Posted by: gdevi | July 9, 2015

“Living History”

Governor Haley signs the legislation to remove the confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds. Thank you, Governor Haley; this is indeed a historical moment. I am very proud of this moment, and I feel content to have witnessed it during my lifetime. The Buddhists have a concept called “windhorse.” It is a beautiful concept. It is esoteric; in a simplified form, this is “windhorse.” Awareness is like the wind; it is there always. You cannot see it. It is an unseen energy. You feel it sometimes, but not because of the windhorse, but because of something you did or something else did. It is always there. In other words, awareness, the windhorse, enters through cracks and gaps. Hundreds of people have been murdered in this country in the name of race. The nine people who were killed last month–they created a crack or a gap so wide open that it has blasted open the shut doors of awareness in our collective conscience. Taking down this flag is the windhorse. The Buddhists point out that birds do not just fly; they must have something to fly in. Taking down the confederate flag has propelled all that pure energy into our consciousness. This pure energy can be harnessed, just like birds flying in the air harness the energy of the air to fly. Thus “windhorse.” It can be ridden. Ride this pure energy for doing what is fair, ethical, moral, and just, wrought and released through the incredible pain and sorrow of a dignified, decent, struggling people. God bless America never to kill or mistreat another human being in the name of race.

PILGRIMAGE – Natasha Trethewey

Vicksburg, Mississippi

Here, the Mississippi carved
its mud-dark path, a graveyard

for skeletons of sunken riverboats.
Here, the river changed its course,

turning away from the city
as one turns, forgetting, from the past —

the abandoned bluffs, land sloping up
above the river’s bend — where now

the Yazoo fills the Mississippi’s empty bed.
Here, the dead stand up in stone, white

marble, on Confederate Avenue. I stand
on ground once hollowed by a web of caves;

they must have seemed like catacombs,
in 1863, to the woman sitting in her parlor,

candlelit, underground. I can see her
listening to shells explode, writing herself

into history, asking what is to become
of all the living things in this place?

This whole city is a grave. Every spring —
Pilgrimage — the living come to mingle

with the dead, brush against their cold shoulders
in the long hallways, listen all night

to their silence and indifference, relive
their dying on the green battlefield.

At the museum, we marvel at their clothes —
preserved under glass — so much smaller

than our own, as if those who wore them
were only children. We sleep in their beds,

the old mansions hunkered on the bluffs, draped
in flowers — funereal — a blur

of petals against the river’s gray.
The brochure in my room calls this

living history. The brass plate on the door reads
Prissy’s Room
. A window frames

the river’s crawl toward the Gulf. In my dream,
the ghost of history lies down beside me,

rolls over, pins me beneath a heavy arm.




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