Still I Rise

Life is ironic.  I’m waking up to a larger perspective while I still have the privileges hard won by my ancestors.  I’m late, but not too late.  Delayed growth doesn’t curb my enthusiasm; it makes me thoughtful.  I’m a square peg on a round pegged planet, but I have excellent companions.  They shine so brightly it makes me giggle.  It’s mostly because I’m delighted I get to see them with their beautiful maskless faces.  I’m glad I don’t have the shields of the neurotypical because I know it cages many of them.  It’s like finding out a club exists, then discovering you’re already a member.  It feels gentle.  So few things do.

I got four consecutive hours of sleep, and feel renewed.  I consciously unclenched my body, and it was the same relief I get from my weighted blanket, but less.  It felt like I was trying to lift a spaceship out of a swamp with my mind while telling myself the force is quaint.  I know!  I’m so grateful for my weighted blanket that I’m going to acquire one for someone else.  I think everyone who’s alive can benefit from them.  If I were in charge, they would be as available as air.

I’m watching myself evolve while commenting internally as if my life is on Mystery Science Theater 3000.  I keep calling myself a hippie and insisting I move to California, and it keeps amusing me.  I’ve become what my community warned me to avoid.  Muahahahaha! (cackle not quite there yet)  Below is the poem I’m playing in my mind repeatedly in Maya Angelou’s voice.  I’m sending it to everyone in the universe who knows we’re all connected.  Six degrees of Kevin Bacon is profound, and I find that hilarious and beautiful.

 

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.


Each time I play it, I’m listening with different ears.  First, I heard with my ears.  Then as a 56-year-old man from Nebraska.  And a genderless 19-year-old from Utah.  A 28-year-old Muslim woman.  Then a 71-year-old Jewish man, and so on.  I’m borrowing ears of everyone in our great melting pot, and it’s like listening to the best song ever sung.  It’s the hug I’ve been craving since the kick in my gut that rocked my world.  It’s fuel.  And together we rise.

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