this week was the distance between east tennessee and northwestern north carolina.
in a community space where before people could gather there and talk about fighting fascism it was the beauty shop where i got my hair done for my senior prom and before that it was a cobbler shop, the distance is the corners of your mouth and how i am trying to explain that this isn't where i grew up, but it is, it's just different now.
in them hills again straddling the line between northwestern north carolina and east tennessee where my heart is at home, the distance is the other side of a padlocked gate and the mountain that built my backbone.
in the birdhouse where Alexa sings a memory about that house on the hill back in north carolina, the distance is a pinata full of strawberitas and a warm glow.
in a community meeting where folks are getting excited about community-owned internet, the distance is a fiber-optic cable and an organizing family that feels like home.
in the driveway of the house my family lives in where i receive the news that Vickie has died, the distance is how she told us not to mourn and how a heart aches.
in the kitchen with Heron and Alder where we make blueberry pancakes as the sun creeps over the hills, the distance is a longbird and a joybird and how a heart expands.
outside it's all snowy and still and i am struggling to stay focused. over half of all this matter that makes up this body of mine is atoms hailing from across the universe, yours too... that's neat.
this feels like where i should tell you that i have been thinking about the way galaxies swap matter continuously over their lifetime and how it's just like learning the word for the subtle persistent feeling of being out of place but not knowing if there is word for when you have that feeling and simultaneously feel like you've never felt more like home.
it's only that i haven't heard your voice in so long, i wanted to tell you what a relief it is to made from more than one galaxy.
if you asked me to make sense of this world, I probably couldn't tell you shit. what i could probably tell you is it is advisable to make friends with people who build places to create and heal, to hold the people who dream of a better world close to you, and if you try to make too much sense of it all you might miss how thin the space between our reality and the world we are trying to build is on that quiet snowy mountain.
2017 came 'round to ask how much grief can your heart take? do you know your boundaries? do you know the feeling of being hollowed? are you angry enough yet? do you know all the ways in which your heart can break? i'll show you. 2017 stayed a little longer to ask if you know your heart is a muscle? are you aware that just like most muscles it can be both strengthened and strained? have you thought about all the directions in which you'll grow? do you know that singing in community carries farther than a shout without straining your voice? do you know that digging your toes into the dirt will save your life? i'll show you.
2018 coming 'round this time like a reckoning, asking are you ready to keep going? do you know what being accountable to yourself and others looks like? show me.