Afraid of the Dark

Hold on to this moment
this darkness, this grief
this new uncharted place
this reflection where there is no light.

Is this the loss of a parent?
the death of a child,
a suicide,
a life with AIDS?
Is it cancer?
No, and it could never compare.
Those moments are the anchors reminding us
that to do more than just survive
we must thrive.
This is new darkness for some…
and all too familiar shadow for many.
But for everyone in this moment
it is a windowless room,
stifling, close.

There is no way out.
Do not pin your hopes to a symbol.
If you have to broadcast to the world
“I am safe space”,
you are not.
Live the symbol.

There is no way out.
Do not think you can outsmart the system.
If you are working with the rules
to win “the game”,
you are the system.
Learn a new way to play.

There is no way out.
Do not ask which action you can take.
If you are questioning what to do
and looking for direction,
you are doing nothing.
and really “we must do everything…”

Hold on to this moment
this darkness, this grief.
It is a new uncharted place,
it is a reflection where there is no light.
You must hold on
because the goal is not to be outside
but instead to finally face your fears inside.
Learn how to love the beauty, the richness, the power
of what is nurtured in this dark.

-ALD

This poem is inspired by the relentlessly prophetic words and work of Rev. Elena Rose and the army of Trans* Activists teaching us all what it means to live truth.

Choices, Choices, Choices…

 

Being born with dark brown skin is not a choice.
Being subject to violence based on the history of dark brown skin is, tragically, not a choice.

Fighting back against a systemic perversion of life based on dark brown skin is a choice.

Being born with light pink skin is not a choice.
Being associated with an embarrassing legacy of oppression created to protect light pink skin is not a choice.

Living each day to actively relieve that oppression connected to light pink skin is a choice.

Being born with a vagina is not a choice.
Being targeted as an object by ignorant people because of that vagina is, horrifically, not a choice.

Destroying restrictive patriarchy and building strong female narratives is a choice.

Being born with a penis is not a choice.
Being perceived to have immense, unwarranted, unjustified privilege because of that penis is not a choice.

Actively disempowering and stepping away from all vestiges of that privilege is a choice.

Being born with one or more sets of sexual anatomy is not a choice.
Being of a different inner life than that anatomy is not a choice.

Living into a healthy expression of the balance between the two is a lifesaving choice…
and is therefore no choice at all.

We do not choose the biology that we are born with.
Nor do we choose the history that goes with that biology.
Whether it is about sex or skin color…
We are all the product of the combination of both…biology and history…and so much more.

And our psyche is one place where the two meet
And we don’t get to choose that.

The spark of life…our spirit…is another
And that spark spirit is what impels us to want peace in our lives
…and we didn’t choose that either.

Being whole will never be just about an appearance,
Living a masquerade of someone else’s history…pain…journey…
Hiding behind makeup or hairstyles is, in the truest sense, a travesty;
Being whole is not.

Being whole begins within…
And being whole is not a choice when the other options are oblivion or death.

What we choose, and what is often truly brave,
Is how we share our wholeness with the world.

Being whole is the only choice.