[Civil Disobedience Training, Cambridge Friends School gym, 2/4/17]

When I’d told an aging activist I was going to a CD training on Saturday he’d snorted: “What’s to learn? You go limp. End of training!”

But I don’t roll that way. If I’m considering something hard, something I’m scared of, I need to do exactly what I did: I need a class. I need to pay money. (Not a lot; $15.) I need to spend five or so hours with other people contemplating the same action. (There were about forty of us.) I need hand-outs. (9 pages, double-sided, no less!) I need lots of Q & A and roll-plays and earnest conversation at lunch. I need to take turns reading quotes about non-violence aloud. I need to contemplate Gene Sharp’s list of 198 methods of non-violent action. And to study a hand-written flow chart explaining what might happen at a civil disobedience event—and my choices at every step. I need to show up.

And now I need to do my homework, the same homework I always do. Which is to ask: What am I called to do? Is getting arrested—and all I now understand will happen to me should I decide to do so— what I am called to do? I’m not clear.

But I do know this. The day after that training, at my Quaker meeting, when asked to give a one-word description of how I was doing, my immediate answer was “Preparing.”

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  1. Dear Patricia,

    Well, hi, there, Patricia, my so, so very For Always awesomely special and dearly precious soul sisterfriend who you’re For Always so, so very much!!!! Wow, I just so, so very much love, enjoy, and appreciate Bill Ramsey’s great comment above about your activism going way back in time and how you are very diligently and conscientiously continuing with your very productively proactive and effective activism, sisterfriend!!!! Wow!!!! Yay!!!!! Sister, wow I am so enjoying, loving, and appreciating liking very much delightfully and eagerly with such blessed joy reading about your latest endeavor with your activism getting civil disobedience training, Patricia!!!! Wow, this is very exciting to read about and I am just so, so very thrilled, overjoyed, and happy that you, dear, dear Patricia, and the absolutely fantastic other people are learning very aptly with this civil disobedience training, my friend!!!! What a great read this spectacular blog post article is for certain and helps me to be even more inspired, emboldened, and uplifted with feeling even better and brighter with even more cheer, Patricia!!!!! Yay!!!!! Sisterfriend, I like reading about what you’re doing here, Patricia. It’s very interesting and fascinating to read all about this and what you are all doing bearing loving witness to what you, Patricia, and the others are doing straight from your very hearts and spirits with all that you all have with all of your very beings. Sister, YOU, Patricia, and each and every one of you have me percolating and percolating in brainstorming about what I can do taking into consideration my limitations being permanently and chronically physically disabled in multiple ways. I wish and I so want to longing to and yearning for with my very, very heart, and with my very, very heart, mind, soul, and spirit with all that I have with all of my very being desire to do so much but I’m so sadly unable to do a lot of what I’d so cherish doing in terms of activism because of my very many permanent and chronic physical disabilities. Sister, I’m a prayer warrior in intercessory prayers praying without ceasing which is something I can definitely do quite a bit with all of my very, very heart, and my very, very heart and spirit, Patricia. It is my very honor, joy, blessing, and pleasure to pray without ceasing and to connect to my activism whenever I am able to do so, Patricia. Patricia, YOU, my so, so very dearest and darling sister and friend, and all of the others are my and our very joy and blessing, and what you all are doing is very vitally and urgently important and necessary helping all of us in our country, society, and world, and my very heart and spirit leapt for such joy just knowing that YOU, sister of mine, Patricia, and the others are out and about trying so hard in doing your very effective activism and advocacy!!!!! I thank-YOU so, Patricia!!!!! I thank-you all so!!!!!

    Sister, I just so love this very applicable to your theme and topic with your very fine and excellent blog post title which perfectly adds to and complements your super article here perfectly accenting your very many great and fine points, Patricia! The picture which you have very graciously and generously featured with your astounding writing here is such a nice addition to your great blog and gives me such a great sense of the very endearing spirit all of you had and shared together at the civil disobedience training. Wow, Patricia, I’m so very glad that you’re doing this and that you are all doing this!!!!! I so, so very much love, enjoy, and appreciate how you have as usual as always featured and included some very interesting and informative links with your stupendous blog post article here which prove to be great reading and food for thought. The great info with these links are very helpful and instrumental in helping me and all of us focus our energies toward greater action in our very resistance, sisterfriend. Sister, I, too, often ask myself, “What am I called to do?” My friend, I really like your one-word answer when you were asked at your Meeting how you’re doing in saying, “Preparing.” What an answer so full of such cool spirit and wisdom here, Patricia, and such a powerful title to your superbly super blog post article here!!!!!

    My friend, I feel even better and brighter with even more cheer after very joyfully reading this awesome blog post article as usual as always being even more emboldened, uplifted, and inspired and in very joyously responding with my very heartfelt, detailed, and thorough thoughts, ideas, and comments, Patricia!!!!! Patricia, YOU are my very inspiration, and each and every one of you are my very inspiration!!!!!! Sister, you help me so, so very much and blessedly with my walk with Spirit and with my activism, Patricia!!!!! Yay for YOU, Patricia!!!!! Yay for our friendship and sisterhood, Patricia!!!!! Yay!!!!!! Please have such a totally terrific and a very thrilling Thursday, sisterfriend, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed, Patricia!!!! Wow, I’m even more renewed, re-energized, reinvigorated, and rejuvenated after the sheer joyous blessing and delight of reading this very moving blog post article of yours and responding with all of my very heart and spirit, sister!!!!! Yay!!!!!! I thank-YOU so, Patricia!!!!! You are my and our very joy and blessing, friend of mine!!!!! Patricia, Spirit so, so very much loves and cherishes YOU, and so do I!!!!! :)!!!!!

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

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

  2. You’re very kind—but I beg to differ. I remember myself as a typical teenager who desperately wanted to be just like everyone else! Not exactly shaking up the status quo. (In some ways, maybe the rest of my life has been all about Do Over!)
    Lovely to hear from you. As always.

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