Can Words…?

Can words be their own worlds?

Can words save our world?

Can words save ourselves?

Can words save our souls?

Can words shake the ground?

Can words start storms?

Can words calm storms?

Can words shock like lightning strikes?

Can words prevent drone strikes?

Can words provoke workers strikes?

Can words portray what’s right?

Can words speak truth?

Can words only confuse?

Can words abuse?

Can words refuse?

Can words excuse?

Can words change our minds?

Can words define time?

Can words realign?

Can words tell me it’s fine?

Can words lie?

Can words die?

Can words hear my chest?

Can words spark unrest?

Can words express love?

Can words pump through veins?

Can words feel my pain?

Can words fill my brain?

Can words fill my page?

Can words fill my rage?

Can words make me full?

Can words make me peaceful?

Can words make me violent?

Can words make me silent?

Can words…?

Tune In To Speak Out

There’s always this careful dance going on in me. Internal swinging and spinning telling me to move and create. To get up and make noise and shout and act on the unjust. But just like my body, my mind and internal wanderings tire and I’m forced to be silent and still. The stress and anxiety of late-capitalism has emptied consumers seeking more spiritual satisfactions. Just like humanitarianism, so too does self-care, mindfulness and yoga all become hijacked by commodification practices, absorbed into the ideological landscape of neoliberalism. We digest a product meant to be good for us but it’s causing blockages and diseases.

Meditations and mindfulness get used as more tools for mindlessness. Like reality TV we are put to sleep by the overwhelming necessity for detachment. But detachment for The Buddha is a mechanism used to remove oneself from the control of our environment, so we can rise above as observers more able to see and speak clearly about the ways we truly exist. And the truth is, we exist in struggle. We struggle to be sentient beings in a world that constantly portrays an overly physical form of reality, trying to become authentic in a world congested with manufactured consumption habits that perpetuate exploitation and violence in each purchase. Detachment is not meant to be a sleeping utensil. We are meant to tune in so we can see the ways we’ve tuned out.

Tuning out is not meditation. Meditation is for focused attention. Pay attention to the way we shake for each other. Watch how we assault and abuse one another. Feel how disruption over there is disruption in here. Mindfully settle that shaking just enough to manifest the energy to confront it. We are not meant to live in fear and anxiety. Post-Traumatic disorders plague too many communities. Disregarding this violence is not healing. We must be uncomfortable with it.

Seeking comfort is not revolutionary and if self care is truly about love then it must not be reactionary – love is transcending and radical; it is the awakened spirit that seeks collectivism and harmony. It is good to feel anger from our calamities. Anger does not rise within us for us to ignore it. Sickness is a sign built by our organism telling us to change. Stillness is not unchanging. Love is not ignorance. Love is growing.

Stillness is not non-adaptive. Stillness is not silence. Stillness is the momentary heightened awareness of our collective vibrating. Stillness is a tool to recognize it’s own paradox, that nothing is ever still. Silence has never participated in revolution. Silence always promotes disintegration, social fracturing and apathy. Silence is not the same as listening. Listen to your heart. Listen to other’s hearts. But do not be silent about the ways your hurt. Do not be silent about the ways we hurt each other.

Shake and awaken in your practice. Tune in to speak out. Slow down to speed up. Mindfulness for action. Breathe in for someone else’s lungs. Lunge for someone else’s life. Take your time to be still so you can give time to those who can’t stop moving for the fear that they’ll be shot at. Remember our collective anxiety is built in histories of trauma. Sleeping will continue the nightmare. Resting will heal and rejuvenate, so rest – but you will never be healed if you are not simultaneously healing others. Be still only so you can move.

Our health is in each other. It is in our planet, our land, our water, our air. Now is not the time for individualized escapes. Now we must participate. Learn about your neighbours, learn about their hate. Talk to the strangers who pass by when you have that collected light to share and regurgitate. Gather your spirit, build up your energies, practice your powers, because we all need them right now. We need you here. We need you to show up.

We need you to love everyone like we love escaping into our mat at the end of a long day. Love each other like those deep breaths that ground you. Let the grounding root you and move you so that you can grow up and reach out. Intertwine your love with each other. This is our movement. This is our health. This is spirituality for the masses. I want to call this, Sacred Socialism. But then again, I don’t want to call it anything at all – for these are not my thoughts alone. I speak because we learn. I know because you show. I am me because of you. Without you, I am nothing.

 

Forget to Forget

I scamper down the hallway in an East London public school carrying boxes of school supplies. I am transporting them to another classroom, a new room we’ve just moved to. As bins near my chin slightly wobble, the morning announcements begin.

In traditional national standards they commence the playing of the national anthem. I wonder whether to continue my scampering-balancing act or to accept the fact that all other scampering had stopped. Shuffles ceased from feet. Attentively we stood listening to the crackling faint orchestra now haunting the halls.

I placed my bins on the floor and stood like them all. I don’t want to encourage the disobedience of school-house etiquette. As a school-aged Child Care Programer, I know the careful balance between governing and self-governance. When to write your own rules and when to follow principles too.

But as I stood there and silenced my mind, I heard the chirping of tiny kinder-gardeners singing. I gazed my eyes from the floor tiles and spotted a bulletin board with a notice on it:

“Remember to Remember – Honour the heroes who fought for our freedom. Remembrance Day November 11th.”

With black and white photos of soldiers and red and black poppies made of plastic in rows along the side.

Remember to Remember.

As my yes fell heavy back to the floor I imagined the ground laying under the tiles. I pictured the earth before these tiles and all of the concrete and isles and hallways before me. Before the school and this anthem. I can’t fully remember how Canada became a country or why we have an army or borders all around me but, it resonates inside me like everyone around me.

There remains those who can never forget the tragedies that happened to their families and societies; can never forget the land stolen for the tiles I stand on. Lives destroyed for this freedom the children around me sing for through their tiny little mouths. They’re already told to forget why they sing in the mornings. They are not told why they learn here in this school on this land.

They are told to remember a different story. One of glory and triumph, of victory and perseverance and grievance. We remember our lost. Our soldiers who fought for a colonized state, colonizing more land and marching with imperialist haste. Blossoming more fear in our thoughts it’s no question why minds are lost. We remember the glory but can’t see the decay, we learned the same lessons we learned the same game.

Plastered on bulletin boards in classrooms where white people rule. Projected through speakers in each and every room. Since we were four, we stood on this floor, forgetting the land that we stand for. Told to embrace the Canadian Flag and sing our anthem with pride.

Remember those battles won and the lives of the good guys on our team. Forget all the natives and slaves we abused. Their lives don’t matter we wont count them here. Just stand when you hear this song and stop what you’re doing to remember what we want you to remember.

They want you to sing without fear, like your life will be clear, free and full of laughter. You won the battles, well most of you here, just don’t look outside of the patterns. This land that we’re on was conquered through murder not too long before you got here. If you have questions ask them. Remember your privileges and how you got them. Work for the folks who don’t have them.

When you ask me to stop and stand as your patriotic pet, I’ll stop and remember what you want me to forget.

red-white-poppies

 

To Our Leaders

Maybe all of this fear mongering is getting to me
Maybe all the grey skies thunder rain down
a feeling that’s just sad to be
It’s been ingrained like salt in sea
A part of me like you eternally

We’ve forgotten how to exist for each other
Demonized and dehumanized our Mother
Criminalized her Protectors
Tried to kill this Home in me
forever

Hearts still beat together with
the same vibrational methods
as the air currents and leopards
The tree cats and shepherds
All dance
No effort

You’ve been trying to make us forget this
Our habitat is what is us
Our pedestal of logic’s imprisoned us
Seek love, humility and forgiveness

I’m someone who materializes
other people’s pain internally
Rain drops are tears and lightning our fears
I shake at my core emphatically

I don’t mean emotionally
but physiologically
Disorder in you is disorder in me
I feel like the Earth crying right now
When so many stand up
while so many sit down

Your weight pulls like gravity
Buried in our debt, death and disparity
Holding onto your seats because
you know you’re guilty
Shaking your heads like, “nah, no way, not me”.

Look at me
I look like you
I can tell you I’m sick and I know you are too
We can’t go on being Kings of the slums
without becoming big buckets of scum

I only tell you this once
that’s all you deserve
If I can heal myself
than your power’s been curved

Please and Thank You

When we were young we were taught to say please and thank you.

Please comes first followed by thank you.

But as we sit around these dinner tables of gratitude

we often forget that please was not part of our ancestors’ attitude.

Now you ask me to be grateful for the opportunities I’ve been blessed with

and absolutely I’m grateful for the capacity to digest this colonial myth.

But as I sift through these messages and lessons of European made traditions

I find it hard not to focus on the massive contradictions.

We care more about business than humanity.

I’m supposed to care more about money than my own sanity.

How counter-productive am I supposed to be?

Killing each other while living profitably.

Poverty wrapped up in a life of prosperity.

I don’t know how to live my life honestly.

So I hide and I cry and I fight and I die repetitively.

Continuously trying not to forget how to love entirely.

I’m more sorry than I am thankful during this festivity.

Maybe we should fast instead of feast on our humility.

Spiritually journey through time and remember the tragedies

that accompany celebrations like Thanksgiving turkey.

I try to be hopeful and don’t mean to be greedy.

I’d rather lift you up than bring you down with me.

This is not supposed to be about me and my privileged story,

Just this life’s got my heart all tangled and messy.

One lesson to remember is not to be thankful for the things we have taken.

We must say please and be granted the sharing before we can ever

rejoice in the wealth we are making.

It’s hard to be a cynic when you’re grateful for this existence.

So I’m thankful for all of those whose life is resistance.

Thank you to those who protect our waters and persistence.

Without your fight our children might forget about coexistence.

Please let me see all humans be free.

Please let there be love surrounding all that we see

Please forgive me for the times that I’ve harmed you

Please have the patience while I learn what to do.

I’m thankful that I don’t live in the midst of most violence.

I’m thankful that I’ve been taught to live with love and acceptance.

I’m thankful for those who I can sing and can dance with

I’m thankful just for the chance to express this.

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River Trees

River. Runs.

Streaming through ancient rock beds. It’s in between softness and hardness. Gleaming with glistening guidance flowing free it whispers to the silence. Passes by Protector’s roots, where Great Ones planted their boots, watching the land and river be fed.

Together they’re still and they’re movement. Trees holding down the grounding energy. Water flushes through us in a cleansing frenzy. Baptized, replenished, hydrated and sacred.

Water this pure wipes clean my own ocean. I plunge in this cure to feel pure emotion. I’ll always come back to balance rocks on the shore. Level myself out and take time to restore.

There’s more where there’s less. Head to the edge of the forest. Tune out the noise and listen for the wilderness chorus. This music moves through us. We speak together through silence. A current we’re transmitting like a river persisting.

Float like a leaf.

Out here, rolling and fitting.

DCIM101GOPRO
The Soft Spot

Dear Deer

The shaking whisper of the ocean sang behind us. The pastel sky was slowly being swallowed by the mist that seamlessly danced from a distance.

Air temperatures collide with excited moisture leaping from waves where they meet land across this coastal motion. Each night the moon grows a little fuller as the sun relentlessly sinks into the Western Edge. As the moon rises and the sun lowers, we ride our bicycles down patient roads.

Different shades of mountain hues layer the Eastern Earth with farmland and long grass and scattered tree limbs running along lines “throwing shadows on our eyes”.

In a moment I glance to catch the gaze of a young deer standing calmly in the field. It’s antenna ears sharply focus on my passing. It’s as if its form is cut out of the trees and bushes between us, traced into the path of my vision.

I reach into my bag in search of my camera. I want this moment to last. I stop searching and stare into the eyes of this cautious and curious beast.

Calm. Careful. Clear.

For a minute we locked all of our senses on each other. Neither of us moving at all besides the slow humming of our hearts and the rising and sinking of our lungs. In a minute, the moment lasted precisely as long as it needed to. I turned to ride on as it continued along.

Here on the road, feeling the Great Spirit with you.

polygone_deer_by_remulous1-d72bcth
art by: Remulous1@deviantart