SPECIAL POWERS

This is the front of my slightly grimy shirt.

I am having trouble finding peace this week. Are you?

This shirt is possibly trying to tell me something. It is a secret message, disguised as wash and wear. This shirt is trying to tell me that peace is the thing with stars, and flowers, and rolling waves of something… good vibes? And, in words, that peace is the thing with power.

I think that peace, like anger and grief, is a very tough sword to wield. I cannot hold onto it for long just now, not because it’s hot, but because it’s cool, too cool. Not cold either, but just, dare I cliche it? Chill. And, sometimes, it goes into hiding, and only the worthy can find it.

I am not a “pray the stress away” person, nor am I good at forgiving people I feel are trying to erase others. I like the saying that equality for all doesn’t mean less equality for you, it’s not pie. I am badly paraphrasing that, and I don’t know who wrote it, but it bears repeating. I would like to think that people are basically good at heart like Anne Frank said in her diary, but Anne never got to complete her diary because some people erased her, slowly and cruelly. If you’re against immigrants, if you’re against gay and lesbian people, trans people, people who are not cis-gendered, if you’re against people who have no religion or a different one from you, if you’re against science and vaccines, if you’re against democracy and the peaceful transition of power, if you’re against sometimes your candidate wins, and sometime he loses and you play fair and accept it, if you’re against facts, if you’re against people of color, or “just black people,” well, man, I cannot tolerate you, and you actively fomenting, even just being around, gives me no peace. I cannot wield the sword of my own peace against the onslaught of you.

And maybe peace is so heady, stalwart, and chill all at the same time because we’re not supposed to be at peace when the world is full of rot. Maybe we’re supposed to be itchy and twitchy and uncomfortable and raging inside and crying inside and out and not getting any damn sleep so that, even if we are not the one in the crosshairs, we cannot ignore injustice.

I believe the world will be changed, ultimately, not by the ones who get hot and violent, but by those who are able, over and over again, to wield the chill of peace. But I think peace may only reveal itself to the worthy, and I ain’t there yet. Are you?

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