WAKING UP

We lie in bed, covers tucked up tight. Light streams through the window and sounds call to us from the outside but we shut our eyes, just want to sleep a little longer, don’t wake me, it isn’t time yet. 

Cars hum, doors creek, life begins to speak. We stretch, switch positions, rub our eyes. Waking up is a process – sometimes slow with yawning and stretching, the mind sorting and making sense of where you are, what is happening.  Sometimes it is fast – a dog or child comes in and pounces on you, shaking you from dream world. But it is still a process, mind still foggy, vision blurry, it slowly comes into focus just what is going on.

It is possible to walk around half-asleep / half-awake. Things can get done in a semi-orderly fashion. Like breakfast - you can pour the milk and the cereal but you may try to pop it in the microwave, or try to put the milk in the cabinet instead of the fridge. You may forget the kids on your way out the door, or forget it is Saturday so no need to be up in the first place. But it's okay if we heat up the cereal - warm milk never hurt anyone. It’s when our cultural perspective is affected - We may be against racism but forget we don’t have any friends with skin different from our own. We may be for equality but don’t ever speak up when we see a woman oppressed, or even worse, we may not even see her as oppressed. She has a job - who cares if she doesn’t make the same doing the same job as her male counterpart, she should be glad she has a job at all. We may see a child with a disorder instead of a child. We are half-asleep.

People, like trees, blurry, out of focus, we squint and try to make sense of what we see. We assign language to the blurry goo and tell anyone who doesn’t have the same language they are the wrong ones. We, we the blurry eyed know what we are seeing. But reality isn’t even real. My brain is helping me live, cope. What is in front of me enters through my lens, my eyes, then hits my brain. My brain tried to lie sense of the information, pieces it together, forms my understanding - my reality is created but is not truly accurate. I am filling up the cereal bowl thinking this is actually a cereal bowl, that I am actually touching it, feeling its smoothness. Then I pop it in the microwave unaware.

We walk around half-asleep. And sometimes it’s just too painful to be fully awake, to see it all. It’s too early in the morning and our brains just can’t cope with all the busy and light streaming in and kids needing. Depending on your lens or how open handed you are, waking up can be painful or beautiful - a lot of the times both. Because when we see more light, it means our eyes are more fully open. When we awaken to the political and cultural battles of the world, our hearts are pliable so we will feel all of it more – pain, beauty, love, anger, sadness, light. Like CS Lewis depicted in "The Great Divorce" – the grass was sharp, more real, uncomfortable for the ghost-like people to walk across.

I am determined to wake up. There have been moments, self-realization, places I thought all was as it should be, but in shock realized it is not -  incarceration is the new Jim Crow, things are not balanced. If my brothers and sisters in Syria are hungry, so are we all. If the refugees are cast out, so are we all. If one part of the world is divided, so are we all. If we are united, so are we all. We are connected, on a micro level and a macro one. Quantum physics is a wild thing I dip my toe into and don’t quite understand. But quantum physics tells us we are all connected on a fundamental level. You affect me, I affect him, he affects her - we all share particles as they migrate from one to the other from the stars to our skin, we are all made up of the same stuff and share energy. We are intrinsically unified. Zoom out and we are like one living, breathing, moving organism. We are one body. We are actually, not metaphorically or ideally, one.  

But we have been taught to see ourselves as individuals, we see it as our life. Our country. Our rights. Our body. Mine mine mine, like little children we make our boundaries, draw the lines in the room to protect what we have gathered and don’t care the kid across the room is crying. This is mine and that is yours. We are delusional in thinking, we are separated. We gather more, buy more, build our empire and wonder why we still feel the ache, wonder why we are still thirsty. We are one. When one is thirsty, so are we all. We one is broken, so are we all. Can’t we feel it? Can’t we see it? That is why Jesus said “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40. It is all the same, all one. When we turn our backs on our brothers and sisters, we are turning away from the Divine. Love your neighbor, love the Divine. Love your enemy, love the Divine. Love your president, love the Divine.

We are not separated, we are one. America is an adolescent teenager who is now learning to grow up, who is now awakening to the realization no one will do the work for her - the possibility for goodness is right within her own hands, the healing balm of love is right within her own heart, hope for equality and reconciliation right within her own voice. Are we awaken? I am hopeful now more than ever.