Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping its dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared. ― Tupac Shakur, The Rose That Grew from Concrete
This week, we read Nikki Giovanni’s “Revolutionary Dreams” and wrote our own revolutionary cries. In the poem, Giovanni remembers the gentleness of the natural revolution of simply being natural, naturally a woman, naturally herself. It is a revolution that is one and many at the same time, a choice each moment that changes the course of an entire life.
There were elements of our group last Thursday that came together as naturally as a seed opening to its own seedling. Other elements were as tough as concrete, trying to break through years of doubt and fear to hear each other and hear our own words. In working together to weave our words, we ran into the triumphs and challenges of making something as a group. But that is how truth emerges, through struggle and working together.
Below, you’ll find the record of that quiet rebellion:
I Will Be the One
I will be the one to record the losses,
to lay the table with a meal and our griefs
and weep and laugh and sing
with everyone who sits down,
every laugh achievement or fear,
tears running down my cheek.
I will be the one to nurture their fears
and dry their tears. I will be the one
who stays strong and faithful.
I will be the one who went away,
captivated by curiosity.
I will be the one who went astray.
Succeed at being everything you need at last!
I will be the one whose heart breaks free.
I will be the one who always
remembers when I was gone.
We will not only survive the storm—
I will be the one with you, dancing in the rain.
I will be the one muzzling the guns, putting pepper
in the soup and not the spray,
lightning in the movement, not the taser.
I will dig my hands into the dirt and feel
the earth’s blood. I will be the one who shines
in the dullest light listening for a song
that only I can understand.
I will be the one in the revolution of one,
the one who has a voice.
I am the one to make my thoughts heard.
I will be the one calling out to God to hear my cry.
I will be the one.
You Can Make It
I will be the one who tells you
you can make it.
We will be the ones to have overcome.
I will be the one that controls my own life;
and the choices I make will determine my future.
I’ll be the one who will yell and scream,
who brings out the best in everyone.
I will be the one who does not suffer
when I am strong, who wishes away my fears.
I’ll be the one who will hop, hop, hop
like a crazy bunny on Easter Sunday,
to be like a free bird, not charging
for rides, shows, or food at the fair.
I will be the one that wants to smoke.
Instead of being paid, we would
be given choices of trades instead.
I’ll be the one who will stand,
with or without you.
I will be the one to tell them
that women and children
aren’t going to take this anymore.
I will be the one who asks
the questions no one wants to answer.
I will be the healer.
I will be the one that needs love
and respect. I will be the one
that loves with unconditional love.
I will be the one who will
always keep her head held high,
the strength in your bones.
The revolution would change
the way money is used and we would
barter and exchange favors instead.
I will be the one who find her voice again,
who will love him right or wrong.
I will be the one to hug my son again.
I will be the healer,
who brings out the best in everyone,
the strength in your bones.