The idea began as one of “re”defining myself. It was a new thought . . . an . . . I “get to” do that, thought. It sounded creative, energizing, fun. But no describing or naming was forthcoming. I already knew not to approach any new idea with intent, and what happened next, without intent, was that I began paying attention to the sentiments of activists and artists. I noted Tania Bruguera, who said, ‘I don’t want art that points to a thing. I want art that is the thing’. Her comment reminded me of words from A Course of Love: “Thingness is over.” (20.24) and “Eachness replaces thingness but not oneness.” (20.39)
I, and maybe many of us, could call “un”defining a “reclamation of our nature.” Latoya Ruby Frazier spoke of “reclamation” in a Ted Talk. A visual artist, she lived and worked in Flint, Michigan to document those affected by the city’s water crisis. Then she went to new “creative lengths” to bring them free, clean water.
I wrote my initial entry in Musings on “Claiming,” speaking of “the piece of ourselves that we set aside and don’t allow the harsh realities of life to claim.” (C:7.5) When I realized that what I had been “setting aside” was my true nature, I ceased to “set aside,” and began to “re”claim. There, I discovered that reclaiming didn’t mean re-defining. I had to un-define before I could experience recovery in “reclamation.”
More and more I am seeing both the limitations of the words I use—and what happens when I expand my acceptance of their reach, both within and without. The words you and I hear, speak, read, listen to—in our internal as well as external life—matter. Words like unto “reclamation” include recover, repossession, recuperation, renovation. Each are powerful words! Words guide me. I am, more and more, letting each come as it comes. Some words rise out of a pit of negativity. But words do this! Words descend, words rise, and words turn sideways. That’s what happens. Words turn. We turn our words, like we turn our gaze, but usually they take us for another spin. We feel them gurgling inside of us. We feel them in our throats. They “rise” as prompts that soothe or aggravate, as memories that live in shadow and light, as goads that may ask for our descent before they ask us to rise. Their intent is to raise to our awareness all that we are. Mary and I use the word “Rise” in Mirari:
Rise from your beds to face love.
Hide no more beneath sleep’s blankets.
Rise to Love.
Rise and be the risen Love.
Rise and be who you are.
Invite all to rise with you in love for love’s sake. For love’s sake, rise to end the suffering of the human condition. Rise to end racism, injustice, abuse, torture, and war. Rise to end the lack that does not need to be. Rise along with time to call on time’s ability to heal all wounds, to provide for all. Rise to meet the consciousness of Mother Earth and the love of “this time” and “this place.” Seek no more for what will be. Love into existence what Is.
Speak your own words of love. Raise your voice to love. Love All.
Tread, my dear ones, gently with these words that have been spoken one heart to one heart. If you let them be such to you, you will begin to allow for the natural once again, and to be in joy with what will flow forth as you rise to your true nature. You will begin to see that which effortlessly extends from your newly placed devotion to your nature. (see “Mirari,” p. 125-26)
You might be doing the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but if you are being true to your nature, a joy that encompasses pain will come of it, and speak to you, “of you,” as “you” rise, and do whatever reclamation your heart is calling you to.
LaToya Ruby Fraizer said, “I am showing these dark things about America “because I love my country and countrymen. When you love somebody, you tell them the truth. Even if it hurts.”
It all starts from a truth that we see, feel, breathe, and have revealed to us as we live our unique lives. We can’t “define” our nature. It is too big, and it is constantly expanding. But we can describe it “as we go,” or discover that our words are describing it to us. Suddenly, they are there—words of grace and of pain, speaking of how we feel and exposing truths that matter to us—in our vocations, homes, countries, and world.
“We” are the changing form of the world.