To live liberation when the colonizers have long been experts at inflicting death and we the colonized have long been experts in dying. Embodying the archipelago is taking into our bodies and becoming the very transcendent expanse that this network of islands, water and wisdom have long been…. Embodying the archipelago, I become ungovernable, autonomous in my own essence.
…these pandemic times of exponential loss, of losses still looming from government neglect. Of eyes threatened by quarantine, seldom breathing in daylight, seldom squinting at soaring hawks and clouds. Glued to the nearsighted-inducing numbness of devices and small screens. Tired eye muscles long scrolling with your newsfeed. Liberation never looked so lovely, so necessary.
I started this piece as a tribute to the luminescent brothers whose lives were stolen in Minnesota: Philando Castile and George Floyd. It has morphed into a reflection on the battle for black lives and black breaths, that I've witnessed since childhood, and on one's political formation within the colonized communities of the US empire... crumbling.
If to survive is to overturn genocide then living fully, authentically, abundantly, fearlessly, boldly, truthfully and joyfully is the most radical expression of revolution that we can wage on this planet. If conquest and the resulting lovelessness are the source of our oppression, then loving ourselves back to healing and wholeness must be our greatest purpose here./ Si sobrevivir es resistir al genocidio entonces vivir completamente, auténticamente, abundantemente, sin miedo, audazmente, verdaderamente y alegremente es la mayor forma de revolución radical que podemos hacer en este planeta.
Politics and colonialism, like borders are man-made constructs. I no longer believe in another’s fantasy of having jurisdiction over me. We die too much, too quickly to let that be.
Vulnerability in bravery means pushing forward with all your wounds, gripping a shovel tight with bloody hands, digging past the mud to find the spaces and hearts where our ancestral ways thrive, where new liberatory ways are being weaved into existence./
Vulnerabilidad en valentía significa seguir palante con todas las heridas, agarrando la pala, manos ensangrentadas, excavando la tierra para encontrar los espacios y los corazones en donde nuestras tradiciones ancestrales prosperan, donde se tejen nuevas existencias libertas.
We embody the ironic conflict of acting out a fear of death by bringing ourselves and others dangerously close to it. What if we took a collective pause, stepped back to assess what we are raging against. Is it death? Is it life? Is it ourselves? Maybe if we begin to demystify death, unlearn the fears taught by our oppressors, tap into the ancestral wisdom flowing in our blood, then we can begin to heal some of this conflict. We can begin to step through fear, closer to love and liberation and living fully.
We the colonized work to decolonize ourselves, then turn on one another from wounds too vulnerable, too raw to bear. We lash out at one another. The enemy is too far, too inaccessible.
In shame, we retreat.
I know emotional labor. Though we perfect it, it is not a trait exclusive to women, nor do all women possess the capacity for it. I watched my brother die from fucking emotional labor! I have watched men mother more effectively than some women. If we are to eradicate patriarchy, we must stop appropriating and wielding patriarchal weapons in our fight.