Updated: May 8
I don’t know about you, but after 24 years, a quarter-life crisis, and an endless political warzone later – and I’m just plain tired.
And if you’re anything like me, you’re tired of being told that we should ignore our mental health and tough it out. You’re tired of being told by every news source that division and hatred are our inherent nature. As a person of color, I’m tired of being told that we don’t matter. And I’m sure all the women out there are tired of boys being boys.
But how do you give power to a tired voice? How do you make tiredness a force of change? Existential humor and memes – and well, I’m tired of them too.
And well, I’m here to rewrite the story of a tired voice, and to do so, I want to go back to some of the darkest years of human history – World War Two.
Jean Guéheno, a citizen who lived in occupied Paris, was a tired voice. His book, The Diary of the Dark Years, survives to this day. As a collection of writing, it survives as one of the greatest on the resiliency of the French spirit. And in one of his passages, he summed it up perfectly when talking about the hostile occupation:
“It would be truly scandalous if the landscape itself did not snap to attention when the general goes by. But the gentle winds keep on blowing through the eternal countryside; the birds keep singing, the leaves trembling. We, too, will escape this mechanical phantasmagoria. We will not snap to attention.”
I’m not saying that we are facing is anywhere as evil as Nazi occupation. But this specific sentiment of resiliency remains the same.
What if that tired voice within us wasn’t tired at all?
This stream is nothing more than the relentless call for justice and unity – a voice that comes before others. One that has been forged in the fires of our cosmic ancestors and surrounds us in nature. What if this tired voice is the way things should be.
If anything, this tired voice is that gentle breeze that refuses to hold reverence for anything that goes against it. If this is true, then that tired voice is the strongest one of all. With it, we can tell our stories and share our triumphs. We can warn with our failures and find community in all that we lost.
Without the tricks and shows of magic, let’s get down to business to defeat the Huns.
…Okay, maybe not the Huns – but the problems that no longer serve us.