On Compassion

creative commons flickr mike gifford

creative commons flickr mike gifford

I’ve been looking up quotes about compassion. It’s a word, a feeling, I connect to deeply. I wonder if people, hearing the word, think of it as some kind of unilateral forgiveness or cuddly pat-on-the-head kind of “It’s ok” response.

I don’t.

I think people are struggling, all over. I think, for the most part, the speed at which the internet and our modern media works, isn’t the speed at which deep personal understanding works. I think that deep and personal change often comes out of uncomfortable situations plus time plus a reasonable “safe” space to process about the feelings.

This is something I was taught in a training a while back. Too much intensity-no learning occurs, people shut down. Not enough intensity-people don’t learn, they don’t have to connect. There are conditions within which that inner change (the hard stuff which goes up against cognitive dissonance) can happen.

(of course, everyone may have a differing experience of intensity…another thing to ponder)

Andrea Grimes posted from Take Root: Red State Perspectives on Reproductive Justice about a presenter who said the following about pro-lifers and conversation with them:

“Hayes: “a certain amount of compassion” necessary when talking w/anti-choice folks. “these are people.”


“Hayes: “I don’t think we take into account this is something they’ve been immersed in since childhood” re anti-choice folks”


“Hayes: “If we can stay calm and kind, they’re more likely to hear what we have to say.”

For the most part I do believe that, though I also know that sometimes you have to speak and act very forcefully in order to make change. I may never really be an activist. I certainly can’t imagine being a politician. I am fundamentally suspicious of power.

I’m interested in change, but what burns inside me as a driving force, is the change that can come inside of people; seeing a connection between a pro-lifer and pro-choicer (I’ve had these) with a seed that is planted, or helping to act as a “detangler” or knot-undoer in hard situations of conflict, or holding space for people to come together to do work, and helping to make that space productive and yes, kind, even if it’s difficult.

Which it often is. Difficult. Hard. Powerful. Wrenching. And all of these things that I see people struggling with, that I struggle with, around all the isms, and social justice issues are often (not always) connected to shame, guilt, fear and they are powerful emotions. The work I’ve done personally has been very emotional but it’s felt healing.

I don’t fit into the equation any other way than I fit in. And compassion is a huge piece of that. Spirituality is too. Kindness? I hope so. I fail at that and I respect anger for the force that it is, for it is righteous.

I try to see change as a sphere with all of us entering into it on different nodes with different connections and different skills.

I am comfortable with my node. I think it’s valuable.

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Listening To The World

flickr creative commons tom woodward

flickr creative commons tom woodward

Sunday was a day of being reminded of things. Of getting messages from…whom? The Universe? Synchronicity? Coincidence? I don’t care, so long as the message was received, and it was. It was a (gentle, loving, metaphoric) ass-kicking from God, in the forms of poems, sermons, radio programs.

At the Unitarian Universalist Church that I attend, the call to prayer was Mary Oliver’s The Summer Day. It’s a well known poem, a profound prayer in and of itself, focused on the idea of just paying attention (and feeling) as meditation, connection to whatever-the-thing-is-we-call-spirit. It’s a favorite of mine, and I relate to the last two lines profoundly. After all, what I am going to do with this one wild and precious life? There are times it feels hopeful and gentle, and times it feels like a challenge. “Go do it!”, the poem says. “Get on it!”

Then, the sermon was on Coveting, you know from the whole Ten Commandment thing? Reverend Barnhouse spoke with eloquence and great humor about this feeling of wanting something that someone else has and how it tears at us, harms not just us, but everyone:

Coveting, wanting something that is someone else’s doesn’t only make you eat your heart out, It sets you up for wishing something bad to happen to your neighbor, or it makes you think about how you deserve that thing and they don’t, all encouraging an adversarial dynamic rather than a compassionate or cooperative one. It can create bad feeling between you, guilt and anger and sorrow. The community is damaged. In a coveting situation, you are damaged and/or the community is damaged.

It is a powerful feeling, that envy, that coveting. Often it creates a deep sense of anxiety and depression in me. I don’t know about you, but I compare myself all the time. I don’t get enough blog hits; or, I should be farther along in my career; or, my body should look like that body over there (only without the genetics or hard work of course). And down that road lies madness. My best friend tries to remind me of this, and she’s right of course, but often it takes a few interventions from a few arenas before this stubborn Aries gives in and gets it.

Reverend Barnhouse took the sermon into a direction that I needed. She quoted a teacher of hers who helped her reframe the feeling of coveting, into a feeling of connection:

One of my spiritual teachers, Martha Beck, would say “do you really want more comments? How would you feel if you got them? Warm, validated? What then? You would be empowered to keep going? Confident? What is it you’re really after?”

(Reverend Barnhouse says) …when you covet, when you are jealous, when you want something someone else has, write it down. Ask yourself why you want it. What do you imagine it bring to your life? What is the lack you are really feeling? What could you do to fill that lack? Coveting is an indicator of where you need to go. Use that energy for good. Use it to move yourself toward wholeness. Demons love a good fight. See if you can embrace them instead, turning their energy toward the good.

Now, look I get it. It’s probably a lot easier to let the amygdala go to town with all the powerful heavy emotions like envy. “BUT WHYYYYYYYYY????”, my brain wants to scream. While I foot stomp with frustration and fear, these so-called demons chase me, and I run into a house of mirrors. Inside each glass is distorted with images of me relaying the messages, “You just aren’t enough, you don’t work hard enough, it’s not your karma, you are too old, you didn’t start soon enough.”

I’d like to blame serotonin for my troubles. Or my parenting. Or our modern world with it’s emphasis on social media, metrics, and measuring impact. Or all of it. Maybe not the demon part, though that’s certainly dramatic and I like the imagery.

But I figure it’s a little bit like this for many of us. I sat thinking about her sermon all day.

Then, that night? I was on my way home from a show, and On Being was on the radio.

It was an interview with Mary Oliver.

So there I was, again, hearing the same poem, hearing Mary Oliver discuss attention, connection, the rich joy spirituality brings us, how she writes and learned to write-by walking through the woods and taking notes as she walked. Not at a desk, she just did it her way. She listened to the world, and allowed the creative to meet her. She set an appointment and joined with something…I don’t know what it is, but I do believe it’s real. And it was meaningful to me to hear her discuss these things, but also echo Reverend Barnhouse’s comments regarding comparing the self and judging one’s own wild and precious life against another.

Here is her poem, which I hope you enjoy.

The Summer Day
Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is, either. I do know that they are everywhere, or can be, and that they are different for everyone; That’s the trick that I may finally be learning.

It isn’t about sitting in a pew with head down and hands placed just so, with “Dear Jesus/God/Ishtar, please help me….” and it never has been for me. I always felt too linear, stiff, and inauthentic. Like I was just talking to myself with nothing reaching out or in, just words.

But a poem? A moment on stage? That moment when you look into someones eyes and feel the deepest, briefest hit of empathy from your mirror neurons firing off, sex? A pea-pod bursting up through the dirt into the sun?

Holding an 8 week old puppy? God, yes, there is God right there in the musky, wiggly, licking joy of life bursting out in fur and sheer pleasure.

All those things connect. Coveting what I think is experienced by others, disconnects. Messages from the Internet or the Universe come when you need them, but you (I) have to be willing to hear them.

So, Dear God/Spiritual Force/Great Ocean, help me not to covet and envy. Help me to listen to the world around me, the breath and the rain; the rock and roll and the thunder. Help me hold up the successes and skills of my friends and peers with joy, instead of wrestling with the want of what they have. Help me know what’s behind my desires so that I can love and connect so much more to the people in my life,

Except, the puppy. That desire is pretty simple. I just want a puppy.

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Action! Demand Justice and Care for Pregnant Women in Jail

Reblogging this from the Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman site! Go read up on all their good powerful work!

Join Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman, Mamas of Color Rising, and the Texas Jail Project next Thursday Feb. 5th at the public hearing to support the rights of pregnant inmates across Texas.

What: Texas Commission on Jail Standards Public Meeting

Where: William P. Clements Bldg.
300 W. 15th Street, 1st Floor, Rm 103

Time: 9-10am. Come early- 8:45am if possible. (small room)

Find: A Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman rep. with a clipboard and stickers

Thanks to all of you who signed our Nov 6th Call to Action to demand that:
1) the current minimum standards of care be implemented and enforced,
2) more specific written policies and procedures be established, and that
3) all pregnancies and pregnancy outcomes begin to be documented in jails across Texas.
At the last public hearing in Nov. 2014 our members testified and shared the story of Shela Williams, who after receiving inadequate care in Travis County Jail had a stillbirth this past summer. We offered a strong rebuttal to the Commission’s claim that it can not provide pregnant women with adequate medical care in all county jails due to lack of doctors in some rural counties, by proposing that midwives serve as alternative providers. We also presented a set of specific recommendations to serve as a starting point for written policies and procedures for maternal health care. Your support strengthened the voices of the formerly incarcerated women and other Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman members who testified at the hearing! 177 individuals and 23 organizations officially signed on to the letter we presented to the Commission.

Thank you for your support and participation.
We hope to see you at the next Thursday’s hearing as we escalate our demands for humane care for pregnant women in Texas jails.
Stand with us, wear a sticker, be counted!
In the meantime, please consider making a donation
to support this volunteer effort.

At Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman, we are working towards a just and loving world;
where all mothers receive, attentive, quality, loving care,
and where all communities have equitable resources to care for their children.

Please come out and support this action, and help demand care and justice for pregnant women in Texas jails.

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A Prayer For My Eldest


I love you times infinity and forever, past that, forever.

I worry about you plus ten-finity, beautiful child with cornflower blue eyes and hair of gold, bursting thickly from your head like a halo, like spikes of light, a halo of unearned privilege that you don’t yet understand but god/dess bless you, you are closer to that understanding than a lot of adults I know.

Your mind, your heart is so big. So, so large that you can’t even focus on adding or subtracting. So filled with the problems of the world is that beautiful brain of yours, that thoughts bounce around like ping pong balls of tremendous import, you cannot breathe even to focus on how we humans might already have lost our way. You see this loss, and it’s raw for you. What use is a geography worksheet compared to the knowledge that we are doomed?

How like me at my age you are. How like your father.

I love you times infinity and forever and I take you out to buy art supplies to let you bleed your spirit all over pages that should be filled with school notes. I make you hamburgers in the morning even though both of us know the meat industry is filled with the pain of souls, human and animal, because you are so thin and tall and growing so fast, your young man’s body shooting up like a beanstalk never full. Protein helps. I feel guilty, but I love you and blood is nothing but sacrifice.

My soul for yours.

I tell you stories, I tell you about the times in high school I ruined any chance at popularity, because I, too hated football and pep rallies and felt alienated from kids dancing to music I’d find interesting years later after I got out of my own way. I listened to Joni Mitchell in the 80’s and that didn’t help matters much. I like Tricky, now. Beastie Boys.

I finally get it, joining. I’m late, but there is still time, son. Still time.

I pray for you, in the only way that a former agnostic can pray, please please please God and Goddess, Spirit, Universe, Hera, Artemis, Brigid, Jesus, Moon, Sun, mother of all, father of all, Shiva, Krishna, please help him just dance in dance class instead of sitting out because he’s freaked out by what seems like twerking but is simply a chest and hip isolation. Please Twyla, please Martha, please Bob Fosse, support this young one in his efforts.

I love you times infinity and forever this child that nearly got stuck in my birth canal, this child who entered the world face up and eyes open, always aware in the way that causes so much frustration to parents but god…to him…I know that frustration.

You are so frustrated, 14 year old you.

I was so frustrated, 14 year old me.

Just know this, and sit down and look at me and listen for once!

You are so loved, and LIKED, young grasshopper, young Jedi, young spirit that draws the pentagram on his hands and the goddess on scrap paper which I think was algebra homework.

Adults love you (and teens will remember you as cool and untouchable and strange but they too, they see in you things that terrify them, things they aren’t willing to say and think about out loud and you are and what a burden that is). Adults? They want you to join their ranks of the unpopular, the ones who got through it towards better things, the creators, the artists, the ones with bad attitudes that finally figured it out, and god how I love you because you WILL make it.

Times infinity.




Please do your homework. Please try.

Know things will get better.

I love you. Beyond the Universe.

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Blessing Of The Animals

creative commons flickr kristina

creative commons flickr kristina

Today at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, many animals, from turtles to puppies, cats to rats; pictures of pets past and passed, those friendly and not-so secure with other animals, joined into a cacophonous chorus, paraded through the chapel and were blessed.

It occurs to me I should back up a bit and explain why I was at First UU in the first place. I’ve been hesitant to write about it, hell I’ve been hesitant to write period. I’ve had a kind of block over the past 6 months, which I don’t entirely understand. Part of me has been blaming it on social media-I read and scroll and see all manner of things I could speak to but either someone is writing about it already, or the sea of links and articles moves past like a flood and I get a little overwhelmed. I’ve also been blaming it on the need to burrow in, but I think that’s just avoidance.

Maybe it’s just a kind of resistance to exposure and being seen, or using my energy in a very outward kind of way from performing to public speaking, leaving me less inclined to do the more internal work of thinking and writing.

In any case, writing has eluded me, or more accurately, me it. I’ve felt the pull of it in the middle of the night, and I just roll over and say to the words tapping at my brain, “I don’t wanna! I wanna sleep!” One sure way to piss off the muse is to give her the finger like that. She’ll either drown you in ideas laughing the whole way or run off and leave you longing for inspiration.

I’ve joined the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Anyone who has read my blog for long knows I’ve wrestled with my relationship to spirit. Like writing, I seem to wrestle a lot with the things I hear calling me the most, the things pulling me into action. There is a level of vulnerability to the acknowledgement, to admitting that yes, I am a believer in something outside of secularity, that keeps me quiet. It feels strange and terrifying at times, even when I think the words “Yes” to myself.

It feels deeply irrational when I try to think about it with my logic brain, my college educated thinky-thoughtful-of the world kind of brain. I wanted to be an atheist I really did. I just couldn’t get there. Maybe I just have that God-Gene that keeps me believing in something that couldn’t possibly true.

But it’s there, this something, and I have this sense of faith and realness about it (whatever it is) even as I have a deep awareness that “religion” is a big problem. Which is why I’ve wrestled for so long and tried (several times) to come back to Christianity. I can’t really. I like Christ, but I can’t live my faith in a purely Christian church, especially those that focus on literal translations of the most mystical of poetry, cast out gays and lesbians, and have such a dangerous relationship to women’s rights.

So I’ve joined the Unitarian Universalists who focus on finding one’s own path, who focus on a God that loves all, so deeply that hell couldn’t be possible for anyone; who focus on humans here now, and making the world as just as possible. They welcome everyone from Christians to Pagans and somehow it all works. Their focus on social justice, anti-racism, equality for genders and orientations, and on love-in-action speaks to my own blooming understanding of God. And my work with sexuality? Totally valued, not a deal-breaker.

Irrational, perhaps. I’m happy though, and feel that all the work I’ve done in my life–from theater and storytelling with it’s ritual forms which help us share and connect, to my work with human relations supporting healthy organizations for both the betterment of the employees and the missions they serve; from my experience with fundraising as a spiritual function, my activism which continues to grow and deepen, my parenting and loving and partnering, and my path into being a producer-a holder of space for work–all this work has lead to a place where I find myself understanding that it is all one path and it has all derived from a deeply spiritual place.

So here I am, going to church, thinking about seminary in a few years, finding myself in a place where I realize that ministry, as a definition, encapsulates all of the work I’ve wanted to do (secular or otherwise), and it feels irrational and scary to admit. But there is power in boldness, and in claiming words and roles, and so today as our congregation celebrated St. Brigid and brought our pets to be blessed, that beautiful irrational magical boldness made the most sense of anything I’ve experienced in a long time. And I sat with a dear friend and felt the truth of where I am-that I’m on this path and rational or not, there it is.

(Also, I think having dogs and cats at churches and work places would increase my happiness and productivity a thousand-fold.)

The animals were blessed by all of us, people laying hands on pets and holding up photos, and saying a little prayer to our furry friends. I watched a woman, perhaps in her 70’s, hold her dog’s face in her hands, a beautiful standard poodle with grey in his muzzle, and whisper so sweetly into his ear. He leaned into her, perhaps not understanding her words, but I know he knew the tone of those words, love. Her love was palpable.

And maybe that’s what happens to us, with God or Spirit, or the pulse of the Universe. We are held, even for the briefest of moments, in the hands of something bigger and irrational, whispering loving words to us and hoping we understand.

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Kurt Vonnegut Was Right

“There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
-Kurt Vonnegut

I agree, wholeheartedly, which was why I was thrilled when my (very kind) husband sent me this video on how we are built to be kind. Excerpted below is the information from the video and the links to Berkeley research on goodness. Goodness is difficult at times sure, kindness too. I can certainly verify that I have found it hard to be kind (both to myself and others). But I do like the idea that the mythos of Might Makes Right is being debunked. For all our difficulties, we join together and seek community. We help each other, even when it’s not necessarily in what seems to be our best interest.

Check out the video and let me know what you think!

“Greed is good. War is inevitable. Whether in political theory or popular culture, human nature is often portrayed as selfish and power hungry. UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner challenges this notion of human nature and seeks to better understand why we evolved pro-social emotions like empathy, compassion and gratitude.

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’, born from the Darwinian theory of natural selection. Keltner adds nuance to this concept by delving deeper into Darwin’s idea that sympathy is one of the strongest human instincts — sometimes stronger than self-interest.”

FEATURING: Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology and founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

Berkeley Social Interaction Lab:

Greater Good Science Center:

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Burning Water

flickr creative commons tschoppi

flickr creative commons tschoppi

Today, at the First Unitarian Universalist church gathering, we burned the past. Lined up around the hall, people held paper folded and wrapped with the things they wanted to let go of from 2014. Tossed into a bowl, set a light, resentments and fears and who knows what else, were released.

One of the ministers read this poem.

Burning the Old Year

by Naomi Shihab Nye

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.

It’s the full moon tonight as well, in Cancer. These passages of fire and water, with the heat and tears that come in release to burn away the past and baptize the present are important to mark.

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Brand New Year!


The new year is fully in swing and I’ve got a very busy winter into spring! I was putting in all these events into my calendar and I realized I was going to need to marshall all my forces!

Between the amazing programming at the Women’s Community Center of Central Texas and BedPosts (and a few other events) I’ve got a full plate. What are you up to this year?

Here are some amazing things you might be interested in over the coming weeks!

Write Your Life with Dean Lofton, at the Women’s Community Center. This is an amazing set of workshops with an incredible woman. Please check it out, beginning on Monday the 5th.

Artist Stephen Pruitt is showing at the Prizer Gallery through January 24th.

Sex, Family, and Having it all. A provocative workshop on Tuesday the 6th.

Embodying Our Earliest Development: An Early Attachment Dynamics, Prenatal & Birth Therapy Training Intensive with the fantastic Margery Segal on January 9th.

American Revolutionary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs Film Screening at the Women’s Community Center on January 10.

In addition, I’m going to start using this space a little differently and more intentionally. I’m going to write more from the heart, and more personally, about all the things that I’m working on. The past 6 months have been incredibly intense for me (and for many of us given the incredible movement in social justice and focus on uncovering and undoing racism in the US). I’ve spent a lot of time reading articles and scrolling through social media, but I haven’t always offered up my own thoughts. In part, this was because there was so much happening, and so quickly, it wasn’t always easy to know what to say (and so many very talented people were saying all the things), but also I felt kind of stuck. In a sort of shock and flatness in the face of all of it.

I would often think that unless the article was journalistic in nature, I shouldn’t write it, but really, that’s not where my strengths are, writing-wise. So this year, a goal is to write more, to write here (instead of just on Facebook) and to write more honestly and personally.

I’m excited about this year, and hope you’ll join me along the way.

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Happy New Year!

Amodiovalerio Verde creative commons flickr

Amodiovalerio Verde creative commons flickr

From plunges into Barton Springs to yummy traditional foods, toasting at midnight to brightly colored undergarments, whatever you do to ring in the New Year I wish you luck, love, hope, and friendship in 2015!

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creative commons flickr by Alan

creative commons flickr by Alan

Definition of REVOLUTION

a (1) : the action by a celestial body of going round in an orbit or elliptical course; also : apparent movement of such a body round the earth (2) : the time taken by a celestial body to make a complete round in its orbit

a : a sudden, radical, or complete change
b : a fundamental change in political organization; especially : the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed
c : activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation
d : a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm

Why do we call them resolutions?

I wrote all this last year, and I’m a little wobbly from the truth I see in it for me now, today. I could probably write this same post all over again.

“I resolve to let things make sense.

Turning around to face the past year, I do know this, risk is vital and that life is random and capricious. Deaths of all kinds, physical and meta, occur without much notice. Using your precious time preparing for the moment when you’ll be who you are enough to do the things you want is a risk indeed, but not the one that will help you. By negotiating with demons such as After-I-lose-weight or Once-I-save-the-money and so forth in order to be who you already are, and you DO know who that is, is a kind of dying while living. Risking leaping while learning, just letting yourself take the damn lead, that’s the trick of it. Even if it is terrifying, it’s aliveness.

I resolve to be who I am.

There is no glory in waiting, no nobility in waiting to live until later, until tomorrow, or until the time is right. My mother, who waited and waited and waited while she was alive, waited for something that I still don’t quite understand, always put off who she had been, could have been again, and simply waited. After her illness, I waited alongside her glimpsing parts of the me I should have been being, if not for waiting, waiting until she passed? And then? Get to finally be myself without fear of loss and reprisal? Have less on my plate? Just wound up behind where I could have been? Perhaps, perhaps it was all a process to get where I am today.


I resolve to live without waiting.

The year itself ends, a symbol of passage both of time but also life. A year dies, a year is born and we mark the end with lists and the beginnings with resolutions, perhaps it is all the same thing swirled in and out of itself. All I know, facing this transition is that holding back the self, the call whether through waiting, hiding, not risking, being one way at work, another outside of it, serves no one, certainly not you. Certainly not me.”

And yet, there was frustration at things not making sense.

There was challenge in trying to know who this person I said I’d be ok with being actually was.

There was most certainly waiting.

Sometimes waiting is the thing that you have to do in order to not wait. Waiting as an action? I don’t know, it feels like one of those paradoxes.

Sometimes there is a desert and you sit in that desert because that’s where the work has to happen even if it doesn’t feel like work. Sometimes things take a lot of time to process, to grow, and to emerge from where they’ve been hidden.

Have I mentioned ever that I’m an ADD Aries with an impatient streak?

I realized today that a year ago, a friend of mine made a big and bold declaration about her life. When I read her words, I had this huge huge response inside my chest, of desire, of want, of a nearly desperate call to do that same thing. I know it wasn’t time, but the call was loud and clanging in my ears and I was terrified.

She wants to be a minister. I do too.

I am often embarrassed and frightened by my desires, the deepest ones, as if to admit the want is a weakness. Or worse, that admitting them is opening the gate to let out a hungry animal, that will then leap out of me and consume me. I know that seems dramatic, but it feels like that sometimes.

These desires are the transformative/transcendent experiences, the peak moments. Sex, food, grief, writing, theater, dance, music, magic, deep community, religion. All are the same feeling, on my own or in groups, I realize it’s a room of mirrors all of it the same dynamic and the same feeling inside of myself.

All are the same feeling because it is all the same thing. The source.

And I have lived a life where I measure those out those moments and try to control them, or I leap a little too far in (often letting alcohol provide a gateway in) and feel overwhelmed afterwards, or I deny them totally choking off the power that is right there and poking at me and wanting out to run alongside me. There is a lot of shadow territory there. I started off life with some heavy stuff, so it makes sense I’d either have jumped into it or left it in a box avoiding that work in favor of “light” things.

I don’t know that I resolve anything this year, save to continue revolving around the center of this understanding, spiraling inward? Outward? Which doesn’t always happen in space because of gravity, I realize but that’s the image that comes to mind.


Revolutionizing in both sense of the word. And it feels like revolutionary times right now, at least it does to me. We are all feeling it, I think, this pull towards realness and real systemic change is happening hard right now, and frankly, it will take all of us to pull this revolution off; a revolution of people, accepting the deepest truths about ourselves personally and culturally, light and dark. It will entail not hiding desires in boxes, not measuring them out with fear and a leash, but letting them run alongside, often leading the way of revolution, towards love and rage and hope combined.

At least, that’s how it feels today, on this last day of 2014.

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