Unbreakable Bonds: My Brief Reflections
(By Jacqueline Asiimwe, comments given at the opening of Writivism 2019)
This is a powerful theme and a very thought provoking one. I decided to look up the meaning of the two words.
Unbreakable: Shatterproof, indestructible, resistant, durable, sturdy, heavy duty
Bond: Joined Securely especially by means of an adhesive substance, heat or pressure….
Drawing from my lessons in sisterhood in the women’s movement:
Bonds are built on trust. What is the trust level in the writing community? How can we build trust? How can we protect it as our greatest currency? What happens when trust is broken? How do we deal with this?
Trust comes from vulnerability: to what extent and how is vulnerability expressed in this community? Can we say we are truly vulnerable to and with each other? Or do we feel the need to wear masks? Do we hide behind our words? Vulnerability is a gift, one to another – a gift of knowing and being known. Do we truly know each other?
Bonds are built on having and sharing power, positive power – power to, power with, power within and watching out for and avoiding the destruction from power over.
Bonds are built through inclusiveness/inclusivity: Looking around – who is here? Who is not here? Who is at the table? Who is not at the table that should be? How do we make room for everyone all the time?
Bonds are built through heat or pressure – what are our defining heat and pressure moments? Can we stand the heat? Have we held together through our pressure pints, through conflict, through disagreement, through different points of viewing, through external pressures to break?
Bonds are built on and through love: Is there love in this community? The highest expression of love is being able to lay down our lives for others. Can we confidently say that in this community, we can lay down our lives for each other, for the cause of artistic expression?
Bonds are built through shared values: What values do we espouse as a community? Have we agreed on shared values in this space? Do we all know these values? Do we all live these values? How and who holds us accountable to these values? How do we deal with those among us that violate our values?
Bonds are built through healing: We are broken lives living in a broken system and sometimes our movements break us and cause us pain. Sometimes the breaking and wounding is external. In what ways have we created spaces to heal our wounds. Healing brings and breeds bonding.
Bonds are built over time and take commitment. Are we totally, 100% committed to each other through time and space?
Hard to feel or touch
But we know instinctively when they are there
Or when they are missing