“You’re a Trailblazer” my boss said to me this afternoon.
“Great” I thought, another name for someone who has to face the unknown every step of the way. Yep, I understand that uncertainty is the name of life, but goodness, it can be really hard to process.
Tonight, a news line is thrust in my face about a lesbian couple; raped, murdered and burned. The media writes for shock, and that newsline certainly hit home. I think most folks are social, or at least not motivated enough to kill, but it only takes one man and one choice to eliminate or maim a Nation. And here we are.
I do not let crying or depression stop me from standing up or speaking out. I acknowledge my heart, too, and my heart is anxious. I am tired of being outraged. I celebrate that I am not passive in my resistance to the greed, consumption
I am grateful that I meet the right folks at the right time to level up in my attempts to live in a more mutually beneficial relationship with the earth and most of her inhabitants.
My young children are growing. It seems the more independent they become, the more of my interaction they need. I am continuing the resistance training (physical and societal) on a much pulled-back scale and feel quite fine with stepping back from the community to nurture my young. I’ll be back when they’re old enough to be involved and vocal about what matters to them, too.
There is a very wide array of marches, stories, demonstrations, injustices, natural disasters, battles and more occurring globally. I’ve gone back to school and am re-tooling myself to be an educator…formally…using strategies and my enjoyment of researching to be the best curator of knowledge (this is a phrase that’s been lodged in my brain for the last week), I can be. By way of an example, just this morning , with a wince and a smile, I began planting seeds of suggestions into other teacher’s ears about adding a hothouse laboratory classroom and raised bed gardens to teach the district recommended curriculum with multicultural practices, introducing STEM and agriculture knowledge I want to see it so badly and see what it would look like to raise a generator of students in a more active model than “sit and take”. I want to see what “motivated to learn’ looks like in this generation of elementary school students. During the staff meeting, some sort of teacher life coach was telling us that the most successful schools were returning to the Socratic method of education. I could only nod.
All that to say I’m just updating the space that has been quiet too long with some context to the radio silence. I haven’t given up my fight or fire, I’m just too tired to blog about it. I leave it to others for the time being.
I want a puppy really badly. Because I am craving another insane life responsibility to nurture and protect and bond with. Because I have infinite free time to devote to a cute and playful puppy. And so on. I am not going to adopt a puppy yet, because when I consider it head-on, it would be unjust to adopt a puppy. I use the term “puppy” loosely, I actually would love to adopt an adult or even senior, healthy dog. Meanwhile, I cuddle my increasingly independent spawn and enjoy focusing attention on my mate.
Spir°it: Breath of Life
As Imbolc is also known as Candlemas – 40 days after Christmas some religions celebrate the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth to the temple to be blessed and redeemed. It is there that the Goddess Bridghe took him into her arms and under her wing as his nursemaid. Once again, bright flames, it is time to lead the world by the hand (or the ear) to bring balance back into the world and reclaim female divinity. It is with that love, we lift our energies up to become stronger, and unified. We channel the energy of the globe of women who stood up for human rights and we drum and dance and sing to expand it. When we have danced a frenzy, we send it out to the peace-makers, the water protectors, the women teaching, farming, creating in every form, and strengthen the movement into the future. Raise your energy. Raise your voice.
My friend shared a quote by Maya Anglou, saying, “I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”-Maya Angelou
It really struck me in a few different ways as I have been struggling this year. Struggling. Emotionally, physically, spiritually. I’m in a place of acceptance and gratitude again, but the season is climaxing and if you sit quietly enough you can sense it. I digress.
I responded, “What about the ones who are Learning to love themselves and others as the same time?”
I respond, “What about those who have a hard time loving themselves, but wish to reflect back the love you shine.”
I feel the underlying truth of Maya Angelou’s words, but if love begets love. If love responds and grows and encompasses all it touches (which I see and experience regularly), then perhaps accepting the being’s offer of love, nurturing it and returning it can ripple out in revolution.
I am weaving my shirt. I will use the sleeves to hang my heart on.
Part two: The space we sit in. I have been emptying our space at home of things that are broken, things that no longer serve us. The trick is to not replace it with more things, but to leave space to breathe and play in.
Likewise, I often fill my hands with community work and engaging my young. Not earning a paycheque drives me to work harder to demonstrate my worth. It’s a modern illness that I struggle with. I have decided that I am going to dedicate my extracurricular time to one cause for one year and focus the rest of my energies into my home space and allowing rest and daydreaming and other things that will lead to production. Or into employment, depending on what happens this month.
Part three: I have openly invited folks to come out and help me break concrete on a future date; it’s a reclaimation project to plant drought tolerant plants into roundabouts. I aim to influence the replanting to include herbs. None took me up on it. I am looking for a companion to do random community projects with. Someone to be playful with. Someone who enjoys outside and activity and affection. My wife does many things with me (More so now than ever), and she is an awesome mate. Community stuff is not her bag and she supports my going out and doing stuff. I bring my kiddo with me, because he’s human shaped and wants to be involved in the things I’m involved in. The folks who I meet at the events are generally much older than I am, or monogamous. #polyproblems
And now we move toward the harvest season
My teacher gave me a compliment of the highest order this afternoon. She told me that from our original conversation she had considered me a visionary. Think about that. It was intimidating and flattering and I handled it fairly awkwardly. Because I do. But, it really flattered me and I am feeling like a poser. Here’s to trying to connect the dots in order to strengthen the kingdom.
There are several overlapping areas of my life that light up my “happiness board”. Gardening. Geeking out. Anything my baby and my beautiful wife. Social Justice and intelligent resource allocation (Putting stuff where stuff goes best).
I went to a meeting the other day with a group of amazing individuals who are part of a larger local network, working so hard to bring about the changes I want to see in the world. It’s a mini-Nirvana. They’re the Puyallup Watershed Initiative. (PWI). I’ll post more about the connections later. For now, you should see what they are doing to build Cascadia.
I am feeling the connective spark again and it’s a big sigh of relief.
I was barefoot chillin’ in the garden, crushing fragile eggshells left over from our breakfast onto the wet soil housing la verduras (the vegetables) that I had so lovingly sown and protected from seed. I had planted pole runners with the hopes of finding something to let them train up, but had not. The plants were weaving and twining around themselves, so heavy, they had fallen over, but grew on and I learned something valuable. I often do in the garden.
Resilience is doing what one must and noticing the journey along the way.
It is telling stories (true though they may be) to yourself and your family and the divine that you have purpose and hope. It’s embracing the pain and the beauty and the fragility. I’m not breathing easy, by any stretch, but I am peaceful and I am grateful.