student self

this week i get to be a student again. it’s always part of what’s happening, i am always learning. there are teachers everywhere…and then there are those moments when you explicitly get to sit in a room and say ‘i don’t know’, or, ‘i can’t hold this’. in this room, i get to not know, to ask, to furiously scribble down things my teachers say, to let go of time, to trust the container to hold us, to even hold me.

i don’t know how to expand time the way i want.

i don’t know how to love without obsessing over future grief.

i don’t know if i can be any less selfish and complete my mission.

does everyone think of themselves as a microcosm of the planet?

is it a privilege to feel? is it the most universal human experience to feel? both at the same time?

what is enough?

what do we deserve? why does the creator give us so much more than that?

why is it so easy to see the miraculous in others, and so hard to see it in myself? thank goddess i can feel more than i’ll ever see.

this week it’s my birthday and i gave myself the gift of returning to my student self. i feel happy and loved and connected and abundant and there’s nothing i need that isn’t in reach, and i can still learn so much more.

chimamandagate

this morning as i was catching up on chimamandagate i found myself feeling a ton of gratitude to trans, gender nonconforming and nonbinary people who have stayed with me through my unlearning process,
through my misgendering them, trying to argue grammar (even though in nearly every other instance i dismiss grammar rules and all other rules),
through my defensive reactions (“but half my lovers are trans/gnc i couldn’t be transphobic”),
through my feelings of scarcity around my womanhood and women’s spaces,
through delicate/scary conversations around transracial vs transgender journeys,
through my unrequested advice or protection,
through my absence when support was needed.
through my fascination and curiosity,
through my putting them on pedestals,
through my forgetting them in spaces where they needed inclusion and/or centering.
and through my fumbling love.

i wish i could say each of these lessons took me hours to learn, but some of it has taken days, weeks, years – sometimes i never made it back to thank the teachers of specific lessons, especially the ones that were hard.

and i am still unlearning.

and i am still grateful.

the hour for making

do you have a special time when you are at your most creative?

i have tried and tried to set my creative hour during the daytime, but no matter what i do, i find that it’s not til the sun goes down that the world is quiet enough for me to really get into my creative process.

for 2011 i am in a process of opening and learning and questioning.

the last phase of my life was in many ways defined by trying to know more than i could possibly know, in part because i was a young executive director, in part because it’s hard to make the distinction between facilitation and leadership and often in my effort to support transformation through facilitation, i would find myself in a position of leadership. it didn’t fall on me, i took it on…but when i think about shifts i want to make in my life, a major one is learning to hold the boundaries of facilitation more carefully, and explore what facilitative leadership and collective leadership really means.

this is challenging for an introvert virgo with a wild side, but i am committed.

one part of this practice is continuously putting myself in situations where i know, and everyone else around me knows, i am not an expert.

a second part of this practice is approaching the world with curiosity and questions and an eagerness to learn – rather than my default judgments and criticisms. it’s so much easier for me to make time to critique than to create, but i know when i make the choice to create it is more powerful than any old tired critiques.

part three is getting my house in order. i do this often, and it always liberates my mind from clutter. little improvements – getting the bookshelf i needed, the butter dish, rearranging things to be more instinctual – release my mind from obstacles and worry.

and the fourth part is what has me up so late: creating. tamara warren said, as many other wise writers have said, write every day. so i am writing, or creating art, every day. nothing i create fits into the hour i set aside for it, the creation time stretches for hours and i have to make way for it, move my reasoning self out of the way so a story can really emerge from me.

and then i feel awake, and alive, and unfinished – like there is a reason for all that i feel and think.

what is your hour for making?