Tuesday, December 6, 2016

An Ode to 2016, A Hard Year

How do I approach you
Strange, Beautiful, 
Terrible, Shocking
Thing that you are 

Bombs on the ground
Drones in the sky
Exploded in my 
Pulmonary artery 

Flags of the planet 
At perpetual half-mast 
But I lift mine eyes
Up to the hills

To see where my help 
Comes from
I see a storm

I feel charged
Lightning bolt for a spine
Blood running in the streets
The fresh
And the coagulated
Life and Death mingling 

The pale horse 
Rears on its hind legs
I am small
Torn, Beaten
And in awe

I'm strangled by 
Beyond my control 
I'm laughing 

Written 12/3/16 
Image Source
I don't know if it's just the Christmas season or what, but I feel surprisingly joyful and hopeful at the end of this year, despite how brutal it was in many ways. I have much to be thankful for in my personal life, even as I ponder and grieve things on a larger scale. This summer, it felt like the flags were at half mast more often than not, and it broke my heart that I lost track of why most of the time, it was simply the perpetual norm. I think we always assume that a hard year will get a fresh start when January 1 rolls around, but I'm realizing that all of these years are hard. 2017 may be incredibly shocking and devastating in our nation and abroad - I don't doubt that it will be. I do not leave this year with a feeling of hopelessness, but I want to acknowledge that for many people, and even for myself at moments, "our skin was a terrible thing to live in" (Laura Mvula). Bunmi Laditan wrote, "I think when we look back at 2016, what we'll remember most about this year apart from that it clearly didn't care about any of our feelings, is that it exposed the truth. If you were willing to let it clean out your closets, it did. Ruthlessly. It burned down all of the shaky bridges and showed us, me, what we're really made out of." May 2017 be a year of Truth, even if it hurts. 

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