I’ve never considered myself a torchbearer or of anyone with great importance.
I’m more like a wallflower, hiding behind the vines so I’m not seen. I’ve spent a lifetime living in the shadows, diagnosed young with ADHD, diagnosed in my early 30s as being on the autistic spectrum. And all together struggling to be understood and to communicate in a way that makes sense to the outside world. My thoughts are often jumbled and my words are a storm of confusion to the uninitiated.
I’ve always seen the world differently, heard the wind through the trees differently, the harsh notes of the world always ring strangely to me. But I suppose that is neither here nor there. There is nothing particularly special about me. I’ve never been good with divination. Because of my trauma, my intuition really doesn’t work all that well, but to be a witch, you’ve got to be good at those two things. I’m not and I don’t feel like I need to be in order to follow the path set before me.
I think my gift is seeing what no one else wants to speak about and I’ve spent a long time being afraid of speaking that. What I see is communities in trouble, what I see is safe spaces being turned into boxes to be checked. If you don’t feel or think the same way about blank, then you do not belong. Art that is supposed to be subjective is no longer subjective.
You’ve got to think and feel the same way about it. And before you say that isn’t true… I’m here to tell you it is because it’s happened to me. I was told I was wrong for not feeling the same way about a movie. What’s the big deal you may ask? The big deal is we can’t discuss things anymore without being told we’re toxic and wrong for having different thoughts about things. I’m not even talking about the big things like transphobia, sexism, racism, bigotry… we can’t even feel differently about small things without someone being offended.
The very people who told us we could be individuals are the same people gatekeeping what is allowed and what isn’t. I’m part of many different communities and this problem is in all of them. No one is talking about how unbelievably toxic these spaces are becoming. You are free to be who you wish as long as you fit into certain boxes and you check off certain tallies. No one is talking about how dystopian we are becoming as a society. How can no one be alarmed about this? How can no one see the storm coming beyond the horizon? If we can’t even discuss the little things, how can we discuss the big things?
I’ve seen all sides dehumanize one another, insult each other like children, and overall just be completely hateful and none of it changes anything. You cannot educate through hate. I don’t think a single person gives much thought to someone’s point if it’s filled with any of those things. So if it doesn’t work on you… why would it work on them?
If everyone is unwilling to budge, then how does anything change? All sides trying to silence each other by being louder don’t seem to be working and I feel like we’re running out of time. I don’t know the answers, but I know if we don’t figure out what the answers are together.
We will all fall together.