a big day, and an even bigger birthday for grace lee boggs

deliriously tired – what a day!

today i premiered my facilitation for truth and reconciliation workshop and it was so deep and enjoyable the feedback was wonderful, i can see how to improve and extend it, and am starting to be looped into a new world of folks who share an interest in this way of applying the ideas of truth and reconciliation to every day life.

then ran around like crazy until the closing keynote, which featured nada elia and andy smith and myself as speakers on ACTION. they were incredible, i was just laughing and smiling and moved. then naomi got up to report on the kids track – she was very serious about being on stage, seeing backstage, and having the mic at the right height. i actually got tears in my eyes at the work they’d been up to – creating a zine and going on outdoor learning experiences. diana show-n-telled about the media track outcomes, at which point someone walked in with a massive antennae created during the conference. jenny talked about the new components forming, including a spanish language track and an indigenous track! things ended in a cypher that was a chance for all the artists in the room to reflect on the weekend.

while the cypher was still happening i had to run out of the keynote and get to the start of the ussf planning meeting, which lasts from now until tuesday. it’s going to be good solid work. we’re using all kinds of high tech and low tech tools, and it is great to work with this facilitation team to help hold the space for organizers from all over the country to set a shared political context and plan for greater impact than an event.

tonight i got to attend grace lee bogg’s 94th birthday celebration – this one was even bigger than the first, by about 500 people, one of whom was danny glover. and once again shea put me on the spot to sing happy birthday and once again i was overjoyed :) the room was packed and hot and happy. people spoke about the massive impact grace has had on their lives, smiles and applause and singing and stories abounded, and it was really a convergence of my detroit folks and the ussf family and the beautiful spent amc folks. as well as my sister and my completely enthralling nephew, who was in total meltdown mode. we spent much of the time going up and down stairs.

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the one shadow over my weekend is that i responded publicly to someone who chose an inappropriate time, space and approach to indirectly attack someone i love, and cast doubt on the AMC process for planning the keynote. you know when someone is trying to say something that’s on point, but does it in a way that tears someone down instead of lifting everyone’s consciousness up? generally, i care enough to have compassion for people who act in divisive ways, and can at least ignore them. my ego as a conference organizer who had poured so much time and energy into pulling the event off got fluffed up. it’s back down now, and the shadow is gone.

***

my nephew has been the most incredible thing about this weekend. he has come to almost every single space with me and my sister, and he is an amazing and lively and intelligent spirit. he figures things out right before my eyes, has no fear, can easily let go of something bad if something better comes along, and is simply more interesting that adults to me. the weight of him is sacred, his furnace heat when he falls to sleep to lullabies is like sunlight, he has golden hair with a little afro-kitchen up the back, and when he smiles i start laughing uncontrollably.

i have so much respect for his mother, my sister. the level of attention and creative energy that he demands is unlike any other job i have even done, even temporarily. her commitment to radical mothering is fierce! yay to all mothers :)

ok now my eyes are literally crossed. off to bed!

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