I wanted to write about joy today

I really wanted to write about joy today.

I wanted to write about a joy that I am craving, needing, seeking —

and feeling deeply unable to find.

I wanted to ask all of you how you’re getting it:

what’s your dose, your frequency, your medicine-of-choice.

I wanted to crowdsource joy and spread it around

like a sweet jam, sticky and sweet, a treat for all to share.

But I realized

the reason I wanted to ask wasn’t quite right.

The reason I wanted to ask was to mask up

and hide all this discomfort & palpable pain.

I wanted to side shuffle away from the gnarly, difficult feelings

and skip right into the joy-creating,

as if it were a mask made of colorful clay that I could shape up

with the pinching of my fingers and place on our faces.

So, even though I wanted to write about joy for all of us,

I need and want to respect the pain.

To feel this alongside the rest of Minneapolis, the rest of this country

as we shift toward inevitable change:

the emulsifying caterpillar before the butterfly;

the pressure of the stone before the diamond;

the collective rawness before the nourishment.

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