I mostly live these days, quiet, within my insular world of crafts and blocks, doing my best to protect my still too young children from still too hard truths in a world still too dark.
Today I emerged from that warm and cozy shell into a day appropriately dark and blustery, and, once alone in the car, I heard the strong and solo voice of the young boy in Across the Universe singing Let It Be. Tears stung my eyes and wet my cheeks before I’d even given my own voice to the song, feeling my shoulders sink beneath the heavy sadness of a world that is sometimes just too much to bear.
I speak out loudly and strongly on the topic of mental illness, battling stigmatization so those who have yet to speak up will have an easier path. I’ve grown thick-skinned and have remained optimistic despite the sometimes unpleasant response.
I watch the nation battle a civil rights movement so many of us naively thought long put to rest,
and women decide to either fight or not for equality we thought was already ours.
I watch as nation after nation is torn apart from within,
over religion, over color, over geography, over greed.
I watch the world as people try to escape and have nowhere to go,
where the voice of those who care is not loud enough to drown out the apathy of those who do not.
And I scrawl these words, pulled to the side of the road, over the scribbled drawings of my daughter,
which bring to my terrified mind every school that has ever seen a gun.
I watch as nations simply going about the business of living,
suddenly erupt in the horror of dying.
And I think to myself, we are living in a world where we are not safe to simply BE.
My optimism seems juvenile and hard to maintain.
And I think that this – this thing that we have to somehow fix, this thing we have to find the answer for – this is not a single fight of a single man, or woman, or race, or nation. There is no religion or dogma or system of belief or freedom under attack. This is a thing that is bigger than your gun, or your geography, or your rights, whatever you may hold them to be.
This is the right of humanity to BE. To be human. To be different.
To be beautiful and inspiring and divinely unique.
Let it be.
Let them be.
Let me be.
Let you be.