Do you ever hear something that enters the depths of your ears like the smoothest yellowist not-too-sweet gently warmed custard? Murmur of poems. yummmmy
I would like to be pentagoning or decahedroning back, but I can only ever figure out the circle back to poets.
"To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals." -David Whyte (poet writer human)
I got sucked into the massive mind muck again last night. I climbed out enough to play with SonHerisme a bit and then drowned myself in list making. It’s the opposite of rest, but it is distracting enough to at least get my breath and carry on with the things that need doing before collapsing into bed. Missed my shower though. I hate this grief process. I know its necessary and I am meant to feel it and embrace it to move forward to the blessings that are just around the corner waiting for me (blah blah platitudes blah). For today, I cannot stand myself and I am letting that be.
Our tiny town had a unity march again yesterday. Before anyone gets their panties in a wad, unity is a good thing. Promoting unity in a culture built on and institutionally conditioned to be racist, is a good thing. Acknowledging that a marginalized disproportionately targeted group of people are worthy of humane consideration and treatment is a GOOD THING. It’s a good thing for all of us. Despite my understanding of herd mentality, I truly struggle to accept the reality of inhumane frenzy thoughts, words, and actions with the increase in access to information and community that we have had for many decades. This struggle of mine is an indication of my whiteness. I recognize that I am privileged to be able to step back to even ask the, “why,” rather than fighting against being trampled on.
We all know that the welfare momma is a false trope - yes? We all know that the storming of the US borders by criminal Central/South Americans is a false trope - yes? We all know that humans, regardless of any biases, deserve to be treated humanely - yes? We all know that access to food, water, shelter, healthcare (including basic necessities health care), education, and purpose for all humans benefits all of our survival - yes? We all know that marginalizing people is destructive for all of us - yes? We all know that we live on an over abundant planet with an over abundance of creative humans - yes? We all know that by sharing our resources increases all of our wealth - yes? It isn't a pie. It isn't a zero sum game. Unless we make it a pie and zero sum game, and then we ALL LOSE no matter where you stand.
During a conversation about the unity march and SonHerisme’s latest read and school discussions on being anti-racist, MotherHerisme insisted she has never been a racist. She doesn’t see people’s color (ummmmm….). As long as people are nice and work hard, that’s what matters to her (ummmmm…). She even ate dinner with a black family when she was in school (ummmmm…). She just doesn’t want to have to give her money away to people who don’t deserve it because she and my father worked hard for their money (ummbrainglitchmmmm…).
My mouth popped opened and this is what came out: MotherHerisme, we all want to see ourselves as good, kind people, and as individuals, most of the time, all of us are.
The reality is that you were raised in an openly racist home and that you are a racist by your words, actions, participation in and endorsement of racist institutions (examples like STILL BEING associated with the Republican Party and others). You absolutely can see that my skin is lighter and that XXXX's skin is darker - you can see the color of people's skin and it influences your opinion of people (examples like assuming the darker skinned people taking up a parking spot you want are just going to be clogging up the aisles in COSTCO because they bring in all of their extended family so maybe COSTCO should have a time for people without extended family, while you are getting ready to bring two carloads of family in to shop with you). EVERYONE WORKS HARD - EVERYONE. Who is not working hard?!!? Who has met someone who is not working hard? I bet if you have it is a white privileged teen - everyone else is working hard. Actually, even that privileged teen is working hard, even if it's internally, they are working hard. WTfreakingH does "working hard," even mean? You and daddy worked harder than the single mom with three crappy minimum-wage jobs who has no retirement or savings because she has been constantly struggling to raise her child and survive? Who isn't working hard? Who doesn't deserve to eat, have clean water, go to the Dr? Who exactly are you talking about? The mid 1950's in Montgomery, Alabama - what do you think would happen to that black family if they refused to be kind to you, to bring you into their home or to feed you? Again with the divide between worthy and unworthy humans - who isn't working hard? Is it me that you're talking about? Because we do have family members who describe me this way. Is it me, and then SonHerisme, that do not deserve humane treatment? Who is it exactly that is deserving of being treated inhumanely?
Context – my parents have always worked hard and are also products of the cultural normative thoughts and behaviors of their time in history.
FatherHerisme was raised in extreme poverty, losing both parents at a very young age. He was raised by his older sister who quit school and got married so that she could take care of my father and he wouldn’t be sent away. She tried to also keep their three sisters, but the two youngest were taken by their father (different father than the older children) and the sister closest in age to her, ran off and got married when she was in 8th grade. Welcome to Kentucky in the 1950’s. A local librarian gave my father a job as a shelver when he was in High School because that’s where he was always hanging out. This librarian also paid for my father to apply for college and to take his entrance exams. My father attended a prestigious private engineering school with scholarships and Army funding (he served for some years after college), and spent his entire successful career as a chemical engineer with the same company.
MotherHerisme was raised in a military family (Army then Airforce) where her ambitious father became a Colonel and head of the ROTC program at a large southern university. Growing up she lived in California, Virginia, Japan, Alabama, France, and very briefly in Ohio. She met, got pregnant and married my father when she was working as a secretary in the Pentagon. FatherHerisme was temporarily at Fort Belvoir for specialized training while stationed in Germany. She was 19, he was 24. A rushed January wedding in Germany followed by the April arrival of my sister. ParentsHerisme raised three children, lived in Ohio (USA), Germany, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They are both always themselves and insanely photogenic. I am lucky to still have them and to know them.
Also, I am not woke. I am just me and am a product of the cultural normative thoughts and behaviors of my time in history. Free to be you and me, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers – all of the people showing us the ways of unity, consideration, healthy boundaries and acceptance. In my smaller than a grain of teensy crushed glorious stardust glass particle sand moment of this particular lifetime, I am trying to guide the humans in my wee circle towards recognizing the infinite circle as they can. Anti-racist, pro-unity, pro-acceptance and healthy boundaries. Many days I am failing. I’ll just keep going until I cannot.
Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
Have you found yourself Yankovic-ing songs?
It’s not the pale you that incites me, that scares and so frights me. Oh no, it’s just the whiteness of you. (sing to the tune of the soulful Norah Jones, Nearness of You – jippity jolly good funnesses).