Open Letter to Jack White, Day 2
I do not know what to write tonight. The world is burning around me; what does it matter if I excavate my wounds or not? It feels hard to make a case for the personal when a sexual predator is president and we have a Congress going on their ninth year of rulemaking (or the lack thereof) based on their racism, their greed, their fear that—much like Tolkien’s Elves—their time has passed and they need to board that magical boat with Bilbo and head into wherever the Elves were going to. When you read a story about a mother and her five-year-old deported to a near-certain death sentence somewhere in Latin America, it feels ridiculous to still be grieving because before he died my father never apologized for treating me like a piece of the furniture, or because I can’t seem to keep the weight off, or because I’m never ever going to have a child and I acknowledged far too late that was something I wanted. It is hard to make room, or feel like I should make room for my own suffering when there are so many voices crying out. It feels ridiculous even to write this, bemoaning having a space to moan, when the world is drowning in—to borrow from Lorca—its enormous sobbing. And yet, if we don’t tend to our own wounds, how will we have the stamina to tend to the wounds of the world? It is ridiculous also, to think, that the quotidian struggles don’t continue in the face of the monumental ones. The other, the one I write for, the one who perhaps feels what I’m feeling but cannot articulate it, I imagine, still needs me to get on with the business of bleeding on to the page because she needs those words to tend to her own broken heart in between her calls to her members of Congress (who seem to have misplaced their own hearts permanently). That is what I tell myself as I numbly push key after key on my laptop to spill out these words. I confess I don’t really believe it today, that it matters, but I’ll be back tomorrow and another tomorrow. I’ll persist until I believe again and keep persisting even on those days where the world makes it too damned hard to believe in anything. Promise?