The anger and hatred in our land is not new. People have fought to appear better than others and to have more than others since the beginning of time. Division is the simplistic way to live. To me, it is a fight between light and ignorance, between knowing we are impermanent and not created by ourselves, and recognizing every being, every flower, cloud, eagle, mountain and breath is a gift and not in our control. We are insignificant in the magnitude of the cosmos, yet oh so powerful in the wonder of our creation. We can choose to build a more sustainable society and world. We can reject war. We can acknowledge that we are broken. I choose to not hate those who act to destroy humanity and our earth’s resources. I will search for ways to find community in which we can live as “our world is a sacred whole in which we have a sacred mission” as Joanna Macy teaches. “There is no private salvation. We join hands to find the ways the world self-heals—and see the chaos as seedbed for the future.” (Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World - Joanna Macy & Molly Young Brown) I invite each of us to read books about healing and form groups to grieve today’s misguided anger and hatred, to remain mentally focused on ways to accomplish our goals of creating laws and systems to deconstruct discrimination and inequality, to use our outrage and fear to dismantle structural violence without becoming violent. It is not an easy task. Many of us have been in this struggle our entire lives. It is more than difficult to keep our language of peace when faced with language of hate. Of the 60 million forcibly displaced people in the world, almost 80% are women and children. They leave their homes, cities and countries due to war, violence, discrimination, hunger, and environmental catastrophe. We must find ways to help. Read Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz. Read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Read all books by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Joanna Macy. Read An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz. So many walk their talk and inspire. And please, please, make sure every action you take will bring us closer to freedom. Be fortified with purpose and light. With gratitude…
Photo credit: The Black Woman Is God exhibition, SOMarts, SF
MISSIONI have long believed in the power of stories: cultural lore, family memories, recounting brave movements to overcome injustice, and the long journey of lessons learned while having a life. Listening to others' stories is an art, the gift of witnessing.
In January 2018, I will publish an anthology of essays by 70 women of diverse backgrounds, cultures, beliefs and experiences with Nothing But the Truth, LLC. Editor ZZ Packer has curated the "Trailblazers, Hellraisers and Stargazers" who tell their personal stories. It has been an honor and thrill to bring these essays to life in All the Women in My Family Sing: Women write the world--equality, justice, passion and humanity.
Please visit our web page to sign up for updates and to pre-order this phenomenal book.
Thank you, Deborah