4 months of no electricity, no blog, no internet, interrupted phone service, 2 months of no running water…now that my house and light posts have been cabled up, though not yet connected…in anticipation of electricity flowing back some time in the near future (we hope), some thoughts… on darkness.
Some thoughts if only to get back to this necessary blog game. The necessity of telling our experiences in our own words, in our own voices…
“Don’t forget your history
Know your destiny
In the abundance of water
The fool is thirsty”
-from “Rat Race” by Bob Marley & the Wailers
“You pity fools, you pity fools
you better have some sympathy
‘Cause this educated people
Running the lives of high society
Making up the blues
Holding back schools
Lot of greed, lot of temptation
Proof of one thing, we’re a hell of a nation
Right on for the darkness
Right on, right on!”
-from “Right on for the darkness” by Curtis Mayfield
I know the lavender color of a night sky before the snow. And I know the scents of freshly watered yerba buena, romero y ruda, glowing in the light of dawn, scents that follow me, enter and fill my home. This is the part of life in which liberation takes hold. The space where you’ve witnessed yourself and yours survive every trauma imaginable, but you’re still standing. You even figured out how to thrive. This is the space where your neighbors and you survived the winds that blew through this hill tearing down fences, roofs, trees, light posts and you all stepped out the next morning ready to work, to fix, to share, to rebuild. The space where you welcomed torrential rains for the water you collected and your neighbors powered your fridge so you can keep fresh food for your babies. This is the space where sprouting babies of oregano brujo poking through the grass replace the sofrito once stored in your freezer. Where the palma that sprouted from that coco you took from the land of an assassinated clandestine freedom fighter, has given you the gift of a recao plant. Like liberation dreams unrelenting, both palma y recao survived rolling around with a large leaking propane tank, knocked over in our terraza by the hurricane that arrived before we could secure them. This is the place where we survive the unthinkable, the unimaginable. Where we cross breed, birthing creations of another species to rise to the needs of today. Renegade, revolutionary recao and survival/ thrival oregano brujo create pots of the most fragrant rice that no corporate food company jar can top.
This is the space where the vecino stands on his roof pounding his chest like a gorilla, announcing how he successfully connected the rain gutters of his roof to his cisterna. This is the power that comes not from taking orders, nor from an electric company, but from figuring shit out. This is the confianza that comes from inventing and building with your own hands like all our people once did.
The art of darkness is the spreading of invincibility like smoke rising from el fogón. In essence, like celestial bodies in outer space, darkness cultivates visibility, which would make it not a tool of, but a weapon against colonialism. We conquered people must know this, more than our conquerors who always feared darkness in theory and in our skin. They fear the magic afforded us in darkness, our invincibility in embracing the darkness that would set our spirits blazing in light. If we learn to quiet the fears of the incarnate mind, darkness impregnates the spirit with a fearlessness and motivation unknown in modern society’s mass production of docile doers taking orders from everything and everyone. It is the space in which ancestral knowledge melds with intuition to fine-tune generations and continents worth of resuelves, recetas y remedios. It is this sense of usefulness that breeds happiness. It is a happiness of the soul. One that persists even when the storm claims all your shit. It is one that persists even when the scenery changes and people drop from your life. It is one that transcends this place unlike the material things you’ve collected along the way.
It is an art, navigating darkness. From the blackness of the night, to the shadows of dawn. Darkness as an art teaches you to look up to see Los Tres Reyes, Betelgeuse and Rigel rising each night with Jupiter at their side. It teaches you to rise and set with the sun and to contract, expand and bleed with the moon. The darkness comes complimented with the revelation of new visions, spaces and places revealed where the trees fell. In a green landscape of rolling hills you now know where the sea lies, where houses and roads hide. The trees again cover all green, but you forever stand aware of what lies beyond. Hurricanes take and give. They claim your few banana plants but leave the rhizomes to sprout a whole crop. They knock down aguacate trees but leave tomatoes growing from seeds the winds deposited into cracks in concrete. Where we see disaster, nature brings balance and harmony. Darkness conceals but reveals. And we sandwiched between eclipses solar and lunar are healed whole within our light and shadow selves. We stand as celestial power sources, spirit lights shining through our skin that light up the dark like new, a cross-charco cucubano coalition. We dart across the dark like shooting stars, like fish in a Vieques bay of bioluminescence.
January 24, 2018