by: Gowri Somayajula
You are not alone in these times. The times when the world closes around, the wind seems cold and aloof, the sky is quiet and the earth so still.
You are not alone in these times. The times when the voices of people shouting raise louder and louder, demanding to be heard as the silence of their oppressors becomes deafening, the fires lick higher and higher, a dangerous red, a beautiful red, the ring of a siren screeches farther and farther as hospitals fill and uncertainty lingers caressing us as she passes. Life has become a question. Questions of who, what, when. Questions of where, why, how.
You are not alone in these times. The times when waking up has become a struggle, a question of what each day of new reality will bring. When each night sheds a shroud, a cover, a blanket of broken spirits, and quelled rebellions. A peoples broken, a prayer unheard.
There’s a song in the wind. It’s singing to you (don’t you hear). Singing of better times, different times. We will be eternal, the voice says. Cherished, held, loved. We are no longer silent observers of fate, unrestrained unbridled unchecked.
It is in each other we will find our peace, our quiet, our homes. It is in each other we will find our voices. It is in the small actions of kindness, the unsung acts of courage, the silent gestures of love that we remember the resilience of our kind.
As we plunge into chaos, we question what it means to be human. What it means to be a human. The human condition, afflicted with conflict, rage and greed. We suffer, imperfect and flawed, unlike the heroes of our myths, the gods in our religions. We are petty and jealous, selfish and cruel. We are not beautiful. Not the beautiful elves of Tolkien, nor the mermaids of Andersen. We fight, we fall, we break. And like all else on this gracious Earth, we die.
We are not permanent.
And yet our spirit lives on. Lives on to tell tales of the past, to remind us of our histories and who we are. Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said that civilization cannot be determined by buried vases, pots, or mosaics, but rather by the number of healed bones (thighs, arms, ribs) found in skeletal remains. If we were wild animals, our packs would have left us to die, weak and frail. And so we must perhaps redefine the human condition, as one of love and support, and unbridled affection. Of listening and encouraging, and furthering the conversation on topics we hesitate to vocalize. In the words of Margaret Mead, “Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; for, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
We have won before. We will win again.
Listen and you will hear:
The people are speaking, the winds are shifting
There’s a voice in the air (don’t you hear), and she will not be silenced.
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