2 thoughts on “Friday Advent Conversation

  1. Lindsay

    Something I have been wrestling with for over a week…as the claws of despair have dug themselves into my flesh & refused to let go. Climate catastrophe, black bodies crucified in the street, thousands in our city forced to go without water…White Supremacy, racism, militarism, patriarchy, capitalism, materialism, colonialism keeping their tight grip over it all. Psychic captivity to our nation’s deep history of perpetration & denial…. how can the work of justice ever be done? It feels too deep, and too difficult. And how can I, a White woman of privilege, find any joy in the midst of this seemingly unrelenting darkness (real joy, not the fabricated & fleeting kind served up with denial of the deep unresolved trauma & perpetration we continue to cycle unrepentantly through)?

    But slowly… thanks to community & those who love me & help me to wrestle my own imperial demons, which sink me into paralysis & despair…thanks to the gifts of darkness & despair, themselves, & how they finally (if I dare let them) confront me with my own powerlessness… thanks to the Beloved Community (!), nationally rising out of the cracks of a failed system, organically & stealthily moving through the concrete jungles of cities from whose hands she will no longer accept oppression… and locally, organizing alternative gift fairs to deprive the “corporate revolution” of its oxygen during their prized Holiday Season….
    Thanks largely to the Movement rising across our nation (embodying very much the inspiring words below), I am finding great joy & comfort on this 2nd Friday of Advent…

    “Our strategy should be not only to confront the empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

    The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

    Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
    -Arundhati Roy

    Here in Detroit on this quiet day… I hear her breathing. And as our wise pastor (& long-time Movement animator) observed the other night, it is only for us to jump in. The Movement is already coming. It is not in my power to conjure her…only to receive her as gift. How can I find joy in the darkness? Today, it is quiet enough in my soul that I CAN HEAR HER BREATHING! How can I NOT find joy?

  2. Lindsay, your reflection is very powerful!

    This advent has felt very dark for me. But lately, Joy does come through for me through community. I have been really grateful for the community in my neighborhood. It has been very comforting and empowering to be in the midst of a world seeping with all the ‘isms Lindsay describes above, yet fall back on the grace of community that holds one another and tries to break these cycles collectively, each offering their unique gifts. We have learned a lot and have a lot to learn. To see just how much we have learned and changed brings me joy and hope that we will continue changing and that the people that enable these systems that hold people down can change too.

    I also find joy through my family. Watching my son learn things for the first time brings wonder and awe to everyday life.

    Thanks for the question.

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