I Can’t Shut Up
You are invited to listen to this magical hymn, heaven on earth, love incarnate.
The Prez was in town yesterday. Obama had numerous stops in SF, and Fern and I met up with a few friends to greet him.
In her own words: For the first time ever, I showed Fern a photo of the Athabasca tar sands. She was silent for a moment and then declared the above sentiment.
While the crowd was small when we arrived, our numbers quickly grew until we were 200.
Long time readers know about my ongoing involvement to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline (and if you don’t understand the tar sands issue, those two links will help you out). We are still waiting for President Obama to say yay or nay, even while our courts give the green light.
As the amount of carbon in the atmosphere surpasses 350 parts per million (we are currently at 400 and climbing), I find my own reticence in speaking out to be decreasing.
At one time I kept my mouth shut, about environmental issues, the rights of non-human species or earth grief for fear of social ostracization. Growing up in the 80′s in a Reagan-conservative rah rah rural town taught me quickly that not only would I be ignored if I spoke out, I would be dismissed as ridiculous. Like a scarlet letter, once you are pinned as a bleeding heart by others, every word spoken ever-after is tinged with stigma. You, your thoughts, feelings and perceptions, become inconsequential in your community.
Even at 41 years old, I still get a little knot of fear in my belly every time I do something as “radical” as post unpopular content on FB. And when no-one “likes” my post, in the past I have tucked my tail between my legs and gone underground for a month or two. It might just be Facebook, but for a severe introvert, social media is like those dreams where you show up at school naked.
Hey look! My hands are famous! Someone else’s photo from the protest.
In the past year however, as the parts per million have gone over the tipping point, so have the words gone spilling out of my mouth. Beyond the safe space of this blog, beyond the puddle of Facebook, into my conversations, my actions, my work.
Five years ago, I had a dream where my spirit allies, in animal form, towered over me as I sat in the pasture of my childhood home. I peered up at their height, multiple stories high. I shouted to where their ears touched the sky Why are you so big?!?
Smiling bemusedly, they turned their gaze down to me. They replied…
Why are you so small?
This Thanksgiving week, along with my tender gratitude for my family, for motherhood, for health, safety and abundance, I give thanks for the friends, mentors and colleagues who believe in me. This includes you dear readers, and the friends I have made online, those of you who have witnessed my emergence from shakey sorrow to empowered voice. It is for my family who has supported me in this (long-ass protracted) journey to getting licensed as an MFT, it is for the institute where I work, it is for the small band of like-hearted folk who understand when I tell them why I can’t sleep at night.
Cheers went up from our crowd at the barricades when “the pipeline” made an appearance.
Two fellas with a baby carriage snuck in a boom box and a small flash mob danced to Britney Spears’ “Toxic”. Awesome video because I had to hold the camera above my head. Anyway, it’s a nice snippet of the spirit of the day.
I have no delusions as to my popularity. All I have to do is write multiple pieces on “serious” subjects to watch my blog stats dwindle. I know I can never please my critics…both externally and internally. And yet, I can’t shut up. Instead of asking the questions of a little girl (why aren’t I lovable?), I instead ask the questions of a professional. How do I get bigger? What is the best way to deliver my voice? Where are the people I can help the most, and how can I reach them? What is the best way to inspire others to feel empowered?
Anonymous was there too.
I have never had difficulty when in the position of a teacher or facilitator, but the difference is now in combining the personal…especially the meek, tender, wounded bits…with The Big Me. I’m taking off my mask and I’m ready to rock out.
How about you? How is your own voice when it comes to matters close to your heart? And this week in America we are celebrating Thanksgiving…what are your plans for the week? What are you thankful for, down in that cozy heart of yours?