Don’t Give Up on Love

an essay

One thing 2017 taught me was this:

Don’t give up on love.

2017 was a hard year. A bewildering year. It was a year when chaos took the reins.

And chaos, when linked to evil, is a terrifying thing.

“Give us the corrosive systems we know and understand!” many of us cried. “Give us back evil that is neutral. Evil that counts numbers. Evil that obeys the rule of law.”

That’s not what we got in 2017. Instead, we got systems that cracked and groaned in the midst of a new maelstrom. We got torches marching in the streets, and gunning people down. We got The Joker, jeering and japing from a big white plantation house.

We got more murder. More oppression.

We got terror for many, and comfort for a decreasing few.

But in 2017? We did not give up on love.

In 2017? We dug deep into our hearts and figured out what was important to us.

In 2017? We retreated, some of us, sure. But we also showed up, side by side, to face jack boots or offer food to our hungry or grieving neighbors.

In 2017? We kissed. We laughed. We danced when we could. We painted pictures and wheeled our ‘chairs into the rain. We baked cookies, fragrant with cinnamon. We crunched our teeth into apples, and let the juice burst in our mouths.

In 2017, every time I felt despair, or an anger so great it threatened to engulf me, I remembered the force of love.

And I looked around…and saw that you did, too. And I loved you for that.

In 2017? I loved you fiercely. And I felt every single one of you who loved each other back.

“An army of lovers shall not fail,” the poet said.

In 2018? In 2020? In 2105? Let us please keep falling back in love.

It is the only force strong enough to prevail.

December 31, 2017


(The poet is Rita Mae Brown. That is the final line of “Sappho’s Reply.”)


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