Friday, July 03, 2015
... and I'm wide awake with a suddenness that cut through the room like a shiv through warm butter!
"... this morning at 10:30 Forum will re-air from the archives a memorable interview by Michael Krasny with Ranger Betty Reid Soskin of the National Park Service ...". Without warning or expectation here I was on rotation on All Things Considered. That announcement was aired several times before breakfast, each time with the same effect. I really have begun to think of myself in the third person. Could hardly wait to hear her!
Yesterday, just as I was about to start my two o'clock program a woman in the front row of our little theater whispered to me that she and her husband had heard the interview on NPR a couple of weeks ago, and that they had driven all the way from Redwood City to hear my talk. It's so hard to know how to respond to this kind of attention, especially when the anger is so near the surface, and when I'm having such a hard time keeping my emotions in check. The vertigo is still a problem, so there's a feeling of imbalance that makes my steps unsure and confidence shaky.
Yet, once the lights are turned up so that the faces, the eyes, are connected with mine, the magic begins -- and the words come ... still ... as if I've been pre-programmed for this precise moment in time ... as if this is the first time I've spoken these now familiar words... .
This morning I sat alone propped on pillows hugging my knees at 10:30 and listened intently to Michael Krasny's voice as he announced the interview with this "third person," Betty Reid Soskin. I listened intently and, surprisingly, found myself lost in tears as it ended 30 minutes later. This time the tears were not from anger, but from somewhere deep inside -- tears of humility and wonder. I think -- before the interview closed I was hearing my voice from an ego-less state -- hearing myself from somewhere beyond myself -- a warm but raspy voice speaking truth spontaneously and guilelessly. Speaking of shameful things without shame. Speaking in a proud voice that was strangely not prideful.
Is this then, what is happening -- the magic?
Sunday, June 28, 2015
... and so far it seems harmless enough since it appears to be totally powered by tears, so I burst out in sobs at the slightest provocation, and embarrassment quickly follows. There are places in my talk that are hard to get through since every time I dip back into the darkness of those years (1942-1945) I become vulnerable and control is difficult to maintain. But that's part of the cost of indulging Truth, and I've always been willing to pay it.
I suspect that some of it can be attributed to the lingering effects of the concussion, and the dizziness of vertigo that has caused some of my confidence to bleed away from the fear that each step might end up in another fall ... .
The Michael Krasny Forum on NPR has stirred a public response that has increased visitation substantially. Audiences have doubled and yesterday we had to add a second presentation at three o'clock in order to meet the need.
I've never felt more vulnerable or as filled with rage as I am in this aftermath of the Emmanuel
A.M..E. church killings, or, the re-visiting of the debate over the presence of the Confederate Flag on the grounds of the Capitol.
But my anger was further fueled by the timing of the SCOTUS announcement of the decision regarding same-sex marriage at a time when I was literally sitting at the foot of my bed waiting for the president's eulogy for Senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney and the 8 others slain in that brutal killing in South Carolina.
Why on earth did they not wait until Monday morning -- traditionally when the last and most important decisions are handed down every year? Why did they not allow us to complete the mourning process before stepping on it? There was an incongruity in the entire country bursting into revelry just as we were waiting for the funeral services to begin in South Carolina. I was hopelessly split since my mind and heart were with both events, and the clashing of emotions was exhausting and schizophrenic!
Then something about it began to dawn as vaguely familiar:
Just two years ago SCOTUS had positioned two critical decisions in competition when they decided against DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and the scuttling of the Voters Registration Act which pitted the LGBT and the African American communities in direct competition for national attention. The danger of widening the gap between two equality-seeking segments of society was evident.
Intentional? Coincidental? Strategic? Meant to sow the seeds of dissension between two "minority" segments of the society in the interest of the continuance of white privilege? Keeping the fragmentation in place when we're fast-approaching a time in our social development as a nation, when there will no longer be a racial majority?
It's the same strategy that causes even the so-called wisest among us to continue to refer to our demographics using the term "78% minority" to describe the non-white cohort, or, "... 85% women and minority" when that is as meaningless when some of us are both -- female and non-white." There is no such things as a 78% minority. That, friends, is the majority. The stupid distortions by the manipulation of language is meant to express pure nonsense loudly and constantly enough to dull the senses and hopelessly confuse.
This makes about as much sense as having gone to war in 1942 to "save Democracy with a racially-segregated Armed Forces," which is simply delusional.
Maybe the only appropriate response to such nonsense IS unspeakable debilitating rage!
... but that gets us nowhere, right?
... but it beats packing a gun for retribution.
Maybe those kindly Christian believing survivors in Charleston, South Carolina, were right after all in their almost unbelievable forgiveness of the killer ...
... but forgiveness is still beyond my reach.
Back to the tears.