the teenage black girl, the century plant, and the haunted energy: power and trauma

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and what scared and deeply saddened me i realize, was a feeling of incredible potential and that power being robbed…

i saw her outside of trader joe’s near 9th and Bryant.  she was selling candy for donations.  a beautiful black teenage girl. i went up to her and asked her what she was selling candy bars for- she was so shy and had the highest-pitched voice i’d ever heard.  almost everybody, i had noticed, was essentially ignoring her.  no one had time for her, or her candy bars.

she was such a beautiful soul, but she sounded, so so sad, almost to say, like she was masked, but naked at the same time, a caricature, a shell.  she had the most haunted energy of absence that i’d ever felt.  it gave me chills, and i felt an aversion to this palpable emptiness.  she was collecting donations for her voice; she sang and played piano.  the money would allow her, through her group- Youth Empowerment through the Arts- to send her to the Academy of Arts do a performance for the first time.  She had never been there and was really excited to have a chance at this opportunity.  i donated a dollar.  i wish i could have donated more.

this girl, i felt, was carrying, collective neglect, the collective trauma of black teenage girls, being robbed of their incredible, incredible potential.  i asked her to sing a song for me, and she said she was too shy.  her friend who was raising money too, who was also a black teenage girl, but confident in her manner, came over.  they sang a beautiful song together, Selena Gomez.  their voices blended so beautifully, and my body got warm chills, and i teared up as i listened.  she thanked me for the donation.  i walked away, and as i left i got startled by a black couple yelling behind me in the parking lot, perhaps this was something telling too.

this teenage girl, for me, i feel, was carrying something personal, of the times, collective and intergenerational.  the ghost energy was so palpable that i had to brush it off me.  it was one of the scariest things i had felt in a long time.  this week i saw a century plant in bloom, an agave plant that supposedly blooms once every 100 years, but under the proper nurture can bloom much faster.  it was the most powerful, old, energy, i felt for a long time.   it was hauntingly beautiful, stunning, hollow, and honestly a little scary because of the power it carried.  imagine waiting for such a plant to blossom.  such power was building for that “century”…it needed nourishment and time, for it to then shoot up and grow.  i didn’t see just one plant actually, i saw a row…Agave plants are blooming for me now.

it is a phenomena that this is happening now.  agave flowers, which look like trees, when they bloom, have a massive growth spurt, incredible for any plant.  a consciousness is rising supported by the “old”, by the ancestors.  i see many parallels between these blooming agave plants and black teenage girls.  even though the haunted energy i felt with the girl at trader joe’s was of absence and neglect, of trauma, i realize through the nature teaching that the hollow has such potential, that it could be filled with such immense, fierce, power, and be supported and backed by the strength of those aligned leaders and teachers before us.