Love Is Only Visible When Hands Do the Work

This post was originally published in my weekly newsletter.

I am heavy with these times in which we find ourselves, which is a very passive way of saying that our unacknowledged ugliness is rising to the surface. Scum floats.

I know I'm Canadian and that it's technically the United States that's boiling over right now, but this is all of us. This defies our borders. The world is shifting, and millions and millions of people want to drag it back to some mythical never-was when faces were clean and girls kept their knees together or some such nonsense.

I am a fixer. I like fixing things. You give me a problem, and I will look for ways to solve it. If you just need a shoulder to cry on, I'm terrible, because I'm always thinking of advice you don't need, but if you want me to measure the dimensions of the sofa your kid spilled grape juice on to figure out the square footage required to reupholster it, I'm your person. (Please note that this situation I described is one completely outside my skillset. I cannot help you with your sofa.)

I don't know much right now, but I do know that, while empathy makes for nice hugs and Facebook updates, it doesn't fix a broken system that arcs toward white success.

So, yesterday I shared information about how to strengthen your writing to make it more convincing, because we need to communicate effectively now more than ever. Today, I gave money to the ACLU. I'm re-upping my Kiva donations soon. I donated funds to Standing Rock a little while ago. I researched, largely unsuccessfully, available help lines for people of colour. I took extra vitamins and made some coffee. I worked for GenderAvenger this afternoon. I insisted that words and facts mean things, even if your feelings don't like them. I watched as friends all over the world started picking themselves and each other up to look for what they could do, no matter how small the actions, just to get the wheels moving.

Yes, there is a lot of grief and anger, but most of those emotions are the children of love. They are powerful and loud because they come from the hearts and minds of people who are deeply invested in their families and communities, people who know that they must define their own boundaries rather than be told yet again when, where, and how much by people who are largely unconcerned with their well-being.

Again, I don't know much, but I do know that, while love is large, it alone cannot move these mountains. Love is only visible when hands do the work, so we need to work in every small way we know how. None of us are truly lost for ways to dig in, I guarantee you.

And I repeat: love is only visible when hands do the work, so make your love visible.