I am so damn tired. So tired of watching the country descend into atrocity after atrocity. Environmental Devastation, unmarked mercenaries pulling people out of the streets of Manhattan, longboards rolling down the street without an owner. Even closer to home, I think of the man in Belchertown who showed up to a Trump rally wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe. Even closer, in the space I reside in- we’re dealing with the uncertainty of what comes for renting after the Massachusetts moratorium. My mom’s gotten literally sick from the air we breathe.
A web of little evils has weaved itself of tendrils, at the ready to entrap me into hairpin that could set off tidal waves of full-blown cataclysm. I know I’m not the only one going through these feelings- life In 2020 has truly become suffocating.
A few weeks back, I breathed in smoky air. That smoke blew thousands of miles across the country to us, from the charred remains of my favorite state in the country. I remember when I buried that part of my heart, back in the summer of 2019 when the Wildfires first became national news. My lungs are tired. It’s a shame how elusive fresh air feels, cooped up and pressed against one full weight of an empire In collapse. If I were to have a dollar for every person that was killed in this pandemic, I would be able to purchase a modest house free and clear in my hometown. More than two hundred thousand lives, and some people actually /do/ have a measure of how many dollars they get for each COVID death.
I just finished my bi-weekly ritual, the COVID test. Negative again. Thank Christ. I think of this, the respiratory pandemic, and my lungs are once again tired. These lungs, that used to play the loudest goddamn trombone in David Prouty High School’s recent memory, that scream and sing and weep on the bullhorn, that speaks softly into the mic with nuance and warmth- so much falls on these lungs, and by God are they tired.
So much danger, so much out there that threatens our way of living. I’ve had to make such lengths to make peace with death- I see them every day in the garden, in the compost, decomposing the lifeless. During the pandemic, and now in the coming second wave, I see death more clearly than I have before. They aren’t an ominous skeleton here to suck your soul out- it’s a sunflower growing out of a patch of decaying fruit. In all the weight that’s had to fall on this heart, this friendlier relationship with death has spared a lot of my burden. But I can’t tell you that making peace with the surrounding situation will bring you closure. We’ve still got hell to fight. We need to organize ourselves, our friends, our neighbors- and even the housepets- to create communities, educate them, inspire them, and protect them from all of the threats of this world.
We owe it to our loved ones, and the brave and brilliant souls that did this work before us, to be fierce in our efforts. We cannot truly be fierce without being peaceful, lest we fall apart by the seams in the middle of our work. We need to take care of our burnt out, we need to bear our burdens together.
Communities deserve support, from their neighbors and their friends coming together with that intent- we need teachers, we need role models, and we need ways we can get better together as an entire community. That’s why I’m fighting for what I am right now, it’s partially why four new organizations and more than a thousand people have come out of the woodwork. It takes a village to thrive together when times are good, and it takes a village to survive together when times are bad. It’s okay if the world seems to be pressing extra hard lately- it wholeheartedly sucks. Fortunately however, there are a LOT of good folks that are feeling similarly. In order for us to heal, all we need to do is show up with good intentions. There’s no limit on what that kind of congregation is capable of.