After midnight on March 13, 2020, Louisville Police Officers executing a no-knock search warrant used a battering ram to force open the apartment of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Emergency Room Technician. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired at the police, who returned fire, striking Breonna Taylor. According to her boyfriend, she struggled to breathe for several minutes, but she received no medical attention for 20 minutes after she had been shot, despite a call to 911 from her boyfriend right after she had been shot. The police had been investigating drug dealers who lived a long way from Breonna Taylor’s home. They obtained the warrant under the belief that one of the drug dealers had been using Breonna Taylor’s residence to receive packages. No drugs were found in Breonna Taylor’s residence. According to her mother, she had dreams of becoming a Registered Nurse, buying a house, getting married and having a family.
This morning, I witnessed Congressman John Lewis’ flag draped casket being carried, by decorated servicemen to the Capitol Rotunda. I thought about his words forty years after his participation in the Freedom Rides of the South after white supremacists firebombed the bus he was riding on May 14, 1961, “It was very violent. I thought I was going to die. I was left lying at the Greyhound bus station in Montgomery unconscious.”
On Bloody Sunday, March 9, 1965, during the Selma to Montgomery marches, his skull was cracked by the billy clubs of Alabama police as he attempted to cross a bridge named, then and now, for a confederate army officer and ku klux klan grand dragon. He thought he was going to die, then, too, but God had other plans. Yesterday, his coffin crossed that bridge one last time, accompanied by his family.
Sometimes I get these cauliflower products or recipes and they are delicious, like cauliflower pizza crust. Sometimes, though, even with my best culinary attempts, the best I can come up with is well roasted, seasoned, tasty, well, cauliflower. Today was a yummy, roasted, cheesy cauliflower day. There was a time when I would have tried to force myself to taste something that was not there, denying to the end that it tasted like what it was because there had to have been something wrong with me when there is nothing wrong. Sometimes cauliflower tastes like what it is. It can’t taste stellar all of the time, can it? I wish it could, but would I recognize the pizza deliciousness if it was all that I had? Maybe life is like that, too.
Almost two weeks ago I was talking to my mom about all of the plates I have – and keep – in the air, when she said, “You don’t have to accomplish everything.”
I have been thinking about that because I have found myself at a weird tension since a few months before this pandemic, and to be honest, a lot of things feel more like a continuation as opposed to a complete upheval. The tension part comes in because I have had to step back from a lot of things I am passionate about achieving to retool for the long haul, and that is hard for me because when I decide to do something, it gets done. and. then. some.
I guess it will have to get done more slowly and strategically, because while I have definitely been changed by the past four or five months, parts of me still have catching up to do.