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WASH YOUR HANDS
by Dori Midnight
We are human beings re-learning how to wash our hands.
Washing your hands is an act of love
Washing your hands is an act of care
Washing your hands is an act that can relieve the hypervigilant body
Washing our hands helps us get back to ourselves washing what doesn't work.
Wash your hands
as if you were washing the only cup of tea left of the ones your great grandmother carried across the ocean, as if you were washing the hair of a beloved who is dying, as if you were washing Grace Lee Boggs feet, Beyonce, Jesus , your dear aunt, Audre Lorde, Mary Oliver -- you get the idea.
As if this water poured out of a pitcher that your best friends just took three miles of a spring that had to climb a mountain to get to.
As if water was a beautiful resource
made of time and miracle
They say you have to wash your hands and cough on your elbow.
Rest more, stay home, drink water, have some soup they say.
To what I would add: burn some plants that your ancestors burned when fear was palpated in the air,
Boil some aromatic leaves in a pot on your stove until your windows get tarnish.
Open your windows
Eat a piece of garlic everyday. Tie a tooth around your neck.
Friends mix, it's always been the truth, these things.
It's past time to make them.
It is always true that we must move carefully and intention, asking
Instead, you want to crash elbows? with everyone we meet.
It's always true that there are people who live with just one lung, with immune systems that don't work very well, or maybe work too hard, fighting themselves. It's true that people are hogging the things that the most vulnerable need.
It's about time which maybe it would be a good idea to fly less on planes and not go to work when we're sick.
It's about time at which maybe it would be a good idea to know who in our neighborhood has cancer, who has a new baby, who is old, with kids in another state, who has extra water, who has a roots cellar, who is a nurse, who has a garden full of elecampane and nettles.
It is time when temporarily non-disabled people should think about people living with chronic diseases and the disabled, in which young people should think of the elderly.
It's about time to stop using synthetic perfumes to not smell like a body, to pretend we're not dying. It's about time to remember that those fragrances make many of us sick.
It's about time not to take it personally when someone doesn't want to hug you.
It's time to slow down and feel how scared we are.
We are already scared, we are already living in the time of the fires.
When fear arises,
and it will come,
let it bathe your whole body instead of being snuggled up firmly on your shoulders.
If your heart squeezes,
Science says: compassion strengthens the immune system
We already know, but capitalism gives us amnesia
and deceives us into thinking what protects us
but it's the way we house the thing.
The way we do the thing.
The ones we have forgotten the traditions of amulets,
It's time to remember to hang garlic on our doors
we resort to the accumulation of hand and masks disinfectant.
we found someone to blame.
We think that will help.
Want to blame something?
Blame Capitalism. Blame the patriarchy. Blame white supremacy.
to wet our tissues in thyme tea
to rub salt on our feet
to pray the rosary, kiss the mezuzah, purify with an egg.
In the middle of the night,
when you wake up with terror in your belly,
it's time to think about star dust and geological weather
Secoya trees and dance parties and mushrooms that remedy toxic soil.
is the time
To take care of others
to pray on water
to rinse fear
every time we wash our hands.