The Change I’m Waiting For

26ffd340-a3ea-45eb-a92e-141c92966ec8

Photos from a friend in Oakland of healing murals springing up after angry protests on the main thoroughfare.

June has me shaken by another horrific death of a black man by a police officer that, coupled with the coronavirus, exposes yet again the widening gap in this country’s social shortfall with communities of color.  

Just as the coronavirus had me recalling learnings from a sixth grade research paper I wrote about the HIV-AIDS epidemic, these days of protests have alerted my political underpinnings established in college and carried into my adult life. Eventually, I became resigned racism, like poverty and homelessness, was too intractable to solve.  But now I wonder has the moment of reckoning arrived?

img_4612

I hadn’t even made a dent, reading all the lives lost to cornonavirus, when George Floyd was killed at the hands of law enforcement.

Change starts with me internally, no less.  As a result, I am not only talking less and listening more, but also reeducating myself for a new reality due to the stirrings of a profound awakening. While optimistic, I am managing my expectations.

I also feel like a relic of a now distant past, and I’m more inclined to cede my place to this generation and ones that follow of such diverse voices and backgrounds to create a more equal and just society, since my generation has done such a bang-up job of the world. It’s their turn, after watching remote graduations of even that of my young nephews, and I’ll be the supportive aunt and ally. The impatience of a breathtaking global cross-section of people is real and palpable during a pandemic in which the future is ever so murky, but the present is so intensely clear. With record-high unemployment and too many senseless deaths and losses mourned, there’s no time to waste, nothing more to lose.

 

Foggy Bottom

IMG_2119Since being shelter-in-place due to the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March, I’ve felt like I’ve been living in a fog, disoriented and unsure of the ground under my feet. But then I’m reminded of a hike my friends and I had taken in Sibley Volcanic Preserve in the East Bay, and it hit me in that rather misty morning venturing into thick brush and hardy stalks of flora deep within the canyon of a silent volcano characterizes what I’m feeling at the moment. However, I was with friends, and I was reassured these are the women I could rely on in an emergency, even an apocalyptic crisis. At one point in the hike, we reached a plateau that provided a view of rolling, golden hills for which California is known. While the region, state, nation and the entire planet is being ravaged by this pandemic, memories such as these are meant to evoke better days when we could breathe freely, and nature will assert her incredible power when it is pushed to the brink.