Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Walking Litmus Test

Anyway, I don't know why I'm sitting here in my kitchen thinking that I have the market on "tragedy." Oops, that's such a pejorative (GRE) word. When Taylor was born, we actually did receive many sympathy cards--with flowers and praying hands, and gilded words that expressed such sorrow. No kidding. I'll show them to you. Gosh, I wish they had just sent me money for a pedicure. The sympathy cards sort of set the stage for what we'd be in for. When a newborn child is described with things like "suffers from" or "afflicted with" you can just imagine what kind of acceptance lies ahead. WHOA! Rough terrain coming right up.
Walking around with Taylor in Kroger or TJ Maxx or (I'm trying so hard not to say Wal-Mart---but, ok) Wal-Mart is like having my own personal litmus test next to me. A litmus test of love. A litmus test of who out there is comfortable in their own skin. A litmus test that detects when people look away, run away, pretend they don't see--because they can't allow themselves to "be with" the imperfections in their own lives. I'm going to just on record here without any PhD empirical data and tell you that 100% of blacks who we encounter always speak, always acknowledge, always extend a hand. Anybody need dissertation research? I don't know why that is, but it has been true for us.
Why do we look away? Why don't we embrace each other's scary parts? When we avert our eyes away from something that makes us uncomfortable, aren't we really averting our hearts..our own humanity? (Don't barf. Keep reading.) Come on, my brothers and sisters, what is it in you and in me that makes us scared to death of "different"? I mean, seriously, this is not something you can "catch." It's not contagious. What is contagious is just acknowledging that we're all supposed to be in this life together. It's a big boat, this life---- but it's all the same boat. Right about now I am trying so hard not to break into a chorus of KumBaYa. I can't get out my bongos right now though, because my 25 year old "litmus test" needs me to help him in the bathroom. So, wherever you're sitting, whatever you have on, could you just sing one verse--with all of your heart-- for all of us? It's a litmus test. Come By Here