A convincing image of communication / de t a c h / where there are patterns /
in place of saying / something real.
It dates back;
A sad lineage after sad lineage after sad lineage of those who never allowed themselves
the pleasure of free reign, like cultural mantras: to (the) end (we hold) the rigidity of
our own verbal and corporal
At least we have this; we say that because this drama is ours:
I mean to say, no one else is imagining this to such intimacy and detail except for you and me.
You found us where we ate / Is it a memory? / Or observing a pattern?
You saw us eat here? Was it soup?
Were we dreaming?
What would you have wanted to eat?
I said we were eating from teetering and content hearts.
I said one day we sat submerged to bathe in shades scribbled in with grace,
putting to the world lines, rich to our eyes, colors peeking from beneath; Rays of
orange, and yellow went first both later buried to thick grainy lines sprouting purple,
brown and green: a landscape is
“Your hand your wrist on my arm / swaying a slow elbow / crooked a bit in dizzy breath.
Two skin tones in the dark distinguish our bodies / Are we communicating / is fleeting
and cause from heart to cheeks, are we fruit trees standing against the sunshine?
Our fingertips slow to caress, arms jut and leaves shade umbilicaly dangling gifts.
With hunger we reach up / are the branches open / in this tree?
We would wonder about the fruit: Are they content? Their animated flesh full of seed
and juice / their touch deliciously cold and smooth:
Are they growing up while dropping down like on a string?
Light green by day / pale blue by moon light
As if they are waiting for us, we reach–
But between you, and me and between the whole grove of chismoso mango trees;
Was it realy listening? Did anyone enter or did we allow each other in?
Did we go where we said we would go? To find it somewhere and
decide together where we wanted
Darling (as if without inhibitions and just a sultry whisper loaded and protected under
a knitted slew of secrets between us!)
Do we want to share ourselves with each other so close to what hurts this tender?
Are we nourshing soil enough from within ourselves / for planting and growing /
for growing or sustaining work made love?
After seasoning through quiet storm / I am imagining / roots that hold a place for us,
We decided too feed ourselves? / Meals came from? and springing from / I said that I
don’t care if our shit is the most richly composted and beautiful dirt /
but will we grow a little in just
a little earth?
Are you swimming over there? Underwater and without electricity?
marveling at the violence of our culture that saturates
There are earth quaking here on faults bigger than my own.
And while it all moves I am
A n d y e t ?
the soles of my shoes and city concrete say a lot in just a little space
between the earth and my feet:
“Best to think with your heart and keep it moving–”
You imagine the inner busy body chismoso shocked gasping through some time-like-dimension,
Like we were left here sitting to wonder
about adapting to
This video comes from the Applied Research Center.
In my understanding:
HISTORICAL FACT #1 : Through the hype and shadow, US media usually *avoids* any real analysis of race in its historical context (white supremacy).
FACT LITTLE KNOWN TO MOST WHITE PEOPLE #1: Talking about racism with white people is usually difficult, unnecessarily challenging, and laborious.
MYTH #1: PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF RACISM DON’T INCLUDE WHITE PEOPLE
I would argue that the effects of racism and the process of facing racism are *some* of the largest negative psychological factors that shape the psyche and mental well-being of EVERYBODY in the US (and probably the whole world).
MISCONCEPTION #1: RACISM IS JUST BEING PREJUDICED. Just to make it clear, when I talk about *racism* I mean historical white supremacy, and NOT just personal *bigotries * and *prejudices*
MY EXPERIENCE AS A WHITE PERSON IS SHAPED BY WHAT IT MEANS AND WHAT IT HAS MEANT TO BE A WHITE PERSON #1:
Unfortunately, the dynamics to facing and talking about racism (as I know among whitefolks) remain mostly hidden, and as I know it, *most* whitefolks, when facing the personal and psychological work required to dealing with our own internalized racism, either ignore it or escape it. In the media or in more classical genial and liberal escapist roles, the discussion of racism all becomes a game of making sure that one doesn’t *appear* to be “a racist,” or that one isn’t witnessed expressing racist characteristics and behaviour around people that would be *offended* (people perceived as poc).
FACING RACISM IS PAINFUL AND REQUIRES A DEDICATION TO HEALING
The onset of white-based political correctness in language seems to have resulted in preventing (mostly white) people from having open, honest or meaningful conversations about race and racism, making it even more difficult to talk about such a historically painful subject. It is ridiculous to think that a psychological social illness/cultural standard & practice that shapes a large part the psyche of white people, is not an *sickness* that requires spiritual, personal, political, social, and collective healing. Real questions, reflection and action working againts racism-white supremacy begins as we look to what we have personally assimilated from the culture of white supremacy, and uproot it through all of our lives, because it is that old, it is that deep, it is that concealed and intertwined within this unhappy lineage that leads directly to ourselves. BUT IT WILL REQUIRE MUCH MUCH *MUCH** LISTENING. And it is mostly going to require people who don’t know about racism and who don’t know they don’t know about racism (a lot of whitefolks) listening to *experiences outside of their own* . This means listening about racism from the point of view of a poc WITHOUT DOUBTING or CRITICIZING, WITHOUT making absurd remarks or questions, WITHOUT SAYING THAT THE SAME THING HAPPENS TO YOU ALL THE TIME, YA JUST GOTTA GET OVER IT because if you’re white it didn’t happen to you like that, not once not all the time, so just callate and listen, and learn to listen that you aren\t going to be able to relate very well with everything you hear, and listening to poc talk about THEIR EXPERIENCES with RACIST-ass history and culture filled with racist-ass culeros, is probably gonna make you UNCOMFORTABLE, but GET OVER IT, its not about you. If you are white and you are doing work against your own racist assumptions and reactions, BE HONEST AND YOU’LL GET YOUR ASS CALLED OUT sometimes gentle and sometimes not ACCEPT IT GRACIOUSLY it is a precious gift.
ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT RACISM IS DIFFICULT, AND THEN DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT CAN BE A LOT MORE CHALLENGING
As I know it being from the US, I believe opening up meaningful dialogues about race and racism are necessary steps to further EVERYONES personal healing. First you can’t get caught up on the guilt. DON’T BE SO SELF ABSORBED if you feel guilty, pick yourself and move on, STAYING with that guilty feeling is just more of not doing anything but focusing on yourself. But HEY it just isnt about you. And then BEYOND JUST TALKING about it DO SOMETHING! IT IS GOING TO REQUIRE LISTENING and it will require standing up and speaking up AND SAYING THINGS OUTLOUD IN SOCIAL SETTINGS that will surely make you unpopular among other whitefolks that you know and are quite possibly people you know quite well, family and friends. BUT JUST because I am with white people does not give consent for another white person to say the same old or newly phrased tired and stupid-ass racist bullshit around me and I let them folks know that DAMN! DONT SAY THAT SHIT around me, not like a request or a notification of my preferences, but A DRAMATIC declaration DEMANDING they take a look at how what they are saying is FUCKED UP and perpetuates a climate of hostility, ignorance and violence, not just cuz its *racist*. And this is just THE EASIEST EXAMPLE, I’m sure we can brainstorm many many more examples that are full of thicker subtleties and are much more complex.
FACT #2 ABOUT BEING WHITE: If you’re white.. (and I guess here I’m talking about the trail of your lineage, NOT JUST the shade of your skin), so IF YOU’RE WHITE, YOU’RE RACIST. That’s just how it is if you’re white from a lineage born generations through the context of a white-supremacist country with a long ugly white-supremacist history. Sorry if ya didn’t know. I know this is a hard one to accept (especially for feel-gooding white liberal folks) but REMEMBER TO LISTEN ! ! Don’t get too caught up on yourself, racism has been around a lot longer, is a lot larger, and weighs a lot more than you! So get over yourself, too.
CRUCIAL ADVICE FOR WHITEFOLKS WILLING TO DO THE WORK: A.) Give up being the boss, give up thinking you know too much, give up thinking you have to be calm or have everything under control. B.) Be humble while continuing the life-long process to untangle our personal, familial and cultural lullabies. C.) Listen! Listening is a process of learning to listen to experiences outside of your own. Not everything is about race, and not everything needs any kind of answer or response. Not everyone will trust you enough to tell you how they feel, get over it. TRUST comes from working together over time NOT from ANYTHING that is said D.) Make and follow through to keeping accountability to the people you work with. Escaping-running away-puffing up-making threats of violence- and all other general forms of breaking accountability has been whitefolks’s historical first trap. DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN RUNNING AWAY WHEN YOU FEEL SCARED we are going to make a lot more mistakes (like everyone) if we wish to get anywhere, just own up and be accountable for what you said or what you did, and move on. THIS is behavior I think generally builds trust if repeated over time.
LOOKING AT RACISM IS A RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHITE PEOPLE
The bottom line: white supremacy is violence and IS a long historical lineage of violence, and EVERYONE in the US has their work to facing their own internalized white supremacy in the context of ending this violence, WHILE ALSO working and reaching for their own psychological healing, this is being said really **-especially-only** for whitefolks.
PLACES TO LOOK FOR FURTHER READING
There are many active organizations, collectives and writers in the US working a little below the radar, the majority that I have read that are the sharpest most brilliant most analyticaly and insanely genius are woc blog writers, whom maybe in many aspects see the most and they know it and say it like it is. See WOC blog, and The Anti-Essentialist Conundrum, just two blogs-bloggers among a churning river of blog writing, you will never be able to read through it all, what you can find durates long in your heart, often beautiful, even more often heart-breaking and stunning.
HIDDEN SECRET ABOUT VIOLENCE AND INTERSECTING OPPRESSION? Everything said here about racism and poc and whitefolks can be related very similarly to sexism (and other oppressions, too?). I dunno, in terms of relating similarities between oppressions IS WHAT I JUST TYPED ABOVE about intersecting oppression TRUE? ..REALLY I would like to know,
PLEASE READ MY FRIENDS READ ON !
I’m not always so quiet and withdrawn, but in some group gatherings I do stay shut up more than what folks are usually comfortable with. I do want to love bigger and laugh more, and reach a point of overcoming the learned rigidity of my body, but I also savor long moments of silence and don’t think it’s necessary to have a response to everything.
I went to a huichol based and led ceremony on Saturday night and during the first half of the night, I almost didn’t speak, and a couple folks I had just met observed how quiet I am. During the meditation, I saw with unusual lucidity reasons why I stay quiet so often. Today I tried to remember those reasons and I have tried to reproduce them here. Maybe this post is just self-indulgent, but it maps a lot of my personal experiences :P
REASONS WHY I STAY SHUT UP
I am listening and thinking deeply about what is being said because I care about what is being said
Because what is going on in front of me is in Spanish and my thoughts are still running in English
I just enjoy listening and observing
Because it takes me a long time to let people in and open up
Because I’m worried about something else
Because I’m being self absorbed
I don’t understand why what is being said is being said
I dont agree with what is being said and i’m not sure how to respond
I dont have too much to say
I am full of arrogance-presumptions-assumptions-
I disconnected, I am daydreaming
I don’t like what you are saying or it is painful so I detached from you and what you are saying
I think you’re saying something stupid and i just dont feel like giving you any kind of response
Because I’m intimidated
Because I’m impressed
Because I’ve put you above me like some idol
Because I was arrogant and just blew you off
Because of a long history of disconnections, its easy, and predictable and safe
Because of self sabatoge, hesitation and because I doubt myself as to the authenticity of who I am, what I feel, and what I think
Because I already have had this conversation too many times and I never like where it goes
Because I’m tired
Because I’m hungry
Because I save my words
Because I’m trying to listen
Because I’m mad and I’m struggling to express it
You’re from Argentine-Spain-Guatemala-Tampico-Sonora-Chiapas-etc, and I only really understand thoroughly a Chilango accent
Because boy gender people talk too much too often and take up too much space
Because I don’t know you and you don’t me, and I might not say shit about what I am thinking until I decide its worth it to open up and reveal something about myself to you
Check it out, new Ciarra! And really, when was the last time I saw a commercially distributed music video featuring 11 women perfoming in drag, to a song based in questioning the validity of so-called “normal” gender roles? I like Ciaras music and I especially like this new video “Like A Boy”. The beat is right, shes an incredible dancer, and it’s refreshing considering what kind of discussions about gender you are sure to find in tv, newpapers, glossy magazines and other big-media.
The most repeated chorus line of the song is: “What, you mad? Can’t handle that?”
Maybe this question “normally” would be interpreted as:
“You are not man enough (= not masculine enough) to handle this…?”
But in the context of the song, more likely (as I imagine) the phrase could mean:
“What, you are angry because you don’t want to hear that I’m angry and fed up (with your behavior, with these tired old gender roles), but instead you emotionally withdraw by claiming to not be able to handle this…?”
Or it’s possible that Ciara is asking even more specifically:
“What, you can’t handle (owning and expressing your anger, being accountable to me, communicating openly and honesty, facing your own bullshit, doing your own emotional work, etc etc)…?”
Any other interpretations?
Check out the lyrics here.
Fracaso monumental contra la humanidad: Cuatro años de EEUU en Irak:
Tenderly I imagine from many hearts there in my country, and to those many hearts in Irak:
In my country, the US, the States, maybe there are many of us not yet 100% in the cacoon of our own disconnected spinnings: A silent requiem that eats away at our being and our sense, that destroys savagely our reference point to any hope of achieving that long-lost sensation near our own general wellbeing. Questions gnaw us from the inside: “How are we* so broken apart and passive, How is it that we are surrendered and placid in the business-as-usual face of such tremendous violence? By family members and by tax dollars, this militarization is something I am directly connected to: Yet what is even said by those so-distant-from witnessing, and yet so-close-to the funding of such imense saddness?
For me, first a long apology through prayer (ceremony) and there putting a lot of effort and breathing to imagine the wellbeing for the Iraki people. Later a ceremony for myself and people I know who have a direct connection to this war, and for all of this land under heavy boots, to imagine with all my heart a widespread sense of peace,and later praying that we never abandon remembering that there is the responsibility for what we know.
I give a delicate and light cleanse for what weighs on me, and pray for reaching the health of learning how to carry this. Then finally a little celebration for the strength and courage deep down for being who I am, and I sing this for myself to my heart.
Persiste incertidumbre entre ambulantes sobre su destino
En calles del Centro: contrabando, mercancía robada y hasta polleros
No fue repentinamente:
Que doy valor a las ideas mias que no vale tanto.
Algunas veces me dijo: “Te ciegas a las cosas más bonitas que lleves“