Recently, it has been increasingly more difficult for me to find time to write posts for my blog. At the moment, I have a batch of student papers to grade and two more assignments coming in this week. I have been wondering what to do with my blog. And then it occurred to me. When I first began blogging, a new-found friend with a huge following featured some of my early posts on his site, instantly helping me connect to a wider community.
One of the things I have loved most about being part of a blogging community is the opportunity to meet so many talented artists, photographers, poets, writers, and storytellers, and so many kind and decent people. This morning, I read a story written by one of them, Raymond Roy, at goroyboy. I was inspired to ask Ray, a writer whose work often touches me deeply, if he would allow me to reblog his newest story, Bella’s Elixir. He graciously agreed to allow me to share this work.
Mid August-The Perseids (meteor showers) were in full swing. Named Perseid as the shooting “stars” originate from the constellation Perseus (A Great Greek hero), slayer of monsters and most notably, the Gorgon Medusa.
High winds made for a clear night. A gamma ray infused meteor ignited as it entered earth’s atmosphere. With evaporating layers of ice, rock and carbon, a vapor trail streamed across the night sky. With a loud thud, the meteor landed in a small pond, just outside a scrap metal junkyard in rural US of A.
The impact of the space rock stirred a little dust in the makeshift den, a scrapped 69 Chevelle. A cob web broke free, shimmering in the sliver of white linen moonlight floating for a moment, then landing onto the nose of a soft fluffy fur ball named Bella. Bella was solid black from head to toe. In…
As the date of the quintessential celebration of colonial oppression for Indigenous Peoples in the U.S. approaches, signaled by loud explosions in the night, an image from my childhood comes unbidden to mind – a child crouching, head bowed, eyes closed, hands tightly covering ears.
Photo Credit: Carol A. Hand
I remember how much I disliked attending these events with my family, surrounded by crowds of people cheering and oohing and aahing in the local park as the symbolic missiles of war blossom like booming “fiery flowers” in the darkened evening sky. I didn’t know the deeper symbolism then for Indigenous Peoples, but the mindless and frenzied fascination of the crowd frightened me. I realize it still does. It brings to mind a story I wrote about my experiences in Missoula, Montana, during the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
What if we wondered what was hijacking our emotions,
and holding us in tightly wrapped boxes of fear, shame, anger and distrust
sealed by corporate satisfaction and greed;
as we’re fed from the roots of oppression.
Where it’s too dark to see truth,
amidst the noise of lies and deception
that relentlessly deprive and control thoughts,
what if we just started wondering?
What if, in wondering, we chewed a little hole,
just enough to let in the light of another’s presence
from a nearby box;
and in that light we found each other’s hands
and just started holding?
What if holding hands
made us each desire to see and understand
more of each other
and so together we just chewed harder?
What if chewing harder together
warmed our hearts
which fueled our courage;
so we could pull each other through
the holes in our boxes,
to just embrace?
What if embracing each other
made us able to stand together
and see all the millions of chewed boxes near and far,
and caused us to just question?
What if our questioning
how and why all so many people are struggling to survive in boxes,
made us tune out the noise and just listen?
What if our listening to different stories
helped us understand the forces outside of ourselves that are controlling us;
and the realization of our own and collective suffering
made us just start thrashing?
What if our combined thrashing
caused our boxes to break down,
so we could all just join hands?
What if our collective hand holding,
helped us all just stand up?
What if just standing up together
made us realize that sometimes each of us needs to be just held up?
What if in holding each other up
we were able to move together to figure out what just what we needed?
What if figuring out together what we needed
fed our hungry conscious
and a collective vision just started to grow?
What if the collective vision was nurtured
by the power of our continuous connections
and we just loved what we found in ourselves and each other?
What if we grounded ourselves in that love
and co-created just enough changes to save ourselves and sustain our world?