January 7, 2011 § 3 Comments
i have been trying to write about this for days, but the words wont come.
this morning my daughter is sick with a slight fever. i held her against my chest until she fell asleep.
birds are falling out of the sky. thousands of birds. thousands of fish are dead washed up on the shoreline.
Update 1 – 10,000s of Birds found dead in Manitoba
Update 1 – Dead Birds and Fish reported in St. Clair River, Ontario
Update 1 – Goldstream River, at Goldstream Provincial Park, Victoria mysteriously turns bright green
Update 2 – Residents gather, eat dead fish floating in barangay Ibo
Mystery of dead birds on Cape roads
Dead fish discovered in canal marina near Abergavenny
Update 1 – 40,000 ‘devil’ crabs found dead on the beach
Update 2 – Tonnes of farm fish found dead
United States of America
Nearly 3000 Dead Birds Fall From Arkansas Sky
First Birds Fall, Now 100000 Fish Dead in Arkansas
Update 1 – Hundreds of Dead Fish Appear In Lincoln Park
Update 1 – Now East Texas also reports hundreds of dead birds
Update 1 – Experts in Texas are weighing in after large amounts of dead birds were reportedly found across the Country and around the World
lex and i talk about the spaces created by the shoreline and the frontline. its how we begin the call for submissions to this bridge called my baby: legacies of radical mothering.
All mothers have the potential to be revolutionary. Some mothers stand on the shoreline, are born and reborn here, inside the flux of time and space, overcoming the traumatic repetition of oppression. Our very existence is disobedience to the powers that be.
At times, in moments, we as mothers choose to stand in a zone of claimed risk and fierce transformation, the frontline. In infinite ways, both practiced and yet to be imagined, we put our bodies between the violent repetition of the norm and the future we already deserve, exactly because our children deserve it too. We make this choice for many reasons and in different contexts, but at the core we have this in common: we refuse to obey. We refuse to give into fear. We insist on joy no matter what and by every means necessary and possible.
i see these birds and fish strewn across the shorelines and i ask who will stand on the frontlines as sky and water crumbles in front of us. what is our response to this? this? this what? this mass suicide? this mass murder? this chemical intoxication? this poisoning of life?
i read somewhere in response to this massive deaths of fish and fowl that we should not be come ‘too alarmist’. because if we take this too seriously, people will start to lose hope and feel helpless and thus wont get involved.
lose hope dear friends. abandon all hope of fruition. abandon all despair. and then lets walk.
we know what we must do. we must stop this civilization. we must stop this culture that eats its young.
i hear talk of the apocalypse. and frankly, im feeling yall. the only twirk that gets me is…a lot of folks on this planet are already living the apocalypse that we fear is coming. this is why the world powers that be are building fences to keep the majority of people away from the minority of people who own the majority of the resources.
when i was in the congo, the elders said that the seasons/cycles were changing. weather was too extreme and people didnt know when to plant and when to harvest like they used to. people had followed the patterns of birth and decay in this rift valley, the cradle of humankind, for millions and millions of years. and they had survived by knowing these patterns. and now they watched the cycles crash into each other, disintegrating. collapsing.
i close my eyes and exhale and listen to the birds and fish falling and flailing…what do you want? i ask. what do you want from us?
there is a way out of feelings of impotence and despair.
we can pay attention, even though the truth hurts. we can listen carefully and listen some more to the victims. listen and wait for the answer.
and then we can step onto the frontline armed with truth of the dead and dying, and fight to stop the culture killing all of us. birds, fish, human babies living on the margins of our societies, mamas holding up the sky, our dreams, our ancestral lands, our spirits, our stories, our languages. this earth. this sky.
i said before we need a movement. but now i think it is not just any movement that we need, but a coordinated group of people willing to stand on the frontlines, refuse to turn their heads from the decaying flesh, and insist on asking the question again and again.
how do we stop this?
there may not be an easy answer to this question.
how do we stop the murder of our world?
each or our answers will probably look different. because we come from difft places, perspectives, cultures. we must listen closely to ourselves and the dying and the living. and we must be willing to act when necessary.
be ready. for the time is nigh upon us.
October 15, 2010 § 1 Comment
so today is my birthday. yay me!
and i would love it if you would donate to/support: a force more powerful than violence: the voices of Palestinian women
“We may not currently have the might of the Israeli army and the power of traditions confine us in certain roles, however, we know that one woman standing behind another in a line of solidarity is a force more powerful than both.”
–kefah, speaking in at-tuwani village, west bank, palestine
kefah, a sweet friend from the village of at-tuwani in the southern west bank is invited to speak in italy in late november. but in order for her to be able to travel – for the first time outside of the west bank – we need to raise money.
i wrote a bit about kefah this summer on feministe:
i met kefah in the fall of 2004 under horrible circumstances. we were living in the southern west bank. and a couple of international friends had been walking with palestinian children passed an israeli settlement, when the israeli settlers jumped out of the woods and beat my two friends down. luckily, the kids weren’t physically hurt, but they were scared, very scared. but my two friends were taken to the hospital with a punctured lung, broken knee and arm, and psychological trauma. so i and a couple of other internationals who were living in palestine went to at tuwani and walked with the children the next day passed the settlement. and the day after that.
those kids were amazing. they faced death just so they could go to elementary school.
the israeli soldiers told us that if the settlers attacked us, they would not protect us. and we believed them since a lot of the soldiers were from neighboring israeli settlements.
at night we slept in the women’s museum, a palestinian women’s craft co-op started by kefah.
kefah is amazing. she is a wife, a mother to four sons, a self-avowed feminist, a leader in her village, a visionary, a business woman, a community organizer. when i think of revolutionary motherhood, i think of kefah.
and she has a great raunchy sense of humor.
kefah expanded for me what i understood motherhood to mean. well, actually not just kefah, a lot of palestinian women did that for me. women who daily confront israeli soldiers just so they can work in their fields, harvest plants, leave their house, go to the clinic, go to the neighboring town. women who do it with a babe riding on their shoulders. women who do it with little money and a lot of strength. women. who. do. it.
dont get me wrong, i dont romanticize living under an occupation. its not pretty. its too little food, and too many people dying. its your husband, your son, your father, your brother in jail and you trying to figure out how to get the money to get him out, if that is even allowed. its eid under curfew. its watching your house be demolished simply because it was standing and then rebuilding it just to watch it be demolished again. its your mosque, your school be demolished. apartment buildings being shelled. its never having enough. its living on the breath of survival. its life. and its painful.
revolution aint pretty and it doesnt come cheap.
that is where you come in.
the folks who are organizing the tour are amazing activists. worked in the west bank for years with kefah and her husband, nasser. i know them and have worked (and drank) with them personally and can tell you that they know what’s up. they have worked in the village with kefah for years, have strong ties and really do follow the leadership of the community.
so please, please support kefah’s work.
if the links arent working for you please donate money through pay pal — c_carp2 at yahoo dot com –
September 22, 2010 § Leave a Comment
you know how some people just need to make you ‘the enemy’ just because? like, they start interpreting what you do through their need to blame someone for their pain and suffering? and you are the lucky target this time?
it comes out like jealousy, like silence, like passive aggressive ness. like delusion. yeah, we’ve all done it.
yeah, me too.
so when i see this happening, i just remind myself, its not about me. dont take it personally. that is the path they are on. and right now that path includes this fictional dream character that they have created, which has some characteristics similar to ‘me’, but dont have a damn thing to do with me.
and when they are ready to wake up, then there will be no ‘they’ and no ‘me’. no dream. it will just be.
September 22, 2010 § Leave a Comment
We may not currently have the might of the Israeli army nor the power of traditions confining us in certain roles, however, we know that one woman standing behind another in a line of solidarity is a force more powerful than both.
- Keifah Addera, At-Tuwani Women’s Coperative
Dear friends and supporters of At-Tuwani village,
We would like to invite you to support a force more powerful than violence: the voices of Palestinian women. In late November 2010 , Humanity Together will host Keifah Addera and her husband Nasser on a speaking tour in Italy. Keifah will be speaking about the experiences of women in At-Tuwani as they nonviolently resist both the Israeli occupation and sexism. We hope that you will consider financially supporting this exciting project.
The people of At-Tuwani have often told their allies that the most important way we can support their struggle is to share their stories in our own communities. Keifah Addera, the organizer of the At-Tuwani Women’s Cooperative, is a powerful voice uniquely able to speak about the resistance of Palestinian women. While in Italy, Keifah will speak about the effect of the Israeli occupation and settler violence on women and children in Tuwani as well as the women’s cooperative’s work for justice and gender equality. Keifah’s husbandwill speak about his experiences as a prisoner in Israeli jail after being arrested for his participation in nonviolent demonstrations. Keifah and Nasser will present at the annual Italian Pax Christi peace conference as well as other public meetings in Rome, Trento, Ravenna, and several other locations.
Few Tuwani residents are as experienced in speaking with visitors as Keifah. She often hosts groups in Tuwani and has a rare talent for creating relationships with the people she meets. For this reason we are excited by the opportunities for building international support and women’s solidarity that this trip will provide. We are trying to raise 2,500 euros to cover the cost of flights, visa procedures, lodging, transportation in Italy, and food expenses. To donate, follow this link to our Pay Pal. Thank you so much for your support
September 17, 2010 § 2 Comments
a friend of mine said, here in egypt the racism about religion, and in the states it is about color.
i wasnt so sure about the analogy, until i mentioned that on the birth certificates and most important documents, applications in the states, you are asked to fill in your race.
she was shocked. ‘they ask you what color you are? on the birth certificates?’ and she laughed.
of course, when she had earlier told me that on the birth certificate in egypt, you are expected to list your religion and the only options are muslim, jewish and christian’. i just shook my head. how silly.
‘why would it matter what religion you are? and why can you only choose those three?’
so i am thinking about this. how important race is in the states and how normal that seems.
dont get me wrong there is racism and colorism in egypt. but it is interesting the categories that seem essential to our national identity and citizenship.
i say all this knowing that islamophobia has reached ridiculous heights in the states and in the europe. we are seeing the re-emergence of nations in the west referring to themselves as ‘christian nations’.
September 17, 2010 § 3 Comments
h/t dark daughta
Before I begin this poem, I’d like to ask you to join me in a moment of silence in honor of those who died in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001.
I would also like to ask you to offer up a moment of silence for all of those who have been harassed, imprisoned, disappeared, tortured, raped, or killed in retaliation for those strikes, for the victims in Afghanistan, Iraq, in the U.S., and throughout the world.And if I could just add one more thing…
A full day of silence…
for the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have died at the hands of U.S.-backed Israeli forces over decades of occupation.
Six months of silence…
for the million and-a-half Iraqi people, mostly children, who have died of malnourishment or starvationas a resultof a 12-year U.S. embargo against the country.
…And now, the drums of war beat again.
Before I begin this poem, two months of silence…for the Blacks under Apartheid in South Africa,where “homeland security” made them aliens in their own country
Nine months of silence for the dead in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where death rained down and peeled back every layer of concrete, steel, earth and skin, and the survivors went on as if alive.
A year of silence for the millions of dead in Viet Nam—a people, not a war—for those who know a thing or two about the scent of burning fuel,their relatives bones buried in it, their babies born of it.
Two months of silence
for the decades of dead in Colombia, whose names, like the corpses they once represented, have piled up and slipped off our tongues.
Before I begin this poem,
Seven days of silence for El Salvador
A day of silence for Nicaragua
Five days of silence for the Guatemaltecos
None of whom ever knew a moment of peace in their living years.
45 seconds of silence for the 45 dead at Acteal, Chiapas
1,933 miles of silence for every desperate body
That burns in the desert sun…
August 21, 2010 § 1 Comment
this is about me. not you. not her.
i had to get to the point where i wasnt afraid of being triggered.
i still get triggered. but i had to see that while being triggered is so painful. that is what it is: pain.
i couldnt go about my life hiding from being triggered.
nor could i expect that the world would protect me from being triggered.
i had to get to the point where i knew that no matter how much pain it was, no matter how much i screamed and yelled and cried, no matter how much i shook and banged my body against the walls, that this was just pain.
just pain. pain is a part of life.
everyone has their own path. and this a step in mine.
August 16, 2010 § 4 Comments
books ive been reading:
–marya hornbacher ‘wasted: a memoir of anorexia and bulimia’
written by a woman who is recovering from eating disorders. very well written, her use of detailed descriptions is impeccable without be tedious. she has poet’s sense of language and diction. and evokes the emotional through the material descriptions.
‘I remember what my hands were like: birdlike, papery, blue and numb. They did not grip so well anymore. When the cup got a little lighter I’d stand, keep walking. Wait outside the Safeway across the street until dawn light began to come over the hills to the east. I’d walk through the aisles awhile, pass by the cigarette stand, stuff three packs up the sleeve of my coat. Buy a pack of gum, a pack of cigarettes. Walk a while more, up the narrow road that hugged a steep outcropping of the hill. Sometimes in the narrow ditch between road and hill. sometimes on the other side of the road, along the barrier that held the cars in, the flying cars that whipped my hair up as they passed, headlights skimming by me, missing my figure there in the shadow.’
What I love about her story is how she interrogates the prevailing myths and theories around eating disorders and argues with them, sometimes agreeing, sometimes not. also the ways that she refuses to blame her parents for what she has been through, while still being critical of some of their parenting. she shows compassion toward their dilemnas while acknowledging the ways that those dilemnas were exacerbated by their own self centeredness. she refuses to glamourise ed, esp. anorexia, but also refuses simple pathologizing psycho babble. she sees her own selfishness and refuses to excuse it or make it a reason to be self punitive. it is what it is.
after this, i read susie orbach’s ‘bodies’.
her analysis is impeccable.
i have been advancing two different kinds of argument. the first is reasonably straightforward: that bodies are and always have been shaped according to the specific cultural moment. there has never been a natural body: a time when bodies were untainted by cultural practices….globalism, which bits nature exposes the deep inequities of race and class throughout the world, simultaneously offers a story of belonging if one can superficially erase an economic poverty of background by expunging its physical markers and securing the right look, the right kind of body. individuals, where ever they are from, inscribe their corporeality to express the cultural moment…
June 14, 2010 § 2 Comments
1. i am amazed at this ebook library. so many dead white men i have been meaning to read. really, check it out, the selection is incredible. the burgomeister’s library. it makes me want a kindle. someday. someday.
2. george galloway speaks about the attack on the mavi marmara, the investigation of israeli military actions, and the new and bigger flotilla coming to gaza in september.
3. oh hook up with me on google reader if you would like. maiamedicine on google.
4. great article on pulse: when did resistance become a bad word?
What the Western political class and its media demand of the Arabs and Muslims is acceptance of the unacceptable status quo in Israel-Palestine. To resist the status quo is to be troublesome, destabilising and irrationally violent. Resistance arises from the inadequacies of a culture and religion given to antisemitism and hysteria. In order to develop, these backward folk must give resistance up.
As for the brave passengers on the MV Rachel Corrie, I wish they had not said, “we will not resist.” I wish they had said, “We are unarmed and we have no desire to come to blows with Israeli soldiers. However, if we are hijacked by armed men in international waters or near the shore of Gaza – over which we do not recognise Israeli jurisdiction – we will resist as best we are able.” Unwittingly, the activists handed Israel ammunition for its propaganda – ‘when civilised, peaceful activists arrive we deal with them peacefully. When mad Islamist Turks attack us with sticks when we board their ship, we have no choice but to shoot them many times at close range in the back of the head.’
June 6, 2010 § 2 Comments
Viva Palestina founder George Galloway, speaking to a crowd of around 20,000 protesting outside the Israeli Embassy in London, revealed the latest plan to bring about the end of the siege on Gaza.
Two simultaneous convoys – one by land the other by sea – will set forth on SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 12th bound for Gaza. Viva Palestina, the International Committee to break the Siege on Gaza and any allies who will join us will organise the two convoys.
The land convoy will leave from London and travel across Europe to Turkey Syria and ultimately through the Rafah Gate into Gaza. Co-operation will be offered and sought with all relevant governments and agencies. It is expected the convoy will pick up vehicles and volunteers in each country through which it passes. The target is to enter Gaza with 500 vehicles.
The sea convoy will travel around the Mediterranean gathering ships, cargo, volunteers from each country. The target is to enter Gaza with sixty ships.
The aim will be to arrive on Gaza’s frontiers at the same time. And to enter with the world’s largest ever aid convoys. And to thereby render the siege null and void.