Hold ON!


[Flag Football Game, Yauch Park, Brooklyn, NY, November, 2016]

We’re deep into it, aren’t we? Joanna Macy’s “Great Turning”? I, mother of Hope, choose to believe we are. (Can I get an Amen, Pantsuit Nation?) Yet clearly, painfully, horrifically, we’re smack-dab in the middle of The Power That Be’s resistance to this revolutionary change! Some days that blowback breaks your heart, right? Like Standing Rock? Sweet Jesus!

As a woman of faith, deeply connected to and sustained by people and organizations dedicated to social justice, to peace, to saving the planet, “deep in my heart, I do believe, that we shall overcome.” Some day.  I do. The centre can hold.* I know this is in my bones.

Yet. But: There are moments, headlines re women wearing hijabs or transgender women of color attacked, a picture of a swastika or the N-word scrawled on a wall, and I sink into either numbing sadness—or Mama Bear rage!

Saturday, in that numbed-sad state, I saw the highly—and rightfully—acclaimed “Manchester By The Sea,”  a film about white, straight men. Not my favorite demographic, post-election. (With notable exceptions.)

Two things: Some glancing momentsome barely-seen image, some bit of dialogue, how some actor held his shoulders or pronounced a certain word; something very brief yet, apparently, triggering flashed on the screen to instantly produce a deep, neglected, abandoned sadness to well up. I was in tears, inexplicable tears; I had no words, no label, no flavor, no scent, no memory to attach to those tears. What I had, though, was boundless gratitude for whoever had written/produced/acted/lit that moment. Some white male, no doubt. Because I suddenly knew that my neglected and abandoned sadness had been experienced by someone else. Thank you, Ken Lonergan. Thank you, Matt Damon. Thank you, ancient Greeks!

And how cathartic to sob on behalf of those straight, white males! It felt good. It felt right. It felt like their anguish just might allow me to look at my present, Mama Bear rage and to imagine—maybe—letting a little compassion in. Maybe.

*William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.






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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hello, there, Patricia, my so, so very For Always very, very special and precious soul sisterfriend who you’re for Always so, so very much!!!!! Sister, WOW, here!!!!! What a very deeply profound, absolutely beautiful with such depth and deep meaning blog post article this is here of yours, Patricia!!!!!! Wow!!!!!! I thank-you so, so much for how you have as usual as always included and featured in this very fine and excellent blog post article some very helpful and relevant links here, my so, so very dearest friend. What brilliantly empowering words from our Joanna Macy’s, Great Turning, from her 2005 talk. She was so right! It is very much indeed an incredible time to be alive!!!!! I, too, along with you mother of Hope and with Hope say a very hearty Amen as I know the awesome other people of the Pantsuit Nation would say as well, sister! Revolutionary change is very much indeed taking place and we are facing resistance and blowback from the Power That Be, sisterfriend. I am just horrified, outraged, and appalled at the vile maltreatment the beautiful Sioux Tribe at Standing Rock are receiving, Patricia!!!!! My heart is just breaking and aching for these so very dear people!!!!!! My paternal great-grandfather was a Native American from the Blackfeet tribe who was partnered with my black great-grandmother. As a black woman I have some Native American ancestry, sister. My family was very secretive about our Native American connection. Gosh, Patricia, I wish that I knew more about this!!!!!! All I remember is that when I was about 10 or 11 my father said that he wanted to talk to me. All he said was that my and my two older brothers’ paternal great-grandfather was from the Blackfeet tribe. Then my father got up from the chair he was sitting in next to me and walked away with no more details and no more of a discussion or an explanation! I remember when I was a toddler that I noticed how straight my paternal grandfather’s hair was not with the tight curl of an afro but his hair was very straight. I was sternly told not to keep asking!!!!! Sister, I signed this great petition to help the so very dear people here. I even filled out the form with all of my information to connect my phone call to President Obama in order to seek his help urgently for the so very dear and splendid Sioux Tribe at Standing Rock. For some reason I was unable to connect my phone call to our President Obama. I filled out the my information on the form right. I don’t know what’s wrong and why I wasn’t able to connect my phone call to him! I tried so, so very hard to get this to work-I don’t know what’s wrong, sisterfriend!!!!! Oh, well!!!!!!:(!!!!!!!!.

    Sister, I, too, along with you am a woman of faith and I truly believe with all that I have with all of my very being that deep in my heart we will overcome when we do not lose heart in keeping our very faith and courage now and For Always, Patricia!!!!! I’m with you, sisterfriend!!!!! I am highly alarmed at the news headlines of the even greatly increased hate crimes against targeted groups of people since that evil man won the election for President!!!!! I can barely even say his name, my friend. I have pulled out of numbing sadness and have been blessed with a healing balm from Spirit to encourage, inspire, and embolden me towards action with Mama Bear rage like you, too, against the heinous injustice taking place, Patricia! This is OUR COUNTRY, TOO, and we can resist and enact our very agency and empowerment in co-creating together greater justice, equity, and fairness for all!!!!! We can for sure make noise and let our voices and our very power be seen, heard, acknowledged, and recognized, Patricia!!!!! Wow!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!

    Sister, I so, so very much understand and appreciate your great words about white men and your positioning in all of this as such a right on, wondrously wonderful white woman, friend, sister, anti-racist and anti-all oppressions ally in the very great spirit and solidarity, Patricia!!!!! Yay!!!!!! I’m so, so very moved in my very heart and spirit by how you were so moved in your very heart and spirit by this acclaimed film, “Manchester By The Sea,” and the inspiring performances by the great actors in this film. I think of myself and how I have healed and continue to heal over all of these years with the sometimes discomfort I had felt toward white men. I definitely didn’t have nearly as much discomfort toward white men as a lot of other black persons and other nonwhite persons who are nonblack do but I did have some feelings of being ill at ease with some white men. I have had some bad experiences which I’ve endured and experienced from white men but also from some other men in general definitely including a lot of black men as well like with sexual abuse, physical abuse, and other abuse in all of its forms from these people, sister!!!!!! I just know in my very, very heart, and in my very, very heart, mind, soul, and spirit that white men and white boys are human beings, too, and they are our Spirit God’s children, too, and I love them as my brothers and children of our Good God. Wow, sister, I have sure healed over all of these years and my anger and discomfort has waned over very, very many years!!!!! It is very important to look at the very humanity and dignity of white men and white boys and in always realizing, acknowledging, and recognizing that they are human beings, too, and that they are God’s children, too, as our brothers! I’m with you here, sister, and am letting compassion in, Patricia!!!!! Sister, the way I For Always think, feel, believe, say, and do in my very, very heart, and in my very, very heart, mind, soul, and spirit, YOU, Patricia, and other wondrously wonderful white women are my very, very heart, and also my very, very heartsblood, and my very, very lifesblood as white women, and I think so, so very highly of YOU, my friend, and other so, so very precious and special white women as the great people you are inside with such goodness inside as people. YOU, Patricia, and other white women are by far my favorites among white people and I have by far more of a comfort zone with you all as white women among white people, and each and every one of you as white women are also my very favorites among all people in general being my very, very heart, and also my very, very heartsblood, and my very, very lifesblood!!!!! Even with the sometimes racism I have experienced it has only been some of the time and I have by far had many more loving, caring, heartwarming, and pleasant experiences with white women who have been very loving, caring, friendly, and kind towards me and valued me as a person, sister!!!!! I have all of my life had great friendships in sisterhood with white women like with YOU, sister, and with my local white sisterfriends, and I have been in interracial lesbian relationships with white women, Patricia, and I pray, hope, and wish to be in again with a very special white woman someday again. Wow!!!!! Yay!!!!! Yay yay yay yay!!!!!

    Sister, the poem which you have featured by our great William Butler Yeats is perfect here, absolutely perfect, and is very applicable to the great theme and topic of your brilliant, absolutely brilliant, blog post article here, Patricia!!!!!! The title of your spectacular blog post article is just marvelous here with the great picture which you have featured and included here perfectly adding to and complementing your astounding article here!!!!!! Sister, I For Always feel even better and brighter with more cheer after reading your very insightful, inspiring, and enlightening blog post articles with such blessed joy, and responding joyously with my very heartfelt, detailed, and thorough thoughts, ideas, and comments!!!!! Patricia, YOU are my and our very joy and blessing, and so are all of your remarkable blog post articles, other great writings and books, and all you do so, so very well in such very fine and excellent fashion, sister!!!!! Yay for YOU, Patricia!!!!! Yay for all of your magnificent blog post articles, other great writings and books, and for all you do!!!!! Yay for our friendship and sisterhood, Patricia!!!!!! Yay yay yay yay!!!!!!

    Sisterfriend, please have a wondrously wonderful Wednesday, rest of your week and weekend ahead, and may all of your very days be so, so very especially blessed!!!!! I thank God continually for YOU and as to how you greatly and immensely bless and help me with my walk with Jesus as my so, so very For Always awesome soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker woman, Patricia!!!!! I thank-you so!!!!! Spirit so, so very much loves and cherishes you, Patricia, and so do I!!!!!!!:)!!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very For Always awesome soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you’re For Always so, so very much, Patricia, with Such Very Peace and Love To You For Always, sister of mine, and with Such Blessings and Such Very Even More Blessings To You For Always, friend of mine, Patricia,

    Yours For Always soul sisterfriend Christian black woman and For Always in the very great spirit and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa

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