Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Secret.

“In these pages I tell secrets about…myself because I believe that it is not only more honest but vastly more interesting than to pretend that I have no such secrets to tell. I not only have my secrets, I am my secrets. And you are your secrets.” ~Frederick Beuchner

My secret is, today I'm having a hard time believing that abolition is possible. I don't know why today, we haven't received a troubling story, the children in our safehomes seem to be doing really well. Maybe it's because there was another shooting in my city last night, another 20 year old with a name soon forgotten, and yet everyone just goes about our day as usual (we have to don't we). Or, maybe it is because there seems to be so much antagonism between right and left, conservative and liberal, human and human. If we can't get along when we disagree over politics how can we end slavery? 

So, what do I do on these sort of days? 

I laugh:

I look at someone else's art:

I remind myself that in simplicity is beauty and hope:

I think it is true, we are our secrets, but that isn't all we are. Vulnerability can 

create community. When one says, "this is my secret" that secret is out like a flash 

and if handled with care can reach a point of no longer holding power. One 

of the carriers will bend over and whisper "But it is possible. Look at all of these 

people with flaming hearts and hands ready to defend, to protect to celebrate." And,

perhaps another will say "Look at the mothers and fathers of abolition who came before

us." And with each word, the secret dissipates and hope remains.


1 comment:

Uhuru said...

Thank you for writing about this, Desirea. I struggle with those feelings, too. Discouragment was something I never even dealt with before becoming aware and begining to act on behalf of the oppressed. Here's how I described it on my myspace blog Heartsick:

I am overwhelmed . . . Not just by the hugeness of the task, but also by the sheer force of another human being's suffering. The weight of the pain they now own by someone else's hand presses down on me, too.

In those moments, I struggle to remember why I came to this fight against slavery in the first place. I'm so blocked in by the tragedy that I literally cannot see past the injustice.

In those moments, nothing I have done seems to be quite enough.

I am not reminded of "the one that got away." Instead, I am haunted by the many that did not. Those who were found and rescued - but only after all kinds of damage had been done. Those who died before justice and freedom came knocking on their tormenters' doors. And those who freedom and justice never found at all.