Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In Your Hands

Introducing In Your Hands: A Letter Receiving Project
Since love is not scarce, our ancestors bathe us in it every moment that we dare to receive.

I have learned that there are sources of nurturing that are older than us and swifter than our bodies. I am noticing that those who are no longer here in physical form are teachers in the wind, showing us how we must relate to each other, if we want to survive longer than our bodies and longer than a system that denies us.

I have been writing urgent letters to my ancestors since before I knew they were watching and on the cusp of this new year they whispered a suggestion to me. “How about for this new year, as a gift to yourself, you receive some letters from us, the spirits of women that love you from eternity?”

As ever, my answer was yes. These daily letters from the most beloved of my known and chosen ancestors on behalf of all of the ancestors who have sent us love with their lives and dreams without us knowing came at exactly the right time. When I was afraid to trust myself, I was not afriad to trust their guidance for me. I re-learned a shifting methodology of loving myself firstly as their vessel and secondly as their recipient

Here is a letter I received from Ella Baker:


Big little sister,

Get your guard up against the traps that would seduce you away from your purpose and steer you towards convenience and charisma. Set yourself in the hard work of accountability and sharing. Sharing the work, sharing the skills, sharing the connections, sharing the insight. Like everyone else, I am talking about your health here.

As a worker, for justice, I was able to situate myself in the crucial places where my selflessness could birth community, but I was not so tied up in my own popularity among the inner circles of the movement(s) that I was not able to make the difficult choices, especially for economic justice, that had me excluded from so many spaces and conversations.

You are right to be youth-focused because this is about access. You are right to be obsessed with both the old and the dead because that is where you will get your grounding and context. You are right when you remember that you are not the one inventing this.

It is the example of your grandparents, your accountability to the youth and your living relationships to your sisters that will make your life and work meaningful. Never forget who your people are and what they deserve, which is all of who you are.

You have work to do.


And my ancestors are socialist, so of course they would ask me to share these intimate insights and gifts with you. Of course they would want me to bring their messages to your waiting ears, but more than that I want to share this practice and encourage that you engage it for yourself.

I don’t know what ancestors speak to you or why and when they do, but I have been asked to ask you to listen, lovingly for what the universe wants you to know.

Can you join me? Think of the people who have influenced you, while they were living or through their written, or retold legacies. Just think about them and let your mind relax, let their energy surround and fill you. Create quiet times in your days in case they have something to say.

I encourage you to add your insights here on the “your letters” page if your feel that what you have received could provide healing and wisdom for the rest of us. I encourage you keep your writings for yourself if you feel that they should remain private. The messages of our living dead are sacred. They transcend the norms of intellectual property, and they should be treasured by your best impulse.

My intention here is to share with you an abiding sustaining faith in presence of those who have gone before and their participation in our everyday.

I invite your observance or participation with love.



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