I’ve been so busy with the manuscript(s) lately that I haven’t been commenting on the news. A lot has happened: a divisive election here in Ontario, the escalated fracturing of culture in the US, the destruction of decades of advancement in globalization, continued domestic and foreign terror attacks. There’s not one of those issues I’d like to discuss, and yet there’s a necessary conversation to be had for each. Really once you start looking at the dire straits in which humanity have found themselves, it’s tempting to shut your eyes, turn to YouTube and look for the latest viral singing sensation or cute cat-video (on that front Jupiter is getting monstrously huge and more adorable by the day).
However, we can’t look away. It’s our responsibility to see, hear, feel and engage. No matter your politics, no matter your beliefs it’s up to you to participate in the movement forward. We need partisan conversations across the board. We need Christians to engage with Muslims, straight/ queer alliances to continue, and women to keep speaking up with their stories—as well as to ensure they are engaging men in the process of discussion, healing and misogyny.
We had an amazing dinner some time ago with two indigenous elders, and one of them shared with me a story—a modern day legend, really. It was about a medicine man who had told her, decades before any of our current turmoil began, that there would come a time toward the end of her generation where all of humankind would seem as if they were asleep in a nightmare: their world, their beliefs, their institutions collapsing from the accumulated weight of societies fat on corruption, disharmony and hatred. There would come a time when those of us with voices would have to use them to speak using our bodies and minds, our art and our teachings, to those who were sleeping.
I’ve pondered this story each day since it was shared with me, and with greater intensity than the day before. I’ve wondered if I was a speaker or a sleeper. And through the process of reading through my stories and reviewing the messaging and morality therein I know I am a speaker, or that I’ve at least woken up at some point. You only need to see, hear and feel for lives outside of yourself.
You need to wake. And if you have already woken, wake the person beside you, and so on, until we have a world that can look at its ugliness—at our ugliness—and begin the messy work to heal it and ourselves.
All my love,