on saturday, along with much of the world, i marched. but on friday i went to one of my favorite places in the city, a little diy feminist art spot called junior high. and, bathed in pink light with some friends and a band called cuddle formation, i mourned.
i did not mourn the death of the small scraps of progress collected urgently and at great personal risk by fighters over the last four years, (because those scraps are not gone forever and we will not forget).
but i mourned their burial.
i mourned the temporary erasure of decades of work. the women who will be even less safe walking down the street, – or going into work, or out at a concert, or existing in their own fucking homes – especially if their skin is a shade or several darker than mine, or if they dare to claim a gender denied to them at birth. i mourned the faces and stories that will be pushed even further to the margins of our television screens and consciences. the black and brown names that will become hashtags this year, and the ones we’ll never hear. and their memories, which will have to endure more, not fewer, indignities than those who precede them in this brutal legacy.
and as i write this i have to wonder darkly at how this is a loss of precious inches, not miles; it’s merely a reduction of what for so many already amounted to starvation rations, and it’s all the more devastating for that.
on saturday i saw signs bearing this quote from greek poet and gay activist dinos christianopoulos:
“what didn’t you do to bury me?
but you forgot i was a seed”
on friday at junior high, we were called to destroy what destroys us – because the next four years will destroy much. but we should never forget that the indivisible partner of healing is pain. (white folks, rich white folks, rich white straight dudes – i’m talking to y’all):
let the coming years destroy the white picket fences that allowed us to believe ourselves immune to danger, and therefore absolved from the responsibility of protection. let them pour acid in the gas tanks of our midsize suvs and rip the perfect flesh away from the illusions that made us safe while others were not. let them pry the fingers from our eyes to reveal the hypocrisy of our complacency.
and i don’t know but maybe when all of that shit is gone, when we’re down there in the dirt, there will be a little more room to create something they can’t destroy.