Treating Our Battered and Beautiful Wounds

After Amanda Gorman’s poem “The Hill We Climb”

a Broward College Lecture at the Music, Film, Literature and Art Festival, “Admist the Chaos: Rise Up and Move Forward”

A Letter from the Editor

by Zorina Exie Frey

We are coming home from a war we never left home for. Broken, wounded, and bruised. Still bleeding. Some of us are still reeling.

In the middle of reconciliation, there are still yeah-buts, racist aunts and uncles, cousins…even parents.

Where do we go from here? How does America learn to set aside its differences after everything that has and is still happening? Some of us are still suffering with mentally fresh wounds. Some are scabbed over, still weeping. Others might be over it, but still have the scar to remind them.

Amanda Gorman’s poem, “The Hill We Climb” talks about stepping into our past as Americans and repairing it by merging mercy with might and might with right so that we are passing down a legacy of unity and not division.

So how do we rise up and move forward, and climb that hill when we’re still bleeding? Many of us are Zooming through our education and working from home, but the time will come when we will have to work alongside co-workers, classmates, and colleagues who have different point of views about everything from politics to how the pandemic was and is being handled. It’s always been this way, but in the last four years, our “Thanksgiving” band aid was ripped off society’s taboos and the scab of racial epithets was picked at resurging some of America’s most horrific thoughts and actions against humanity.

How do we dress these wounds? Some of us have been pouring salt into them, feeding ourselves and others with information that festers the wound.

Others put another band-aid over it without treating it hoping the pain will dull.

The other option is to disinfect the wound. Treat it by expunging the bacteria that infects it and eats away at the mind and body. This is the option that hurts a little. Because when you pour antiseptic on a wound it stings a little, but it heals for good.

To rise up and move forward—to climb Amanda Gorman’s hill, means that we have a personal hill of healing to climb, because it’s likely that many of us are feeling some kind of way about the events of 2020, even early 2021.

We’re coming home from a war we never left home for with salty wounds, because we now know where everyone stands regarding humanity. What’s scary is that everyone believes they’re doing the right thing.

The antiseptic for our beautiful and battered wounds is to respect one another, have poise—don’t react on emotion, be civil, have some decency, and always, always be learning—about our history, about other cultures and their history by immersing ourselves in neighboring societies. Get to know our neighbors so that we can better understand where we’re all are coming from. It’s necessary to try to be on one accord in order to move this nation forward, not backwards. We can’t change people, but we can change ourselves by rising up and working together to climb that hill Amanda Gorman’s talking about and repair broken bridges…“if only we dare”.

Feature Photo by Tommy Lisbin

You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up Journal, A Record of Incredible Shenanigans That I May or May Not Have Engaged in and/or Witnessed.
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