2016 was like ripping off a giant, stinking bandage and exposing the raw, festering wound that lie underneath. Both personally, politically and globally.
Now we are all just gathered around, aghast, mouths gaping, wondering what the fuck to do and how could this be. When the air hits it burns. When the nasty, ugly and shocking truth arrives into the light we turn away from it . We let our head fall into our hands, we reach out to try and steady one another.
But it will be there when we turn back. We can’t un-see it. Between denial and grief, shock and rage, no one knows quite what to do yet. Some us will disown it. Others will know the magnitude of the work that lies ahead. Some will know that they’ve been preparing for this. They will know, at times, even when they don’t want to know.
We’ve been exposed.
The devastation is real.
There is no more hiding.
But in that, comes liberation.
Because we didn’t realize until now how much energy and effort it was taking to keep pretending. Pretending individuals were the problem or individual problems were the problem. Pretending our own personal dramas were not inseparable from or even symptoms of a disease from which no one living in this country is safe. Pretending good intentions and positive vibes were enough. Pretending that even the self-help industry isn’t a careful construct to keep you preoccupied with your own vision board instead of looking outside your window, or talking to your therapist instead of talking to your neighbor. Pretending we could change the world without really changing our choices or by fighting battles on social media with opponents whose stories we’ve never heard and lives we don’t understand. Or those who’ve shouted themselves hoarse at ears that cannot hear and will not move out from behind their screens to hear the drum beat of the war song building beneath their feet.
Now we stand face to face with a Truth we’ve created. Not you alone but all of us together. You cannot extricate yourself anymore.
Many will try. Many will cling to indignation.
“I have been wronged,” they will cry, “This is not my world, I didn’t choose this. This is not my fight.”
But we’ve all been wronged. We’ve all been party to hidden agendas and travesties we’ll never fully comprehend. Products of convenience, our own and others’. Sacrificial lambs to the gods of capitalism. Generations of well-fed but malnourished, over-stimulated but soul-numbed, brain dead pop psych spouters.
We are all each the victim, the perpetrator and the enabler.
And there is no where to go.
No one is coming to fix this.
She wasn’t the Answer. She wouldn’t have saved us.
There is no one coming to save us.
No matter who you decide to blame, no one is going to get what they are owed.
The jury we stand before is ourselves, our neighbors, our loved ones living and deceased, our children.
To forgive you, I have to forgive myself.
To forgive myself is to forgive you.
And I don’t know if I am ready.
I am still reeling. I am still angry.
So I keep looking. I keep turning around to look again. I look and look and look until my breath catches in my throat and my stomach turns and I hear my voice from somewhere else shouting “No, no, no, no, nooooooooo…”
Yes. Look. You must look.
We’ve been set up to participate in systematic genocide. They left us no other choice. The Light has been turned on and we are all stained with each other’s blood.
This is not a sentence. This is where we begin to see.
There is no one coming to save us. No one to give back what rightfully should have been yours. Mine. Ours.
Not for the child who was abused.
Not for the family whose home has been destroyed
Not for the tribes whose sacred sites have been pillaged and robbed
Not for the mother who mourns her children
Not for the community who lost yet another innocent Black son
Not for the women raped and left for dead
Not for the daughter who was never protected
Not for the boy forced to endure systematic violence for an imperialist agenda that left him broken and abandoned him when he was no longer useful
Not for the man who can’t go to sleep without battling images of torture and death
Not for the trees that once covered this Earth
Not for the oceans once teeming with vibrant life
Not for the Falklands Wolf nor the New Zealand grayling
Not for the Rocky Mountain locust or the North African elephant
Not for the tropical rainforests of Papau New Guinea or Costa Rica
Or for the victims of the nuclear holocausts of Chernobyl and Fukushima
Not for the refugee who will never return home again
Nor for the exploited immigrant worker separated from his family
Not for the land and water destroyed by fracking across our country
Not for the home and the family I imagined for myself, for the ending of the story that began with such fierce unbreakable love. Not for the other children. Not for how many times my heart has broken.
None of it can be righted. Not of it can be returned.
All we have is this unrelenting Light that now shines upon all. Sometimes this is what mercy feels like. Didn’t you pray for the Light to come? Didn’t you call upon it? I did.
Didn’t you know that when you call upon the Light it will come? Didn’t you remember that what the Light does is reveal the deepest darkness?
Yes, there are those who have been calling in the Light for years.
And it is come. Don’t be fooled. 2016 was not a year of darkness but of Light.
We’ve been exposed.
The devastation is real.
But there is no more hiding.
And in that, comes liberation.
And possibilities of a new way. For what only what is in the Light can heal. And only we can save us.