A strategy emerges…
Frustrated, once again, by an intolerable situation I find myself yearning, once again, to be in a position of greater power. A very wise, intensely intelligent friend gently reminds me that there is already enormous power is in what I do, what I make, and the way I offer this to the world. I’m grateful for the reminder. It’s all too easy to forget my own resources when I’m staring at closed doors.
She is right about it. I do feel this power each time I gather the time, the focus and the funding to weave thought together with art and music, dig into the deeper meanings of experience to produce and present a show, a book, a well-turned blog or a song. In those moments I live at the epicentre of my own authorship, which is the most powerful place anyone can speak from.
When I am there, especially when collaborating with others who work from a place of integrity, I can embrace diversity and rise above petty manipulations with ease. I can use my strength (and the humility that goes with it) to connect, include, direct attention to, propose solution for, mentor, encourage and inspire others to find this place for and in themselves.
This is real power- the kind that empowers others, who then empower more others, and others so that positive empowerment extends throughout the entire complex ecosystem of this planet. It includes, connects, relates, nourishes, and directly addresses disparity.
I can’t always be in that place. When I’m out gathering experience, sharpening insight, building resources and connections for production, I often bump into my own triggers, stumble upon long-smoldering fires that light up when poked. It is a place of questioning I go to, and many times those questions lead to more closed doors. No matter how fiercely I glare, I cannot burn a hole in them; they will not open to let the healthy air through.
Behind most of these doors is the place where our five-thousand-year-old patriarchy still thrives in self-perpetuating, ever spiralling madness.
But things are changing. Doors are becoming less opaque, so we can begin to discern the goings-on behind them. No matter how benignly they’ve learned to present themselves, the active players appear in increasing contrast to the determined inclusivity of the marginalized voices we hear and join, in global women’s marches, Time’s Up, Black Lives Matter, March for our Lives, and so many more. I’m relieved by this, even in the midst of my abhorrence of the willful damage that continues to be done. It’s better to have names and faces to represent patriarchic culture than rail against the blank wall of systemic misogyny and racism.
It was in this context of frustration that I watched the footage and photographs, read the written responses to the March for our Lives movement two mornings ago. As I did, I cried. Tears of gratitude.
The Rise Above is important because it fosters clarity and wastes no energy on diversionary tactics. I saw real rage, real grief transformed through integrity into the clear, directed action of millions upon millions of people – led by youth. They will not stop, and nor will I.
There’s a reason that Tolkien’s work endures. The ring of power melts in the very fires that forged it – our own European industrial revolution, run terribly, horribly amok.
Things are changing. We’ve all had far more than enough.