The Last Words
Here we are. We’ve come to the end of our time together. ReconciliACTION’s 2021/2022 year is in the books, and being left with the last words is a challenge I’m not sure I’m up for.
How to put into words the year that we’ve had? Not just on the blog, but in the world? How to say farewell to this experience, and, as four of this year’s writers graduate, good bye to law school?
Only one word comes to mind – our own hybrid name – ReconciliACTION.
The year before I finished my undergrad (more than many moons ago), I spent a summer in Rwanda. I wrote at the time that saying the word “genocide” every day for thirty days changed me as a person. This year, I’ve spent a several hours every week dissecting the word ReconciliACTION – what it means, how it connects to all things, what it requires of me, of us. And for that experience, I am changed again.
This wasn’t an easy task and it was challenging in ways I didn’t expect. My posts were almost always written at the last minute (extra thanks to my perpetually patient editor, Amanda), and though procrastinating is in my nature, my partner pointed out to me this week that I delayed this work in a different way, for a different reason.
I was scared. Every week.
Every time I thought about sitting down to write, I’d walk away. What did I have to offer? Why should I take up space in this conversation? Who am I to say anything at all on the subject of law, truth, or reconciliation?
More often then not, when the words finally came, they brought grief along with them. There is so much that we could do better, so much that we are not doing at all, so much that is actually getting worse. As Hero wrote on Monday, this world is a broken place. Patching it up will take all of us.
I suppose that’s the point. We all have something to offer this work, we are all called to this journey. The word 'reconciliation' has become a trope because it is bandied about in conversation and press releases but not backed up with action. I’m not suggesting that writing or reading this blog let’s us cross reconciliation off our to-do list. But it certainly has made me more conscious of the work I can do, the deep connections between us, the intersections of the harms to be addressed, and the possibilities that exist when we come together as relations to care for each other. I hope it has done something similar for you.
This has been a year of making new friends, reconnecting with old ones, remembering lives lost, looking forward to what’s to come, challenging where we’ve come from, and bringing to the fore the ways in which we are all called to action on the project of reconciliation.
Thank you for coming along with us. We’re excited to see what ReconciliACTION 2022/23 will bring, and to continue these conversations here, and out in the world. We’ll see you there.