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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in political action

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
ONE TERM prezzy-DENT

There are three things I've learned never to discuss with people:

religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.


(Linus von Pelt)

 

You may remember the chant from the demos following the last presidential election here in the States:

 

NOT MY presi-DENT!

(clap-clap clap-clap-clap)

NOT MY presi-DENT!

(clap-clap clap-clap-clap)

 

As chants go, it's really pretty good: focused, succinct, a nice alternation of verbal and non-verbal, words and percussion. And it certainly beats Hey hey! Ho ho! — — has got to go!

Unfortunately, they were wrong. If you're an American, the Troll-in-Chief is your president.

But it doesn't have to stay that way.

So I'm choosing to look on that chant, not as a statement of fact, but as a prediction which we know—and may it be sooner rather than later—will eventually come true.

So, riffing off the old chant, here's the new one that I'll be chanting:

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Staying Power

I took a few days off from the world so I could stay in it for the next few  decades. Many things have happened in the last month, that have pushed me off my center, upset the balance of my emotions. I was interviewed on June 10th about my work with AIDS as an activist and as the executive director for Delaware’s main AIDS/HIV organization in the 80s and early 90s. It was like a war zone during those years. One year I attended the funerals of 65 friends, I stopped going to funerals for many years. The memories opened old wounds. Then the massacre of LGBTQ people in Orlando happened. I have friends and personal connections there. I am also a Cuban that’s been in the US since fleeing Cuba in 1961, that was woven into my experience of the massacre as well. In addition to my own distress, I had to put on the clergy hat and be available for others who needed comfort and support. And all of this in the midst of a horrible election cycle, more tragedies for people of color, more glaring examples of rape culture, more bigotry against trans people, crises in the lives of my community members, internecine conflicts in my broader spiritual communities, and more. Then I was treated poorly by people that I have helped often. I shrugged it off, reminding myself that when you try to free an animal from a trap it is just as likely to bite you as to bless you when you help it.The last straw was the report of a father unwilling to pick up his son’s body for burial because his son was gay. I was thrown away by my parents when I was 18. I was done.

I knew I was in trouble. I tried to arrange a meeting to unburden myself with a friend, but didn't manage to call her. I started re-reading the Stoic philosophers, usually a bad sign for me. I doubled my meditative practices. It wasn’t enough. Most people tell me they experience me as perennially helpful, engaged, kind, and patient. Moment to moment I was flipping the Janus faced coin of incandescent rage and ice-bound sadness. I put away my cell phone, turned off my wifi, cancelled everything I could, and stayed home. I listened to music, read fiction, worked in the garden, hugged my husband, played with our dogs, and did not try to explain myself to anyone. My Jim, answered the land line, dealt with people who showed up at the door, warned off people that wanted to be helpful, and gave me the space I needed. This is not the first time that I have taken a break from the world nor will it be my last. It is the first time I am telling people of my struggles and why I drop off the grid. I intend to stay in the world and to stay on target with my work for many, many years. I’m back again, until I take another needed retreat from the world in several years. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Holli Emore
    Holli Emore says #
    love and gentle calm to you
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Brigit's balm, my friend.
  • Jae Sea
    Jae Sea says #
    It's so important to allow the space, uncrowded, to flow. I'm here for you. Hugs & Love.
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Holding you, my brother. Always. I spoke your name to the Midsummer Moon at PSG and prayed a prayer of peace and justice, but abov

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Yesterday Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party dropped the writ to announce the beginning of an eleven-week election campaign.  It will be one of the longest campaigns in Canadian history.  Without getting into a very long litany of what I believe to be the sins of the Canadian federal Conservative Party, I will say that for the first time in my life, I am working as a volunteer in a political campaign.  I have given my support to the party most likely to defeat the Conservative party in my riding.  I have volunteered to cold-call people on the phone; something I have to work up considerable courage to do.  I have volunteered to write press releases.  I have folded little paper fans as promotional materials.  I am doing this because I am angry and because I believe that supporting the party I've chosen to is our best chance for change.

In the meantime, I have also pleaded with Athena for the victory of my chosen party, and I am lending my magickal skills to the task.

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We take Samhaintide seriously here in the southern highlands of Appalachia.  There are rituals and ceremonies, discussions and interviews.  I am blessed to live in the land where my Ancestors lie buried and so I also have the sacred duty of tending their graves in the Darkening of the year.

Then there is the garden to put to bed and there were festivals and cons to attend and so I have been called away from here for some time. I will try to be more faithful to this writing as the Solstice vigil fires are set and fed, and as the winter lingers in the land.

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