An Afrofuturist Reimagining: Remarks from Cosmic Mass in DC

I had the pleasure of joining Matthew Fox and the Cosmic Mass collective for their racial healing mass at the Washington National Cathedral. I led hundreds of people, in the nave of the cathedral, through this ancestral transmutation. I was asked to share the remarks. May they serve.


An Afrofuturist Reimagining

I invite you to close your eyes.

 

Enter the stillness. Enter the darkness. Allow your senses to adapt, and feel the pulse of presence surrounding you.

 

Allow yourself, with a deep intentional breath, to enter the present through another dimension.

 

In this dimension, you are among darkness, stillness, abundant presence.

 

And as you are in this space, you realize that you’re contained with a thousand percent less room.

 

You do not know where you are, where you are going, or what condition your loved ones are in.

 

You are not even certain which condition you are in. You can no longer track your pain.

 

There are unfamiliar sounds, powerful stretches that clench through the air, and a hole in your stomach.

 

For some of us, this was the lived experience of our blood ancestors, as human cargo, in the largest forced migration in known history.

 

For others of us, tonight, we adopt their experiences as our spiritual ancestors, ones whose descendants we must learn to empathize, love, and transform for, because their terror lives their descendents’ bones and cells.

 

But tonight, let us reimagine their experience. We will, in our way, answer their desperate prayers. We will bend the will our time, to reflect our present and future wisdoms, about the preciousness of life.

 

So, we determine that the stillness, darkness, and abundant presence is of another scene--one of space, in the stars, where we connect to a thousand points of light, rather than degrees of closure.

 

[Breathe]

 

So, we determine, as we touch the back of our skulls or necks, if we’re able, that our necks are not under the fragile whims of authority.

 

Rather, they represent stems of our intelligence that easily out-stretch to the person next to you, and the person next to them, and the person nearby them.

 

Here, we connect to our collective knowing which values the elegance of wellbeing, the sweetness of justice, and the power of inspiration.

 

We determine, as we touch the center of our chests, if we’re able, that our quickened heartbeats do not represent fear.

 

Instead, they signal the excitement of expansion, as we envision the stillness, and darkness, and presence, as extensions of the deepest cosmos, pulled to the very ends of our consciousness.

 

Here, we know our closeness to infinity. Our bigness. Our greatness. Our limitless.

 

[Breathe]

 

Tonight, we determine, as we touch our upper pelvis, if we’re able, that the insides of our intimacies are not threatened.

 

Alternatively, they are honored as the cradles of our creation. They are the circularity of all rhythm, and seasons, and life, that make up our being.

 

Here, we name the home of our divinity, sacred and protected. We say their names.

 

[Breathe]

 

Whether the year 1718, or 2018, these lives, and their descendents lives, their bodies and their descendents bodies, are more than than their experiences.

 

Regardless of what you’ve been told (or not told) or how you’ve been conditioned, these precious beings are worthy of our exploration for new ways of being. They always have been.

 

They, too, are teachers to all of us about mercy, compassion, resilience, meaning, and transcendence, for that exploration ahead.

 

Open your eyes. As we breathe for them, and for ourselves. They are among us. Each are among us. We are among us.

 

[Breathe]

 

[Breathe]

 

[Breathe]

 

Ase. So say we all.