Just my luck! I moved to Vermont for a more peaceful life, and the craziness of the world just followed me here. Yes.
Vermont is very much engaged in the fight for social justice. In my small town we have Trump supporters & graying hippies living side by side. And it turns out I have experienced racism from both groups. It’s been tricky avoiding becoming a token around here. That said, as an educator at heart…I have stepped up to help some of my heart-of-gold neighbors with literature, self & organization evaluations, and group discussions. AND I met some younger justice warriors who have been schooling me! Turns out my master’s degree days of learning about racism without racists, the new Jim Crow, invisible privilege, etc…needed updating. I found out that being a woman of color (I’m BIPOC now), and an abuse survivor, a person in recovery, and having some fluidity in my sexual identity means Intersectionality (another new label) affects me greatly. Does all this parsing of terms help healing from soul-sickness? If it allows more people to identify feelings, and engage in helping themselves and others…then by all means!
Will the pandemic eventually help realign the education system too? All the stuff I knew to be true about schools as substitute parenting systems, schools as unauthorized labs for little brains, and places where the adults are part of a hierarchal oppressive system – who are suffering injustices themselves – have all been magnified by COVID. The extreme imbalance of rich & poor; black, brown & white; gifted, typical & disabled is right in everyone’s face. It’s harder to ignore now that it’s effecting the dominant culture, so unless people become too shut-down and hopeless, maybe.
My reaction to the sensory overload, thankfully has not meant shutting-down, but seems to be evolving beyond narrative commentary. Images, phrases, and meaningful-mind-associations have been gushing out in poetry. From a child steeped in the words of Sly Stone, Jim Morrison, and Jimi Hendricks; to a young woman studying John & Yoko, as well as the Odes of Horace; to more recently memorizing the sound tracks to Hamilton and Hades Town, in order to stay connected to my daughter…the freedom, and flow of lyrical form has been healing…the freedom, and flow of lyrical form has been healing.
I’ll be posting my poems in sets of three in the following categories: Whimsical, Serious, Heavy Duty. If you aren’t ready for a face full of feelings, you may not want to click on that last one of the set, they are indeed heavy duty. The Serious category addresses grief, trauma, but also the beauty of life, and Whimsical…well, that’s just Little Laurie and me noticing fun and funny things about the world. The categories are listed in the menu in case you want to search that way.