I’ve been thinking a lot about how the human capacity to function “normally” (whatever that means), sometimes even happily, even in the midst of personal struggle, national tragedies, and/or global nightmares. As I was compiling the Friday Five this week, I thought about what it means to blog as though I wasn’t being deeply effected by events unfolding in our country and the world.
This summer, my heart has been heavy for some personal reasons, but also for reasons that don’t, at first, seem to directly impact me. While Palestinians are always targets of violence, in the past months and a half, we’ve witnessed destruction and violence at unthinkable levels. This past week, the kind of conditions we in the US have become accustom to seeing only from great distances, have developed in our backyard in Ferguson, MO.
Those of us who are not direct targets of concentrated violence and who are invested in justice often feel heavy with the weight of these realities, but also have the luxury to step away from it. We have the ability to leave our homes without panic, to go to school without daily fear that it could be bombed, to walk down the street without being shot by a cop. We have the ability to blog about cute animal videos and delicious vegan food without thinking twice.
I started this blog committed to finding a way to have a “healthy living blog” that didn’t shy away from controversial topics related to race, class, gender (etc.) when it pertained to things like food justice and health disparities. At first, it might not seem like the murder of Michael Brown has much to do with health…But what is “health” if not a world where we are free from destruction and violence and racist murder and oppression? What is health without justice?
I know this is not why people gravitate toward food and healthy living blogs–it’s not why I come to these internet spaces either. I know the importance of escape. It’s not like not posting pictures of vegan food is going to do anything to eradicate racism. But there are some days that it feels impossible to remain silent, even if it means interrupting regularly scheduled blogging.
The Friday Five is where I share things from the internet that have caught my attention over the week. This week, I’ve been immersed almost exclusively in articles about Michael Brown. So that’s what I’m going to offer here. And although I had so much to be grateful for this week, I’m going to skip my gratitude list as well. I’m holding it in my heart and sending it back out again and hoping it can seep into the universe and lift up those who cannot lift themselves.
I’ll be back to blogging with less heavy things next week—because, somehow, we’ll all find a way to go on.
***Update after original post….Things have gotten a lot brighter in Ferguson since I wrote this last night. Here’s something to bring a little positivity to this list:
Have a good weekend. Power to the people.