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Saturday, March 28, 2015

March Madness

My March Madness began a little earlier than the one that is garnering so much attention, money, and time right now. The genesis of mine was March 8th, International Women's Day. That day reminded me that I am mad that women's stories are not honored and highlighted every day like men's (and in this country, more specifically white, heterosexual, Christian, and most likely upper-class men).

As a result I did two things: 1) I started writing here nearly every day and 2) I started weaving pieces of other women's storieswordshearts into my writing. It is because I wanted to share other voices that I've been posting more here. All I've tried to do is recognize a Truth that we often overlook or even deny: our lives are already interwoven.

Mine and yours. Ours with the people we call "enemy" and the ones we may even classify as less-than-human. Ours with the lives that are scurrying, singing, crawling, swimming, flying around us. Ours with those that are pushing their way through darkness towards light as the days grow longer and warmer. They are our faithful reminders of What Can Be - Beauty offering itself up for sheer delight. Pure. Generous. Joyful.

My March Madness reminds me that I am a being with a voice, a story that is true and real and important, even if only to me. Except my better Self knows that my be-ing is not just important to me. It is one precious string, or maybe even one strand of a string in the tapestry that is Truth, that is Wholeness, that is Love. So is every other being.

Tonight I heard Matthew Fox speak, the vibrations of which will be pulsing through me for a long time. Framing his words, local musicianspoetsbeauties Kri N Hettie performed - except that's not what they did. They got real with us, inviting us to open up our minds and hearts, to prepare for the torrent of goodness, truth, energy, wisdom, and expansive vision that Matthew poured out on us. I knew I was in the company of a prophet and I feel certain that his words, echoing the words of Thomas Merton, Meister Eckhart and others, helped all of us to get a little better acquainted with our own prophetic nature.

In my Madness, I have been trying to share prophetic voices: voices that challenge and voices that inspire; voices that soothe us into deeper connection and voices that shake us out of complacency; voices that help each of us find our unique voice and those that help us see ourselves within the story of others.

After Matthew presented, four Louisvillians who are following their calling engaged in a panel discussion with Matthew. The first question: How do you know your calling and where do you find the courage to follow it? When the first person began to speak, I couldn't believe her words, not because they were outrageous, but because if I'd been asked the question, I think I'd have used the same words, maybe the exact same words. I wrote them as faithfully as I could: "I listen to the call from within, from my inner voice,and then it's not up to me. I don't do what I want to do, I do what I feel I am called to do." Amen.

Right now I am called to share words - my own and hers and hers and his and theirs and, if we're looking at the deepest level, yours, too.

My madness this month is born of a powerful energy within me that is yearning to be released. My energy comes from a much greater One that nurtures my soul: sometimes rotting it into fertile soil, sometimes trickling wetness that allows me to root and deepen and anchor, sometimes shining warm light that beckons me to reeeeach towards a new embodiment of Who I Am.

My madness does not ask me to choose loyalties for one group or another, though, at my best, I may dedicate more of myself to those who've been left out, covered up, silenced. It may look like preference, but my preference is justice; not win-lose, but win-win.

Until I've spent time in silence and know where my attention, my voice, my time, my money can best serve, my madness does not ask me to jump up in praise or distress at fleeting moments. My excitement and outcry spring from those places along the path that have enriched or depleted me.

My madness does not ask me to compete. It invites me to collaborate, to embrace, to harmonize. It invites me to challenge what doesn't serve Love.

It invites me to, as Matthew Fox described it, "wrap the Via Positiva around the Via Dolorosa." To live not in a knowledge of original sin, but in the wisdom of original blessing.

This madness of mine is rich. I pray it inhabits me long after March ends. I wish the same for you. 

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