The morning after the 2016 election I picked up a friend to do errands. My friend, who is Black, took one look at me and said Alison, what happened? What’s the matter? I looked at his puzzlement and worry with disbelief: What do you mean, what’s the matter? After a minute his face cleared and he said, gently, Oh…you didn’t think he’d win.
The enormity of my own naivety swept over me at those words. My friend silently nodded, then said, in that same gentle voice, But you know that the work continues, right? No matter who’s in charge, the work itself never ends.
Fast forward to this past week, when we are living under minority rule and the decrees of people who think their religion trumps mine. My rage is so deep it’s almost paralyzing. Key word: Almost.
I flatly refuse to despair. Flatly refuse with me, will you? The world was made to be free in, and the work never ends.
Sweet Darkness, by David Whyte
When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone,
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your home
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.