Monday, March 26, 2012

Apparently, Black is the new Dead


This blog

Was shared with me by someone I admire.  It rapidly precipitated an email from me to other close family and friends, entitled, "This seriously made me cry in the middle of lunch at my desk at work"
on Monday, March 26th at 2:46pm EST

After receiving wisdom and love from many of them, I wrote them back:

Dear gifted family and friends,

Thank you for your insightful and powerful words.  They help to put these challenges into perspective and force me to remember what's really important.  It's so interesting...I tend to take in a lot of unhappiness, belligerence, controversy, and even drama in the work that I do, and I usually find ways to gain energy from it.  That is largely because I enjoy the struggle, and on top of it all, get to communicate with you and spend time in your shining sunlight.  While I definitely have plenty of weaknesses, one of my biggest challenges is not reverting to pure despair when I re-learn that some people just flat out hate.  It's part of my lifelong koan to not make expectations...Some of you read my blogs a long while ago about that:  "Having expectations is like making a contract with disappointment," let go, yet never fail to let people pleasantly surprise you!  And so I see that!  Yet, no matter how hard I try to go along expecting just about anything, and absolutely nothing, I keep getting stuck.  Pow!  Whop!  Just when you though you understood the world.  Nope, not even close.  Surprise.  The pure hatred and malice exists in a more profound way than I could ever comprehend.

I especially appreciate your words about finding acceptance and love for the very people who sling hateful energy across space and time.  How brilliant!  How necessary for the healing of everyone.  Once in a while, I am reduced to a crybaby amidst the homophobia, racism, and miscellaneous (physical and spiritual) violence.  I'm not sure what I thought...I very well knew about racism!  I talk about it every day!  But reading what children and pop culture overtly had to say about film protagonists of color just took the wind out of my sails.  Yes.  They really hate us all that much.  I have already put links to that blog up on the sites for both courses that I teach, and the discussion will be front and center this week as we also talk about challenges for black children in public education, and the emotional / psychological maltreatment of all types of children and adults, respectively.

We know that everything is poetically interconnected, right?  It's all this, it's all us.  No separation.  Last Friday, hearing Angela Davis speak for the second time in a year was completely electrifying!  She inspires me to write so much more, to learn more, to teach more, and to act in more compassionate ways.

And so life goes on.  I know that, but I also know you and our paths.  I am grateful for all these things and hope you know how cherished you are, every day.  When you need me, please count on me!

In gassho (with a bow), and Namaste ("I see the universal presence in you").


  1. Kiyo, thank you for your generosity. I felt the blow when I read those comments, then anger, then despair. Your essay helped me atone. bows, Yuuka

  2. Hi Yuuka,

    I was trying to reply to this earlier, but was traveling and couldn't get the interface together! Thanks so much for your words of support and care. I was likewise inspired by words you wrote this past month, shared online. Hoping to see you soon, and In gassho.