Like many storms, it began with a shift in pressure. A professional football player, Colin Kaepernick, quietly knelt during the National Anthem. His simple action grew into a storm surge, gained momentum. However, this storm isn’t driven by winds of destruction, but rather by forces of integrity, a powerful cry against racial oppression. Last weekend, the path of this much-needed storm reached into the homes of millions as the National Football League took a stand. More accurately, they took a knee.
Since the presidential election, I’ve never felt so shaken by the leadership in my homeland. But I’ve also never felt so uplifted. In the face of such a divisive president, I’m deeply moved as people unify to march, speak, write, stand, kneel. Members of The House and The Senate — not all, but a significant number — keep their heads clear and focused, working for the greater good. Journalists uncover the facts, report with accuracy, allow the public to stay informed — all in the face of unprecedented hostility from our country’s administration. This situation is a marathon unfolding at the speed of a sprint, and people are stressed and exhaustion. Still, they march and vote and report and kneel.
In the past month, I’ve been awed by the quiet, determined, selfless acts of heroism in areas devastated by hurricanes. First responders, both official and unofficial, stepped forward. People who own small boats and rafts headed into dangerous waters, navigating around fallen trees, cars, debris, changing currents, through the shallow and the deep — bringing people and animals to safety. Others met the boats, and guided survivors to shelter. Even more have donated, and two people I’m privileged to know collected donations, loaded trucks with supplies and drove 500 miles into the pulsating aftermath of Harvey.
Every day, I’m motivated in a way I’ve never known. So every day, I’ll buckle down and write. When I need a break to clear my head, I’ll take a step back. When I’ve gathered myself, I’ll move forward into the storm. And when I need to stand tall, I’ll take a knee.
Amy Kaufman Burk has published two novels. Hollywood High: Achieve The Honorable, written in reaction to seeing gay students bullied in high school, follows Caroline Black through tenth grade as her new high school opens her world. Tightwire, Amy’s second novel, continues to follow Caroline, this time as a rookie psych intern treating her first patient — a stormy, brilliant, troubled young man who ran away from the circus to find himself. Amy’s blog includes posts about a variety of subjects including the resistance, gender equality, LGBTQ+ ally support and racial equality. Amy collaborates with educators who include her books and essays in their classrooms.
To learn more about Amy’s novels and recent blog posts, visit her Author Page on Amazon.