Working hard – literally, all day, every day – to complete the manuscript for Orbis Books about our work writing with Vermont’s incarcerated women. Finding myself wanting to quote the incredible wisdom in the words of these women – wisdom from the street, the broken heart, destroyed childhood; from spirit, faith and hope . . . Knowing I need to wait so the book will be whole and impactful in its own right. Believing this is good work and honored to witness the steps, from first tentative crawl to sprawling leap. Eager to see which of the wise and wonderful women we’ve invited to ‘blurb’ the book will. Grateful to have found work that feeds even as I am fed.
“The two foundational myths of Western consciousness are:
1. We are all separate – from each other and from everything else in existence.
2. Scarcity is the nature of the universe.
Such a consciousness unavoidably creates the world in which we live – hypercompetitive and fear based.
Western physics has arrived where metaphysics (East and West) has been for millenia – everything in existence is connected with everything else. . . “ Lloyd Hansen commenting on David Sobel’s “Feed the Hunger,” Orion Magazine, November/December 2012.
Sobel’s article discusses the heroic quest in today’s context of a changing and unpredictable environment – the ‘changed enemy’ of ancient archetypal rites of passage. Weaving themes from currently-popular The Hunger Games and Life as we Knew It, he leads us through the tangle of dystopian literature, including how it feeds our hunger for resilience and hope.
As one who only recently – and, I’ll admit, reluctantly – consented to watch “The Hunger Games,” I highly recommend this provocative article for its timeliness on so many levels.
In a dark and secret cobwebbed cave
she cowered in the corner, cowardly, crazed,
fearing the unknown of her surroundings,
unbreathe-able air choking her voice;
‘til, knowing she had to, tore through tangled thorns,
snarling snakes and rabid raccoons;
dazed by her own boldness as by the light
found her true home strongly rooted, becoming
among dragonflies under the moon
ears attuned to subtle skin foretelling change,
eyes beyond the horizon, heart wider than plains;
compassionate when mind rushed to judge,
remembered to ask, say “NO,” speak up, let go.
She lives in my spirit, on wings; inhabits
my nature, and I hers. Good friends,
we laugh, drink wine, write each other poems
dance a slow tango, whirl a wild waltz;
we garden, rooting ourselves in life; fly
on air currents, roll on ocean waves. I need
only listen and trust in her.
“Robi Damelin lost her son David to a Palestinian sniper. Ali Abu Awwad lost his older brother Yousef to an Israeli soldier. But, instead of clinging to traditional ideologies and turning their pain into more violence, they’ve decided to understand the other side — Israeli and Palestinian — by sharing their pain and their humanity. They tell of a gathering network of survivors who share their grief, their stories of loved ones, and their ideas for lasting peace. They don’t want to be right; they want to be honest.”
Each time I read about them, I weep for the possibilities open to us all. Their actions are not only awe-inspiring and honest. They model the only way forward in a world torn by dissensions of every sort; by a false sense of we vs them; by trying to create a simplistic world of either/or. We are all made of the same human stuff. That is reason enough to listen with the one thing that unites us all – the heart.