Fungua Mlango, Open the Door


This morning while walking the track I was listening to Clarissa Pincola Estes, Theatre of the Imagination in it she shares Abre la puerta. Here is just the beginning of it.


Abre la puerta by Clarissa Pinkola Estes


Her name is Hope and she’s 12 years old, going on 20 to life. She is god at 5 feet tall.

Abre la Puerta, open the door and let her in, give her food.


Old Florence lives in the parking garage at the university with her bags and packs on the floor all around and she washes her 84 year old body in the sink at the library with a piece of flannel from her deceased husband’s pajamas.


Abre la Puerta, she’s god. Florence is God, there’s a God named Florencia.


Remember that old abuelita, your grandest grandmother? How she staggered toward you on legs so thin? You were just a baby then and she smiled all over your infant self and when you rose young and steaming from the void that was God in her abuelita form, crying with joy just to see you, “Que, que, que babybita” she’d say to you. “Oh look at you, you babybaby you…”


“Look,” says God, “she talks.” God talks baby talk. She opened a door in her belly for you. Your grandmother is God. God is a grandmother


As I listened I felt my own longing for the naming of the doors in my community, in the African American community. What are our doors? I felt a longing for the call of Fungua mlango, open the door. I want to hear the naming of Breonna Taylor as God, sleeping in her bed before she is shot dead. Fungua mlango, open the door. I want to be reminded that the scars on the back of my ancestors that were whipped within an inch of their lives are doorways. I want to remember that my grandfather on his knees pleading for a way out of whatever was that moments challenge was a doorway.


As I hear this piece already writing me I am moved. I will continue to listen and share with you when it feels complete.

Quanita

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