I have always believed we are more alike than different and that our diversity is beautiful, not just healthy but needed, something that is meant to both inspire AND make us uncomfortable so that we continue to become.
I was raised in a small prairie town snuggled tightly into verdant valley, surrounded by bear and moose, tadpoles and garter snakes, gorgeous rivers and lakes, humble and hard-working farmers and proud but hurting Indigenous community. We had not yet owned our history of racism and residential schools.
My husband was born and raised in the capital city of a West African nation nestled along the wild Atlantic coast, home of a proud and beautiful people of diverse tongue and ethnicity. They survived through the slave trade and colonialism, changing hands enough times to make you dizzy. They have never known democracy.
Why make my page political, I am asked, with disdain, as though my life itself is not political. From the beginning, I have been political.
It strikes me more clearly than ever before, the deep, inextricable connection between truth-telling and unshackled living. We cannot know freedom without being real.
Every Breath of My Life is Political
I was raised by parents who believed in equality, in freedom, in compassion. Who though the systems in place were broken and imperfect, adopted babies and made our family colourful and better, welcomed the lonely to our kitchen table, who taught us that when you have enough you make your table larger, who loved (albeit imperfectly) the marginalized people in our community. My childhood was political.
When I left home to study intercultural education and I met my beautiful Black husband who spoke a few different languages, and I agreed to assume all financial responsibility for him so that he could become a Canadian citizen, and in spite of my dad’s fear around Canadian racism and rejection, when we married and started a family of our own, this was political.
As we raised our precious babies to love themselves well and to celebrate their own diversity, every time we have challenging conversations and all of us show up willing to listen and learn, when we’re willing to do hard work to sit with the questions, the books I read, how we spend our money, each small choice to reduce our environmental footprint, the people I invite into my inner circle…
As we walk together through loss and pain and mental health challenges and refuse to turn away from suffering in the world, as we put down roots of self-awareness and self-compassion that help us see beyond cultural script and status quo, as we continue to examine our implicit bias and to advocate for the full equality, dignity, and humanity of all people and affirm and remind our babies they don’t have to squish their beautiful selves into any prescribed box…
— every breath of our lives is political.
My page and work have always been political, NOT party-specific, but values-based, compassion-aligned, an imperfect but purposeful reflection of my mission and heart, one small way that I advocate and wrestle and hope and try to make the world better. Kinder and safer for every messy human that walks this planet.
This is political.
NOW WHAT? After my son, Jairus died in 2019 from severe depression, I started two art scholarships in his name. You can APPLY, DONATE, OR LEARN MORE here. xo