Why I'm Not Breaking Up With the World Just Yet

View of the James River from Hollywood Cemetery, 11/16

View of the James River from Hollywood Cemetery, 11/16

The last couple of weeks I have wanted to break up with the world or at least file a pretty heavy duty restraining order. Watching all manner of bigotry and hate crimes spike like fever everywhere I turn has gutted me. 

But along with all the horror washed upon our shore, some pretty fucking beautiful buried treasure has surfaced, too. God or the Universe or George or Martha or whoever is in charge up there has been sending me ambassadors of humanity, angels dressed as strangers perhaps so I won't divorce all of humankind and go live in a hole just yet. I haven't felt such a deep connection with  people I don't know since that cross-country Greyhound ride in the mid-90's. (Dorothea, if you haven't found the purple people flying outside your window yet, I hope they found you.)

When I told my check out clerk at Target I was losing it, she came around her aisle to hug me. "I'm black and I'm a lesbian," she said. "But we're in this thing together." When I emailed a local journalist I've admired for years because I couldn't get her face out of my head, proposing we lead a workshop together, she wrote back seconds later, "I was just writing the exact same thing to you." At my first eye exam in 8 years (you have to be able to see clearly if you want to fight in the resistance) my new optometrist told me all of his deep and beautiful feelings and theories and beliefs about writing while commanding my left eye to follow his index finger. On a cold, dreary day this week the UPS man slowed down to tell me he'd never forget my son chasing his truck to give him a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. And all kinds of beautiful people showed up at the Speak Your Truth writing workshop hungry to share, express, work and heal. People, who, just a few weeks before, would not have all been in the same room together. 

So. We may still need body armor to shield ourselves from falling debris, but we need crowbars to keep our hearts pried open, too. I'm not breaking up with the world just yet. There are more ambassadors for humanity I want to meet. 

Valley Haggard1 Comment