My skin is on inside out. This is what I keep thinking and saying to a few close friends. My skin is on inside out. I'm watching and reading the news. A lot. I'm praying. A lot. I'm trying to gather my practices to fortify myself. And yet, I feel myself slip toward the fear and the sadness. How did we get here?
My favorite movie is Lincoln. My daughter asks me this weekly, waiting for my answer to change to a movie she's allowed to watch.
"Why do you love it, Mama?" she asks.
Today, I would answer: Because it's a dive into a time in our history where one man was holding our future in his hands and he understood that truth in his bones. He was breathing that truth as he made mistakes and angered many and made choices only few can truly understand the weight of. Because somewhere in my heart I believe that each time I watch that movie, I move just a little bit closer to being able to be that brave.
I took a walk to get the mail this afternoon. We're in one of those neighborhoods with the boxes all together. I walked and noticed my senses. The lawnmower, the squirrel, the leaves fluttering against one another, the colors colliding, the clouds painted on the blue. I took a walk and tried to just focus on my senses to give my mind and heart some space.
As I watched the debate, and in the days since, I'm in this space of knowing I need to be a witness. A witness to your stories, to my own. A witness for this woman who stands tall against a man who symbolizes abuse and rage and fear of other. My skin is on inside out as I hear your stories. As I watch her stand tall as he looms. As I hear an audience on the news chant about repealing the 19th amendment so that women cannot vote anymore.
My skin is on inside out. But I'm standing. I'm a witness to it all. I will not look away. And I will acknowledge those with less privilege who have felt this way their entire lives.
I hear these words:
We breathe. We hope.
When they go low, we go high.
Let freedom ring.
I hear these words and I lift my head up toward the sky and let the love and connection that is waiting for each of us hold me for a moment.
This is The And Space.
This is where I hold fear and disbelief in one hand and love and hope in the other. This is where I dig deep into what I know and dig even deeper to understand what I do not.
This is where we all live.
(Can you feel this truth even more, right now?)
And in telling our stories, we will realize again and again that we are not alone in this space.