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  • Writer's pictureJulie Quiroz


Updated: Dec 10, 2023

I have no words in this new moon, other than those I can sing.

I sang on zoom once. It was September 2020, before the COVID vaccine, when we were all so isolated and afraid. A few dozen women of color gathered virtually, not having seen each other since a weekend retreat seven months before. Back then we found time in our full movement building lives to share our visions and ideas, and eat and dance together. After the retreat, we went home for a week before our governor declared a COVID state of emergency.

That fall we were together again on zoom, in a changed world. Most of the women on the call lived in or around Detroit, the city with the highest COVID death rate in the country at the time. Everyone on the call had lost someone personally. As we closed, to my surprise and everyone’s, I began to sing. We closed our time with This Little Light of Mine.

People are singing right now, practicing breath and vibration to hold one another and touch others beyond words. In the face of everything, people are singing

Last week Palestinian American activist Linda Sarsour shared a video of Palestinian journalists and health care workers taking a moment, in the face of genocide, to sing. Together in their voices they sang, “We will stay here until the pain goes away.”

As we take critical and necessary action on so many urgent fronts, I hope we can create space to sing.

In Earth Poem, Palestian poet Mahmoud Darwish writes, “I recall thirty years and five wars .. The singer croons. And they asked him: Why do you sing? And he answered: I sing because I sing . . .”

And they searched his chest

But could only find his heart

And they searched his heart

But could only find his people

Let’s sing to find our hearts.

Let’s sing to find our people.

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