Sometimes, when nothing makes sense at all and the world is in flames, things are crystal fucking clear.
We need more than love. We need aggressive, shameless love. Are you tired? I’m tired. But I’m also on fire. Aggressive. And shameless.
Love shows up like a hurricane, a pound of feathers, and a ton of bricks. Thrown bricks. It shows up like a wrecking ball (you sang it, didn’t you?).
It shows up like you and it shows up like me.
And it is loud and explosive. It IS aggressive. It is the ripping down of layer upon layer of bullshit. And it is fire.
And it IS new babies and my kids’ grandparents and the little girl playing with her kinetic sand like it’s the first thing she’s ever really, really laid eyes on! Of course!
And it’s the little kid that steps on bugs and feels powerful and then ashamed and maybe one time that kid cries when he finds a pile of dead ants on his bike ride. That is love, too.
It’s the awkward prickle between us when I don’t know what to say to you and you sure as hell don’t know what to say to me and so we just don’t say anything. It is electricity with nowhere to go and my pockets are burning with it.
And it’s all the shit my parents ever said (hi Mom), and even the things they said that I hate (hi Mom, I love you).
It’s all the lies we’ve ever made all together at once, and that is the truth.
Ok, I said love is not all kittens and puppies, but damn I love ALL the cats and dogs and I couldn’t sleep one night…
Because my littlest baby crawled into bed, because that child needed mommy snuggles, and when I am sandwiched between my little son and my husband, I can’t hear anything but the overwhelming, breaking crash of the breaths they are taking washing over me. I can’t take my ears off of it. I won’t. And I can’t breathe, because I don’t know what the hell I did to land here, in this holy and precious place, and wondering if I deserve this. Certain that I do…I don’t…I do…. And I don’t want to move, because what if it all ends tomorrow, or next month, or in 20 or 30 or 45 years? What if I fall asleep and do not wake up? I’ll never know. And I am going to soak up every last fucking second of this.
So I did it, I pulled out my phone (it’s funny, I know) and in that beautiful, handheld violation of my privacy device, I found a video about a sick, hairless dog that someone fostered back to health. And I didn’t cry, but I knew I could if I wanted to, or if I needed to, but instead I savored every last masochistic second.
Sandwiched in love. Weary from loving everyone. The whole world. All of the people, the bleeding hearts and the prideful, the confused and the people who don’t know they swallowed poison, but they think I swallowed poison, and all I can do is sigh. All I can do is sigh and smell my baby’s day old shampoo.
I sigh so deeply, from a soul so old. I can’t understand most of us, every day.
My husband is a gracious, graceful, beautiful person. He knows…that I fall in love just a little ol’ little bit, every day with someone new. (Did you sing it? It’s my favorite song.)
I do. I have fallen in love with you already, if you are reading this. I have. You know if I have fallen in love with you, and there isn’t enough room in the human language for me to explain myself and I get all bound up as I am simultaneously breaking and gagged by the rules Someones wrote, that were lost in translation and are catastrophically irrelevant, yet somehow still locked and loaded with the power to bind us. And kill some of us. Slowly or quickly.
Our free speech.
We can talk from our pride. Our performance. Our vanity. Our I’m right, you’re wrong, sophomoric, infectious waste. Our indoctrinations. The little books we carry in our smooth, fat purses. And in our unbuttoned little pockets, inside our coats. Safely curved against our asses, underneath our denim logos. All our little fucking books.
But we can’t talk from our love. We gag. We choke. We withhold. We hurt…ourselves and others.
He met me this way and I am just going to keep loving you and the whole burning world, and he’s going to have to keep sharing me. And he does. He does. Not in the way you might be tempted to think. But in a real and sometimes damaging way.
Because I love the children I meet and the people I meet and the problems I meet and the challenges and the woe. All the sticky, absolute woe. I love it so much that I will die before I turn away from it. That is an irrevocable truth. And my family does not have access to me when my gaze is locked ages deep onto the world. And that is mine to face.
I love the fear that crawls into my limbs when I don’t know what the hell I am doing or why, but I somehow know it’s right. I do not know how to drive that, but it has never steered me wrong.
Guys. We gotta stop hiding from aggressively shameless love.
It isn’t a whispering wind through the pines. I mean, that’s my dream and my joy, but that is not love. Full stop, love is the fire. And the bricks.
Love is scary and electric and confusing and I swear to your God and your gods and your goddesses and the Spirit and Carbon sitting all around us, it is for everyone. Every single one of us.
Burn the little, stupid books. (I mean, don’t burn the books…but Set. Them. Down.)
It’s a commitment. It’s holding on through the urge to rip it apart. And sometimes it IS the act of decisively ripping it apart.
And sometimes it just has to rest. We all know that. Have you ever stepped away from a love? Been undone by a love? Done harm to a love? Yes. Yes. and Yes.
Set it down. Rest. Pick it back up. It’s portable. It’s infinite. It’s free…or it is supposed to be. We’ve screwed that up, too. Set the little books down, pick the love up.
Push into the stuck places. In you. Take all the time it takes. Take a lifetime. Take two. But nothing is guaranteed and how much time are you wasting?
We can ignore it–the truth, the call for a love scrubbed of self righteousness…Right? (Never have I won that battle.)
But we do have a choice. We do. Life is one choice after another.
What is keeping you from setting down your shield? What battles are you fighting and whose battles are they? What do you get for your time? What are you defending? What are you afraid of? Why keeps you silent? In the shadows? Hiding behind these little books. These dogma of suffocation? The twisting and contortion into smug, hateful bows.
If your dogma…
paints in bold brushstrokes,
and declares itself “only for the chosen ones…”
and you’ve been sold on the idea that you are more chosen than others,
then that dogma is a burning, Godless lie and Jesus would Rip. It. Down.
And the creed you have swallowed is a lie. And the book you sold your soul for is a lie. And every time you turn away, or shut your door on the unchosen, or smear their faces in your “rights,” or position yourself higher by standing on their backs, looking down with castigation at their sweat covered faces, you are suffocating yourself in the smallness and evil of the Someones who fed you poison.
I beg you all to cough up our collective poison and free up your boundless, most aggressive, shameless love.
Cough up your anti-Blackness, Racism, Sexism, and Binary worship.
Your Transphobia and disdain for all that is Queer.
Your slurs about walls and English is our language and Go Back Home.
Your disgust, that you think no one sees, when you encounter the Disabled and the most elderly. And the homeless.
Your vision of yourself as the image of your God.
Your fat shaming, body shaming, unbelievable audacity.
Your loathing of immigrants and the migrants that feed our families.
Your pursuit of more and more and more at the cost of your family’s integrity and the health and human rights of others.
Your knife sharp judgment, that slices at your neighbors wrestling every minute of every day, with poverty, addictions, mental illness, and generation after generation of fighting for your God damn crumbs.