On this leap day '012, over a month into Water Dragon Year, last day of Black History Month, I am reflecting on the future, struggles across the planet for equality and justice, and my place in all of that. As I think deeply about my place in the struggle, I dare to dream and imagine something better, something safer, something free.
These first two months of the year brought many challenges yet I continue to be grateful and feel so blessed... we all have many challenges and some days it's hard to pull oneself out of the gutter and grime of it all. Yet and still, I do what I must to get up and remember that I am, I think, I am SomeBody, I am alive and here... with purpose.
I keep reminding myself to be present because all we have is now as I meditate on my path and purpose... dreaming/calling forth clarity and patience.
It's been a whirlwind since I got back from Haiti in mid January and I still haven't made the time to sit and write about my experience. But for a report back of the trip and delegation - check out: January 2012 Ayiti Resurrect Delegation. And also check out these two webalbums I put together from photos by Tony Moultry: the first album - our orientation & planning days AND the second - our program days. Coordinating, planning, and fundraising for the delegation over the past year and a half has been a huge part of my life.. and so it is with so much joy and light that I share with conscious vibration our photos and report back. I plan to write my personal reflection and thoughts about our journey and share soon soon :) dreaming/making time to write.
|by Margot Bethel|
February has been a difficult month... too much work... and too much loss... On Feb 2nd, my cousin (Edward George Darville Junior) passed away from a brain tumor. He was only 49 and like an older brother and uncle to me growing up. And even though we weren't close in my adult years, I remember him being a major influence and support system for me and my mother -- they were really close and so this brought me back to her passing, 15 years ago. It's been hard to process and there is more to share... stuff that is messy and hard to talk about... stuff about the silence in family history and missing years... So I dream of tracing and locating family histories/herstories on my mother's side... I dream of reconnecting and making space in all this distance as I grieve and mourn and rememory.
The funeral happened on the day Whitney Houston passed away at only 48. It took me a while to feel the sadness of it all as I was in my own state of grief... and because I lost my mother at the young age of 19, I found myself thinking about Whitney's daughter and reflecting on what this time must be like for her. Feeling great empathy... knowing what that loss feels like... knowing what is it like to grow up with drug addicted parents... knowing there is too much silence about this experience and a serious lack of support around addiction and mental health in our communities... knowing that no matter how much money or fame she had, she was still a Black woman in america... knowing that there is more to her story than we will ever know. Feeling the light of Whitney through her music.
These passings have made me think deeply about family, loss, separation, physical and mental health, addiction, and how we remember those who have passed (especially in the Caribbean and people of color communities broadly). How do we remember and rememory? How do we speak of loss and grief? And so what is most on my mind is health or lack thereof in our communities, where we don't/can't take good care of ourselves... for all kinds of reasons.
And so I dream about time, space, abundance to put ourselves and our loved ones first. I dream of healthier lives and spirits and female bodily integrity. I dream of freedom from addiction and self medicating. I dream of community and communities joining together with hearts voices minds across differences creating and building safe healthy productive relationships and families. I dream... and dream... dreaming I am... dream.
This morning I began my day with Democracy Now as I do most days, which generally guides me into various news reports. In this journey, I found an LA Times article about the DREAM act, which I support not only because I am an immigrant who moved to U.S. for higher education but also because it makes ethical sense (although I am critical of the military option). The piece comments on a recent interview with Angela Davis and Citizens for Immigrants talking about the act (posted on their website on Feb 27, 2012) and her argument that Black people should support this act. The article also goes into some of the reasons why African Americans may not fully support the DREAM act because of what we can call the typical divide and conquer and how people of color and migrants are pitted against each other, especially during times of economic crisis. I found Angela Davis' words to be inspiring and helpful for this debate. And for those of us migrant and Black, for those of us who are at the intersections of these often divided identities and communities, let us place ourselves in this struggle and tell each other why:
"It's important because it represents one of the most important arenas in the ongoing struggle for civil rights in this country, and particularly those of us who have a history of struggling for civil rights -- I'm speaking very specifically about the African-American community."
"As people who have benefited from these freedom struggles, it is our responsibility to continue justice as Martin Luther King, Jr. pointed out is indivisible, and justice for black people must be used on behalf of justice for Latinos, and justice for immigrants, and justice for undocumented immigrants."
"It is a cause that black people should embrace. One of the things that we need to remember is that the victories that have been won in the struggle for black freedom never would have been possible if only black people were the ones who were active in those struggles. ... I know my case would not have been won, as it was, had not it been for the activism of the Chicano community in San Jose when I was tried on charges of conspiracy. In San Jose, there was a very minuscule black community there at that time. And it was in the Chicano community that the major organizing took place."
"I don't understand how people can assume that its possible for each racialized ethnic group to go it alone."
At the end of the interview, Angela Davis was asked what does she have to say to young people in the struggle and she responded with this: "Live one's life as a life of struggle and learn how to develop ways of asserting one's imagination and creativity. And learn how to live one's life that way so that it becomes a thing of joy and not a thing of sacrifice."
On this leap day and as we move rapidly into this planetary-consciousness-shifting Dragon year of 2012, let us dream our way into this joy, this way of life in the struggle, together... We cannot go it alone. And so I wonder what will our future look like? How can we really make these necessary alliances in the struggle for radical change? I remain hopeful and believe in the possibilities of change.
peace, blessings & conscious vibration,