Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind

Outlasting Everything: Breathing Affirmation in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey

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pedagogies-picLast week during Brilliance Remastered‘s  When Wind and Water Got You Online Intensive, the seven of us who gathered and the nine of us who held the space had no idea what wind and water would do in the next few days.  As we closed the session and I packed to fly to Texas, I certainly didn’t know.   As we logged in from our various locations we noticed wind and rain communicating with us.  We noticed patterns from our past coming full circle.  We noticed the transformations we had dreamed of and worked for coming to fruition.  We noticed that we had new and deepened ways to describe where we had been and what had gotten us through.

Drawing on a poetic intergenerational map of Anguilla I made for the current issue of Ecotone, we created a sacred circle that allowed us to imagine a decolonial reclaiming of space, a space sacred enough that we could be in place without being entrapped in capitalist narratives, a circle wide enough to include named and unnamed ancestors, a circle deep enough to birth futures.

At the end of our time together we created a poem in honor of that which outlasts empires and lies.   We want to offer this closing poem to those whose lives are being most impacted by Hurricane Harvey (one of the names for what is happening).  We know that those most impacted are those people who we are accountable to, whose access to stability, shelter and safety is already undercut by the daily practices of the state.  We are dedicating this to ourselves and other survivors for whom each so-called natural disaster reveals the true costs of the ongoing social disaster that treats us as if we are expendable.   We are not expendable.  The indigenous, immigrant, queer, black, people of color, poor loved ones in Houston and other areas who are navigating this storm and the resulting floods are necessary.  We offer this as a mantra and a chant to honor the part of them and each of us that capitalism and doppler cannot see.  This is for the eternal in you.  Outlasting everything.

 

Outlasting Everything

 

by the participants in Brilliance Remastered’s When Wind and Water Got You Intensive

 

“there was us. there was only us. meaning water and blood and bone and stone and sun and change and we remain. outlasting everything.”

-from “Map of Anguilla” by Alexis Pauline Gumbs (in Ecotone 23)

 

spirit.

outlasting everything.

ancestral brilliance.

outlasting everything.

intergenerational love.

outlasting everything.

revolutionary commitment.

outlasting everything.

determination.

outlasting everything.

iridescence.

outlasting everything.

healing.

outlasting everything.

resilience.

outlasting everything.

expansion.

outlasting everything.

blueprints of wind and water.

outlasting everything.

positivity.

outlasting everything.

breath.

outlasting everything.

heart.

outlasting everything.

community.

outlasting everything.

spirit.

outlasting everything.

 

To stay updated on Brilliance Remastered’s online and in person intensives join our email list

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