Yesterday I viewed the totality of the solar eclipse in Carbondale, Illinois. Or more specifically at Spillway, Murphysboro, Illinois.Until two weeks ago I was planning to go to Charleston, South Carolina. Then Charlottesville happened. It wasn’t surprising, in fact it is yet another symptom of everything we know. The current political moment of hate, vitriol, toxicity is being recycled once again. Again because the word “freedom” is being perverted by those that enjoy privilege but have hate, fear, paranoia (and more) in their hearts. It's because others that have been oppressed in ways we cannot enumerate are being heard that we see this again and it's because of that I went to see the eclipse with my family.
I’m a biracial, light skinned woman from Chicago. I’m privileged in a profound amount of ways, for example I have never been asked to take my phone out at a border crossing to be detained without explanation or cause for hours (or days) on end. I’ve never had to worry about a drone coming overhead to drop unimaginable fire and pain onto my community. In fact I don’t have to worry about my ability to be loved, my family has always been there to pick me up at every moment in my life.
I write this to state that in the moment of observing the solar eclipse, in the minutes of the totality, I saw people of many backgrounds come together and hoot and yell and sigh at the awesomeness of space. We were reminded of the infinity, of the unreal vastness of space. In that moment we remembered that we all are in it together.
No this isn’t an open note to say love conquers all. Instead it is a note to say -- if you have the ability to travel, do it. It’s a note to say, if you want to run for office -- do it. It’s a note to say, we need you to be better because right now we need it.
I want to get to know you. Let’s talk. I’m happy to take emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to chat on Twitter via @loooorenanicole. I’m also here to listen, offer support in whatever your next leg of your journey is. Together we are stronger; together we do more. Remember that. Peace, love, and coconuts to you all.