November 30th, 2018

Poetic Harvest (Heenal Rajani)
Photo Activity

Tell me
where do you come from?
let us hear, let us see
images of our ancestry

I come from a place
I’ve never been to
fog forest, mountains and rivers, urban joy

I come from around here
I come from some really strong Québécois women
fragrant harbour, contrasting cultures,
some place in Asia
ancient greens

I come from a blank page

We are all tagline
re-invented each time we speak
each moment
but we are not words

We are kindness
we make maps, unified
silence our guide
hear the call inside
we trace our own pathways

Where do we come from?
where are we now?
where are we going?
past, present, and future are not separate

Life is a collage
all roughly cut shape
sticky in all the wrong places
surprising connections
and no one knows how it will turn out

We’re all trying to figure out the story

I come from a blank page
I am a blank page
I represent not an organization
but a people
I come from fertile soil
prairie snow
I come from persecution and resilience
from olives and almonds
I come from community

I am
because we are

When you think you are done
Is the time to start creating
we are all maps
we are all legends
yes, you
we are locations
and we are directions, too

Everyone belongs

I come from border country
from a drained swamp
from war, entitlement and greed

Wherever we come from
Aisa, Africa, Europe, America
we are all one body
one canvas we share
we co-create knowledge from a place of possibility

I come from abundance and sustainability
a world of inclusion, harmony, diversit
where we celebrate our sacred shared histories

I come from us
I come from here, there, and everywhere
I come from a blank page
pure, brilliant, possibility, peace
I come from fields of love

I come from fields of love

September 20th, 2018

Poetic Harvest (Heenal Rajani)

June 26th, 2018

Poetic Harvest (Heenal Rajani)

March 8th, 2018

Poetic Harvest (Heenal Rajani)

Can you see me yet?

what an honour to be here on International Women’s Day
a reminder, if one was needed,
that we all have a role to play
to escape our plight together
we must fight together

let’s remember to praise each other
to raise each other up
women will lead the way for making society more human again
let’s hold ourselves to account
it’s not just the amount of women “empowered”
but who’s included?
who’s intentionally excluded?

the milestones we share
are not shared by all
trans women
black women
gay women
poor women
indigenous women
what are their choices?
where are their voices?

the indigenous lens
is bringing back an understanding
of the balance of life
the ogichidaakwe
warrior women
we don’t even have a word
(isn’t that absurd?)
for the divine feminine
the essence of life
all the planetary abuse and violence
there’s no excuse for silence
our Mother is being raped
all around we’re seeing the cost
of balance being lost

women are sacred
women are the gateway to all life
women are wise, women are mentors
women are strong but far from the centres
of power in our society
now is the hour
we can learn so much when we listen
and we are all worthy to speak
this is no time to be meek
but be strong
be bold
be loud
speak up
stand up
rise up
let us trust in the power of our stories

we can talk about guilt
but what are we actually doing?
we have all these recommendations
but how are we actually seeking reconciliation?
all we want to do is help our future generations
so let us stand up against all that’s unjust
let us stand up because we must
let’s stand up, in truth we trust

what stories are not being told?
there’s a mentality of blaming the victim
not acknowledging the diversity of situations
that women get murdered in
will you finally see me if I’m no longer a statistic?
how many of our sisters will be taken before something is done?

violence breeds more violence
cultural disconnection, separation
makes violence continue, generation after generation
meanwhile, boys grow up without a dad
don’t know how to be the fathers that they never had
we have to honour and respect women
it’s the only way out of the mess we’re in

the suffering of others is not my burden
let’s respect people’s dignity
acknowledge generosity
with knowledge comes responsibility
no more passivity
in case you thought that this is an academic project
you were wrong
this is real life

let us not forget the organic, emergent nature of story
let’s appreciate the richness, the messiness in all its glory
let’s not make it flat
we can do better than that
academic papers won’t be our saviours
we want real changes

let this resonate in our hearts as well as our heads
screw patriarchy, we choose love instead
how can we make our hospitals a more warm and open place?
how can we make everyone feel welcome in that space?
let’s not get so caught up in the research
that we don’t do the real search
within ourselves
our communities
our organisations
the real search for what we can do differently
what do we really mean when we say “social change”?
it’s about the world that’s right here in front of me
it’s deep, it’s complex, it’s much more than policy
it goes right to the root, you could say
of how humans could live together in a better way

here we all share information
we seek education
have conversations
but our obligations go way beyond this project
if that’s what you even call it
our obligations are to the flourishing of the human spirit
our obligations are to life
nothing is out of scope
the work really does matter

with the diversity and knowledge we have on this team
in the magic that lives in that space in between
we can co-create whatever we dream
the most impactful research group that’s ever been convened
together we can make visible what might never have been seen

This work matters