They Live In You

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Luanda, Angola; by Jorje sa Pinheiro

 

“Why is the top of that mountain rusty?” he asked.

His grandmother’s hand tightened gently around his wrist, then released it, almost in apology.

“For your ancestors,” she said.

He looked at her, uncomprehending. She had a way of speaking without saying everything she meant or with saying more than she meant and then cloaking it so it was still a tangle of implied meanings. He didn’t always know which it was. Or both. Her lined face was held up in what looked more like grief than awe.

“Grandma?” he asked.

“This rust is the mountain holding up the iron bled by your great-grandfather’s chains and the chains of those before him, and before, so many generations that the rust of those shackles rose up. It is the blood of the mountain and like the blood in your veins, it is them. They live in it. They live in you.

 

 

 

For the What Pegman Saw challenge: Angola

 

Layer Not

never again9 OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

Some photos of a layered world aren’t pretty. Some are there to remind us of history that shouldn’t have happened yet did: People stacked in slave ships’ holds. People forced to march. People warehoused in concentration camps. People massacred. People just like us … stripped of dignity. Dehumanized.

And yet. People they each were. Each one a universe of thoughts and soul and feelings. Each one worthy. Each a human being.

Layered in the bowels of our collective histories are memories that hurt as the agony they resurrect is peeled away so they be seen. And yet they may be there exactly to remind us what we should know … and never repeat.

 

 

For The Photo Challenge

Passover to Freedom

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However you celebrate, note, commemorate or endure it, may this Passover–this Spring Holiday, also called the “Holiday of Freedom” herald your personal freedom from whatever binds you: worry, fret, self-critic, anxiety over judgment, unhealthy-habits, petty choices … and any manner of sticky strings-attached. May you be freed.

May this also be a time to end present day bondage. Present time slavery. Let us move to end it. Let us not look away.

Let us end trafficking in all its manifestations and myriad ‘cultural’, ‘economical’, ‘religious’, or political pretenses. Let us end the bondage of child-laborers; of girl-brides; of ‘modern-day’ slaves; of the abuse of sexual exploitation; of people forced into indentured servitude, an enduring poverty, a withheld education, and subsequent misery and desperation.

Let it be done. Over. Made no more. We are one. Let us all put forth to let our people go.

May this time of highlighting the freeing of a People from slavery and injustice of exploitation, murder, and impunity–become a springboard to reforming the similar injustices of today.

Let us no longer be appeased by looking away or minimizing (and by it passively endorsing those who–still today–consider slavery acceptable). Let the voice of freedom ring loud and clear: We shall not be content in the reality of human enslavement, cruelty, hatred, inequity, injustice and indignity. Let our people. All people. Go.

May this Passover be a passing of a threshold, a springing open the bloom of transformation and potential. Hope. Release. Rebirth. May it be, a time to Free.

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