Courage may often be more straightforward
and simple than we’ve been taught
Tonight I was thinking
of the one woman
who sat in the front of the bus
about the one farmer who stood
up for the field workers
about the one revolutionary
who said ¡ya basta!, no more
invaders owning everything
and keeping on purpose
the poor poor so as to employ
them at slave wages to do
what the employers would not touch.
Tonight I was thinking about
the faithful elders who come to pray
the rosary to Our Lady put behind
a wall, recently now with a door
with a combination lock on it,
so Our Lady cannot be visited
at any time
unless the mirthless
‘keeper of the combination lock’
will let the so humble and devout
old people in to pray.
I was thinking that their showing up
is their sacred ongoing act
of utter defiance of mere humans
and utter devotion to The Magnitude.
Just showing up.
I was thinking of the artist in Cuba
who under the cruel embargo has no art supplies…
She cut down a dead tree
with a kitchen knife;
it took a long time.
But she harvested the wood into strips
and made staves to which she glued
with home made glue, fabric
from the old faded afro-cuban cloth
of the grandmothers, and thus
sold her beautiful fans in the streets
for a decent amount of money.
I was thinking of the children of my nation
who’ve planned a walkout today
for 17 minutes, to commemorate the
17 children murdered at a school in Florida,
Florida, the place of abundant flowers
so named, as are our young.
I was thinking that some adults in charge
are questioning whether a young adult
of school age, has the right to leave school
without being punished for unexcused
I was thinking about the partisans
and underground, and subversive
change agents of the world, who have
ever ‘walked out’ or ‘walked right in’
without invitation, and changed minds,
hearts and their corner of the world
by rumbling and standing up to roar.
I was thinking of the poets and artists
of the world, those who have walked on,
who are often known for one painting
more than their others,
one poem standing out
from all the others,
one print, one sculpture,
one theatre, one dance,
one line, one song,
one beautiful lifegiving,
I can see
as can you
that one act
may be enough
so very much.
Courage my loves…
I send love,
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés is Mestiza Latina [Native American/ Mexica Spanish], presently in her seventies. She grew up in the now vanished oral tradition of her war-torn immigrant, refugee families who could not read nor write, or did so haltingly, and for whom English was their third language overlying their ancient natal languages.
She is a lifelong activist in service of the voiceless; as a post-trauma recovery specialist and psychoanalyst of 49 years clinical practice and missions with persons traumatized by war, including exiliados and torture victims; and as a journalist covering stories of human suffering and hope.
As a post-trauma recovery specialist, she served students, teachers, and families at Columbine High School and community for three years after the massacre of 12 students, one teacher, and the severe wounding of 24 students, some of whom are in wheelchairs for life.