I’ve been grappling all week with what to write you.
Last week’s note ended with one heck of a cliffhanger: would we get the house? would we not? if we got it, would we have to wait six more weeks to get in??? and if so, where oh where would we stay??? (quick update: a miracle happened. we got it. we’ve moved out of our house in Alberta, driven west across the prairies, and as you’re reading this, I’m probably on the ferry to the little gulf island that will be our new home. we’ll stay in a vacation cottage for two weeks, then move into our new house.)
And I do have so much I want to tell you about how it all came about and what it means to me.
But like so many of you, I’ve been agonized and livid this week as new yet familiar incidents of racism showed up in my home country of the USA. I can think of little else.
I wondered what story I could share with you from my own life that might be helpful or useful, and then— I realized— nothing.
That is the best thing I can share with you this week. No story from this white woman.
Instead, I am going to make a request of some of you. In particular, my fellow white people.
This week, in the time you would have spent reading this missive, I ask that you go find something written by a person of color from your home country about their own experience. A novel, an essay, a memoir, or a blog post. Please read it. Please listen deeply, and use your remarkable powers of empathy to hear— really hear— their experiences.
Then, please share that piece with your community. Not your feelings about it, not your experience— but theirs.
Stories have power. They change us. They break us and open us and shape us and heal us and show us who we have been and who we can be.
If this week’s hateful acts seem like aberrations to you, I ask you to consider the ways in which the murder of a black man by police is linked to a phone call made by a woman in a park who looks a lot like me.
I think it was Will Smith who said, “Racism isn’t getting worse— it’s getting filmed.”
So my fellow white people, this week instead of sharing, let’s listen. And let’s amplify the voices that have truths we need to hear.
If you are a person of color, and particularly if you are livid or exhausted or devastated by this week’s news, I hope you will use this time to be so, so tender with yourself. I have been thinking of you every day. You deserve a better world.
Next week, dearhearts, I will be back with a story from me.
In the meantime, I love you.