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I’m with you…

February 12, 2010

Last Sunday I was cleaning up the house,

as per the usual,

and I found a book under the bathtub…

I watched a critical thought cross my mind…

A thought like,

What is this GD Double-Daring Book for Girls and why is it under the bathtub???

I considered a rant and a rave,

and then remembered that I’d put it there after I used it as a surface,

to paint my nails…

I sat in my pink velvet chair and opened the book to a page about the Underground Railroad…

What I found on the page were some clues to what I’d been feeling in my body,

but didn’t have the words for…

I read about Harriet Jacobs,

author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl published in the 1850’s…

When I got to the part about how Harriet lived in a tiny attic barely big enough to hold her,

for seven years,

and how she watched her son and daughter grow up through a peephole in the floor,

I lost my mind and fell into a tunnel,

of unrequited love,

clearing karma for about seven minutes of Pacific Standard Time…

That evening Starshine and Little Gem were back from their other home,

and while we sat on the couch together Starshine looked at me intently…

I asked her what she could see…

She said,

The skin on your neck looks like the twisted lines of a rope…

And as soon as I said,

That’s interesting because I feel like I’m gagging,

the sensation lifted and was gone,

like yesterday’s news…

She makes it work out...

I had a dream a year or so ago that a woman brought me a juicy delicious baby boy…

She handed him to me and said,

He needs to be fed…

I put my nose in the folds of his baby-fat neck,

took a deep inhale,

and knew that he was mine…

I asked her if the boy had a name…

She said, Not yet…

I told her what his name was,

as clear as day…

And I asked about Starshine…

The woman told me that she was with a different man than the one who had the boy…

I cried out loud,

Why do these men keep taking all of my babies away???

and I woke up with the weight of an anvil on my chest…

We think that these are stories of yesterday,

but they are not…

They’re still with us in the here and now,

locked away in the blood and bones of our aching bodies,

until we are still enough to listen to what they are trying to tell us…

And what they’re telling me is that this time it is going to be different…

Time slows down whenever you're around...

On Tuesday after my meeting with Coyote,

I went to the school gym to get out the hula-hoops…

One of the Kindergarten teachers brought a little girl to me…

She was crying and her teacher thought that some hula-hooping would help her feel better…

I held her hand and we took our hula-hoops outside,

into the bright sunshine…

Other children joined us…

Many of them were more interested in rolling the plastic hoops down the hill,

in a real exploration of gravity…

Exploring the possibility of knowledge that one just can’t get at on a worksheet…

I asked the little girl her name…

She said,

Je suis Promis…

And the little girl twirling beside her said,

Je suis Amour,

and we come from Africa…

I said,

I am so happy that you are here…

Thank you for coming…

If you ever see a mother with children whom you suspect has just come from Africa as part of a refugee claim,

watch what you’re thinking,

and feeling…

And be aware of the fact that you may well be in the presence of a growing miracle of freedom…

An evolution of her story,

and our story all mixed up together…

And be aware of your own power to strengthen people,

by tending to human miracles with ribbons of love and promise…

I remember someone asking me,

seven and a half years ago,

Where is it that you learned to endure so much???

I said,

I don’t know…

It’s just the way that I am…

I have loved you for so long...

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