I just finished a book by John Holt (“Learning All the Time”), he was dead when it was published. It was the first book I read by a dead author, dead at the time of first publication. I loved the book, it had a better way to do education, it was 1985 when it came out, the year I was born. None of his advice was taken in the US, but it’s interesting to know solutions were there then.
Perhaps there are also solutions to the pandemic already that just don’t correspond to the decisions the people with power choose to make? If not I’m sure there will some day be solutions. Will they happen? That I don’t know. Will there be solutions, I think so.
The world is filled with bright minds, minds brighter than mine, but so often society punishes those people for being abnormal, it doesn’t matter if you are abnormally above or abnormally below the average, the society I live in venerates the average in almost every way, with the exception of sports and some other things it’s constantly encouraged to be average in a world of natural diversity.
The roman gardens were very straight and controlled, I think in the US every attempt has been made to keep the minds of children and then the adults they become like that, in line, dull, coordinated…
My mind is more like an English garden, ramshackle, with lilacs spilling way over where they were “meant to be,” for so long I tried to prune myself into the average I was told to be and it was a large and painful chore to me.
But I’m done with that.
Kwanzaa was a good vehicle for me to reflect on who I am, who I want to be.
Part of Kwanzaa is the “Tamshi La Tambiko” as we are very mixed I adapted it last year, we are African, but also mixed, I feel strongly that Kwanzaa still exists for us and was unintentionally meant for all of us as we are truly African Diaspora.
THE ORIGINAL TAMSHI LA TAMBIKO:– Maulana Karenga
Our fathers and mothers came here, lived, loved, struggled and built here. At this place, their love and labor rose like the sun and gave strength and meaning to the day. For them, then, who gave so much we give in return. On this same soil we will sow our seeds, and liberation and a higher level of human life. May our eyes be the eagle, our strength be the elephant, and the boldness of our life be like the lion. And may we remember and honor our ancestors and the legacy they left for as long as the sun shines and the waters flow.
For our people everywhere then:For Shaka, Samory, and Nzingha and all the others known and unknown who defended our ancestral land, history and humanity from alien invaders;
For Garvey, Muhammad, Malcolm, and King; Harriet, Fannie Lou, Sojourner, Bethune, and Nat Turner and all the others who dared to define, defend, and develop our interests as a people;
For our children and the fuller and freer lives they will live because we struggles;
For Kawaida and the Nguzo Saba, the new system of views and values which gives identity, purpose, and direction to our lives;
For the new world we struggle to build;
And for the continuing struggle through which we will inevitably rescue and reconstruct our history and humanity in our own image and according to our own needs.
OUR FAMILIES TAMSHI LA TAMBIKO
Out of Africa our first mother and father lived and died, their lives are a mystery to us, but without them we would not be here and their blood runs through our veins and their DNA builds our bodies and powers our cells with energy from mitochondria past directly from our shared mother. Over time we traveled far and wide, from the east country of the rising sun, the middle kingdom, the cold mountains, the islands of endless summer, the country of corn, and the country of the eagle and the snake.
Our fathers and mothers came here, lived, loved, struggled and built here. At this place, their love and labor rose like the sun and gave strength and meaning to their days. For them, then, who gave so much we give in return. On this same Earth we will raise our children in tenderness and patience, seeking a higher level of human awareness and unity intil someday world peace is possible. Our eyes are the eagle, our strength is the elephant, and tour courage is the lion. We remember and honor our ancestors and the legacy they left for as long as we have air in our lungs and love in our hearts.
For our people everywhere then: for all the just defenders of virtue of all times and races, for all those who spoke and speak for human rights and harmony with nature; for our children and the fuller and freer lives they will live because we struggle; for Kawaida and the Nguzo Saba, who founded Kwanzaa, for Mamoe Tanaoe who founded our family, for our own soul which revels to use our views and values which gives identity, purpose, and direction to our lives; for the new lives we struggle to build; And for the continuing struggle through which we all go to live our best lives possible according to our own needs, courage and wisdom.– Maulana Karenga adapted by Sakura Mendoza (November 6th, 2019)
The reflections for January 1st: “Who am I?” “Am I really who I say I am?” “Am I doing all I could be?”
A note on faith from the past: “Living fully means… tuning into the small, still voice of belief, even when doubt is loud and obnoxious.“
The last day of Kwanzaa is about Imani, faith, for me that’s faith in myself.
So it begs the question who am I?
I don’t fully know that, but I know I don’t like owning dogs and cats, that’s a start. I guess I’m a book and people person, I’m a coffee person, I have kids, but I’m not a kid person… I’m a music person, an idea person, an action person. An honest person.
In this cartoon from the Daft Punks there are blue musicians from another world painted peach and enslaved on Earth:
I guess I’m still unpainting myself, a lot of times when I do find who I am, I don’t like what I find, because when I find doesn’t fit with the life I have, so finding out who I am means work of change and sometimes that’s too much for the energy I really have in the moment.
I’d like to start this year in gratitude, five things that are good right now, 1. My son and I connecting over colors, numbers and letters he is authentically interested. 2. Leaving behind the habit of trying to teach my daughter more than she wants to know now that she knows basic reading, writing and math. 3. That I am much more able to forgive myself and others than I was before. 4. Balloons, we blew up balloons for my sister’s birthday and I just still love balloons. 5. Steam from tea cups, it never gets old to me, the simple things make the day wonderful or bearable, if I don’t let myself enjoy them, there isn’t much to enjoy then.
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Happy New Year!