making love

April 13, 2008 at 4:36 am (Uncategorized, women of color)

sometimes i wonder why i do what i do…why be so dedicated to being a global worker? it is not the safest route to take. and there are lots of pitfalls.

a month before i went to palestine a family member asked me why did i not just ‘work with my own people’. why take the risks of going to palestine: financial, physical, familial, etc. and honestly i did not have an answer that was going to satisfy him. because why would i need to leave the country when there is so much work to be done in the states.

and there is alot of work to do in the states. and i have known some amazing women doing phenomenal work in this country. and i am so grateful for the work that they do daily. they inspire me, energize me, provide support, letters, analysis, models for living and working and loving in a crazy world. and most of these women give everything and then some creating amazing communities with little to nothing in terms of the ‘normal and expected’ resources. these are women who steal paper to print their zines on. they juggle financial sheets just to get a grant. they get arrested with their babies in tow. they dont normally live lives that are predictable, stable, or with a 401k.

so when i think about this family member and his question about working for and with ‘my own people’. and i realize that i couldnt give him a satisfactory answer because no matter where i live or work my choices would not live up to his standard. that his vision of who my people were very different from what i experience as my people and my community. that his vision of what ‘my people’ needed were radically different from what my vision was.

and i intend that my vision and my actions bring love to my communities.  all of them.  and those communities are all over the globe.  and i have a responsibility to these communities that i cannot just let go because they may be inconvenient to me.  this is a love that i am committed to.

in my vainer moments i think that i can give a bit of myself.  and  live a life that makes some people more comfortable with my choices.  maybe they think that if i live a life that more resembles their life, then they will feel more comfortable with their choices. often times i second-guess my life choices when i have conversations like the one i wrote about at the beginning of this piece.  but then i remember all the people i love who have made life choices so different than mine and i admire them so much.  i dont feel intimidated by their lives.  i feel liberated by them.

and so i want to say thank you to kefah and dadah and michaela and i want to say that this love is not easy.  that the work that i do is not vanity or an overzealous imagination.  it is a day to day work of making love.  it is in the tradition of audre and zora.

so i guess the question is why do we do what we do?  all of us.

cause we have faith in the moment.  in the work.  that the sacrifices are worth the community.  that we cant walk away from our commitments to ourselves or our communities.  that our happiness and our love is worth it.
that we have to live by the truths we have experienced.

that we are making love.  making communities.  making a new world.


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