Mending

Dear President Biden,

I so hope you all are truly hard at work saving the planet – for reals. I know you and most other heads of state can’t make for real promises about cutting emissions and all the rest of it on your own, but somehow you all have to move beyond the “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah” that Greta Thunberg mocked you with when she described what has, heretofore, been world leaders’ actions on global warming.

I also hope that Jen Psaki continues to have only mild COVID symptoms — I’m so glad she’s fully vaccinated (and also glad she opted not to go overseas with you – phew!).

So, the other day Laura read me a Tweet that I’ve mentally revisited dozens of times because it’s so darn beautiful. Here’s what Sage Scrittore Tweeted on October 25th:

“last night Ursula K. Le Guin visited my dreams and I said to her “Queerness is a long thread of hurt” and she answered “Now what will you mend with that thread?” and it rocked me so hard I woke up crying”

I feel a little bit silly writing to you about it because I don’t have anything much to add or to say about it except that the phrase “Now what will you mend with that thread?” has become something of a mantra for me. I love it so much.

I love the idea of humbly using our long threads of hurt to mend stuff with. I say humble here, because to me, mending is a humble act, something that’s much more within reach than fixing something. Mending is almost always visible – at least when I do it. Whatever was ripped or torn or otherwise messed up that subsequently gets patched up with thread will never appear super-shiny/perfect new, but with some care and love, the re-new-ed thing will be so much more interesting and have way more stories to tell than the super-shiny/perfect new thing could ever muster. It’s sort of like the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, though I think maybe there wasn’t a lot of mending going on there – just lots of worn patches from lots of love.

Anyway, I figured it might be a helpful nugget for you to put in your pocket during the COP26 meetings since we can’t be about fixing the world – we missed that window a long time ago – but we can, and absolutely must, be about mending the world. In so, so many ways we need to pull together our collective threads of hurt and use them to mend what is broken – to mend what so many of us helped break.

You see, none of this hurt, whether we’re talking about the hurt that’s been piled on so many queer people, so many Black and brown people, so many women, so many men, or the hurt so many of us have inflicted on the planet, none of it had to happen. Many, many of us chose greed, indifference, small-mindedness, animosity, our own comfort, power, and/or control to hurt others of us, and in far too many instances, to break others of us – to include the planet. Ergo – we need to do the mending. And for US, we need you to lead the way. For reals.

May we all be safe from all the ways we can hurt and break people and planets.
May we all be willing to use our threads of hurt to start mending what needs mending.
May we all have the courage to mend close to home and the energy to mend further afield.
May we all accept that Sage is truly sage and heed their words.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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