Born from Silence
Born from Silence is a book of poetry that was born from the “silence” of violence and injustice against one of my children.
It was a deep response, an act of leadership, an act of resistance to the harm done to our son and the subsequent harm done to our family and others by the criminal justice system. A system that cannibalized “the story” in the interest of law, at the expense of justice. A system that in its inability to render justice, essentially legalized assault. The words in Born from Silence were intended to heal us, to restore justice, which means “wholeness”, according to Reverend Harry Nigh, a leader in the Toronto Restorative Justice Movement. The poetic words were spoken to my son and the other young people harmed, in the presence and community of family, friends, members of the justice system and members of the restorative justice system on May 30, 2007.
The healing power of story and the ritual “of the spoken word” in community, reconstituted to some degree… a culture of peace (justice)… healing some of the broken relationships within and without.
Debbie Ackley’s heartfelt poems entice her readers to join her in spiral dance that traces a journey that starts with her shock at the news of a senseless assault on one of her children by sons of the privileged into the trail of a legal system that dispenses law, not justice and back to her reclaiming of the sacred feminine and her redefining of the hero archetype. Each poem resonates with meaning, feeling and a profound challenge to the underlying power structures that have trapped us all in definitions of the masculine that damage and harm us all. Her readers share her descent into what has largely been collectively silenced and disowned and as a result her ultimate invitations to hope are even more compelling and uplifting… I feel more whole and somehow healed as a result of re-reading these poems…
Pat Bradshaw, Ph D., Associate Professor
Schulich School of Business
York University, Toronto