Wednesday, November 4, 2020

What Needs To Come -- Claiming That Too

So tonight I stumbled into a FB live “Vespers” service held by a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Bloomington, Indiana. Carrie Newcomer put a blurb on her FB page, otherwise I never would have known about it or even thought to look for something like that. Newcomer is a Hoosier-singer-songwriter-poet-podcaster-with-Parker-Palmer I’ve known through her music for well over a decade now. I clicked the link, landing into a sacred space, an intentional ritual space for prayer, song, lament, courage. The tears came freely and urgently, in the privacy of my own home, my sacred sit-spot couch… The waves of tears


continue to come… And I continue to learn that I am strong enough to withstand the grief that is coming...is here...

Because these tears are not about the presidential election, per se. Neither elderly man will be able to heal this nation, though admittedly there’s only one of them who has expressed the heart to stand in to try…bringing a fiercely competent Black woman as his VP. A woman who’s seen more shit than many of us would know, I’m sure. Will we open our hearts enough to learn from a Black woman, from what Black women have been saying for decades, if not centuries…?


Tonight I heard a practice I will live into in these next days…saying aloud, with gestures:

 

EARTH…(gaze downward, grounding my body, my beautiful flesh in our sacred Earth)

COURAGE…(hands palms down on my thighs, eyes and heart open for new seeing)

CALM ABIDING…(hands palm open, outward, slightly away from my body in a welcome…)

(repeat)


We sang a song I’ve known in both church camp and Red Tent circles: Make Me a Sanctuary. Carrie Newcomer sang her song, Sanctuary. She sang a new song at the end of the service, a small poem from Howard Thurman: Sing a New Song.


And I wept...big ugly snotty tears weeping...


Tonight I know, I must let the tears come….not the escapist “white woman’s tears” I’ve been trained to squash, to just suck it up and not be fragile… Not the proverbial “white woman’s tears” that ask for sympathy or care from anyone ‘out there’... No...these tears that must come are simply my work...the work of any healthy, hurting human body that has been dealt a blow so familiar these last years… My body is a white woman’s body, with a pussy able to be grabbed and microaggressions accepted and dismissed for years… All of this writ in our large civic scene is so familiar, even with my protections and circumstance. 


Tears of impotence and frustration come next...


It’s important to name these tears, simply to claim them too… To invite more of us into the weeping-wisdom-work...especially white folks, but all human beings who hurt. We need spaces and ‘containers’ that are safe-brave spaces to hold the grief, the weeping, the messy, snot-shooting out the nose crying from the belly that pushes all the air out of your lungs tears...


Everyone has reasons they would cry out their cells, if you’d sit with your body long enough…


I wept tonight because dear friends of mine lived their hard-earned freedom in a way that wounds all of us even as the American ideal is such that that freedom is protected, as it is for me/mine

I wept tonight because I cannot withstand the pain of betrayal--betrayal of the American Heart and Hope I thought we had shared...betrayal of any protection for the marginalized, poor...

I wept tonight because all of us who don’t fit the white, gendered roles that traditionalist folks presume are in increased jeopardy, fear, and danger

I wept tonight because people of color are facing once again the utter refusal of white women to do their own work, see our role(s) in the systems we’ve created


I am weeping because I can’t do a damn thing about the pain, for myself, for anyone, except let it come...Just let it come...




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