By now I know I haven't been the only one to be feeling helpless, discouraged, and culpable. Autumn comes with colorful glory but so does the sudden dawn of darkness, if not despair.
In the midst of what is an unprecedented time of division in our lifetime, I have followed my own uncontrollable instinct to be quiet, be overwhelmed, and be disciplined in waiting for humility -- not ego -- to possess me and direct me. I've been wondering if it's possible to reckon with humility while acting in love and justice.
I have compiled my summer blog series on The Good Question Game. I am reposting this as a narrative resource in order to share the deeply simple and transformational process of gathering in a circle of asking questions.
It is with a compelling sense of urgency that I persist in the opinion -- the belief, actually -- that as smart and caring we think we are, our skill of communicating lousy if we don't regularly ask questions of those around us and especially those who hold differing values than we do.
I offer this as something that has repeatedly brought me to a centered, proud and humbled place. There is not much more of a profound act as a spiritual leader than to call a circle that asks the gathered to give voice to sincere questions.
What do you think?
All of us.
Who has never been unwelcomingly touched by a male?
When we admit how rare it is that a woman has never EVER been violated in any way, we first have to sit with the enormity of what that means.
People in our lives who we love have, and do, harm to us.
Shame is paralyzing, and then fear -- fear of having no idea how to confront the pain in our very own families.
As a woman and pastoral confidant, the data is crushing.
Yea, it's hard to talk about.
There is no perfect candidate other than ourselves to begin speaking everyday truth about what and who has hurt us and to make damned sure we don't try to soothe ourselves by pointing an angry finger at our "other."
Yea what Trump represents grosses me out.
So does Bill Clinton.
As a fine young man once shouted at me, "look it -- as a man I assume that I do not get the benefit of the doubt. It doesn't matter what I haven't done. What matters is how much has been done and yea, by men."
This election didn't begin this nor will end it.
We end it by beginning to live in courage and confidence in our own lives.
And we cannot do it alone.
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I walk the river, the road, the sidewalk. I wander the woods, the beach, the border. My pockets get filled with pieces of someone else's time. All the while, my time has been spent in idle movement, tracing lines of others' paths. This is the wandering work of the artist. I bring nothing and what I take away I am saving from infinite unknown. When I'm cleaning the pieces and saving them, arranging them with the others, the story of each time unit passes through my hands to what's in them. They talk, pieces of stories. Most often they just whisper of a snapshot. You can't even say how long it lasted. But you know how you felt, you know who you were with. You remember what you were talking about. The song that was playing stings your heart, in a good way, even if it was bad. The smell of creosote in the air means the ground was wet, but just for a flash. The pieces of wire themselves, I have brought home. Just like they cinch up the water of a rio grande, they hold the other pieces together. I tell the story into these pieces that went into my pockets and then told a poem when they were laid out to be. I still have a single earring. It is so exquisite but it hasn't gone into an altar yet. It hasn't been called up. I figure it will be when somewhere far away, someone steps just next to the other one, pressed into mud. With their fingernail they will gently lift it out. They will think they found something that tells a story about a moment.