I have been in deep grief, anger, listening, action and reflection in the past two months, on the imperial war and genocides happening in regards to the Israeli invasion and bombardment of Gaza, the murder of Mike Brown and Black truth speaking, resistance and community organizing in Ferguson, MI, the murder of two transgender women in Detroit in the last two weeks and the murder of Tina Fontaine in Winnipeg and the ongoing violent denial and anti Indigenous racism of the Canadian colonial state towards missing and murdered Indigenous women- to name just a few things. As many know, we are in the middle of an intense time, where it feels like the heat is turned way up and we are in a place of being smacked real fucking hard in the face with realities that are around all the time, and being asked what action we need to take to co-create justice.
One of the things I have been thinking about is the purpose and role of healers in these times, both in general and as I ponder the next steps this gonna-be-40-in-six-months! life wants to take me. I’ve been saying goodbye and closing doors on some things and opening doors on others, and sitting and listening and learning a lot. There are so many ways healers are moving up in these times- from healers, like the amazing Adaku Utah of BeatBox Botanicals (https://www.facebook.com/events/440047986128870), a powerful healer, dancer and organizer who I met at the Allied Media Conference’s Healing Justice Practice Space she co organized two years ago, going with Black Lives Matter’s Black community rides to Ferguson this weekend. I want to encourage folks to donate money to the Organization for Black Struggle here: http://www.handsupunited.org/donate-here to support healers and other folks getting to Ferguson, as well as ongoing organizing: and here for the Oakland ride of Black Lives Matter folks, including healers, going: http://www.gofundme.com/df9254
I have also been inspired by kin Layla Krysty Feghali’s post about the position of healers during times of deep struggle and revolutionary crisis: http://thehoneyscryer.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/making-liberation-whole-legacies-of-healing-in-times-of-genocide/ This writing is incredible and on time. Her stories about revolutionary healers who are Black and Indigenous choosing to stand with the people in times of extreme crisis are what I needed to hear. I’m still reflecting on it, and wanted to share. But the stories in there that she shares… damn! I am particularly sitting with the knowledge she shares, about how many African traditional healers, priests and priestesses, during trans atlantic slavery, ” in an act of liberation, actually volunteered themselves to join the diaspora so they could serve their people struggling under immensely violent conditions of exploitation and forced displacement from their homes and livelihoods.” She shares stories of Babalawo Adechina, a Yoruban priest of Ifa, who swallowed his divination tools when taken in enslavement to Cuba so that they wouldn’t be destroyed by white slavers, won his freedom, and helped build communities of freed Black people in Cuba. I am holding Layla’s truths: that healers do not abandon their people during times of extreme crisis, and that we have been present as liberator/healers during the most murderous of times.
Sending love to us all in the whirlwind, as we make choices about how to keep loving and fighting,