What do you do with a heavy heart?
"These bodies are perishable, but the Dweller in these bodies is eternal." -- Bhagavad-Gita
In this marathon race, each time I believe I’ve found my stride, evened out my breath, I find myself needing to shore up the heaviness of my heart about to burst from my heaving chest. Needing to lift my burdened spirit from the depths as I stumble forward, staggered by another senseless disregard for a Black or Brown-bodied life.
And as much as I do not like to carry it, the feel of the weight of my heart is both acceptable and necessary. To feel it is to acknowledge the light of my spirit seeking the crisp fresh air beyond the toxic swirl of separation, fear, hatred, murder, death that makes itself known among us. That cares nothing for my life. And I suspect, not even yours. Not really.
Sometimes it is necessary to sit with our heavy, broken heart. To feel the grief and the pain of it. The weight of the world. Not because we want to live in an abyss of despair. Instead, we refuse ourselves the luxury of denying the weight of the terrible, the magnitude of it. As if it does not eventually come for us too.
It returns and returns yet again, shape-shifting and seeking to wear us down. But I feel the heft of it and interrogate the reason for its existence and have learned to allow the heaviness of my heart to transform into action. Even the smallest action adds a little more weight on the side of love.
Today I purchased a Black Lives Matter sign for Miss Lavern Lucier whose son Syncere was shot here in Durham outside their church, First Chronicles. When asked if she needed anything, this is what she said she wanted.
I offer thanks to Miss Joan Tilghman for the vigil she holds outside her home every single day at 7:30 pm for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in honor of Black lives lost and Black lives still here.
I offer thanks to Ann Ringland and the ERUUFians who have been standing up for Black lives each Friday evening at 5:30 pm along Garrett Road in front of ERUUF. People passing by in cars see this, and having their spirits momentarily lifted, blink their lights, honk their horns, shout good things out their windows.
I know love will grow larger as others join in, if not in these places then elsewhere, as we seek somewhere tangible to carry our heavy hearts. Surely these are not the only things we might do, there is so much more that is needed. We know this -- or should. But each singular thing makes the weight a little easier to bear.