On this Full Moon Friday the multiple tragedies in our country have eclipsed my personal happiness and I’m okay with that. My heart goes out to each person peacefully protesting for positive change. My memoir is my cri de coeur on this subject. Unless we do our utmost, to clean up every kind of corruption, we risk losing everything. The infestation includes racism, sexism, favoritism, crony capitalism, and the massive fraud committed by this administration. But to accomplish this, we can’t stay angry at each other.
“Ignorance is our enemy, not each other,” said William Nevin, our White Eagle Sundance Chief, on Elsipogtog Mi’qmak reserve, in New Brunswick (from my third planned memoir, Every Day Is Sun Day).
I’m holding onto his teaching for dear life today. Despite what’s happening right now, we are not enemies. What is more appalling actually is our ignorance. Everyone can do something about that, simply by stopping to listen to each other’s firsthand experiences, in person and on social media. What is also staring us in the face is our (planned) ignorance about the peaceful ways to create more equitable societies.
That need is exactly what inspired the creation of the Wisdom Wheel in 1996. Bonds can be formed between individuals from all backgrounds when we have discussions about our deepest values. Unfortunately, we were never taught to do this. So I invite each of you to find 36 smooth rocks. Write the Universal Laws upon them and make your own set to work with.
Lay them out in a circle and invite people to educate you about their experiences with these words. Heart to heart, hear each other out. Don’t we all have the rights to Balance, Integrity, and Right Relationship and so on?
When we take the time to sit down together, we can honor legitimate shared needs. Doing this reminds us of our common ground so we can go on to address the imbalances. All of us want the peace, justice, and equality, so long promised in our constitution.
You could pick one word to focus on this month. The first Law is Balance, the centering Law of life. Working to restore it requires greater Awareness (Law #2): of what is wrong, who has been wronged and how to right those wrongs and the extremes we wish to correct. The basis for establishing Right Relationships (Law #4) is listening to each other. To solve our problems together, we must learn to collaborate.
Time has shown me we must also focus upon what we want more of.
Declaring what we are against is only half the equation. To maintain a sustainable change Process (Law #6), to achieve dynamic balancing, we need transformative energy from beyond our conditioned ego personalities. Only properly understood Power (Law #33) can turn the downward spiral upward, so devolution can become evolution. As Darwin demonstrated, the survival of species is dependent upon their adaptation skills. Let’s have Clarity (Law #19) about what we want to adapt to and have more of.
I see this in my own marriage. The difference is between resenting what isn’t working versus making the Commitment to growing what is good. Yesterday my husband Malcolm and I celebrated our 20th anniversary (alone at home due to the coronavirus). We often joke about the Wheel and how it has supported our Right Relationship efforts, through two decades of mediating squabbles, facing Power issues, and triggering each other’s self-protective mechanisms. To transcend our old wounds and lighten up, we work (continually) to keep our eyes and hearts open. The fact that he could be genuinely happy for me (for us), when the memoir won a prestigious IPPY Award last month, is a testament to how far we’ve come. He said, “You hardly know where to put this praise after being put down and criticized so much.”
In the meantime, we have become quite proficient with Zoom. If your book club is meeting virtually like ours, I will happily facilitate a discussion of The Importance of Paris memoir. We have one scheduled for June 18th. Contact me for set up or to schedule a Wisdom Wheel reading. There are several ongoing groups to join.
Every Saturday morning 10:30 am, Westerly Writing group
Every other Wednesday evening 6pm, Book Writers group
Every Monday evening 7pm, Zoom Lodge
Malcolm and I continue to hold the scheduled ceremonies. Next one is Sunday June 21st for Summer Solstice. Our Rhode Island governor has phased out some restrictions on gatherings. We should know soon whether coronavirus cases are continuing their downward trend. See the latest updates about ceremonies on our HOPE-HOUSE Facebook page.
The brand new poetry book is due out on Summer Solstice. Preorder signed first edition copies, and receive 20% prepublication discount, until June 21st. I leave you with a poem from the Measuring Distances collection.
The Lizard’s Logic
Clever the chameleon
changing his colors
How intelligent not
the givens through the skin
and find protection
without the need for knowing.
We are not so
If you lay against a stranger
you will see how pale or dark
And rarely do we stay
without a likeness
to spare us
of being different.
We are susceptible
judges, who know not
how to yield to logic
that would change our minds,
though it fails to change our skins.