September-October 2017

so much to mull these days.

one of them is my bubble.

i admit it, i live in a bubble.

in my bubble, there are men, women,
girls, boys, trans folx,
two spirits and non-binary people
who are vulnerable, courageous, and
so very fierce in their love
for equity and justice.

they put their truths, their voices,
their bodies, their hearts online and
on the line in service of solidarity
and human revolution.

they are my oxygen.

this has become increasingly
apparent to me, and it has become
something to criticize lately.
there’s an idea that to be
in a bubble it is by definition
“safe” or protected, but like most
bubbles i know of, this one is fragile.

this space is fragile and requires care.

this space is subject to breaking.

this comes to mind as i struggle
to be in multiple communities acutely
dealing with the impacts of toxic
masculinity, abuses of power by people
with authority and in positions of leadership,
sexual manipulation and violation right now.

my bubble protects me but it isn’t from reality.

my bubble protects me from gaslighting
because i know people who can say “me too”,
i have been a perpetrator of harm.

my bubble protects me from gaslighting
because i know people who can say “me too”,
i have had harm perpetrated against me.

my bubble protects me from gaslighting
because i know people who can say both
of these things at the same time.

my bubble protects me from the deepest despairs,
trust i got some shallow and mid-layers, because
i know people who fight every single day to end
cycles of oppression and abuse.

my bubble protects me from delusion by refusing
to be anything less than, often, painfully critical
and questioning of the status quo and all the things
it implies and justifies.

my bubble protects me from the spiritual mire
of complacency by always seeing and demanding
more in and from me.

my bubble protects me by offering death
to those things that cannot survive within.

my bubble protects me by being full
of healers, dreamers, artists, and
activists committed to keeping this thing afloat.

be conscious of your bubble. get to know its curves,
what it holds within, and how much it can bear before breaking.

i am still impacted and regularly feel bent out of shape.

my bubble also shudders, contracts, condenses, expands.

but my bubble holds.

that bubble is your atmosphere planetary being,
you won’t make life without it.

don’t burst your bubble, make sure it’s full
of life-giving elements; not philosophy,
just bio-physics.

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Jihan McDonald is a facilitator, counselor, writer and educator from Oakland, CA. Currently completing a Masters in Social Transformation, Jihan derives deep pleasure from the meaning of words, the reading of books, the dancing of feelings, and the naming of squirrels. Jihan greatly dislikes inequity & close-toed shoes.

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