“You at the edges and shores, in the rooms of quiet, in the rooms of shouting, in the airport terminal, at the bus depot saying “No!” and each of us looking out from the gorgeous unlikelihood of our lives at all, finding ourselves here, witnesses to each other’s tenderness, which, this moment, is fury, is rage, which, this moment, is another way of saying: You are who I love You are who I love You and you and you are who”
–Aracelis Girmay, “You Are Who I Love,” from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database
As we collectively attempt to process the trauma, pain, and senseless violence of the past several weeks, I find myself repeating Aracelis Girmay’s phrase: you are who I love. I’m thinking about how heavy the world feels and how hard it is to breathe under that weight. I’m thinking about self-care and the ways we talk about it and the ways we don’t. It’s easy to accept the weight of the world’s suffering into our hearts and onto our bodies. It is easy to become heavy with the burdens of the world.
You are who I love.
Many believe that religion is the place where we find answers and meaning to the unanswerable questions. For some, religion is the place where answers to the unanswerable questions about evil and violence, death, injustice, and cruelty reside. My Unitarian Universalism doesn’t give me answers to unanswerable questions, but does give me a faith big enough to hold my questions in a place beyond answers.
To be human is to not have answers. To be human is to feel as though the enormity of sorrow, anger, grief, and pain will pull me into the undertow. My Unitarian Universalist faith reminds me that this is simply the way of it: our hearts are meant to crack open under this enormity of grief. Because of this cracking and unknowing–because of this stumbling and holding one another–you are who I love.
Us, human, here, breaking and crying, crumbling and loving still: you are who I love. Your tenderness, your rage, your hope and hopelessness, your justice-seeking, your protesting, your loving us anyway: you are who I love.
We do not need to fear the how of putting-back-together. We will come back together because it is what humans have always done: fallen apart and witnessed the crumbling; come together and tethered ourselves to each other.
We are an angry and beautiful people. We hold our questions, our rage, our not-knowing, our loss, our devastation, and even in the uncertainty, we know we are made to hold one another.
Spirit of Life, hold us in our questions, our rage, our not-knowing. Hold us as we learn, imperfectly, to hold one another. Guide us in our reassembling–in the ways we gather ourselves and one another up in love.