I am reminded of the lesson that stillness brings action for two reasons right now.
The first has to do with exams. It has to do with allowing myself the rest I need to prepare mentally and emotionally for the roller coaster that is sitting in a windowless room for hours pouring every scrap of intellect you have into an assignment that feels removed from life and arbitrary yet so very crucial to the prospects of one’s future at the same time… I have been practicing inner-listening like crazy. I have been massaging my hands and feet like crazy. I have been clearing internal space so that what must rise to the surface for the good of my academic standing can come.
The second has had to do with the recent grand jury verdicts that have come out of Ferguson, Missouri and New York City. I have been hearing and reading the fear and agony these decisions are causing people of color in all of our communities. And I have been voicing my own feelings of fear and utter sadness to others I go to school with — other aspiring lawyers.
Let us not confused silence with stillness, by the way. Stillness has to do with deep listening, to our own pain and that of others. Stillness has to do with humility — with the ability to let feelings like loss of control fill our senses and not repress them, but allow their brunt to be pushed upon our most visceral senses. For this seems to be where the seeds of real justice are planted. I imagine we, citizens of this country, are all reaching up right now. Scrambling with hands and fingers clawing at the ground above us so we may break through the dirt and find light. Find the ground where those seeds are planted and begin to cultivate justice that does not demand our patronage from the dark. Again, justice from a place of light. Justice from a communal, collective sense of truth. One born from discourse and genuine democratic inquiry — aka the strength and the freedom to outwardly proclaim when people’s rights have been violated, or where people’s rights have been disregarded as if they do not exist at all.
My stillness is my contemplation of these images and of these fears. My action comes from that space. In work and in life. For myself and for the health, for the integrity, of our world.