“With sorrow […] we dissent,” closes the final paragraph of the official response to the decision handed down yesterday by the Supreme Court of the United States. These words form a permanent part of our nation’s soul from yesterday.
With sorrow we recognize that we are a nation whose lifelong task remains to atone for its foundational sin of slavery. No Christ from any Bible has blessed torture of any kind. The gods must be invited in as beggars, not as kings.
With sorrow we face our past and our present. We have time for all of the emotions. We may sail from anger to fear to sorrow to determination to joy. The fact remains that we are alive at exactly this destined time. We were born to save ourselves, and it’s a group effort. Take time alone if you need to. Process with friends and family if you can and wish to. Rest, recover, hydrate, nourish.
Tomorrow our tasks await us. With sorrow, joy, anger, or commitment, we must speak out in whatever way is meaningful to each of us. Some will mobilize the vote. Some will volunteer as poll workers. Some will pass a kindness to a stranger. Some will volunteer to sit with those who feel their lives are broken. We will witness each other. We will feed each other. Maybe we will just get up that day. We will take the actions that we can.
With sorrow, some will rise up and run for office. Some will rise up and preach.
We may sorrow in quiet isolation. And, after the sorrow, the laundry. The dinner. Work. Diapers. Friends. Bills. The Voting Booth. The School Board.
Our power is in our ability to get up again and keep working toward our promised land.
With sorrow, I walk toward my ideals, my constitution, my brothers, and my sisters.
We are here. We will not abandon our lifelong task. Every one of us is the dream of all of our ancestors.
(In gratitude to Maya Angelou and Jack Kornfield.)
Beth Anne Boardman
25 June 2022
[Photo of American Cemetery, Normandy, France, 10 June 2022]