The TRUMPOCALYPSE: 365 Days Later

It started, here:

We all donned pink pussy hats.

For the CHILDREN. So that I would not cringe over how to translate and interpret the misogyny and racism rising in America when I hang out with my grandchildren.

So that our children could grow up with a paradigm shifted meaning of a blatant offense against women that was beyond our ability to integrate.

So that none of us had to explain what a pubic hair was, to any three year olds overhearing comments on National Public Radio.ap_644206559088_wide-0b56c787040912142196baba35df016383edaa55379228115.jpg

As I had to, to my own daughter a generation earlier during the 1991 Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings

Happy anniversary to us all.

It is also the anniversary of a wise women teacher’s death. Sobonfu Some slipped away quietly, having returned to her home in West Africa.

Sobonfu well

Alice Walker said it best:

Sobonfu Somé

You left us on the day women all over the world
Are rising.
Well, you rose too, sweetest
Of sisters.
You rose and I can see you smiling
As you returned to the village
Of Dano.
The ancestors
Who, as they are wont to do,
Asked far too much of you,
Are there to receive you.
I hope they are!
For how were they to know
Into what poverty of spirit
What deeply injured soul space
They sent you?
You were sent to heal a people
Who do not even realize
They are unwell!
Oh, my sister, whom I loved
The instant I saw
Your sweet smile,
Far too much was asked
Of you.
And you, being Sobonfu,
The light of the village
That raised you,
Tried to do every single
Thing they said
You must…”

red pro choice

 

It is also the 45th anniversary of abortion being legal and safe here in AmeriKKKa.

Well– for upper middle class white women in AmeriKKKa (…finally!All those trips to Mexico and Puerto Rico were getting expensive…)

I know I know– perhaps you will find that comment a little cynical. I myself have reaped the benefits of broader reproductive choice in the U.S.; both as a pregnant young woman ready to begin medical school (but not yet ready to start my family…) and again as a provider of abortion services to my own cadre of patients for most of my life as a family practice physician.

After all, it wasn’t until four years later, that our government stopped paying for abortion services through Medicaid due to the Hyde amendment (https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/issue-brief/coverage-for-abortion-services-in-medicaid-marketplace-plans-and-private-plans/)

But that STILL means that poor women in AmeriKKKa have been without legal access to safe abortions for the last 41 years of the 45.

white family too many welfare-queen-before-and-after-birth

And yet my feminist friends tell me “Black Lives Matter”. Thoughts to ponder. Things that make you go, “Hmmmm”.

Did you actually ever think we would be to a first Trumpocalypse anniversary?

I certainly didn’t. I actually did not believe that the Trumpocalypse was a sustainable event. Now, I am meditating on the story of the Frog. That one that sits in a pot and slowly boils to death as the temperature goes up up up rather than having sense (and sensibility) in enough to jump out.

Remember the meaning of sensibility?

“the ability to appreciate and respond to complex emotional or aesthetic influences; sensitivity…a person’s delicate sensitivity that makes them readily offended or shocked.”

One year in, I am tired of hearing how overwhelmed people are feeling. When I participated in my first spiritual retreat with Sobonfu, she had just arrived from her own country. It was a Woman’s Mysteries retreat.

She took me aside (I was as the only woman of color in a group of about 20 white women participants at a yoga retreat center). She whispered urgently that “we have to do work with these women’s wombs–their wombs are black holes that are sucking and sucking; and not offering their creativity to the world.”

YIKES. What a clear and frightening diagnosis for a certain type of malaise that continues to haunt my feminist communities a good 20 years after I first heard those words from Sobonfu. Here is the REST of Alice Walker’s poem/obituary to Sobonfu:

And you, being Sobonfu,
The light of the village
That raised you,
Tried to do every single
Thing they said
You must.

We, here in this blighted land,
Could see this.
You saw it too, but it did not
Stop you.

You told us we needed to weep,
To cry, to moan, to roll on the ground
If we felt like it
But by all means
To express our agony
That we are so lost.

But where were we
When you were lost?
Lost in the loneliness and vastness
Of your task.

Forgive us
That we did not know
How to be better sisters
To you.  Better brothers,
Better sick Americans.

When you enter the village
You are safe again.  There will
Be sufficient tears, crying out,
Rolling on the ground, covering of heads
With ash.

That is my hope, anyway,
Blessed healer of our people
All our people,
Returning so soon
And in this abrupt way
You leave us
To demonstrate
All you taught us
About grief.”

Sobonfu tried to support us, in doing that work. She was sent to us, by her elders. She ventured out– with grace– from her indigenous world of much substance into our grey and grasping Dominator KKKulture of KKKraziness.

And, we killed her. She tried to offer women’s Mysteries Retreat which were a total mystery to our overly clueless selves. She went on to do prosperity rituals where the sucking became sinkholes of unfulfilled desire and pathetic neediness. She settled into offering us grief rituals. So much grief. So much inability to integrate the complexities of living Life in our world with our heads screwed on backwards. I watched Sobonfu’s belly grow– with whatever tumors she carried– year after year after painful year. She grew into a grotesque caricature of herself. A spider woman; carrying her own egg sack out front while balancing precariously on spindly arms and legs.

A birth that never came to its fruition.            Gaia

That would be–

what I see–

symbolically–

And. It. Is. Us.

It’s the first anniversary this weekend of many things. Happy birthday to a specific “I Can’t Keep Quiet” women’s movement of empowerment that may have been a stillbirth.

That “baby” born last year?

It certainly seemed to have very low apgar scores**. I am not optimistic that this “baby” is resuscitate-able.

And yet I will continue to believe and to HOPE that miracles are still happening, now.

** a 10 point physical assessment of a newborn infant for vitality and therefore a prognosis on a healthy start to its life

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One Response to The TRUMPOCALYPSE: 365 Days Later

  1. Dear Opeyemi, your entire post appeared on my tablet in huge print as it must, as a Poem, so poem it will be remembered as, and a poem it was. Thank you. I am weeping for women, for the country and for the world, even as I write this. Love, pam

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