Between here and Charlotte sits Kannapolis, North Carolina, earthly birthplace of Parliament Funkadelic’s George Clinton. He was born in Kannapolis and was raised in Plainfield, NJ (my own earthly birthplace.)
This morning I am drawing on the mothership connection, that studied and instinctive response to repeated and predictable state violence that has caused George Clinton and other geniuses to envision and activate technologies of escape. Earlier this month as I prepared to talk about Alice Walker’s invocation of Mother-ship, in her “Democratic Womanism” and “Democratic Motherism” pieces in The World Will Follow Joy with the visionary apocalyptic archivists who participated in the Last is a Verb Webinar I received a gift in the mail from my irreplaceable namesake, author, Alexis De Veaux. It was a Parliament Funkadelic t-shirt she bought at Afropunk. On the back it says
‘Citizens Of The Universe/Recording Angels/We Have Returned To Claim The Pyramids/Partying On the Mothership/ I AM THE MOTHERSHIP CONNECTION’
Alexis Alexis MOTHERSHIP Mother-ship Plainfield Plainfield North Carolina North Carolina. Oh North Carolina. I am collecting coincidences because systemic violence against black life cannot be the only pattern. I seek a generative pattern, renewable fuel, to keep basing my daily decisions on Black love.
This past Sunday my grandfather (my mom’s dad) passed away. On the same day my father-in-love (my partner’s dad) had a major stroke. And I noticed (maybe because I was attuned to it by grief) that the fathers of several of my friends died too. And then Keith Scott a father doing what my father does (sits and reads) was blown into eternity. Charlotte, where my father-in-love lays half-paralyzed recovering from a stroke, exploded into what it already was, a place where only banks are safe, where Black life is a threat, where property is prophecy, where body turns to stone. What happens when our fathers return to the mothership? Alice Walker wants all of us to return to the mothership we are already on. She is asking for Mother-ship as a rigorous responsibility to generate live instead of destroying it that she says is our sacred pre-existing contract with mother earth.
Next week our next webinar Soul Talk: Legacies of Black Feminist Magic remembers that exhausted from responding to the murder of 12 women in Boston within 3 months, the Atlanta Child Murders, the KKK attack in Greensboro, the US invasions of Grenada and Nicaragua and the rise of Ronald Reagan to the presidency Black women like Akasha Hull, Toni Cade Bambara, Sonia Sanchez, Lucille Clifton, Alexis De Veaux, Dolores Kendrick, Michele Gibbs and Alice Walker decided to take their magic seriously. Using ancestral listening, divination, channeling, astrology, dream analysis and other methods they created a precedent for those of us who are committed to radical internal and external transformation. It is definitely time to take our tendencies for space travel, inter-dimensional wisdom and out of this world presence seriously.
How do I balance my mothership desires for escape from these wretched patterns with my mothership commitment to breath life into even this space, especially this space? I have been drawing on this poem co-written by the archivists in the webinar for orientation when I ask myself “where” and “how”? What is the trajectory of the drastic change that I and we need at this time? This poem has been grounding and space-making for me this past week. And I pass it on to you with love.
The Mother-ship Connection
By the participants in Last is a Verb: Archiving After the end of the World
To our mother’s gardens.
To the sacred pyramids.
To breathing easily.
To your hearts desire.
To sweet remembering.
To evolutionary love.
To the place where self-recrimination is no more.
To the place where practicing the art of discernment is effortless.
To inner peace.
To being enough!
To complete connection with all beings.
To safety in this life and the next.
To the future our egun so boldly envisioned for us.
To the world stage.
To iridescent caves.
To our own bone marrow.
To joyful discipline.
To the first and forever dancing ground.
To the blessing place at the bottom of the ocean.
To the best place.
To the sound of joyful heartbeats.
To the sound of drums.
To the song of the first birth.
To the end of patriarchy.
To the abyss-womb.
To the intergalactic intergenerational way-station.
To the dark place where love is first and lasts.
To the vision of the third eye.
To our Truth(s)
To beyond the milky way.
To the new day.
To the ancient future.
To our daughters.