Tuesday, December 8, 2015

This Is Marriage: Day 93

We interrupt the regularly scheduled adventuring and cookie eating shenanigans to bring you some serious shit. Nonsense will resume tomorrow, but today it's going to get a bit heavy.

I am a military wife and a stepmom. Until recently, these were merely abstract concepts to me. Then two phone calls transformed them into cold, hard facts with two D words. One is deployment and one is domestic violence. I do not know how to maintain a marriage while living in separate countries for 6 months. I do not know how to make a young woman feel safe in the world again. Because she is not safe right now. And a man - no, not even a man, a controlling, troubled boy - has made it so. I feel upset that fear is winning, that we are a species at war with itself. I feel upset at a system of institutionalized sexism and racism, at a police officer who told a young woman who had been attacked by her baby daddy "Oh, he just roughed you up a little." I feel grateful for a different police officer who asked the right questions and listened with compassion and worked overtime to rectify the situation. I feel helpless to make things better, but I know that I do not even know what true helplessness feels like. I am better off than most. I have resources and options and (sadly, unfairly) white privilege. This is the state of the world. For all the good in it, there is still so much bad, so many things that need to be made better. And that is what matters - not holiday sales or buying a bunch of crap, but people. Being here for each other, whether it's the family we grew up with, the family we married into, the friends who are our chosen family or the strangers who are just friends we haven't met yet. And choosing love over fear, understanding over judgment and compassion over insensitivity.

Marriage is making it ever more clear to me what really matters, and that is loving and making life better for as many carbon based lifeforms as I can. We cannot change anything for the better with hate and fear and violence. We can only change it with love and effort and humanity.

Lyric of the moment: "But you can be the change you wanna see. Be the hope to those whose lives are far from easy. Reach out and lend a hand, share everything you can. And be the change, be the change..." ~Corey Smith "Be The Change"

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