I recalled a story this evening, one of those stories that lurks behind dark corners waiting until you let your guard down – the story of, my father, and how he had been sent to jail at one point in his young adult life. There isn’t much to the story itself – he was arrested on the charge of having “matched the description of the subject” (read: the profile of America’s Public Enemy No. 1) and spent a night in jail before they decided that he wouldn’t be the one in that particular place and time after all; perhaps they had found an easier target. I’ve only heard this story about twice, and I only vaguely remember being told it, and how my dad said that jail sucks and he never wants to go back.
I’m not sure why this story fell out of my mental file cabinets tonight, but it never takes very long to be reminded that things are the way that they are. In fact, it’s not as if I ever forget, but that distance and distractions help to keep reality just out of one’s mental periphery. How often one is reminded depends on the span of one’s periphery and how far they choose to look.
Man it sucks to keep your eyes open though. It sucks to really try to understand the world in a way that attempts not to hide behind denial and the privilege of dishonesty. At times I am still shocked at the world that we live in, even though by this point I am quite well aware (not fully, but trying to be), and have long accepted it in terms of experiencing emotional struggle in regards to it. The shock comes in those moments where you really try to fully comprehend something that is happening, right now, right this second, and wrap your mind around the idea that you only have to hear of it while others are actually experiencing it, and of course, that is only us “lucky” ones.
It is frustrating to me that the only things I know to do in moments of shock and reminders are to express myself through writing, or dance, or eating something delicious in some sort of sadistic act of resistance. As Dilated Peoples say, when worse comes to worse my peoples come first – but what happens when you’re so cushioned by privilege at their expense (and our own) that you aren’t sure how to put your people first?? Our brothers and sisters in Palestine are putting their bodies on the line to preserve the dignity of their souls, and all I can fucking do is cry about it?? The way I feel about it can’t be described as anger anymore, I am just done – done with all this persistent and unrelenting violence against all of us as people – our souls and our livelihoods, our HUMANITY – and my feeling of done-ness makes me want to put my body on the line too, it makes me want to resist in ways that feel more gratifying to my tumultuous soul, I mean, we are just STANDING HERE WHILE THEY KILL US ALL, and it doesn’t make any difference that my physical body is still intact and my heart is still beating. If it is true that we will never be fully liberated until we are all liberated, then it stands that our oppression is commensurate with the oppression of other humans; our humanity is what makes us universal.
So basically I got nothing; I just spent four whole paragraphs unloading my frustrations onto my screen, and still, I am where I started, except that now my feelings are on a screen. All I can do is be reminded, that my “noble” quest for love and liberation occurs underneath grey skies, and that any action of resistance I make against those skies is an act of resistance against the cloudiness of all of our lives… at least I think so. I don’t fucking know anymore. Oppression fucking sucks.