oh and i will soon create a pdf that prints out as a zine…just need to buy some more scotch tape…love.

January 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

xxooxo

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outlaw midwives zine vol 2

January 27, 2011 § 7 Comments

(pic is of a the cover the outlaw midwives zine.  mama holding a baby, water, grass, children, greens, yellows, blues)

outlaw midwives vol 2!

so here is the draft of outlaw midwives vol 2.  uploaded onto scribd. 64 pages.

click here for the zine.

the upload to scribd was imperfect.  there are about two-three pages that for some reason didnt upload.  pretty random.  (i think it is because in general the internet has been running slower since the protests began in cairo.  the egyptian govt fucked with twitter as it is, since that and fb is where a lot of the organizing is happening for the protests)  so i am going to upload it again, but until then, enjoy this.

——

I love volume 2 of outlaw midwives.  I love it because it is full of personal stories from the frontlines of birth work and mothering.  As I printed out the articles and sat on the floor with glue stick and scissors, stapler and paper, I could hear the air crackle around me as the electric heater burnt slowly.  These pages are pointing to a path of liberation and magic.  To a place where justice = love.

These stories run the gamut, from supporting women’s access to abortion to discovering that breastfeeding can be painful and exhausting.  From questioning who homebirth is really for, to mamas discussing marginal identities in the natural birth community.  There are visions for what midwifery could be, should be, and what it should never have become.  Stories about death.  And yes, stories about birth.  Most of all, these are stories, our stories, that we need.

So please enjoy, pass along, and support outlaw midwives by any means necessary.

——-

cover art –soraya jean louis

bird blues baby—soraya jean louis

love, sister—soraya jean louis

outlaw midiwives and outlaws—ash johnsdottir

black women birthing resistance—cara page and tamika middleton

evidence-based medicine—gloria lemay

my secondary post-partum hemorrhage experience—rebecca j. haines-saah phd

love and lost, for julie—brooke benoit

homebirth and no home—da midwife

on birth and choice—pamela hines powell

abortion in florida—randi james

i wonder what would happen if midwives…—carla hartley

what they don’t tell you about breastfeeding—aaminah al-naksibendi

stepping out—mai’a, aaminah al-naksibendi, amy gow, Patrice nichole byers, china

body pirate: how my body was taken hostage by a nursing toddler—laurel ripple carpenter

the c-section—alexis gumbs

a hard rains a-gonna fall—ash johnsdottir

——

also in this zine you will find call for submissions for the bridge called my baby anthology and for outlaw midwives vol 3.

with love,

mai’a

not a resource

January 25, 2011 § 6 Comments

1.  so this kinda weird thing happened.  i wrote this lil post about my experiences with a birthy magazine.  and really i just wrote it for me, so i could get over my creative block and get on with what i thought was really important.  and really i didnt think that anyone would really care about it.  cause im little. they are big.  that is just the way things are.

anyways a couple of birthy folks i know contacted me about it.  and one of them asked if she could post it to this doula forum.  and then there was a whole discussion about it.  but, i didnt write the post b/c i was trying to call the birthy mag out, i wrote it because one, it was the truth and two, i needed to blog it to move on.

what was weird that means that a bunch of people who i dont think normally read my work, and thus didnt understand the context of that post, responded in ways that were…off.  i mean this blog is 3 1/2 years old, its covered a good amount of ground.  and one of my intentions with this blog was that it was not going to focus on anti-racism.  (i was an anti racism consultant/trainer and got really burnt out and traumatized from the work…) i spend months not mentioning racism.  but still the posts that get the most coverage are the ones that center critical race theory.

i admit i am a little frustrated by this.  i am totally totally cool with people sharing my work.  i just get frustrated being pigeonholed or boxed in to ‘anti racism’ chick/resource.  i mean look at the categories bar (oh wait i dont think that shows on this blog theme) well, there isnt even a category for racism… i dont want to be a resource.  to quote ash ( who i think is quoting utah phillips) ‘you are a human resource.  do you know what happens to resources?  want to know?  look at mines, mountains demolished for coal, rivers that have been damned, the ocean the animals.”

i mean you can flip back a year ago and read how i dont identify as radical and how i posit woc as a term of privilege in relationship to the third world women in response to being told by radical women of color basically — your life doesnt count like ours does.  and that had more to do with us-centrism and the fact that i dont live in the us.

anyways, it was kinda weird.  a bit draining.  to see my approach to life decontextualized.

2. oh and to random birthy blog ladies who have their panties all in a tizzy because i told you, you dont save childbearing folk, they save themselves…

if you have time to write extensive critiques of me, then you have time to check your facts first, do some research, use the motherfucking google.  because it seems to me it would be a better use of your time to understand what and who you are talking about rather than straight up attacking me on spurious self-righteous charges.

srsly though.  this blog is written by a woman who a few months ago told me that i was such a great resource on anti-racism and imperialism when i made a comment on fb…so yeah…just to make a clear…

im not a fucking resource.

***inspired by something bfp said a few days ago…

the way we let men burn

January 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

so much in this world leaves me speechless.

men are setting themselves on fire here in egypt.  they are burning themselves alive as an expression of desperation.  but egypt is not tunisia and the way things are continue as they have for seemingly forever in most people’s memories.

Police forces prevented and arrested an Egyptian man from setting himself ablaze in front of the Egyptian parliament today morning. The man was identified as Saeed Abou Amany, a civil servant.

At least five Egyptians have set themselves on fire in Cairo and Alexandria since Monday, protesting unemployment and living conditions in the country.

but for how long can we go on pretending as if we are not burning with rage?  with hunger?  with a yearning for a life better than the one that we have been promised–and even those promises are shattered glass on a concrete floor?

i say we, not because i am egyptian.  but because i am a human animal who has been suicidal enough times to know how numb you can feel that setting yourself on fire seems like an answer to the un-answerable question.  am i still here?

i can make a list of all my privileges and oppression identities, but really that doesnt matter in the end.  what matters is how do we respond to this call from these men, some of whom are no longer here?  how do we respond to the parts of us that we numb, refuse to feel anymore, or do we simply, lazily, apathetically keep allowing men to set themselves on fire in public squares in response to the way things are, the way we are, the way we let things be?

because i know i am not the only one in this city who when reading about the man above being arrested and prevented from setting himself on fire thought, he would have suffered less if he could have just burned rather than be in the hands of the police.

this is not a suicide bombing.  this is something else.  something that does not attempt to destroy anything but the body, the self, and the world that they know.

chaos

January 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

–i dont think these deaths of fish and fowl are caused by one cause, i think it is an effect of chaos.  like the butterfly to the tsunami, how many poisons do you have to dump into the earth and sky and water until birds start falling from the sky en masse?  before we become the witnesses to homicide/eco cide?

falling out of the sky into our hands

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.

Brazil
Mysterious killing of fish in coastal

Canada
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

Chile
Thousands of Birds fall from the sky in South America

China
Eagles and Birds are falling from the sky in China

Italy
Thousands of Doves are Dying

Japan
Japan on alert after finding dead birds

New Zealand
Hundreds of snapper dead on beaches
Update 2 – Penguins, petrels and other seabirds, mass deaths

Philippines
Update 2 – Residents gather, eat dead fish floating in barangay Ibo

South Korea
Dead Teal Ducks With Bird Flu Strain Found In South Korea

South Africa
Mystery of dead birds on Cape roads

Sweden
50 birds were found dead
Hundreds of dead birds found in the middle of the road in Sweden

United Kingdom
Dead fish discovered in canal marina near Abergavenny
Update 1 – 40,000 ‘devil’ crabs found dead on the beach

Vietnam
Update 2 – Tonnes of farm fish found dead

United States of America
Arkansas
Nearly 3000 Dead Birds Fall From Arkansas Sky
First Birds Fall, Now 100000 Fish Dead in Arkansas

Florida
Thousands Of Fish Dead In Spruce Creek

Illinois
Dead Birds Reported by Residents in Southern Illinois

Kentucky
Update 1 – Dead birds found in Kentucky, Sweden, as crabs wash up on U.K. shores in latest mass animal deaths

Louisiana
Dead Birds Fall From Sky AGAIN In Louisiana, 300 Miles From Arkansas Incident Days Earlier

Maryland
2 Million fish die in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

Michigan
Update 1 – Hundreds of Dead Fish Appear In Lincoln Park

North Carolina
Dead pelican count escalates in Topsail Beach
Update 1: Reward offered for information on what’s causing dead pelicans at Topsail Beach

Texas
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.

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