I began my work day driving two nervous middle schoolers to the teachers’ picket line to march and cheer. A limit to class sizes, more mental health workers, a livable wage for teachers’ aids—their demands are so basic, so humble, and the needs of the kids they serve so immense I find myself ripped wide with …
All these relatives contributed to my life. Their stories exert an influence on my story. When I become conscious of them, when I welcome their being into mine, I become them, too, at least in part. An important dimension of myself is returned to me.
Whatever we’re given by inspiration we must augment with effort and then release to move and heal and connect and transform the wider world.
During a tax upheaval deeply burdensome to poor people, in an inhospitable town, on a dark night, divinity became human. What plays out in our small lives pales in comparison to the big love at work in and through them.
You’ve got to deconstruct the old to make room for the new, whether it’s a hallway or a soul. Or, in the case of writers, a rough draft. Or, in the case of climate change, old energy dependencies. Or, in the case of a broken democracy, old complacencies.
Jeanne Audrey, unlike me, thrived on conflict. I remember her at the Re-Imagining Conferences in the mid-nineties, the gatherings by which feminism hit the mainline denominations like a train wreck; Jeanne Audrey sniffed out the conservative infiltrators and press reps, brought them coffee, and engaged them in lengthy, honest, and disconcertingly intimate conversations. By the end of the day they were exchanging phone numbers. Jeanne Audrey was fearsome in her ability to transform enemies into friends.
I wish for us that we can look back at this point in history as a time of spiritual awakening, transformative love, healing reconciliation, and powerful creativity. A time where we collectively went through an evolutionary leap.
The real power-players today aren’t those who hold the big, external positions of leadership. They are the people who are calm, creative, able to step away from events, see them clearly, imagine new ways to frame them, and launch fearlessly back into that good work.