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.

 

(I would like to give a special thanks to my friends Tom and Emma for inspiring me to write this, as well as the astounding work of Toni Morrison and James Baldwin.)

 

10 thoughts on “The Sum of Silence

  1. Just these words, is what I need to read today. We have yet……. not today not tomorrow but it shall happen. Thank you, MP for such an encouraging article. It is a contribution to the liberation we seek. We hopefully await.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marvellous article. Now is the pivotal moment, yes. It is so easy to forget that when at times we prefer to decay in what is familiar to us than open up our hearts to beauty that is yet to be known. Thanks for the mention. I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to read it! Your call for us to be mindful in the moment and be aware our self-constructed expectations and assumptions is sorely needed, especially awareness of those mindsets that lead us to hate, to bitterness, to disappointment. It feels so refreshing to realise that in each moment we have the ability to change and grow, we do not have to repeat the past or constrain ourselves to narrow definitions. It would be a tragedy if this burgeoning awareness is equated to “shame” or “deference” or only seen as work that is painful, when we all benefit from seeing the value and humanity in each other.💛

      Like

  3. Your words always bring deeper meaning, my sister. This is a crisis moment in human history, with a composition of crises piling on top of crises – pandemic, riotous, climatic – forming an amalgamation of discord. We are living in the most interesting time. When the future looks back at the past they will see a contrivance of natural forces (the warming of the earth, the uncontained virus) meeting with a comedy of tragic errors (foolish leaders, heavily-armed masses, paper-thin logic) and creating … what? Are we about to implode? Explode? Transcend?

    What a moment they will read about when, in the course of human events, mankind rose above its pending extinction and – in short order – expelled the clown prince, harnessed the raging plague, quelled the uprising of the ignorant, committed to a greener new deal, and entered an era of enlightenment such as the world has never seen…

    What a moment to read about if ignorance prevails instead.

    I don’t know what the world tomorrow will be. The long arc of history, I always say, trends towards progression, hope, liberalism, equality, and wisdom. But it comes so slowly. It only takes one moment for ignorance to win, and all-time for sapience to ascend.

    Thank you for your powerful words, MP. Your light is surely missed, and needed most in these days. ✊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you brother! Your words always bring deeper meaning as well. This change and sustained effort must happen within each of us (as well as our governments and institutions) to manifest this world we want. Not at all easy, but knowing people like you, I am hopeful.

      I’ve been noticing over the years a disillusionment and lack of focus when it comes to democratic ideals, especially that of racial equality. What troubles me the most is the attempt to spin being anti-racist as “propaganda” or being a “sheep” to the “liberal PC establishment”. As if believing in old hierarchies (with no basis in logic or science) is “revolutionary” or “cool” by going against the crowd!🙄 I expect these spinners will continue to try very hard to confuse people. It is of utmost importance that we all have a clear idea of the world we are fighting for, the urgency and importance of this fight. My hope is my writings bring clarity to this vision, even if in a small way.🙏

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply to Tom Being Tom Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s