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Three Blog Posts, a Poem and a Song

April 15, 2010

I try not to do too many reading-list posts, mainly because I know that most of us have our own gigantic stacks of reading to get to.  But!  These pieces are simply dope and exciting, and written or shared with me by people I like.  Plus, the collection represents, in a way, some key themes in my life right now: feminism, political work, and spirituality.  So!

The lovely and talented author of This Moi (elder sister of ei powell) has a guest post up at Jezebel on the Man To Man (M2M) phenomenon — as experienced by herself, a keen and observant young woman of color, during a trip to a shooting range.

brownfemipower (my esteem of whom is well documented) contributed a ridiculously good piece to Feministe, on citizenship privilege in sexual/sexualized violence.

And!  The Advance the Struggle collective (AS) published their analysis of the March 4th day of action (for public education in California + beyond), which breaks down, in very useful, insightful ways, the dis/advantages of two different tendencies among the anti-capitalist players involved, and how to combine their strengths into a “genuine class struggle left.”  Personally, it helped me clarify and contextualize my experience participating in the SF March 4th committee, which I found pretty frustrating overall.  In hindsight, I now understand a lot of the key ideological splits that I couldn’t articulate at the time.  As AS puts it, “the [clashes] of approaches to radicalizing consciousness were key determinants in differentiating the political forces in the movement.”  Also nifty to see analyzed summaries of all the different major actions in Cali, as well as efforts in Seattle.  Check it out.

This poem, which my boss read to me during our latest reflection session (yes, I’m lucky enough to have good poetry in my work meetings!) immediately resonated with a fear that’s been haunting me ever since I started deepening my meditation practice last year.

Tree

by Jane Hirshfield

———

———

It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.

Even in this
one lifetime,
you will have to choose.

That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books —

Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.

Will it be possible for me to combine a lifelong commitment to practicing dharma (with the retreat experience and internal work required) while at the same time holding on to worldly commitments like partnerships and social justice work?  Oftentimes I sense that someday, in this one lifetime, I’ll have to choose.  Do you ever feel that way?

Finally, a little something by Ahmad Jamal, just because.

Happy Thursday, friends, and happy birthday Henry Mills!

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