Spring After Ferguson

Spring After Ferguson
by Rev. Julie Barnes

This solitude, my solitude, has become crowded with tasks and anxiety, the empty filler of phone games, and dishes to be put away. My solitude has become peopled with complaints, hurt, and disconnect. It’s not frightening and ghosted as in days past, nor is it a smooth stone in my palm, just the right heaviness to ground me, something to hold and know intimately in the face of a violent, disintegrating world in flux. I am being subsumed in business and in householding. I have forgotten. All of my arms reach out to hold precious things—the spring cherry in bloom, my niece’s stubby sticky fingers, our old tomcat’s silky spine, the curled and knuckle-knobbed hand of grandma on the eve of her 89th birthday, my lover’s milky tender cheek softening into the strength of my fingers, the houseplants greening and stretching daily under my attentive care, the clinic workers’ bodies sieged with pressure from all sides to fix, the young people’s fierce voices and cogent protect signs I walk beside beholding and wondering what my place is on this street, in this struggle for justice that sets my heart on fire and breaks it at once. So many threads alive, and yet too many days I’m home in PJs, fused to my phone, eyes laptop-glazed trying to create, discuss, craft something of use. The something of use is me. Me remembering my courage to claim space for what I love, what I am here to be and do. Wake up, wake up together, wake up over and over to make our world new.


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Rev. Julie Barnes, LMHC practices holistic mental health counseling, yoga/movement therapy, and interfaith ministry. She founded Same Boat Consulting to offer innovative training, clinical supervision, and accompaniment to community health programs nationally and internationally. A passionate writer, mover, and activist, she loves facilitating conversations that deepen awareness, strengthen relationships, and promote change across differences. Reach her at sameboatconsulting@gmail.com.