The Middle Ground Is Life

The Middle Ground Is Life

Close-up of Tea Light Candle Against Black Background

Kristin doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.

Because before November we talked about other things — her nieces, her music, the dress she was sewing from a pattern she’d found online, the man she was leaving behind to find the woman hiding within.

Then November came and 70 million people crashed into a ceiling made of glass.

Kristin said maybe it’s a good thing; it opens a dialogue – and I agreed.

But how many days has it been and still we find shards of glass inside wounds open and bleeding. Kristin says I’ve never been so aware of my blackness and I understand what she means because every day is a headline dividing her life from mine even though our likes align almost perfectly.

Surely, I think, there is a middle ground between being “woke” and fast asleep; somewhere where I can ask her, did you ever finish that dress?

The middleground was certainly not in Charlottesville last weekend with lit torches raised to the dry August moon pouring down white light into white skin yelling “blood and soil” with the gods of war listening, and metal crashed into flesh and bones cracked over pavement, and red spilt from white and from black –

Maybe the middleground is just that. Build a wall or burn a torch, pass a law or speak from hate – in the end we are all end up in the same place, waving the same pale flag of death.

But Kristin doesn’t want to talk about it.

She took her nieces to a pottery cafĂ© over the weekend and she shows me pictures of that day – a giddy, beautiful young girl painting a smiling figurine in different shades of red, blue, and green. “This is the best day ever,” her niece had said, and for a moment Kristin could see the world through her niece’s eyes – colors uniting over one still, smiling eye, and the joy of being alive found simply in its very creation.

Erin Passons, 8-16-17
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