Me Too.

I can’t help thinking that the true sign of progress will be, not just when victims of sexual harassment and violence all say “me too”, but when those who have committed acts of sexual violence openly say, “I did”. “I am part of the problem”. “It was wrong”. “I’m sorry”. “I will listen, learn, ask for help and accountability to never do it again”. “I will teach my sons, my friends, and anyone who will listen how to recognize and respect consent.”

For men to think they can protect women is as ridiculous as white people thinking we are supposed to save and fix all the “poor broken others” of the world. Protecting women is not the job of men. The job of men is to learn how to let go of the need to control and dominate, and instead to respect and cooperate, honoring the power and autonomy of women, just as woman also must learn to honor and respect the vulnerability and weakness that exists in men.

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Boxes

A new breed of suffering has emerged, the color of my office walls.

The walls, the yellow walls, like the enchanting Victorian wallpaper of old, but instead flat and stifling under the florescent lights. The only escape is the electronic window that sucks me in, keeps me wanting more, and leaves me hungry every time.

Clicks, taps, and imperceptible hums and drums delve deeper and deeper into my subconscious. The slow, creeping fear that I am becoming less and less human, and more and more alone.

Funny how we think that sanity is sitting on a chair and staring at a box. Funny how our comforts are also in boxes. Boxes of wires, boxes of shoes, boxes of cereal, little boxes. They are still made out of ticky tacky.

Sermon

I have been forgiving you
Since the moment
I learned
But how can I respond
When you ask me for forgiveness now
Long after
I have cried my tears
Long after
I have stitched my heart
And coaxed it
To heal
How can I say
I forgive you
When the forgiveness I extended
For so long
Went unseen
How can you ask
“Forgive me”
When you never acknowledged
Your wrong?

I cannot be the one
To give you a badge
That says you have crossed
From that to this

I cannot be the one
To say,
Yes, now you are doing it right.

I did cry a river.
And then I moved my tent
And planted a new garden
New flowers
In new dirt
And I wait painstakingly
To see what grace will emerge
From my pain.

You hurt me.
Instead of speaking truth
You hid it
And when I found it
You ran away
And never looked back
Leaving me
To clear away the shrapnel,
My ears still ringing.

You slipped away slowly
Then quickly
As I grasped at ways to help
Ways to bring you back to life and love.
An honest parting of ways,
An honest confession that you did not love me
An honest word that,
Our time was good but it was over
Would have been a welcome balm.
I grieved that you did not count it worth your own pain
To tell me it was over,
Instead leaving me bewildered
Left to assume what must be true.

I forgive you and forgave you already,
But how can I be your priest
And absolve you of your wrong?
How can I forgive
What you never confessed?

Do not say to me,
“Forgive me, I have changed.”
Tell me the wrongs
That you now recognize
And tell me that you understand
Even a small bit
Of how I must have felt.
Tell me that at last
You feel a little bit
Of my pain
As I once felt yours
So deeply.
Tell me you are sorry.
You are so, so, sorry.

Sacred

 

Your skin
Pressing comfort
As i feel your weight and warmth
Reminding me
Like a gentle pinch
That I am real
Reminding me
That you are real too
That you see me
And I see you.

Beware,
Those who use others
For their own gain
Stealing their labor
As surely as stealing their house
For the ground on which you stand
Is sacred
And will not forever allow you
To desecrate its gentle soil
With your cruelty.

I do not miss
Ice cream cones or toys
Of childhood.
I do not long to curl
In my mother’s arms
Though I might
Miss that too.
I miss waking every morning
And immediately knowing
That today is sacred.

Humans Can Already Fly

swanson quote

Okay, so humans can’t really fly, at least not by themselves. As usual, our beloved Ron Swanson has spoken a deep truth: humans have had dreams of flying since the beginning of mankind. We spend time thinking about dreams that exceed our natural limitations. However, we rarely consider how many miraculous acts are already within our reach. We are capable of walking, dancing, jumping, skipping, crawling, stretching and contorting into funny shapes, making weird faces, drawing works of art, swimming, climbing, beatboxing, singing…. the list is endless. For the amount of time we spend dreaming of humanly impossible feats, how often do we consider the wide range of movement and skills that the human body is capable of developing? Even acknowledging that different human beings have different capabilities, and not everyone is capable of some physical movements (and that’s okay!)– generally all of us (except perhaps those who are comatose or live with some extreme illness) have a wide range of movement available to us. How often do we take time to reflect and appreciate — and furthermore just fully make ourselves present in and inhabit those forms of movement? How often do we express gratitude to our bodies for all they do for us? Even the parts of our body that may sometimes bring us shame, whether self inflicted or because of expectations imposed by society, or some combination of both [looks down] – yes pot belly, I’m talking about you. The pot belly that brings me conflicting emotions also cheerfully and dutifully carries my excess fat so the rest of me doesn’t have to! Continue reading

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Jelaluddin Rumi,
Translation from The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks