birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Back to Love

Funny you ask about resolution, because much in my life feels unresolved right now. I'm in an up in the air phase.

At the same time, there are some constants. I remain resolute about my commitment to my meditation practice. My practice makes me a kinder, more peaceful human, and allows me to see myself and others more clearly. I don't think I can live the type of spiritually connected life I want to live without it. So that's settled. Meditation goes in the "keep" pile.

I'm resolved to challenging myself and other white people to fight for social justice. I have a long way to go in this area. We did a long training on implicit bias at work today. Maybe I'm projecting, but I felt like I observed two overarching themes: 1. We're all carrying a unique set of burdens and 2. We are all craving connection.

We did an exercise where we all started out on one side of the room. Then, the facilitators read a set of about 30 statements. After each statement, we crossed to the other side of the room if it felt true for us. The statements were things like,"I am an African American or black person," and "There is drug and alcohol abuse in my family" and "I grew up in a poor family." We were then asked to look around and see who was standing with us, and also who wasn't. It all took place in silence.

It was a powerful exercise, because we all learned more about each other's pain than we knew before. We learned that three of the women on our HR team assume that people are straight when they meet them. We saw in stark terms that there were no Native Americans among us, and only a few black people, and only a few Asian people. Looking around the room to start the day, I'd thought it was a diverse group. Seeing it that way, it started to seem like we'd never be diverse enough.

We also talked about the difference between diversity and inclusion and equity. The facilitator said that diversity is when somebody's invited to the wedding, and that inclusion is when somebody knows which table to sit down at and where hang up their coat. Equity is when somebody feels like they can dance like nobody is watching. I liked how they framed that. At my workplace, we have a lot to do before a certain subset of people stops feeling like the dominant culture and like others are truly included.

But we're working on it. And this is an arena where I have some experience. I'm finding ways to help improve our efforts. In the face of the inhumane policies of the Trump administration, it feels great to be doing something, anything, that leads to a more inclusive world. It heals something deep in me. That's not why I'm doing it, but it helps firm up my resolve to continue.

I resolve to keep loving my family, and to keep setting boundaries with them as appropriate. I can't make my dad go to the doctor or treat me with respect, but I can love the little boy inside of him and I can titrate the amount of time I spend with him if he's treating me badly. I can't get past my difficult sister-in-law, but I can love the hell out of my nieces and nephew. Maybe I can be a refuge for them as they get older.

I resolve to keep loving myself. Setting boundaries with my family is part of how I love myself. This writing project is part of how I love myself. Meal prep is part of how I love myself, and baths, and getting out into nature. Even when the path seems obliterated by dark, there is still love. I resolve to keep reaching for the love.

Perfect Imperfection

White. A Blank Page, or Canvas. So Many Possibilities.