Collective Souls & Pillow Fights: Round Two


For anyone who ever wrote a string of words, conveying an event, an observation, or an idea that enabled another person to see goodness in our humanity, I say thank you. Your words must live forever because it is through your words I find hope and connection to humanity. It is through your words I see a future for my daughter where she can exercise her independence, freedom, and happiness. She will have struggles, like everyone, but unlike everyone, she will be one of the feathers in the air.


I've always struggled with writing. With words. I'm a spatial  learner. Not gifted. Just very spatially oriented. When somebody like Harriet McBryde Johnson comes along and starts telling it like it is, I feel justified. Sweet justice.

"Ahhhh... finally somebody gets it and can articulate clearly what it is we're all talking about."

What are we talking about?

We're talking about a fear.  We fear people who think they understand our children's needs but do not. The people who speak on our children's behalf. People who pretend to understand a language our children speak. A language that fewer people understand. People who claim to protect our children because a law requires them to do so. People who put so much credence into laws protecting our children that they no longer see the exception to the rule.

We fear that once we're out of the picture special liberties will be taken away once they grow into adulthood not with degrees from college but with a need to rely on people to do just about everything for them. We fear they will be left in the care of someone who is clueless about their real needs. We fear the laws that will be written in their behalf.   We fear they will be seen as a burden or an object of pity.

How will they know my daughter climbed Half Dome in Yosemite or packed through Many Glacier and saw a Grizzly? How will they know she camped on Assateague enduring a million hungry mosquitos just to hear the ocean roar at night under an evening sky crowded by twinkling stars. Will they care that she felt a stingray brush up against her ankle near the equator or sat in photos with the local celebrities? Will they know that making bubbles in a pool makes her laugh hysterically and sad music makes her cry?

How will they see her for who she really is if she cannot speak a language they understand?

We have no control over what happens to our children once they grow into adulthood once we're out of the picture. So when somebody like Harriet comes along, we want to hold on to her for dear life because she helps make the connection for all our children.She was a life line for all our children. She wrote with clarity and logic.

When I write on my daughter's behalf, my ideas, my observations, my events, are described through words that are like feathers exploding from an imagined pillow fight. The words, like feathers, are always floating through the air for me. When I reach out for one to create something, it eludes me. When I reach down for one, the wind carries it away.

For anyone who ever wrote a string of words, conveying an event, an observation, or an idea that enabled another person to see goodness in our humanity, I say thank you. Your words must live forever because it is through your words I find hope and connection to humanity. It is through your words I see a future for my daughter where she can exercise her independence, freedom, and happiness. She will have struggles, like everyone, but unlike everyone, she will be one of the feathers in the air.

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