photo by Barry Weatherall via Unsplash
So. Here we are. Today is Thursday. All day long. I began the day with rhinos knocking on the floor above me in the hotel room. There’s no sleeping in here, though blessedly there *has* been sleep.
Sleep helps the mind and body navigate through homelessness & the rest of life-shit. I’ve not had much in weeks and the mental capacities to navigate this again have not been within reach. What has been for three days, opening into four, is suicide.
I don’t want to be here in this way. I don’t want to live like this and yet, here I am living like this. My days are accompanied by the constant image of me holding a gun under my chin–which, oddly enough isn’t how I’d do it because that leads to a miss. And we don’t miss. It’s my companion, as real and true as the angel that walks with me; walking down a hotel hallway, scooting along the highway, talking with my therapist (I’ve not shared that with him b/c, well…) and here talking to you. It’s like having three hands, two on the keyboard and one holding the heft of a weapon I don’t actually have.
I don’t want to live in this kind of instability with this kind of disconnection from others where the use of a hug emoji is a substitute for ‘I love you. How can I help?’ I don’t want to live in the way where what I put out there isn’t reciprocated by others of the living, breathing persuasion. I don’t want to live in constant struggle to find shelter and food that I can eat. I don’t want to live with facile relationships where the truth of me must either be hidden or is ignored. I don’t want to live with this level of exhaustion, where the inner wellspring is empty, devoid of connection to other humans and replenishment of care, the sensation of being cared for and about.
Clearly, I’m not going to kill myself. There’s too much riding on my actually living, drawing breath. I really do know where the bodies are and since no one else wants to help the bones get home, that lays at my feet. I really am the catalyst for a fundamental change within hearts and societies that eliminates, within my lifetime (see what I did there?) the sexual trafficking and of girls and women. Within my own heart, that’s really not mine because it’s shared with literal multitudes, lies a way of being, a Being, that’s so intimately connected to others that to remove myself physically is to remove Them of the expression that has been prayed for.
I am angry and exhausted and grateful and despondent and grief-bound and afraid and responsible and hungry and amazed and sad and jealous and surprised and awed. Yes, all of those things exist together. I feel trapped by poverty and, yet, cannot, will not, move into the mode of where I profit from others’ pain. Despite my own, the work continues. Young people are still Becoming the Medicine within societies that medicalize their struggle and won’t accept them without that label. Others are being woven into the tapestry of whateverthisis who need guidance. Indigenous girls and women continue to vanish because no one will say something when they see something. Eighteen month old girls are raped and government institutions support and encourage that behavior as a form of legitimate warfare. Goddesses are celebrated in festivals of glorious color and their worshippers think nothing of gang-raping eleven year-olds. Monks and priests pass around boys and regularly receive more from systems that are in place to support institutionalized rape.
I want to die, yet I cannot. Because what lies at my feet and in my heart is not just bones that want to come home, it’s deeper than that. It’s as large as my capacity to love and more broad than my sight can see.
I wrote what’s below in 2014. In it, I shared how I told no one for years about how I really was. Now, I’m telling everyone. We must talk about these things if we’re to truly take care of each other. We must talk about these things without the enticement of sales or hacks or easy answers. We must talk about these things using words, not emojis. We must talk about and LISTEN TO what it means to be human without subtly (or notso) telling someone their humanness should or would be different if only they did or believed what we see as ‘right’. This is the only way we can get to the love that is necessary. This is love in action.