Monthly Archive for February, 2009

crazy, in chicago

Im sitting in the airport – chicago o’hare. Been here before, will be here again. On my way to lovely TN, where its only snowing on the mountain I am going to.

For some reason, breakdowns and trauma have been on my mind a lot. Not a mystery reason actually, im prepping for a year long program called somatics and social justice, which is a study of how trauma stores in the body, and how using the body as living metaphor for social justice movement might open up some lessons on how to heal our meta-trauma. I think, something like that. I am very excited to delve into it, I feel like lately I have been so deeply aware of trauma in my work. Traumatized people wanting to respond to this psychotic repressed society we live in, the trauma that manifests/develops in the dynamics of groups of humans trying to do something meaningful together.

So sitting here, the acoustic live version of ‘crazy’, by gnarls barkley, came on. The first line is “I remember when, I remember I remember when I lost my mind; there was something so pleasant about that place. Even your emotions have an echo in that much space.” Tears came to my eyes, and a memory of sitting on a couch, years ago, with a dear friend. She sat with me as I stared off into space, post breakdown. That was over 5 years ago now, before I got caught up in the first year of the League, and having my name on a book, and giving speeches at colleges. In that moment of total breakdown, I faced my own nothingness, and the pointlessness of the majority of life, work, talk, time. It was both devastating and a great relief. It was scary, dark, completely unknown. And it also depersonalized some of the things that had happened to me (and things to come). It made me temporarily less concerned about what other people thought, about anything. I let go, went away mentally, and then physically. And I found, within myself, a little tiny undeniable light. Not a cause or an answer or a clarity or a purpose, just a light. It coexisted with the reality that the world is ridiculous, petty, violent, greedy and pointless. It was as holy a thing as I have ever experienced.

Still its not the light that brought the tears to my eyes just now. Something about Cee-Lo’s voice on this live version, when he speaks of that pleasant place of losing one’s mind – it feels more honest than daily life. I have been reimagining darkness lately, as we’re such a white/light-tilted culture. And yet the darkness of mourning, war, violence, pain, scandal, waiting, confusion, corruption…that’s the human experience. If that darkness is a womb, where we learn without understanding, believe in our existence being real because its the only experience we know (and by that I mean we know not death), then all that darkness and struggle is possibly our sustenance, what we consume on our path towards the light.

Perhaps we are all unborn, and some of us know it.

The song makes me smile for myself, and for all the people who know that place. It reminds of the peace that comes with surrendering to the dark and imperfect world, the humbling silliness of trying to move light in and thru that darkness, the sweet perspective its given me to have stepped away into that dark and come back.

Everything matters, or nothing does, and irregardless it is more satisfying to increase magic, wonder, pleasure, happiness and acceptance in this world than to create destruction and pain.

In more secular news, I just forgot to use my gift card after going out of my way to come to this particular restaurant because I had a gift card. I did that at a store last month. Gift cards only work 80% for me.

And now, off to the knoxville, the League retreat, and the snowy Highlander hill!

forgetting to write

what a lovely weekend it’s been. we did a series of no less than 6 birthday events for my sweetheart – that was nice. i’m getting more confident in the girlfriend role.

i’m heading to highlander tomorrow for a few days with the League. I’ll be there with my facilitator hat on, but realized today that I will also be the Old Guard in the room, the person present who was there closest to the beginning of the experiment. this is a special thing, as i reflect on the ruckus gathering we just had, and the old guard in that room, some of whom were 12 and 13 years into the process of community, carrying so much.

at the league, like any good non-profit experience, I had moments of feeling absolute wonder and completion as a youngish person working there, building it up; and I had moments of vase-throwing frustration during which I swore I’d never be associated with it again. i’ve never been involved with a group where such ups and downs didn’t occur. as i get older perhaps i will remember this, and remind others, we are all learning as we go.

life is longer than strife. so here i go, delving deeply back into the mission, vision, organizational dynamics of the league. as always, an amazing group of people are convening, and we’ll be at highlander which is very exciting. and i get to work with anasa troutman, who is just a delightful individual and brilliant organizational mind.

so now am immersed in the huge pre-trip to do list! laundry, clean-up, pack, call, send out communications, etc!