Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Daughters and Sons; Sons and Daughters

The other day I rode in the passenger seat next to my kk on the way home from work instead of riding my bicycle in the fierce wind (the morning wind had whipped me, and I needed a break). I’m rarely in the car with k anymore, except on the weekends, so driving home and listening to tunes is a special treat.

On this particular drive home, dark had fallen all around, and the lights glistened extra hard on the rain slicked pavement. It was a glossy evening.
The Decemberist’s Sons and Daughters came on the iPod, and the thump, thump of the music and the sweet lyrics of the chorus brought tears to my eyes almost instantly. “When we arrive/Sons & daughters/We’ll make our homes on the water/We’ll build our walls aluminum/We’ll fill our mouths with cinnamon now.”

There is something about the building of homes together and filling up mouths with cinnamon that is so hopeful and simultaneously dreamy. Upon hearing the song my heart was prompted to that place where it sometimes travels—the place of this deep desire to have children become part of our family.

Even in the midst of a lot of ugliness, I can, at times, find traces of hopefulness that make me want to bring a child into this world. On the individual human level I witness the aftermath of interactions that perpetuate the grit, grime, danky, stinky parts of humanity. And on the macro-level I witness, simultaneously, the reproduction of ugly ways of being that are inherent in our racist, classist, sexist, heterosexist, violent, and war driven institutions. I see injustice rule in our supposed justice system. I see the residue of that injustice coating the people who have been rammed through the “justice” system and deposited in the enormous prison system—a system that is sucking up funds for education, health care, and other social services that may have (just maybe) helped keep some folks from ever getting trapped in the wrong place at the wrong time. Once the people are disappeared into the world of prison, well then human rights abuses abound.

Falling into these moments of desiring to bring children into this world with all of the struggles of the aforementioned mess always pressing on my skull, is rare and heartening for me. Even in the midst of very stressful work—prisoner rights advocacy/activism—,I know that the move towards more just, more compassionate, more love-filled ways of being is hovering over and within social justice work.

It is my hope that our child (if one day we can really get knocked up—did not happen again this month)and the children that we are blessed to interact with will choose to work for the greatest good for all beings.

Another song that shuffles the resonating image of hope through my ears and onto my brain is “Your Daughters and Your Sons” as sung by Scottish Folk Singer,
Dick Gaughan
This song holds up future generations as the potential creators of something better than what we have right now and what we had in the past.

They wouldn't hear your music
And they pulled your paintings down
They wouldn't hear your writing
And they banned you from the town
But they couldn't stop you dreaming
And a victory you have won
For you sowed the seeds of freedom
In your daughters and your sons

Your weary smile it proudly hides
The chainmarks on your hands
As you bravely strive to realize
The rights of everyman
And though your body's bent and low
A victory you have won
For you sowed the seeds of justice
In your daughters and your sons

They taunted you in Belfast
And they tortured you in Spain
And in that Warsaw ghetto
Where they tied you up in chains
In Vietnam and in Chile
Where they came with tanks and guns
It's there you sowed the seeds of peace
In your daughters and your sons

And now your music's playing
And the writing's on the wall
And all the dreams you painted
Can be seen by one and all
Now you've got them thinking
And the future's just begun
For you sowed the seeds of freedom
In your daughters and your sons


starrhillgirl said...

Thank god. I was going to have to move to the mid-west and camp out on your doorstep if you didn't post again soon. And I hate camping (bad lesbian, I know).

I'm sorry it didn't work out for y'all this time.

reticulatedmama said...

i love these posts.

but i must admit that i was a wee bit distracted by the thought of you making me a mix cd.

gold star said...


To brighten your day (you probably already know this) the Rockefeller laws are being repealed in NY, and they're thinking of making it retroactive. Halleluja.

Sometimes I feel like evolution happens in little spurts, and when we're lucky enough to witness it, we have to hold on to it to get us through the rest of the sludge.

I'm sorry this wasn't the month. I'm so hopful this is going to happen soon for you two.

amanda said...

Shit, you guys. i am so sorry to hear about this month's disappointment. This sucks.

i am, however, glad that you had those moments of clarity and got some good tune-time with your girl.