I loved my children. I loved Black people. I loved the way we came together, laughed and joked, and held each other through our deepest, most powerful grief. I loved a dog. I loved another dog. I loved all the dogs. The way the lay their paws on my hands and look into my eyes and find the words without finding the words to say “Touch me. You need me. With me you are not alone.”
I loved a person. I loved them in ways I cannot fully remember now because I am currently feeling hurt by them. I loved them because they believed in the same world that I believed in and seemed to want to make it alongside me. I loved them because they seemed to believe that we could do together what neither of us could do alone, and that is to create love, a love big enough to maybe hold you and you and also perhaps you. I loved dreaming with them. I loved cooking with them, and writing with them, and making up things with them. I loved sharing music with them. I loved trying to be loved by them, as hard as it sometimes was. I loved loving them. Holding space for them, grieving alongside them, bringing them snacks. I loved it when the way I loved them felt like it was good for them, like it was enough. I loved it when they treated me as though I were enough, exactly as I was.
I loved myself. I woke myself up every morning and said “rise and grind let’s get this bread” and by bread I meant this healing, this re-parenting, this liberation, this community, this pleasure, this work and yes sometimes this literal, actual, metaphorical, chewy, crusty, slightly sweet, slightly sour warm and powerful buttered bread.
I loved you. I loved how you read me and challenged me and were confused by me and asked me to explain further. I loved how you saw me through these arcane and arbitrary lines arranged on my computer screen and glowing on yours. I loved how you held me and held yourself at the same time. I loved how you commented on these posts and told me that what I was doing mattered, somewhat, a little bit, in a world in which it sometimes seems that only the ugly, horrifying, traumatic, painful, violent confusing things matter, I loved how you told me that love matters too. A little bit.
I loved the dark ocean. California coast, rocky and unforgiving, it’s ceaseless death churn, an abyss so huge as to be life itself; waves crashing against the shore with the force of bombs; its moon turning the tide gently, gently, away; the shimmering sliver of sliver light vivisecting the abyss on cold and remorseless nights.
I loved Sault and bell hooks and Resham Mantri’s substack and Noleca Radway’s podcasts and adrienne marie brown’s Instagram and Clarkiesha Kent’s spaces and Hannah Phifer’s Twitter, and Andre 3000’s face and George McCalman’s smile and ever glistening beard.
Many of the things I loved, I lost. Many, I still hold.