Exhale

Hello, dear readers! We’ve made it to another Thursday. I hope you’re all hanging in there.

I don’t know about all of you, but yesterday felt like exhaling after holding my breath for four years. As of yesterday, the United States has a new President and Vice President, and while neither of them were my first choice, and I recognize that there’s a lot of work ahead of us to hold them accountable to their more progressive campaign promises, I’ll take them over the former occupants of the White House any day of the week.

The past four years have been…a lot. Traumatic, even deadly, for many people. Even from my place of privilege where most of the horrific policy decisions didn’t impact me directly, I’ve spent most of the last four years feeling like a coiled spring with a stomachache. Today, my breathing feels easier than it has since the middle of 2016. Much of my body still feels like a coiled spring – it’s going to need some convincing that it’s safe to relax. But the difference in how my body feels is palpable.

In addition to the big national news, I got some really wonderful personal/professional news yesterday. I can’t post super publicly about it yet, but I’m happy to chat with people individually if you’re curious and want to reach out.

I’m going to leave you with this link where you can go watch Amanda Gorman read her poem, The Hill We Climb, at the inauguration yesterday. It gave me a lot of hope for the future, and also some hope for the present. It’s well worth the listen. (Also, Gorman has a children’s book coming out in September, and you can preorder that here or from your local indie bookshop!)

Insert Clever Title Here

Hello, dear readers. We’ve made it to another Thursday. And, here in the US, we’re once again grappling with the ugliness of white supremacy. Yesterday a bunch of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, and (unsurprisingly to anyone who’s been paying attention) there was very little done by the police to stop them. This is in stark contrast to the militarized police presence that was around when people were peacefully protesting in defense of Black lives over the summer.

I honestly don’t know what to write today. I have nothing new or particularly profound to say about all of this. I’m angry and sad, but not shocked. BIPOC and queer folks have been warning the world that this was coming since before Trump was elected.

This is an issue for white people to take ownership of and to fix. We cannot ask the people we’ve been oppressing to save us from ourselves.

Screaming into the Void

Hi, friends. I hope those of you here with me in the US, in particular, are hanging in there. It’s a heavy week. Regardless of who ends up winning the presidency, the fact that the race is this close is a damning indictment of this country. I am personally feeling pretty discouraged by the number of people who decided to double down on white supremacy and hate and a flagrant disregard for science.

I don’t honestly have a lot to say this week, but I thought I’d share the song that I wrote for my class last night, because it feels timely and it’s something to fill out this blog a little bit. For the assignment, we were supposed to read (or watch) something science-related and use that to help us tap into a sense of wonder about the world as we wrote this week. I learned about flying lizards, and then wrote this song.

Dragon, (c) 2020 Alyxander James

Lyrics, for the curious:

Today, I am afraid
But is this any way
For a dragon to behave

Longing to be free
From heaviness and grief
I must remember how to breathe

Open up my chest
And let my ribs turn into wings
Remind me I can fly
If I remember why I sing

How long have I been
In need of oxygen
To light my fire again

Open up my chest
And let my ribs turn into wings
Remind me I can fly
If I remember why I sing

I will stand before
The men who swing their swords
Let them hear me roar