Thursday, September 17, 2020

Say, “we live here, how about you?”


If they ask you what you are,  say Arab. If they flinch, don't react,  just remember your great-aunt's eyes.    If they ask you where you come from,  say Toledo. Detroit. Mission Viejo.  Fall Springs. Topeka. If they seem confused,    help them locate these places on a map,  then inquire casually, Where are you from?  Have you been here long? Do you like this country?    If they ask you what you eat,  don't dissemble. If garlic is your secret friend,  admit it. Likewise, crab cakes.    If they say you're not American,  don't pull out your personal,  wallet-sized flag. Instead, recall    the Bill of Rights. Mention the Constitution.  Wear democracy like a favorite garment:  comfortable, intimate.    If they wave newspapers in your face and shout,  stay calm. Remember everything they never learned.  Offer to take them to the library.    If they ask you if you're white, say it depends.  Say no. Say maybe. If appropriate, inquire,  Have you always been white, or is it recent?    If you take to the streets in protest,  link hands with whomever is beside you.   Keep your eyes on the colonizer's maps,     geography's twisted strands, the many colors  of struggle. No matter how far you've come, remember:  the starting line is always closer than you think.    If they ask how long you plan to stay, say forever.  Console them if they seem upset. Say, don't worry,  you'll get used to it. Say, we live here. How about you?

—Lisa Suhair Majaj

(Sent from my phone)

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

From the documentary “13th”

"People say all the time, 'well, I don't understand how people could have tolerated slavery?' 'How could they have made peace with that?' 'How could people have gone to a lynching and participated in that?' 'That's so crazy, if I was living at that time I would never have tolerated anything like that.'

And the truth is we are living in this time, and we are tolerating it."

Bryan Stevenson

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Bout time - haven't you been feeling this way too?

Musician Jippy Lad created this song, "Bout Damn Time (BLM)" about the rising change we're seeing today for the #blacklivesmatter movement. I've got chills, take a listen:

Friday, June 26, 2020

A quote from Jewel's book, Never Broken, on presence and mindfulness.

"At first it seemed impossible to notice my thoughts--they came and went too quickly and I was not attentive enough to slow them down and assess them while they were happening. Instead I watched my hands. My hands were the servants of my thoughts. They carried out the physical impulses going on unseen in my mind. I spent several days trying to be present and just witness what my hands had been doing. They had been stealing. They had been writing about all the bad things that had happened to me and that would surely happen again. They were hypervigilant in predicting the next bad thing that might happen, so that I might somehow avoid it. They obsessed over when I would become sick again. They dwelled on all the belongings I did not have. They were not engaging in the opportunity that lies in the present moment. If I couldn't change my thoughts, perhaps I could reverse engineer the process. If I changed what my hands did, perhaps that would force me to change my thoughts. I began to notice and write down how many doors I had opened for others in a day. Then I tried to open more doors than I had the previous day. I found myself holding a door open for strangers envy when I wasn't going into the building. I began to notice and look for others who needed help. Helping others helps you get over yourself and your own problems. Instead of staring down at my feet I would look someone in the eye. This would force myself to remember we were all connected and help me let go of the illusion that I was alone. These were all practices in being present. 

"Whether it's a trick or not, I managed to gain some power over my sense of perception--I could experience myself feeling in control of my life, feeling capable, not being a victim. And the more empowered I felt, the more empowered I allowed myself to be. And the more my confidence bubble grew... to allowing myself to look at the blue water and say, I'm okay, right now this very second. I don't know what will happen an hour from now, but in this moment I'm okay and have all I need. I learned that if I could get through second by second, if I could allow myself to experience that right here, right now, and then just sink into that moment and expand it, and let myself feel that, let the energy of that move through my body, let my tension and my tightness melt away, I actually felt some joy. Real joy."


Sunday, June 7, 2020

"We will not go back to normal..." by Sonya Renee Taylor

"We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction... we should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature."

~ Sonya Renee Taylor @sonyareneetaylor

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