Indigenous People's Day (October 14th)- Tucson, AZ
This morning, I sat in the golden rays of the Arizona sun praying for healing of ancestral wounds and for continued guidance on this path I'm on. Though today is a day for mourning of the violence and genocide against my indigenous ancestors' whose names I'll probably never know, it is also a day of reflection on our innate power and connection to that energy that is the essence of all that has made sure that we as a People survive. We are not less than. We are not weak...we are not broken. We are beautiful spirits that need only realize the rich soil and strong roots from which we come from. And as black and brown people who share many of the same roots, it's important for us to learn about our suppressed histories together. That's the message I got in deep prayer and meditation today. No one can be liberated while anyone is subjugated or exploited. No one can live with ease while others suffer. And we cannot know our own complete histories without acknowledging those of our brothers and sisters We cannot be whole without realizing we are only a part of the whole. A drop in the sea.
October 15th- Tucson, AZ
We moseyed to Antigone, a feminist radical bookstore, with huge lesbian and gay fiction sections and an indigenous spirituality section with white shaman authors. Womp womp. We ate delicious Ethiopian food at a place called Cafe Desta with some of the dope collective members of MalintZine. Performed with Anna Vo (Author of Fix My Head) and Nykky Gomez (Founder of Brown Recluse Zine Distro and author of Skinned Heart zine) at Skrappy's Youth Collective. (How awesome is that? A space for youth!) There were sooo many rad black and brown folks that attended. I read a piece on Black and Brown Solidarity and organizing for immigrant rights , some poems on my heritage and "For the Descendants of the Freedom Fighters and Riders" and a piece entitled "The Master's Tools". Tucson has really felt like a home away from home.
October 17th- Los Angeles, CA
October 17th- Los Angeles, CA
Watching the sun rise over LA from a cliff in Echo Park I am realizing that I needed this tour more than I could ever know. Already I am inspired to do and be so much more. And this is more than an opportunity...it IS the Path. Sometimes we spend so much time looking for it or trying to walk on it and it's already here. We're walking it- no- we actually ARE the path. I not only embody the tears, pain, and joy of my ancestors but I also embody all that they ever wanted for themselves and their descendants. I am the inner peace that I've sought since childhood. I already have the freedom I've been searching for.
As the sun comes up over the mountains, our ancestors, I see in the amber dawn my own inner transformation - all that I am experiencing on this trip. My own dawning. I know that I can never return as the person who walked onto this trailer/tour bus- overpacked, slightly burnt out with organizing and white folks tokenizing, and transitioning through the next steps of this so-called adult life. I'm nearing the end of this transition with a new take on purpose and new inspiration from the others on this trip/that we encounter on this trip who share many of my ideals. People I never dreamed could exist, let alone all be on the same bus together co-creating radical safe spaces for brown folks and dialogue, city to city.
In one week it's even clearer to me now that there are certain things I'm here to do (in Life). I can't be distracted by society's expectations for me or people's projections or insecurities. I know who I am and that I'm capable of more than I ever could have imagined. I will no longer subject myself to limitations from myself or others. I have to live my life in alignment with my ancestors' deepest aspirations- and I guarantee it wasn't to assimilate into white supremacist, homo/transphobic, sexist, ableist ideals. It wasn't to perpetuate the "othering" of whole communities or to turn my back on those who are suffering while others live in excess.
In all honesty I don't care about the "1%". I'm tired of talking about white privilege and whiteness but unfortunately, in this world we have to care because until we come together in solidarity and actually decide we will no longer abide by racist/homophobic/sexist/ableist laws, policies, and societal standards- until we decide to create brand new systems and paradigms- we must continue to mind our p's and q's and "shuck and jive" for our own survival.
You know what the sunrise taught me? It taught me that there is a such thing as a beautiful, silent (but not as in voiceless), burning resistance. It is patient and persistent. Assertive. Omnipresent. Though we think the sun has set or disappeared, it's still there, burning with the same intensity...ready for the next upRise. Like clockwork. We, as a people, should take notes from the Sun.