...because you haven’t learned
to see the beauty of a busted fruit, the bright stain it will leave
on your lips, the way it will make people want to kiss you.
When My Brother Was an Aztec
by Natalie Diaz
a hip hop admonition to give attribution or due respect (dap) for lyrical or other dominance; literally, to learn again, to know again; on a certain block in Spanish Harlem on one day - most days really - it foreshadows glimpses of the transcendent, found only in a liberal arts education.
motion recollected in tranquility
The Urban Taoist’s Dictionary
lullaby from the Tuvan people of southern Siberia had just stopped playing during 7th grade advisory. Tears of recognition welled in a young student’s eyes. She told us she had heard a song just like it at her uncle’s funeral in The Free and Sovereign State of Tlaxcala. There in central Mexico, a woman quietly appeared and began to sing, in Aztec, a song to ease the passage of a soul. Our student had heard, in a recording from the central Asian steppes, the universal experience of transition. In Tuva, it was a baby passing from wakefulness to sleep - and in that town of Tlaxcala - an elder passing from life to death. She knew. Our student recognized. For herself and for all of us there in that room together she found what was lost - something quite ancient and so human. And she passed this knowledge on to us. Together we recognized, and we gave due respect.