Vulnerabilities

I’m struggling to write about something when it all feels worth little to nothing. Working from home, we’re told that we’re valuable. Gold is too, but you can’t eat it. It won’t save you. It’s not that it won’t. Simply, it can’t. Staring out the window at a slow reflecting car light, I encounter nothing to say. But then, but one, just one, word comes to mind.

Vulnerabilities.

You may have noticed the gap. I was so proud, so pleased that I posted every week. Sometimes I scroll back in amazement at the determination across all the days I thought I had nothing to say. And now? There’s a gap. It isn’t white space. It’s a pause encircled by the twisting blue of the Internet loading circle. What happened? The data ran out.

Vulnerabilities. Even a week later, a week after, it’s still true.

A swirl of experiences are around me with the curtain twirled into my fingers. Flowers upon gray, a metaphor for such a spring as this. I set the printed cloth between myself and the darkness. But the word, the one, just one, stays behind. On unearthly slow Internet, I search for synonyms. At first, I pause. Would the search by for ‘vulnerable’? No. I start to type and finish the entire word. As I do, I remember, convinced ‘vulnerabilities’ is a different word. For starters, it’s a noun.

Weakness. Destructability. Breakability. Exposure. Defenselessness. Fragility. Unprotectedness. Assailability.

My spellcheck doesn’t recognize each synonym, but only weeks ago, I might not have recognized what they represent either.

Weakness. Destructability. Breakability. Exposure. Defenselessness. Fragility. Unprotectedness. Assailability.

Otherwise known as my loved ones. My choices affect those with whom I live, not really those, just the, my dad. If I go out, he goes out. If my defenses fail, I have failed in my defense of him. We wear the gloves and wrap the scarves when springtime dares us to store winter away.

Weakness. Destructability. Breakability. Exposure. Defenselessness. Fragility. Unprotectedness. Assailability.

A would be called cultural awareness. Such times when I might fear my safety in public is an intersection, and hopefully a future empathy the invited speaker states, for others already attacked more since their lives are assumed to matter less.

Weakness. Destructability. Breakability. Exposure. Defenselessness. Fragility. Unprotectedness. Assailability.

There should be more words to define the systems that normally hover unseen and now waver unstable. Or, maybe less is more than right, since by definition, the system doesn’t value the many; it’s merely built upon them. Food. Money. Communications. Education. All are seen for where they gap instead of what they covered, while we wonder if what they covered, how they covered, ever really kept us warm. This is the trouble with needing commodities as well as being a one.

Weakness. Destructability. Breakability. Exposure. Defenselessness. Fragility. Unprotectedness. Assailability.

The band-aid ripped for my wounds to breathe in spring air. Identity. I’m told to work. Work is valued or work is a value? Syntax confuses. Still, work is my value. Each e-mail, every day, reminds framed in red. I poke at a former sore, oozing imposter syndrome instead of blood.

Weakness. Destructability. Breakability. Exposure. Defenselessness. Fragility. Unprotectedness. Assailability.

Clash and screech, the most broken song. It’s heroism, the semis that plunge down a straight, straight road, wobbling in demanded supplies and expectations. Hawk feathers flutter lifeless and flat. So too, the life of the mate, willed to forever alone. The once winged brownness suddenly caught in a separate wind. A fresh chill now houses a disease that hung aloft far longer than our current threat.

For further reading:

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2020/03/19/481962/coronavirus-pandemic-racial-wealth-gap/

https://www.colorlines.com/articles/self-love-time-coronavirus

https://medium.com/@InsightCCED/finding-hope-in-local-power-advancing-racial-gender-and-economic-justice-in-this-moment-of-764c97ee8f93

https://medium.com/movement-generation-justice-and-ecology-project/permanently-organized-communities-53c97f035ddb

https://www.uvm.edu/agroecology/the-covid-19-pandemic-and-puerto-ricos-food-sovereignty/

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