The emotional work of community organizing

Storm on the way to Leamington

The sky was on fire too that weekend on the way to Leamington--Saturday August 13, 2011

Dedicated to Adriana Paz Ramirez, my “twin/gemelita” from the West Coast and amazing community organizer with Justicia for Migrant Workers, BC and overall incredible woman…

My heart was on fire to and from the countryside
I ran away for hours into my grief
Grief I hardly understand but that I carry from my ancestors as the elders and healers tell me…

I drove and sang as tears danced down my face
The sky was on fire too
It detained and humbled me…
Emotions took over like the storm…
I swerved and nearly lost control in the darkness
And there it hit me…
It is the pain that moves and compels me, empowers and confines me…
It is here where I die and live again…where I am destroyed and re-made

I landed surely and abruptly on his transnational heartbreak
He took me aside to lament his physical pain
Clearly the paper work, the details of his accident did not matter
It was all about what I knew about her
How could his love do this to him? He begged for a response…
She was no where to be found, but I knew…
Across two borders with a new love

I held firmly to the answers he longed with his heart
I am complicit in their transnational secrets…

Community organizing is not only about putting “the community back together again” within a capitalist system that exploits, displaces and fragments, it is about defying the illusion that we are incomplete and broken. It is about delving into our spirit, power and wholeness as individuals in order to strengthen the collectivities that we form part within and across borders.

From my own wounds, exhausted and disillusioned…in an instant I put myself back together again…looked at him firmly and lovingly, “this is the other side of me speaking here,” I had to warn and preface…”your accident is a manifestation of your heartbreak and what your body already knows and that which you refuse to see…”…”I see your love and your heartbreak”…”I am not the one to answer what you already know…”

This work, that has kept me on fire, given and taken from my life, that intensifies the longings that I fail to mute, betrays and confuses me…it is pain and contradiction I heal in those moments that I am called to be whole and complete for others…that I see I am always complete and whole for me…

[[[[Contemplations of a wounded healer aka community organizer]]]]

One Response to "The emotional work of community organizing"

  • thank you Evelyn for sharing this beautiful poem with me.
    Despues de la tormenta viene la calma.
    Sigue adelante.

    1 jessenia said this (October 25, 2011 at 8:07 am)

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