The following is a short essay I wrote on the prompt of “summer” for Sunday Assembly Atlanta. I read it to everyone this evening!
It’s morning on a hot, Georgia summer day. The moisture of dew on cut, green grass is matched by the humidity in the air. And the sweat on people’s brows. We’re standing still, giving our full attention*, as a man bellows out instructions over loudspeakers before giving us the go.
The sun is at that perfect angle where I can’t lower my hat further without obscuring my vision. I wish we could practice facing the other way, but squinting is my only recourse. I try to remember if I put on sunscreen while I got ready; my reddening skin by the evening will inform me of my carelessness.
I’m quickly moving with and between two people now, in a line, as one often is in this sort of activity. That line might not always be straight, but hopefully that’s by design: made to be a part of a cohesive whole, driving down the field with greater purpose. We’re brothers and sisters in arms, fighting with precision against the tyrannical forces of disorder.
He started to walk away towards a couple sitting on a bench, but I whipped around like a woman on fire.
“What did you just say to me?”
It’s happened plenty of times, but it still surprises me because it feels so far from where I’ve been. My voice came out clear and strong. I faced him, looked right at him, as the couple on the bench watched on.
“I asked if you’d donate to–”
“No, after that.”
“I said have a nice day.”
“Sure you did.”
The post’s title is “They Lie So Easily”, and she goes on to explain that this small example should be remembered when considering the immediate and stalwart denial of larger violations, like harassment, assault, and rape. It’s also full of beautiful photographs that serve an important purpose in the piece.
Without this post, I wouldn’t have thought twice about something I overheard that same evening…