Rivers of families flow, carried from ancestral homes,
by man-made banks buttressed
by poverty and greed, hardened by drought.
Now we move. Big, spectacular movements. Deep, invisible movements.
As we move, we encounter:
the fear of our dark masses—dirty dangerous migrants—
is the fear of the earth-shaking that our landing always brings,
fear of our catalyzing inner migrations,
fear of the power-filled landscape rearranged
when our feet connect deeply with this earth (even when it is covered in concrete)
when our communities tap into the power of entwined roots growing deep and strong,
finally finding common ground.
After displacement: dispersion. After dispersion: diaspora takes root.
And the harvest...
We refuse to accept the accumulation of microaggressions
everyday oppression becomes violent suppression
unless there is Truth, Justice, Reconciliation. In that order.
Truth, Justice, Reconciliation.
No truth, no justice. No justice, no peace.
Let us begin with truth.
Let us begin with ourselves.
Who are we?
How can we fully accept and belong to where we came from
(all the places, all the people, all the trauma, all the beauty of where we came from)
and fully accept and belong to here?
Where we came from, all of us:
people of the land
guided by spirits
whom we care for
guided by parents and neighbors
who teach us
how to cultivate and cook,
how they brought us here because they had to,
how the ancestors still hold us
how our places still hold memory
and the power to shake us from our stupor.
Our fear of our own past
is born of trauma of the massive upheavals that brought us here,
of the violence that all our ancestors suffered and perpetrated,
of the uprooting that we do not know how to stop in our own lives.
So we bury our broken roots and our skeletons deep, and then pave over it all,
and forget that our foundations are built on graves.
Where we are, all of us:
people growing in the cracks of the concrete,
in the articulations of the slabs of the global systems,
in crisis, in screens, in projections,
in unexpected mutations, duplications, dplicities and mutilations,
our bodies broken by projectiles,
our souls fragmented by fear of feeling the full power of truth.
And yet we do feel:
our dead become manifest in us as we embody their dreams for the future,
our art, our work struggles to do justice to our crises, to become justice
as we are seized and carried by flows of information,
the currents of social movements and social media,
fighting paralysis, many just getting by, just holding on,
all struggling to maintain integrity and connection
in the convulsing current of humanity and the more-than-human world.
What are the borders between our people, or places?
Mi pueblo: my people, my place: the living, the present, the cholaje-mestizaje, the mix that is metamorphing.
Tu pueblo: your people, your place: o ancestors, o my past, o spirits, descendents, future.
We are divided by dots and dashes—borders on maps, digital 1s and 0s abstracting and fragmenting our single, whole reality,
making it easier to separate my hunger with your hunger—
boundaries—classes, nations, cities, identities, edifices, films—that hold us, entangle us, weave us together and pull us apart.
We are united by one ajayu, the spirit of our time, the soul of our movements, the creativity of our humanity, the reaching, spiraling towards truth that will set us free.
Ans so we weave our true tales together,
wearing our stories on our backs,
we build boats out of them,
and hold onto one another
as the Flow carries us into the future.