I keep trying to write in this space. I think about it. Sometimes I even get this far. Start typing. Fill the white with character after character. Make myself tired.
I can’t remember now if my dad said that he spoke for god or if it was everyone else — his parishioners, his employees — who claimed that on his behalf. A terrible burden. Feeling that you speak for anyone but yourself.
I live with my favorite feminist, which is lucky for me. I was used to the “that’s problematic” feminist. The one circling everything that came across her desk with a red pen. And now I live with one who spends most of her life walking into crises — addiction, abuse, legal turmoil, suicide threats — and she has such tenderness for suffering. She picks suffering up like a fucking toddler and holds it against her chest. Kisses its face.
Shh now, suffering, don’t you cry.
Who are we to speak for anyone else?
And yet. And yet, silence is grief that’s too busy thinking. I am December tired. Pagan tired. I am looking forward to the sun crowding us again.
The truth is that a mother is practiced at putting herself between danger and love. Maybe it’s so habitual that we forget to say that you are worth it. World, bereft as you are, you are worth it. I will speak whenever I must. Type these heavy characters. Carry unwieldy, problematic loads as well as the simpler kind.
We don’t get to choose the messages. We don’t get to choose the danger. We only get to choose the love. And step in front of it. Again and again. I will shield you. Tired as I am. Reinforcements, love. Reinforcements from every direction.