An owl’s sight is superior to humans because it can see past the nose on it’s face. It can scan an area and see from multiple angles, so why can’t we? Its ears are primed for ultimate hearing, hearing that will give it better perspective. Why can’t we listen to more than the old tapes in our heads? And why can’t we sit lofty in our homes with beauty and splendor? Why do we have to tear each other down and devour one another as if we were wild things? We are not wild things.
You are my sister and we are not wild things,
It threw me for a loop to get that response. There was more flaming anger than I expected. If paper could ignite from the words written then your note would have been devoured by flames. It was palpable, painful, angry.
I have not failed to see your side. I haven’t.
I was flabbergasted to see you write that you have nothing. You have nothing? And then you questioned that there’s anything you have that I need. I am very visual so I could see me standing in front of you with overwhelming anguish and a rage that you’d vomit at me until I fall dead. I mean that letter was stinging. It was a punch I wasn’t ready for, especially after the night I had and the physical therapy session I had, but as we know, life doesn’t just hand us roses because we’re having a bad day.
It knocked me down for a minute, actually it felt like a crushing blow. I saw our family structure as it is, a heap of ruins on unstable ground. It shocked me to think that our family would be in this condition. We looked so good next to one another. We did. People complimented our mother all the time about how beautiful our family was. We had the family walk. We held our heads up as do our aunts, grandparents and cousins. We held ourselves as the X’s. It was a name that we were told symbolized our strength which others would admire. I can’t believe how much can be wrapped up in a name, but we did….. in public we did.
I told Snow that when we sat together we looked like a unit but privately we were divided. Decades later we show who we really are, all facades have been dropped. It is clear that we are divided, a heap of ruins laying on unstable ground. It is the saddest thing to see. I ask myself, what now?
Do I keep taking punches with the hope you’ll tire out and see I’m not your enemy? Do I hope you’ll accept a cease fire and that we’ll ride the rest of our roller coaster lives together, as best we can? Or do I accept the ruins and walk away. Do I accept that I can’t have what I want? Whatever it is, I can’t be divided about it. A government divided against itself can’t stand and person divided against himself can’t stand. I’m either in or out. There’s either hope or there isn’t. I take the punches or I don’t. I set a limit or just take whatever comes my way. My heart says I need you, but I do not trust my heart.
We are not wild things.
We’re like dinosaurs in an era meant for computers and information. We walk with steps that dent and mangle the earth. We bite at each other with prehistoric jaws holding teeth marked by every wrong perpetrated against us. We bleed out on each other, drown each other in screams. We rest, then do it again only to ask why nothing has changed.
You know I’m going to fly, right? You know I’m going to let you go, right? I’m going to look ahead and I’m going to listen for those opportunities in the here and now so that the years I have left are ones of insight not instinct. I’m going to seek out joy and find it. I will not secure for myself a place in ruins. I will not perch on a crumbled mountain. X, I am your sister. I’m not your enemy and I will not punch back.
written October 18, 2016 – 9:14pm EST