From the Menomonie Keep Families Together March

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Published
July 1, 2018

This from my friend Casey Green yesterday (with her permission).

how to move forward from here saturday, june 30, 2018 3:03 p.m.

the weather was brutal-wet oppressive-hot and disciplining like it was sent to mock us or

maybe just to teach us~it is so 

hard to tell~there are invisible lines everywhere these days~and even the most learned among us fail to fully know when begins~one boundary from the next~it is a valid question now

when does ridiculous become dangerous when does lawfulness become inhumane

the boy in front of me in the heat was no more than six~i watched his sandals they were on the wrong feet but it did not keep him from moving onward~leading a crowd three blocks long~what he could become with time and encouragement~i thought~and watched him ask his patient mom how much further there was to walk

behind me the Calabrese boy fell and the leader before us with the backward sandals stopped~the whole march waited while the mom in yellow handed off her sign

Little Kids Need Parents-in ironic demonstration~she scooped up her son

we were~all of us~alarmed by the crying and when the mother’s soft speaking soothed the broken skin~we all felt the comfort she cast like it was the shade of a tree

to my right my own Jack sang out the bright words~Bread and Butter~it is our secret promise that when we break hands around a pillar in our path~we always~will return to each other~he must have come~just now to a parking meter with his dad~his confidence in that saying~his certitude in reunion felt like hope~or privilege~or what is right in this world~or maybe what it wrong~it was the color of gold~and all it represents

i walked this morning because i didn’t quite know what else to do~i walked beside my daughter and as i walked i thought about Choctaw sons with severed braids~Ghanaian queens with children sold south~barbed wire camps for Americans with Japanese roots~silver blankets and chain link frames~and leaders that come to listen with words of indifference on their back

i walked and maybe it made no difference~it will not console a child in texas away from home or bring about the reparations that we owe but maybe i will call the phone numbers in my pocket~maybe i interrupted the world with compassion~or maybe i only eased my guilty mind but maybe~it was~something~at least it hurt no one

it is~so hard~to figure these things out for sure walking that fine sidewalk crack that runs through staying informed and staying sane~the two are at such odds~and spoken by those who can opt out by looking the other way~the shame of it all

so you can see why~in the desert of discouragement that has settled in my mind~grain by grain blown in with each empathy eroded each civility dried to dust you can see why that boy in front of me today looked like an oasis of reason

there was no grey with him~no choice~no confusion there was only~stopping~the entire group~for another boy who was much like himself~a boy who had fallen and needed to be carried~by someone who loves him

he knew what that boy needed even though he didn’t know the boy because simply~most of us need the very same things

understanding a stranger is really as clear~as asking ourselves what we would want for ourselves if we were on their side of the fence

the boy stopped for one of~us~because there is only~US~in his wide welcoming world~and once he was sure that the boy with the scraped knee was given what he would need to be able to keep up he showed the group how we should move forward one imperfect~including~intentional step at a time

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