Nothing to Say until Now

In this poem, Mandy Fessenden Brauer reimagines the experience of growing up in a boys’ boarding school in light of the #MeToo movement: “I let it go on and on until it became / regular, like a glass of water before / sleeping.”

Fearless Truths, Ruthless Awareness: Into The New Year

At our Hanukkah party a couple of weeks ago, we asked our guests to each share a way in which they want to bring light into the world in the coming year. Like other festivals that kindle a blaze as the sun’s light wanes—Diwali, Christmas—Hanukkah can be understood as a collective refusal to surrender to darkness, a collective invitation to remember the light even in the darkest times. My wish was for a pervading awareness, the kind that sees past the conventional categories that constrain thinking. I haven’t been blogging much because I’ve been giving my writing attention to a new book which treats this question as a central theme: why have we fallen so much into treating people and issues as toggle switches—#MeToo, for or against?—and what can we do to open the gates of awareness to multiple truths? My wish was for ruthless awareness, the kind that penetrates the surface of what is, allowing layer after layer to emerge and be explored, side-by-side, not always resolving to either/or.

I wonder if Mary––

In this poem, Stephanie Van Hook reimagines the story of the Nativity in light of the #metoo movement: “True story, Mary. When I was a child / Your statues were seen weeping blood / At my church. I think I know now why.”

Photo Series, Part II: Jacob Klein

Jacob has learned that the most effective means of connecting with people who are actively resistant to or confused by some or much of the queer community is via vulnerability, empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and human-to-human connection.

Art, Politics, Spirit: Braided Activism for Culture Shift

This is the text of a talk I gave on 21 October at Bioneers. It was followed by presentations by Cynthia Tom, a Bay Area-based visual artist, cultural curator, founder of A Place of Her Own, and Board President of the Asian American Women Artists Association and Lulani Arquette, President/CEO of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (and Catalyst for Native Creative Potential on the National Cabinet of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture). As people entered the workshop, they heard a song called Familia, written by Cris and Israel Matos and performed by their band, Manicato, which Cynthia Tom manages. The message of the chorus sums it up: “Hey family, united we march without flags without borders but one voice.”

Let us begin. Every community owes its existence and vitality to generations from around the world who contributed their hopes, dreams, and energy to making the history that led to this moment.

Oh Crap! I’m Triggered Again: Part Three, Monumental Mosh Pit and Cheshbon HaNefesh

I had a friend who in her youth acquired an elaborate multicolored tattoo spanning her stomach, a symmetrical image in which her navel served as a focal point. An eye? I no longer recall. She gave birth by Caesarean operation, and when the doctors stitched her back together, the two halves of the tattoo didn’t match up. As the years passed, the skew and pucker escalated.