Skater or walker
Are you a skater? I will be the first to admit I am a skater. Let me explain, I am not a skater in the sense I love to roller blade every Saturday I can. I am a skater, because I can very easily become so accustomed to this utopia type life I'm building that I skate pass the every day challenges of those who are literally a few blocks away. A great testament to that reality was the devastation of Hurricane Matthew. I was eighty something miles from Myrtle Beach, so I had the option to evacuate or not. I sat there and thought, I could go out of town and sit in a hotel for a few days and write and create with my daughter and aunt or just load up on snacks and ride it out.
Suffice it to say, I had a vision of the hurricane three weeks before and for what I remembered of that vision we had heavy wind and rain and to be honest I wasn't alarmed. My aunt from the Upstate part of the Carolina's wanted us to come there, but I thought no, no necessary. The hurricane hit and needless to say I was right about my properties affects, heavy wind and rain and the power went off and small tree in the front uprooted, but besides that we were perfectly fine.
I even saw first hand my vision in real time and the sky, the wind, and rain were just as I had seen them. I had to prime the pump, but that's to be expected and thank God I knew how. Our power was only out for a day, but we were prepared. So I sat in my little cocoon with my family and we creatively entertained ourselves and if you know me we had a ball in the prayer closet. Thank God for my gift of creativity and ability to recall and recite things verbatim.
Anyhow, once the lights were restored, I turn on the Directv to see what was going on before I journeyed out. I logged on Facebook to check on some friends. I notice I had requests to mark myself as safe, so I did so. Then, my timeline is flooded with videos and photos of neighborhoods not even 3 miles away that were in ruin. There were homes flooded, streets flooded.
I thought, oh my goodness, let me stay in for a day and there I was again skating back into my little set up. In the meanwhile, people were hungry, people were cold, people were sitting in homes without electricity, while I was nestled in my home with my Wifi and Directv tuning into their horrors as a viewer via Facebook and the news.
Then, I realized why don't I feel a connection to this community. Don't misunderstand me, I felt for them, I wanted to help them, guide them, pray for them, but I didn't. I realized I am not part of the community whatsoever. Am I active in the community, absolutely, but I am in no way connected, never was, not even as a child. I see things that need to be fixed and I do what it takes to get the job done, but my role was not to fix this time.
I believe my role was to see, which is hard for a doer/fixer. As a doer/fixer you want to repair things no matter the cost because it warms your heart and you hate to see others suffer. If I delve deeper and park my skates I see it was a sacrifice of my pride and ego not to do a thing, but to watch. And when I watched, boy oh boy, did I see.
I saw people doing great things and not wanted the attention, I saw people doing great things and promoting it for others to see. I saw people outraged, sad, upset, happy, blessed, etc. I saw leaders get out among the people to feed them and talk. I saw people keeping others abreast of what was going on. I wish I could stop there, but I realized to have has a cost. It's at the expense of connection. I thought back to Atlanta and how I was there faithfully every Friday to feed those who were hungry and how I sat with them and listened to their many stories about how they became homeless.
I laughed with them, cried with them, prayed for them. I brought them food, but I was a part of that community I was vested and it came as easy as breathing. So then I ask myself, Brittany, yeah you, younger skater, why are you skating pass these woes? And truthfully I do not feel I am needed, wanted, or understood. I preached at churches, spoke at events, had impromptu preaching at various locations connected with the least of those, but I felt bad for, worked with, but still no connection. I did a play here, developed great ideas here, but no connection.
I realized in my skating passed, I was numb not the issues, but numb to the connection. I was here, but not present. And I wondered why am I here? And I was here to create, observe, create some more, understand, and move on spreading the things I saw. This is not to say there will not be situations I am compelled to do or help in, but in this phase I am to see. I can skate, but I must be an observant skater with a good memory.
As I skate pass, I have to see, create, and tell. I don't need to put on display anything, but I must allow the truths of this community to be heard even if they don't see the value of their woes. I will speak on them, because I traveled a bit and know something they don't, their woes are not just theirs they are communal woes that span time, space, and community.
So yeah I'm a skater, but an intentional one! Peace and happy skating!