Where am I from?
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
– Marcus Garvey
Where are you from?
Not the location of your birth, or where you spent your childhood. But the memories, people and experiences that created who you are? What are stories from your life that can end with “and after that, I was never the same again”? Who has shaped you? Who influences your being in ways you may not even recognize? Where are you from?
This month, we explore what it means to be a people of Memory. And in RE, we are taking time to look intentionally at our histories; personal and communal. To engage with folks who are not often remembered, for various reasons (racism, sexism, colonialism), but whose contribution to our faith and our world is undeniable.
On Sunday, we shared some of our own stories, intentionally listening to each other so that we might remember what they had said. The older class wrote some personal poems exploring the abstract concepts of where we come from, using a template called “Where I’m From” from poet George Ella Lyon. You may encourage your own family to create such poems together, as a means of exploring the memories that collectively create your family.
The younger class shared in a game of “memory catch”: Depending on what color ball you caught, you had to share a memory of a fun time you had with someone older than you, or a memory from somewhere far from home, or a memory from your neighborhood.
We also watched this clip from the film “Coco.” If you have not seen it (or even if you have), it is a really powerful film about the importance of remembering those who have come before us, and keeping their memories alive. It is also available on Netflix…
Next week, in anticipation of Thanksgiving (and some of the myths surrounding that holiday), we will explore some of the ways that some memories have been erased or changed and how we might work to keep important memories and historical realities alive.