I don’t drive. I’ve never driven.
It’s a long story, but then everything is a long story with me because everything I’ve ever experienced all ties together.
My life is a series of knots and tangles, a thousand colored threads. There might be a tapestry on the other side– a delight of image and craft– but I would never know. From my side, triumph and disaster look very much the same. From my perspective, the story is in the tangles and knots, and multitudes.
There might be a big picture, but if you ask me a question– you’ll hear about the little one. Little stories are threads that tangle into other little stories, they knot, and braid, and continue on. They are long stories.
I don’t know how to shorten them.
I don’t how to drive.
I don’t know why I’d tell you one story, or another. I can’t explain why I would tell you about the way my father pronounces his words, and not tell you that I served 438 days in prison. I can’t explain why I’d tell you that I went to prison, and not mention that I lost my husband when I was there. I can’t explain why I’d talk to you as if Dave was still alive, or as if Dave was never alive to me. I really don’t know why I’d tell you about my job as if I never ran my own business, or tell you about my business as if I hadn’t worked for The Man in the Purple Tie for six years.
I wonder how many of you come here, after, and are shocked to learn more of the story, to pick up more threads. These threads are important because they build the image on the front of the tapestry, but I don’t see that side. I only see this side and a gold thread or a red thread is nearly the same as all the beige and grey ones that I weave into the fabric.
I was charged with 247 felonies in 2014, though I pleaded to just 2% of them. I used to drink 2% milk until I stopped drinking milk altogether in 2007. Two months ago, I lost my hair-virginity to a man named Richard who put highlights in, and put me at ease. I told him we would put baby powder in our hair, in prison, and he commended the choice, saying it works as a form of dry shampoo. I first learned of dry shampoo in a forum where I used to work, collecting quotes. My specialty was civil rights quotations. I believe in– and vote for, and donate to, and work towards– human rights. All humans, regardless of parentage or sexuality or dress or birth gender or name or religion or legal history or bathroom sign preference. Normally that’s not something I would make a fuss on, or explain so clearly– but now is a time for clarification.
People are scared in their skin, in their faith, in their love, in their homes– because having those things has made them targets of hate.
So let me be clear. YOU are welcome in my world. I recognize your brilliance as a beautiful thread, your uniqueness as a beautiful color. You add to my tapestry, you are built into my stories, and you are part of the beautiful future I envision.
If you are scared, please don’t be.
Those of us who love you, we are more.
We can do more. We can do better.
And we will.
If you are angry, or lost, or anything else– that’s okay, too. More than okay, it’s important. There’s momentum in the big emotions and we can use that to put feet on hope, to put wings on love– to mobilize the army of Goodness.
Two days ago, I donated. Find a cause that supports humanity, and do the same if you can. Even if it’s a small amount. Yesterday, I wrote thank you notes to organizations who have gone above and beyond. If one caught your attention, I suggest you do the same.
Today, I am making it clear that all people are welcome here– and their truths are safe here. All people, and all blogging bears, blogging fish, blogging ducks…
There’s feet on my Hope, and they’re running toward a better future.
But I don’t run.
I don’t even drive.
I never learned, because I was busy learning other things. I was busy collecting threads and watching them tangle themselves readily into my knots. I was so busy on the backside of the tapestry, I have no idea what it actually looks like, so I can’t tell you the big picture, or the short version– and sometimes, I leave important parts out.
Everything is a long story.
Every Uber driver wants to know why I don’t drive.
I don’t know that I’ve ever given a straight-forward answer. My life isn’t straight-forward– it’s a series of knots and tangles, a thousand colored threads. Sometimes, I go in circles. Sometimes, I go backwards. Sometimes, I spin.
Every Uber driver wants to know if they should follow the map, or if I know a better way.
Follow the map, my new friend.
One of us should.