On April 29th, 2017, as I sat on the stairs of a building I watched a caterpillar die. I began to weep, as if the caterpillar was a family member of mines. I kept wiping the tears away and they just kept falling. I instantly realized the tears had nothing to do with the caterpillar dying but what it was a metaphor for.
This world is, more specifically, this country is a caterpillar on the sidewalk dying before it could even get a chance to become a butterfly.
As I sat there bawling my eyes out, every ounce of emotion that comes with the black experience fell away. All the pain I felt every time I watched a Black person get gunned downed by police came out. Every time I had to pretend I was okay at work right after police brutality was displayed on a national level came out. Every time a black trans-woman was murdered without question came out. I shed a tear for every micro-aggression I experience on a daily. Tears I didn’t even know I had in me fell away and they just wouldn’t stop.
People kept passing giving me odd looks as if I was a deeply disturbed individual. They knew something was wrong, yet no one was compassionate enough to ask if I were okay. They gave a quick glance and went about their day. A practice america has been engaging in for far too long.
As a people we don’t care about one another. We don’t have enough empathy, and we’re taught if the situation doesn’t specifically have an affect on me then it’s just not that big a deal. Yes, we may say a brief “awe, how sad,” but once the situation dies down so does the sorrowful appeal it has on our brains.
I could sit here and write about how we could create a better world, and the benefits that would come from it, but truthfully I am tired and frustrated with expressing the same sentiments about the same things. Our country is showing it’s true colors right now, and I think it’s important to bask in that. Everyone needs to experience how I feel, and most people that look like me feel on a daily basis. The feel of anguish, discomfort, and uncertainty are emotions that make up about 65% of my experience in america. I want people to always remember this uncomfortableness, and that it leaves such a lasting expression they to do more to prevent it from occurring again.
I know you’re probably saying that’s never going to happen, but even in the midst of all the chaos that is taking place around us I still hold onto hope. Hope for a better day. For a day where everyone is outraged about the same human rights issues. A day where we actually listen to each other and find common ground. I’m aware it won’t be easy. In fact, I’m sure it will probably be one of the hardest things we ever done as a people, but we can accomplish it.
After awhile the tears finally stopped falling. It began to rain so I quickly gathered my belongings to run inside. Before I left, I glanced down at the dying caterpillar, I could feel my eyes begin to swell again. Then I noticed it was crawling again, v e r y slowly, but it wasn’t dead.
Until Next Time,