06 August 2009

Impetuous Thunderstrokes of Summoning

... Recognition- a noticing, accepting, anOther loving something in us that's personal, individual- something we can believe- should be somewhere on Maslow's pyramid, maybe after food & breath. ...DOES love include Recognition?

Thanks, Pam.

I sat up late writing through the most recent waxing moon. One night it was an excellent interview of Tim Wise in the July issue of The Sun that sparked me. I wrote for hours with the intention of transcribing it here; but when I looked at it by the light of day through rested eyes there wasn't much there worth transcribing.

Wise's candor and humility are inspiring. His descriptions of White privilege, unacknowledged or denied by many made me think of shadow --- light reveals it. The metaphor resonated so strongly that I couldn't go to sleep.

By the end of the interview, there was no doubt in my mind: I have to change the title of my workshop. "Final Conversations on Race in America"?

I wanted [people] to talk about race ...with a depth of honesty, humility and willingness previsouly unknown to allow this to be the final conversation. ...That day will come but it is not here yet. To focus on putting the conversation behind us misses the point. It is the quality of the conversation that will make the difference. "Final" points us in the wrong direction.
Wise's honesty helped me to trust what I hear in my heart and see in my life and to believe in it. I had been only going through the motions with the workshop plan until that night.

I also realized the components of the workshop are not in the correct sequence. My objective was clearer to me after reading the interview. A trio of themes to guide our work for seven days emerged and I knew the sequence of exercises and activities had to be rearranged to support and facilitate fluid comprehension--and engaging exploration-- of the themes .

When I can hear and see and believe my life, I feel energized. ...I serve the world better ...the Work benefits. This is sounding dangerously similar to "hope" which sometime in the past I decided was not something I "did". Maybe that is changing, too.

The question was "Am I talking about Hope when I talk about hearing, seeing and believing?" A good question.

Pam's comment on the previous SITC post contains a good question: "When I talk about Recognition, am I talking about Love?" Actually her question is "Does Love include Recognition?" and the answer is "Absolutely!" at least it is a given in my yearning/criteria for loving partnership. It must. It must.....

Which is probably why I've been in so few loving partnerships.

Someone can say to me "I love you." If you can see me and you say these words, that is one thing. If you cannot see me, you are talking to yourself. You are telling yourself what you want to believe. It's masturbatory. Is that a word?

You can devote yourself to my happiness. Buy me things. Listen to my songs and my rants. You can tell me the truth. Bring me soup when I'm sick. Loan me your car. Have sex with only me. Live with me for 30 years.

If you can't see me, I feel like a ghost. The Invisible Woman.

Or like an animal in a zoo. Or a lion tamer.

Does Recognition include Love?

One true answer: I would hope so but I won't complain if it doesn't.

Another true answer: Recognition and Love are synonyms.

One more true answer (drawn from the poem): Maybe. What's essential is that you have savored a notion of me, thought my name for a long, long time. And so I am deeply familiar to you when we meet. And I can see it in your eyes. And it makes me feel precious to myself.


The answer to the other question is "Yes. Hearing, seeing and believing is as close as I come to having Hope." It is an awakened, excited, meditative state. Staying awake is the goal. I wouldn't put a "Keep Hope Alive" or "Believe in Hope" bumper sticker on my car (if I had one) but I print "Staying Awake" on my business cards sometimes. I can't say hopeful; but I am staying awake and I will leave a light on for you...

Hearing and seeing are also a part of Recognition. In the poem, the poet is recognized; is there mutual recognition? Yes, the poet correctly perceives the Beloved, not as a God on a distant cloud, but as the one here now, with whom self-disclosure and recognition are simultaneous events. Perhaps not impetuous Divine thunderstrokes, but there is thunder in the encounter.

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