For the next 347 days, I will be writing entries under the title, ‘I AM TROY DAVIS.’ Moved to pick up the pen not merely by Troy Anthony Davis‘ death/execution, but more so by his life/evolution, I hope that there are those out there who can relate. If so, we must connect. We are already connected. Axé.
A few weeks back, Tiger and I facilitated a group discussion with our friend, TK. The discussion was centered on the Occupy Austin (OA) movement, and the participation (or lack thereof) of People of Color (POC). TK, Tiger, and I wanted to create a POC-only space so that we could (more) freely discuss our feelings/issues about OA, or anything else.
We made sure the 60+ people that showed up were given room to organize conversations around whatever topics they wanted to discuss. Some in the room were upset that white people were excluded from the meeting; some wanted to speak about an upcoming action/march to pull money out of Bank of America and Wells Fargo; some just wanted to talk about making OA more of an inclusive space for POC. The breakout groups were as diverse as one could imagine. Our goal was to ensure that everyone felt their voice was heard and included in the conversation.
Before those small-group conversations even took place, however, TK walked the larger group through a brief visualization exercise during which participants were asked to close their eyes and imagine the world they would like to see for themselves. This was supposed to be an entirely personal vision, detailing the exact people, foods, environment, colors, shapes, sounds, housing, etc. that each person would describe as their dream. After the visualization, folks were asked to draw what they saw (with crayons), and share their drawings/visions with the person next to them.
The feedback that followed was a bit surprising. One individual said he felt tension in his body when he was asked to create his personal ideal/vision. Another woman said that she had nothing come to her initially besides frustration. Others nodded, affirming their own struggles with the visioning process.
I think most people in the room that night would say that they want to see ‘change,’ a ‘better world,’ or ‘reform.’ But, it was interesting to find that more than just a handful of these same people were frustrated by the process of pretending, or imagining what their personal ‘better world’ might actually look like in reality.
Why do we as adults have so many problems dreaming/visioning/pretending? The seed of change begins with a dream/vision, right?
Imagine there were no obstacles keeping you from manifesting your personal dream world. What would your world look like? Can you draw it? Do you have a job in this world? Do you live in a city, a forest, on a beach? Do you eat food from a supermarket? Watch TV? Hang from trees all day?
Whatever your dream/vision is, write it down. Draw it out. Nothing will happen if you can’t see it clearly in your mind’s eye.
My name is Jonathan ‘Jbro Mpeanaji’ Mahone, and I am one-half of (RAS) Riders Against the Storm. I AM TROY DAVIS.