been thinking a lot about my blogging friend Johanna.
i reckon, with all thats happening in the world right now, she woulda been right up in that grill, fist in the air, screaming for freedom.
I remember the first time i had a slightly heated, possible ‘disagreement’ with her in this realm lol. it was something i came appreciate deeply .. that she was never afraid of stating her perspective & listening to that of another.
on this particular occasion, she’d been to walmart i think it was (we dont have that here .. but a few crass equivalents lol) & she had been treated deploringly. she’d rounded off by stating that there was a prevalent ableist & ageist attitude which she had experienced there .. not the first time .. & was bound, to not be the last.
my rebuttal as such, was more out of offence for her, for having been treated that way. i came back with my usually .. ‘fuck walmart & make sure ‘we’ dont support them’.
as an activist, this is a powerful tool to wield.
however, i was surprised (at first) at her comeback. she quite abruptly noted that the ‘poor’ sometimes didn’t have the luxury of making a knee jerk reaction like that.
she broke it down thusly :
she lived in a small complex, it was cheap & generally unmaintained by the landlord. she had fought hard to find this place & while she was quite happy to take her landlord on, she was aware that her options, if she should be ejected from the property, were extremely limited .. actually NIL.
so from where she lived there were a handful of shops she could purchase her essentials from, walmart being one of them. out of those handful of shops, there were 2 she could afford to shop at. again, walmart being one of them.
i came back with the shopping online rhetoric (god, i cringe now ..) .. & she noted that her internet, as it was, was limited.
then she went into receiving ‘disability’ payments (as such) & what that looked like & that spending copious amounts of time and money on internet connections weren’t an option.
i came back with going to a library or mcdonalds where the wifi was free .. *eye ball roll* .. she came back with her limited mobility.
sweet geezus ..
we went back and forth like that for quite awhile.
from my end, i was trying to give options i thought she may not have thought of & aim for the whole empowerment gig. she, in all her aged wisdom, kept coming back, not with, negatives per se, but realities. & realities that i fucking completely understood.
in hindsight, i get now, she was trying to school my ass, gently. that while the ‘fuck the power’ part of me wasnt wrong, & was definitely passionate, & based in my own struggle .. i wasnt hearing her in her entirety. that her lived reality was more than 6 steps to freedom.
i think of this interaction often at the moment.
i’m well aware that my normal looks nothing like ‘most’, that my struggles are misunderstood by most, that my ‘working it out’ also looks way different than most.
and thats ok.
but for those that i love .. that are learning .. that are actually trying to understand .. i need to be a little more patient with them.
like she was with me.
i miss her.