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Summer comes to Indiana

Summer comes to my homeland. So do I.

Green that spreads so far it feels like it will never end. That’s summer in the midwest, when the rains are plentiful.
Row upon row of plants, field upon field of crops, hay, grazing land.
Barns. Farmhouses. County roads.
Cities that emerge from the farmland, guarded by outlet malls and fast food, strip malls, suburbs. The clover leaf of interchanges. The cities built for cars.

My grandmother is 94 and I am staying with her. I love her dearly. I’ve spent so many years learning about our recent family history and her childhood, but I’ve never learned much from her about her family’s history. I ask her where our ancestors came from – what country in Europe? She doesn’t know. She doesn’t remember ever learning. She suggests I ask my Uncle Joe. I know that her family came from the British Isles, more or less. But it makes me sad that she doesn’t know. We should know where our ancestors came from. We should know who the original people were who lived in the hills of my great grandparents in what is now the state of Kentucky. We should know where we came from and who we took from to get there.

On Friday I drive to Detroit, arrive at Allied Media Conference and attend a Healing Circle for Orlando. I feel the grief wash through me, in this beautiful space led by beautiful queer, black and brown people. This is important.

I visit Linda and she holds a mirror up for me of my own exhaustion, of how much my soul and my body has gone through this spring. She holds me in a gentle embrace and together through creativity and collaboration we create a space for me to heal. This, too, is important.

I return to writing, the need to write, to try and make sense of things. Maybe there’s no need to make sense of things, maybe I just need to dig my hands into the earth.

I look at the photo I took from the plane window as I flew into Indianapolis. To fly so easily! How many more years will this last? Surely not many.
I look at the photo and I see can see beauty in the lines, in the shapes, in the green. But it’s wrong. This isn’t how we should live on god’s green earth. She wants more from us than this. I want more from us than this.

This spring a vision came to me and told me that it’s okay to shed my skin. That the old skin serves a purpose, and it helps usher in the new. What is the new skin we’re forming, under the shells of the old? Because the task before us is nothing less than this – to take the structures of human society and rework them in service of this fundamental truth:  All life is sacred. IMG_9464

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