Looting & Rioting

Looting & Rioting

LOOTING & RIOTING – June 6, 2020

I went for a swim this morning. The drizzle and overcast conditions accompanied me in my greatest act of protest in the last week- caring for body.

Like many brown folks, I am emotionally drained. Somatic effects of grief caused pain and listlessness in my body and I sought out comfort by any means necessary. I have no shame or harsh judgment for my choices of copious TV and bread. When faced w the extreme cluster of circumstances presented and the constant onslaught of violence, one does what one must to survive.

By day 7 the effects of my sedation became untenable. water retention, swelling, breathlessness, and headache of excess emotion stuck in my tissues with nowhere to go but out my eyes. My face and eyes so puffy I did not recognize my reflection.

This is a picture of me right before and directly after a swim session to get my heart out of its comfort zone. To pump excess fluid, hormones and adrenaline out of the tissues and lymph and into the blood stream for elimination. It was challenging to do one full lap so I started small with a gentle wading and gliding. Some playful flips and childlike exploring of the pool bottom. Doggie paddle, backstroke. Finally a full lap. It was uncomfortable to finish one breaststroke lap, my heart struggling to wake up from lethargy and grief. Everything in me feels so happy for the felt memory of being alive!

It got me thinking about how self punishing my behavior has been this week. Not judging myself but inquiring into why when I’ve been done wrong I take it out in myself. I’ve feel anger at injustice of consistent murders of people who look like me and pain that it’s taken so long to be acknowledged. The oppression and denigration of black bodies. I didn’t take to the streets to burn, riot and loot. I‘m a good girl. Instead I looted my bank account to go outside my budget and buy comfort foods. I looted my own body of minerals and nutrients. I caused riot w swelling and inflammation. I shut down and boarded up my potential and possibility in silent protest from my bed.

The people who perpetrate injustice don’t care. The get up everyday, work out, eat their museli and justify the pain rippling through the planet as an overreaction to one bad apple. They’re not detoured from their goals or looting their bank accounts to soothe themselves. They bring designer bags to a tear-gassing.

My absolute agenda of the coming months is not to just survive. I’m exploring how I can thrive in the midst of uncertainty and dismantling. That which is coming to the surface for healing in our collective consciousness has only just begun. Looking at systemic racism and injustice has numerous implications for how we live. This battle will lead to the next and the next especially as we draw closer to a potential transfer of power come fall.

Do not burn down where you live in anger.
Start w your body. If your stuck in pain, honor it and write about it, tell your story, let it move through you. Add in one healthy habit, or vitamin, or meditation to honor yourself. Make it little, repeatable and enjoyable.

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