Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor...
"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
- EMMA LAZARUS, 'The New Colossus' -
Because I don't have the energy (or stomach, quite frankly) to recap the events of the weekend, here's a run-down of what happened in the United States. And to give us all some hope, here's some info about the retaliatory protests. The former makes me sick to my stomach; the latter makes my heart soar. Because this America--the one where we stand by our brothers and sisters and fight for democracy and inclusivity? That's my America.
Much like my nation, I find myself at a crossroads, torn between a fire burning bright inside me--a need for justice, to stand and fight in protest--and the weight of this illness keeping me down. If Lyme Disease taught me anything these past five years, it's how to be strong and brave and have enough courage in my convictions to stand up for what is intuitively right. Truthfully, I didn't always have that courage. While I've always sided with what is moral and humane, I didn't often speak up about it--too concerned with consequences and a fear of alienating people. I was too forgiving, too willing to consider every point of view, no matter how damaging those views might be. Part of that was naivete--plain immaturity--and part of that was my conciliatory personality, this intrinsic need for balance and peace.
Fuck that now.
Having Lyme Disease changed me in irrevocable ways. It awoke in me a fighting spirit--a spirit that, I realize now, has always been there, waiting just beneath the surface. When you're fighting for your life in more ways than one, that's enough to change anyone in ways they can't come back from. I don't want to come back from this, this person I've become. Because my desire to see justice now overwhelms my need for peace, and I stand with those who stand for humanity.
What we are seeing now is devastating to our democracy. Freedoms are being stripped away one by one, and if you don't think you're affected by this, then you're not paying close enough attention. And if you don't share even one shred of concern for the safety and well-being of our brothers and sisters, then I question your own morality. We may not share the same religions, cultures, race, orientations, but our hearts beat to the same timeless rhythm. What affects one affects us all--
Life is not a singular event.
I'm physically limited in what I'm able to do and how I'm able to fight right now, but I'm going to keep fighting anyway, in every way I'm able--spreading awareness, spreading light. To those of you who are on the front lines, know I stand with you in spirit, I shout out loud in protest.
I've never felt more helpless in my life--or more determined to reach remission. If this is why I'm still here, then god help those who strive to divide us, casting darkness where they can.
They've no idea the giants they've awakened.