It is kind of amazing how connected we are able to be despite the ongoing shelter-in-place. Can you imagine how different the current situation would be without all the technological things we are using hourly to stay in touch? Not to mention, how this current civil rights uprising is being spread, documented, championed, furthered?
Today I spent a LOT of time on zoom. A work party with Kim and Kristenin the early hours, a group call with an incredibly sustaining bunch of women, a session with Scrumbly working on a new project he is collaborating on with Cab, a chat with my dad while he waited to be connected to all the folks at the place where he used to live in Oakland, and now waiting to start a Full Moon Circle ritual. I feel a little exhausted by all the socializing but very, very grateful for the capability as well. To spend an hour or so with my dad, just doing nothing, eating my lunch while he ate his dinner, chatting about nothing felt really good.
Saw this quote by Wynton Marsalis today on Wilburn's Insta feed:
"Race is like… for this country it’s like the thing in the story, in the mythology, that you have to do for the kingdom to be well. It’s always something you don’t need to do. And it’s always that thing that’s so much about you confronting your self. It’s tailor-made for you to fail dealing with it.
And the question of your heroism and of your courage and of your success at dealing with this trial is can you confront it with honesty, do you confront it, and do you have the energy to sustain an attack on it. The more we run from it the more we run into it.” - Wynton Marsalis
Made me think a lot about the work of trying to be better. The fear of saying the wrong thing. The awful feeling of shame when you know what to do, you make a mistake (say the racially tinged thing by accident) and how awful that feels. And how hard it is to continue to try… to not just back away.
Feeling grateful (and guilty) that right now, I am not in a place where I am working and might make slip ups in what I say. A rehearsal room where I might accidentally use one of the following phrases: (https://minnesotaplaylist.com/…/phrases-we-should-work-to-e…)
or teaching where in the flow of the lecture I might say the wrong thing, despite my conscious intent to create a room and space of inclusion.
And yet, YET, I know that THAT is where the growth will be. Where change will happen. When we strive to change the last 400 years of patterns and habits, and expunge even our idioms with things that are hurtful to anyone. We have to try, to fail, to learn and get better at being inclusive, empathic, understanding. Learning is most powerful when we SEE where we have made a mistake and recognize the problem, even in our liberal, "woke" selves.
It is work that is imperative for us to undertake, we white-bodied folks, so that this world can actually change. It is not enough to intend... we need to do it, catch ourselves when we slip up, figure out how to work through our own shame and embarrassment, apologize and do better next time. And not get so caught up in worrying about doing wrong that we can't find a way to continue to make art, move mountains, fight the good fight.
So, for myself, I am going to stop being glad that I am safely out of the places that I need to stand up and talk to people, recognize that I am going to make mistakes (and god knows, I have in the past) and I am going to commit to just learning from those mistakes. I know that I have a good empathic radar and often can really sense the change in the energy of a room when something doesn't sit well with people, or when something I have said or done hasn't landed the way I wanted it to. Now, I want to learn how to just say, "Hey, I am sorry. That probably was a crap way to say what I meant. How about this..." and address the moment, acknowledge the slip-up, apologize and fix it. Just fucking fix it. Right then. Rather than leave it, hope no one noticed and beat myself up for it in my head.
I hope that you all are finding ways to recognize the ways that you might work on some of this change. That we find grace and compassion for ourselves as we strive, that we find ways to work through shame enough to actually make a difference.
Be kind to yourselves and rest when you need to. This is a long race and we need to make sure that we don't turn away from the work because we are not caring for ourselves at the same time. It's that old "your oxygen mask first" thing. (Although personally I know that I would have a very hard time actually putting on my mask first.) Probably, that's why I make a point of telling everyone else that... because I need to hear it too. Eat well, drink lots of water, Listen to your words. Amplify those words of those who are telling us exactly what they need from us.
Tonight, I will rest. Orders for Monday should be placed by tonight/tomorrow morning (SF and North Bay delivery). We should have a bunch of Porcini to sell if anyone is interested. $15/half pound.
Sending you all a hug. Virtual for now, but man oh manochevitz, once we can actually hug... be ready! xoxo