Keita Annie Whitten Foster

Astisá * Somatic Abolitionist * Consultant * Creative Educator * SEP * LCSW

Good Friday Revisited

Keita A Whitten Foster

Keita A Whitten Foster

Thrive Practioner

Today I am able to simply sit outside. There are no agendas, no appointments to rush off to, no one to take care of, no discussions to facilitate. There is no place I have to be. I relish the experience of life in this breath and take comfort in permission to simply lean into the moment. Like being able to notice how the sky feels -spacious, vast, evident by few wisps of scattered, pristine white clouds which mark the depths of the horizon.

I experience colors as contrasts of multilayered greens in the shape of seventy-five feet tall evergreens, contrasted against reflections of deep blue hues we call sky. Today’s blue is reminiscent of tropical waters I have yet to experience, featured in travel magazines beckoning you to vacation in thatch huts built on stilts overlooking the waters of the Maldives. In this moment life, like breath, feels expansive and filled with possibilities. I am centered. I am calm, peace is within me. Good Friday is only a couple of days away, and I find myself reflecting on the human legacy of pain and suffering that continues today.

I recognize an old sensation of exhaustion growing within me as I grow more distant from my art. I have taken note of this for weeks. Art is resiliency- a buffer nourishing the vitality of my soul. I watch my body deteriorate in health. It’s a desperate attempt to let me know; we are not ok. I am currently involved in a campus initiative seeking to address diversity and racial equity within a predominately White institution, located in a predominately White city, within a predominately White State. Needless to say, this work is emotionally draining. It’s also taxing spiritually. Each day I watch White bodies act out their dirty pain, and I witness the growing numbers of Brown and Black body causalities caught in the cross fires, and who anxiously navigate mine fields, in hope of not getting blown up while in the process of achieving their education.

Its 2019, when will we know peace within? I pause and become still. I find breath and dive deep within myself. Awwwwww, the belly. I notice an ember. I exhale deeper. The ember glows stronger, followed by swells of warm sensations moving towards my heart- I sense Spirit. It feels like joyous curiosity and exploration. It invites me to feel into what entitlement and freedom would feel like within my own bones. As I begin to touch into the invitation, I quickly sense a shooting discomfort followed by a voice that spits “You don’t belong here. How dare you when others suffer! In an instant, I am that scared little girl crippled with shame. I exhale again, this time longer, in an attempt to expel what no longer serves me. My body softens, a quiet whisper reminds me, “it’s just old pain moving through And then I remember, peace is within. It always is, no matter what. We just have to stay persistent.

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