Peace, Love, and Black Lives Matter.

I’m a person that seeks out peace. It has always been my nature. But not in the form of ignorance. I’m not religious, but I am spiritual, and as a yoga junkie I learn a lot of lessons from Buddhism.

The first Noble Truth is ‘Life is Suffering.’

In this case racially driven murder that was exonerated by our ‘justice system,’ an incident that does not stand alone in a country filled with hate crimes.

I can close my eyes and pretend these things do not exist and convince myself that relief of forgetting is peace. But that is only pretend peace until I remember, or reality is in front of my face again.

Instead I have to remind myself that true peace comes from acting honorable, in my daily life, and letting go of attachment to other people’s actions, reactions, or expectations. It is not manipulating reality to make myself feel better.

So I’ve brought this book off my shelf and placed it on my coffee table to remind myself to do what I can in my daily life, to act with honor towards the greater good, and right now that means doing the best I can at being anti-racist, and letting go of the things I cannot do or change.

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Change the things I can, accept the things I can’t, recognize the difference.

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May true peace find its way to each of our hearts. And may we create a more honorable country each and every day. 🇺🇸 And may we always feel united in our suffering, comfort our brothers and sisters in mourning, and rise together as one nation under love.

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Writing in a World of Chaos

I’m currently reading this book, A Madness of Sunshine, and I can’t help but feel it’s really lacking in, well, madness. I don’t think that’s the author’s fault, I think it’s this current chaotic world we’re all living in.

At the moment, shortly after I wake up in the morning, I feel a bit like I’ve stepped into a world that’s spinning off its axels. Emotions are firing on all cylinders. I might have a deadly virus, I might not. We can’t walk out of our doors and feel completely safe from this invisible killer.

We’re wearing masks, gloves, and avoiding our friends. We’ve given up sports and school. Our world has gone crazy.

Now, on top of that, we’ve begun rioting and demanding a complete reorganization of our justice system in America. Police stations are quite literally being set on fire. And we’re uncomfortably aware that a percentage of our police have been killing us and filling up for profit prisons with us, without thorough burdens of proof. And there’s a racial bias.

So yeah, when I open a book that’s titled with the word “madness,” what’s inside doesn’t really stack up against reality currently. And that’s where my mind as a writer is right now.

How do we write a book that keeps a reader turning pages, hanging on to every word, when they turn on their phones and televisions to a real life world of chaos? I prefer my chaos in the pages, but let’s be honest writers, we’re going to need to step our game up if we intend to keep our readers engaged! Because life is dishing out some serious competition right about now.

Aurora

June 19, 2012 by Audrey Destin

The last time I saw Angelina, her hair was a tangled mess of brown strands that roughly resembled two braids on either side of her head. The smear of a sticky orange sugar glaze lining her mouth was all that was left of the sweet treat she’d bought from the musical van that cruised down our street hours before. 

I think about that van often now, I wonder if the skinny unshaven man behind the wheel noticed the way my daughter’s eyes shined. If he too saw the way her cheeks were touched with cherry, as if by an angel’s soft pinch of grace. I wonder if his van served more than just the purpose of alluring children with its siren like song.

This morning I walked the streets of our neighborhood, like I do every morning, like she did that summer day in June, and I noticed house number 2607, the one with the blue shutters and peeling white siding, had their curtains open. The thing about that house is, they never have their curtains open. I’ve told the police this, but they say that means nothing. They can’t get a search warrant for every house that keeps their curtains closed. I’ve thought about walking straight into their house, when the garage opens, or the man is outside mowing the lawn.

But a part of me knows I’ve gone a bit crazy. I comprehend time stopped for me on June 19, 2012. The police tell me, my husband says, the death certificate proves, my baby was killed, two houses down from mine, by a dog that’d escaped its yard. But I don’t understand how that can be true. I’d never seen a dog at that house. I sit here and stare at her little shoes, and I think she can’t really be completely gone. She’s got to be out there. Somewhere. Waiting for me to bring her home. 

Unconditional Love by Audrey Destin

I know I’m going to die here, with his hands tight around my neck. The smell of the musty old room is juxtaposed to his brilliant white, perfectly straight, smile that dances playfully across his handsome face. Part of me always knew he was a psychopath, and I wonder now, why my desperation for his love dug so deep into my bones. A part of me surrenders to the knowledge sparking under the pressure in my brain, he was never capable of loving me.

There’s pleasure in his eyes, a thrill of curiosity, as each of my breaths struggle harder to penetrate his grasp. I would have thought I’d be scared, in this moment, had I seen it coming. But the irony is, I’ve wanted to die without him. During the months he disappeared and wouldn’t call. Crying out helplessly to God in my room. 

So now that it’s his hands I’m at the mercy of, I realize there’s no happy ending. And I’ve given in. There’s a strange sense of peace in knowing I’ve been waiting only for him to save me and it’s him that’s killing me.

Just as my eyes close, his hands release. A rush of fresh, unrestricted air, fills my lungs as I gasp. Surprised again. He laughs. And God, it’s such a beautiful laugh.