the fire

January 12, 2017

​Most days I wake up completely exhausted. It’s not the exhaustion from not having slept enough but more like that spiritual exhaustion you get from not being able to quiet the noise in your head or the angst in your heart.

I’m an empath. I feel everything. Everything. Absolutamente todo. So when I read/see the news about what’s happening around the world or right down the street, I can’t separate myself from it. I don’t have that “outta’ sight outta’ mind” mentality. In fact, the reality that I am not there to help exacerbates my anxiety.  

Then there is this country I live in. A place my Puerto Rican grandmother came to in hopes that her family would have better opportunities; this place that didn’t witness my birth but has watched me grow since the age of five.

Based on where I grew up I wasn’t supposed to succeed. But I took advantage of many of those opportunities Abuela envisioned and some she never even imagined. 

I’ve lived in this country since I was five. I have lived through six presidents. Though I only recall five of them. My maternal family has never really been political. And one of my first memories of any political talk was abuela telling me that she never pulled a lever that said republican candidate because “esa gente no nos quiere mi’ja.” I never understood why they didn’t like us. And when I asked why, she pointed to her brown skin and said, “Porque a Dios le placio hecharnos sazón.” I loved how she said it too. So much pride in her voice –it made me feel strong. Like I was untouchable. Pero right now I feel everything but fuerte.

A fire is coming.

A fire that most of us have never witnessed. One that many thought would hopefully never come again. And I am trying to manage my sentiments and temperament around it but the reality is, this fucking sucks. For years I was an idealist. I was that little girl who always found a way to make things better. I was that teenager full of energy and a fire that blazed not to burn but to provide warmth and light.

My first career was in politics because I believed I was going to change the world. I had a fourth grade teacher tell me that I was going to be the 1st female Latina president because I never gave up. I believed that if we remained honest with each other we could overcome our differences and find the common ground in Love. But Love is hokey for many and for the Powerful it is a five letter word that grows in their bank accounts along with their hatred.

This world may want to change but the Powers that be are ruthless and heartless. Those muthafuckas’ could give three shits about any of us. That includes about most of you who voted for Voldemort.

The fire is still coming. 

And I’m trying to keep my shit together, you know? I’m trying to hold on to hope but I find myself holding on with these arms that cramp every time I hear or read another headline. I’m struggling not to let hatred enter my heart. But that has become increasingly difficult as well. While I don’t promote violence, I get why folks wanna’ hurt somebody. In my head, the idea of taking a bat and swinging for the fences is sometimes appealing because I wonder if it will take away some of this anger that’s brewing inside me like lava in a volcano that has never erupted.

I know that there are better ways to deal with this. I know I could use my writing as a weapon of mass reconstruction. I know that I could use my profession to build meaningful relationships where we can engage in conversations that can truly heal. Pero coñaso eta’ vaina no ta’ facil, no. It makes me feel helpless and hopeless. And I have never felt that way even in my darkest days –and rape is pretty fucking dark. 

So I am trying really hard to stay centered. I wake up every day and do my best to create positive changes. I ask myself, what can I do differently to uphold Love and healing, to bridge communication, to encourage conversation and promote community? But it is becoming more and more difficult to keep this once untamable Spirit fired up. The noise in this head when everything is quiet gets louder with the passing of each day.  

For now, I plan to do the only thing I know: imma’ hold on to the Love from my wife, my parents, my beautiful nieces and nephews, my siblings, my friends… I am gonna’ hold them closer. Because Love may be hokey for some or money in a bank account for others but to me Love is the only thing that is anchoring my sanity. Y anyway, Abuela said that Dios me hecho sazón. So let it burn asarozo’, because it is in the heat that we release our true essence. We thrive in the fire. We are fire. And we are here to burn. 


2 Responses to “the fire”

  1. […] and writer Sarahí Almonte wrote a stirring piece two weeks ago titled, “the fire.” With an eloquence and dark humor that I am drawn to, she described the fire that is coming to […]

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