This evening my heart is breaking and swelling, all at once, for myself and for women like me. There is a burden that I can't place or name, but it is so, so real.
I am thinking about self-love of the radical variety, the kind that allows me to strip myself and accept myself, to break down this person that I have been told I must be to be worthy, and to become the woman I will be proud of dying as.
I am thinking about love for my sisters - African women, single mothers, lonely women, women who have tamed their voices so long they don't remember the sound, women carrying trauma because they don't know how to set it down, motherless women, shamed women, lost women. I am thinking about women like me, who are desperate for better because somehow we know there is more. The knowing is in our bones, in our feet, in our song. We know there is more.
I am thinking about my daughter and the boldness of her spirit, the way her heart breaks for me when she sees my sadness, the way she loves herself so completely that my own sadness can not take away her joy, the generosity with which she heals me with kisses, the streak of defiance that makes her stand up to me - the streak I know I have somewhere but can't always find. I am thinking of her way in this world and the ways in which her identities will shape her and bend her, and I am worrying about the ways it may break her.
I am thinking about the work that we have ahead. There is so much building to be done; it is exhausting that we have to spend all this time tearing down what is already there, what is trying to kill us. When will it be time for rejoicing? When will the load be lighter? When will the leaves of the trees planted by our mothers and our mothers' mothers be lush and abundant enough for us all to sit under their shade?
I am burdened with a grief I don't understand, and a fury too. There is so much building to be done, and yet the people who shore up the systems that must be destroyed before we can build are too numerous to count, too powerful to ignore, too content with the status quo.
A lot of the time I want to scream.
There is not enough of me to go around. And yet, I must find a way to become enough. I must find a way to become this woman who will water the tree and plant fresh seeds and clear a path for our daughters and sisters and mothers to do the rejoicing we have been denied so long.
There is a calling on my spirit tonight. 'Hasten the time, sister. Hasten the time.'
I am not enough, but I will become so.