A Black Lesbian’s Tale
How 2017 has affected one woman of colour in the US, and what she is doing about it.
Black lesbian mother spiritual warrior. These words elicit a range of emotions from curiosity to excitement, and confusion to fear. In this world of tweets and sound bites that drive the daily narrative, I wonder if it’s possible to contribute to the narrative and leave it irrevocably changed.
Until six months ago, folks would have described a woman I know as a calm, peaceful, open, forgiving, patient, loving person. She spent her time developing leaders, ministering, singing, writing and living a charmed life with her wife on the Outer Cape in Massachusetts. She fell down a rabbit hole on November 9, 2016. Now you’ll find her more often angry, full of rage, disgust and fear. Now you’ll find her studying mass incarceration, inner city statistics, understanding the great migration, writing letters to Angela Davis and attending conferences called “Black Women Rise”.
What happened to her? Is she still down the rabbit hole? Will she ever regain her peace, love and understanding?
Of course that woman is me and here is what I’m thinking for now.
First, change is a good thing and it is inevitable. The current social, political environment brings us to our knees and forces us to deal with the truth of our ignored wounds. The way I see it, the resurgence of blatant racism, stepped up protests and stepped up repression of protests, fear of other, blame of other, escalating violence and all expressions of our lesser nature are a good thing. Yes. I said it. It’s good that this festering wound of otherness, separatism, and ignorance is coming to the surface. Like a wound that must puss, swell, heat and explode before it begins to heal, we had to do this devastating time.
Rev. Christie Hardwick
It is impossible not to think about our relationship to black lives when everyday some person is reported to have been gunned down and ‘blue lives matter’ laws are popping up all over the country. It is impossible not to think about our relationship to women’s reproductive rights and every person’s access to health care when every proposal leaves poorer people without support. It is impossible not to think about our relationship with immigration when young men and women are rounded up and families live every day in fear. It is impossible not to think about the consequences of Russia’s intentions or Korea’s intentions or the intentions of those all over the world who see our U.S. policies as another form of terrorism.
Maybe about right now some folks might think, “Could you lighten this up just a little bit?” I could but it would no longer be authentic. Shit is real right now.
I say all this because I also know that who I am is not a fearful, vengeful, angry person. But I have wounds that also came to the surface to heal. I wrote a letter to the ALT right to lift a burden from my heart, where I said: “As it turns out my friends, I am more powerful than you. I do not need to ask you to see my superiority, I do not need to beat you into submission, I do not need you to comply, and lay down and disappear. I don’t need you to do anything to know my magnificence. And you need me to know anything about yourself. You need me to oppress so you can feel mighty, you need me to feel any worthiness. You need me. Your life will never get better and your dreams will never come true until you know me and love me.”
So where is my peace, my compassion, my open heart? It’s all there with my pain. I’m inviting us to fully feel when something feels really wrong, fully feel and then transform our feelings into something that can transform the world. What could that possibly be? I’m calling it Fierce Love.
Fierce Love is the power that lets a mother or father lift a car to save their child. Fierce Love is the forgiveness that allows John Lewis to love the man who kicked him in the face. Fierce Love is the compassion that makes people save and protect other people even risking themselves. Fierce Love is acting everyday in a way that calls out what is right while doing no harm and trying our best to see the humanity in every person. It’s looking for the light inside every person even if it’s the tiniest pinpoint of light that we can hardly detect. I’m practicing and I’ve invited some world- class musicians, poets and speakers to help us find our way. Join me and the Inspiration Team in Provincetown, Massachusetts for the Fourth Annual Inspiration Weekend. We got this.
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