“roses don’t survive in shut closets”

Estoy llena de emociones tonight.

Feeling like going underground.

Images of what it would be like to disappear into dust, hide under my blankets, cry an unstoppable cry, drown in images of injustice.

Today I saw an old friend of mine. I saw him from afar, too far to be able to reach him. I was in the middle of thoughts, walking to the criminal court to support a friend, a community partner who has been unjustly targeted for the last couple of years because of his outward work against police brutality against the homeless population of downtown los angeles. I was lost in my own frustration and anger, something, I am not sure what, broke my train of thought and told me to look across the street. And there he was, my old friend, passing by the occupation camp site at city hall.

I know why I saw him. I have been struggling with what to do next with my life. Something that happens to all of us periodically (or so I think it happens to all of us??), for me when these moments come, I am overcome with questions and doubts.

It was in one of the moments of questioning that my friend and I parted, not knowing how to fit each other into our rapidly changing lives (he going into a grad program and me graduating from one) among many other happenings of life, it became to much for the relationship…the 10 year friendship to sustain, and we ended.

He comes to visit me in my dreams more often than I would have expected. I imagine it is because for so  long I looked up to him as a mentor, not just a friend. He always advised me to live my life to the fullest. Never to settle for anything less than what my heart desired. He encouraged me to fall in love, every time as if it were the first time I had experienced falling in love. No baggage, no past ghosts to haunt me away from giving fully and receiving fully.

This is why I believe the universe brought me to a shared location today. I have been experiencing such anger and frustration with the systems we live in and my feeling helpless, as if my hands were tied to my back and I was forced to watch injustice happen before my eyes. With the potential locking up of my bro (soon to be determined) and the millions of other poor people serving unreasonable, inhuman sentences; the enslavement of so many poor people through the high rates of underemployment, unemployed, and underpaid employment…what ever category we fit in, it seems to run up against injustice; you know I can go on, but I won’t. carrying this knowledge about the state of our world, I feel too heavy to carry myself sometimes, or at least I feel it in cycles. Most of the time I can carry the weight because I ground myself in communities that support me and share the belief that another world is in the making. But for those days and/or nights that my body can’t seem to fit all the injustices, I often remember my friend, who with all of his love and good intention wrote me the following words:

“so keep dreaming. Of music, dance, sweaty bodies in the middle of the night, screaming headlines and going underground. Dream so loud that those tales extend out of your ears and into the minds of others.

Dream so loud that you’ll never have to go underground, because your dreams don’t deserve to be hidden and revealed only to a select few at the midnight hour. No, your dreams deserve to be painted on the side of buildings, broadcast from 20-story towers and printed in the Final Edition. Dreams die under the cover of secrecy, in the underground, drowned to a chapter in an anthology and to late night discussions of what might have been. Your dreams are as urgent as a locomotive and just as forceful. They don’t deserve to be preserved in the silence of a moment past—they are meant to be realized with every moment and every breathe. No good does a dream do surviving on the underground, not dreams as fierce and strong as yours.

Roses don’t survive in shut closets.”

I share these words with you, with myself as a reminder that our dreams are exactly as my friend states here, “(our) dreams are as ugent as a locomotive and just as forceful. They don’t deserve to be preserved in the silence…”


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