October 26, 2022
The dominant choral songs encircling horrors defiling humanity are mostly binary and discordant.
News streams in – live stream, on tape, in stills, in print – constant flow; it begins to feel like, and is a death dirge, an operatic lament. I am faced with how to speak, how to write from the intelligence my “heartmind” understands. In the weeks preceding this essay hundreds of Muslims, in the period of Ramadan (July 2016), have been killed by attacks on public gathering places by a very, very small sect of other Muslims who have claimed singular rightness in practice and interpretation of faith. Two black men have been killed by white police officers. The “reasons” for these killings is not known. I have little to no information about the mind-intellect-reason for these murders, or the heart-feeling-reason for these murders.
Matter – what and who matters is central to refrains being sung out about shootings and killings in the United States. Listeners in a competition for misunderstanding of the lyric – black lives matter, all lives matter, blue lives matter, and do Muslim lives matter. Are women included in black, all, blue. Are children? My youngest sister once wrote, “We love as we love” in response to my writing in an email that I loved her. It rings true in this contemplation seeking understanding and change. We matter as we matter. I matter! What I do and what is done to me matters. You matter, what you do and what is done to you matters.
I do, you do, is done is the we in this one shared earth turf ‘hood.
Black Lives Matter is response and action facing up to a haunting specter of inaction, numbness, powerlessness, and giving up claim to fairness in the face of the specificity of “attack black.” All Lives Matter is reaction. Blue Lives Matter following Black Lives Matter (and we will prove it with legislation) is focused coordinated reaction. Black Lives Matter then reacts to the reactions, and the truth in the specificity of this movement dilutes and rigidifies into false truth. Breathing, breath inside hearing and understanding becomes thin.
From my experience, my reading, my listening and observation, the vast majority, if not all of us living, have been subject to some indignity, some behavior action/inaction that affronts us. Too many of us have been subject to horrors that defile to us as human beings—defiles humanity.
There is need for healing in the core mindheart/thinkfeel DNA. Binary, dualistic thinking will not achieve the oneness of heart that disallows the violation of self and another. The practice of holism requires unity of thinking, feeling and breath.
Several days into the writing of this essay, five, then three police officers were targeted and killed, and two additional incidents of concentrated mass violence resulted in deaths of children, men and women.
Weep and pray, pray and weep; be love, act love, see hear, speak love. Respond, train reaction – compassion inseparable from wisdom; wisdom inseparable from compassion, a means, a model, an understanding to have results look like and be a world in harmony with itself.
Matter appears in Black Lives Have Always Mattered: A Collection of Essays, Poems and Personal Narratives, Edited by Abiodun Oyewole, 2Leaf Press, 2017