• Fiona Alwora

Dangerous - A tribute to Kahlil Gibran

I have been moved and fascinated by what it takes to be a protester, day to day, week to week. I mean this in a broad sense from whistle blowers and investigative reporters to people marching in the streets of their home towns, putting themselves on the line to effect change.

It takes so much to be determined enough to make the sacrifice of time, comfort and relative safety to commit to a cause in this way, and accept all the struggle that comes with it.

Although protest has been the agent for long term change in countries around the world, some days can feel like such a loss, with the cause almost eclipsed by its consequences.

The fact that I do not live in the same country where I was born is a direct result of just such an act of rebellion, albeit not my own. It is difficult to consider, let alone explain, all the ways my life could have been different without that fork in the road.

It is almost impossible to contextualize all you stand lose, or gain until it is already too late to take a different route. That said, I wouldn't change my path even it if I could. Every hard or painful day made me choose, define and redefine myself as a person. It forced me to discover what, and who, I could live without.

This poem was inspired by "Defeat" by Kahlil Gibran, read here for you by Tracy K. Smith on her podcast "The Slowdown". In this year of unexpected and unprecedented change, I find myself referring to it again and again to remind myself how far I have come. It grounds me in the fact that there is far more to gain in living in your truth - In getting up and trying, again and again.

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