Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

Our Bones Remember the Pain

January 7, 2019/5779. 

Enforcers of colonialism and capitalism bear down, with menace, on the Wet’suwet’en territory in “an extension of the genocide that Wet’suwet’en have survived since contact,” to borrow from an action alert. 

In some no-future future, if police and state “win,” the “life support” known as pipelines will be hooked up to unceded lands, draining them of life giving and life sustaining. Colonialism and capitalism will further eat away at the social body, at cultures and communities, killing, mercilessly. If they win this time, it never gets easier. The bones remember the pain. 

Generations that outlive, that are left behind to mourn, that are gifted resilience, might tell each other, “It would have been…” It would have been “our home.” It would have been “possible to heal.” It would have been “X years” of traditions, of love, of the unceded landscape of our lives feeling in some sort of ecological balance. 

January 7, too, “would have been” my now-dead dad’s birthday. Colonialism and capitalism played their merciless parts in his too-early, unlife-supported medical-industrial complex demise. He was fallen by a disease fueled by climate catastrophe, itself fueled by the ongoing centuries of theft of lands and lives. And lives “would have been” different if he were here, in the qualitative way that stories’ endings — or rather, stories’ arcs, capturing the fullness of the bittersweet beauty of lives worth living and good deaths of our own collective self-determining — make a difference. All the difference. 

January 7, 2019/5779. 

In some other, future-with-a-future, colonialism and capitalism won’t win this time. “No access without consent” will hold for unceded territories, as they have for years and centuries. Stories and water, land and laughter, seasons and solidarity, will still be life. Our bones won’t ache quite so much. 

#NoMoreStolenLands #NoMoreStolenLives #RebelliousMourning #WeMustOutLiveThem 

(photo: wheat paste by @lost.claws on the stolen walls of Tio’tia:ke/Montreal)


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This entry was posted on January 7, 2019 by in Dispatches from Life, Dispatches from Rebellious Spaces.
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