what if we washed each other’s feet?

according to the french woman my healthcare law professor met in a hotel bar in 2009

“the problem with you americans is you forget: you are a society.”

voilà, ma societé de rêve

what if things were different?

what if when we were sad, our friends came to hold us? sat on the couch in silence or talked until we laughed a little or just waited and let the feelings be. no expectations. what if we didn’t have to be anything or anyone?

and what if i watched your baby when you were sick? because it takes a village to raise a child. i’d clean your kitchen because your back hurt or wash your dishes because you were depressed. your inner children need raised, too. it’s no small job. you shouldn’t have to do it alone. what if we all had the support we needed?

and what if everyone could afford their prescriptions and medical appointments? we could give people the care they need. everybody could go to therapy. there would be community acupuncture centers and herbs dispensed in pharmacies alongside antidepressants. what if you could accept scarcity wasn’t as real as you think it is?

and what if i made you dinner from cropshare vegetables and held your hand til you felt safe? i’d listen to your feelings even if they scared me. we’d eat carrots together around a little table and offer gratitude. you wouldn’t have to be brave for anyone. what if you could trust again?

and what if i could act as gay as i wanted and nobody could say a damn thing? i’d kiss my lover on the graves of conversion therapists and feel her pressed against me. nobody would find out i am bisexual and call me greedy, ask me when i am going to pick. what if all love was valued?

and what if wrenching art was a part of our cultural tapestry? and writers and artists were valued for their differences. there’d be a little free library on every street and a mural by a local artist on every ugly corner. what if beauty for its own sake was enough?

and what if nobody went to jail for selling weed? we’d let out the people thrown in for no good reason. everyone who needed marijuana as medicine would have access. corporate cannabis would be trust-busted, never to ruin the industry. what if we could just light a j and talk about it?

and what if you weren’t so scared to give up your privilege? you could admit that racism colors this country and whiteness cloaks you like wool in a storm. your brown brothers and sisters are naked. what if you weren’t afraid to care?

and what if the forest wasn’t so far away? we’d look up to the trees every day, see life all around us. there would be time to run away to the ocean and to feel the rain fall on our skin. what if nature didn’t have to be something separate?

and what if we washed each other’s feet? our pride would dissipate in the water, tension would dissolve under the power of our opposable thumbs. humility gently softening hearts. what if life was a little more wonderful?

what if you believed that things could be different?

(i do)



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