Blog post from Pullen member Clinton Wright:
Obsidian is a really interesting igneous rock. Igneous rocks are those that are formed from molten material. Obsidian, in particular, is formed from lava that is cooled so quickly that crystals cannot form in the rock material; it becomes a sort of glass. It is black, smooth and unstable (chemically speaking).
Many people, myself included, carry a piece of obsidian with them to rub or touch or look at when necessary. I have a piece that I keep in my pocket or in my bag. The reason people keep obsidian in their pockets is because some mystics believe rocks and minerals and herbs have healing powers for the various impacts and ills upon the lives of people. Many believe that obsidian is a truth-enhancing stone that is strongly protective; forming a shield around negativity. It is considered particularly strong in times of great change. Obsidian is believed to draw out from the body mental stress and tension. It stimulates the parts of us that seek strength in new horizons. It is believed that obsidian can offer clarity of mind by clearing emotional blockages and traumas. In essence, obsidian can help you to know your true self. Some mystics believe that obsidian increases ones ability for compassion and strength by grounding oneself. In this self-grounding, obsidian increases ones capacity for self-control.
As I have meditated on the task at hand in the days to come, my mind kept going back to obsidian. I think about the explosive fire that is happening right now, a volcanic explosion. And the negative tongues spewing hate and this hate and speech violence spewing across the country in various forms of lava, literally burning people alive.
We are asking people to stand in the lava. We are asking them to join us as we attempt to rapidly cool this material. We are asking them to be obsidian! We are asking them for the strength of a rock that forms into glass because it cools down so quickly. We are asking them to harness their anger as a result of the current political climate. We need them to harness this anger to be stronger. And….the beautiful thing in asking people to be obsidian is that they will be chemically unstable. They will have the power to change and make change. They can be changed. You see…obsidian is so chemically unstable that over time it can crystalize, small portions at a time, little crystals growing inside and outside of the rock. I believe this is what we want from the people in this movement. We want them to feel the power of their commitment; to see and feel change.
In my analysis of people right now, I don’t see a flatline, I don’t see spiritual death. I see a burning calling to action. I hear people say, “how do I get involved?” But they don’t mean this literally. They are seeing how to get involved. They are finding 100s of ways to get involved. I have been to several local organizing meetings lately. Rooms that before the election had 5 to 10 people in them that now are at over-flow capactiy auditorium size. There is an army of people who feel the fire inside and out. Monday, at the MLK march in Durham, I watched as shop-keeps literally turned their open signs to closed and locked-up to come out into the streets to join the hundreds that stretched the entire length of downtown as we marched down Main Street. My analysis of people leads me to believe that people have minds that are telling them to be rational and think through and listen for directions and to be logical in the steps that they are taking, but also have irrational and illogical hearts that are telling them to go full steam ahead at every entry point they can find into this movement. No. I don’t believe that people are flat-lined, I think they are quite literally quaking! They are standing in the gap and in the lava in the firey explosion of this time. They need guidance though, and they need education. But they are ready to fight the fire by being obsidian; a rock that was once an explosion and is formed to be unstable in an effort to focus on change.
So….I ask again: How do we give the people obsidian? Something to keep with them so that the act of self-purification is an ongoing reminder of ones deep committment and willingness to risk standing in the lava, the gap, to make glass, to repair the breach, to be a firey change we so desperately need.