Sunday, December 7, 2014

C(h)ant. Breathe: Coming Back to Breath in Honor of Eric Garner and Many More

Yesterday I had the honor of bringing Black Feminist Breathing to the BOLD National Gathering which took place on a reclaimed plantation here in North Carolina.  Sister-Comrade Genius Facilitator Adrienne Maree Brown describes BOLD as the current Black Power Movement and beautifully contextualizes yesterday's miracles here:
In preparation for the paradoxical and necessary task of bringing Black Feminist Breathing into a moment where as Black folks we are collectively remembering and struggling with Eric Garner's last words "I can't breathe," I offered myself and the participants this meditation.  Maybe it can be a healing part of your journey back to breath.

C(h)ant.   Breathe.

Dedicated to Eric Garner
*take a deep breath everywhere you see a star 
return to the place
where you learned
how to breathe
where night washed itself
into your dreams
to the place
where you learned
breathing was bigger
than you
or your fears of
dogs bats and sea creatures
and would continue
all night long
without you trying
to keep it going
human freedom is like that
as the ocean at night
sometimes the crashing is just louder
like right now
we are feeling it in our chests
right now
the underwater knowing
of upside down justice
that has to right itself
that hasn’t righted itself
the sinking feeling
that the chokehold of the state
is more persistent than the ocean
it is not
if I could
I would bring all our people
right next to the ocean
to just sit
and breathe with the ancestors
just listen
knowing all this sand
was bone
and the stars
are just us
across the black history
of the universe

i want every last breath
to be a tide going out
so we can imagine
some baby somewhere
gasping into time
with an unbroken custody
of air
i don’t want the choking struggle
the staccato of bullets
shattering the song
of what we know
but sometimes
even as the ocean
slaps the sand
it sounds shocked to me
shoreline shaping impact
this is happening

I imagine
Eric Garner
becoming the ocean
like Margaret Garner’s baby
awakening stream
how all blood flows back
to the salt in this water
how something

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