1 July 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

 

Dear Diary,

Just a few quick things.

Thing 1: I went to the food cart pod in our little town today, and this dude showed up, went to two carts, said, “I don’t need anything today, I just didn’t have any cash to tip last time I was here,” and then he popped cash money into their tip jars. DEAR LORD, DIARY, I CANNOT EVEN TELL YOU HOW MUCH I NEEDED TO WITNESS KINDNESS. I legit teared up. Swear to God Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth, it was a GIFT to watch that. It was like rain after drought. It was like sparkling joy in the midst of whatever cluster we’re in right now with rampant unkindness and a global pandemic and folks unwilling to listen to people who are being harmed. I wanted to follow that dude home like a puppy. Just to soak in his goodness for a little longer. But I didn’t because I occasionallyevery now and then, just to mix things up have appropriate social boundaries. Not following the dude was like my gift back to him. You’re welcome, kind dude. Keep being excellent.

Thing 2: I haven’t been able to write for a few days because all my time and energy has been consumed doing two things…

Thing 3: Our school board voted for an anti-racism resolution. Which OH MY GOODNESS, SHOULD ALREADY HAVE BEEN POLICY. But also, HOORAY! Because the first best time for proactive, deliberate anti-racist school policy is Way WAY Before Now, but the second best time is Right the Hell Now Already, so I’ll take it. Unfortunately, one board member voted against the anti-racism resolution. And when I saw that, I thought, “GOOD GRIEF, WHOEVER IS IN HIS DISTRICT BETTER SPEAK UP IF THEY DON’T WANT TO BE REPRESENTED THAT WAY” and that’s when I looked up his district and realized he’s my representative. So, in addition to ruining Zoom Church a few weeks ago by speaking out against racism, now I’m ruining Civil Discourse in All the Local Land by doing same. Ladies and  Gentlebeings, I will tell you what: it is Not Fun to repeatedly request an explanation for a no vote on anti-racism and be roundly ignored. It is Not Fun to repeatedly request your representative rescind said vote only to hear crickets. It is Not Fun to be characterized for “attacking a nice man” because, of course, he is beloved in my community and has done good things and people have a Real Hard Time understanding the Both/And concept. That this man can be Both nice and held accountable for a no vote on anti-racism. He can be Both lovely to talk to in person and making the wrong choice for our community in his leadership position. But just so you know — especially those of you who are just finding your voices and testing the waters to rock your comfy boats because you’re seeing injustice and you’re not willing to just watch anymore without saying something — it is Not Fun and it is also  Deeply, Abidingly Worth It. What you learn along the way is, it’s not so bad living with the tension of being unliked for the Right Reasons. You learn it becomes easier to speak out. You learn it is survivable even when you find yourself on the outside of what was once your village. And you learn the air is clearer and the path is straighter and the way forward is more transparent as you follow your conscience and listen to that Still, Small Voice who begs you to champion the vulnerable and amplify the voices of the marginalized. In short, the cost is worth paying when the cause is actual justice and liberty for all. Still, Diary, I haven’t had a ton of time with you because All the Writing time has gone to Writing Board Members and Writing My Representative and Writing About the Results (read: zilch so far) in Public because Public is the only appropriate place for transparency even though Writing in Public makes folks really, extra mad.

Thing 4: Phew! I’m tired. That’s not really Thing 4, but that’s where I’m at in this Diary entry. The Tired Part. I’m pooped, Diary. But I shall carry on because THERE’S ONE MORE EXCITING THING…

Thing 4, Take 2: We officially, actually, for REAL opened Cairns Farm on Sunday. 

Now, technically, we thought we’d be open this time last year.

Ha! Bless our optimistic hearts!

And we certainly didn’t think we’d be opening a welcoming, inclusive place to gather in the middle of a pandemic.

But, to be perfectly honest, a) it’s not the Very Worst Time in the world to open an outdoor gathering place with sufficient room to socially distance, and also b) our mission has changed not at all. 

We’re still here to serve our community and welcome the stranger and love our neighbors and find, in the end, everyone’s our neighbor.

We’re still here to pursue kindness and joy and an expansive, whole life.

And, yes, our world is shifting and unkindness appears at times to be winning.

But there’s nothing really new under the sun, is there?

Our world has been here before. Our world has always been here. We humans are kind and cruel. Generous and miserly. Loving and enamored with power. It’s in all of us. It’s the air we breathe. But we each choose daily whom we serve. Each other and Love. Or ourselves. And it’s a mixed and muddled murky mess nearly all the time.

I have hope, though.

Hope in the little things like baby goats and kind food cart dudes.

Hope in the wide open spaces. 

Hope that we’ll keep showing up for each other and speaking out even when it’s Not Fun. 

And hope, always, that Love wins in the end.

Waving in the dark,

 

 

ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
10 comments
  1. I love all of this. But I also love the red and white tape on the edges of the steps above! As mother of visually impaired children I know how important this is, so very much appreciating the attention to detail! (Probably won’t be visiting from the UK, but I’m sure others will be equally grateful!)

  2. Thank you. Thank you for the reminder that this is worth it. I know that, but at a time when I feel like so many don’t get it, it’s good to be reminded. I need to remember to be doing good because it’s the right thing to do, not just because I’m angry about the wrongs.

  3. I’m so curious what his reasoning for voting no was. Please share when you hear back!!

  4. Both/And. A group I’m in is struggling so hard with that after a member went on a bit of a nutso rant. So hard to navigate those rushing, white waters with them.

  5. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  6. Keep being amazing.
    I am extremely unpopular right now with certain members of my family.
    I do not care. Not one little bit.

    Because I remember very clearly my then-six-year-old looking at me and asking, Mom why do people look at us funny when we play with our brown cousin, Sean? How come that man at the store followed us when we were shopping with Lizabeth?

    My babies saw color. They saw that their cousin Sean was “brown.” And they marveled at how pretty his skin was. My daughter was VERY jealous of her cousin Liz’s hair, until she realized how long she had to sit to have it braided into those glistening little rows.

    We must keep speaking. For our kids. For their brown cousins. For our brothers and sisters who are STILL suffering from the systemic injustices.

    Much love, Friend. May God bless all of your efforts. And may all the right things be ruined in the very best ways so that God can raise up something new and even more beautiful.

    1. Beautifully said Mary.

      Keep going Beth. You are a champion! ♥

  7. Thank you for writing. I needed this today.

  8. Just so incredibly sad we even need an anti racism resolution.
    Hugs, Beth. Stay strong. I’m giving up. Getting much too old for the fight. The body is giving up. I’ve given my trailer away, so no more traveling. The eyes are fading, so no more sewing. Just wish the mind would stop working. I’ve turned off the TV, stopped responding to Social Media. But the thoughts are still ranting and yelling at the idiocracy and irrationality of our current times.
    Hang in there. Love and prayers

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