Agenda of the Dispossessed 1

“It is exactly because we feel and suffer that we too want to become involved in the fight against this society, because we also feel from birth the need to be free, to be equal”     Maria Roda

I wanted to take a shortcut.  I needed to think a bit more as my mind was beginning to weigh me down.  The shortcut, cutting swaths through my mind since I was a little girl, suddenly became malleable and slowly disappeared with each turn I made.  The snow fell harder, and everything became quiet.  Shadows creeped in as memories from the past I never experienced gripped tightly at my heart.  In the back of the mind I could hear the Great Falls crashing down as unfinished conversations from earlier in the night continued controlling my mind.   On this dark, cold winter night I can barely see through my windshield,  but my focus remained within.  And I approach Paterson with a heavy heart, the remnants of tonight’s conversations still encapsulating my mind, trying to remember what I said and what was said and I can only recall the enlightening conversation about my family history.  A family history that truly began here, in the silk city where the pain and the longing, like the thick smoke from the burned out factories no longer has anywhere to go besides the dark heart of our souls.   The burned out buildings covered in snow, almost as beautiful as their history of pain and frustration overtakes me.  I can still see the pink lights of the Marcal factory as if I was still that little girl, still dreaming of the perfect world I built in my mind.  The perfect world which the souls of the past built with the blood of their hands, scratching and clawing against the walls of ignorance always growing claustrophobically closer.   They dreamed of the perfect America, the beautiful land of hope and liberty and when they arrived on these shores, they only saw pain and destitution and wondered when they would really arrive in this America they heard so much about.  As I watch the pages of my history burning I am reminded of the way the mother of my great-grandmother fought.  Her words like shadows of my own thoughts.                              “We too have a heart that beats, that suffers when facing so much misery.  The pain of the working masses affects us too. Who knows misery more than women?”                                                                                                      These words echo within me, buried deep in the heart of my past. I have never learned to be anything but an object.  My thoughts filtered through emotions, Snapchats and Facebook posts.  We lost the ability to be in touch with this light that burns and as the pages of our own history continue burning, I can do nothing but remember what still makes my blood flow.  And as I feel this woman’s blood flowing through me, I reflect upon my own life, my miserable job, superficially rich, yet spiritually dead, my inability to hold a boyfriend, or clean my house and I see the reason why I’m here; this is not, for once a shortcut, but a trip through the heart of what I can be.  As I am lost out here amongst the shadows, and I feel my car, unable to move, trapped in ice and snow as the tires dig deeper and tears fall from my eyes as I look in the rearview mirror.  The shadows of men who so long ago had some form of hope descend upon me, I don’t know where I am going now.  I am here, and her blood pulsing through my heart tells me, just go, it doesn’t matter, just go