Allow me to release my WAITING thoughts. I am Anancy, the Caribbean trickster/subvert. I weave Calibanesque web and spin signifying discourses. As a child of alter-native talk, I am your postcolonial orphan – border crosser; third-space nomad; dweller at the crossroads, a citizen of multiple limbo spaces and an inhabitant and negotiator of the state of in-between-ness. Ambivalence is the joy of my existence. I love to obscure in order to reveal.
So listen well, as I spin….. I am waiting for no-thing, any-thing, some-thing, every-thing: all at the same time
Most of the advent language and imagery terrify me. I cringe at the overuse and abuse of light and darkness. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light! Those who live in darkness and embody darkness need light! The fact is those of a lighter-hue have been and continue to be privileged over those of a heavier one. My terror is compounded by the ritual humiliation darker-toned people have to face day in and day out: subtly and overtly reinforced by the very use of that sort of language and its internalisation in the psyche of the lighter-hue tribe. At such reading, my receptors do a blip and long pause – kind associated with what is done when indecent language is used in a movie aimed at families!
Besides: the season’s imagery from readings, liturgies and lyrics of those “holy than other hymns” ring in fortress-like notions of Empire: Lord of Might; Thrones shall rest; King of Kings – Make Way, Make Way; He who Shall by Right all the Nations Possess; Everlasting Seat; The Race that long in darkness pined have seen a Glorious Light; His power increasing shall Spread; Him shall all the Tribes of Earth Obey; The Lord Makes Bare his Arms Through all the Earth Abroad. Such is the wine of intoxication that we continue to drink from. It happened in the past and it continue to happen. Today the high-priests of empire drop freedom leaflets and handouts for the natives, then bomb the hell out of them. Has the heart of the divine become sluggish? Stir up the power of your Love, O God and Come. Come, Lover of the wretched of the dead corners of the earth!
Believe it or not I am eager for you Jesus to return. I have a few troubling questions waiting for an answer. They are lying like splinters at the tip of my tongue ready to be rolled off. A few to begin with:
- How come, Jesus, a people of faith who adore and lavish the “child” of Christmas: with canticles of love, joy and hope of “Unto us a Child is born”; Peace Bearer, O Holy Child; He smiles within his cradle – A babe with face so bright; Infant holy, Infant lowly…. have down the ages, exploited and excluded children from most of the life of their community – relegating them to the margins? We are so exploitative that we need “Child Protection” policies to protect our children from our selves. Why have we missed your insight? Should children become like adults to enter your garden? Or should adults become like children (grow up) to stand a leaf of hope for a place in your garden? Is your garden/world one where children are the measure rather than measuring up to adults? Holy Child, Infant Lowly…..
- A bigger bone of contention, though, is about this business of incarnation and salvation. Jesus, did you read the other holy texts around to note that some spoke of multiple avatars long before your incarnation? If your world was a specific geographical location – how come your incarnation has been heralded by your followers as the true and final one for the whole world, including your very ancestors who did and do not buy the story-line? Is your incarnation a proto-type of how the divine acts in all history and among all peoples? If so, what about that staple mantra of many of your followers, that you are THE ONLY WAY to God and salvation? How come this group of early followers could pass on such a monolithic dogma – when they did not even encounter the major part of the rest of the world? How can people still buy into this that after so many thousand years?
- This brings me to the matter of identity: who are you Jesus? Your impressive genealogy counters the ridiculous notion of a “purist” identity: Galilee, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and God knows where. So much for a fossilized ideology of “essentialized identity”. Are you a hybrid Jesus? Is that why you were very comfortable in traversing and transgressing the worlds of nationality, gender, sexuality, race, and class? Is that why the purists nailed you to the tree? Did they get it wrong: In YOU there is male and female, slave and free, Gentile and Jew, black and white, north and south, east and west – all at the same time!
- You see, Jesus, I wonder whether this ideology of purism is linked to another –ism: that of mono-the-ism: one God, one Race; one Nation; one People; one Sex; one Sexual Orientation, one Colour. I am amazed how around me, here in this place – the trappings of MONO pervade the minds of people. There is great fear of diversity and hybridity: the heterogeneous “Other” is a terrifying prospect. And so, in the discursive act of “othering” us – we are lumped into neat homogeneous categories: a tact for guaranteeing the hegemony of the dominant group that does the naming!
I am Anancy, the web weaver, a hybrid cosmopolitan. I thrive on disorder and ambiguity. Like those learned visitors who sought to worship the Child, I may be off course by 9 miles. And so I am WAIT-ing for no-thing, any-thing, some-thing, every-thing – all at the same time.
There is a thing here though. Can you feel/hear the faint beat of music far off? Music in the wilderness? Murmurings of the stars? Magic is in the air: an ugly, withered, charcoal-burnt stump – a shameful thing of wicked judgement is waiting to take the shape of our hope!
© jagessar December 4, 2016