shout out and so much fucking love for the resisters and rebels and the ones who refuse to follow the rules (which are really just systems that oppress and destroy life).
you are seen.
you are honored for your ways of being and naming names and whistleblowing and burning the whole house down.
thank you for continuing to call us to more.
you are loved and loved and loved.
shout out and strong heart muscles of love to the humans who raised themselves, parented themselves, finding ways of loving themselves beyond any map ever given.
to the ones who taught themselves, learned through fumbling and didn't have the educations of schools and love.
to the ones who did not just re-parent themselves but parented themselves for the first time, having never known what they needed when in young bodies.
to the ones who learned that home meant harm and who found a way to survive and i will never ever judge or condemn you for doing what you needed to.
to the ones who gave birth to themselves. to the trans and queer and non-binary humans. and to those who knew a kind of loss that made it impossible to be who you once were and so you did, you gave birth to your own self.
you have done and are doing the most exquisite work of parenting, of loving, of birthing. and i see you here. and i honor you.
shout out and thick as summer's green love to those who live (every. single. day.) with chronic illness and pain.
who do the things asked of us humans in a day and week and life, and do so while hurting, while worn down from never getting relief or respite, while never having sleep be all the way restful because the pain wakes, while experiencing the brace and shudder that comes from trauma grooved into a body and brain.
to the humans who make coffee and make art and make love, and in a body that the world has said is less than or not up to the task or else is disbelieved entirely because the expectation is that if something is wrong it can and should be fixed and cured and so your own body's insistence that this is not true becomes a thing others often want to not see or confront for fear the beliefs goading our never ending rush toward achievement will be revealed to be violence.
to the humans who live alongside pain, and know it intimately, and make countless small decisions in every day as to where and how to give and show up and what to say yes to and no to, and do so while entering in with an entirely different reserve of daily energy than others in the same room. (thank you.)
to the humans who are not just "pampering" themselves when making choices to care for their body and personhood (and fuck those who are dismissive of what it takes, for real) but are living out what it means to do what you need to do in order to live and be here in the living with all the complications and contradictions and the pain that may lessen or spike high depending on the day or weather but never actually leaves.
i see you.
i honor you and all you do and all the ways you love yourself.
i believe you.
and i love you, i love you, i love you
shout out and rich love to the lost, to all those in the in-between, the liminal spaces, the not knowing. to the ones who are in transition and coming undone so as to build new, all flailing limbs and loves and how sometimes it is hard to breathe here. to the ones who are doing what it takes to swim to shore and get through to the other side, and how this is so very often not at all what you thought you would be doing and how it happens, that we surprise ourselves. to the ones who hold out open hands in the dark and take step after step.
you are loved.
you do not need to know or figure out or do different so as to make others feel more comfortable.
you do not need to tell stories of inspiration and after.
you are here. and you are seen.
you are valuable and vital.
and thank you, for existing in the unknown.
shout out to the ones who are angry, who are still angry, who know the taste of not okay and not over it and not willing to make nice so as to get the likes and lose the sound of your own voice.
to the ones who love large and also are comfortable with being uncomfortable. who are willing to burn bridges and swallow strong the loss that comes. who know the hurt of being told to just get over it, and who choose instead to speak true.
i love you.
i see you.
i'm here, eyes meeting winking across the room in acknowledgment of your humanity and mad respect for your medicine.
shout out and roaring soft love for the lovers. for real in the flesh lovers who bring all the good shivers, skin against skin and mouths to mouths and the way we are reminded here of what is holy in its inescapable humaness. to the ones who bring us back home to the body and the ones who know the place to touch and the one who knows our name, spoken and unspoken. to the ones we laugh with and tremor against and watch our worlds waken and widen in the falling ever further.
you are righteous and magnificent and irreplaceable.
you are loved and beloved.
you are so fucking beautiful.
shout out and shots of tequila and devoted love to the single parents out there.
i see you.
working long hours and not knowing what to make for dinner or if there is even any food in the apartment from which to make dinner and wondering what the other people are talking about when they express concern over things like screen time and nonorganic produce.
when you are sick, and still need to parent and still need to work.
when the kid is sick, and you still need to work and are trying to figure out who can watch your kid or if/how to not work and when do you decide to take them to the emergency room when the fever is too high and it's the middle of the night and you are so so tired.
when the overwhelming alone comes and takes up all the space in the space in the room.
when you feel something like relief or freedom that you don't have to reach agreement with another parent and can just do things as you do and love each other.
when you have cancer and still need to parent and don't know how much to tell the kid and how much to try to protect them.
when you want to give attention and care and some sort of ideal of what people call "presence" and what you have is cold pizza and piles of laundry and no idea what to do and unrelenting love.
when others look at you, ask questions, make assumptions, seem to think they know what they do not know.
when there is no backup plan, safety net, or even another person to say "it's your turn."
when you look at the kid and you think, you're so cool, and i get to be here for that and that makes us both lucky.
when your kid feels like this stranger and you don't understand anything.
when you realize in these moments that you just really like your kid.
i see you.
this is hard shit.
and sometimes amazing, yes?
i see you.
and me too.
shout out and magnificent love to the doubters,
the asker of questions,
the unwilling to be sold bullshit wrapped in pretty paper,
the ferocious lovers of truth.
you are a lighthouse
and a voice often dismissed even as it illuminates our own blind spots and biases and desire to give over
to something outside of ourselves rather than wrestle with responsibility.
you are desperately needed,
now more than ever,
and here you are welcomed and received with wide open love.
thank you, for your work and your words and your ways of being.
shout out and legion love to the aces, the queers, the non-binary, the two spirits, the beautiful humans who live and love true to themselves.
to those who refuse the language and labels that constrain and demand conformity to the oppression of normativity. who listen to their own cadence and celebrate their own expression.
you are honored and uplifted here.
and i'm so deeply glad for you, your ways of being and living in this world.
and i love you.
shout out and galaxies of love to the sex workers.
to the ones who earn their living through ways this culture has criminalized and othered and cast deep into the shadows so as to protect the fear that lives not out there but within. the ones who refuse to accept the definitions given and claim their own identities. the ones who do not look away.
you are allowed your own experience of yourself, of your work, of your reasons and your whys and your ways.
you are deserving of safe work environments and your rights to be protected and honored.
you are not a problem to be fixed, but a human to be celebrated.
i am honored and grateful to know you as my own people.
you matter, so much.
you are loved.
you are loved.
you are loved.
shout out and wild gratitude to the fact checkers,
the critical thinkers, the ones who expose the lies and who connect the dots and who examine deeply the bias we call belief.
you are essential and so often unsung,
and we are forever indebted for the ways you call us
to intellectual rigor and deep engagement and thoughtful inquiry into what is sold as certain even as it conceals and turns away from truth.
please don't every stop,
and thank you, thank you, thank you.
shout out and mad love for the teachers among us. the educators. the ones willing to take time to explain and illuminate and expose, to challenge and agitate and invoke.
to the ones diving into research and fact checking and forever reminding us of the importance of intellectual rigor and critical thinking. to the ones who ask the questions and listen deeply and expose us to new words and worlds. to the ones who choose to engage and flesh out and find connections between things, and who stop and love enough to open the door and say "this way."
you are seen.
you are essential and honored and beloved here.
you are why some of us (why i) survived those years ago.
you are life.
thank you. thank you. thank you.
shout out and sublime love to the introverts.
to the quiet ones, strong as steady hands and soft as moths.
the observers and the feelers and the ones who choose to go slowly and consider deeply and sometimes get all lost inside the loop running through the rivers of the mind and sometimes know the kind of stillness that comes only in solitude.
the ones who crave the deep waters of connection and need places and hours after hours all alone.
to the ones with social anxiety and the ones who feel overstimulated in the chaos of crowds. to the radical artists who protest in creation and need the absolute seclusions of silence and a space all your own.
in a world that says do and quickly and loudly, everything a mad rush of urgency and performance and bigger and better and all the things screaming all the time, you are the ones who remind us of the power of quiet and the power of slow and the power of depth in all its intricacies and intimacies. we desperately need you in this world.
even as you may not say much or show up visible in the expected ways
you are seen here and you are heard here.
may you know you are valued.
you are loved.
you are honored beyond measure.
shout out and major love (and armfuls of lilacs)
to the ones who speak truth.
who speak truth to power and speak truth when it is unpopular and speak truth when not believed.
who speak truth even when shaking and uncertain of the sound of your own voice. who speak even as you are torn down with critique and sometimes treated with contempt and condemnation for doing so.
who speak truth as if our lives depend upon it. because they do.
your voice is respected here.
your are loved here.
for your speaking, and your truth, and for you - thank you.
shout out and all my roaring love to the orphan and alone.
to those with no ancestral stories or legacy that in any way can come with you into this lifetime. to the ones who do not know where you come from, or know but only in these strange cellular memories that we recognize but do not recall. or know only broken fragments of things before you were removed and life was different then, good and bad and sometimes both. or know but had to leave behind and cut the tie so severely and clearly so as to never be harmed by the violence that both gave you life and would seek to take your life.
to the ones who do not know or have belonging. to the ones who do not know where you come from or can in any safe way ever seek where you come from or where you come from no longer exists at all and so the orphaning is strange and real and you walk around wondering if it's called exiled or outcast or simply alone.
lineage can be powerful. knowing your own blood is sometimes the most beautiful thing. ancestry and knowing where you come from is for some humans a great honoring and a finding of solace, the deep knowing of how all things connect.
and it is not what everyone experiences as a human.
i am here speaking to and for the orphans and outcasts, to those who had to flee and those who had to fight to stay alive not out in the terrifying world but in the very home which birthed you. to those who never want to climb up and eat from the family tree, because the best thing that ever happened was your choice to cut it down and call it a graveyard. to those who simply do not know, cannot know, and so live both intact and full of longing for all your days.
this is for you.
i will just say thank you,
and i fucking love you.
shout out and wide rivers of love to those who love enough to say "no"
to have and hold a boundary,
to the infinite kindness of a clear ask and knife sharp wisdom of what is allowed and not allowed in a space or body or loving.
to the ones who chose to say truth however difficult or uncomfortable, rather
than appease or speak only to please with pretty language.
to the ones who risk being disliked in order to love strongly.
you are trustworthy and solid source.
you are teacher and strong medicine and truth.
you are honored here,
and loved and loved and loved.
shout out and buckets of love to those who live with depression, anxiety and complex ptsd and who get up in the morning and make coffee and feed the kids and stare out the window, wrapped in a fog, and for reasons both known and unknown find a way into the day breath by breath.
you are seen.
you are valuable.
you are loved.