My brain had different thoughts underwater. Truth swimming, or sinking, seeping out the cracks.

There is an unveiling in this hangover. Unavoidable revealing.

Inadequacy sinking. Jealousy rising. Anger. Judgment. Equanimity. Grief.

All the different feels.

We are so different, she and I. As I sat there offering my presence and she put it into color on the canvas, I wondered what kind of witch she saw in me. Which kind of Queen. Which peasant girl on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor of the kitchen. All these different beings within me.

She told me that I needed to cement over the past. That constantly looking back, revisiting the ruins, was unnecessary. All the things that happened are existing within you and expressed in the present moment anyway. We do not need to spend our conscious waking energy in a perpetual presentation of reference points. We are not our reference points. We are their creative sum.

I found these thoughts very profound. The image of cementing over the past would not leave my head. If anything it became more elaborate, and I began to extend the thought into the use of cement to build foundations for homes and streets and buildings.

What happens when we pour concrete over things?

It was here that my overthinking seemed to reveal a key point to this conversation.

Yes, concrete can make a good foundation, if one excavates properly first, like a good German engineer. But if you fail to do so, the elements will seep in and under and whatever you build on top is guaranteed to crack and fall apart someday, perhaps when you least expect it. By the same turn, if we fail to pour concrete on the prepared ground, our past remains like an open wound, exposed, and ever wearing down.

I think of these things, as I watch her concrete foundation begin to crack open, and the open pit of my past start to fill in. There is openness on either side. Like this we come closer to learning the lessons of the other’s wisdom.

I think of these things, as the Confederate statues around America begin to come down.

Healing the country and moving forward while simultaneously acknowledging our weaknesses.

This is Joe’s strength. Acknowledging fallibility, and working to do better.

It’s finally time to let go of the Confederacy.

“The winning side is finally deciding it doesn’t need to keep celebrating the side that tried to destroy them.“ (Trevor Noah)