The Indignant Politics of Loving People (Whatever That Means)

Wow. Words are hard sometimes. You say them or you write them and then they’re there and concrete. Someone else has heard them, and then they become real. They become hard. This trip has made me realize how hard they are for me sometimes. I don’t know any other way to express myself and they are the most comfortable thing I have, but they don’t always work and then I don’t know what to do. But I just keep talking and writing.

The discussion that we had a few days after our experience with the kids got me to thinking about people and how we see each other and also left me feeling really frustrated and annoyed for reasons that I still don’t really understand. I talked to my dad about it a little and that clarified some things. Part of it was certainly the discrepancy between words and thoughts, but I think what bothered me most was the realization that it’s so difficult for people (including me) to find the balance between analyzing the systemic causes for why other people are the way they are and still seeing them as the individual human beings that they are. I can’t really think of any way to elaborate on that statement right now without being totally circular and inarticulate, but I’ll think about it and get back to you. We can only do what we can do.

And I’m going to leave this scattered post with this thought: In the world we live in, there are too many shitty things to pretend that good things don’t exist and there are enough beautiful things that you don’t have to gloss over the shitty ones.

I just read this again and I think it might be the stupidest thing ever. So what I’m going to add on is what my genuine struggle was from this trip. It was my own terrific propensity for artichokery. I’m going to define this as the way that humans are, when we have all these things getting between our hearts and the rest of everywhere. sometimes it’s words, sometimes it’s orneryness, sometimes it’s just the admission that we don’t know who we are, and it prevents us from true connection with one another. Everybody seeks connection. We are all kids, wanting to know that someone is paying attention to us, that someone sees us, and we want to know that we can see other people. I’m finding the balance between knowing that I’m special and knowing that, really, I’m not special at all. I’m subject to the same mental and physical limitations as everybody else. I’m not an alien, I’m not a tree, I’m a human being. Obvious, but still frustrating.

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