Dear Paradox,

Oh how you’ve come around. 
The more days and years I wheel through this world, the more relevant you are. 
We’ve become close. I know you so well, and yet not at all.
Paradox, you are what is past, present and future. 
You are…

To love so deeply // to grief so deeply
To be the oppressor // to be the oppressed 
To feel narrowness // to feel spaciousness 
To know so much // to know so little
To be seen as a woman // to not be a woman 
To be visibly disabled // to be invisibly disabled 
To be Disabled in joy and connection // to be Disabled in pain and isolation 
To not be the one who made me ashamed // to be the one who can make me proud*

You are the opposing truths that happen simultaneously. 
Paradox, the more I wake, the more I wake up to your inevitability. You are here, not going anywhere, anytime soon. 

More people will die and more people will be born–close beloveds // faraway strangers. 
Bodies and lives intrinsically tied to histories and presents of violence and oppression // to loving dreams and possibilities of liberation.  

Paradox, you help me hold the both/and. I welcome you. I hold you close. 

Welcoming you allows me to learn what is working and what is not. 
Listening to you means I am moving closer to what is more freeing and loving. 
Embracing you means I am practicing living into the wholeness and messiness of my humanity. 

Paradox, thanks for helping light my way–and for obscuring it, too.

Sincerely yours, 
Allie Cannington  

*This line pays homage to disabled poet Laura Hershey’s piece “You Get Proud By Practicing” 

The theme of paradox was inspired by Chloe Zelkha’s Avodat Lev facilitation, including, but definitely not limited to, the “xx // yy” expression of paradoxes.
Special thanks: Sarah Hoops

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