This piece wrote me Saturday morning, the day after the devastation and shock of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. Like countless others, her death has left an indelible ache in my soul. These words are a tribute and acknowledgement, not to give up, but to keep pursuing equality, diversity, and truth.
Sometimes, it feels like the colors of the earth are sucked out and all that is left is an opal like grayness.
Breathing is an effort.
Pieces of information float in undecidedly like a fog on an empty endless sea waiting for a spark, a flicker, a ray of passion.
The sharpness in your heart mourns for another loss of justice.
The undefinable archetypal feels search for a solid focus, saying something like, don’t stop now.
It’s then when something pulls you to pick up your pen, find paper, and write.
Or you pick up a sign and protest.
Or you step out in the crowd and chant, Black Lives Matter.
Or you write to the U.S. Congress, your Senator, your Governor — until your voice is heard.
You continue to stand for equal rights. And you don’t let the naysayers drag you down and diminish your point of view.
“I … try to teach through my opinions, through my speeches, how wrong it is to judge people on the basis of what they look like, color of their skin, whether they’re men or women.”
You find others who understand, and gather, heart to heart.
This helps to fuel the sanctity of your soul’s sorcery.
With your eyes wide open, listen to the view over the horizon, inside the core, above and below where it hurts and bleeds because you know how injustice is a stampede of sheer purposeful unawareness.
Too often blinded by prejudices and seized by rage built on white supremacy; created to undermine anyone who fights for truth.
Continue to walk tall.
If need be, stand alone and stick with your intuition and intentions.
“…And who will join this standing up
You will speak from the wells of experience’s truths. That very place that shakes, and cries when the days are long and the nights don’t seem to end and when morning comes you place your hand on your heart and ask yourself:
Who would you be if you didn’t stand with those unheard?
You already know how that feels. And that’s one of the reasons you carry the flag of truth. You’ve watched and listened to the role models before you and in their deaths, you wept rivers of what now?
So, you craft a boat and stitch sails out of their voluminous legacies to increase the scales centered in truth.
You wrap ropes from their persistence, and commitment to seeing a future for equality, diversity, and hope.
You scrub the deck with a mop of tears connecting you back to the sea, where all tears are sourced and that is your source of vitality.
Grieving is as necessary as being. You don’t stop but you take breaks.
You listen to the fine, fine mist released by the heavens returning the colors to their proper place.
Drenching the life force with hope and above all love. A love for humanity that ignites your passion to continue. One step at a time ladling your dreams into an epic eternal story.
Contributing to the lifeworks of those who’ve died and continue to carry the torch until your walking steps stop too.
We are each responsible.
One word connects with another, and another and the story for justice continues.
“Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.”
Originally published on Politically Speaking: Each Day is One Step Closer for Equality, Diversity and Truth
Carolyn Riker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in private practice. She is also the author of three books. Her most recent book is "My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You."