Living in the purple zone*
Unconstrained by party loyalties yet
Uneasy about befriending strangers
Or talking about tough issues –
What has happened to me?
How many times have I caved
To the lowest common denominator
Or looked the other way
Or changed the subject
To avoid tough conversations?
Why do I hear few references
To injustices of yesterday
That might help me understand
Currents and tides now miring us
In the swamp of us versus them?
Perhaps there already lurks within
A deep longing for this disquietude
To disappear into the bowels
Of our churches, cities and towns
Afraid to stir up what won’t go away
Meanwhile we mere mortals living
In the purple zone or not go about
Our daily lives minus truth or
Justice or even a quick look into
The mirror of our own demise
*The purple zone: neither red nor blue, the two major political party colors in the USA
Here’s my dilemma:
I have a handful of friends willing to talk openly about social/political realities that are in plain view every day. These realities drive our politics, social lives, economics, and increasingly our church preferences. They also impact us differently depending on things like race, gender, age, immigration status, color of skin and dialect.
These and a host of other ‘sorting out’ categories lie just beneath the surface of every social interaction and social avoidance technique.
For the most part, we here in the USA seem to have deeply ingrained avoidance habits. We like being with birds of our feather. Especially in spaces where we might have conversations that matter. Places like churches or other religious institutions, small study groups and classrooms of all kinds.
Though I’d like this to be my dilemma alone, I fear it is not. Any and all feedback will be gratefully received.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 15 September 2019