This poem was written at the December 9th, 2011, 14 Black Poppies Artist and Healer Network Gathering. We asked all of our artists and healers to answer the question: What are the dimensions of your personal space?
It is in preparation for our workshop, Boundaries?, on Saturday, December 17th from 10am to 12:30pm in San Francisco (for more details please click the above link). The workshop will use ritual, pilgrimage, reflection, and ORID debriefing to explore boundaries real and imaginary. Our guiding Proverb for the workshop is: "Boundaries are not hard lines; you only know you've crossed one once it has been crossed."
In this age of the decolonize/occupy movements, it is crucial that we understand our own personal boundaries both in time and space. For too long have our boundaries and borders been defined by corporate capitalism, oligarchy, and politics. It seems that anything is okay as long as it is for a profit.
The banks have definitely crossed ethical (if not legal) boundaries. Nation-making defines borders and erects an other, an other that becomes demonized and illegal. Multi-national corporations find ways to cross borders to build profits while at the same time aggressively assaulting anyone that crosses their (supposed) intellectual boundaries. Institutional religion would not exist without borders and boundaries for without them there would not be any "saved" and "not saved".
Then, there are the borders and boundaries of ideologies, which can become even more dangerous when they do not bend. These ideologies are everywhere and even seep into our existence without even realizing it. I know that I have strong beliefs and ideologies that break rather than bend. There is my belief in living a queer life, in hope, in being out, in ensemble-based practices. And I know if I didn't have those beliefs, I would be lost.
So... What are your boundaries? What is a time a boundary has been crossed, and you did not realize it until afterwards? What are the dimensions of your personal space?
I hope to see your responses in the comments, and I hope to see you at our workshop, Boundaries?.
Now on to the poem.
"Dimensions of Space"
the boundaries of my personal space
exist beyond my self and yet
sometimes get confined by the wrinkles of my brain and my
veins that carry life
i only know this one world
this world that i touch
and the world that visits in my
i know not the true dimensions
the physicality of it all
yet i feel them
it's like my hair
once long in another lifetime
as it brushes my waist
it is not there
it is always present