FUTURE GAZING: Let the Healing Process Begin

by Elisheba Johnson

This land is my land,

This land is your land,

This land was made for you and me and you and you and them and us and we 

to be.

It is time for the great American land grab to end,

It is time for us and the earth 

To heal. 

The first phase of healing begins at the onset of injury, and the objective is to stop the bleeding. 

While we missed this moment,

We can always start the healing process. 

But we must first recognize that we are bleeding. 

It is time for Indigenous Sovereignty,

It is time for Reparations. 

It is time to treat the land like our collaborator rather than a resource for extraction. 

The second phase is about the preparation of the wound for healing. 

We have been talking our liberal selves,

to the point of frustration, 

about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  

Let’s talk less and do more. 

It is time for new leadership at all levels,

It is time to flatten power structures. 

The third phase of healing is about filling the wound and covering it. 

It is time for Seattle to redistribute resources so that all our citizens are housed and fed, 

It is time to boost communities that have been doing the work of bringing us together 

and making Seattle a more just place to live. 

It is time to listen and then act. 

The final phase of healing is the maturation phase. 

When the area of the wound now has strength and flexibility.  

It is time for a state income tax, 

It is time to fix the wealth gap. 

It is time for systems change. 

This land is my land, 

This land is your land,

This land was made for you and me and you and you and them and us and we 

to be.

To be, to thrive, and to flourish. 

I see a future filled only with possibilities. 

And I believe we can all make it happen. 

Elisheba Johnson is a curator, public artist, and administrator. Johnson, who has a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, was the owner of Faire Gallery Café, a multiuse art space that held art exhibitions, music shows, poetry readings, and creative gatherings. For six years Johnson worked at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture on capacity building initiatives and racial equity in public art. Johnson is currently a member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network advisory council and has won four Americans for the Arts Public Art Year in Review Awards for her work. She currently co-manages Wa Na Wari, a Black art center in Seattle’s Central Area that uses the arts to build community and resist displacement.

Illustration by Vladimir Verano