By Ric Hudgens, re-posted with permission from social media

Sometimes we choose transition. Sometimes it’s thrust upon us. Either way it’s disorienting. But, as the great Walter Brueggemann reminds us, disorientation is one stage on the way to re-orientation. I’m feeling that on-the-way-in-betweenness.

Divorce, a stroke, a resulting move to a new place, and then of course the pandemic left me a bit traumatized. It’s not dramatic (not like some), but it’s substantial. I find unfamiliar fears and anxiety showing up in unfamiliar places.

I’ve also known “post-traumatic growth” which was the subject and the fruit of a recently completed doctoral project. So I’m still “growing” and have much to be thankful for, and I’m also disoriented – like when I was a teenager and every year outgrew my clothes.

I need God/Spirit/Meaning in new ways. The old pathways bore me. Familiar methods leave me feeling confused, curious, cautious, and a bit cranky. I’m walking like someone with new shoes that are not yet broken in. I think my heels are blistering a bit.

Continue reading “Re-tired.”

Only Almost Half Full

From poet and activist Alexis Pauline Gumbs, re-posted from her website. Thanks to Kateri Boucher for the recommendation.

Last night the moon was a bowl again, almost half full out my airplane window. Slightly tilted so maybe moonlight, if it could spill would offer the contents of its light one drop at a time.

Last night, the moon in my airplane window and Tyre Nichols mother’s face on all the airport TV monitors. I can’t hear what she’s saying for all the amplified systemwide announcements, so I just look at her round face and wonder how she’s saying anything at all.

Audre Lorde published the poem “For Each of You” in 1973 for her children who she said were black “in the mouth of a dragon who defines them as nothing.” Like Tyre’s mom, RowVaughn Wells, Audre looked to the heavens. Here is Audre’s astronomical offering:

Remember our sun

is not the most noteworthy star

only the nearest

Audre’s clarification of what space means has trailed me since I was a teenager. I couldn’t grasp the meaning of this stanza until at least a decade after I read it. And then I shook my head. All this time I had believed the colonial education that taught me it was my brightness that mattered above all else. No. Audre clarifies while her children get death threats at their Staten Island grade school, it is where you are that matters. The sun is close enough to make all this photosynthetic life on Earth breathe.

to read more (and really you must), click this.

My Forever King

By Johari Jabir

America had but one pastor
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was his name

My King,

The days leading up to the national observance of your birthday
seem to result in a passing season of melancholia
we have crossed so many lines
you warned us not to cross
we now live in the reality of that other side
of hate-filled violence and indifference
that feeds the victims to themselves

Continue reading “My Forever King”

Our Primary Audience

A word for writers from Kiese Laymon, re-posted from social media.

I don’t like to give advice, whether solicited or not, but folks keep asking me about audience and I can say this. If your primary audience is a thesis committee or a tenure committee, that’s who is gonna read your book. Please don’t be mad if we don’t read you if you don’t ever write to us. Those committees can keep us employed, keep us chasing their tastes, keep us hoping, and often, keep us sad as fuck. They cannot ever be our primary audience if we want readers to give a fuck. Terrible conundrum. But.

The History of Love

It’s National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we are delighted to post this poem by Adella Barrett, read at the wedding ceremony of Jeannette Ban and Lola West (October 1, 2022)

I do not know exactly where we stand in the history of love,
but that so many came before us,
some who bore our faces, some who carried our genes and our names,
some who labored a labor I cannot understand.

The history of love, inscrutable and longer than time,
is not rose colored, I must say, it is laden with sacrifice.
We are born of this history, and we inherit this story,
the same as we inherit in our flesh the banquet of desire, the soft need to be seen,
for our bones to be held and read as holy.

Continue reading “The History of Love”

Time for Another Wilderness Vigil

An announcement and invitation from Tevyn East, director of Dreaming Stone Arts and Ecology Center

In early 2020, a group of comrades (Jay Beck, Jimmy Betts, Tevyn East, Tim Nafziger, Jonathan McRay, and Todd Wynward) first gathered together in response to a call from friend and colleague, Dave Pritchett. Sparked by his attendance of a “Vision Fast” held by the School of Lost Borders, where participants experienced a 4 day solo fast, bookended by group process, Dave had a desire to deepen into this practice amongst peers. His call, “to gather a cohort of folks to re-imagine how we can use the wilderness vigil to empower people in our movements, and how we can do so in ways that better pay attention to place, to history, and to the political moment we inhabit.” And thus, the first Wilderness Vigil was born. It was a significant, supportive and meaningful event for all.

Continue reading “Time for Another Wilderness Vigil”