(artist's credit Jackie Traverse*, Anishinaabe Nation)
The Grandmother's Dream
The people of this nation are rising up, again, acutely confronted by the extreme inequalities between our relations, and the longing to confront, embrace and make change for a new emergence that honors the beating of our shared hearts.
We are in a massive disruption of the way things have been. We're in a painful and recurring uncovering of the injustice, bias and discrimination that our systems are based on. I'm confronted again with the acute horror, deep sadness and rage I feel about the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all those whose names I don't know; black men and women, trans and non-binary people whose lives have been taken by police officers or people who've decided to take the law into their own hands.
This COVID pandemic has made racism even more glaringly obvious, and it is urgent for ALL OF US to acknowledge the reality of anti-black racism, its long history and its current force; to recognize how embedded it is in our institutional structures, social systems, and cultural norms. And to take radical responsibility for ending it.
This pandemic has made the disparities in our incomes even more apparent. We can and should no longer tolerate the imbalances that the economy of capitalism creates.
And most of all, this pandemic has brought home, again, that the consciousness of separation, of you vs me, of us vs. them, only creates more separation.
The world is on fire and it's up to us to cobble the world we choose back together. We MUST FIND a new WE.
We must examine the beliefs, values and assumptions we've been consciously or unconsciously making.
We must open ourselves to our blind spots, those of our own making and that of our society and culture.
We must change the status quo paradigm, the eco-cide and genocide track we've all been a part of.
We must, for the sake of all our children and this beautiful planet we call home.
We must, for the emerging world that our hearts are yearning for.
For me, this emerging world is led by love and collective prayer and is founded on the recognition that we're all related and we're all connected.
For me, this world is nourished with curiosity and tending to each other and the space in between us. Through authentic conversation, by sharing what's heavy on our hearts, and through the sharing of stories of hope, inspiration and encouragement.
For me, this world is built on the lessons and teachings we're privileged to receive from our indigenous elders, our teachers and children, from our plant medicines and allies, and from a continuing remembrance that we are whole and sacred beings sharing a planet.
We're in this together. Let's Re-Member.
(*image credit to Jackie Traverse, a Winnipeg-based Anishinaabe painter whose work is widely known in art communities across Canada. Her paintings, drawings, documentaries, and sculptures speak to the realities of being an Aboriginal woman.)