poetry

Pound Your Chest. Everyone. Pound It.

{Photo credit: thegrio.com}

{Photo credit: thegrio.com}

Yesterday. I watched a close friend choke up with tears on Skype because on his morning Facebook feed, he had watched an ice pick, at the hand of a human, club a baby seal over the head. The monstrosity was too immense for his psyche to hold.

Today. I watched a group of Broadway stars, directors, producers, musicians, choreographers, designers and technicians gather in Times Square in front of the NYPD office with a peaceful, artistic protest about police violence and the death of Eric Garner (and Michael Brown).

As one man, Daniel J. Watts, rolled off inspired, powerful words, the group hummed a hauntingly beautiful sound that seemed to rise from the depths of their heart, as they pounded their chest.

 

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Healing through art. Dialogue through inspired verse. I wanted all artists to Rise Up. Pound your chest. Speak to your grief. Sing your sorrow. Paint the despair. Ask for hard conversations. Let it out.

The grief that had been soaking my heart heavy for days could no longer be absorbed, internally. There was no more space for it. Tears painted my cheeks, as the video faded out with Eric’s voice saying over and over, “I can’t breathe.”

What is wrong with us?

Jon Stewart, after his short speech on the tragedy, simply grabbed his head and screamed. I want to join him.

 

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As a white woman now living in Europe, I had been feeling a sense of relief that I am no longer living among the atrocity of racial violence in America. But that is a somewhat pathetic attempt at coping. Violence exists everywhere. We don’t have to look very far to find something that breaks our fragile heart. Again.

And I was a fool to think this was about countries. This is a about humanity. This is about our human race. This is about our planet that we co-inhabit. This is about our larger story. And right now, it’s a sad one. Tragic. Shocking. Grim.

I grew up as a first-generation American. My white parents left South Africa during the height of the apartheid. They simply could not raise a family amidst a culture of violence and human atrocity.

But because of their witness, their firsthand experience (and ours traveling back there throughout the eighties and nineties), we grew up talking about race, about equality, about Madiba, about peace and justice.

I remember my mother telling us a story of her younger brother. “He came in the house and his face was white as a ghost,” she told us. “He had seen a police officer let a dog loose on a black man.”

My heart couldn’t comprehend back then as a small young, girl why the hell we would ever do that to one another, and my adult heart right now can’t either. What has changed? That was a story of police brutality against a black man 40 years ago. And today, the same story is still being told.

Pound your chest. Everyone. Pound it.

There is a heart in there. And it will no longer stand for indecency and injustice. It will no longer stand for cruelty.

Pound your chest. Everyone. Pound it.

There is a heart in there. And it is holding its resignation to our human clan. It is searching for something more. This won’t do.

Pound your chest. Everyone. Pound it.

There is a heart in there. And it wants to rebel. To stand unwaveringly for peace.

Pound your chest. Everyone. Pound it.

There is a heart in there. And it is demanding a new story to be written and lived. This one is dead. It cannot go on.

Pound your chest. Everyone. Pound it.

There is a heart in there. And it doesn’t care one ounce about race or species. It is soaked with grief. Enough! Enough!

Pound your chest. Everyone. Pound it.

There is a heart in there. And it wants a voice. A voice that speaks of dreams, mountaintops, equality and the simple truth of Goodness.

Pound your chest. Everyone. Pound it.

There is a heart in there. And even though it is tired, it carries enormous strength. The strength that is needed for change. Real Change.

Pound your chest. Everyone. Pound it.

There is a heart in there. And we cannot waste another second. Too much depends on its awakening.

Pound your chest. Everyone. Pound it.

There is a heart in there.

There is a heart.

 

*****

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Deborah Anne Quibell
As a professional writer and editor, Deborah Anne Quibell believes passionately in breathing enchantment, meaning and soul into everyday existence. She lives for moments of captivation, and relentlessly pursues the magic and language of the heart. In addition to the rocking pages of Rebelle Society, you can find her writing on various online publications including Huffington Post UK, Expanded Consciousness, and The House of Yoga. She is a featured author in the book "Chicken Soup for The Soul: Dreams and Premonitions" published in 2015. A wanderer now living in Amsterdam, Deborah is currently a PhD Candidate in Depth Psychology, with emphasis in Jungian and Archetypal Studies. She teaches Pranic Healing, Yoga, and Meditation in various places throughout the world. She can often be found with an americano in one hand and a green juice in the other.
Deborah Anne Quibell
Deborah Anne Quibell

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