Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

We were never meant to survive

So, I got up this morning (January 10th, the Year of our Lord, 2007) at 5:30 AM and discovered that the sky had not fallen.

I walked the dogs and greeted other neighbors as they walked their own dogs, or picked up the daily newspaper at the end of the driveway, or ran to catch the 5:45 train into NYC.

I did my morning ablutions, making my final meditaton on the passages for William Laude, and readied myself for Healing Eucharist at 7 AM.

Still, the world spun on its axis, apparently unaware of yet another tear in the fabric of the rapidly unraveling whole cloth that once was the Anglican Communion.

Later that same day, this quote came in from Susan Russell, President of Integrity and uncontested and reigning Queen of the Sound Bite, which, in fact, won the Award for “Quote of The Week”

"Actually (the Windsor Panel of Reference not interviewing ordained women) all makes such sense -- imagine how much tidier it would have been if we'd just asked the segregationists how the Jim Crow laws were working? Would have saved all that messiness in the 60's!" Susan Russell, President of Integrity.

Which reminded me of this quote by Frederick Douglass:

“Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing up the ground.

They want rain without thunder and lightening; they want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters.

This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.

Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never did and it never will.

Find out what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice which will be imposed upon them.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

I found courage in both of these statements, and the will to persevere.

And, as the day draws nigh, I have come, once again as I most always do, to find comfort and courage in the words of our sisters, Alice Walker and Audre Lorde.

I give them to you this night as bedtime prayer.

This, first, from Alice Walker:

Love is not concerned
with whom you pray
or where you slept
the night you ran away
from home.
Love is concerned
that the beating of your heart
should kill no one.

And, finally, this, from my heroine, Audre Lourde

We Were Never Meant to Survive

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone.

For those of us who were
imprinted with fear like a faint
line in the center of our
foreheads learning to be afraid
with our mother's milk.

For by this weapon,
this illusion of some safety to
be found-
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us.

For all of us
this instant and this triumph-
we were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are
it might not remain.

When the sun set sets we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed.

But when we are silent
we are still afraid.

So it is better to
speak remembering
We were never
meant to survive.


Lisa said...

Thank you for these words, Elizabeth.

And I'm reminded, too, of these words from Maya Angelou: "And still we rise."

And we rise and rise again, against all those who would beat us down and beat us back.

We rise, and we rise again. Despite those people who would kill our joy and destroy our relationships.

Yet, we rise. Thanks be to God.

revsusan said...

Honored as hell to be included in such august company!