Trauma Survivor: Mama Earth


Tiny - Posted on 10 October 2017

Author: 
tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia

Like any trauma survivor Mama Earth is unsettled, anxious, in physical and mental pain and actling erratic. This state of her being is now her norm, not the aberrant, so I refuse to call it Climate Change or any other euphemism. Mama Earth is in crisis, period.

And to all of us earth peoples struggling with the collective pain caused by the crises and trauma of our post-colonized and corporate tortured Mama Earth - i am sending so much prayer and healing across these digital streets
 
That said, the way Mama Earth in her trauma-filled state hits different communities is complex, tragic and horrifying. If you are already unhoused and on the street and the street you reside on gets flooded. You have now lost the nothing you already didn’t have and somehow even have less.

On Monday, Oct 9th Northern California, in a county with a very high medium income just sufferred with a serious fire crisis resulting in over 1500 homes being destroyed and over 10 people dying. The story of the poor folks lost to this fire, the hurricanes of Texas and Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes of Mexico is rarely, if ever, spoken about or considered.

If you are in prison and “asked” to be a volunteer firefighter, what choice do you really have? Or worse if your cell-block is flooded like in Houston recently, and now filled with growing black mold, where do you go?  If you are living in what i call  poor people housing unit with 6 families in one room so you can collectively pay the over-priced rent and still have money to send home as remittances across the false borders, what happens when your roof burns down or is flooded. If you are a disabled elder holding on to your “house” by any means necessary, but u can’t afford  the earthquake insurance or the “good” fire insurance with the low deductible or the earthquake insurance at all, what do you do to rebuild? If you are renting from a scam lord who was already trying to evict you illegally and now you are burned out or flood out or earthquaked out, where do you go?

Mary X who is a very low-income, disabled elder who suffers from asthma and was living in poor people housing in downtown Santa Rosa, not only lost her home but can’t even stay in a shelter in Santa Rosa cause she can’t breathe. Juan L who was juggling three dishwashing jobs in kitchens in Napa County under the table now has no home and no jobs and no unemployment. Rena who was sleeping in a “same” place next to her old home in Santa Rosa, now can’t even breath muchness “sleep” in her tent hidden in Sonoma County.

Struggle hits different people depending on your support networks, access to resources and village support. Most people who are poor in a captialist society are isolated, and like my mama used to say Isolation kills,

The other terrifying lesson that can come from these fires, hurricanes, Tsunamis and earthquakes is a horrible and real empathy exercise, the kind we teach in PeopleSkool. The ways in which folks with different forms of race and class privilege can now overstand and understand the violence of losing Everything you care about in one minute. From baby pictures to your favorite momentos burned up in a tragic and immediate fire or thrown away by DPW workers cause you are unhoused and on the street when they are doing a “sweep” the pain is the same.

The way people recover from these little murders of the soul as my mama used to call them is
strikingly different if you have another home to go to, a family with extra room to house you, a trust fund, surplus income , a good fire or earthquake insurance policy or just a really powerful network of friends who love and are always there for you makes the difference between surviving and giving up competely.

These violent lessons of empathy are more important than ever as we learn back inter-dependence and move away from the lie of independence. Which cannot sustain any of us, rich or poor, struggling or supported as more and more of us lose more and more of our lives behind these times.

If we can take anything away form these violent and diffincult series of new Mama Earth normals, it is that we must care for each other in a deeper and different way and spend much less time on the lie of "succeeding" and more on the notion of caring for one another. And ultimately caring for our Earth Mother for without whom there woudl be no us. Otherwise, as indigenous nations and earth care-givers have taught for years, none of us, not just some of us, will survive.

Sending love, empathy, activation and healing to all of the victims of Trauma-FilledMama Earth in so much crisis  and all of us earth peoples from all four corners trying to survive, thrive and be alive.

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