I know some of you are wondering what might be unfolding with Jane. In fact she read and appreciated my last post. There is now a dialogue which is beyond what I hoped for. And I will just leave it there.
I am reminded of an amazing event during WWI when, on Christmas Eve, troops came together to declare a cease fire. This pause in the fighting was not universally observed, nor had it been sanctioned by commanders on either side. Yet men from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs, to play football with one another, and sing carols. Here is a video of that moment in time. Yes, it’s a bit Hollywood. But it’s both powerful and poignant. Cease Fire
Cease fire. What might happen if we the people just stopped shooting at each other?
I had just published yesterday’s post when her email arrived. The timing of it was so amazing I looked around to see if there was an owl flying around somewhere. Because the post included finding the means to reach out and open up conversations around what we share in common rather than our differences. And as if by magic, her email arrived.
Jane, not her real name, was emailing about two prior posts, Use Your Words and We Are Called. And in her email she told me she is a Trump supporter. I immediately thanked her for her email and told her I would respond in more depth. And I will. For there is gold here. And Jane, since I know you will likely read this post, I again thank you in this more public forum. I really look forward to more dialogue with you. I have much to learn from you, my sister.Are we likely to change each others minds and positions on the current political landscape? Probably not. But that’s not the point. For me it’s the opportunity to listen more deeply, especially for shared beliefs, hopes, and aspirations. For common ground. In her email Jane laid the foundation for this exploration to be wrapped in mutual appreciation and respect. Jane recently participated in one of my sacred circles and I came to know her as a deeply spiritual woman. Perhaps we will begin there.
I will not be sharing any more about our dialogue for this will be private, personal and intimate. Into me see. It’s enough to share that the gift arrived. May we all receive such gifts.
It was a bold move when the YWCA National Convention adopted the One Imperative: To thrust our collective power toward the elimination of racism, wherever it exists, by any means necessary. It was 1970. Protests against the war and demonstrations demanding racial justice were happening all across the country. That the YWCA stepped up to address the war and racial injustice was not a surprise. That they invoked the language of human rights activist Malcom X was provocative. By any means necessary.
As we stand on this threshold of civil war, that language is again becoming part of the narrative. What will be necessary?
Holding the light so that others may find their way back to it is essential. Yet in this time and at this threshold there is an urgency that has us asking what else we can do. Because it does seem that more is necessary. Many are participating in the protests and they send a vital message that we the people will no longer tolerate injustice and fascists in our community. But this is a war that will not be won in the streets alone. In this war for the very soul of our nation, we must win minds and hearts if we are going to emerge with any kind of unity to find our way forward. And each of us can do this.
Yes. I fully appreciate there are those in our nation and our lives who are not of an open heart or mind. But there are many who are. And it is those we must reach. Perhaps not by any means necessary but by any means we have at hand. I write. It’s one thing I can do. And we all have something we can do even from a place of quarantine. Perhaps it’s yet another conversation with someone we know. Perhaps it’s opening up a conversation around what we share in common rather than our differences. Perhaps it’s reaching out to our neighbors. We all have tools to use. And now is the time to use them as if the future of our nation depends on it. Because it does.
In this sprawling and diverse country of united states, we have guiding principles for how to be in community. In common-unity. I grew up, like most of us, pledging allegiance to one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. The god words were added in 1954.
And then there’s the Constitution. While many are currently ranting and raving about their Constitutional rights, all articles and amendments in this document that address our rights as citizens follow one foundational statement.While this document was written 233 years ago, these words transcend time and context. They are as applicable today as when they were written. They speak to a set of ideals we consider fundamental to who we are as a nation and a people. Justice. Peace. General welfare. Liberty. And in this statement, we the people are called to establish, insure, provide, promote, and secure these ideals. These actions are not delegated or relegated. It doesn’t say that we the people abdicate all of this to our governmental institutions or leaders. This is on us. These are our responsibilities. And clearly our current government is failing on every single one of these ideals.
We the people. Implicit in this guiding principle is our responsibility to oppose those institutions that fail to establish, insure and provide justice and domestic tranquility. It is our duty to stand in opposition to those organizations and institutions that are not promoting the general welfare and securing liberty for all.
Now we stand at the threshold of civil war that will again, in the words of Lincoln, test whether this nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. And whether this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall perish from the earth.
A friend in Ireland posted these words on FB a couple of days ago. So many in Ireland are watching with horror what’s going on in this country. They are deeply concerned, even afraid. With good reason.
It was one hundred years ago that 10,000 men were recruited by the British government to respond to the Irish war of independence. The recruits were former military and mercenaries. They had no policing experience beyond two weeks of training. And they were unleashed with little accountability on the Irish people in a brutal reign of reprisal, subjugation and terror. They besieged many towns, looting and burning homes and businesses, and murdering civilians. The memory of the Black & Tan fills the Irish people with revulsion. A dear friend has shared stories of his father hiding in a hole in the ground in the Connemara hills from these thugs. His ‘crime’ was owning an automobile and refusing its confiscation by the storm troopers who created their own laws as suited them in any given situation. It was a century ago but the bitter memories are fresh. You may have read that earlier this year the Irish Minister for Justice proposed to host an event to commemorate the centennial of the Black & Tan. Public outrage led to his resignation.
And now this history begins to echo in our reality. Yes. Many of us are outraged. The question I sit with is whether enough of us are outraged enough.
When a friend posted this on FB this week I was reminded it was a year ago that I created this image. And I reflected on the essential nature of this message. It seems there are vestiges of years in marketing wandering around my brain that suggest there must always be a new and improved product, or in this case message, to get people’s attention. But some messages are core and eternal. This is one of them.
As we watch our nation in the grip of a fascist regime take over, this message is more important than ever. And we are called to move beyond considering the Light we hold as an intellectual construct. Yes. I understand this is not the case for everyone. But for everyone we must now embody this shining as we never have before. At a visceral level. The very future of our nation depends on it.
It’s time to move from holding a bright Light in the world to being a passionate blaze. Yes. There is more we can do. But this being is fundamental to any action.
They had a chance encounter in the parking lot. It didn’t go well. They had often shared cordial conversation and pleasantries in the twenty years their businesses have existed next door to each other. But this time would be different.
The man complained about the current COVID19 restrictions and made derogatory comments about our governor who put the guidelines in place. When my friend gently offered that our governor wasn’t all bad and in fact has done good things for our state, the man exploded into a tirade about libtards, clearly placing my friend in that category. As he got louder and more animated, two other business owners across the parking lot came out to see what was going on and offer support to my friend who was clearly shaken by the encounter. She tried to suggest to her neighbor that they had known each other for a long time and perhaps they could just have a conversation without the shouting. It made no impact.
We are seeing this same thing play out in all those ‘Karen’ videos that are flowing through social media. Angry and hateful. Screaming and yelling. Raw emotion. And like toddlers throwing temper tantrums, there is no reasoning with these people.
As my dear friend and I talked about her encounter we wondered, as so many of us are wondering, how healing will happen with this violent polarization in our country. Especially as there seems no possibility of conversation or dialogue to navigate our differences. When small children are spewing angry emotion, we tell them to use their words. The problem is that for these ‘Karen’ adults their words often parrot the angry, hate filled, derisive, and divisive words of our current administration. Are they even using their own words? There is no critical thinking. Just criticism and condemnation.
Within this there is the clear lesson that the policies of our education system have failed us. We have abandoned explorations in critical thinking for standardized testing. That must change. However the more immediate genesis for these tantrums is emotional not intellectual.
Looking at the videos and images of MAGA folks, they rarely seem happy. Their faces and hostile language are filled with such rage. In my more compassionate moments, I can see them as people who are afraid and deeply wounded. And those wounds are festering. Violently.
For those of us who consider ourselves compassionate people, for those of us committed to holding the space of peace and love and light, we are challenged. We try to use our words but that doesn’t work. The MAGA narrative creates an impregnable barrier to resolution and reconciliation. It seems there is no common ground to be found. With this seemingly endless war of words, how will we find a way forward? How will we find healing? Because use your words is not working.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
The acrid smell of cordite still hangs in the air this morning. Dennis mentioned that General Patton once commented that he loved the smell of cordite in the morning. Turns out he didn’t. But many others have. We don’t live in a war zone, but it sure sounded like it last night. Dennis said it was more intense and prolonged than what he experienced in Viet Nam. In our rural and wooded neighborhood, much of what people exploded last night is not legal.
I have a great uncle buried in Flanders Field. The poem is one I memorized in seventh grade. And it came to mind last night amid the explosions. I was thinking about the birds including the owl who was yesterday a source of great concern for other birds. I was thinking about our resident dear and her two fawns, who are actually just now walking the path from the meadow to within fifteen feet of my office as I write this. I was thinking about the trees and the plants and all living beings who were being subjected to the noise and explosive shock waves.
So I went outside to sit with the Earth energies here at MossTerra. I had been holding the energy of peace for our dog and cat who, over the years, have come to a remarkable place of calm with these explosive rituals. As I sat with the Earth I felt that strong and palpable presence of peace emanate from me. And as I felt the energy flow through the landscape for a few minutes there were no explosions. A gentle and calm quiet. This will pass. You are safe. You are loved.
Every day Dennis and I express our deep gratitude for the blessing that is MossTerra. This beautiful and wild landscape. We receive so much. So many gifts. Perhaps last night I was able to give something back. A gift of peace.
Seriously? This is a thing? Yes. It’s on the bulleted list of what will be included in a thirteen week video course on how to heal your life in the dream time. Along with dream travel with archangels and W.B. Yeats. The whole thing seems highly suspect to me. However it wasn’t by chance or internet meanderings that I found out about this. Someone I know is actually signed up for this course.
OK. I’m a spiritual guide and teacher. And yes, people pay to join me on pilgrimage or attend gatherings both here in the States and in Ireland. But I don’t channel Tinker Bell. Nor do I orchestrate their individual and unique experiences. My work is about creating the container in which participants can have their own encounters as is appropriate to their spiritual journey. My work is about creating the space for the wisdom each of us holds to emerge more clearly. It often comes as a surprise when I tell people that I won’t give them anything they don’t already have within. Information, yes. Perhaps a different perspective, yes. But the essential sacred nature, the knowing and wisdom that is within each of us isn’t something that can be given. Or taken away for that matter.
It’s really that simple. Which is why it’s often so hard to grasp. And I appreciate that it’s tempting to create all manner of complex teachings and tools and rituals thinking they will give us the wisdom. But they won’t. As Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, a teaching is merely a vehicle to describe the truth. Don’t mistake it for the truth itself. A finger pointing at the moon is not the moon.
And right now we need the full Light of the moon. We need to step beyond the pointing fingers because we all know our way home to the Light we hold. And we need to shine that Light. It’s that simple.
A friend was reading my Legacy book and asked Dennis, “Yeah, but how is this going to change the world? How is this going to stop a nuclear war?”
Wow. Well, there isn’t a book published that will change the world and prevent a nuclear war. Change is happening but it’s not coming from any one source. I have to admit I’ve been looking for that one source, that one eloquent and powerful champion of change. But I don’t see it. What I do see is a growing list of changes that are happening one person and one action at a time.
What I know is that we are each one of us born with divine Light. And love and joy and peace and an enthusiasm for life. Yes, there are many that have all but extinguished their light. But they are small in number even though currently large in headlines. And I know that for the majority of people on this planet their Light is brighter than it’s been in a long time and it’s from that place of the Light within each of us that change is happening.
We know how to do this. We know what needs to be changed and within the landscape of our lives we know how to make those changes. We don’t need one source to tell us what to do. We’ve got this. We see each other’s shining and we hear each other’s stories and we are lifted up to shine our Light even brighter.