There are no others

For the past weeks I have been watching, astonished, what is happening across the ocean. So far away from the US and from the issue, I had no idea the monstrosity of racism continued to eat at the foundation of a society we, here in “third world countries” looked up to and characterized as “a dream”. And the worst, in my humble opinion is that, today, I don’t see the solution. I keep thinking there must be a reason everything is happening now, that millions are living a pandemic within a pandemic. Maybe, the universe realized that we needed a crisis to shake us to the core, for us to realize what was rotten in our core.

For me, a tiny drop in the ocean of humanity, reading and watching so much about racism over these past weeks has generated consciousness about how simple acts we do, or don’t do, simple words we say or don’t say, assumptions we make, looks we throw, these can all be tiny but hurtful arms of the same octopus. “There are no others”, Glennon Doyle says. The intention I am setting tonight is to remember this.

Still I Rise

BY MAYA ANGELOU

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise” from And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems.  Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.  Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (1994)

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

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