From time to time, when meeting with my volunteers, we write flash blogs together: 10 minutes to get down our thoughts on a common prompt. We're practicing expressing ourselves and being less scared of blogging.
Forget the borderlands. Think about liminal space.
Liminality, the quality of being on the edge of something. At the threshold.
The borderlands are two thresholds embracing, that space in the middle where you're not quite in one place and not quite the other. When the line between two things is wide enough, where are you when you stand on the line? Imaginary lines, intangible boundaries that fear makes tangible. The wall that hate built.
Gloria Anzaldua called the border "una herida abierta," an open wound. But it's not just about the border itself, the wound itself -- the borderlands are the tender place on either side.
The U.S./Mexico borderlands, a place I love. A place that is neither place. Here, in the Sonoran desert, partially in Mexico and partially in the U.S. Here, on colonized O'odham lands, which stretch across the border on either side, enduring past layers of forced separation. Here, in territory populated by javelina, chiltepin peppers, saguaro cactus, ocotillo, hummingbirds who migrate north and south above the border wall.
The Constitution-free zone, where the 4th Amendment doesn't protect you if Border Patrol decide to search you or your car at a check-point.
A low-intensity conflict zone, where helicopters, drones, ATVs, armed agents, surveillance towers, underground sensors, are all common.
Place of oversaturated sunsets. Of imposing geological formations. Of thorny plants that appear dead, until they leaf out suddenly in the rains.
Come and see.
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Author, Alison Wood
queer, white, cisgender, U.S. passport-holding, Presbyterian, church-employed, challenged by faith, imagining something better.
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