Remove the Curtains

This morning I decided to take down the curtains that, for many years, had partially covered our windows facing the back yard. I wonder why I didn’t do it before . The house finches feeding their young with sunflower seed, the mourning dove preening on an overhead branch, the cardinal scratching under the ivy vines trailing off the willow oak, the bright orange clivia blooming under that tree—all are so much more visible and fascinate me endlessly.

Recently, my husband and I have also been trying to remove more fully some of the blinders we may have regarding the difficulties and injustices faced by our African-American brothers and sisters. We both read Between the World and Me (by Ta-Nehisi Coates). I just finished The Education of Kevin Powell (his memoir). We both watched the movie: Just Mercy. Having interacted with persons from other cultures most of my life, I never thought I was racist. However, I still think I can grow in my understanding of all the rage and sorrow that have been poured into the recent protests. I can feel very judgmental about the looting and destruction done by persons of any color. But as Kevin Powell revealed, he was never taught how to get along with people and how to BE in this world, leading him to make many bad choices. Also, when one injustice follows another, when black or brown lives are too quickly targeted for killing, I wonder how I would respond if I were in their skin. I don’t think I can ever fully understand, but I can keep learning, listening, and calling for justice wherever there is opportunity. I want my eyes and sensibilities washed like the stones in the river we crossed yesterday in the pouring rain. I want the curtains of my mind removed that I might see what and who I ought to really see.

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