Monday, December 10, 2012

Trailblazing Takes Courage

"… [R]emain true to your truth, voice and passion in all that you do… [W]hat’s the cost for those who remain silent, who choose respectability and fear over critical movement against the status quo? I’ve never been one to feed the status quo, nor do I plan to ever be.

"For me, feminism is a way of life, a way of living, and a form of survival–not my hustle. A huge part of my feminist politics is speaking my truth the way I want to speak it. No one gets to dictate that for me. To be sure, I’m charting my own course. And, I truly believe that the universe will make room for it. In some small ways it already has. To be sure, trailblazing takes courage, uncomfortability, and innovation. My unapologetic quest toward truth and truth speaking demand all of the above and then some…"    

— Tamura A. Lomax, co-founder of The Feminist Wire (c/o, 12/8/12)

Blogging for Human Rights: Morning reflections

One meaning of
Khepr is change
When i think about human rights, i feel rage.  Rage for the millions of women, men and children who have been and continue to be harmed by a race/class/gender/culture/ethnicity that hides behind policies, practices and illusions of democracy. A group that creates opportunities for members of its own group, while denying opportunities for others.  A group that values the lives of its own children, while devaluing the lives of all others.  A group that maintains and benefits from an economic system that values life according to its profitability. A group that includes whites and people of all races/ethnicities who on the basis of race, culture and ethnicity cause harm to others, directly and indirectly. A group that includes men who use their gender as a basis for causing harm, instilling fear and asserting power. A group that includes the ruling class that exploits others for its economic benefit. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hair as Identity

Locks cascading
off the nape of her neck
gently along the curve
of her lower back

The language they spoke to her was of a gentle nature. Capturing energies and gently whispering their intention to her soul. She valued their presence, these locks, the wisdom they shared and the protection they offered. They connected her with the Wise Ones. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Writing Maat

Writing is a labor of love.  In fact, anything that one sees through from beginning to end, exhaustively checking and re-checking, making adjustments and tweaks, asking for new sets of eyes and opinions - arguably is a labor of love. But it is not just about the method of writing that drives the process forward. It is the art of writing. It is the passion and commitment to lend voice to an experience, a life, a series of events, an issue.  It is the skillful/raw/real/imagined/mysterious/concrete development of a story that needs/wants/craves to be told in a way that informs and engages the reader.  And searching for that best voice to articulate the story - selecting and organizing the words so that the voice may be heard, felt, tasted, seen - is part of that artistic experience. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lesson from Just Sit There

Don't let your circumstances or habits rule your choices today. Dignity is more important than wealth. -- Just Sit There (@justsitthere)

Thoughts about the movie Flight

I took a moment to see the highly anticipated movie, Flight, on opening night. It was nothing i thought it would be. Previews made it appear to be a movie about heroism and bravery. And in a way it was that...but of a different type. Instead of the heroism that gets publicly celebrated in the media, creating a larger than life caricature of a person who put her/himself in harm's way to save lives, what i saw in this movie was that to a small degree, but mainly a deeply wounded person struggling with addictions, lying to himself and others, causing emotional harm to those who came near to him....but one who in the end made the decision to come clean, face consequences and develop within himself a sense of integrity.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lesson From An Unsuspecting Place

when we follow our hearts, 
when we choose not to settle
its funny...isn't it?
a weight lifts
the sun shines a little brighter
and for a brief moment at least
we find a little peace
(Greys Anatomy, 2012)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lessons from Fall

Nature has a way of renewing itself  periodically. Her children move through their processes of birth, growth, decay and rebirth at different moments, in response to their own internal clocks. Here in Michigan, the trees are releasing their leaves in preparation for a period of rest.  As this happens around me I am reminded once again about the ways people move through cycles and on a personal level, how I experience them.  When I appreciate reality for what it is and understand that some things happen over which I have no control; that sometimes I go through periods of feeling really great about what I am doing and other times I question everything; that sometimes I feel supremely confident and other times I feel vulnerable - when I understand that I am a human being just trying to do the right thing, then encountering these cycles becomes less of a struggle and more of an opportunity to listen, reflect, and grow.   So as nature does what she does, I will continue to listen and learn. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Recent Lessons

Abbreviated notes from important lessons in the past few months -
Lesson 1:  Creating space for contemplation and self-/shared-healing strengthens justice work.  
People struggling on the front line around issues of justice; people vigilantly working to stop harmful practices of institutions, corporations, other people, etc.; people whose lives are organized around simply putting food on the table, a roof over their heads, and a safe environment for children; people who do not stop until every ounce of energy has been shifted from them to other places...these people often do not take time to rest, to create space for their own healing, to reflect upon vision, purpose, successes, lessons, and mistakes.  And the mere thought of doing so is foreign, something for someone else, something that time and circumstances don't permit.  Yet not only is it possible to carve out space - there are many ways to do so - but it is necessary.  How many of our front line warriors are weakened or suffer from debilitating illnesses accelerated by stress?  Far too many.  Possible solutions: 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Working Out the Purpose of this Blog

Since beginning this blog, i have struggled with its purpose.  The inconsistencies of the posts, in terms of timing and content, reflect this struggle. Do i want to share my thoughts and lessons on life? Do i want to provide a meaningful analysis of current economic, social, political, environmental conditions? Do i want to explore systemic injustices? And regardless of what i choose to write about, who would read it anyway?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reflection of the Day

If one wants to be more than a passive observer of life and an active fighter in the great battle to change the world, one must understand that it is necessary to present a distinct face of one's own to the world, i.e., take a firm stand in life and have lasting convictions in the shape of an advanced, scientific world outlook. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

This Post Is Unlike the Rest

Below is a bit of something pulled from a journal. It is a bit unlike earlier posts. 

It is easy to take for granted the beautiful blackness of Detroit. When i travel, no matter where i am, i look for black faces.  There is something that feels like home, a familiarity, a web of roots that connect deep below the surface...even though you can always see them or hear them or touch them. But i can feel them. 

My heart and mind understand that race cannot be the basis for unifying or for assuming that people have your back, that they appreciate your humanity, or that they share the same values. The reality is that black people are responsible for inflicting trauma on others - particularly other blacks - often at the same level as whites or arabs. 

Locking eyes with a black person from Panama or Cuba or Jamaica or England or Oakland (CA) or South Florida or wherever, when surrounded by many others...well all i can say is that something happens that can't be explained. Perhaps a shared knowing; of what, i can't be sure because the experiences are so varied. But just something inexplicable.

I came across this when looking at my journal when in California...a very different place that has its own issues, challenges, concerns, inequities, and so on. But all places hold lessons. Lessons that speak to our hearts if we remain open to them.  The biggest one on this journey? The importance of relationships. 

More later.

Monday, January 2, 2012

National Planning Committee of the U.S. Social Forum Meets

The National Planning Committee of the U.S. Social Forum will meet this week (January 6-8) to discuss whether or not to plan another one.  Required to make such a decision is an understanding of the historical moment.  If the moment calls for a space that will allow individuals, organizations and movements to converge, then there should be one; if the moment calls for something different, then whatever that is should be brought into being.  NPC representatives will discuss this and make a decision. 

This moment calls for such a convergence. 

More on this as information comes in.