Numbers 11:29

 

The prophesies of 500 years ago:

a dreamer sees a column of fire,

each flame a word gone,

each flame a body gone.

 

A dreamer sees a two-headed man

rip bodies like paper.

 

A dreamer catches a water bird

with a mirrored, infinite face,

star clusters as directions.

 

The power of the prophecy

is not that it foretells

the future

but that it shakes us

into seeing

our present.

 

The problems of the day:

giving up the children,

continuous war,

instruments of killing

available so easy.

 

Away with them, the leader said.

I do not want to hear about the now.

 

Take the dreamers

beyond the water’s edge,

slide an obsidian knife

into their hearts.

 

The prophesies of now:

we can’t be safe seeking a place to sleep,

we can’t be safe showing up to work.

A house emptied by deportation,

filled the next day

with voices

that do not know.

 

 

The heart of pronostico

is to know

 

tense,

past,

present,

future.

Sandy Rodriguez, De las Señales y Pronosticós & I.C.E. Raids de Califas. 94.5 x 47 in. Hand processed dyes and watercolor on amate paper, 2018

Sandy Rodriguez, De las Señales y Pronosticós & I.C.E. Raids de Califas. 94.5 x 47 in. Hand processed dyes and watercolor on amate paper, 2018

 

 

 

Nahuatl, Spanish, English, Hebrew texts

swirl and explain

in different sounds

the same awe of creation.

 

The teaching this week

is that we are all prophets

through our aid,

through our screams,

through the sanctuary

we offer.

 

The teaching this week

is that our sister stood up

to speak next to the prophets.

 

The map in front of you

is a story written in ink

of blue clay dust,

boiled shoots and petals,

and the blood of white dots.

 

This is our sister’s travels

into mountain, desert, forest.

 

See the smoke and flames

send tears into the sky.

 

See animals

of our own making

between the fibers.

 

No

one

will burn this codex.

 

This story

will be spoken by us all,

a shower of word glyphs

into the clouds,

as seeds of water

to return and quench

every

one.

 

 

 

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez

 

Codex Rodriguez – Mondragón prompts us to ask questions.

Why does the green of that cactus touch my soul? Why do those shades of pink remind me of my ancestors and of their toil over the earth in the old country? Why does the hue of that marigold remind me of the tenderness over skin I miss so much?

Sandy Rodriguez has answered a call from within to go out to our land and find the healing properties of plants, animals, and minerals that surround us and bring them back to us… to us on our paved streets, between our brick and wood buildings, the places where the natural healing at times can’t be heard. 

Stand in front of the pressed amate, made of mulberry and fig bark fibers. Your body knows these are not man-made colors.

Your eyes sing this poem:

She grinds stone 

so we can see the sky.

She boils leaves and petals, 

the colors 

our breath.

She walks among the pines 

and manzanita, 

two tone branches 

our arms,

that swat 

ghetto birds,

zapping.

  

Sandy Rodriguez - 01.jpg

Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón heals. It helps heal the ruptures of 1492 and 1521.

The Florentine Codex is here, that document of enlightenment and conquest; its creation overseen by priests in the 1570s. The indigenous hands that lettered and drew those pages were already 50 years removed from a time before their temples were toppled, their writings were burned, their leaders killed. Those brown hands were free to write what they were told to write. That codex is our history yet we are somehow absent from it.

Sandy lives in the infinite space between their letters.  

Do you see the freckled, wavy haired woman in the panels on the right? The woman grinds color out of minerals, turns cactus bugs into screaming reds.

The lesson is that our founding documents are not static and limited. They have infinite space in which we can update the stories with our own. Go out, come back, and write and draw your own version.

 

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez

October 2017