About Aédàn Dujardin
Poetry is important to me. Staying still, listening to the silence inside out of which words appear, words conveying with them a wisdom of their own. I grew up in a very abusive household – everyday, I would take to the forest in order to avoid being home, a dangerous place for me. Forests are important to me the way your childhood home is. As a queer person, I found within rocks and stones and brooks and trees an unconditional acceptance the world has trouble finding. So throughout my life I found a home in the very place of my exile, which is a very, very Jewish experience.
I imagine Shmita as an invitation to experience interdependence, between humans as well as between humans and more than human systems, in an acute, heightened way. Like Jewish laws about land make it clear that we don’t own land, Shmita makes it clear that nature belongs to itself and us to it. This poem is a remembrance of two things, remembering what happens when we don’t let nature take part to sacred rest, remembering that we are a part of it, not in an abstract, conceptual way, but in a somatic, soulful way. When we remember that we are nature, and we remember what is being done to nature – something breaks in us. Something that needs breaking, a breaking that is a turning. We break into sacred grief and, hopefully, sacred rest. This grief can be a powerful force for healing.