holding

can we hold ourselves

and one another

without condition?

with a knowing

that we belong

just as we are,

now?

and that the questions

and cracks and stumblings,

where mundane dances with magical,

and love bleeds into hurt

and companionship dissolves into loneliness

is where we find ourselves,

hidden–

there all along.

waiting and ready,

arms wide open.

can we hold ourselves

and one another

without condition?

with a knowing

that we belong

just as we are,

now?

listening

words do not catch my attention

as perhaps they once did.

my energy is captured

by what is in between those words

and underneath

what’s left unsaid

and overemphasized

the way in which

the words are spoken

the life, death

that breathes meaning into them.

this listening yields an entirely different

narrative–

a story that can weigh and lift

and invite uncertainty

as this mother tongue speaks a language

that few care to take the time and care

to interpret

though ripe with meaning and wisdom

when i can quiet my self,

listening.

surrender

I surrender to the pull within me

To become who i am

Shedding armor of expectation, prescription, presumption

To make way for the fruits my soul will bear

Or maybe there will be no fruits–who knows?!

The point is that my soul has work to do

Right work

And it’s been asking me to do it, to get out of the way

And now it is time.

I’m saying yes.

I surrender.

I’m saying yes to listening to my deep knowing, my inner wisdom

And trusting that knowing and wisdom

When there is fear and trepidation present, I choose to lean into it as it is a gift of deeper insight

In my faith to life force and Spirit, I will respond

Out of compassion and love and with clarity

I’m saying yes to evolution’s compelling draw

Understanding that I play a role in that unfolding that is beyond my humble and human grasp.

dear whiteness

i wish this could be a break-up letter. knowing the impossibility of that brings me heartbreak and rage.

even still, you need to know that i do not want this relationship. i do not consent. in fact, i will do everything i can to free myself from it–from you– despite the fact that i cannot fully escape. i am a slave to you.

this relationship is violent. you have designed systems and structures that keep me in my place with you. your manipulating and controlling forces make it hard for me to remember, distancing me from those more free, from people of color. you and your co-conspirators of patriarchy, capitalism, imperialism bully me and break me down and split me in two.

and yet i will not be afraid. i belong to the universe and exist in and through and in-between the chains and structures you and your co-conspirators hold so tightly. you are pathetic and small and desperate. you are fearful of my knowing and so you put me in boxes, keep me in chains only to feed your own pitiful need to be superior.

you are like amnesia. your efforts to make me forget my own Power are strong and often effective. so i will remain vigilant in my commitment to stay awake and remember.

while i will always bear your mark, i will work tirelessly and with discipline to erase you. to see your controlling ways and eradicate you. our relationship will not be easy. i will not go softly. i am determined to be free.

dear greta

dear greta,

thank you.

your voice, shaking in power and rage and grief, is a wake up call. your actions are a wake up call. you are a wake up call.

your example of sane leadership in a time of madness satisfies a hunger for truth that many of us have not been aware we’ve felt.

your provocations, “how dare you?” went straight to my gut. your words were meant for all of us–all of us who are who are still asleep. or who awaken for a moment, then forget.

how dare us.

you were eleven years old when you choose silence and sanity.

eleven years wise when you could see how mad the world was in our oblivion. our denial of our suffering and collective truth. you felt this unspoken, unconscious pain and were confused by how we could just act like everything was ok. like nothing was wrong. we just went about our daily business. for you, it was unreconcilable.

you chose not to participate in our madness. and then you found another way.

and somewhere there, in your silence, you listened to your inner genius. you found your inner power. and chose simply to do what you could, where you could. no more, no less.

and you are now leading us.

you stand as a reminder. a reminder that real power resides within us. and that this power is experienced and unleashed through relationships. we become alive in our interconnectedness.

we’ve been sitting on the sidelines witnessing our earth die because we have been dead.

how dare us.

thank you for your wake up call. i hear you.

flow

we sow seeds to our becoming

with such deep knowing

that our minds cannot compute.

we play a part in a much bigger play,

a piece in a grander masterpiece

that is unknowable.

trusting that deep knowing,

residing in our essence

is life-giving

and we flow…

arrogance

i grew up fearing taking up too much space.

doing so was despicable. unacceptable. this was for many reasons given the circumstances of my growing up. least of which was that i was a white girl from the south.

i grew up shrinking.

as i grew, i was trained on all the ways in which i hold power and privilege. so much. privilege. it bounded me. i internalized the lessons: “take up less space. make room for others.”

i grew up shrinking.

now, i’m sayin’…nah. not so much.

our power is not in our privilege. it’s not in shrinking to make room for others. it’s not in hiding behind “humility” or egolessness. power is generated from living into all we are and letting our light shine. brilliantly. and as only we can.

shrinking for others is a lie. an excuse we tell ourselves to let ourselves off the hook for the real, brave work of being audaciously who we are. the business of shrinking maintains status quo and stunts us all.

by shrinking, we shrink our collective capacity for growth and life and love.

this line from Rilke’s Book of Hours keeps playing my heart strings,

"If this is arrogant, God, forgive me, but this is what I need to say. May what I do flow from me like a river, 
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children."

the latin root of the word arrogant is “arrogare”, meaning “claimed for oneself without justification”. at the heart of arrogance is staking a claim on your Self for your Self. it’s not about asking permission or pleasing or accommodating. it’s pure.

and yeah, it can offend. it will offend.

yeah, it might step on toes. it will step on toes.

but i’m starting to see arrogance as the light that shines when we are being our brilliant, whole Self.

unapologetically.

and the beautiful thing is that in doing so invites others to be their unapologetic self, too.