Its this process of “collective” grief.
It’s the feeling like you are not recovering as fast as the rest of the collective. When you feel like your rage is overblown because you do not see it mirrored communally but do not realise that you, too, are moving through life silently, simmering, but only below the surface. Rage on mute. About to boil over but not yet, not quite. When is the bounce back, the recovery? And as you are doing this, as you are moving through with your muted rage, your comrades are moving through with theirs too, maybe not as silently, maybe not very loudly either. Unbeknownst to you. This perceived silence – the sweet, elusive recovery time- is ripe and heavy with the weight of pent up rage. No one is bouncing back. Communally. And sometimes, the only catharsis achieved in these moments is through witnessing the turbulence, the pressure cooker of emotions roiling in the depths of the “collective” eye, in the burdened beat path routed to the reality of connection with the kindred in community. Collective healing, from the vantage point au milieu; the crowd clamoring for justice to remain in full view. Change, unspooling, whipped in old ideas of the “new”.
I don’t think the process of change is intended to be pleasant. We have never asked the butterfly how it feels to be in the chrysalis. We just rejoice in solidarity when it breaks free and begins to fly. And what was the process like in that shell? Did the wings rip it’s body apart as they formed? Did the caterpillar fear being reborn? What must flight have looked like for one so close to the ground? Are there screams of protest against the metamorphosis with voices too shrill to translate into sturdy vibrations? Are we not paying enough attention to hear them or is the silence it’s own picture of strain. When I feel pain, I curl, I shut my eyes tight and squeeze; tensing muscles till my hands are unyielding mallets and the mounds that clog the barely formed arches on my flat feet, spasm. I experience pain in flows I want to ebb into oblivion. So perhaps there is a tortured silence in a changing pulse. Or maybe this is out of the loop and there is no pain at all. Just discomfort. Just a longing to hold on to the stable we have built before being dragged by our wings into verdant fields of unknown.
Perhaps the caterpillar lived in pain and discomfort every aching moment till it was freed. Perhaps change was the road not taken that led to peace.
No justice. No peace.
Rage is rage. Muted or shrill.
Inconsolable, is the collective grief.