Cat Charissage (c) 2015
Love has prevailed; may it continue to be so.
It’s been an emotional week. There were the shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, then the fact that the city and the country did not burst into flames of hate and violence, but that so many, though filled with grief, were enflamed only by love and unity. Then there was Friday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court affirming that marriage between any two loving adults is legal. I am rejoicing with my LGBT brothers and sisters.
And here in southern Alberta, traditional Blackfoot territory, it’s hot. My dear body, carrying my extra weight, struggling to balance blood sugar with chronic pain, suffers. Such an experience! To be filled with so much love, and grief, while being so strained physiologically! Tears keep coming, steaming on my hot face.
I think of my dear Aunts Loretta and Esther living in hot and humid southern Illinois. They were large women, too, and when we would visit in the summer I remember their streams of sweat smudging any attempt at makeup. Oh, I shouldn’t say “sweat,” I remember: “Horses sweat. Men perspire. Women glow.” We did a lot of glowing! I remember their red faces, and the constant mopping with white cotton hankies. Who ever thought then that I’d ever be like that? They lived with segregation. I lived with the race riots of the civil rights movement. No one ever spoke about gay people. “Lesbian” was a word I’d never heard.
Things can change.
I think of the heat at Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s funeral in humid Charleston, all those people wearing formal clothing, all those sunglasses and beads of sweat. I think of the heat of muggy Washington, D.C., where at least it was appropriate to wear fewer clothes, even if there were the sunglasses and the sweat.
I, too, am enflamed: with heat, with so much love, with so much pain that so many have suffered because of racism and homophobia, with pride that humans can act with such dignity, with hope that we can make love grow, seven generations into the future.
Sometimes life is so good, even when it’s so hard.