Author: Grant Williams
Mama Maggie asked me to start writing a journal – she says that recording my reflections will help me measure my progress in becoming ‘my full self’. Whatever that means. I told her I feel full already. I ate everything on my plate and I grew three inches this year and I’m almost as tall as she is. I laughed at my joke but she was so serious about it. She says we take our whole life to become our full selves, that everyday and every interaction is a chance to grow into what we ought to be. So, here it goes. Entry numero uno.
Day started off like everyday does, ever since the community replaced our morning lectures with the series of three healing circles. In case you’re reading this in outer space or found this in a pile of rubble civilizations from now, this is all part of the community healing action plan that our neighborhood agreed to – the process that the government initiated three years ago to “heal the nation of the grave wounds of our past”, which is part of the mantra that we start each healing circle off with. My first healing circle is on the ‘wounds of whiteness’ – there’s thirteen of us, ages 9 to 72, all of us white….or ‘believe ourselves to be white’, as the teacher, Ms Perry, describes. Each of the classmates presented on their research project into the different periods of American history, and the context of being white meant to that time period. Jim presented on the wild west and all the awful things Laurel, our elderly neighbor, presented on how the Irish and Italians had been discriminated against when they first came to US and weren’t considered white. I didn’t know any of that before and I’ll have to add that info to my exhibit at the Museum of Ancestry – more to come on that later. Anyway, I presented from an old text that my grandpa showed me last week on ‘the period of great reckoning’, when Americans who ‘believed themselves to be white’ voted Donald Trump into office on a platform of whiteness. Grandpa said it was the ‘kick in the pants’ we all needed to get to the reckoning we are working through now.
Second healing circle is on masculinity and we did a bunch of exercises on being strong but gentle, then we meditated on our power to care for one another, for the women in our life and for ourselves. I get restless when we meditate for so long and start fidgeting. Mr Markowitz gave me some ideas for how to practice better, to focus on Mama Maggie, Mama June, my sister, my friends down the street, and my grandpa and visualizing different times in the last week when I was a ‘good man’ to them.
The third healing circle, on ecological restoration, is the best because we get to play in the gardens and with the chickens and pigs. I talked to all my tomato plants, telling them to grow up big and strong and repeating the mantra from healing circle. I saw the first three blooms today! I don’t know how much the talking to them helps, but grandpa says it does and he always has the fattest tomatoes in the market, so I’ve been trying it out too. When we were in the garden, Aunt Nora suggested that I could be a water worker like her when I grow up, so I’m gonna go visit her on the rivers next week. I hope she lets me bring my fishing rod, even though trout have only come back to the lakes up north two years ago.
My favorite part of the day, like everyday, is the noon market. For all you aliens and future civilizations reading this, the noon market is when everyone from the neighborhood comes out and brings their gifts forward to the community. The whole town goes from a quiet little sleepy place and then at noon, it breaks out into laughter and music. It’s filled with the smells of spices and herbs for healing remedies, with the bright colors of the dresses that Ms Norica makes. I usually go find grandpa and he gives me a few fruits from his stand, then I run over to watch Mama Maggie massage and perform reiki on the men and women who have been building the bridges and canals and all the new eco-infrastructure in the region. Then I go over to the dance classes and run in between the twirling dresses and stomping feet. And finally I end up in the giggling tent where I laugh until my gut is about to burst.
Ok, got to go my sweet aliens and unknown nomadic peoples of the future! I’m off to the Museum of Ancestry, where I’m making my exhibit of my family’s story. Grandpa gave me some old letters from the first settlement post in Arizona Territory, where his great grandpa sold ammunition, grain and other supplies to the army on their attacks on the Native Americans. I’ve got to find my friend Lyle, who’s family was Hopi from that area and see if he’s got some artifacts we can put in an exhibit together and maybe I’ll present it at healing circle when we’re done.