warning, i am in a thinking mood, this might be a long post…
tomorrow i leave for canada at the booty crack of dawn! i am going to spend a week up there doing organizational development work with the arctic indigenous youth alliance, which is in fact every bit as amazing as the title implies. what i do is take vision and implement simple steps that start to make it reality, thats what makes me tick…there are people living so far up the globe you have to turn it see them on the map, and the land is melting out from under them while major corporations attempt to build oil pipelines through their sacred spaces. these young people are banding together from different super rural locations to try to leverage power for and with their people, so its quite exciting.
i feel like i have been going around the city meditating, listening to lauryn’s unplugged. it makes me feel i have to blog a bit on jesus and faith…have i ever talked to you about my feelings on jesus? i was baptized when i was either 11 or 13 (age starts to waver in the past. so does belief).
then, some years later, when i was 18 or 19, i was on a road trip with the family down south and we passed a bad accident in a grassy median where a dead man was laying under a cloth and a very fat woman was grieving wildly near him, police all around. that memory has a blue tint, there was maybe a drizzle, swamp on either side of us. by coincidence aretha franklin was singing something about jesus and i had a moment of insight into the point of jesus. its kind of hard to capture in words but – the willingness to die, to live a life unmired by belongings or even an attachment to life and thus somehow in that life realize the pure purpose of living, to serve and to heal and to love…thats what jesus seemed to me, and i had a deep moment of belief.
i go back and forth on the details, but i very rarely lack faith in the higher calling present in every human being just waiting for a moment to show, and i never doubt the legacy of jesus. i know stories shift with time, but i think the idea that jesus was a flesh and blood child of god is so compelling. that god would try this earth thing out, to gain experience, and even in gaining experience have to set an example of selflessness, of channeling holy gifts, i like that, that appeals to me.
this is all relevant because who is more misunderstood than jesus in the current concept of good and evil? how many people perpetrate low behavior – gossip and greed and oppression and hateration, thinking that they hold the key to holy, quoting jesus on their way? or some other prophet…even if you havent spent a lot of time in the study of jesus, his ideas are great ones, they come through the language of those we look at as visionaries of humanity.
now comes the part where i perhaps am blasphemous – though my general theory is that god is prolly cool with my wanderings and theory so long as i am humble to a higher power, even when i cannot name that power, even when i can’t say its this god or that practice – but i think dave chappelle might be a latest iteration of jesus. there. i said it. no matter who i come across from which walk of life, they all can come together to acknowledge the truth that is dave chappelle. and he, you know, tells it like it is. with humor, but he still tells it.
the other aspect of this is my current desire to release roughly everything that i own and go into the next phase of my life as a simpler person. not that i have a lot now, but the idea of having much less, of giving my books away, and many of my clothes and things. keeping only those things that have sentimental value, only those books i have yet to read. i imagine my next home as just a good mattress on the floor, a pile of books to read next to the bed, a lamp with which to read those books, and the basic clothes i need to get through my life. not much else. my sex toys and necklaces and scarves. a way to write. i am looking at everything i have from the eye of need – do i really need more than two plates, a mug? why do i have 4 cutting boards?
the hard part is my pretty things. i have always had every inch of wall space covered with lovely things. but now, perhaps i am ready for some space, to step away from the constant stimulation, this world of instant constant stuff. not perhaps…i am definitely ready.
i think this started with this recent celebate phase. i talked to a friend recently who is also not doin it, and he said that in a big way its about waiting for more, for better. for so long the idea of being desired has trumped the idea of being respected and beloved. but what occurs to me now is that even that step was part of simplification, that the more i was always seeking is really less, getting to a root of who i am such that i can offer that, as a whole thing, to anyone i want, whenever i want – as opposed to offering a wild and unformed thing to whoever asks…
when i listen to these songs of lauryn’s what i hear is the call to release the material world and simplify. the material world for me has included the bodies of others…interacting with people these last few months not from a lust for them, but from a gratefulness for their existence and curiousity about the lessons they bring into my life has been so eye-opening.
when i think about the work i am going to do with ruckus, and the work i did with the league, and the many partnerships and projects and the organizational development work i do, the theme is always to get to the pure root of what works, what we as people need to survive.
and this is not all to make any parallel between me and jesus, but rather between every person and every prophet. there is a call in each person, i think, to go to the root, which is the common thread, and rise up. the material world is a distraction from that call, and i daresay a distraction from evolving. we create things, we evolve things, rather than evolving our own minds and hearts, our ways of holding each other as sacred beings. the "masses" are easier to comprehend than masses of holy beings on a planet that is itself a holy place, not a forever place, but a temporary miracle – and we get to have an impact on the place.
woah. i always think i am either quite deep or quite simple. or maybe both, simultaneously. maybe one is the door to the other. but i am drawn to lauryn’s idea of crazy, to dave chappelle’s idea of crazy – give your all as a gift, not as an act of ego, and people will definitely question every step. but the steps feel so sure when you are doing what you are called to do. then you can reckon with faith and release.
and on that note – i have 4 hours to sleep before i fly. i am grateful for every lone reader who goes on these little journeys with me…good night!