Lest

Some written reflections (from 2020 with updates) on this Remembrance Day



Lest


How to make space for love of people and critique of an empire? . Reflection and truth, lest I become numb to the discomfort of knowing *how* I come to be . Please do love, celebrate, grieve for family members and friends, lest I slip into ignorance of war. Let me continue to feel the hurt of loss that makes tiny breaks in the soldered propaganda of honour . Is it for my *freedom* that loved ones’ lives continue to be lost? How long do I honour their deaths before lowering my tainted gift of freedom to ask why they are dying? . How many poppies does it take for an empire to balance its power? . While I no longer wear poppies on my chest, we grow them every year for their lush and stark beauty. In moments of silence, watching pollen-laden bees dance on dark centres, reflections of freedom come up from my childhood . Tending the land, lest I choose to fully forget, I am reminded of how Canada was formed and how it continues to exist so that I may have my freedom: colonial genocide, arms deals, exploitation of poverty, dispossession of Indigenous peoples the world over. I will not honour this Canada . How to make space for love of people and critique of an empire? . As I pluck flower heads that have passed their bloom, to make way for more flowers, I see how my will determines this life . Is it as easy as picking flowers, lest I cling to my “Canadian pride”, to justly redistribute the largest federal department–Department of Defence–in size and budget ($21.9 billion in 2019/2020, $23.3 billion in 2021), so that veterans and everyone may have healthcare and housing, so that the poverty-to-military pipeline is transformed into education for all, so that world trauma might be healed, and so that we could find ways to be in peace without war? . I’m going to spread the seeds of love for people instead of false honour for an empire, lest I am free while people die for war

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