Usually I enjoy weeding. Yeah, it’s violent–all that chopping and yanking, and today, since I was digging up salmonberry plants, wrestling and scratching–but it’s very satisfying. Such a simple job: getting rid of bad stuff in order to grow good stuff.
Today, though, I came inside early, and not because of the scratches. My heart just wasn’t in the violence of the job. I kept thinking about LeBron James. He’s arguably the most famous athlete in the world, and probably one of the richest and most-loved American Black men (unless you’re a Golden State fan). And yet even King James isn’t immune from our current climate of hate. Someone spray-painted racist slurs on his property.
Says LeBron, as quoted by NPR,
“No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, you know being black in America is tough,” James said. “And we got a long way to go, for us as a society and for us as African-Americans, until we feel equal in America.”
I know most people who voted for Trump are probably not racist, thuggish bullies. But the guy they elected has empowered racist, thuggish bullies to crawl out from under their rocks. Some say it’s good that at least we know they’re there. I say…
…what do I say? I think that’s why I’m writing now. I want to grow something at this moment, not weed it out. And my thoughts are turning to Brian Doyle, a sweet, wonderful writer who died last week in Oregon. I am thinking about how he found goodness and joy in the everyday. Like in this “proem” from his little book, The Kind Of Brave You Wanted to Be:
And Then There is This
Here is who is really cool. Here is who is really
Admirable and to be emulated and what is holy:
The few people who get up instantly when their
Sister is suddenly sick, in awful ways, at dinner.
They just jumped up and dealt with it. It’s dirty,
And there’s no advantage in it, no money or sex,
No fame, nothing but stench an bleah and eww,
And then a young woman sat with the sic sister,
Letting her rattled sick aunt lean on her shoulder.
I saw all this. There’s all this talk, and then there
Is this. You know exactly what I am saying here.
Do you know exactly what I am saying here? Can you give me something admirable and to be emulated and holy from your life right now? I need a little of that.