I used to think that my offering of kindness to the world was enough.
That myth is now shattered. I’m sitting in grief and allowing that to roll through.
It is ick blick yuck stuck goo.
Let it boil and simmer.
5 year old Nora stands in the center of the kitchen, breakfast dishes filled with small pools of milk beside her on the counter. She’s still. A beam of sunlight floods in through the square window above the kitchen sink. Light bounces off a small, clear plastic toy container in her hands – Elsa and Olaf rest in that container. Eternal smiles upon their faces.
The light bends in the corners of that little cube in her hands. The light jumps and dances around her. The light is like a boxer with the softest of quick steps around his opponent.
Nora’s eyes dart after that bounce of light like a cat after a mouse.
“What is that?” she wonders aloud to my husband.
“It’s refraction,” Greg says. “Reflection is when light bounces straight back. But refraction is when light moves through something transparent and it goes somewhere you’re not expecting it to.”
Nora waves the container in broad slo-mo arcs like drawing in the air.
The light responds to her. It spotlights a swirl on the wooden floor, then a sea green wave of granite, and next a dried splatter on the bottom of the cabinet.
Her words are halting and careful as she checks herself (and before I continue, yes, the 5 year old really says this),
“So, because we’re solid, we make shadows. But if we were clear – transparent – light could go straight through us?”
My heart drops and shudders even as I write those words.
We are solid beings. We make shadows. There is a lot of shit in those shadows.
But our awareness – that which we have the capacity to know – it’s luminous. It’s transparent. Our awareness is clear and light can move straight through it.
The truth of us right NOW, the truth – no matter how impossible and awful it sounds – is where we must begin. We must dive deep into the transparent pool of truth to let the light permeate the cracks of our hardened minds. The truth of us, of how we are, of what we do and don’t do, of how we’ve looked away and not toward.
I borrow the words from the LoveServeRemember Foundation in my own commitment Now and as I step forward into the Next:
I, Rachel Manetti, stand in solidarity with the Black community and protesters across the US and the world against systemic anti-Black racism. I stand in solidarity with all victims of police brutality and white supremacist violence, including the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the many, many other Black victims of violence.
I take this commitment and I pair it with my superpowers:
Coming out from the shadows
the dancing spotlight of truth.
I start here and then I’ll see what comes next.
You start there and then you’ll see what comes next.
May the light shine through us all – the Black community, You, and Me – in this Land of Possibility.
With deep love and reverence,