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To My Original Face Before My Mother Was Born
Dear energetic vibration,
Dear causes and conditions flowing together,
Dear decisions made by my ancestors,
Already there is an idea forming of who you will be,
informed by generations of people you will never meet.
There are people who have taken land as if the Earth can be possessed,
making decisions that divide humanity as much as possible,
creating spiritual wounds that will be passed along, generation after generation.
(After generation, after generation…)
Remember: Not everything we inherit need be passed on.
Before your grandmother assimilated into whiteness,
your great-grandmother spoke Michif when describing plants to your mother. Before your great-grandmother had a face,
some of her ancestors, French colonizers and Cree land-stewards,
chose to embrace the lineages given to them by all their parents,
even going so far as to taking up arms
in defence of human complexity.
Wonder: Can an inheritance be reclaimed without being appropriated?
You will be born into whiteness,
into false binaries established by hateful, greedy men,
into the outcome of residential schools,
and of colonialist propaganda.
You can choose not to sow karmic seeds of oppression, like those who came before.
You will be born into community,
into understanding complexity through
understanding the eco-system of all living things,
including every person you know.
You can choose to sow the karmic seeds of justice and liberation, like those who came before.
The key is to never stop considering
Your original face,
Before your mother,
The original face of any of us
Is free of concepts
Massive gratitude to Anastacia-Reneé for her wonderful teaching offerings as a multi-genre writer. This piece came out of a class she offered that explored the necessity of writing in these tumultuous times. This letter format poem was inspired by Koan practice and the specific instruction to contemplate one’s original face before the birth of their parents.
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