Month: September 2019

Wound Theory: Co-liberatory Conversations

This week has been filled with so many gifts, daily benefits of




That were seeking not to save but to liberate…me…perhaps. When things hurt, and we are wounded, it is our questions (I think) that promote healing when answers we cannot find. Mind-freeing questions, the beginning of a conversation can be the source of liberation. I have always thought of questions (especially a barrage of them) as tools of manipulation, prying from me hidden secrets that I was not ready to release…today, I realize their power to help bridge gaps and promote healing. So I recount this past week’s treasures as I yield to their musing.

Sunday’s question with Rev. Sylvia: where does life begin my friend, girl, sister, daughter, woman?

Me: At breath queen mother, preacher, teacher, sister, daughter woman.

Monday’s question with Mommy: why would you say that joy?

Me: Because I see your fatigue queen mother, leader, teacher, sister, daughter woman.

Tuesday’s question with Rev. Jeri: how do you feel sissy?

Me: Tired but grateful queen like me, preacher, teacher, sister, daughter, woman.

Wednesday’s question from me to them–my students–on the first day of our year together: what matters most to you…in the context of us?

Them: Silence, curious silence of uncertainty awaiting.

Thursday’s question: can we play? Of course I say. With bubbles and flame, let’s ask more as we explore.

Friday’s questions: what is? why does? how can? The answers don’t matter, today, yet…until the second group of students, a medley of harmony-seeking freshman, gathered at a round table with us–the warriors leading demonstrations, protesting injustice. They asked “what is wrong in this town?” In this place, where the surface sparkles from light cast on glossy ivy among cathedra though cold, we all wondered. I inhaled their curiosities and exhaled a bit of myself, knowing there is no single answer that would satisfy or that could requite. Instead I hoped to inspire and invite them outside the gates of this sanctuary, this space…with me.

Saturday’s questions are many, too many, to ask or answer but one,

From a newly found stranger, who may become more

In a context of conquest and survival cultures

Where stories and lives and ways of being rise like love above the heads of the teachers

She asked: what if…

We convert old monuments (of the kind commissioned to honor un-civil war histories) into new things? I paused to reflect. I accepted the question like breath in dry bones or maybe like the breath in the lungs of a body formed from clay…

I thought about who erected those monuments in the first place…women. The daughters and sisters and wives and mothers of the wounded ones who lost… generations later,

still fueled by this rage

that justifies elections and

martyrs dying men.

Reminded of Inka Road where Indigenous monuments, ancient and sacred, had been set apart for worship gatherings yet ransacked and pilfered by White faces seeking self-interest…the more religious of the pirates knew that in re-appropriating broken stones and ground clay into foundations for their churches, the spirit of the earth would call her sons and daughters home…they knew…they knew.

Reminded as I read Kendi on the ride back, on the last day of this glorious week, that after failure, comes success, that teaches what we need to build the kind of hope that leads to survival in spite of cancer….aggressive, anticipated, metastatic or unexpected.

Kendi (2019) How To Be An Antiracist

Which brought me back to my Sunday, my family, my mother, her healing…on that first day of this week where wounds drain their toxins and the DNA of their former pain.

Our history and acceptance of our thoughts about our body, our space, our power…that have been the opposite of antiracist…

Final question as this week shows sign of the next: How do we survive the WOUNDS of our bodies’, spaces’ & powers’ failures to act? We choose to resist further sacrifice of our own flesh and spirit in order to be accepted. We choose to be who we are and are becoming as we celebrate the strength and beauty we behold in our mirrors. We choose to love. We choose to learn. We choose to lead.