Whether we are black or white, rich or poor, Pagan or Christian, Muslim or Jew, our ancestors are one Spirit, a "cloud of witnesses." They dwell in the realm of forgiveness.

It is better not to think of them as "dead" or "past." The grandmothers and grandfathers are ever-present tremors of consciousness, whose blessing is not attracted by our separateness, but our friendship. We gather around a single fire in the wilderness, and they are the stars.

If we cannot love our enemies, as Jesus taught, at least we can honor their ancestors, as we honor our own. Many blessings will come of this.

Collage by Rashani Rea on a line from our book, 'Shimmering Birthless: A Confluence of Verse and Image.'

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