Collective Imagination and Liberation

“We are in an imagination battle. Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown and Renisha McBride and so many others are dead because, in some white imagination, they were dangerous. And that imagination is so respected that those who kill, based on an imagined, radicalized fear of Black people, are rarely held accountable.

Imagination has people thinking they can go from being poor to a millionaire as part of a shared American dream. Imagination turns Brown bombers into terrorists and white bombers into mentally ill victims. Imagination gives us borders, gives us superiority, gives us race as an indicator of ability. I often feel I am trapped inside someone else’s capability. I often feel I am trapped inside someone’ else’s imagination, and I must engage my own imagination in order to break free.” – adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy

What happens to a dream deferred? Or all together denied? What happens when an entire nation, already reeling from a pandemic, witnesses a murder before “its” very eyes? Does poetry have anything to say in such a situation? Might a piece of art console us? Might a poem begin to tell a story that we are finally ready to hear? Might that new story heal us? Might new dreams arise?

there is an edge (ode to radical imagination) by adrienne maree brown

There is an edge
Beyond which we cannot grasp the scale
Of our universe.
That border,
That outer boundary
Is imagination.
The only known edge of existence
The only one we can prove by universal experience –

We can imagine so much!
We can only imagine so much.

If perhaps it is a function of our collective minds
A dream of our endless nights
Then there will be abundance so long as we can imagine it –
Abundance on earth
If we can imagine it
Or abundance of earths
A sphere for every tribe
And every combination.
And to have it all
All we need is to remember
there is an edge
And grow our dreams beyond it.

– inspired by #ArtChangeUS

UU Lent – Day 4 – Dreams

The dictionary defines dream as both
a) a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep and b) a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.

 

Harlem

What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
      Or does it explode?
I chose this song because some of our dreams are wrapped up in the words of this song.
What are your dreams?

Meditation on Dreams

Harlem
What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
      Or does it explode?
Langston Hughes, “Harlem” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by The Estate of Langston Hughes. Reprinted with the permission of Harold Ober Associates Incorporated.
Source: Selected Poems of Langston Hughes (Random House Inc., 1990)

The Dream we haven’t Dared to Dream by Dan Pallotta

May listening to the podcast from TED2016 and meditating on the poem by Langston Hughes help you focus on what it means to dream, what your dreams are, what our dreams are, and what dreams you have left behind.

Namaste,
Cricket

#UULENT