I Cannot Fix It, But I Can Weep

If only we could all take a turn
spending a week or two or ten in a cage under those harsh fluorescent lights
300 million of us willing prisoners to give a toddler a chance to grow up with her mother

This seems like something Jesus would have done
Jesus, the only person of color in my christian education
Jesus, the refugee, migrant, dissident

But I am not a holy person
I am the woman who felt a small rush of power as I roughly dragged my screaming child out of the car and into the house this afternoon

I am the woman who gives the sad face emoji to news stories
I don't read
because I cannot absorb any more suffering

I am the woman who daydreams about getting on a bus headed south
joining the protests and workers, offering real tangible help
Even though I cannot summon the energy 
to fully care for my own family, let alone our neighbors

I am ashamed to claim titles like "compassion fatigue"
because I'm not sure if it's true - if I really am worn through
or just pitifully out of practice, selfish to my core

Just after Trump was elected I heard Dan Rather say
that we are not supposed to be able to bear the weight of all of this
That democracy - constitutional protections, a free press, honorable elected officials - was created to carry the load 
so that we could live our lives, so our communities could flourish

But we have chipped away at those systems 
and the corporations became legal "persons"
and now they profit off putting people in cages, a bottom line that doesn't include soap or toothpaste

Because an algorithm cannot distinguish between a person and a bot
as it conducts experiments of capitalism where suffering = profit
Maybe our first, most important act of rebellion is to do what IT cannot

to feel it

all of it

and weep


Julianne Van’t Land

Julianne Vantland is a social worker turned freelance copywriter and blogger who explores the intersection of faith deconstruction, parenthood, mental health, and embodiment. She is a voracious reader and recovering perfectionist who feels most at home in the kitchen and loves the way food gathers friends around her kitchen table. Julianne lives with her husband Drew and five year old twins Rowan and Evelyn in beautiful Lexington, KY. Her writing can be found at juliannevantland.com.