Skip to main content

MY BROTHER, I HEAR YOU

-->
MY BROTHER, I HEAR YOU
(Dedicated to EC, a King)

My brother, I heard you when you said what you said…..how you navigate through arms stretched out for a handshake….inviting your touch, beseeching your presence, your voice - that timbre only my brothers possess.
My brother, I heard you when you said what you said.  You spoke out into the room,  parting the great sea of academia.  For a few moments, you opened a channel so that we could hear the muffled screams.   Our screams.  Us, the ancestors yet to come.  You called our attention to the folk songs of those who bushwhack great walkways for our people today, for the elders, for the young.             
We diligently practice to soften and open our hearts, calibrate our speech, make ourselves a flexible bridge holding both the anger and the innocence -  a refined instrument of revolution.
I heard you, my brother.  I know why your breathing stopped as the picture on the screen unfolded before your eyes.  You knew.  Could sense what was coming:  the open-handed gesture, inviting a handshake.  Instead - punch in the face.  You re-cognized your life in that moment…I know it.  An all too familiar pattern in the civil rights march that is your daily walk through life. 
You are a waymaker, my brother.  I see your journey, even though your words were few today.  Your freedom march may look far less dramatic than that of our ancestors documented on that screen.   And yet, the call remains, “gird up your loins!”  For as you dare to speak powerfully, to act powerfully, and to love powerfully; the gesture of friendship may be followed by a backhand slap.
I see you my brother, and I stand with you. For this work requires that we let down our guard in order to access our fullness.  We can’t wait.  It is upon us now!  To declare the truth of who we are, we must be the truth of who we are.   Even in this, in today’s America, where we’ve come so far to find the same old, crusty lies of racism that have been polished and spun, wrapped in good intentions and garnished with brilliant words of the academy. With open hearts, fresh courage and firm determination, we must disallow these illusions to serve as modern day chains. 
I join you in reclaiming our birthright – to freedom, to beauty, to thrive.  I join you in demanding our place - standing solidly therein, with unwavering knowing.  I join you as we tune our ears to that which is true.  We fix our gaze, beyond the outstretched hands that would do us harm, to see the faces of the old ones and the ones to come.  We tune our ears not to the words of praise that would compel us to leave each other’s side for glory.  We listen for the voices of our ancestors guiding our steps and encouraging our hearts as they declare: We see you, we see you, we hear you. 
[Upon witnessing my brother – Jan. 29, 2015]

Comments

Unknown said…
Most magnificent my beloved sister. Resonates within me deeply. Thank you!

Popular posts from this blog

Equity Work is Healing Work

I was talking to a friend and colleague last night.He shared a bit about how his facilitation teams were beginning to run into conflict as they worked together.Tensions were building, demanding attention. The issues that were rising to the surface were issues of power associated with race, class and gender.
His facilitation teams work as a part of a program designed to develop strong community leaders who are committed to building equity and justice. It has run for over 10 years and has never seen this level of dissention.His question was, how have we gone all of this time without ever making conversations about oppression and power a deliberate part of our work?How have past leaders of this program managed to smooth all of this over?
Thinking about a recent Training for Trainers that I’d facilitated, I began to respond, “The stuff just hits the fan in this work.I’ve yet to lead a training for facilitators where tensions don’t rise to a level of intensity that far exceeds anyone’s in…

Wake Up....RUTS!

THE PROBLEM IS

THE PROBLEM IS (Mostly written on the train, traveling as invited to the Fetzer Institue – Oct., 2008)
The problem is, you see me as so different.Not you at all, thus incomprehensible.
Never clear, the mind searches corridors introduced during your original tour—designed as the ultimate distraction for tourists trying to see the natives by staying out of the village life.
You were told that you are not a villager and surely, not a native.Not native to anything?Anywhere?Anyone?
You’ve forgotten the taste of blood/the smell of urine unfertilized/the slick feel of skin never yet washed or the care in washing it for the last time.The not-you-ness swells dangerously large filling every orafix.Thus, you can’t pull in or secret.No conscious exhale or pause in response to the caw alert – right above your head.
Someone else must supply your colorful language, your out-of-control fucking.Cause its just not you to go there….and, if you get out of line to partake in the feast that your ancestors prepa…