when I came back to my empty apartment, I felt a bit lonely. Like I had fought something worthy of fighting for, but I needed comfort and support. And quite frankly a hug. I am not a person who is confrontational but I’m also not afraid of confrontation.
I came home to a pile of dirty laundry that still needs to be done. Fighting back doesn’t mean that your apartment is miraculously clean. Fighting the ugliness in this world is what we should be doing but it’s not ever going to be easy. And sometimes you have to remember that you are on your own.
Damned dirty laundry. Damned dirty racist guy.
There are people like myself who are working more than one job, that are away from our families and loved ones and we are pushing back even though it is hard. It may be in small ways that don’t get media attention or that folks may not even know about but it’s happening. And there are times that I believe all of us feel like we are standing alone on a ridge in the middle of nowhere shaking our fist at clouds alone, standing shakily as the wind tries to knock us down.
But we are not alone …
If we look toward Nashville to guide us, or Washington for that matter, then we are going to be waiting a long time. I realized this week it’s up to me even if it is in small, meaningful ways. Just for my own state of mind.
And, yeah, I need about two days of sleep. And some clean clothes would be nice but that’s up to me as well.