Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open

It is more than one could imagine,
but it is packaged in an ordinary African day.
Walking for hours and hours,
feet stained red from the dirt,
worn yellow jerry cans in hand,
balancing toddlers on bicycle seats,
balancing bundles of sticks on heads,
balancing hunger and satiation,
balancing life and death in search of their daily dose of water.

The colorful clothing dismissing the lack of color in the blood,
the lack of safety,
the lack of the potential to reach adulthood.

Mothers with protruding bellies sit on brick doorsteps.
Children playing with tires for toys,
playing with broken sticks,
playing with a treasured plastic can.

Playing and laughing,
unaware of the dangers of the random automobile,
flying through their rural village,
taking the goat that will feed their family.

In the blink of an eye,
the veil of security
that tetters
on the thinnest edge of existence
is gone.

The mother wails,
the children gather,
the man pulls himself off the tree and rages.

On the other end of the globe,
we report feelings of despair,
injustice and lack of.

Yet most hold a personal computer in hand,
hold food in expanding bellies,
hold water in endlessly full cups.

The disparity is real,
the disparity is harsh,
the disparity is palpable.

I dream of a day that we become one,
a humanity that can feel the connection of all beings.
The shared pulse,
the shared beat of the earth,
the shared need for love and belonging.

Could we imagine a world when we honor each other’s unique light
removed of the harsh judgement that pushes one down to rise another up,
pushes personal agendas over collective needs,
pushes one out to make room for more, more, more.
For me, me, me ?

I can. I will. I continue to hope.
With eyes wide open to the tilted perspectives,
with eyes wide open to the hard and beautiful,
with eyes wide open to the mountains we must climb,
I hold room for hope.

I wake up this day living my own kind of despair,
living my own kind of grief,
living my own humanness,
and it allows me to make room for yours.
It allows me to make room for ours.

It is through the depths of my darkness that I continue to define my light,
to define your light,
to define our light.
I can find hope in that light,
I continue to find ways to move that light.

I have learned all of this from you.

Walking shoulder to shoulder
with everyday gurus enduring this human journey,
breathing and growing through our lived,
shared experiences on this earth,
walking on this dirt
gazing in wonder into this sky.

I close my eyes,
feel with my heart,
I know this is a shared pulse,
this is a shared light,
this is a shared hope
and this is the truth that runs through all our veins.

It is this truth that will set us all free,
to live,
to be,
to climb into a collective love.

What are you looking for?