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Beautiful Waters... (Part 2)

Why am I—why are my cultural and social surroundings—so averse to a good, long cry? Or not even that long of one?

In the privacy of my own home, having done the gentle approach to this inarticulate sadness through some writing—always seems to be necessary for me, for some reason—the tears flowed easily, messily. A couple Kleenex-worth. But it literally took less than 10 minutes for the energy to shift in my belly, for the spaces to open up into a weariness without edge. What is it about belittling voices that we allow them to keep us from the natural human response to sadness, loss? Which now presents as a weariness, yes, but also a deeper groundedness and connection to…


A friend of mine who’s done some traveling in the last week spoke about “good grief” on her drive down to the South, then grieving anew on her drive back home. She describes the grieving process very little, actually, except to welcome it, name it. She did describe it as choosing herself.

This morning, I get a sense of what she meant.

The belittling voices did condemn me for being white, for feeling impotent in a system so hostile to folks I’m coming to love deeply. The craziness of that pinch is the same as the gift to be able to feel the pinch at all. The system’s hostilities are no longer about them, in other words, but deeply about us, me, how I am wounded and my own belonging divided amidst the hostilities ignored or argued away…

Climbing over the belittling voices enough to get to the tears, allowing, even welcoming, the tears, weaves me into new stories of healing waters. My own tears are a gift to me, in the end, as well as to the world. The world is a better place with capacity to grieve, feel deeply, and cry. How is it that we've forgotten this wisdom so thoroughly?

And while I waited for a directee to call, I finally dipped into a new book that’s been calling to me: Beautiful Waters. (Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis, M.Ed)

Yes. Beautiful Waters indeed.

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