I will not explain my absence or to try summarize everything that has happened since then. All I can say is I’m still here, still working to absorb and radiate those experiences that make communicating worthwhile. But all I can say are words, just words.
Words will not tell you if I will act in their accordance, or what my true intentions are, or the exact emotions I strive to capture or provoke. They won’t even tell you the expression on my face as I choose them. In the grand sums of all their sequences, no matter how humble or elaborate, they may not give you any deeper meaning.
But I know what will cause my words to take root, to flourish, to bloom. And I know what will cause them to enflame, to scorch, to disintegrate. The difference is as crucial as the type of soil and the chemicals present in the air. What is, ultimately, not up to me, as much as I strive for the best conditions. As painful it is to become aware, keenly aware of the insufficiency of my own words, I would not trade it for any blissful ignorance. But there are times when silence itself threatens to destroy all possibility, even that of hope.
Now is such a time.
It is especially difficult to find the words when they are especially needed, when the emotions behind them are at their most urgent. Some call it a ‘crisis’, some call it ‘history repeating itself’. All I can say is, now is everything. Now is the pivotal moment. Now is all we have.
The potential for destruction, it’s all here: the corrupt ideals of superiority, exceptionalism and purity, the “enemy”, the pompous glorification of militarism, authoritarianism and dominance, the “other”, the self-satisfied who want to maintain their power at all costs, those willing to conform at all costs, the seeds of doubt, the cynical, the indifferent, the apathetic provocateurs of disorder and disillusionment.
The potential for creation, it’s all here: those who love their fellow human beings, the givers, the brave fighting (at great risk) for equality and justice for all, the caring, the kind, the meek, the compassionate, the seeds of doubt, the critical thinkers, those grateful for all the advancements we have, but see a great need for wisdom and improvement and fairness.
What will it be? Decay or Beauty? Forwards or backwards? A new world or an old world?
This time (again), we are asked to choose.
It can’t be both.
As this year, this decade, this lifetime has repeatedly proven, it can’t be both: Old hatreds hiding behind the mask of a young face? Archaic notions transmitted around the world in milliseconds? Oppressive, egocentric, imperialist ideals enforced by complex, modernized, global powers? Racist fears armed with advanced machinery?
Unfortunately, withdrawing from this urgent question is a choice as well. Giving up is a choice to be complicit. We must each decide.
We may seem insignificant in the vast scheme of the universe, but to ourselves and each other, we can only be significant. Our meanings may all be relative, but that doesn’t make them any less valid. It’s not all the same, it’s not all meaningless, not until we decide it is. Our perception cannot be separated from our experience of reality, therefore we must decide what we want to experience.
So, what will it be?
Another repeat? Or finally something original, wholly profound and wondrous?
We have yet to know a world where those who have suffered powerlessness finally have the power. We have yet to know a world where we no longer quantify each other as valuable or less valuable based on self-centered, superficial notions. We have yet to know a world where the good are truly empowered and supported. We have yet to know a world that acknowledges the sins of the past, that actively seeks to end racism and exploitation, that nurtures the potential in each and every one of us.
I have only seen glimpses of such a world, but these glimpses have been glorious. They make all my strivings worthwhile. I actively choose such a world. Now and every now after.