Occupying Space

Gratitude List:
1. Coco–When it was over, one of the younger ones said, “I think that is my favorite movie ever!”
2. Anne’s sermon today. Dying well means loving well. Face your fears of death and dying.
3. All these concentric circles of friendship and love.
4. Learning, even when it’s crunchy, even when (or especially when) it convicts and changes and transforms me.
5. Backhanded gratitude here: I have been bothered by a rather constant, low-grade pain in my muscles and joints in recent months. For whatever reason, it’s been less intense in the past week. It hasn’t been dreadful, but it has made me shy away from more strenuous physical activity. It feels good not to feel bad.

May we walk in Beauty!


“The measure of your greatness is the measure of your magnanimity, your willingness to carry people in your heart. If we are encapsulated in our self-image, we are puny. A great being has stature, something cosmic comes through. Think of people who have really dedicated themselves to service. If we’re great enough, then we have room in our heart even for a person who has hurt us. So we can counter resentment, which can degenerate into hate, then to cruelty and even to war. As a dervish would say: “Shake yourself awake! You have been invited to the divine banquet! Don’t you realize that the divine being is present in you?” In fact, the whole of creation is an act of magnanimity. Rumi certainly put it right when he said, “Would the gardener have planted the seed if it were not for the love of the flower?” —Vilayat Inayat Khan
***
“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
—Mary Oliver
***
“Arm yourself with love and knowledge, and let’s work together for justice.” —Regina Shands Stoltzfus
***
“To be strong does not mean to sprout muscles and flex. It means meeting one’s own numinosity without fleeing, actively living with the wild nature in one’s own way. It means to be able to learn, to be able to stand what we know. It means to stand and live.” —Clarissa Pinkola Estes
***
“Prayer takes the mind out of the narrowness of self-interest, and enables us to see the world in the mirror of the holy. For when we betake ourselves to the extreme opposite of the ego, we can behold a situation from the aspect of God.”
—Abraham Joshua Heschel
***
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”
―James Baldwin
***
“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible — and achieve it, generation after generation.” —Pearl S Buck
***
“May the sun bring you new energy by day;
May the moon softly restore you by night;
May the rain wash away your worries,
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk through the world
and know its beauty all the days of your life.”
—Apache blessing


I’ve been thinking about body space a lot since watching the president’s recent blundering through his meeting with the Queen of England. As strange as royal protocol is to Americans, it was incredibly obvious that that man had no clear sense of himself as someone in shared space. He appeared lost, and not in a pitiable way, but simply because he clearly doesn’t have the inner tools to assess himself in the context of occupying space with other humans. He’s an interesting study, because he seems to have a distinct knowledge of how to use his occupation of space as a dominance tactic, but at other times, as he did with the Queen, he appears bizarrely lost in space, unable to understand even the most minimal of social cues.

The president, with his inability to seemingly understand or accept British royal protocol, is a clear caricature of the white man/white person who is completely unable to share space, either because of lack of awareness or because of intentional thievery of the space as part of a childish dominance game. (More on the racial aspect of that statement in a moment.)

I’ve also been thinking about how women exist in public space, and laughing ruefully at memes and stories of women who did not cede space in walkways and were simply plowed into by men who were completely unaware of their assumptions that women would make space for them.

Shortly after I began my recent ruminations on presidential space-dominance and male entitlement, I came across this brilliant article by Hannah Drake on Black Women and the occupation of public spaces, both physical and virtual:
https://writesomeshit.com/2018/07/12/do-not-move-off-the-sidewalk-challenge-holding-your-space-in-a-white-world/

You should take a moment to read it right now.

Really.

Drake challenges me to be better at paying attention, to see how my occupation of space can have the same sense of unaware and dominance-tinged entitlement that I see in men’s presence. I have tended to think of myself as being pretty carefully aware of issues of basic human civility, yet it’s easy to get complacent and think I’ve noticed all there is to notice. Drake brings layers to the conversation, connecting dominance of physical public space with virtual and conversational public spaces. Her article helps me think more deeply and move with more intention, both as a woman in spaces dominated by men, and as a white person in spaces that do not offer space to People of Color. As a white woman, I will accept her challenge at the end of the article, and I will extend it into my school year, committing to be deliberate not only in my own occupation of spaces, but in watching the ways others interact in public space.

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Snakes and Startlement

  

Gratitude List:
1. I met a long black snake in the grass on the way up the hill to water at the greenhouse today. I do have a startle reflex every time I see a snake, but I love them so much, and this one was glossy and watchful. I always feel like it’s a blessing to see them.
2. The excitement of kids getting ready for a yard sale
3. Corn on the cob
4. The people who know what is right and just and good, and then they do that, even at cost to themselves.
5. Quiet time

May we walk in Beauty!


Friday’s Quotations:

“Land, then, is not merely soil; it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants and animals.” —Aldo Leopold
***
“Recognize the invisible hands that guide you, the breath that breathes you, the walls and roof that keep cold from chilling you, the water that magically springs from your taps, the long line of ancestors whose every step made your incarnation possible. You belong to these holy helpers. You have undisputed membership. In your recognition of this wealth, your own life cannot help but become an offering back to that which feeds you.” —Toko-pa Turner
***
“For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and Things, you must understand animals, must feel how birds fly, and know the gesture which small flowers make when they open in the morning.

“You must be able to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to unexpected encounters, and to partings you had long seen coming; to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained, to parents whom you had to hurt when they brought in a joy and you didn’t pick it up (it was a joy meant for somebody else); to childhood illnesses that began so strangely with so many profound and difficult transformations, to days in quiet restrained rooms and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, but it is still not enough to be able to think of all that.

“You must have memories of many nights of love, each one different from all the others, memories of women screaming in labor, and of light, pale, sleeping girls who have just given birth and are closing again. But you must also have been beside the dying, must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open windows and the scattered noises.
And it is not yet enough to have memories. You must be able to forget them when they are many, and you must have the immense patience to wait until they return. For the memories themselves are not important. Only when they have changed into our very blood, into glance and gesture, and are nameless, no longer to be distinguished from ourselves only then can it happen that in some very rare hour the first word of a poem arises in their midst and goes forth from them.” —Rainer Maria Rilke
***
“. . .The knowledge of the heart is in no book and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher, but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth…” —Carl Jung
***
“The very form of our thinking has to be re-formed from “thinking about” to “thinking within,” and Silence is the teacher. . . . Silence is intelligence. . . . As we enter into Silence, we enter into Wisdom. We do not become wise but enter into the objective Wisdom of world processes. Judgment, as the primary mode of our thinking, ceases or is taken up only when needed for our practical life. As we enter into the Wisdom of Silence, we allow ourselves to be taught by the things of the world.” —Robert Sardello
***
“We are not alone. The world gets so heavy sometimes, but it’s at the heavy times that you can look around you and see all the people who are stepping out to the front to get the Work done. Sure, there’s a lot of fluffy and ranty clamor that distracts, but keep your eyes and ears open. They’re there, stepping into the fray, holding people, presenting clear and thoughtful ideas, loving their neighbors and the world. Often, they’re keeping their mouths shut, though sometimes they are the ones writing cogent and articulate pieces that help to shape the conversation. Listen and watch. The Workers are out there.” —Beth Weaver-Kreider
***
“To disobey in order to take action is the byword of all creative spirits. The history of human progress amounts to a series of Promethean acts. But autonomy is also attained in the daily workings of individual lives by means of many small Promethean disobediences, at once clever, well thought out, and patiently pursued, so subtle at times as to avoid punishment entirely.” —Gaston Bachelard
***
“Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” ―Linda Hogan (Always a favorite)quotations

Claiming Space


Gratitude List:
1. Time with friends
2. Pizza on the grill
3. New shelves in the classroom. I’m starting my fifth year here, and I finally feel like I am filling my space–giving away books that I won’t use, taking the time to organize my shelves in a logical way. I almost can’t wait to get back to teaching!
4. Cooler weather
5. Pewee calling from the chestnut tree

May we walk in Beauty!


Thursday’s Thoughts:
Marc Chagall: “In life there is a single color, it is the color of love.”
***
“Try this:
Sit in a circle at dusk with people you love.
Let it be when the swifts are flying.
Let there be a catbird with a whiskery voice in a spruce tree.
Speak your stories into the bowl of the space between you:
stories like a rich meal, the bitter, the savory, the sweet.
Let it get dark. The darkness will listen, too.
You can hear people listening when you speak in the dark.
You may light a candle if you have a candle.
Laugh together. Cry.
Let there be occasional questions,
occasional grunts, occasional exclamations of oh-I-hear-that!
Make a meal of the stories before you,
and eat your fill. Be nourished.
Be together in your stories.
Know that all these stories are your story, too.
Let there be a benediction,
words sung or spoken into the full dark,
accompanied by the chittering of bats,
good words to keep you always
in this circle where you belong.”
—Beth Weaver-Kreider
***
Thursday’s Quotes:
“Each of us faces a time when the holy well within needs tending. When we’re no longer able to bestow blessings on others because we’ve overgiven, or when something precious has been taken from us, or life’s demands are too great on our fragile system. But when the moisture goes out of our lives, and we’re no longer able to see beauty or converse with magic, we must ask ourselves how we can replenish our well-ness.” —Dreamwork with Toko-pa
***
“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
***
“We never belonged to you. / You never found us. / It was always the other way round.” —Margaret Atwood
***
“Would you like to have an adventure now, or would you like your tea first?” —JM Barrie
***
“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.” —Zora Neale Hurston
***
“. . .The knowledge of the heart is in no book and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher, but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth…” —Carl Jung
***
“Listen. . .with the ear of your heart.” —The Rule of St. Benedict
***
“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.” —Malala Yousufzai
***
“It’s always the beginning of the world.

“Even if you don’t call yourself an artist, you have the potential to be a dynamic creator who is always hatching new plans, coming up with fresh ideas, and shifting your approach to everything you do as you adjust to life’s ceaseless invitation to change.

“It’s to this part of you—the restless, inventive spirit—that I address the following: Unleash yourself! Don’t be satisfied with the world the way it is; don’t sit back passively and blankly complain about the dead weight of the mediocre status quo.

“Instead, call on your curiosity and charisma and expressiveness and lust for life as you tinker with and rebuild everything you see so that it’s in greater harmony with the laws of love and more hospitable to your soul’s code.” —Rob Brezsny

When You Flew

   

   

Gratitude List:
1. Chicory everywhere! Bluer as sky, blue as Mary’s robe, blue as my beloved’s eye. Joy on the roadside.
2. Cucumber rounds with cream cheese. Perfect. Just perfect.
3. Dragonflies
4. Novels. Stories. Narrative. They teach me who I am.
5. Biscuits and gravy.

May we walk in Beauty!


Words for Wednesday:

“While the impostor draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in its belovedness. We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary, mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life.” ―Brennan Manning
***
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.” —Frida Kahlo
***
Rob Brezsny ft. Clarissa Pinkola Estes:
“Devote yourself to your heart’s desire with unflagging shrewdness. Make it your top priority. Let no lesser wishes distract you. But consider this, too. You may sabotage even your worthiest yearning if you’re maniacal in your pursuit of it.

Bear in mind the attitude described by Clarissa Pinkola Estés in her book “Women Who Run with the Wolves”: “All that you are seeking is also seeking you. If you sit still, it will find you. It has been waiting for you a long time.”

Speculate on what exactly that would look like in your own life. Describe how your heart’s desire has been waiting for you, seeking you.”
***
“Don’t worry, spiders,
I keep house
casually.”
―Robert Hass, Field Guide
***
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ―Albert Einstein
***
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” ―Terry Pratchett
***
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large—I contain multitudes.”
―Walt Whitman
***
“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche

All a Prayer


Gratitude List:
1. Towhee and peewee, and phoebe and wren
2. Hummingbird is still in the hollow. I thought she had gone, or died.
3. Those who accompany the people in vulnerable situations
4. Cucumbers with cream cheese
5. The voices of the people are sometimes heard. Speak up. Speak out. Stand for justice.

May we walk in Beauty!


Thoughts for Monday:
“To be a poet in a destitute time means: to attend, singing, to the trace of the fugitive gods. This is why the poet in the time of the world’s night utters the holy.” ―Martin Heidegger
***
“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.: —Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
***
“You have to learn to get up from the table when LOVE is no longer being served.” —Nina Simone
***
“I like sitting at the piano. I like the idea that there are things coming in through the window and through you and then down to the piano and out the window on the other side. If you want to catch songs you gotta start thinking like one, and making yourself an interesting place for them to land like birds or insects. Once you get two or three tunes together, wherever three or more are gathered, then others come.” —Tom Waits
***
“The poem, I’ve always felt, is an opportunity for me to create an integrated whole from so many broken shards.” —Rafael Campo
***
“Which came first, the fear or the gun? The broken heart or the bleeding one? The impulse toward death or the desperate reach for love?” —Mark Morford
***
“A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.”
—John O’Donohue
***
“There is no such thing as being non-political. Everything we say or do either affirms or critiques the status quo. To say nothing is to say something: The status quo—even if it is massively unjust and deceitful—is apparently okay. The silence of many Christians is used to legitimize the United States’ obsession with weapons, its war against the poor, Israel’s clear abuse of Palestine, politicians who are “pro-life” on the issue of abortion but almost nothing else, the de facto slavery of mass incarceration, and on and on.” —Richard Rohr

Follow Your Map

Quotations for today:
“Morning is the best of all times in the garden. The sun is not yet hot. Sweet vapors rise from the earth. Night dew clings to the soil and makes plants glisten. Birds call to one another. Bees are already at work.” —William Longgood
***
“Elsewhere the world may be blustering or sleeping, wars are fought, people live and die, some nations disintegrate, while others are born, soon to be swallowed up in turn—and in all this sound and fury, amidst eruptions and undertows, while the world goes its merry way, bursts into flames, tears itself apart and is reborn: human life continues to throb. So, let us drink a cup of tea.” —Muriel Barbery, “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”
***
“There is ecstasy in paying attention.”
—Anne Lamott
***
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” —Clarissa Pinkola Estes


Gratitude List:
1. I usually try to protect his privacy on my social media sites, but I just have to say that you have to love a man who sings to his cats.
2. And who delights in sharing the first ripe tomato. On toast. With mayo.
3. Reading with the children. Sharing stories together.
4. Maps and guides, which is to say, You. You and the stones and the rivers. And the Voice inside.
5. Therese Patricia Okoumou, who climbed to the feet of Our Lady Liberty to protest the criminalization of migrants. She inspires.

May we walk in Beauty!

Legends and Lines

  

 

I recognize that today is the United States independence day. It’s always crunchy for me.

I don’t celebrate war and war “victories.”
I don’t celebrate a freedom that was borne on the backs of slaves.
I don’t celebrate the genocide that wiped out, marginalized and impoverished the people of the first nations.
I don’t celebrate a freedom that ignores our slave-owning and genocidal history to proclaim us all-good and all-powerful, evidence to the contrary.
I don’t celebrate the increasing calls to close us off, to keep out those who seek sanctuary within our borders.
I don’t celebrate throwing candy to the rich while grabbing bread from the poor.
I don’t celebrate the rush to destroy this beautiful part of the Earth, to call her gifts “resources” that must be maximized and used until she is played out.
I don’t celebrate the fear-mongering that I see, the use of fear to keep people in their places, afraid of each other, afraid of their own freedom.
I don’t celebrate “America First.”
I struggle to celebrate when the country itself is in crisis, when those who were chosen to administer our ship of state have instead chosen to rule like the king we thought we had freed ourselves from those centuries ago.

I can celebrate human community.
I can celebrate the spirit that longs to break the bonds of tyranny for all peoples.
I can celebrate the spirit of that statue that stands in our harbor, her lamp held high in welcome for all who seek refuge.
I can celebrate the strong spirit of resistance to tyranny that continues to pull people to demand rights for ALL of us.
I can celebrate the beautiful diversity of us, and the way we find connecting points, the way we so willingly wear each others’ stories.
I can celebrate the music, the foodways, the arts, the dialects, the histories, of us in all our many colors and shades and tones and temperaments.
I can celebrate inTERdependence.
I can celebrate the hope that we will stand up to the greed-mongers and the fear-mongers and the hate-mongers, that we will work to create a nation where all can be free, where all can expect justice.


Gratitude List:
1. Good food from many cultures. This week we’ve specialized in Asian foods. Thai-Khmer food on Tuesday evening, and Indian food this noon.
2. Spice
3. Establishing routines
4. I am so fortunate in family. I do not ever want to take that for granted.
5. The reminder that tyrants get booted right out

May we walk in Beauty (and Revolution and Transformation)!


“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” ―Lao Tzu
*
“The heart is the house of empathy whose door opens when we receive the pain of others. This is where bravery lives, where we’ll find our mettle to give and receive, to love and be loved, to stand in the center of uncertainty with strength, not fear, understanding this is all there is. The heart is the path to wisdom because it dares to be vulnerable in the presence of power.”
—Terry Tempest Williams
*
“You are something that the Whole Universe is doing, in the same way that a wave is something that the Whole Ocean is doing…” ―Alan Watts
*
“You are beautiful, and I have loved you dearly, more dearly than the spoken word can tell.” —Roger Whittaker
*
“It’s a matter of discipline. When you’ve finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend to your planet.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupery in “The Little Prince”
*
“To cope with losing our world requires us to descend through the anger into mourning and sadness, not speedily bypass them to jump onto the optimism bandwagon or escape into indifference. And with this deepening, an extended caring and gratitude may open us to what is still here, and finally, to acting accordingly.” —Per Espen Stoknes
*
. . .if truth is to be taught, then teaching and learning must take the shape of truth itself–a community of faithful relationships. Education in truth must bring teacher and student into troth with each other, into the very image of the truth it hopes to convey.” —Parker J. Palmer
*
“No matter what they ever do to us, we must always act for the love of our people and the earth. We must not react out of hatred against those who have no sense.” ― John Trudell
*
“I celebrate independence anywhere it happens. The question here is how. When a diversity of peoples is destroyed or diminished in a holocaust of outrageous proportions for independence, does this truly result in liberty, justice and freedom for all? In a few generations indigenous peoples of America have been reduced to one-half of one percent. Imagine Africa with one-half of one percent Africans. We have been essentially disappeared in the story of America. Our massive libraries of knowledge, rich cultural and intellectual gifts have been disparaged, destroyed and broken by interloper religions and a hierarchical system of thought in which indigenous people exist only as savages. What then does this say about liberty and justice in this country?

“For healing the wound needs to be opened, purged and cleansed. Our stories need to be allowed. Our traditional ways and languages need to be honored. This country needs to apologize and reparations must be made. We all need to come together, every one of us to make a true plan for liberty and justice for all. As long as indigenous peoples are disappeared and disparaged, or surface only in Hollywood movies like The Lone Ranger, this country will remain as a child without parents, who has no sense of earth, history or spirituality.” —Joy Harjo

Beating Inside Us

Monday’s Quotations:

“my god
is not waiting inside a church
or sitting above the temple’s steps
my god
is the refugee’s breath as she’s running
is living in the starving child’s belly
is the heartbeat of the protest
my god
does not rest between pages
written by holy men
my god
lives between the sweaty thighs
of women’s bodies sold for money
was last seen washing the homeless man’s feet
my god
is not as unreachable as
they’d like you to think
my god is beating inside us infinitely”
―Rupi Kaur
***
There are Mornings
even now, when the plot
calls for me to turn to stone,
the sun intervenes. Some mornings
in summer, I step outside
and the sky opens
and pours itself into me
as if I were a saint
about to die. But the plot
calls for me to live, be ordinary,
say nothing to anyone.
Inside the house,
the mirrors burn when I pass.
―Lisel Mueller
***
“Keep strenuously toiling along this path,
do not rest until the last breath;
for that last breath may yet bring the blessings
from the Knower of all things.”
~Rumi
***
“A church that does not provoke any crisis, preach a gospel that does not unsettle, proclaim a word of God that does not get under anyone’s skin or a word of God that does not touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed: what kind of gospel is that?” ―Oscar A. Romero
***
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering its a feather bed.” ―Terence McKenna
***
“Nature is alive and talking to us. This is not a metaphor.” ―Terence McKenna
***
“And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.”
—Raymond Carver
***
“Her imagination was by habit ridiculously active; when the door was not open, it jumped out the window.” ―Henry James
***
Orientation
by Maya Stein

Just east of certainty. A little south of courage. A hair’s
width from ease. Clicks away from ready. A turn
or two from acceptance. A shuffle from faith. A set of stairs
from achievement. A riverbed from happiness. A handspan from
peace. A wink away from freedom. A few lines until the poem’s
done. A highway, a night’s sleep, a phone call, a touch, a rotation
of gears away from that certain yes that tells you where you are is
exactly where you need to be. I know, the signs can look as if they’re missing,
and the map so distant and unclear.
But I’m telling you, you aren’t lost. You’re never lost. You’re always here.


Gratitude List:
1. Last night as we got out of the car after a day away, we heard a funny squealing sound in the sycamore tree, then another in the dogwood. Finally, clear and perfect, a screech owl’s whinny from the walnut in DiAngelos’ yard. I am almost positive that some babies were talking to their mama. I’m fond of the screech owl wingfolk.
2. The perfect trio of flowers are blooming on the roadsides again. every year I look for them: day lily, Queen Anne’s Lace, and chicory. Probably none of them are natives–sigh–but then again, neither am I, really.
3. These young people. Coffee this morning with an incredibly thoughtful and wise young man who used to be a student of mine, who is as articulate about the nature of the universe and science and spirituality as anyone I’ve heard. And after supper tonight with friends at the Taj Mahal, a chance meeting with one of my Waldorfans from so many years ago–bright and shining soul she is.
4. Women in Black. Meeting with some of the WiB I haven’t seen in a long time.
5. A cool place on a hot night. We’re all sleeping in the living room tonight so we can be near the air conditioner.

May we walk in Beauty!

Collegiality

This past week in Wooster, as I got to know the other teachers in my class, I began to think again of the beauty of collegiality, of having people who are all doing the same sort of work. I love my actual work colleagues, and I love the extended circle of colleagues, of people all working on similar tasks and issues in the world.

This morning my friend Tracey told me about a dream of hers where I had a cameo. During our short Messenger conversation, that word popped into my brain again: colleague. We have different professions, but we’re colleagues in this next layer of Work in the world, in the deep layers. When we talk together about what we’re doing to try to make change in the world, about how we’re involved in emphasizing and nurturing Goodness, we’re engaging in professional development as colleagues.

Another friend, someone I don’t know in real life, a woman I met through a mutual friend on Facebook, called me on the phone this week, just to talk about how we can create a network of people who support each other in this Work of pushing against the cruelty of the current US immigration policy of zero tolerance family separation. Her call reminded me that I am not just raging into the storm, but that I am part of a web of people doing the Work. Colleagues.

We’re colleagues, you and I, whenever we collaborate on this Work. I am greatly blessed in friends who willingly and tenderly mentor me in the Work, often without quite realizing that they are doing so. Let’s keep our hearts and eyes open for every opportunity for collegial collaboration in the coming weeks, every chance to build up the Staff in this job we have of making the world a better place.

This task ahead can feel so huge, so insurmountable. And I’m not entirely hopeful for the future, as least in the immediate sense. But we’re not going to be overcome while we sit passively by. We are rising, together, a host of colleagues in the Work of Goodness, like a great wave, to confront the powers that would destroy the vulnerable.

Take hands. Face into the wind. Stand strong. We will hold this ground together.


Gratitude List:
1. Colleagues in the Work
2. Mentors who teach by word and example
3. The young people who are rising
4. Family: blood and heart
5. The creative urge

May we walk in Beauty!