It has been years and years since awareness has been raised, taught, and expounded upon about the intersectionality of oppressions.
It was this year when serious concerns were expressed over the absence of including "women" in a separate (and huge) category in the UUA Declaration of Conscience. It was ranksplained, mansplained, youngpslained and all kinds of othersplained away, again. "Why name women as being at dire risk of escalating inequality?" was asked.
It was still this year when spiritual seekers, activists and leaders attempted to bring ongoing immediate attention to the UUA Board's lack of action to correct the bylaws on democratic inclusion of professional religious educators having the right and privilege of voting rights in our association's democracy? (especially in the year of the first elected female presidency). Any update #uuaboard?
It was just yesterday and today and tomorrow that religious leaders have gathered and will gather in collegial habit without serious discernment as to who is paid to deliver key notes, points, and perspective.
It is right now that some, not all, girls and women are stating "me too" on their social media platforms to indicate that they have experienced some manner of sexual harassment or assault.
Why aren't we tallying all the ways women's perspective, voice, and hard-fought (survived) wisdom is still alarmingly absent from our everyday experiences and ultimate rhetoric?
Who are we trying to comfort and who escapes deserved affliction?
Who decides if we are on a journey towards wholeness or a merely a sum of parts?
The veil is thinning; it is time -- once again -- for ego and humility to have an uninterrupted conversation. It is the true fright of #octoberseasoning
Article Link: What You're Saying When You Say "I Don't Need a Mic."
There is nothing more spiritual or theological for any of us than compassion and moral imaginations to plan and improve our ability to connect. Hearing is not about volume; it is about discernment. Hmmm....
There is nothing more or less illustrative of linked oppression and white fragility than considering how a message is actually and scientifically and biologically received.
I'm commenting on this as a non-anonymous person who is under 65 year old who does not have 20/20 (or whatever it is called).
I'll also speak on behalf of my daughter who has worn devices since childhood.
I guess I'm also speaking for 3 siblings who suffered cruel treatment in the 50s, 60s, 70s.... (although they will never know I am speaking for them....)
I'll speak for my outspoken mother (who still shouts at me, off mic, from her heaven) and eventually my humble father (who still pats and rubs my neck from his heaven).
I'm speaking for dear, whole people who make me laugh with faux pas and snafus-of-the-day, as we store up tickling vibration in our hearts and belly.
So lets back it up to every bit of daily life as humans that has nothing to do with being on mic....
...like everyday transactions
...like webinars without subtitles or preference of the star hosts
...like live subtitling from other continents (as if that's enough)
...like watching an Important Film Together and not considering sound quality until it's too late
...like the trendy but lasting hipster/NPRster /all-gendered-but-particularly-women who think vocal fry sounds casually intelligent, and liberated, AND sexy (while scientifically and mechanically a foolish misuse and harm of voice, as well as distortion of "giving voice" of the throat chakra)
But I get by and I'm not embarrassed by being hearing impaired. In fact, I have enough self confidence to have compassion for Those I Cannot Hear because I "see" their discomfort and self consciousness of trying to multitask delivering, perhaps, well wrought and rehearsed words but never practicing Being Heard. Tsk. Tsk.
Sometimes I end my day of interacting with humans -- and being human -- quite early. I go into my sacred and creative sanctum to listen to what My World has to say. It is there that there is no time and no mic, only vibrations that pass through my heart's eye and ear.
I'm tired of missing the add-on very tender comments that I only know were spoken because I FEEL the collective "mmmmmm," and the sympathetic, pursed lipped sigh.
I'm tired of missed the spontaneous add on joke that makes a room or arena rumble with laughter (and then I ask someone next me..."what was that?" and the person holds up their finger as if i'm interrupting and mouths, "...tell you later...."
I'm tired of the elite valuing intellect over non-complicated warmth and connection.
I'm tired of beautiful spaces with high, antique ceilings.
I'm tired of new spaces with hip industrial looks and echo chambers that make my hearing aides torque and screech in my ear.
I'm very tired of lips that don't have muscle tone.
I'm very tired of áffect.
I'm tired of people who try to tell me that the sound system is on AND working and maybe I should sit up front.
I'm tired of being corrected when I said, "I am hearing impaired," and self-appointed PC cops say, 'hard of hearing'."
I'm tired these days to show up most places where there is a mic because we haven't progressed in our motivation -- and thus technical skill -- at projecting our prophecy to those who aren't already in our fan club.
I'm tired of the warnings of my brain going mush and being more susceptible to alzheimers* or dementia if I don't amplify when I try to accept my fate and living my days with softer sounds (but more brilliant colors and interesting vibrations and tastes and textures).
*I'm also more than fed up with anything being named after a male rather than something descriptive and simple because lordy knows if we spell something wrong b/c so many people suffer from severe irritation and anger because of the sensitivity to misspellings and incorreck grammerrrrrr (but that is a topic for others who are not as tired or self-promoting).
I'm very tired of being a person/facilitator/leader with a milder disability and a sense of humor about it ( I could write a book but won't because the humor has come only after some serious, serious tragedies of relationship in my life).
I am fed up with holding myself to a spirit of generosity while the the #UUSelfie culture races to being the 'most followed commentator of the week,' even when the commentary is petty and irreverent and snarky.
I am no longer willing to accept the notion of "meeting people where they are" because it's just/ification code for white fragility and absolute inaction.
I am worried when I find myself never forgetting (nor forgiving) outrageous Things That Have Been Said to Me (even in a performance evaluation by so-called spiritual heads of staff) along the lines of:
......"Anne has to take responsibility for her hearing challenges." And it gets worse.
True facts, for me <-----
I'm tried of trying to hear, and that's even before listening.
I am too tired to be angry or sad.
I am ever-praying because our individual anxiety and insecurity robs every single one of us of capacity for true and humble, life-long learning, on the ground.
I am more regularly appreciative of the gifts of sustenance and wealth that defy social capital and economic security.
I am blessed with relentless curiosity and desire for love and laughter and play and witness in the most hidden and joyful of places, with people that take my titles and words and breath away.
I am scared to run out of time to feel and act, with greater purpose.
I am in service to the unmistakable of grace.
I am willing to just walk over the eggshells and take pictures of the designs and call it art. That's exactly what I do for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is my level of hearing.
r u and u and uu?
~~~~~~~~you may want to play this recording softly while reading: female chakra sounds~~~~~~~~~
After years of having a daily, morning spiritual practice, a few too many personal emotional challenges were delivered my way within a span of a few years.
2013 - a big turning point year for me. 51 years living then; the specifics of battle and heart break do not and still do not matter much; we all have them. I tell the stories of What Happened to my spiritual confidants. I do believe each of has must learn how to skip the compare/contrast plea for stylish sympathy to which we are prone and lured.
I have come to witness spiritual mandate of gratitude and humility as innate and simple - a natural reflex - in the tininess and poorest of children.
2013 ended a year of being part of a team of spiritual practitioners who would guide a process and listen to siblings in faith reflect on and articulate on the nature of collaboration in daily theological practice. The fall from belief to abandonment and ultimately obsolescence dumped me in a sea of my own collection of garbage. What no one knew, even I, is that is where I would learn to find gems from long long ago, made anew. I learned that gems do not rot nor lose original form.
Going down below, into the dark and damp basement work space became the only way for me to be sober and present to physical pain that arrived by 2015, especially when each tendril of my root chakra talked to me like insightful shards of glass. In time I learned to create art in a different way. This wasn't a decision on my part. Art came through my hands while my eyes blurred, murky heart showed me art by it's meek glow of emerald tourmaline.
Throughout the years, I have listened to the best of my capacity to many a seer, saint, and shaman. It takes awhile for me to first feel what I hear. The shapes of the sound first must make an arrangement before I can see the meaning. From that point on, my feet would create small paths through leaves and over sand at low tide. The pain felt like a teacher. I tuck tiny gems of analysis - spun wisdom - into my pockets. Spread out onto the floor, one would shine as sacred center. My hands built: el centro diminuto de los altares sagrados es como los niños de un lago perdido.
I was 54 years old when I collapsed as a condition of the wind. Four hands gently and mightily delivered un aborto de una idea and many aspirations for creative force, relieving harmony, plain and constant justice....aborto espontáneo.
The power of menopause is not only in and of itself a rite of bodily passage. It is a reckoning force that marches us to draw circles of truth; confrontation (never). All this bears the heart and everything else naked, screaming silence no where near a forest. What's worse, to others it appears as weakness or a private matter. This natural process has been disrupted by so many acts of liberation that it has been humbling to recognize every bit of it to a visual and visceral call to daily truth in being and action in mundane living. There is no where to hide, especially in the dark, damp basement.
White Man Frost said "the woods are dark and lovely" and he had promises to keep. Well I don't wonder much what Bob was doing in the woods, what promises he hadn't yet fulfilled (or to whom), and whether he ever marveled at the holy shard mosaic of a woman's soul.
Beautiful shards surrounded by stories spun into wisdom.....
i am of no use, i know this
i am of all use, i don't know how
When was the last time someone said something to you that caused you to react?
What few words describe your emotional response?
What did you feel like saying?
What did you feel like doing?
How do you think you should have responded?
What did you do?
What was better or worst as a result of what you said or did?
Who do you call for listening and learning? Sarahummingbird is born of and on the border; healer; mother; artist; writer; community builder and more.
"Revelation is not sealed. Unitarian Universalism is constantly undergoing a process of creation. And it will be processed in conversations. Conversation is the currency of organizations. "No self survives a real conversation", says David Whyte, yet we often come into conversation as teachers only or as learners only or as one thing that we hold on to until the end. Conversation is a process open to dissent, opposition, as well as collaboration, feelings we are not used to, half-formed thoughts, and undone theses. The Western mind has been trained to think that thoughts are complete and can be copyrighted once articulated and published. This is a practice and a well-ingrained rehearsal of resistance to collaboration, co-forming ideas, and thinking with others. In 2011. A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that teams with more women solve problems better. We can surmise that it's because women are socialized to think together and get the work done with less ego. Meanwhile, corporations are organizing better by deriving more wisdom from ideas that are connected non-linearly, often tangentially or off-tangent, and sometimes adversarially. It gives organizations a better systems-level view of variables that form an interconnected web, and see how the whole web shifts and moves. If corporations make more sense with diversity intelligence than churches, we are in danger. Corporations are organisms that subsume the human being to a mere variable in a self-preserving, self-perpetuating intelligent system. Conversation is their bloodline, money is their food. Analogously, let us (UU ministers and community ministers) examine how our organizations are behaving by keeping the conversation alive on self-examination, reflection, learning and praxis."
This is the description of the Facebook conversation group, "UU Leaders in Prophetic Work." Rev. Tet Gallardo is the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines.
This year has been uncommonly long, large and deep relating to the nature of truth.
For me, it is very personal.
For me as a spiritual leader, it is very universal.
How do we prepare to hear truth and speak truth?
What is a fact?
Why is direct experience a Thing?
When tragedies struck, did the first peoples sense it was coming? What did they do? Did they try to stop the flood? Did they have life jackets? If they did, how was it decided who would be saved first? By rank? I wonder how that turned out.
Long long ago before the interwebs, cars, and commerce, humans could sense a stampede of elephants too far off in the distance to see or hear; humans could feel when an avalanche was about to roll; dangers in the night were watched while the other eye slept. Humans didn't get a call ~ or a text ~ or a tweet ~ or an admirable sense of presence like a rock star.
They ran for their lives and took what they could carry. It was nothing small that made them run. It was something that actually could kill them.
By and by, thousands of years go by and our human brains keep going through yet another puberty.
But here's the thing, whenever we feel the slightest draft of discomfort, our danger-sensing mechanism in our gut is flipped on. There is no dial. It is on, or off. There is no gauge. The feeling of a word is distorted and we insist it's a spear. We lose our balance and we look for a drove of wild boars. We think the end is hear when it is the sound of a cliff falling.
We know that tidal waves happen and there is little we can do to prepare. It wasn't that long ago that a wild boar crashed through the walls of an airport into a crowd. The Old Man of the Mountain collapsed in 2003. Repeatedly we mourn the suffering of children and then run to the safety of fiction.
When we find ourselves in water that we don’t think we chose, swim like all life depended on it.
I am alert to the fact that public discourse on morals and values, previous directed so vehemently at our nation’s government, is finally making its way into my faith home at the institutional level.
I am hopeful that my faith will continue deep, courageous learning so the word and deed of faith are not only widespread but especially critically relevant (and discussable).
I am sober to the reality that I will learn the limitations of my own certainty and convictions. I have been in the fertile void before. It feels formless and without beauty.
I am grateful gifts of peace and insight that arrive through the mysteries of time and tide.
May we be the courageous ones to rearrange the furniture of our institutions into circles, not towers; into eco-systems, not ego-systems.