Author: Jamie Dedes

Joy … in ancestral memory

Joy
"The past could be jettisoned ... but the seeds got carried." Joan Dideon, Where I Was From out of the womb of Time they slidepeasants and kings, artisans and queensmurders, warriors, healers, peacemakersthe mothers and grandmotherson whose shoulders we stand they are with us, their spirits sensedthough unseentheir hearts are in our mouthsas they guard and guide feet rooted in the mud of Earthwe drink the wine, eat the rootsand sing the songs we inheritedtheir sayings are our sayingstheir voices are our voicescarried on breezeslike the music of cathedral bellslike the call of the muezzinthey chime and summonthey sum what came before from their gnosiswhispered in the ear of silencewe learn: we are nameless but not lostwe too shall echoshall be the shouldersshal...

Joy … in speaking up for little girls

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“Girls are one of the most powerful forces for change in the world: When their rights are recognized, their needs are met, and their voices are heard, they drive positive change in their families, their communities, and the world.” Kathy Calvin, United Nations Foundation President & CEO They come like thistle and thorn, and write their rage upon my body. They come like locusts and feed on the fields of my soul. Like an angry storm, they drown me. Like the desert sands, they sufficate me. They see me, a little person of little consequence … a girl. Just a trinket, a toy, a receptical. Something to sell, buy, and trade … a workhorse. – But hear me – I am the answer. I am the calm after the storm. I am the antidote to your

JOY . . . in tattoos and poetry as healing

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My mom had her first mastectomy in 1949 when she was pregnant with me.  Things were different then. Mom and her contemporaries had no support after mastectomy. They had the surgery, were sent to get fitted for prostheses … and that was that. There were no hospital or clinic classes in art and poetry for healing. There were no support groups, no talk therapy. Perhaps worst of all, there was no privacy about medical records. My mother actually turned down a promising job opportunity because the firm's board members wanted to review her medical records before hire. Things have improved since Mom's day, thank goodness. Privacy and rights are better protected. There's patient support available before, during and after mastectomy. There&nb