In Toni Cade Bambara’s novel The Salt Eaters,
an elder black woman healer asks a younger black woman if she’s sure she wants “to be healed” on returning to her community beleaguered by civil rights struggles and unsure really, whether she wants to live or move on. While the community is willing to assist their ailing daughter, they also want tacit assurances of her commitment to self-care. In this transaction of balancing her fragile ecosystem, there’s also the expectation that with their remedying, the troubled woman will accept the challenge to reclaim a measure of conservation, of self-preservation, and to determine if healing is at all possible.
Spring ascends with a potent re-emergence on this New Moon on Monday 27 March. During this defining transitional season, we are reminded to consider what we can and must do to alter the political malevolence that freights our personal and national well-being and safety. This season is the time of new beginnings and for adjusting those parts of your life that are no longer working. Like Velma Henry, the prodigal “salt eater” woman, many of us are feeling collectively overwhelmed, angry, confused about what to do and mostly, how to manage the crazy. On some days, I certainly know Velma’s pain. But this season, I’m cultivating a growing toolkit of radical healing instruments that embolden me with the “renovated hope”[i] of the runaway slave woman Harriet Jacobs. Divine intervention moves me one deliberate step, one decision, one planted heirloom seed at a time.
The 45th espouses bluster and demagoguery.
Yet I am not to be played with either, in this harsh “climate.”
In as much as we can change our conditional relationships to greenhouse gases, the other more persistent reality is we may never control or change opposing points of view as to why they exist. Environmental scientists who study Climate Change suggest that “some concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is normal, and in fact is necessary for life on Earth as we know it.” But what happens when carbon dioxides (Co2) and other radiative forces are so highly concentrated—thereby producing atmospheric conditions that create unsustainable levels of heat? And so, the finger pointing continues.
Global warming is a compelling analogy for our current political “effect,” in context with ecological and social justice and the impact these causes have on our health and psycho-emotional predispositions. The ancestors remind us to empower and heal ourselves through cognizant actions, but actions that do not cause harm to ourselves or the planet that houses us. Do not cause harm. Love. Do not cause harm. Love. Do not cause harm. Love. Make it your mantra. Make it your cause.
That said, expect and offer a certain reciprocity in the civilities exchanged between yourself and others.
Expect too, that being a “good” or “patient” citizen may not bring about the immediate “atmospheric change,” justice and radical rejuvenation we need in our lives. Challenge the deniers. Vote. Fight. Love. Resist the stupid. Do your work. Stay healthy. Stay woke. Do not cause harm. Love. And, Take No Shit, while attending these essential tasks. Truer still, if you are a person who is black or brown, woman, queer, working/middle-class, immigrant, differently abled or questions the integrity of Reality-TV presidential leadership. Choose wisely in your daily battles, because there are plenty ahead.
Stay “rushed on.” Stay green. Stay square. See you at the next month’s new moon. Pamela
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