I am mourning Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
I am still mourning Sandra Bland and Eric Garner and Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin.
As an U.S. American, I can list names of Black victims of white supremacy as easily as I can recite the pledge of allegiance. And I've only scratched the surface.
I have so little to give right now, and for that, I am sorry. I would like to tell you, the reader, that your feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, exhaustion, and numbness are.... well, "normal" feels reductive. But they are all responses to unceasing exposure to violence. I see you. I see your sorrow. I see your pain. I see your anger.
For more on anger in the wake of injustice, especially for healers, see this post at Little Red Tarot.
This summer has been hard for me. I've been very raw, and struggling to process both what I see in the news and what happens in my personal life. I've been watching wildlife in my backyard a lot, as it is one of the few things that brings me peace. My partner and I watched a pair of Carolina wrens build a nest in the watering can on our back porch, watched them lay eggs, watched the clutch hatch. I checked on them (discreetly) first thing in the morning and right before the sun went down. The parent birds got so used to us that they would feed their babies while we had our coffee on the back porch.
Two nights ago, a snake ate the baby birds. They would have started fledging towards the end of next week.
It was a loss that hit me quite acutely, at a time when I thought I had no space in my heart for additional loss. It felt silly to cry over it, in the wake of such greater tragedies.
|the last picture I got of them|
But my grief over these little birds is all tied up in the mourning I've been doing all summer, and I just can't begrudge it. I often understand large experiences and feelings in my life by contextualizing them through nature and animals, and I suppose this is no different.
I have the nest, still. I am trying to decide on a ritual to do with it, to honor the four tiny lives. Small as matches, snuffed out as easily.
I hope that you are connecting with the ones you love, and resting within the comfort of your community. I hope there is something in your life, however small, that is providing you some measure of peace. I hope you are holding yourself with compassion.