one of my favorite things in life is coming up with more adequate, accurate names for things. staff retreats are rarely retreats – are more often working weekends, evaluations and air clearing time, lock-ins, intensives – and hopefully advances.

this weekend we’re having what we’ve called a round-up – which is a fine name, literally attempting to round-up the network of ruckus, which has grown for over 13 years now. but another name for it could be spelunking or excavation. not for people, because no one is sitting in a cave waiting to be found. but more for the history, the stories, the patterns, the experiments from years ago, and from now. a staff can only know so much, and hear so much – there is a world of experiences out there in the network, and beyond, that are part of the ruckus story, and will determine where we go in the future.

we are two days in, with two days to go, and so far my mind is just blown by getting to see people in new ways, know people better, understand that the learning and growing never ends, and feeling more and more confident that we are poised to be in one of the best places we have ever been.

in other news, watching obama come into office is giving me moments of relief and moments of clarity. lifting the ban on international funding to groups that offer abortions = relief. the strikes on pakistan = clarity. the movements against militarized foreign and domestic policy have to be stronger than ever in this moment, if we hope to see any of the shift in international opinion of u.s. power and intentions. if we continue to value annihilation over negotiation, we only increase the very thing we claim to want to end – terror between peoples and nations.