It Begins


[Deck Chair from the Titanic, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, Nova Scotia]

Friday night I went to the Huntington Theater to see “Bedroom Farce.” (I have season tickets; that’s why.) And noticed, as the audience filed in, that the elderly man seated in front of me had dropped his program when he’d sat down. So I reached under his seat and handed it to him. Ceremoniously. With person-to-person eye contact and a warm smile. As if to say without words, “Hello” and “I see you” and “I assume you are in pain. I share it.” This random moment felt weirdly familiar; “When did I experience this intentional, ceremonial, stranger-to-stranger kindness before?” I wondered.

And remembered: “Of course! The days immediately following 9/11. When we were all tender and careful with one another.” Remember?

Here’s where I am six days after the election: Given Trump’s alt-right agenda, simply being kind, as critically vital as that is, might not be enough. Hugging our friends, connecting with family, reaching out, as heartening as that is, might not be enough. Wearing a safety pin, without clarity—and a plan—as to what that symbol of solidarity actually asks of us, might not be enough.

What will? What am I called to do? My anxious heart and not-centered behavior at times tell me that I am still too disheartened to be able to discern.

Meanwhile, as I struggle, I hug my loved ones.  I write notes on my best stationery. I have tea with people I’d lost touch with. I become friends on Facebook with my next-door neighbor, a woman I’d scarcely talked to. And take enormous comfort from this Scripture quoted by Hillary Clinton in her concession speech: “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Well, hi, there, Patricia, my so, so very For Always precious and special soul sisterfriend who you’re For Always so, so very much!!!!! Wow, sister, what a beautiful, absolutely beautiful, very inspirational and uplifting blog post article here as usual as always, my friend!!!!! Wow, I had been so saddened that the evil man won the election for President. I had been up all night holding on to thin hope that some sort of miracle would happen and that he wouldn’t win. Even when the announcement that he had won came between 1:30A.M. and 2:00A.M. Central Time my time I still could not fully grasp it all, Patricia! Writing to you, my so, so very dearest and darling friend and sister that morning really helped me to settle down. I had had a sick feeling in my stomach for a few days and found it hard to follow the news so I tried to avoid it. Then I awakened on Saturday morning and felt that I was able to tune in on the news again more often. I felt a healing inside, such a healing balm from Spirit that very much indeed Spirit is in Charge, and Spirit is the Final Authority, and not that Donald Trump!!!!!!! I just so, so very much loved, appreciated, and enjoyed our Hillary’s speech and the quote from Scriptures which she very wisely used that you have also with such sagacity used at the brilliant conclusion of your very fine and excellent blog post article, Patricia. I had just by divine coincidence been thinking the same thing that we as a people must never ever give up and lose heart, sister. We as a people have experienced and endured oppressive Presidents before and other governmental and political leaders and survived, and we will do so again. We can continue to resist in enacting our very agency and empowerment with all of our very many progressive movements with such productively proactive action, sister!!!!! We are going to make it somehow someway and God is there for us for certain, sisterfriend!!!!! Wow!!!!! Yay!!!!!! It is wondrously wonderful white women like YOU, friend and sister of mine, Patricia, and other marvelous white persons who are my absolutely awesome white anti-racist allies and also my LGBT ally with me being a lesbian black woman, and an ally to me as a disabled woman with multiple physical and even other disabilities, and my ally as an indigent woman being even an ally for me in a myriad of ways with me being a member of many oppressed groups!!!!! Thank-you so, Patricia!!!!! Wow!!!!! Yay!!!!! Yay for YOU, Patricia!!!!! Yay for our sisterhood and friendship, Patricia!!!!! Yay!!!!!!

    Sister, I just love and so, so very much enjoy the very endearing and delightful story here with how you picked up the elderly man’s program which he had dropped in giving it to him, making real person-to-person eye contact with such a warm smile, Patricia! You, sisterfriend, acknowledged him with your “Hello” and let him know that you see him, that you think he may be in pain and that you share that pain. Sister, I do this a lot when I am in public. I smile at people and say hello to people even people I do not know if Spirit leads me to do so. Often I reach out to white people and smile making eye contact with a very loving and warm “Hi” or “Hello”, very, very especially for white women because as I For Always say YOU, my friend, and other white women I so, so very much love and cherish, and you and other wondrously wonderful white women are my very, very heart, and also my very, very heartsblood, and my very, very lifesblood as the black woman who I am, and I think so, so very highly of you and other very, very precious and special white women. I give a warm “Hi” and “Hello” to white men at times. It is very important for me that marvelous white persons know that I am a black woman coming from a sweetly loving place in my very heart and spirit toward white people, and that I so yearn to reach out across racial lines, and that I as the black woman who I am do not come from an angry and a bitter place, and that I am friendly, safe, and an open black woman, sister! When I go to the bank, or shop at grocery stores and at other stores, I am always very friendly to the bank tellers and the cashiers in the stores, and in other areas where I am conducting business, my friend. Sister, I remember the wave and rush of love in our very special, precious, beloved, and blessed country right after 9/11 as well. I know what you mean here.

    Patricia, I think for white persons to wear a safety pin to show their allyship and solidarity is fine as long as the necessary clarity and plan are being initiated by the white persons as you suggest here. You are so right here, Patricia. It is very vitally urgent, necessary, and important for splendid white people as allies in solidarity to not just be on the sidelines but to be very definite and intentional in their anti-racism work in such a very productively proactive manner. I think that it is perfectly okay, alright, normal, and natural for you, my sister, and for other spectacular white people to be imperfect along your very understandably imperfect lifetime’s path an journey. Just trying is the key, and to use one of the slogans I love from very, very many of my multiple 12-Step Programs I am a member of Progess, not perfection, is the most important thing here and the key. I have such the utmost and complete confidence in you, my sisterfriend, and in other so very cool full of spirit white people, and I am here for each and every one of you very eagerly and delightfully rooting for all of you, and I have your back, and all of you can count on me to have such a sweet love and patient understanding as you go along your way toward your anti-racism as allies, and also as LGBT allies, and allies in general, sister!!!!! I see such potential for such positive and actual great good in you, Patricia, and in other astounding white people, and I so love you all as our Sweet Spirit’s children and my sisters and brothers!!!!! I love so how you ask yourself, “What will? What am I called to do?” You are trying so hard and so much in such a very diligently conscientious manner, Patricia!!!!! I ask myself the same questions. I’m just thrilled, overjoyed, and so, so very happy that you are connecting as you usually do anyway at this hard time with your dearest and darling loved ones, writing lovely notes on your pretty stationery, having tea with persons you’d lost touch with, and becoming friends on Facebook with your next-door neighbor who you don’t know as well yet. Wow, sister, it is just great to make these connections with people reaching out spirit to spirit and heart to heart as Spirit guides us!!!!! I try to reach out to with local friends and with awesome you, Patricia, and on all sorts of social media!!!!!! Wow!!!!! What a great joy and such a blessing for sure!!!!!

    Patricia, I so love, appreciate, and enjoy all of the great links which you have very graciously and generously featured with this remarkable blog post article of yours!!!! I look at the Viva Snail Mail pages with the art and craft of paper correspondence just delighting in the Small Postman butterfly. It is truly lovely and delightful here as the Winged Postman. The story about this gorgeous butterfly is just very interesting and fascinating here, Patricia!!!! Wow, I thank-you for this!!!!! Wow, the Vermeer Mail picture is just absolutely grand here. Your observation and comment here about this lovely woman reading in the picture I just like a whole bunch here, sister! She is lovely enveloped in embracing light for sure! The title for this magnificent blog post article along with the perfectly placed picture with it is just perfect here, amazingly perfect, and is quite applicable to your great theme and topic in this very fine and excellent article here, Patricia! I’m just very happy that you have revisited here with our creative genius, Naomi Shihab Nye, with her superb poem here!!!! I remember awhile back that you very nicely included a poem by this very fine person! What a nice touch her poem brings to your very enlightening, inspirational, and insightful blog post article here, Patricia!!!!! Wow!!!! Yay!!!!!

    Wow, I For Always feel even better, brighter, and have more cheer after reading your very full of grace and spirit blog post articles, books, and other great writings with all you do so, so very well, Patricia, and responding with my very heartfelt, detailed, and thorough thoughts, ideas, and comments!!!!! I so look forward to your full of such beautiful with such descriptive clarity blog post articles, Patricia!!!!! YOU are my and our very, very joy and blessing, and I thank God continually for YOU, Patricia!!!!! Wow!!!!! Yay!!!!! Yay for YOU, Patricia!!!!! Yay for our sisterhood and friendship, Patricia!!!!!! Yay!!!!! Spirit so loves and cherishes you, Patricia, and so do I!!!!! Please have a totally terrific and a very thrilling Tuesday evening, wondrously wonderful rest of your week and weekend ahead, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed!!!!! Yay yay yay yay!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very For Always awesome soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker white woman, Patricia, with Such Very Peace and Love To You For Always, my friend, and with Such Very Blessings and Such Very More Blessings To You For Always, my so, so very dear sister,

    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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