The past few weeks have been hard. I’m not going to go into detail and I do want to note that there have been some wonderful moments, but it’s been hard.
Temple is hosting Caroline Rothstein, a journalist and spoken word poet, this weekend. I honestly wasn’t planning on attending anything, but after watching this powerful performance, I was intrigued. She led a staff learning session yesterday afternoon, which culminated in a mini-writing workshop. Uncharacteristically, I volunteered to read my impromptu poem/writing/whatever-this-is out loud, in front of my coworkers.
One foot stands firmly in my neighborhood
next to the pecan tree in front of Grandma’s house
and the sacrifices my single mom made
and the smell of warm flour tortillas
The other foot stands on Temple’s grounds
surrounded by history
and the feeling of finally being at peace,
with an extended family that I sometimes have mixed feelings about
Two different worlds,
yet I don’t feel like I truly belong in either
but I keep trying and writing my own path
I also attended a session she led last night, this time for the general congregation. We were all seated in a circle. There were quite a few people I know there, friends, board members, coworkers. We were encouraged to write at the end and, again, I volunteered to read what I had written.
To you in the present,
It feels like nothing has changed. You bared yourself in front of everyone, stripping away the facade, hoping it would prompt change. Yet here you are, nearly a year later, feeling more beaten down than ever, wondering how you managed to be so idealistic those many months ago. But this work is hard and slow-moving and you need to take care of yourself. Remember what you accomplished, remember how brave you were. Remember to forgive yourself and remember to keep soldiering on.
And that’s where I’m at right now.