Words to Take to Heart

by - 3:37 PM


Because of the election results, November was a really tough month for me. I tried to put words to everything I was feeling and there was no clean way for me to sum it up -- I just don't understand why we can't all be safe and happy (i.e., I know it's because of all the racist/homophobic/etc. people in this world but WHY are they like that?).

I thought a lot about "Footnote to Howl" and the lines "Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity! / Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!" I want to believe in the goodness of every human being, and last month, though it was hard and horrible, I was able to see that "extra brilliant intelligent kindness" in a lot of places.

For Dia de Los Muertos, I went to the Mission in SF to see the altars. Despite all the ignorant white people colonizing the event, I saw a lot of community resistance, including a counter parade marching in the name of justice.

Then, on Un-Thanksgiving Day, I went to the Indigenous People's Sunrise Gathering, held on Alcatraz. Learning about the history of the event and seeing the diverse people who came together on that day made me feel hopeful. I can't remember exactly who said it or the words used, but one woman more or less said that our ancestors went through way worse than what we're going through right now, and if they overcame that, we can overcome this.

I feel so grateful that even in these troubling times, I can draw strength from my culture, my family, and my friends.

In other news, I'm trying hard to remember all the special things about myself and to form better, healthier habits. I often think about what Banana Yoshimoto wrote in Kitchen, one of my favorite books ever: "As I grow older, much older, I will experience many things, and I will hit rock bottom again and again. Again and again I will suffer; again and again I will get back on my feet. I will not be defeated. I won’t let my spirit be destroyed."

I will not be defeated. I won't let my spirit be destroyed. I want to engrave that on my heart.

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