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.