Like never before, the 2016 US presidential election has brought out light and dark, and either/or. What is playing out mirrors what is astir in our souls- a struggle for balance, a pursuit for wholeness, an equality of heart/mind, feminine/masculine.
I tried to be enlightened through the whole tumultuous thing (but it was rough). One day, as I was trying to write something about peace and unity, I stopped mid-sentence, and out escaped: I hate the way women are treated.
That sentence unfastened a fury in me, and all the words came tumbling out and into a poem I called As If. It wasn’t what I’d planned to write, but the words refused to stay silent in me.
You can hear As If in spoken word here:
Only later could I recognize and fully appreciate that I had to write that poem first, in order to get to the peace and unity hidden beneath the surface.
Election day came and before the result was announced, there it was- the peace and unity I’d hoped for, writing itself out onto my paper with ease, my hand simply sliding along, serving the words.
Here is my recitation of the poem, Make Way for Healing:
What came next were the election results and a state of shock. The disbelief and grief. Despair for a world who would elect a man that openly makes misogynistic and racist remarks. Fear of moving back in time where constructing walls and banning people of particular religions would repeat itself, rather than moving in a more conscious evolutionary direction.
However, with the support of poetry, music, nature, and other friends, I have not remained in the shocked state. Thankfully, I am seeing where the opportunities are presenting.
And I am remembering. I remember that we are always being supported for our next step forward. I remember that it really is up to me and you. I remember too the women of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. I remember how during violent war, they came together on a bridge that connects their countries to call for peace. I remember how that act inspired me to meet with women on a bridge in my own town as a symbol of our connection and power. I remember the immense potency of their coming together, being able to imagine a radically different way, despite their reality. Now, how can I not have hope?
In this small act of tying two poems together, I hope to revive the same spirit of these ladies who tied their two banners of peace together. I hope to harness their courage and resilience and use this political unease as my prompt,to pick up my own responsibility for smiting walls and building bridges.